No Thais believed to be in Haiti

Former president Jovenol Moise was one of the few celebrity Haitians ever to visit Thailand, prior to his assassination.

Airport authorities in chaos-hit Haiti say there is no evidence of Thai nationals present in the country since armed gangs took over most of the capital Port au Prince last month. The main airport is shuttered but helicopter and mercy flights have been operating out of the provincial capital Cape Haitian in the north of the Caribbean republic. The evidence of non-presence comes from officials who have accessed Haitian immigration entry records prior to cancelation of normal international schedules two weeks ago.

Haiti had never been a favored vacation spot for Thais – the cost of hotels and restaurants for foreigners is surprisingly expensive – and the nearest diplomatic post formally representing Haiti is in Mexico. The most famous Haitian visitor to Bangkok was former prime minister Jovenol Moise on his way to receive the Order of the Brilliant Jade in Taiwan in 2017. Haiti was and remains one of a handful of countries which still recognizes Taiwan, rather than Beijing, as the lawful China authority. Moise was assassinated in Port au Prince in an unrelated incident in 2021.

Madame Max was head of the bogeyman police known as tontons macoute.

A more controversial Haitian visitor to Thailand was Madame Max Adolphe, head of the notorious militia the tontons-macoute, who fled in 1986 when the regime of Baby Doc Duvalier was overthrown in an army coup. Madame did not linger in Thailand and resided for many years in the United States prior to her demise from natural causes.

In 2010, the Thai government sent a large donation of rice to the Caribbean nation after a huge earthquake which decimated the capital. International trade between the two countries is minimal. Haiti does not require a visa to enter the country, but visiting is now impossible until the street gangs are forcibly dissolved, a feat which will require armed international intervention to assist the outgunned Haitian police force.
The author was stationed in Haiti by an international organization in the 1970s.