MIAMI (Reuters) – Four members of the United States Congress have called on the Biden administration to appoint a new special envoy for Haiti, as rampant gang violence continues to cripple the impoverished Caribbean nation.
The post was created after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, but diplomat Daniel Foote resigned from the post just a few months after being appointed, in protest of the mass deportation of Haitian immigrants and the general US policy towards Haiti. No new envoy has been appointed.
Gang violence has worsened since then, with bloody turf wars killing hundreds and displacing thousands more. Clashes between gangs have broken out in recent weeks near the seat of government in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
“The administration’s lack of this critical point of contact has undoubtedly undermined the administration’s efforts to support the Haitian people,” according to an August 15 letter signed by Representatives Val Demings, Yvette Clarke, Ayanna Pressley and Sheila Cherfilus. -McCormick.
“Mr. President, we ask you with the utmost urgency to name a new Special Envoy to the Republic of Haiti,” the letter says, noting that Haiti currently does not have an elected government.
The letter was first reported by The Miami Herald.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Sandra Maler)