Given that Haitian leaders are prone to sign international treaties without reading their contents, it is quite possible that Haiti’s past and present leadership never read the Charter of the United Nations. Or, given their indifference to the welfare of the country and its people, these leaders simply failed to consider the plight of Haitian expatriates living in the Dominican Republic. Though the differences between the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola predated the founding of the UN (1945), the organization could nonetheless be used to arbitrate some disputes that clearly violate the international laws, which it has been entrusted to uphold.
For the last 5 decades, the Dominican Republic (DR) has been at the forefront of the destabilization of Haiti by harboring terrorists and other dubious characters that intended to cause mayhem or destroy the constitutional order existing in its western neighbor. Periodically, the DR government rounds up thousands of Haitians, even those whose families have resided in that country for generations (Arrayanos), and illegally dumps them on the other side of its border. The most insulting aspect of this inhumane policy is that these Arrayanos are considered stateless citizens in the country of their birth (DR) while not having any connection to Haiti, their parents’ country of origins. Yet, the color of their skin is enough for successive DR governments to categorize them as Haitians who ought to be living on the other side of the DR border and that is Haiti.
On January 26, 2010, the DR amended its constitution to specifically deal with the issue of the Arrayanos whose existence within the country’s border is a threat to the nation’s twisted aspiration to live in a Haitian-free DR. The legislation redefines Dominican nationality and denies citizenship to children born on Dominican soil to immigrant parents residing illegally (read Haitians) in the country. Though a comprehensive study by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute established that 90% of the DR population has West African ancestry, these aspiring Caucasians steadfastly believe the presence of the Arrayanos will Africanize their country and deny them their rightful or, at the very least, an honorary place within the Caucasian world. The DR current president, Leonel Fernandez, unmistakably a Dominican of African ancestry, is one of them.
Pandering to the Neo-Duartianos, a self-hatred group that refuses to acknowledge the DR racial identity and consistently blames the Arrayanos and Haitian migrants for the Africanization of their country, Leonel Fernandez, through his anti-Haitianismo policies, proves no better than his lighter skinned predecessors. Self-hatred does not justify violating international laws ratified by the DR. The Arrayanos, by their numbers, (they comprise 5-15% of the DR population) ought to be recognized as a persecuted minority needing UN protection under international laws. To that end, the Haitian government should file a complaint before the relevant UN authorities calling on the DR to cease and desist from persecuting ethnic Haitians living in that country. Or, given that Haiti is an occupied country (2004-?) and its government currently hampered in its ability to speak or act on behalf of persecuted ethnic Haitians abroad, the UN should take the initiative of pressuring the DR to abide by the international conventions pertaining to the right and protection of minorities.
The 1929 Borno-Vasquez accord delimiting the present border between Haiti and the DR, which already claimed thousands of innocent Haitian lives, needs to be revisited in order to avert a catastrophe of biblical proportion in the region. Long term strategic considerations and “a responsibility to protect” a persecuted minority demand a UN arbitration of the thorny dispute. The UN involvement will no doubt preserve peace and stability in the Caribbean region, given that the Arrayanos, as a persecuted minority, have an inalienable right to protect and defend their existence by any means they see fit. The Haitian Diaspora, albeit dysfunctional, will see to it that they receive moral, political and material support to that end.
Twenty-two months ago, I wrote an article on the subject (Haiti and DR relations in perspectives) and, true to form, received a scathing rebuke from a Mr. Nessimo Valdez, a Neo-Duartiano, who accused me of anti-Dominicanism, when my evidence was and is still rooted in verifiable historical facts. Unable to refute the irrefutable, Mr. Valdez launched into a tirade that included comparing Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806), the founding father of Haiti, with Adolf Hitler (1889-1945); questioning the existence of Haiti as a nation and pledging to, one day, hold people like me accountable for promoting anti-Dominican hatred. This mass hysteria (anti-haitianismo) in the DR, the result of misplaced or conscious racial mis-identification, must not be ignored. It could induce another genocide, like the one unleashed by Rafael L. Trujillo in 1937, seeing that the Neo-Duartianos are emphatic about living in the DR-free Haitian.
Once a nation allows itself to be victimized, the most it would get from the perpetrator is empty promises or an apology. Although Haiti has been victimized throughout its existence, she never received an apology from its tormentors, which explains the Neo-Duartianos’ astonishing claim that the 1937 genocide never happened. The international community, through its actions (destabilization and occupation of Haiti) and inaction (silence over the disenfranchising of the Arrayanos) is acting as the enabler of the Neo-Duartianos’ abnormal aspirations. The Holocaust started with the Germans’ falsely blaming the Jews for their torments. Right in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, history is being repeated.
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