The Government of Barbados is concerned that citizens of Haiti have to obtain visas in order to travel to a number of CARICOM Member States.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this disclosure on Tuesday, as the Twenty-Ninth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community wrapped up in Port-au-Prince.
Mr. Stuart contended: “Barbados has always thought that this was a little inequitable and discriminatory. Therefore, we were able to provoke an energetic discussion among regional leaders and I think 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.”
The Prime Minister pointed out that this requirement was an anomaly in CARICOM arrangements.
He stated that Haiti had the largest population of all CARICOM members, yet its citizens were being forced to obtain visas to enter most regional countries in circumstances “where other CARICOM English-speaking members do not have to satisfy that requirement”.
Haitian President, Jovenel Moise, is the current chairman of CARICOM.