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    Posted March 30, 2014 by
    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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    Accusation of racism against Dominican Republic originates from US Department of State reports

    Allegations that Dominican Republic is a racist country and violator of human rights towards Haitian immigrants goes back to the end of the 1980s, although it is as a result of the 168-13 decision of the Constitutional Court this type of charges get coverage and notoriety at national and international level.
    El Nuevo Diario gave a look at the reports of the United States Department of State from 1989, discovering that since Dominicans are presented to the world as "torturers" of Haitians and human rights issues.
    The accusation against the country has been repetitive and systematic reports that the US State Department sent to the commissions of Foreign Affairs. both the Senate and the Chamber of Congress of the United States, whose general contents refers to the situation of human rights in the country, and the US Embassy repeats on its website, and correspond to the years 1989, 1993, 1994, 2004 and 2012.
    In those reports, the State Department treated Haitian as if Dominican Republic is a country of white people, and as such the Dominicans reject and mistreat a black minority posed by Haitians.
    The US Agency also makes believe that there's also a rejection and abuse against their own dark-skinned Dominicans, who supposedly not entitled to open an bank account for being black, or to send their children to school.
    For example, in the 1989 United States described present conditions to the international community that Dominican Republic is prejudice against Haitians, translated into discrimination against people with darker skin (i.e., that appear to Haitians).
    "Due to prejudicial attitudes, the children of those people often cannot obtain documents proving their citizenship and, therefore, unable to attend school. There is no evidence that the children of Dominican citizens of Haitian descent have been unable to obtain such documents or to attend school", said USA in 1989.
    Four years later, in 1993, the State Department repeated that in Dominican society was very strong bias against Haitians, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, and which constitute a significant percentage of the workforce not specializing in Dominican Republic.
    In a textual manner added: "often this prejudice translates into discrimination de facto against people who have darker skin. The Government has not recognized the existence of such discrimination or has made any effort to combat it."
    That same document added that "reliable sources say that it is an old practice of the Government to prevent them from being recognized as Dominican citizens Haitians born in the Dominican Republic".
    It also denounced the lack of documentation prevents the possibility of children of Haitian descent to attend school, while some parents do not seek the necessary documentation for fear of being deported themselves.
    In the report of the following year, 1994, the U.S. Government again started its report with the repeated accusation of prejudice, and on this occasion they added to it a political ingredient, when they said that "the party of the President Balaguer (Reformista Social Cristiano) tried to undermine the position of the PRD (José Francisco) candidate Pena Gomez characterized the darker skin of being a Haitian attribute".
    Six years later, in 2000, the report submitted by the Department of State has no innovation in its introduction, because it repeats the same accusation of "strong bias" of the Dominicans, claiming this time that this situation creates disadvantages for many Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as other foreigners.
    It points out that the effort by the Government to stop the flow of Haitians immigrants hinders those already living in the country, to live in peace.
    "Police regulations threaten those drivers who offer rides to illegal immigrants with the confiscation of their vehicles, and has discouraged drivers of taxis and buses to pick up people with darker skin", argues the report.
    In particular this report says that some 500,000 Haitian immigrants (statistics of back then) live in the bateyes, whether or not they work at the Mills, living in precarious conditions, with limited electricity, no drinking water and no schools.
    However, that same document recorded "many Haitian parents have never had documentation of their own birth, not only can they not prove their own citizenship. As a result, they cannot declare the births of their children in the civil registries and thus establish Dominican citizenship for their descendants."
    In 2004 the Department of State of the United States has begun to identify what they formerly have called "reliable sources", citing non-governmental organizations for human rights, the Catholic Church and activists in the Dominican sectors describing "the living conditions of Haitians in the bateyes as slavery in the modern world" at least in the report of that year,.
    Specifically the report denounced an alleged Ordinance allowing the school attendance of children not documented until the fifth grade; "However, some documented, in particular the Haitians".
    "NGO's denounced that undocumented Haitian children were prevented from registering in school to a greater degree than Dominican children who had no documentation," recorded the 2004 report.
