Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Letter of the Day | Cancel Dom Rep trade seminar

Published:Monday | November 27, 2017 | 12:00 AM

An open letter to the BIDC.

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It has recently been drawn to the attention of the officers and members of the Clement Payne Movement that on Monday, November 27, 2017, our state-owned Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) will be hosting a trade seminar titled 'Doing Business in the Dominican Republic', devoted to encouraging Barbadian trade with and investment in the Dominican Republic.

Furthermore, it is our understanding that this trade seminar is scheduled to be held at BIDC headquarters in Bridgetown and is expected to feature trade specialists from the Dominican Republic.

The Clement Payne Movement is totally opposed to the BIDC hosting any such trade seminar on behalf of the Dominican Republic, and is calling upon the BIDC to immediately cancel the said seminar.

Indeed, we wish to remind the BIDC that the government of the Dominican Republic is currently engaged in a racist anti-black mass deportation programme against hundreds of thousand of black Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, and that the political leadership of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has denounced this exercise as state-sponsored criminality.

In addition, several Caribbean civil society organisations, inclusive of the Caribbean Pan-African Network and our Clement Payne Movement of Barbados, have issued calls for a Caribbean-wide boycott of the Dominican Republic as a punitive strategy to bring home to the government of the Dominican Republic that the governments and people of CARICOM will not tolerate any manifestation of anti-black or anti-African racism and discrimination.

The time has come for us to say enough is enough. The people of Haiti have suffered oppression and discrimination for far too long.

We have also had too many centuries and too many manifestations of anti-black racism. It must all stop now. Let us do what is necessary in this case to demonstrate an attitude of zero tolerance of all manifestations of anti-black racism.

David Comissiong

President

clementpaynechambers@gmail.com