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Haiti and Dominican Republic resume talks over migrant court ruling
Published on December 19, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina (L) greets his Haitian counterpart Michel Martelly

By Joseph Guyler Delva

CARACAS, Venezuela (HCNN) -- The leaders of Haiti and the Dominican Republic agreed on Tuesday to set up a joint commission to discuss and find a final solution to the migration problem caused by a recent Dominican Constitutional court ruling, which has created tensions between the two Caribbean countries that share the island of Hispaniola.

Haitian president Martelly and his Dominican counterpart Danilo Medina met on Tuesday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of our America (ALBA) and of PetoCaribe, in Caracas, Venezuela, under the auspices of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

The two leaders agreed to address, through a constructive dialogue, the issue of the denationalization of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian decent, among other issues.

"I announce the creation of a high-level committee with representatives of both sides to address various issues on the bilateral agenda," Maduro said on Tuesday in Caracas where he welcomed heads of state, prime ministers and other representatives from different countries of the region that are part of ALBA and of the PetroCaribe oil agreement.

Maduro announced that the joint committee will be comprised of five representatives of the Haitian government and five delegates from the Dominican Republic government, while Venezuela, the United Nations, the European Union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been invited as observers.

The committee will address issues regarding trade, migration, environment, security and the border. The purpose of such an initiative is to find a just, proper and balanced solution through which the interests and rights of all parties are protected, said Maduro.

A communication firm will also be hired to manage the communication of each party in what is already considered a promising move by both governments.

HCNN has learned that the first meeting of the joint committee is scheduled to take place on January 6, 2014, in Ouanaminthe, on the Haitian side of the border, across from the Dominican town of Dajabon.

The Dominican Constitutional Tribunal issued on September 26, this year, a ruling that revoked the citizenship of thousands of Dominicans, born to Haitian migrants considered illegal or in transit, making them stateless.

Several international organizations and institutions, such the UN High Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and several other rights groups have considered the ruling to be discriminatory and in infringement of international law.

Medina’s government of has repeatedly explained that a decision issued by the Constitutional Tribunal could not be challenged by his administration, but Dominican authorities recently launched a plan that would help regularize the situation of many Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent.

However, many believe a good deal of accommodation needs to be brought to such a plan to allow those targeted to really get the expected benefits.
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Pierre F. Lherisson:

The joint commission between Dominican Republic and Haiti to discuss and find a final solution to the migration problem will not address and reverse the Dominican Court ruling TC/0168/13. It will be in the best interest of Haiti to let the International organizations to deal with Dominican Republic regarding this court ruling TC/0168/13.

The TC/0168/13 contravene with International laws for which the Dominican Republic is a signatory. The only solution to this effrontery and arrogance is to repeal it.

If the international organizations such as: CARICOM, CELAC, OAS, UN etc allows the implementation of the TC/0168/13 that means between 300,000 to 500,000 black Dominicans will be deported to Haiti even-though many of them may have been originated elsewhere. Such exodus will create not only a bad precedent in the annals of international laws and migration, it will also be used as a formula in the future to foster racism, allowing outright political manipulations and destabilization of countries.

Haiti cannot negotiates with a rogue state that arrogantly is flouting International laws. Since Haiti does not have a military force to fight at this point in time, this means the outcome of any bilateral negotiation between Haiti and the Dominican Rep will invariably be in favor of Dominican Republic. Thus Haiti should let the International organizations to continue to fight the case.


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