    The last known report of the United States Department of State, relating to the rights of the Haitian population based there, was unveiled in 2012, which affirms that the most serious problems were discrimination against Haitian immigrants and their descendants, including the immigration of statelessness policy and retroactive application for persons who have lived in the country for generations.
    Adding another alleged abuse is the cases of "illegal" deportations and speaks of the degrading treatment of prisoners and massive raids which were used as opportunities for extortion.
    Solidarity with deeds, not words
    Dominicans could show, not tell, that it is in solidarity with the Haitian people, as it was manifested as a result of the earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010.
    The country overflowed in material aid and also was a moral ally of Haiti, making it the platform and construction to receive, processed the help the Haitians were receiving from the outside.
    After the earthquake of 2010, Dominican roads and ports have served to supply of goods from other countries, without cost to the neighboring country to Haiti.
    "After the earthquake, Haiti was left without seaports, and all goods from 2010 to the Haitian market, (entered) by the ports in the Dominican Republic." The year 2012, to be specific, 11,676 goods vans entered the ports of Santo Domingo and traveled through the streets of the country to go to the rescue of Haiti,"said verbatim in Cuba, Danilo Medina.
    Facts and figures that contradict reports
    The alleged harassment and prejudice from Dominicans against Haitians who allege the American State Department reports fall in open contradiction with the following information (Government figures):
    13% of births in public hospitals are from Haitian mothers, which means an expenditure of more than 5 billion pesos a year for the Dominican State.
    About 51 thousand Haitians studying in the Dominican Republic, 36 thousand of whom attend national schools without any documentation requirements.
    Likewise, 54 thousand Haitian students and receive education on Dominican soil, 36,000 are in public schools, 15 thousand going to universities and many of them are also benefited with grants.
    Haitians are abundant in the workplace
    Dominican Republic about 80 of every 100 construction workers are of Haitian descent.
    The same applies in the agricultural sector, where 80% of the workforce is of Haitian origin.
    But also - and so did emphasize President Medina in Cuba - the participation of Haitians is growing in the tourism business.
    Necessary dialogue between two neighbors
    On January 7, the two Governments initiated dialogue and bilateral meetings on topics of particular interest to Haiti and Dominican Republic, achievement have already yield some results of mutual benefit.
    "No doubt, what is taking place is a dialogue between good neighbors, and the final result will not be anything other than an advance on human rights and the institutions in the Caribbean region", said Medina in Cuba.
    Really, how many are?
    Several tens of thousands of foreigners, mainly Haitians or their descendants, live in a legal limbo, since they do not have defined status.
    The Dominican civil registry has 56 thousand different nationalities, of whom 42,000 are Haitians, 29 thousand with regular nationality, while 13,000 have not been able to obtain it through normal channels, according to data provided by the Central Electoral Board (Junta Central Electoral – JCE).
    Living in the Dominican Republic are nearly a million Haitians and around 90 per cent of these do not have any type of documentation.
    Credible sources?
    The US State Department reports can highlight the bias against the Dominican Republic, and show unconfirmed reports, from entities and groups in the case of the Jesuit priests and non-governmental organizations which are all pro Haitian.
    Although they also collected data provided by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the UNHCR-UN, agencies that also are also “spoon-fed" by the Jesuits and the NGOs working for the Haitians.
    Haitian authorities recognize
    "The children of Haitian parents born in the Dominican Republic are Haitians", stated the Ambassador of Haiti, Fritz Cineas, as recorded by the newspaper HOY dated August 30, 2007.
    In that order, five years back, on May 8, 2002, the then Ambassador Guy Alexandre said that all the children of Haitians are considered Haitians in the Constitution according to the national code of his country.
    The mode of statelessness that is managed now, first appeared in the reports of the Department of State of the United States of a American, the same arguments used by the NGOs and other groups to discredit the Constitutional Tribunal TC ruling and say that the same creates a pariah status.
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