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#951: Ethnic Cleansing, Dominican-Style? (fwd)


A dangerous situation, not unlike the anti-Haitian pogrom of 1937, is 
unfolding in the Dominican Republic.  The pseudo-white Dominican 
ruling class has once again drawn the line: if you're black, you don't 
belong here.  Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Haitian immigrants and 
Dominicans of Haitian parentage have been corralled for expulsion.  
Dominican leader Joaquin Balaguer and a host of other political 
figures have called for a massive anti-Haitian mobilization for 
Saturday, Nov. 20th.  A full scale campaign is underway against the 
so-called "Haitian invasion."
The new hate campaign was apparently triggered by an Organization of 
American States human rights report on the denial of citizenship rights 
to children born of Haitian parents on Dominican soil.  The inhumanity 
and the scope of  the campaign send the message that Dominican rulers 
don't care what the world thinks, or that they don't think the world cares.  

Most countries deport undocumented immigrants without violating their 
basic human rights.  They do not separate children from parents.  They 
allow deportees to collect their meager belongings. They do not invite 
the native population to abuse and to humiliate them. They do not grab 
them by the truckload and do not drive them to the border at gun point. 
When Dominicans are deported from other countries, they expect due 
process and the courtesy of a plane ride.  But Haitians are beasts of 
burden; they can be dumped surreptitiously across the border in places 
where they are least likely to receive assistance or be accounted for.
The Haitian government does not seem affected by all this.  All 
pretenses of nationalism aside, the gentlemen in power on both sides 
of the border have more in common among themselves than with the 
people being brutalized.  President Preval's attitude has been his
proverbial "ki mele bounda m."  Prime-Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis 
has thus far shrugged the whole thing off, presumably because he has 
not been informed through official channels!  But to be fair, governments 
seldom rise to the defense of society's worse off, without prodding.  
The Haitian government cannot prevent its Dominican counterpart from 
deporting Haitian citizens illegally on its soil, but it can demand that it 
be done by humane and international standards.  It can take their case 
to the U.N. and other international bodies.  It can stop some of the 
trade, so profitable to the Dominican Republic, across the border.  
It can establish welcoming and resettlement sites for 
the returnees.  There should be an effort to establish the birth place 
of the people expelled, to help protect the citizenship rights of all 
persons born in the Dominican Republic.  The Dominican government 
must be made to pay a price for its racist policies.
Will the Haitian internet community forsake its preoccupation with 
trivia long enough to use its clout to fight the good fight?  Most 
Haitians on this forum are well insulated from this kind of indignity, 
but the plight of Haitians in the Dominican Republic, if unchallenged, 
will devalue the notion of being Haitian across the board.

Finally, if you've read this far, you'll want to know that, in New 
York, a joint committee of Haitians and Dominicans is being formed in 
response to the current crisis.  A counter-demonstration has been 
scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20th in front of the Dominican Consulate 
in Times Square.  A Declaration of Conscience is being drafted, and I 
sincerely hope that list members will sign it in droves.
Daniel Simidor