Archive for the ‘Dominican Republic’ Category

Expelled from the Dominican Republic: Other factors

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Who profits from the forced emigrations?

by David Holmes Morris

August 28, 2015

 The ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal of September, 2013, which formalized the long-standing informal practice of denying citizenship to Haitian migrants and their descendants, and a new wave of nationalist attacks on the streets against Haitians, have affected the lives of thousands of people in monstrous ways. They have brought up again the question of Dominican anti-Haitianism as the primary force behind the deportations. But the usual explanation of widespread racism and xenophobia among the Dominican people rings hollow and seems inadequate. Other recent developments suggest more specific causes.

((Juan Vicini (left) and Fernando Capellán - Diario Libre photo))

((Juan Vicini, left, and Fernando Capellán – Diario Libre photo))

There are clearly economic reasons for anti-Haitianism and a new project for industrial development along the Haitian-Dominican border, first made public at the same time as the court ruling, may provide clues to similar economic reasons both for the ruling and for the current resurgence of anti-Haitianism. The histories and the present interests of the prime movers behind the project and their connections with the court that made the ruling hint at behind-the-scenes manipulation.

For years there have been plans in Hispaniola and in this country to diversify the economy of the island, where the sugar industry was the dominant force for many years, by finding other uses for the abundant cheap labor that has made fortunes for sugar barons. Jean-Claude Duvalier, at the urging of his US and Haitian advisers, envisioned turning Haiti into the “Taiwan of the Caribbean.” Haitian workers would be moved from the Dominican cane fields to sweatshops, where they would assemble textiles, electronic devices and baseballs, destined mostly, like the sugar, for US markets. (more…)

Dominican Republic: An interview with Gabriel Sánchez of the Broad Front for Popular Struggle

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Grabiel-Snchez-vocero-del-Falpo“Here, they don’t criminalize protests, they kill or wound the protesters”

[Translation of an article from Noticias Aliadas of Lima, Peru, for March 7, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Gabriela Read

The Frente Amplio de Lucha Popular (FALPO – Broad Front for Popular Struggle) is an organization that has taken part in popular protests in the Dominican Republic since it was founded in 1985. FALPO had been a radical movement that staged violent protests, but the demonstrations have changed in the past few years and they have opted for what they describe as national mobilizations of a civic, democratic, mass nature. Since its founding, the members of FALPO have been persecuted, repressed and assassinated by the police forces, says Gabriel Sánchez, national spokesman for the organization for the past three years, with 23 years of activism in FALPO. One of the most violent episodes, he says, occurred in June, 2012, during a protest over the death of an athlete at the hands of the police in the city of Salcedo, in the province of Hermanas Mirabal, 155 kilometers from Santo Domingo, the capital. According to Sánchez, the police opened fire on a crowd with the result of 22 injured and four killed, according to figures obtained by the press.

Gabriela Read, who works with Noticias Aliadas, spoke with Sánchez about the government’s persecution of those who protest.
_ (more…)

What will the Dominican Republic lose if it expels the Haitians?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

haitianos[Translation of a BBC Mundo article from June 18, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here, here, here and here. See World Bank report referred to below here.]

By Natalia Guerrero

The Dominican Republic and Haiti are two small countries sharing a small island where a potentially large problem is brewing.

Beginning on Wednesday, at least 180,000 Haitians, of the 458,000 the government calculates are living on Dominican soil, became subject to deportation for lack of documents, under provisions of the new Dominican Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners.

The new migration measure, which became law in 2013 after a controversial ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal (CT), seeks to normalize the migratory and labor situation of citizens of foreign origins who live in Dominican territory, and affects above all the Haitian population, which makes up 87% of immigrants in the country. (more…)

The way it was: Telling on the Army

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Out about the military

[A few years ago, when Bill Clinton was president and don’t-ask-don’t-tell was first being debated, I wrote an article for a proposed book of writings by lesbian and gay veterans on our experiences in the military. The book was never finished. But now the 50th anniversary of the April, 1965, uprising in the Dominican Republic and the subsequent U.S. invasion is approaching and since my own participation in that invasion was central to my experience of the army and to the article I wrote, I am posting the article here. It is, of course, dated by now but I believe it is still relevant.]

by David Holmes Morris

Life was really pretty easy by the time I got settled at Ft. Devens in the spring of 1964. I hadn’t expected it to be. Basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, (Fort Lost-in-the-Woods to us) was as miserable as basic training is cracked up to be, especially for those like me who weren’t physically fit enough to run miles in combat boots or competent enough with rifles to hit targets. We were the weaklings (the others had a different word for us) and the objects of abuse for the lifers who ran the place.

