An ex-special envoy to the Biden administration warns that President Obama’s approach towards Haiti could further damage the already debilitated Caribbean country.
Biden has seen the U.S. kick out more than 14,000 Haitians from September under his leadership, while not making any important policy announcements about the struggling nation.
Top State Department and White House officials visited Haiti to improve political stability. However, the expulsion policy led to the resignation of Special Envoy for Haiti Daniel Foote.
“Desperate people without anything being reintroduced into a city with tens of thousands of displaced people already from the gangs — recipe for disaster,” Foote told The Hill.
Haiti has experienced a devastating earthquake, a constitutional crisis and an assassination attempt on a sitting president. After crossing the Rio Grande, approximately 15,000 Haitians gathered under a bridge in Del Rio Texas in September.
After the political scandal, the Biden administration placed a “Title 42” designation on Haitians at the border. This allowed the feds quickly to expel Haitians in the name of sanitary protections.
According to statistics provided by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, these expulsions continue in the form near-daily flights into Haiti – 131 since the Del Rio incident.
Foote, who was given the role of guiding the State Department regarding peace and stability in Haiti, discovered the repatriations while watching the news. Shortly thereafter, he announced his resignation, due to his disillusionment by both the destabilizing impact of the repatriations as well as his incapacity to influence the policies of the Biden administration on Haiti’s changing political landscape.
The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise occurred in July amid a constitutional crisis partially created by him. This happened shortly after Ariel Henry was appointed as the new prime minister.
Henry was then appointed acting leader after a brief interlude under the then-acting Prime Minster Claude Joseph. He received the support of the core group, a group that includes foreign diplomats, including the U.S ambassador.
Many observers in Haiti were dissatisfied by the U.S. support of Henry, including Foote who saw in Henry’s move reflections on past American diplomatic failures in Haiti.
“It became clear to me that the United States was just going to back Ariel Henry unless he died or something. That they were just behind him and they had put all their chips behind him,” Foote said.
“And so I was like, you know what, I am not going to change this from the inside. Nobody’s listening. The only way — and probably even this won’t change it — but I can keep the dream alive. The only way I can keep alive is if I just go nuclear. You know, make the world see what’s going on,” Foote added.