The New Year and Haiti’s 218th Independence Day celebrations came amid violence and the continuing uncertainty of the reality of life in the country. It’s under the cover of heavy artillery fire, not from an invading or opposing army but from armed gangs that Prime Minister Ariel Henry attempted to lead celebrations of the country’s independence in Gonaïves. By now, the images of the Prime Minister and his delegation running for cover under heavy gunshots and unable to deliver his speech on the stand erected for the occasion. Armed gangs from Raboteau exchanged fire with various units of the Haitian police (PNH) dispatched to the city which is the home of independence. Earlier on, there were doubts that the Prime Minister will make the trip to the city, but he was able to attend mass at the cathedral, a feat no politician was able to do in the past four (4) years. Earlier in the day, the authorities had set up roadblocks along the way to Place d’Armes and the cathedral, areas where the red carpet was rolled, and the stand erected for the Prime Minister’s address to the nation. By 9:00 am when the presidential cortege was making its way into the cathedral, under heavy guard, gunshots could be heard in the area. During the homily, in which the Monsignor called for peace and unity in the coming year, gunshots intensified in the vicinity of the almost empty cathedral. Unable to deliver his speech at the venue, and not authorized to do so in the cathedral, the Prime Minister was forced to return to Port-au-Prince without giving his Independence Day speech. In the end, the skirmishes with the police resulted in one casualty and several wounded bystanders. In an interview with the press, the interim Prime Minster called the events of this Saturday an assassination attempt on him personally, because according to him, he feels he’s in the crosshairs of some people since coming to office following the assassination of Jovenel Moïse by an armed commando on July 6, 2021, in his residence.