South Florida delivers emotional send off for Haiti’s first lady

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Martine Moïse’s departure from South Florida signals a road to recovery for Haiti, leaving the world to anticipate the changes her arrival back to the island nation may invoke in the midst of instability and uncertainty.

Following protocol, she returned home to prepare for the burial of slain President Jovenel Moïse this Friday, but not before several Haitian American leaders held vigils and memorials across Miami-Dade County in her husband’s honor.

The day before Haiti’s first lady was discharged from Jackson Memorial Hospital, the local chapter of Service Employees International Union (SEIU 1991), along with prominent Haitian American women in the community, held a prayer vigil for her and the people of Haiti outside the building.

“There is going to be a funeral in Haiti so our first lady [had] to return,” said Linda Joseph, the Haitian-born political director for SEIU 1991. “One of the reasons why we really wanted to have this circle of prayer was to give her our strength and love so she could travel well. Can you imagine someone storming her house and murdering her husband in front of her? The fact that she is still [alive] and [was] here with us says we had no choice but to do this.”

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