Haiti's leader marks independence day amid security concerns

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has broken with tradition and celebrated the country's independence day in the capital for security reasons following months of political turmoil

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haitian President Jovenel Moïse broke with tradition on Wednesday and celebrated the country's independence day in the capital for security reasons following months of political turmoil.

“We’re still extremely poor,” he said. “Those who continue to get rich find it normal that they do not pay taxes, find it normal that there can be no competition, find it normal that they set prices for consumers, especially when this consumer is the state itself.”

Moïse also apologized for the country’s ongoing power outages and renewed his 2016 campaign pledge to provide electricity 24 hours a day, saying it was harder to accomplish than he imagined.

Large-scale protests in Port-au-Prince have since dissipated, although smaller ones are still occurring elsewhere in the country. On Wednesday, opposition leaders and supporters gathered in Gonaives to attend the funeral of an anti-government protester and then carried his coffin through the streets as more protesters joined them.