U.S. special envoy to Haiti resigns over repatriation of Haitians from U.S.-Mexico border

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Harshly criticizing what he called the United States' "inhumane" treatment of Haitian migrants and its policy toward Haiti, Daniel Foote, the U.S. diplomat whose reputation for working in some of the world's most challenging environments made him a top pick by the Biden administration to serve as special envoy to
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Haiti, has resigned, the U.S. State Department confirmed Thursday.

In a strongly worded resignation letter dated Wednesday, the veteran diplomat criticized the U.S. decision to repatriate thousands of Haitians from the U.S.-Mexico border over the past few days.

"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 dangers posed by armed gangs in control of daily life," Foote said.

He also lashed out at what he called "puppeteering" of Haitian politics by the U.S. and other nations.

"Last week, the U.S. and other embassies in Port-au-Prince issued another public statement of support by 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," Foote said. "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 U.S. and our neighbors in the hemisphere."

A senior State Department official commenting on the resignation said Foote "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."

Foote, a veteran diplomat who had been deputy assistant secretary of state and was the former U.S. ambassador to Zambia, was appointed special envoy to Haiti in July after the assassination of the country's president, Jovenel Moïse.…
Miami Herald
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