Some miracle got most of us through, though, or, in my case at least, some quota and the recognition that electronic spying called for different abilities than physical combat did. Once through basic, those of us destined for the Army Security Agency were sent to Ft. Devens, a few miles west of Boston, for specialized training.

At Devens we were schooled in the arts of intercepting radio communications and tapping telephones. There were other lessons for me, though. Even before I made my first trip to Boston I happened on a certain men’s room at a certain PX not far from my barracks that other GIs had long since found uses for besides those the Army intended. (more…)

Dominican Republic: The struggle against Barrick Gold

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

[Translations of two articles, from Listín Diario for July 1 and 7dias.com for July 4, 2014, respectively. See originals here and here and related articles here, here, here and here. Dating from 1505, Cotuí is one of the first towns in the Americans to be established by the Spaniards, who exploited its rich deposits of gold for several centuries.]

Dominican Republic: Protests against Barrick Gold will continue

Residents of Cotuí complain of mine’s negative impact

By Lilian Tejeda

Residents of Cotuí, the capital of the province of Sánchez Ramírez, will continue their struggle next Monday against alleged abuses by the multinational mining company Barrick Gold, which in the five years since it was established in the country, they say, has left only a trail of disasters.

“You can’t live there, it is a disaster zone. There is no potable water, everything is contaminated, the animals are dying. Despite its being one of the richest provinces, right now it is the poorest,” said Miguel D’Oleo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Familias sin Casa y sin Tierra (National Confederation of Homeless and Landless Families). (more…)

Dominican Republic: A short history of anti-Haitianism

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Economist Miguel Ceara-Hatton speaks on the Constitutional Tribunal ruling

CEARA HATTON[Translation of comments by Dominican economist Miguel Ceara-Hatton to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as published in Espacinsular of Santo Domingo on December 8, 2013. See original here. Ceara-Hatton is a member of the Comité de Solidaridad con los Desnacionalizados, the Committee in Solidarity with the Denationalized.]

Almost from the beginning of the 16th century, the island of Santo Domingo was abandoned by Spain; their abandonment turned into depopulation in the 17th century, which gave rise to the French occupation of the northwestern part of the island and eventually to the establishment of the French colony of Saint Domingue, which became the wealthiest French colony during the 18th century.

Its wealth was created on the basis of sugar production, organized on the plantation system, which was based on an intense and cruel slavery. The cruelty was an integral part of the plantation system because it was the only possible way for a few thousand white landowners to live in the midst of almost 500,000 slaves. (more…)

Dominican Republic: The Constitutional Tribunal ruling, Junot Díaz and the cardboard nationalists

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Espacinsular of Santo Domingo for December 6, 2013. See original here. The court ruling in question, number 168/13, would deny Dominican nationality to those born in the country since 1929 of undocumented immigrant parents. It would affect primarily the approximately 250,000 Haitian-Dominicans living there who, without a cédula, the national identification card, would be unable to vote, be hired for any job except in the informal sector, open a bank account, enroll in college, receive social security, obtain a passport or be issued birth certificates for their children.]

By Luis M. Rodríguez

New York, December 6 – A committee of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of their visit is to monitor and watch over the results of ruling 168/13 by the Constitutional Tribunal and to determine whether the ruling violates the human rights of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, as has been charged.

