PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - A delegation from the Organization of American States met with Haiti's President, Jovenel Moise Wednesday to discuss the political crisis, as well as matters of security. Moise posted a message and a photo on Twitter after the meeting.
"I remain convinced that dialogue is the only tool that will allow us to resolve our political differences," he said.
J’ai rencontré la délégation de l'OEA autour de la crise actuelle. L’entretien a porté également sur les problèmes de sécurité et de précarité dans le pays. Je demeure convaincu que le dialogue est le seul atout qui nous permettra de résoudre nos différends politiques. pic.twitter.com/4aqkYTl6rT— Président Jovenel Moïse (@moisejovenel) June 19, 2019
Carlos Trujillo, U.S. ambassador to the Permanent Council of the OAS, and Gonzalo Koncke, chief of staff for OAS secretary general Luis Almagro, met with Moise and his foreign minister, Bocchit Edmond, in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
A message posted on the OAS Twitter account shows the officials with Moise and Edmond.
Chair of #OAS Permanent Council @USAmbOAS Carlos Trujillo and Chief of Staff of @Almagro_OEA2015 Gonzalo Koncke met with President @moisejovenel and Minister @BocchitEdmond to discuss current political juncture and next steps for national dialogue. #OEAavecHaïti pic.twitter.com/VlloSYIb5V— OAS (@OAS_official) June 19, 2019
According to a report in the Miami Herald, Haiti requested the visit in an official letter sent to Trujillo on June 14. Edmond told the Herald that Moise hoped the OAS would help "facilitate a dialogue" between himself and "those demanding his ouster."
No further details about the meeting have been made public, but the national dialogue issue has been discussed for months without a commitment to move forward.
News of the OAS representatives' visit was met with scathing criticism in Port-au-Prince.
"The OAS has no business meddling in the affairs of Haiti," a protest leader told VOA Creole. "Everything we've lost, including natural resources, I blame the OAS for." He said Haitians should not look to the OAS for a solution to their problems.
"We hold the OAS responsible for creating the PHTK (Haiti's ruling party Pati Ayisyen Tet Kale). We know they created this party so they could have someone to do their bidding," a member of a grassroots group protesting near the National Palace said. "We know it was so they would have a representative who would back them up during votes rather than representing the people of Haiti."
"Don't forget, the OAS is a political party just like the Core Group (ambassadors from the U.S., France, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the European Union, the OAS and the U.N., who have been meeting with the president to move the political dialogue forward). Those two groups got together to elect Jovenel Moise. So, should we be surprised today that they are who (the president) is calling to ask for basic necessities?" a protest leader asked.
Another protester told VOA Creole: "This isn't the first time foreigners are trying to meddle in Haitian affairs, and you already know what kind of results these attempts have had in the past. ... Unfortunately for us, Jovenel Moise is leading the first black independent republic of the world. That's why we want everyone to know we do not recognize this (OAS) mission. Before they even arrived, we considered them persona non grata."
Massive protests have roiled Haiti for weeks, with thousands nationwide demanding the president's resignation over fraud and corruption allegations. Protesters were in the streets today as the meeting was taking place.
Moise sparked national outrage when a report published on May 31 on government spending of revenue from the PetroCaribe oil alliance with Venezuela implicated two of his companies.The report alleged both companies were paid for the same project.
The president has denied the allegations and rejects calls for his resignation.
Meanwhile, protesters say the president's resignation is non-negotiable, and they will remain in the streets until he leaves power.