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#5267: Dominican / Haitian news. (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@aacr.net>

> DR1 Daily News -- Wednesday, 4 October 2000
> 3. New ambassadors
> Haiti: Alberto Emilio Despradel Cabral

>  DR1 Daily News -- Tuesday, 3 October 2000
> 9. DR speaks out for Haiti
> The Dominican Republic assumed the defense of Haiti before the
> European Union. The DR position is that the economic sanctions for
> violations of democratic principles and during the congressional and
> municipal elections of May and July will only worsen the economic
> situation in Haiti. Economic sanctions that brought Jean Bertrand
> Aristide back to power in Haiti did not resolve Haitian problems.
> Rather it worsened the economic and social situation of the
> population.
> The DR is doubly concerned because a worsening of the situation in
> Haiti increases the migration of thousands of indigent Haitians across
> the frontier seeking survival.
> Clara Quiñones, Dominican ambassador before the European Union,
> represents the Dominican position.
> "The Dominican Republic firmly believes that the promoting and
> consolidating of democracy and law are intimately linked to the
> economic and social development of a state," said the ambassador in
> the defense made before the presidency of the European Union (France,
> Portugal and Sweden) and a representation of Haiti, head by Minister
> of Foreign Relations Fritz Longchamps.
> She said that the populations is the true victim of any restrictive,
> selective and coercion procedures applied to cooperation. "The
> penalties will only make matters worse and delay any chances for
> structural development," she argued.

DR1 Daily News -- Monday, 2 October 2000

> 1. President optimistic about improving ties with Canada
> In an interview in Jamaica with Hoy newspaper correspondent Manuel
> Jiménez, President Mejía spoke of highlights of his two hour
> conversation with Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien as the two
> made their way from Guatemala to Jamaica on board Canada's Air Force
> One last Thursday. Mejía and Chretien had attended the Canada-Central
> America summit and would on hteir way to attend the Canada-Caricom
> summit.
> Mejía said that the Canadian Prime Minister showed an interest in
> assisting the DR to build hospitals, aqueducts, free zones and
> implement environmental conservation programs on the frontier with
> Haiti. The idea is to provide employment and social services in the
> frontier area to Haitians and Dominicans to reduce illegal migration
> of Haitians into the DR. Mejía said that now that there is an
> interest, the Dominican government will present a program with
> specific projects to the Canadian government for its consideration.
> He announced the Prime Minister invited him to visit Canada and he
> said that he would accept. A date has not been set.
> Mejía said that as of now bilateral relations between Canada and the
> DR have practically not existed. "Our relations have been at the
> non-governmental organization level. We are of the very few regional
> countries that do not receive any kind of cooperation or assistance
> from Canada," he said.
> Mejía said that he stressed the effects on the DR of a worsening of
> the crisis in Haiti. "We want them (Canada) to understand the problem
> as we see it, putting rules into place and having a clear sense of
> direction," he said.
> Mejía has complained there has been a lot of talk at the international
> level regarding Haiti, but no concrete actions to help improve the
> situation.
> In the DR there is concern now of the talk of again cutting
> international aid and placing an embargo to pressure the Haitian
> authorities to foster democracy. The same radical measures brought
> Jean Bertrand Aristide back to power and are now seen as having
> worsened not improved the situation in Haiti. These political measures
> if again taken are expected to worsen the situation for the average
> Haitian and make richer the rich within Haiti, hundreds of which live
> off the drug trade and would benefit from isolation.
> Mejía has stressed that the DR alone cannot carry the burden of
> hundreds of thousands of impoverished Haitians that are crossing the
> frontier seeking their survival.
> Mejía said that he has appointed former Central Bank governor, Eduardo
> Fernández to be the next ambassador of the Dominican Republic in
> Canada to improve relations with that country. "We are the interested
> party," he said. "It's up to us to foster better relations."
> Fernández, a very prestigious local economist and business promoter,
> lived 10 years in Canada. At the present time he is a founding partner
> in the Deloitte & Touche consulting firm in the DR. In the past he has
> always been active promoting investments to the DR.
> DR1 Daily News -- Monday, 25 September 2000
> 5. High cost of serving Haitians in Santiago public hospital
> Dr. Daniel Rivera of the Hospital José María Cabral y Báez complained
> in an interview in El Siglo newspaper of the burden on the hospital
> due to term pregnant woman that show up in the emergency room of the
> hospital to give birth. He said that organized groups bring the
> pregnant woman and drop them off at the emergency room, coinciding
> with their being about to give birth. He said that the leading public
> hospital of the city of Santiago is seeing an average of 150 Haitian
> woman a month that come to receive the free birthing service. This
> costs the hospital about RD$300,000 a month. Dr. Báez Alemán, an
> obstetrician at the hospital, says that a large percentage of the
> Haitian woman require C-sections as they have not received adequate
> pre-natal care nor is their medical history known.
> Dr. Báez says that the hospital also has to attend thousands of cases
> of Haitians that show up at the emergency room, many require interning
> in the intensive care unit of the hospital.
> "The government of Haiti should be aware of this, because the money
> that is going to attend the Haitians means less on our budget to
> attend Dominicans," he said.
> There is a movement to secure international funding to set up a
> frontier hospital that would be staffed by Dominican doctors but would
> primarily attend Haitian patients.
> Not all Haitians using the free services at the Cabral y Báez are
> poor. Dr. Báez tells the story of a Haitian who was interned for
> serious health problems. Shortly after, her husband was said to have
> arrived by helicopter to Santiago, threatening to take his wife out of
> the hospital to take her to Miami if her problems were not resolved.

