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US Rapper Kanye West Makes Surprise Visit to Haiti

Rapper Kanye West, center, with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, right, at the airport in Cap Haitien, Sept. 25, 2020. Photo courtesy @moisejovenel Twitter

American rap star and third-party U.S. presidential candidate Kanye West visited Haiti on Friday, Haitian President Jovenel Moise announced on Twitter.

“I'm with famous American rapper Kanye West who just arrived in the country to visit Labadee and l'Ile de la Tortue. I wish him a great visit," Moise tweeted.

The post, which included four photos, show both the president and West wearing face masks.

The purpose of West's visit to the Caribbean nation remains unclear. He has not posted anything about it on his official Twitter account, @kanyewest. President Moise’s tweet provided no further details.

According to local media, the rap star, 43, landed Friday morning at the Cape Haitien international airport and was met there by the president. Official Haitian greeters, fans, airport workers and members of the press crowded into the small airport’s diplomatic lounge to catch a glimpse of West, who was wearing a lilac hoodie, dark pants and his signature sneakers. President Moise accompanied him on a visit to two picturesque islands.

Labadee island, located off the coast of Cape Haitien in Haiti's north, is a resort predominantly frequented by foreign tourists. The island is leased by Royal Caribbean cruise lines and features turquoise waters, sandy beaches and an assortment of water rides.

Ile de la Tortue (Tortuga island) is also a popular tourist destination off Haiti's northwestern coast.

Cape Haitien, where West landed, is Haiti's second-largest city. It is home to the renowned historical site, Citadelle Laferriere, a 19th century fortress that was instrumental in the slave revolution to gain independence from France in 1804.

This is the rap star’s second jaunt to the Caribbean in a week. The Miami Herald reported that West made a visit last week to Jamaica, where he was accused of breaking COVID-19 protocols after photos surfaced of him without a face mask with reggae music star Buju Banton.

West announced his candidacy for U.S. president on July 4, 2020, and is officially on the ballot for the November election in 11 states.