Haiti scores major points at dialogue with Dominican Republic

Establishing a difference between those who are affected by the decision of the Dominican Constitutional Court and those who came from Haiti as undocumented aliens is one of the goals achieved by the Commission representing the Haitian Government during this first of a series of discussions scheduled to take place on a monthly basis.

Flag of Haiti And Dominican Republic

The first category is of concern to Haiti as well as other countries and organizations in the region and the Dominican delegation understands the need to meet its moral obligations to its own citizens. The second category is the regularization of undocumented workers in the Dominican Republic who will be provided with legal documents under Dominican law. This has long been one of the claims of Haitian activists engaged in issues related to the two countries sharing the island.

During the talks, the Haitian Prime Minister who was successful in combining firmness on principles and courteous approaches managed to gain important allies such as CARICOM, the UN and Venezuela demanding that the nationality of Dominicans of Haitian descent is not subject to the whim of any law or procedures likely to create confusion.

The delegation from the Dominican Republic who made a brief presentation of its plan to regularize illegal aliens had to decide on the different scenarios that could put a category of its own citizens in uncertain situation in reference to their law following the judgment of the Constitutional Court. The Dominican Republic had to reiterate on many occasions that no one who is a holder of a Dominican citizenship document will be left stateless. However, they feel it's important to work with members of the population, religious and charitable organizations on a case by case basis in order to assist those who are not in possession of legal papers.

CARICOM's Vice President, Ambassador Granderson agreed with the Haitian delegation who doesn't see the need for Dominicans to become Dominicans again.

The participants acknowledged the existence of different categories affected by the regulation plan of foreigners and welcome the commitments of the Dominican Republic to take care of this matter while questioning the modus operandi of identifying those who are affected without the risk of violating their human rights.

Haiti took the opportunity to bring back on the table several previous commitments made by the Dominicans on which they never follow through, including one that called for no restrictions on Haitian products for export to the Dominican Republic, provided they meet health standards . Prime Minister Lamothe also brought up the issue of reducing entry points on the border estimated at more than fifty while only four are officially known.

Various other items on the agenda, including issues of markets, transport and the situation of Haitian students in the Dominican Republic were discussed and will be addressed again in the next session which is scheduled for February 3rd in Santo Domingo. Representatives of private sectors from both countries will be invited to attend. It was also decided to reactivate the Dominican - Haitian Joint Commission.

Other than the commitment from the Dominican Republic to find legal means to avoid any risk of exposing its own citizens to a situation of statelessness, Haiti emerged from these initial discussions with the commitment of the Dominican Republic to:

1- Adjust the status of undocumented Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic. This will enable our countrymen to enjoy the benefits of their status as workers with a regular salary, pension rights, bonuses and insurance.

2 - A special treatment to Haitian students in the Dominican Republic that includes granting of an annual multiple-entry visa.

3 - The cancellation of all bans on exportation of Haitian products according to our reciprocity agreements.

4 - The implementation of joint measures to significantly reduce exchange points on the border. This situation currently costs millions of dollars to Haiti. A high level meeting is scheduled between the customs directors of the two countries on this and other related issues.

The Leader of the Haitian delegation, who is also head of the Haitian Government was pleased with the discussions and thank President Martelly for appointing him to lead this important mission. Mr. Lamothe congratulated Presidents Maduro of Venezuela and Medina of the Republic Dominican for collaborating with the Haitian President in order to make these talks possible while keeping at heart the interests of the Haitian people.

Article by Herold Israel - haitihebdonews.com

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Will says...

I would like this point to be discussed in the next meeting, regarding the 800 pesos fine charged to even Haitian students on the border, This is insane, Imagine a student being in the country for 3 years.

I have seen students crying at the check-out point, they keep their passport until the have the money to pay. Please, Please Write an article on

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Jrmarcellus says...

La souffrance, quand elle est perpétuelle, elle pèse sur la tête des gens comme l'épée de Damoclès et laisse a l à bouche un gout de mort. Cette réflexion me revient quand je pense à certains haïtiens qui vivent en république Dominicaine.

A le croire ou a le penser, dans cette république de Trujillo, la condition de vie des braseros est loin d'être une vie de chien comparativement à celle de certains enfants de 7 à 12 ans qui n'ont jamais été à l'école et qui sont obliges de travailler comme cireurs de bottes pour aider les autres membres de leur famille pour trouver le pain de chaque jour. Ce sont des choses que j'ai vues et la mémoire de mes larmes s'en souvient encore.

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