The United States Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to 2012, Kenneth Merten, is back in Haiti in a new role as chargé d’affaires. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday.
“I am proud to announce the return of [Merten] to Haiti to serve as Chargé d’Affaires. The United States is an unwavering partner of Haiti and we remain determined to support the Haitian people,” Blinken tweeted.
The appointment follows news that U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison’s term ended in September. Diplomats occupy the chargé d’affaires role when that ambassador position is not filled. Chargés have the same privileges and immunities as ambassadors, but are outranked by them.
Many Haitians in the diaspora and in Haiti reacted to news of Merten’s appointment with swift condemnation. Via Twitter and other social media, they accused Merten of engineering Michel Martelly’s 2011 election to the presidency, a move said to have exacerbated Haiti’s political and economic turmoil.
Here are some of the reactions on twitter: