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#1079- New York Response to expulsion of Hatians in DR (fwd)

From: Gregory Dunkel <joscu@cunyvm.cuny.edu>

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 
proper Spanish.

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.

Gregory Dunkel
212 541-0978
FAX 212 541-0379