Four days after shocking Haitians by returning to her homeland in a sling and a bulletproof vest, the widow of the country’s assassinated president appeared in front of her countrymen on Wednesday at the site of a memorial to her husband, who was assassinated in January.
She was flown to a hospital in Miami after being wounded in the July 7 attack at her home, which also claimed the life of her husband. She underwent surgery while her country was still reeling from the death of its president, Jovenel Mose.
Ms. Mose had remained out of the public eye, with the exception of a few statements on social media, until recently. On Wednesday, however, things began to change.
The former first lady arrived at the memorial site at the Museum of the Haitian National Pantheon in the late afternoon, accompanied by her three children and three bodyguards, all of whom were armed to the teeth with assault weapons on full display. Ms. Mose was dressed all in black with pearls, and Pachelbel’s Canon could be heard playing in the background as she walked around.
As she stood with her children, she was showered with condolences from prominent Haitians, including the newly installed prime minister, Ariel Henry, and Helen La Lime, the top United Nations official in the country.
She received a message for her countrymen even before she was discharged from the hospital, a message that was both mournful and politically pointed at the same time.
It’s been 25 years of living together, she said in an audio recording that was posted on her verified Twitter account. Mercenaries ripped him away from me in the course of a single night. My eyes will never be free of tears again. My heart will continue to bleed forever.”
As Haitian politicians vied for power in their homeland, Ms. Mose accused her husband’s killers of wishing to “assassinate the president’s dream, vision, and ideas for the country” as the country’s political landscape changed.
‘I’m crying right now,’ she admitted, adding, “but we can’t let this country fall apart.”
On Tuesday, Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon, was appointed as the country’s interim prime minister, putting an end — at least for the time being — to an open contest over who would succeed Mr. Mose as leader of the country’s fragile economy. The ceremony took place just a few hours after a small memorial service for the president was held.
It is planned that the funeral will take place on Friday in the northern city of Cap-Hatien. Using her Twitter account, Ms. Mose announced that her family had decided to pay for the ceremony themselves, rather than taking money from the Haitian government’s general fund as was customary at the time.
Ms. Mose has already piqued the interest of some Haitians, who believe she may be able to step into her husband’s shoes and assume leadership of the country.