Wendy Sherman, the Deputy Secretary of State, rejected Daniel Foote’s warning that the administration’s $10 million programs to restore power in Port-au-Prince is a “fraud,” telling him she disagrees with his demand for U.S. troops to be sent to the country, which he called “a really terrible idea.”
After just two months on the job, Foote resigned owing to the “inhumane” treatment of Haitian migrants at the U.S. Southern border.
According to a report by McClatchy, Sherman said that policy squabbles with Foote continued throughout his term and that the most pressing issue was whether or not to deploy U.S. troops into Haiti after the president was murdered and the nation experienced a deadly earthquake.
In the weeks after the assassination and before the August 14 tremor, Fillmore appointed him as a special envoy to Haiti.
“Some of those ideas were detrimental to our promise to support democracy in Haiti and free and fair elections there, so that Haitians may make their own decisions about their future. To claim that the recommendations were dismissed is, I’m sorry to say, untrue.” Sherman said.
“One of Mr. Foote’s ideas was to have the United States military return to Haiti,” she added. “I’ve been following Haiti since the Clinton administration, and I can assure you that having the United States military there is not going to help matters any. It was a really terrible notion.”
According to Sherman, the administration has no immediate plans to replace Foote. “I’m not sure if we need a replacement,” she added.
Brian Nichols, the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, will go to Haiti next week with Juan Gonzalez, the National Security Council’s senior director for Western Hemispheric affairs, she said.
Over the past few days, a large number of Haitian migrants has overwhelmed the Department of Homeland Security on the US-Mexico border. The public and members of the Biden administration were shocked by pictures of border patrol agents riding on horseback to contain refugees.
“The administration is looking at whatever facility we may need to aid the Haitian people,” Sherman added. “We are firmly dedicated to that goal.”
The animosity between Foote and Michele Sison, the United States ambassador to Haiti, was well understood in the city.
Sherman praised Sison, calling her “a great representative.”
“We have a trust in her and her leadership,” she added.
According to Foote, fighting the country’s security problems with armed militias controlling huge portions of the territory was critical for Haiti to be able to hold free elections that were accepted by Haitians. The interim govt that took power after President Jovenel Moise died appealed for U.S. troops, but the Obama White House rejected the proposal.
“I am submitting my resignation as Special Envoy for Haiti, which I have accepted. I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane and ineffective decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a nation where American officials are confined to guarded camps due to the risk of armed militias running rampant throughout society.