US Congressmen call on Biden to withdraw support for Ariel Henry
A group of seven U.S. members of Congress on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to withdraw support for Prime Minister Ariel Henry, saying he lacks legitimacy to organize the elections needed to resolve the country's political crisis.
Representatives led by Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a Haitian American who won a Florida congressional seat in January, said in a letter that the United States should instead support efforts to create a transitional government.
"We humbly request that your administration allow the people of Haiti to determine their own political destiny and withdraw support from the de facto government," reads the letter, whose signatories are all Democrats.
Cherfilus-McCormick said stemming a rise in Haitian migration to the United States will require addressing the country's political situation, which was thrown into turmoil by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise last July.
"If we look at what are the reasons behind (the immigration), it really comes down to the political instability that's increasing the crime going on in Haiti," she said in a telephone interview.
The White House and a spokesman for the office of Haiti's prime minister did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The group also says Haiti cannot hold free elections while gangs control significant parts of the country, and that holding a vote under the current circumstances risks boosting gangs' power.