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Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

Haiti Finally Swears In An Elected President – With A Little Expat Help

Dieu Nalio Chery
AP via Miami Herald
New Haitian President Jovenel Moise (left) with his wife Martine during his swearing in ceremony in Port-au-Prince Tuesday.

It has been a year since Haiti has had an elected president. On Tuesday one was at last inaugurated: Jovenel Moïse. And among the witnesses were Haitian-Americans from South Florida who played a role in making it happen.

Haiti’s been torn by violent election chaos since 2015. But businessman Moïse was finally elected President in November and sworn in Tuesday morning in Port-au-Prince.

Present in the U.S. delegation was Omarosa Manigault, a reality TV star who’s now one of President Trump’s communications directors. But so were Haitian-Americans who were part of a historic diaspora observer mission for the November election. South Florida attorney Soeurette Michel was one of them.

“It was a very proud moment," said Michel by phone from Port-au-Prince. "We were very happy. There was a lot of emotion to see that we participate in the process, so it was a great moment.”

Michel says Haitian-Americans are now looking forward to helping their impoverished and disaster-shaken homeland develop.

“We hope Haiti will have more stability," said Michel, "because us in the diaspora just want to try to go back and invest and get the country going.”

Moïse, however, also faces a Haitian money-laundering investigation.