US special envoy to Haiti resigns over Del Rio scandal and blasts White House as ‘inhumane’

, US special envoy to Haiti resigns over Del Rio scandal and blasts White House as ‘inhumane’, The Evepost BBC News
, US special envoy to Haiti resigns over Del Rio scandal and blasts White House as ‘inhumane’, The Evepost BBC News

The US Special Envoy to Haiti, Ambassador Daniel Foote, has resigned after less than two months on the job, arguing that he can’t stay amid the administration’s “inhumane” deportation policies.

“I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life,” Mr Foote said in his resignation letter on Wednesday.

Haitians have been fleeing political turmoil following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and natural disasters such as an earthquake on 14 August that caused widespread devastation.

“Ambassador Daniel Foote has submitted his resignation as Special Envoy to Haiti. We thank him for his service to his country and to the people of Haiti,” a State Department official said, according to The Miami Herald.

“He sought a broader mandate and oversight responsibilities, which we did not think was appropriate or prudent at the time. He shortly thereafter submitted his resignation,” a senior State Department official added.

Mr Foote was appointed to the job in July after Mr Moïse’s assassination. He served as the ambassador to Zambia under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2020.

Haitians are also fighting the issues of armed gangs and a low Covid-19 vaccination rate.

Mr Foote said in his resignation letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he was leaving his job “with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes”.

, US special envoy to Haiti resigns over Del Rio scandal and blasts White House as ‘inhumane’, The Evepost BBC News

“Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own,” he added in the scathing note.

He said the Haitian people are “mired in poverty” and are “hostage to the terror, kidnappings, robberies and massacres of armed gangs” and that they’re “suffering under a corrupt government” that has alliances with those gangs.

Arguing against the deportation of Haitian migrants who have made it to the southern US border, Mr Foote said Haiti “simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy”.

“The collapsed state is unable to provide security or basic services, and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime. Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery,” he wrote.

He wrote that Haiti needs “immediate assistance” and “money to deliver Covid vaccines and so many other things”.

Blasting international political interference in the country, Mr Foote said that what Haitians “really want” is to choose their own path “without international puppeteering and favoured candidates”.

“Last week, the US and other embassies in Port-au-Prince issued another public statement of support … for the unelected, de facto Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry as interim leader of Haiti, and have continued to tout his ‘political agreement’ over another broader, earlier accord shepherded by civil society,” Mr Foote added. “The hubris that makes us believe we should pick the winner — again — is impressive. This cycle of international political interventions in Haiti has consistently produced catastrophic results. More negative impacts to Haiti will have calamitous consequences, not only in Haiti, but in the US and our neighbours in the hemisphere,” he concluded.