The Haitian Crisis: The Man Who Averted the Worst

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

His name is Daniel Lewis Foote. A career diplomat, he has represented the United States in several countries. His last mission was to Haiti from July to September 2021.

Until recently, he was not very well known to the Haitian public. However, he is the one who helped prevent the worst in Haiti.

In general, diplomats are supposed to represent the interests of their country. And this is what Daniel Foote has done for many years in Haiti. As Kenneth Merten’s assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in 2010, he was an eyewitness to the blatant U.S. interference in Haiti when then-U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton imposed Sweet Micky (Michel Joseph Martelly’s artist name) as president of the Republic.

To continue the policy of the U.S. government, he was appointed special envoy to Haiti on July 22, 2021.

In a long statement made public, the State Department spokesperson had said:

“The Department of State is pleased to announce that Ambassador Daniel Foote, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will serve as its Special Envoy to Haiti. The special envoy will engage with Haitian and international partners to facilitate long-term peace and stability and support efforts to hold free and fair presidential and legislative elections. He will also work with partners to coordinate assistance efforts in several areas, including humanitarian assistance, security and investigation. In addition, the Special Envoy will engage stakeholders from civil society and the private sector as we seek Haitian-led solutions to the many urgent challenges facing Haiti.

The statement was followed by a tweet from Secretary of State Anthony Blinken:

“Pleased to announce that Ambassador Daniel Foote, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will serve as Special Envoy for Haiti to lead, along with the U.S. Ambassador, our efforts to support the Haitian people following the assassination of Jovenel Moïse.”

In this position, Dan Foote, as he is known at the State Department, was tasked with facilitating “a way out of the Haitian crisis.” A crisis, it must be recognized, created, nourished, and exploited by the Americans themselves.

As soon as he was appointed, Daniel Foote set out to meet with all sectors of national life. Perhaps out of naivety or optimism, the diplomat believed that his boss would follow his recommendations to facilitate the establishment of a transitional government in accordance with the wishes of the vast majority of vital sectors of Haitian civil society. But this was without counting on the tenacity of Michèle Sisson and Hélène Lalime, then ambassador of the United States and representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Haiti, who wanted to maintain the status quo at all costs.

On the very first day of Jovenel Moise’s assassination, Ms. Lalime had already called for an extraordinary meeting at the UN to announce that the transition would be carried out by the then de facto Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who already saw himself as president of Haiti. In less than 48 hours, the attention of the “Masters” was directed to Ariel Henri.

Seeing the determination of the international community led by the United States, Daniel Foote found no other way to defeat this plan than to resign and publicly denounce the cruelty of Joe Biden’s administration towards Haiti, thus accepting early retirement.

Although the problems are still not solved, and some might even say with reason that the situation has worsened, Daniel Foote’s resignation has served to highlight the cruelty of the United States, put Haiti under the international spotlight, and reignited the debate on the need for a Haitian solution to the crisis.

For many people, Daniel Foote is acting as a Haitian politician by strongly criticizing the abuses of the PHTK group and its allies, but for others, he is the hero who has given Haitians hope that maybe one day they will have a country where they can live better.

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