Four members of U.S. Congress ask Biden to name new Haiti special envoy

By Thomson Reuters Aug 16, 2022 | 4:48 PM

MIAMI (Reuters) – Four members of the United States Congress have called on the Biden administration to name 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 job just months after being named, in protest over the mass deportation of Haitian migrants and overall U.S. policy toward Haiti. A new envoy has not been named.

Gang violence has worsened since then, with bloody turf wars killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands of others. Gang battles in recent weeks have broken out near the seat of government in capital Port-au-Prince.

“The lack of this critical touchpoint in the administration has undoubtedly undermined the administration’s efforts to support the Haitian people,” according to an Aug. 15 letter signed by Representatives Val Demings, Yvette Clarke, Ayanna Pressley and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.

“Mr. President, it is with utmost urgency that we ask you to appoint a new Special Envoy to the Republic of Haiti,” reads the letter, which notes Haiti does not currently 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)