Former U.S. Special Envoy for Haiti Denounces ‘Insane,’ Racist U.S. Policy
Oct. 24, 2022 (EIRNS)—Former U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote scathingly attacked U.S. policy toward that nation, particularly the likelihood there may be a U.S. or foreign intervention, as “insane,” in an Oct. 17 interview with Breaking Point, covered in “The Intercept” Oct. 19. Recall that Foote resigned his position in September of 2021 in protest over the Biden administration’s brutal mass deportation of Haitian migrants who had gathered in Del Rio, Texas.
Haitians who had sought to escape the hell that is daily existence in Haiti were herded like cattle by the United States onto planes and flown back to Port-au-Prince, to a horrific situation Foote called “unlivable.” That policy continues today unabated, never opposed by the de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry, which is one reason why Foote thinks the U.S. wants him to remain in power so the U.S. can continue its “self-defeating” immigration policy.
The former diplomat explains that while Biden’s deportations were “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for him, ultimately it was the U.S. interventionist policy that forced his hand because he sees U.S. policy moving in that direction. He referred to the fact that the U.S. historically has carried out multiple armed interventions into Haiti, always with the same disastrous results, as an example of what Albert Einstein called “insane ... trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Previous interventions may have created temporary stability, Foote said, “but it never lasts, and becomes worse over time.”
The fact that the U.S., the United Nations and international institutions “are blindly stumbling through” with support for Henry, when Haitians are demanding “a different solution,” and are out on the streets every day demanding his resignation, is “unfathomable,” to Foote. He warns that in the event of another foreign intervention, there will be a civil uprising “similar to 1915 when we sent the Marines in for the first time,” and they stayed for 20 years.
Foote asserts that at the root of the U.S. bias toward intervention is “blatant racism.... If they support UN intervention, and we move forward with that, I’m heartbroken, frankly because it’s not going to work.” Better to let Haitian civil society come up with its own solutions. “Give them a chance to fix themselves. They can’t do any worse than the United States and the international community have done, and I guarantee you they’re going to do better because they know their country and they’re going to be bought into their own solutions—as opposed to being told what to do by white foreigners.”
Otherwise, he warns that if Henry’s illegitimate government holds elections, Haitians won’t accept them, and “we’ll continue to be in a place where they are governed by foreigners.” This, he says, goes back to the “unspoken U.S. policy that’s been going on for 200-plus years, and I’ve heard this in hushed tones in the back quarters of the State Department: ‘What drives our Haiti policy is this unspoken belief that these dumb Black people can’t govern themselves.’ ”