[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
#1079- New York Response to expulsion of Hatians in DR (fwd)
From: Gregory Dunkel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What follows is an article I wrote on he NYC
demonstration on Nov. 20 with a Dominican friend of
The demonstration was historic in that it was the
first time anyone could remember that Haitians AND
Dominicans had held a joint demonstration.
It was on the front page of Newday, the next day, and
also fairly prominently covered in the Daily News,
though the New York Times didn't bother to cover it.
I generally wouldn't post something that I wrote for
another forum, but it seems this article won't appear
at least for a while.
by G. Dunkel and Oscar Ovalles
"To see Haitians and Dominicans in the same struggle
against imperialism warms the heart," is how a
Haitian who has lived in Brooklyn for 15 years summed
up the demonstration outside the Dominican Consulate
on Times Square Saturday, Nov. 20. At its height, the
picket line had over 300 people.
He also charged "The Macoutes and the FRAPH don't
really oppose the Dominican actions."
For the past two weeks the Dominican government has
sent its army into the streets to grab any Haitian or
Haitian Dominicans , whether or not they have
documents, throw them onto a truck and drive them to
the Haitian border. There they are expelled to Haiti
at gun point.
The FRAPH is the paramilitary organization the
Haitian army set up during the 1991-1994 coup against
Aristide to do vicious deeds that might tarnish the
"honor" of the army. Its leader Toto Constant has
asylum in the United States and lives in Queens, New
York, where he runs a string of dry cleaners.
Wilson Spencer, a Dominican activist, said "Haiti and
the Dominican Republic share the same island, the
island of Hispaniola. We need to come out from the
control of U.S. imperialism. It is in both our
interests if we struggle together."
He pointed out that it was in the interests of the
Dominican bourgeoisie to deflect the anger of the
masses over raging inflation and rising unemployment.
There was a general strike at the end of October that
shut the country down for a few days and saw a wave
of arrests and even a few deaths.
The Dominican and U.S. bourgeoisie are making huge
profits in the Dominican Republic. The Vicini family,
one of the wealthiest in the DR, and Gulf+Western, a
U.S. corporation, have made vast profits in the sugar
industry where all the workers in the cane fields and
in the mills, who do the hard, heavy and dangerous
work, are either Haitians or Dominicans of Haitian
Another Dominican Hector Gerardo, who was proudly
carrying a Haitian flag, came to the demonstration
"to stop the Dominican government's racist repression
against the Haitian people."
@SUBHEAD = Demonstration in Santo Domingo
The demonstration in Times Square was called in
opposition to a rally called by the party of former
Dominican president Joaquin Balaguer and by Cardinal
Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, head of the
Dominican Catholic, to support the expulsion of
Haitians in order to "preserve Dominican culture,
citizenship and territorial integrity."
Balaguer has been a tool of U.S. imperialism ever
since he returned to the DR during the 1965 U.S.
invasion and ran for president. Cardinal Lopez
Rodriguez is not only a "prince" of the church but
also one of the wealthiest individuals in the DR.
Balaguer was vice president in the '60s under Hector
Trujillo, brother of the dictator Gen. Rafael
Trujillo, who held effective power. It was Gen.
Trujillo who ordered the massacre in 1937 of 30,000
to 35,000 Haitian sugar can workers, who were singled
out because their skin was dark and they didn't speak
These are the same criteria that the Dominican army
has used to single out people for expulsion. Without
letting them get their possessions, pick up their
pay, arrange for the kids, the army -- trained and
equipped by the United States -- puts them on a truck
and forces them over the border.
According to a Spanish-language dispatch on the CNN
web page, only a thousand people came out to the
rally in Santo Domingo. To disguise the real purpose
of their march, some of them held up signs saying
"Haiti is the responsibility of the international
community" and "USA: 40 percent are overweight;
Haiti: 40 percent are malnourished."
They complained that Haitians were a "burden" on the
Dominican Republic, ignoring the fact that their
labor has brought tremendous profits to the sugar
barons, and that they do jobs that no Dominican has
taken for decades.
The small turnout, some Dominican activists feel,
might reflect a
popular rejection of this racist campaign.
@SUBHEAD = Will the Dominican army invade Haiti
When Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti in
1994, one of his first acts was dissolving the army.
This has made it difficult for the Haitian
bourgeoisie and the United States to pull off a coup.
They're missing the proper tool.
But it also makes it difficult for Haiti to defend
itself against an invasion. It only has 6,000 cops to
oppose the 100,000 U.S. trained and equipped
Dominican army, one of the largest in Latin America.
Ben Dupuy, secretary general of the Popular National
Party (PPN) which is one of the strongest mass
organizations in Haiti, came to the demonstration. He
is doing a speaking tour in this country. "The PPN
feels," he said, "that this move by the Dominican
military is an attempt to influence both the
elections in Haiti and those in the Dominican
The elections for Haiti's parliament are scheduled
for March, while the Dominican elections are a few
months later. Then in the fall, elections for Haiti's
president will be held. Jean-Bertrand Aristide is
universally expected to win election for president.
Even though USAID, an agency of the U.S. State
Department, is controlling how voters are registered
and identified in Haiti, voters could still fail to
put in an anti-Aristide parliament. If this happens,
the U.S. and the Haitian bourgeoisie would want to
overturn the elections.
While they certainly don't want the Caribbean country
closest to Cuba moving in a progressive direction,
the U.S. would much prefer to use a proxy, Dupuy
feels, than to do it themselves.
FAX 212 541-0379