EDITORIAL: Racial Cleansing In The DR: A Denial of Haitian Influence


By Vania Andre

The key thing to remember about the ethnic cleansing taking place in the Dominican Republic is that we are all immigrants of some nation.

This is not a Haiti / Dominican immigration issue. This is a basic human rights issue. The men and women targeted and affected by this are the descendants of immigrants. Who among us here are not?

This is an issue that should concern us all because if any other country adopted this policy we would all be at risk of deportation. Arbitrarily changing a requirement for nationalization in a retrograde fashion is immoral and illegal. In fact, last November the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR ) formally condemned the decision of the Dominican court, after ruling that children do not inherit the legal status of their parents.

The Dominican government decided to remove itself from the jurisdiction of the commission, after they were found guilty on four separate occasions of violating human rights.

Regardless of their decision to disassociate with the commission in order to abide by their own defective laws, the world simply does not operate like that. Their voluntary withdrawal from the IACHR, does not save them from condemnation and judgment because they believe these laws do not apply to them.

The effect of the Dominican court’s ruling is long reaching and powerful. They are attempting to erase a part of their culture and history.

Haitian culture is a part of the fabric that makes up what Dominican customs and traditions look like. The powers that be in the Dominican Republic that are at the root of this, are attempting to unthread Haiti’s intertwined history and influence that is woven into the fabric of Dominican culture and physical make up of its people.

This act is trying to erase the black blood that comes with being Dominican.

I suppose, to them, ridding the country of Dominico-Haitians would remove an obvious reminder of the two countries shared lineage. And then, perhaps, in true historical fashion, the winners will write history, and erase any trace or mention of Haitian contribution or influence; and what can’t be erased, will be relabeled to fit inline with the story.

The Dominican government is and always has been, trying to “whiten” the country.

“Blanqueamiento” or “whitening” is a social and political policy that was popular among many post-colonial countries, including the Dominican Republic. This ideology promotes the diluting of black blood by introducing and propping up immigration from European countries; while simultaneously driving out blacks, and encouraging the races mix, in the hopes blacks will disappear from the population.

Dominican Dictator Rafael Trujillo

Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo massacred thousands of Black Dominicans and Haitians, while enacting an open door immigration policy for Europeans, all in the hopes of “advancing the race.”

What’s the most disheartening for me is the confusion I and others in the Haitian Diaspora are at this antihaitianismo in the Dominican Republic and systematic suppression of Haiti’s influence. We look at Dominicans as our brothers and sisters.

We are a global race. All of our cultures and histories are intertwined with the remnants of the past that are seen in the present make up of a country.

What If all countries adopted this policy? What situation would we find the children of ancestors in? Where would Americans, living in the land of immigrants be?

This issue is more about denying Haitian common ties to the Dominican Republic, than it is about immigration. If the Dominican government is looking to rid the country of true foreign influence, they should turn their attention to the U.S. Their past presence and current influence on the island is like a silent plague; swift moving with its reach expansive and deadly for the countries’ inhabitants.

What we should all be alarmed by in this situation is how easily if allowed to persist; this ideology can affect us all. There are very few of us who do not have a connection to the multifaceted immigrant experience.

Vania André
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Vania André

Editor in chief, Haitian Times.
Experienced communications professional with a demonstrated history of working in public relations, communications and journalism. Skilled in public relations, digital communications, and editorial management.

Vania André
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July 3, 2015

5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “EDITORIAL: Racial Cleansing In The DR: A Denial of Haitian Influence”

  1. Red Robin says:

    Mrs. André,

    Please, stop deceiving your readers. In Haiti the nationality is not acquired or determined by the place of birth. It is inherited/passed from the Haitian parents directly to their offspring (“jus sanguini”). The issue here is that Haiti wants to offload their poor into DR. The Dominican court established that the word “in-transit” included those illegally residing in DR. Naturalization Law 169-14 established that anyone that could have been affected by the court decision, and were registered in our civil registries, had a cedula and/or a birth certificate. Is still Dominican. Those that were not registered, had a change to voice their claim. So if you were not in any civil registry and don´t have any documents to prove you are Dominican, then what do you expect the DR to do?

    The expectation seems to be that, although every country is entitled to deport those illegally in their soil, in Dominican Republic all Haitian immigrant seem to be all legal immigrants or are Dominican of Haitian descent! Therefore, no deportations can take place.

    The interesting part is that all this time, all the energy from all this NGOś have been to prevent the deportations, instead of helping out anyone that may fall through the cracks. Even the Haitian government, made it difficult for those trying to get a work visa, to get their passport and Haitian IDś. Again, the expectation is that DR, will simply ignore this as well and not deport anyone.

    Dominican Rep. is not the solution to Haiti´s economic and political failures.

    • Haitian Times Haitian Times says:

      There is no deception here. Everything you’ve outlined is nothing new to me or our readers. That still does not change how inherently wrong this decision is. You fail to acknowledge that for many Dominico-Haitians who have attempted to register, they have been blocked by DR officials who have denied their paperwork or destroyed birth certificates to prevent them from registering. You are comparing apples and oranges. How do you account for a child who was born in DR, parents were born in DR and grandparents were born in the DR? This is unloading Haiti’s problems onto DR? Seems like very faulty reasoning to me. If that’s the case, DR needs to round up its Diaspora and bring back to their island. You assume that those who see the grave error in this are unable to make a distinction between illegal migrants in a country and those who are entitled to nationality of their country of birth. It’s insulting, condescending and shows more your ignorance / prejudice than anything.

      Pointing out a wrong in one area does not mean there’s absolution for what’s not mentioned. Your arguements are distractions from the point of my article. However, I don’t fault you; it’s expected.

      Thank you for your comments.

      • Red Robin says:

        Mrs. André,

        It may be true that some Dominican officials did destroyed some documents and committed some of the alleged acts you described. Each individual case, should be/should have been investigated. However, lets not forget that identity fraud and forge documents are a real issue as well. Do you remember Mr. William Medina (aka Jean Winet)? He declared in front of the IACHR that he was stripped of his Dominican citizenship, when he was blatantly was committing identity fraud, and nevertheless that decided at the time not to throw away that testimony. There is plenty of fault and wrongs to go around. However, it seems that the ‘narrative’ is better served, when only one side of the story is told.

        To better put things into context, daily, many Haitian citizens cross illegally the porous border with DR, to get some basic public services like education and health for free. In 2013, it was reported that at the maternity ‘Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia’, 24 out of 100 births, are from Haitian mothers. Of those, 78% have no identifications of any kind. None! With education, it is the same story. Yes! This is the kind of burden that the Haitian government and diaspora conveniently ignores and Dominican Rep expected to deal with.

        I will keep this one short. I thank you for your previous reply.

  2. Roberto Ortiz says:

    When is the haitian government going to help its citizens in the Dom Rep get their birth papers at a reasonable cost in order to legalize their stay in the Dom Rep.?Instead of takingup some responsability to help ease the way of its citizens,the Haitian government is making money out of the suffering of its own poor citizens working in the eastern part of the island.I have witnessed riots asin front of its consulate as a result of the bad and inconsiderate treatment that its consulate gives to its own people in Santo Domingo. Remember,the dominican government have the full support in this matter and if you guys donot waake up and help clarify this matter,you soon will experience the results.

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