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6974: Mejia trip - nationality - border - repatriations - DR/HT news monitoring - (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@yacine.net>

source is, as usual, DR1 www.dr1.com dayly newsletter

> DR1 Daily News -- Thursday, 8 February 2001
> 2. The President cites political reasons for canceling Haiti trip
> Following the cancellation of his visit to Haiti, President Hipolito
> Mejia explained that the principal reason was to preclude his becoming
> a focus of political conflict within the neighboring nation, by
> aligning himself either with President-elect Jean Bertrand Aristide or
> his opponents. The opposition in Haiti has rejected the validity of
> the election that brought Aristide to power. Mejia spoke shortly after
> canceling the trip he was scheduled to take at 8:30 a.m. and which was
> suspended, initially citing security reasons.  "There¹s no problem so
> far. But I didn¹t want to become the cause of conflict there, neither
> for the opposition nor for President Aristide."
> 6. Aristide will create double nationality for Haitians
> This morning¹s Hoy reports that in his inaugural speech, Haitian
> President Jean Bertrand Aristide expressed his intention to maintain
> close relations with the DR, and announced that both countries would
> collaborate in the creation of a joint bilateral corporation that
> would execute various projects along the border. According to Hoy,
> Aristide declared that he would sponsor a constitutional amendment to
> allow Haitians living abroad to enjoy double nationality. The Haitian
> Constitution currently provides that the children of Haitian nationals
> can only be Haitians.

> DR1 Daily News -- Wednesday, 7 February 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 1. President Mejia cancels trip to Aristide inaugural
> President Hipolito Mejia announced yesterday he was suspending his day
> trip today to Haiti to attend the inaugural of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
> Mejia would have been the only statesman to attend the inaugural. He
> announced the trip was suspended following security recommendations.
> Minister of Foreign Relations Hugo Tolentino Dipp will represent the
> DR at the inaugural of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
> In its editorial today, El Caribe newspaper affirms that most experts
> consider President Aristide has two roads ahead:
> 1) To fulfill his word to former President Clinton and open to
> democracy within Haiti and fight drug trafficking. This route would
> allow the return of international aid and would lead to good relations
> with Dominican neighbors.
> 2) To blame the international community for the problems in Haiti and
> lean on the governments of Fidel Castro in Cuba (that have been
> offering medical help and reconstructing a sugar mill) and Hugo Chavez
> in Venezuela that has offered economic and political assistance.
> El Caribe newspaper feels that the second road would lead the
> statesman to exacerbate anti-Dominican feelings in Haiti, a
> self-defense mechanism of what would be an internationally isolated
> government.
> The newspaper hopes that Aristide will choose the first road.

> DR1 Daily News -- Monday, 5 February 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 3. President Mejia to make controversial trip to Haiti
> Minister of Foreign Relations Hugo Tolentino Dipp confirmed that
> President Mejia will travel to Port au Prince, Haiti for the inaugural
> of Haitian president-elect Jean Bertrand Aristide on Wednesday, 7
> February. Reportedly, President Mejia will be the only head of state
> to attend the inaugural of Aristide. The Dominican Republic is also
> the country to have most at stake as it shares a frontier of more than
> 300 kilometers with Haiti.
> Notwithstanding, there has been much opposition to the trip in the DR
> and in Haiti.
> Minister Tolentino said, "Above all there are political relations that
> the two countries have to keep with tact, care and respect to our
> sovereignties." He explained that the two governments have a
> commitment to keep open a dialogue and work in harmony for the
> solution of common problems.
> High-ranking politicians within the ruling party in the DR, the PRD,
> have lobbied with the Haitian opposition seeking an agreement that
> would bring stability to Haiti. The Haitian opposition has threatened
> to inaugurate a parallel government.
> The DR is the most interested party in political, social and economic
> stability in Haiti. When things improve in Haiti, trade is up and
> migration of indigent Haitians is down.
> Ambassador Alberto Despradel said that President Mejia will travel to
> Haiti in the morning, leaving on the same day.
> It is the first time that a Dominican head of state attends an
> inaugural of a Haitian president.
> DR authorities are hoping for better relations with Aristide this time
> around. During his first seven month presidency in 1991, Aristide was
> known for his antagonistic statements against the DR in Haitian and
> international forums.

> ********************************************************************
> DR1 Daily News -- Thursday, 1 February 2001
> 6. Ministry says it is doing its job
> The Ministry of Armed Forces says that in the past five months they
> have confiscated over 100 guns of different kinds, 150 kilos of
> narcotics and deported over 60,000 illegal Haitians at the frontier.
> The Ministry said thousands of quintals of rice, beans, garlic,
> charcoal, whisky and other merchandise have also been confiscated. The
> military have been in the press after Haiti Prime Minister Jacques
> Edouard Alexis denounced a Haitian-Dominican mafia along the frontier
> that involves Dominican military. He said he had proof that trucks
> that were forcibly detained at the frontier were those that had not
> paid the "toll" to the military. The Dominican frontier with Haiti is
> about 400 kilometers long. The frontier area is the poorest in the
> Dominican Republic.