SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic (sentinel.ht) – A Dominican political leader is hoping to renew xenophobic resentment against Haitians in the Dominican Republic, claiming over the weekend that the United States would have a “well-defined plan” to merge the two countries.
In the more affluent city of Santiago, the leader of the National Progressive Party of Labor (NPF), Pelegrín Castillo, spoke to a small group of “a quiet invasion of Haitians”. Perhaps for political gain, he strongly criticized the Dominican government for its “tolerance” of migratory practices at the Haitian-Dominican border and then through the United States into the mix.
Mr. Castillo, a former candidate, defeated, for the Dominican presidency, said that “the United States has a well-defined plan to merge the Dominican Republic with Haiti.” The news reverberated across the Dominican media and Diaro Libre.
It is estimated that nearly a quarter-million Haitians have been deported from the Dominican Republic since 2015, many under irregular circumstances that defy international conventions on human rights. Furthermore, the Dominican Republic’s actions were met with striking passivity from the United States, under then-President Barack Obama. As well, U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned on strict border control and even, at one point, seemed to support removing birth-right citizenship in the United States.
None the less, this did not stop the head of the Progressive National Labor Party (FNP), Mr. Castillo, from expressing his firm convictions. “What we have denounced for many years and the events that are happening now gives us the reason and we want to warn that there are many officials who are committed to the US plan,” Castillo said in Santiago.
The harsh positions of Pelegrín Castillo, a former member of Congress, are the expression of his nationalist and anti-Haitianist ideology. He said that the National Regularization Plan has not been executed in an organized and serious way because, according to him, thousands of Haitian citizens circumvent measures instituted and are currently circulating in the country illegally and irregularly. He regrets that the Dominican government does not have control over the migration situation at the border with Haiti. He accuses the soldiers of the Dominican army of corrupt for having let hundreds of illegal Haitians pass to the border.
“But not only are there human trafficking at the border, but we also pass weapons, drugs, goods and vehicles and other things,” Castillo said.
In the newspaper Haiti Libre, Jean Tholbert Alexis the Minister Counselor in charge of the Consulate of Haiti in the province of Altagracia, denies Mr. Castillo. The former president of the Chamber of Deputies “assured that there was no plan or intention, current or future, aimed at any merger between the two nations, contrary to rumors circulated as part of a propaganda campaign Hate on social networks. “