Haitian opposition leader hired D.C. lobbyist two days before president’s assassination

Haitian opposition leader hired D.C. lobbyist two days before president’s assassination

Pierre Reginald Boulos now seeking U.S. support for what he described as a newly signed agreement to establish an interim Haitian government.

By THEODORIC MEYER for Politico

Haitian opposition leader Pierre Reginald Boulos has hired a lobbyist as part of an effort to build support for his political party and encourage President Joe Biden to support an interim Haitian government.

Art Estopinan, a former chief of staff to former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), a onetime chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, registered on Thursday as a foreign agent working for Boulos.

Boulos hired Estopinan on Monday, Estopinan said, two days before Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated, further destabilizing the impoverished Caribbean country, which has faced deepening political turmoil in recent months.

Boulos and his MTVAyiti party had been critical of Moïse for staying on as president past Feb. 7, which they argue was the end of his term. But Boulos has said the opposition had no role in his killing. “We condemn the killing strongly, very strongly,” he said in an interview. “It’s a sad time for Haiti. It’s a dark day for Haiti.”

Boulos, a wealthy businessman, said he hired Estopian to represent him in Washington “to give me access to the U.S. administration so I can promote my vision of the new Haiti.”Continue reading

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