merten and Martelly, Haitian elections, Haiti-US policy, diplomats in Haiti
Kenneth Merten (right) and Michel Martelly (left). Photo via

Haitians must worry about another appointment of Kenneth Merten to Haiti as officially Chargé d’Affaires, which is a de-facto ambassador since there currently will be no official ambassador for some time. 

As the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to 2012 and Haiti Special Coordinator from 2015-2016, Kenneth Merten was an electoral fraud expert, a vote manipulation guru and an election violence enabler. Worst of all, the U.S. government gave him their full support to violate the Haitian constitution and the electoral decree. They gave him full authority and unlimited resources to destroy Haitians’ empowerment to elect a president, enjoy freedom, build democracy and uphold the rule of law in their own country.

So what is the plan here? Daniel Foote recently resigned as US Special Envoy to Haiti after he refused to lead Haiti toward unpopular elections as ordered by Biden. Has Merten been put in place now to carry out such a mission? In 2011, he forced the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to change the presidential polls to move Michel Martelly from 3rd to 2nd place. Moreover, he set a date for the runoff and pushed Haitians to accept fraudulent elections. He achieved the same thing with Jovenel Moise during the 2015 election. He also worked diligently and proactively to block policies to integrate the diaspora into the country’s public life. 

As U.S. Ambassador and Haiti Special Coordinator, Merten turned a blind eye to a government that fomented rising insecurity and gang proliferation in Haiti. Mind you, one of his principal mandates was to restore democracy by strengthening public institutions, local government and the Haitian National Police. 

Merten is a member of many networks of Haitian operatives who promote political chaos, bad governance and international interference throughout the country. With Merten’s appointment of US Charge d’Affaires, Biden seems to want him to return to maneuver the Haitian political landscape toward brokering illegal deals with political parties willing to participate in unconstitutional elections that will give the upper hand to PHTK and G9 in Family and Allies.

The United States insults the will of Haitians and Haiti sovereignty in appointing Merten as its top diplomat to the country. The U.S. government does not care about Haitian democracy and U.S. political strategists have no intention of helping Haitians fight corruption, homegrown terrorists and abject poverty.  With Merteen in Haiti, the United States will select the next president and the Prime Minister, just as they did in 2011 and 2016. Insecurity will rise exponentially as legal bandits continue to violate the people’s fundamental rights and desecrate the country’s moral values, among others. 

Did the Biden administration consult the Haitian-American diaspora before this latest appointment was made? Obviously not. If they had, they would have been reminded that Merten’s actions in Haiti resulted in the community’s repudiation of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy in 2016. Then again, maybe the administration was aware and just doesn’t care. It may come to care in 2022 and 2024, when Haitian-Americans in Georgia, Florida, and Pennsylvania decide once again to not vote Democrat as a bloc. The Haitian-American diaspora invites all Haitians and Haitian organizations to stand against the return of Merten to Haiti’s affairs. 

Bobb Rousseau PHD Haitian commentator

Bobb Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in Administration and Public Policy with specializations in Public Law and Managing Local Government. Dr. Rousseau firmly believes that the Haitian diaspora in the United States is at a prime stage to build an attractive political force that can shift U.S. immigration, diplomacy, and humanitarian aid to Haiti and to advance the Haitian agenda around the world.

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