Group of Haitians picket CARICOM Meeting, seeking audience with leaders

Group of Haitians picket CARICOM Meeting, seeking audience with leaders

A small group of Haitian nationals living in Guyana, picketed outside the Marriott Hotel this morning, where CARICOM leaders have been meeting.

They are hoping to get the attention of the regional leaders to raise a number of issues related to their homeland and their treatment within CARICOM.

CARICOM leaders are currently in Guyana for the 46th Regular Meeting. Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry is among the leaders in Guyana.

On the protest line, Haitian activist in Guyana Robinson Ducady, said CARICOM leaders appear two-faced in their stance on the issues affecting Haiti.

He said year after year, the leaders the CARICOM leaders make grand announcements with regard to Haiti, but still Haitians are not treated as if they are part of the commuity.

“Everybody in CARICOM countries could travel and get free movement, except Haitians this is a hypocrisy and I am sure Mr. President of Guyana that said he stands with the Haitian people, it can’t be that. Because if you tell me you stand with me why then? We have lots of skills in Haiti and no Haitian cannot travel to CARICOM countries, what sense it makes,” Ducady said.

Article 45 of that Treaty of Chaguaramas states that “Member States commit themselves to the goal of free movement of their nationals within the Community.”

There are specific categories of persons who are eligible for free movement across the CARICOM Single Market. Although the treaty does not bar travel among member states, CARICOM member states can take steps to prevent mass and illegal migration to prevent the violation of immigration rules. 

Additionally, there are exceptions to free movement in CARICOM’s Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which include exceptions on the basis of public health and morals.

But the Haitians on the picket line are saying they need to be respected like citizens from other CARICOM member states.

“I am saying to all CARICOM leaders that they need to stop the hypocrisy because we are a member, an entire member of CARICOM, so we need to get the same privileges like every other country get, that’s is what we need. So, standing with Haitians people meaning respect their rights to be free to get free movement in all CARICOM countries,” the Haitian Activist stated.

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