> DR1 Daily News -- Friday, 22 September 2000
> ********************************************************************
> 1. DR urges help for Haiti again at UN
> Minister of Foreign Relations Hugo Tolentino Dipp again urged the
> international community to help the impoverished nation of Haiti. On
> Thursday, 21 September, speaking at the United Nations General
> Assembly Minister Tolentino said that to leave poor countries to make
> efforts by themselves to catch up with the developed countries is a
> cruel hoax. He said that solidarity and social justice need to come
> side by side with the globalization of the world economy. Tolentino
> Dipp spoke up in defense of Haiti, highlighting Dominican solidarity
> and cooperation to the neighboring country and urging a generous and
> sustained support from the international community. He reiterated the
> position of President Hipólito Mejía at the UN Summit of the
> Millennnium that the DR could not alone bare the social burden of the
> migration of hundreds of thousands of impoverished Haitians. At a time
> when there is talk of cutting off all aid to Haiti, Tolentino urged
> that the contrary occur. "The DR wants a solution in which the
> international community participates actively; a solution that
> respects human rights and can be carried out within criteria and
> principles of a sane migration policy."
> At the UN, Minister Tolentino also requested that Taiwan be readmitted
> to the United Nations.
> 4. Drug control operations at border with Haiti
> The Listín Diario newspaper reports that drug control authorities
> visited frontier points and announced the start of an ambitious
> program to make the frontier provinces less vulnerable to narcotic
> contraband from Haiti. Political and institutional chaos has turned
> Haiti into a narco-state, putting additional pressure on the DR to
> protect its frontier. The president of the National Drug Control
> Department, Major General Manuel Antonio Lachapelle Suero together
> with the treasurer of the National Drug Council, Ernesto Vitienes
> Colubrí visited several frontier points and announced the new program.
> The program seeks to educate and make frontier citizens more aware of
> the drug scourge as well as increase vigilance with the use of modern
> equipment.

> 7. US government officers show interest in Hispaniola Fund
> The Listín Diario reports that high-ranking US government officers
> showed an interest in the proposal that the Dominican and Haitian
> foreign debt be consolidated into a development fund focused on
> development in Haiti. The proposal was first made five years ago, but
> given present circumstances in Haiti, it is now being brought up again
> to the forefront.
> Lawyer Luis Heredia Bonetti, heading the Dominican delegation to
> Dominican Week in the USA presented the proposal when meeting with
> Peter Romero, Deputy Secretary of State for Hemispheric Affairs; Lino
> Gutiérrez, Deputy Secretary for Mexican and Caribbean Affairs and
> others at the Department of State. Accompanying the Dominican
> delegation was Dominican Ambassador Roberto Saladín and US Ambassador
> in the DR, Charles Manatt.
> The fund would be managed by public and private sector members from
> both countries and would promote harmony and cooperation between both
> countries.
> The condoned foreign debt would become the Hispaniolan International
> Fund that would be used for social projects, infrastructure,
> industrial, agroindustrial, manufacturing, tourism, migration
> projects, and other harmonious and sustainable projects for the
> welfare of both countries.
> The fund is seen as more sustainable than subsidies and international
> aid, more promissory than the repatriation of Dominican and Haitians,
> cheaper than new military interventions, and more intelligent and
> efficient than any international boycott.
> DR1 Daily News -- Friday, 29 September 2000
> ********************************************************************
> 4. Haiti: main topic discussed with Chretien
> Hoy newspaper sources say that most of the talk between Chretien and
> Mejía focused on projects that could be developed on the frontier
> between the DR and Haiti.  "Everyone talks about the Haitian problem,
> but it is we Dominicans who have to carry the burden of this very
> serious problem," President Mejía told El Siglo. "Those people [the
> Haitians] are hungry and in misery, and all the world talks of Haiti,
> and it is just that talk, talk and talk," he said.
> Also discussed between the two heads of state were Canadian travel and
> investment to the DR. A Canadian company was one of the companies that
> participated in the Rosario Mining tender that was suspended by the
> past administration.
> El Siglo newspaper pointed out that President Mejía also requested
> that the government of Canada open a Canadian consulate in the DR.