Biden says no plans to send troops to Haiti ‘at this moment’
President Biden on Thursday said sending U.S. troops to Haiti is not on the table for now as the island nation grapples with the assassination of its president.
“We’re only sending American Marines to our embassy to make sure that they are secure and nothing is out of whack at all. But the idea of sending American forces into Haiti is not on the agenda at this moment,” Biden said at a press conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Haiti has requested U.S. troops to help the nation guard critical infrastructure following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last week.
The White House has not definitively ruled out the possibility of sending American forces, but Biden’s comments are the clearest indication military assistance from the United States is not imminent.
U.S. officials from the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State, as well as the White House National Security Council, traveled to Haiti on Sunday to review the country’s security and assist with the investigation in Moïse’s death.
Moïse’s killing has left a power vacuum on the island. Authorities have said more than two dozen people were involved in the plot to kill the president, including more than 20 Colombian nationals.
The Pentagon said Thursday that some of the former Colombian servicemen who have been arrested in connection with the assassination of the Haitian president had received U.S. military training, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.
“A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past U.S. military training and education programs, while serving as active members of the Colombian Military Forces,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman said in a statement.
Details of who organized and financed the assassination remain unclear, and the news that some of the men involved received U.S. military training is certain to fuel suspicions about who was behind the attack.
Several of the men involved in the plot met months in advance in Florida and the Dominican Republic to discuss the path forward in Haiti once Moïse was no longer in power, The New York Times reported.
Updated at 7:59 p.m.