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Norfolk woman, Navy vet worries for family in Haiti as her native land faces deep turmoil

Haiti is faced with great uncertainty, following the assassination of the Caribbean country's president Wednesday.


Haiti faces deep turmoil, as the nation deals with the fallout of an attack that killed President Jovenel Moïse. That same attack in the overnight hours Wednesday also injured First Lady Martine Moïse. 

Credit: Angelique Arintok, 13News Now

The feelings of uncertainty ripple into Hampton Roads. Yasmine Charles, a native of Haiti, tells 13News Now that it's her top priority to get some of her remaining family members out of the country. 

"There's no peace in Haiti. I don’t see any hope for my country. So again, my goal is to get my family out of there," said Charles. 

Charles grew up in Haiti and moved to the U.S. at 12 years old. And at 21, she began serving in the U.S. Navy. 

She lives in Norfolk now, but extended family members like cousins, uncles and aunts remain at Haiti's capital city Port-au-Prince.

"They’re on edge. I spoke to my cousin about two days ago. And she told me they’re in hiding. It’s complete chaos right now," said Charles. "The head of state represents the nation and if he can get killed. What’s about the rest of the citizens. They can easily get access to everyone else too."

Charles also explains that it's unclear what will happen, in terms of future leadership.

"We still haven’t learned those lessons about leadership, about being humbled, about being for the people. That’s the problem. Corruption is Haiti’s biggest downfall," she said. 

Charles tried emailing the U.S. Embassy to seek help and she’s set up a GoFundMe page (Escaping Haiti for Turkey), in hopes to finance what's needed to get her family out of the country.

At least 20 suspects are under arrest for the president’s murder. 13 of them are ex-soldiers from Colombia. Two are reportedly Americans. 

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