By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- A leading academic has urged CARICOM to act expeditiously to underscore the region’s objection to the Dominican Republic constitutional court ruling that strips tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship.
UWI professor emeritus Norman Girvan has pointed to concrete steps he said the regional grouping can take to send a clear, unambiguous message to Santo Domingo.
“We would like first of all to see CARICOM officially boycott all events, regional events which are being held in the Dominican Republic,” Girvan indicated.
“Secondly we would like to see CARICOM put on hold the application of the Dominican Republic to become a member of the community. That application has been pending for some time, no action has been taken on it but we would like for it to be officially put on hold, pending a satisfactory resolution,” Girvan said.
He also wants Santo Domingo kept away from the Caribbean Development Bank.
According to the outspoken academic, the Dominican Republic is aspiring to become a member of the CDB “and I assume a borrowing member”.
He said taking such significant steps would send a strong message to the Dominican Republic that the region is serious about its concerns regarding the citizenship problem in Santo Domingo.
Girvan backed recent protest action by a Port of Spain-based group known as Jouvay Ayiti, against the constitutional court ruling.
Another well known academic who has spoken out on a range of Caribbean matters, Dr Neville Duncan, agreed that CARICOM must take a firm stand against what is happening in the Dominican Republic.
“If they want to be part of what happens in the Caribbean, and part of the extended Caribbean relationship with Europe, they have to behave in a proper and professional manner, and they are not,” Duncan told WINN FM’s The Bigger Picture.
“There are elements of racism in it all as well, so this is most disturbing in a region like ours where we embrace each other,” he added.
Girvan also condemned the alleged racism involved.
He said the rest of the region can’t sit idly by and let what may be described as state-sanctioned racism prevail.
Girvan warned that making tens of thousands of Dominicans stateless would be a grave injustice that must not be allowed to happen
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network