Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Dom Rep outrage rests on principle

Published:Tuesday | December 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I strongly the believe the Government of Jamaica is missing the entire point with regard to the visit of the president of Dominican Republic to Jamaica.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith said, in the Senate last Friday, said that the Jamaican Government had consulted with the government of Haiti prior to the Dom Rep state visit. No reasonable Jamaican, or even Haitian, would have a problem with only a visit to forge economic and other relationships. Many Jamaicans hate the current US president, Donald Trump, but I strongly believe they wouldn't have a problem with him coming to Jamaica or Prime Minister Andrew Holness visiting the White House. The problem many of us Jamaicans have is with the GOJ honoring any president of Dominican Republic.

Every country has the right to protect its borderfrom illegal entry but we should respect the human rights of even aliens. Therefore, this has nothing to do with Haiti being a black or poor nation. When Haitians enter Jamaica illegally, both the People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party administrations deport those illegal immigrants.

One should note that our a beloved Cuban nation started the mass deportation of Haitians in 1937. Haitians thereafter chose Dominican Republic as their new home.

The Dominican Republic's highest court in 2013 ruled that Dominicans born of Haitian descent from 1929 were not entitled citizenship. Approximatetely 210,000 Domincan mewith Haitian descent were made stateless.

I'm a immigration hard-liner. That's why Trump's 'build a wall' is understandable.

But this ruling by the court is cruelty! Why should descendants suffer because of their ancestors ? I've seen where some of our Caribbean neighbours are urging the Dom Rep government to use their conscience and humanity by giving Dominican-Haitian born citizens . Jamaica should've been leading those cries .

This is another simple mistake by the Government of Jamaica. Earlier this year (May), Prime Minister Andrew Holness made a state visit to Dominican Republic. So President Danilo Medina returned the courtesy by visiting us.

The question we should ask ourselves is, was Andrew Holness honoured in the Dominican Republic ? No, he was honoured here after he had honoured Medina .

TEDDYLEE GRAY

teddylee.gray@gmail.com