The Prime Minister of Barbados condemns discrimination against Haitians by CARICOM Member States

Posted by on Monday, March 5, 2018 Under: Diplomacy
Image result for Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, has expressed his concerns about how fellow CARICOM countries discriminate agains the citizens of Haiti, by requiring them to obtain a visa in order to travel to most CARICOM member states, although it is a member of the regional organisation. In fact, Haiti currently holds the rotating presidency of the regional body.

Barbados has always thought this was a little inequitable and discriminatory,” Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said just days after attending the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, in Port-au-Prince last week.

The Prime Minister argued that the visa requirements for the citizens of Haiti, which has the largest population among member states, was an anomaly within the arrangements of the CARICOM, and should be rectified.

The Barbadian leader disclosed that as a result of his country’s concerns, there was energetic discussion among regional leaders at the just-ended summit, and he believes “the way forward seems much clearer now”.

“The Legal Affairs Committee is being commissioned to look at all the issues surrounding Haiti’s membership and to advise the [Heads of Government] Conference for July as to whether there is any legal basis for denying Haitians rights which all other CARICOM members enjoy,” Stuart told the media.

The lifting of visa requirements for Haitians to travel within the CARICOM region is of highest priority to the Haitian government. 

CARICOM announced last week that Haitian holders of US or Schengen visas won’t need another visa to travel within CARICOM although that has never been different.

In : Diplomacy