Haitians challenge injustice in Dominican Republic

Black Miami stands firm in criticism of efforts to “purge” shores of Haiti’s neighboring country

D. Kevin McNeir | 1/1/2014, 9 a.m.
Last September, the high court of the Dominican Republic [DR] ruled that thousands of men, women and children of Haitian ...

Attorney Marlon Hill said he agrees with Wilson’s conclusions.

“Until people of the Dominican Republic speak up against this ruling or are persuaded from influential external forces, economic or otherwise, there will not be any political will to balance the scales of justice. We are simply not doing enough. Can you imagine if the U.S. made a similar decision?”

Miami-Dade County Commissioner led the Board in the adoption of a resolution on Dec. 17th condemning and opposing the action taken by the Dominican Constitutional Court.

“This ruling is prejudiced and cruel . . . and it displaces more than 500,000 people front their rightful country,” he said. I urge the government of the Dominican Republic to restore the civil and human rights of their people.”

What will move the Dominicans?

“I believe that xenophobia and racism is at the roots of their decision which does not make any sense since DR firms have been getting most of the construction contracts in Haiti in additions to reaping billions from sales in the Haiti-Dominican frontier,” said Marleine Bastien, executive director, Haitian Women of Miami. “Haitians have been used has cheap labor for generations . . . their sweat and blood and courage have built the Dominican Republic infrastructure. Yet, Haitians have been used as scapegoats for generations, subjected to gross human rights abuses and violations. They are forced to live in conditions not fit for human beings. I strongly support a global economic boycott. That is the only language that they will understand. Nothing else. The Haitian government also needs to take a firm position against the continued butchering of its citizens in the Dominican Republic. Thirty people have been killed, hatched to death in Neiba. What explains this silence in the face of these massacres?

Letters of condemnation have come in from many all corners of the U.S., including the National Bar Association, composed by their president, Patricia Rosier. One of their members, longtime civil rights activist and attorney, H.T. Smith, had this to say: “The decision denying legal status to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic is as repugnant to human rights and human dignity as the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision in the Dred Scott case which held that the Black man had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”