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Haitian first lady recounts husband's assassination in recorded message

Haitian first lady recounts husband's assassination in recorded message
New Haitian President Jovenel Moise takes oath of office . Description epa05776529 New Haitian President Jovenel Moise (R) poses with his wife Martine Marie Etienne Joseph (L), during his investiture ceremony, at Legislative Palace in Poirt-Au-Prince, Haiti, 07 February 2017. EPA/OOLANDO BARRIA

July 10 (UPI) -- Haitian first lady Martine Moise, who was injured in the attack that killed her husband, President Jovenel Moise, spoke out for the first time since the assassination in a recorded message.

Martine Moise, who was brought to South Florida for medical treatment hours after the attack at the Port-au-Prince home where she lived with her husband, released an audio message on her personal Twitter account and Haitian radio stations on Saturday.

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"I'm alive by god's grace, but I lost my husband Jovenel," Moise said in the Creole-language recording.

Moise said the attack, purportedly carried out by a group of 28 foreign mercenaries, happened quickly.

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"In the blink of an eye, the mercenaries entered my house and riddled my husband with bullets," Moise said. "This act has no name because you have to be a limitless criminal to assassinate a president like Jovenel Moise, without even giving him the chance to say a single word."

The first lady suggested the assassination was motivated by political issues such as a referendum on changes to the country's constitution that would have increased the president's powers.

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She said the attackers and their supporters "want to assassinate the president's dream."

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"I am crying, it is true, but we cannot let the country lose its way," she said. "We cannot let the blood of President Jovenel Moise, my husband, our president whom we love so much and who loved us in return, flow in vain."

Jovenel Moise, who died at the age of 53, served as president of Haiti since 2017.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that senior FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials would be visiting Haiti "as soon as possible" to offer their assistance with the investigation into the assassination.

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Moise had been ruling by decree since early 2020, when he canceled the planned January 2020 parliamentary elections.

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