I planned a trip for one of the most beautiful person I know. It was going to be a Forty and Fabulous Birthday in Cartagena Colombia.
However, it did not turn out to be that way because she holds a Haitian passport but is a lawful permanent resident of the United States. In other words, she has a green card. After an exhausted search, I found out that a tourist visa was not required in Colombia prior to said trip and even contacted the Colombian embassy.
So on Friday, March 30, we arrived at Fort Lauderdale airport and checked in with JetBlue. No problem! We flew two and half hours to our destination and even took pictures outside.
We then go through custom and bam, she is stopped! She was not allowed to enter because of her Haitian passport. They proceeded to escort her back on a return flight to FLL. Can you imagine the hurt? We literally wanted to cry and argue. However, we knew it was futile.
As for the rest of the party, we were allowed entry because we held U.S. passports. I went back to me research and this is what I found,
U.S. residents do not require a Colombian visa for a stay of up to 60 days as a tourist. At the Colombian border, it may be required to show travel documents that demonstrate a return or onward travel from Colombia. If traveling by air, showing a return air ticket will fulfill this requirement.
Do you have any idea how pissed off we were afterwards?
I went to several sites and everyone had a lasting impression. Actually a very negative one! What is about Haitians and African nations that the rest of the world hates. If you read, Columbia requires a tourist visa from the following countries
Citizens of the following countries require a visa to enter the country. Albânia, Argélia, Armênia, Bahrein, Benin, Bielorrússia, Botsuana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Camarões, Chade, Comores, Congo, Costa do Marfim, Egito, Eritreia, Etiópia, Gabão, Gâmbia, Gana, Guiné, Guiné Bissau Guiné Equatorial, Haiti, Índia, Quénia, Quirguistão, Quiribáti, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lesoto, Macedónia, Madagáscar, Malawi, Maldivas, Mali, Marrocos, Maurícia, Mauritânia, Moldávia, Mongólia, Namíbia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicarágua, Níger, Omã, República Centro-Africana, Ruanda, São Tomé e Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Suazilândia, Tailândia, Tanzânia, Tadjiquistão, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunísia, Turcomenistão, Tuvalu, Ucrânia, Uzbequistão, Vanuatu, Vietnã, Zâmbia e Zimbábue.
Do you see pattern? Are your glasses or contact lenses fogged up.? The majority of the countries listed above are African and/or Middle Eastern.
I went further in my research and found out only 56 countries out of 193 allow Haitian passports without a tourist visa.
I was literally dumbfounded. I even decided to check some European nations especially France as they were the culprit during the revolution. Yep, they require a visa and the requirements are just as ludicrous.
Then I am wondering what are the criteria that determines which country requires a tourist visa or not. Furthermore, a part of me wants to boycott, but then I realize that I could no longer be able to travel. Why don’t we have a fair system of either requiring a tourist visa or not for all countries? Therefore, there would not be clear bias towards a particular ethnic group.
All I (we) know as we are sitting at a bar in Colombia and learning that a Haitian passport is worth diddly squat!!! So damn depressing. The things we take for granted..😥