Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne division arrived in at least four choppers to secure the executive mansion, a once elegant white building in the devastated city centre, now surrounded by a vast refugee camp.
From the palace, a 60-strong squad of soldiers headed on foot to the city's general hospital, swamped with injured left behind by last week's catastrophic earthquake, which the Haitian government says killed at least 70,000.
But not everyone is happy:
"I haven't seen the Americans in the streets giving out water and food, but now they come to the palace," said Wilson Guillaume, as some of the homeless living rough in the Champ de Mars square before the palace shouted abuse.
"It's an occupation. The palace is our power, our face, our pride," said Feodor Desanges.
"Not only that, but how am I going to loot the palace with U.S. troops there?"
OK, I added that last line. I have no evidence that Feodor Desganges is a looter.
I assume he's just the usual petty, peevish, whiney, ungrateful sort of person whom journalists seem to love to find and quote in every disaster.
It's a variation on the game called "blame the rescuers."
Anyone who doesn't realize that the U.S has no intention of taking over Haiti is severely out of touch with reality and should not be taken seriously, let alone quoted, by journalists.