MEXICO CITY, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in his residence in Port-au-Prince overnight on Wednesday has drawn widespread condemnation, and sparked concern about further instability in the Caribbean nation.
In a statement on Wednesday, Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph confirmed that Moise, 53, who had been the country's president since 2017, had been assassinated by a group of armed men in the early hours of the morning and declared a "state of siege."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned "in the strongest terms" the assassination, while calling on all Haitians to preserve the constitutional order, remain united in the face of this abhorrent act and reject all violence.
"We strongly condemn the horrible assassination of the president of Haiti ... We express our condolences to his loved ones and our unconditional solidarity with the fraternal people of Haiti," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza posted on his Twitter account, calling for "peace and understanding" in Haiti.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera also denounced the act. "We reject the cowardly assassination of the president of Haiti ... Our solidarity and condolences to his family and all the people of Haiti."
The Chilean president also called for "unity and peace," and urged the country to "find a way out of the serious crisis."
"No political situation justifies criminal acts of violence," Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado said. "Solidarity with his family and the Haitian people. May stability, institutionalism and dialogue prevail."
The government of Uruguay expressed its "most energetic repudiation" and "condemnation" of the attack. "This assassination must not go unpunished," it said in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
"Uruguay is concerned about the political stability and the continuity of the democratic order in the sister Republic of Haiti and urges all actors in that country to follow the institutional channels required by the presidential succession process," it added, while extending its condolences to the Haitian people and the president's relatives.
"We the people and government of Mexico pay tribute to him (Moise)," Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, recalling that the Haitian president attended the inauguration ceremony "when I assumed the presidency of Mexico."
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said on his Twitter account, "We strongly condemn the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, our solidarity with his family and the Haitian people for such a despicable act. We call for peace and respect for democracy."
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso condemned the shooting of the Haitian president, saying the act was "an inhumane, cowardly and barbaric act ... Our most sincere condolences to his loved ones and all the Haitian people."
Also making a call for peace, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel condemned the events in Haiti on his Twitter account. "We deeply regret the death of the President of the Republic of Haiti Jovenel Moise. We strongly condemn the violent act that caused his death," he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the assassination as a "heinous act," while noting that "it's very worrisome about the state of Haiti."
The assassination of the Haitian president came two months before the country's presidential and legislative elections, which are scheduled for Sept. 26. Enditem