Quebec man charged with trying to overthrow Haitian government

The Lévis, Quebec resident is facing terrorism charges for allegedly taking "concrete actions" to take part in a coup to overthrow the Haitian government of Jovenel Moise.

A Quebec man has been charged with terrorism after he allegedly took "concrete actions" to take part in a coup to overthrow the Haitian government of Jovenel Moïse.

The RCMP have alleged that Gérald Nicolas, 51, took specific steps in order to plan this terrorist attack, including traveling to Haiti to coordinate with another group of terrorists whose intention was to overthrow the established authority. 

The Lévis, Quebec, resident allegedly tried to recruit other people for his armed revolution, a plan that was being put in place as early as January 2020.

"He actually managed to travel to Haiti and to other parts of Central America and South America," RCMP Stg. Charles Poirier told CBC News. "He went to several countries there to recruit people, to get some financing, and also to acquire weapons, which he was unsuccessful in doing."

The investigation, which began in July 2021, alleges that he not only wanted to overthrow the government but to also seize power.

The three charges Nicolas faces include leaving Canada to facilitate terrorist activity, facilitating terrorist activity, and providing property for terrorist purposes. He appears to have no accomplices in Canada, and no other Canadians are facing any charges at this time.

"For now, the RCMP is only laying charges against him," Poirier added. "He was the one who planned and designed this armed revolution, but it is possible that in the future other individuals might be charged."

Former Haitian president Jovenel Moïse, whose government it is alleged Nicolas tried to overthrow, was assassinated in July 2021, though the RCMP have explicitly stated that their investigation is not related to the events of last year.

In the time since Moïse's assassination, the beleaguered Caribbean nation has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis, with heavily armed gangs roaming the streets and blocking off access to fuel, water, food, and medicine.
Nicolas is due to appear in court in Quebec City on December 1.

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