The Commission traveled to the country at the invitation of the Dominican government. Even so, sectors of the government and the parasitic party apparatus, who live off the crumbs that fall from the heights of power, have unleashed a campaign to discredit the IACHR committee, arguing that it violates national sovereignty and its very presence is an act of interference in the internal affairs of the Dominican Republic. (more…)

Dominican Government signs agreement with Barrick Gold

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

State will receive 51.3% of profits from Pueblo Viejo mine

[Translation of an article from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for September 6, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Adriana Peguero

The government and the Barrick Gold mining company reached an agreement yesterday by which the Dominican state will receive revenue of around US$11.615 billion during the life of the project, assuming an average price of US$1,600 per ounce of gold.

The agreement was announced during an act in the Green Room of the National Palace by the minister of the presidency, Gustavo Montalvo, who stated that the contract signed by Barrick Gold [Pueblo Viejo affiliate] president Manuel Rocha will be sent to the national congress in the next few days for approval. (more…)

Dominican Republic: Anti-Haitian marches a threat to peace on the island

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

wxyzz[Translation of an article from AlterPresse of Port-au-Prince for July 26, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here. The writer is an Anglican priest, a former Haitian diplomat in the Dominican Republic and, currently, director of the Fondation Zile.]

By Edwin Paraison

A year after a similar demonstration, a minority group made up of representatives of neighborhood groups organized an anti-Haitian march on July 17 in the second city of the Dominican Republic, Santiago de los Caballeros, which was widely covered in the mass media, with the slogan, “Nosotros aquí, ellos allá” (“This for us, that for them”). The purpose: to demand the repatriation of the undocumented and to denounce the organizations that come to their aid, notably the Centro de Formación y Acción Social y Agraria (CEFASA) and the Centro Bono, both Catholic [Jesuit] NGOs. (more…)

Dominican Republic: Court rules in favor of Haitian coconut workers

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

coqueros x[Translation of an article from El Nuevo Diario of Santo Domingo for June 14, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Jenny Ramírez

Haina – The group of Haitian workers who spent more than 40 days on the walkway in front of the ministry of labor to demand that the Empacadora Real coconut company pay them the money they had earned were awarded more than five million pesos [about US$120,000] when their case was settled on Friday in a district court in the province of San Cristóbal.

The Haitian nationals accepted the money from lawyers Lucas Manuel and Carlos Manuel Sánchez Diaz, who were responsible for taking the case to court and winning the ruling in favor of the foreigners.

The lawyers stated that the coconut merchant, Emilio Luna, alias “Billo,” reached an agreement with the plaintiffs in the labor court of the judicial district of San Cristóbal.

According to the defense, a fair distribution of the money to the workers was carried out, based on the time each had spent with the coconut company, it being decided that those who had worked the longest would receive the most money.

Spokesmen for the group of Haitians, Francisco Ojilú and Ratilú Odani, thanked all those who became involved in their effort, especially lawyers Lucas and Carlos Sánchez Diaz…

The lawyers stated that the ruling sets a precedent in labor rights for the national judicial system since no similar case is known.

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Dominican Republic: Is the government promoting illegality among Haitian immigrants?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

x refugees[Translation of an article from Espacinsular of Santo Domingo for April 10, 2013. See original here.]

by Griselda Liberato

Santo Domingo, April 10 – Although it is not state policy, events suggest that government agencies are supporting violations of the migration laws. Taking into account the legal mechanisms the country has for the control and registration of immigration and reviewing the repeated occasions in which Haitians have charged that authorities do not process applications for documents or for renewal of them, it can be confirmed that the state carries out policies that increase the percentage of persons living in Dominican territory indefinitely under irregular conditions. (more…)

Dominican Republic: Public hearings threatened in Barrick Gold case

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Chamber of Deputies president says Treasury Committee will seek advise from Ecuador

[Translation of an article from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for March 25, 2013.  See original here and related article here.]

By Ramón Pérez Reyes

Chamber of Deputies President Abel Martínez has announced that once Holy Week is over, if there have been no significant advances in the negotiations between President Danilo Medina and executives of the Barrick Gold mining company, the lower chamber will hold public hearings in the National Assembly hall.

He said the object is to hear all sectors of the nation who have concerns, suggestions and opinions about the contract covering exploitation of the mine in Pueblo Viejo, Cotuí

Meanwhile, Senator Félix Nova said senators are awaiting only the president’s decision before taking action against the mining company. (more…)