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Colombia to Cooperate with Haiti on Education


Colombia and Haiti will cooperate on Education
Colombia and Haiti to enhance technical training for Haitian students, marking a new chapter in bilateral cooperation. Credit: ColombiaOne

Following a meeting held on February 9, 2024, the Colombian Foreign Ministry announced the deepening of cooperation between Haiti and Colombia in technical and vocational training.

These agreements are expected to culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at facilitating the training of Haitian students in Colombia, starting from the second half of 2024.

Colombian Foreign Minister’s visit to Haiti

The meeting, which brought together the Haitian Education Minister, the Colombian Consul in Haiti and representatives of the Colombian Foreign Ministry and National Training Service, came in the wake of Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva Duran’s visit to Haiti on December 15, 2023.

During his stay, Minister Duran held meetings with his Haitian counterpart, Jean-Victor Généus, and Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, to reinforce bilateral cooperation in areas including security, natural disaster management and education.

For the occasion, officials from both countries attended the reopening of the Colombian Consulate in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, which had been closed since 2003 and had been functioning from the Dominican Republic.

Colombia’s cooperation strategy in the Caribbean

The educational training initiative for Haitian students in Colombia is part of the Colombian Cooperation Strategy in the Caribbean, aimed at reinforcing relationships with Caribbean nations.

As a leading partner, Colombia is sharing its expertise in areas like technical training, urban planning and specialized sectors such as coffee production.

Colombia and Haiti, a deep-rooted relationship

The diplomatic ties between Colombia and Haiti stretch back to the early 19th century, during the era of liberation movements across Latin America. After being defeated by Spanish forces in 1815, Simon Bolivar, the father of Colombian Independence, fled to Haiti where he received a warm welcome and decisive military support.

However, this historical relationship has been tarnished in recent years by the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse by a group of Colombian mercenaries on July 7, 2021. Currently, 17 Colombian nationals linked to this operation, some of whom are former military personnel, remain detained in Haiti.

Another point of contention is the presence of thousands of illegal Haitian immigrants in Colombia, notably in the Darien region, as Colombia serves as an essential transit point for migrants on their journey to the United States.

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