Haiti’s foreign affairs minister says the Caribbean island nation is in talks with Russia to remove the current visa requirement for Haitian citizens looking to travel to country.
According to the Atlanta Black Star, Haitian Foreign Minister Edmond Bocchit confirmed that a mutually beneficial memorandum is in the works with Russia that would allow Haitians to visit the Kremlin visa-free and Russian citizens to visit Haiti with no visa as well.
The agreement comes in the wake of a heavily publicized meeting with Vladmir Fedorovich Zaemsky the Russian Ambassador for Venezuela and Pitit Dessalines party leader, Jean-Charles Moise.
In an interview with Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste, Bocchit revealed that he and Zaemsky are hoping to foster a longstanding relationship between the two nations. But Haitian outlets have noted that they recognize this partnership could be met with suspicion by the U.S government even though the two countries have had amicable relations for generations.
Relationship Could Raise Eyebrows in Washington
In fact, Haitian students have already been accepted into Moscow universities on scholarship to study subjects such as international relations, medicine, engineering and computer science. But it’s been speculated that if the memorandum of understanding is signed, it could cause tensions to flare between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Haiti could soon sign a memorandum of understanding to eliminate the visa requirement for Haitian citizens wishing to visit Russia. The Russians will also be able to visit Haiti without a visa.
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— Haitian Times (@HaitianTimes_) August 27, 2019
Previously, Trump made headlines for telling a bipartisan group of senators in the Oval Office, “Why do we want all these people from ‘sh**hole countries’ coming here?” He later denied making the statement.
The president went on to ask why the U.S. would want more people from Haiti and African countries, rather than countries like Norway. The president also asked if Haiti could be left out of any compromises on immigration, reports the New York Times, rhetorically quipping, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”