Santo Domingo.- The president of the Fuerza del Pueblo (FP) party, Leonel Fernández, rejected that the country accept the installation of camps for Haitian refugees, after assuring that this would be the disintegration of the nation and the dissolution of Dominicanness.
Fernández, who was three times Dominican president, maintained that all national sectors, through newspaper and radio editorials, comments from all political parties, “everyone has unanimously said in the Dominican Republic we cannot accept that, because it would be looking towards the future the disintegration of the Dominican Republic, the dissolution of Dominicanness, and simply, it is a problem of survival”.
Speaking on the program “El Plato del Día”, which is broadcast on CDN Radio, he referred extensively to the situation of Haitian citizens, who flee their country, due to the social, political and economic crisis that country is suffering.
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“Haitians are going to different parts of the world, they are in the Bahamas, they are in the Yucatan, in Mexico, they are in Chile, to Cuba, everywhere, but mainly to the Dominican Republic,” said the Dominican political leader, asking himself : “What are they doing in all those countries?”, responding that: “They return them”.
He recalled that when Haitians wanted to cross the Rio Grande, last year, and reach Texas, “we saw some horrific photos of police mounted on horses, with whips, like in colonial times and slavery, in the United States.”
He said that last week, a boat full of Haitians left for Florida, and when it was arriving in the Keys, the authorities turned it back.
“So, what’s going on?” asked the leader of the Dominican political opposition.
Fernández narrated that some NBC News journalists “accept, have access to a document of some meetings that took place in the White House with the Department of State, Department of Defense, security Departmenton the immigration issue and determined that they needed, let’s say, a third geographical location to place the refugees.
“They tried to do it in Cuba, in Guantanamo, it didn’t work. They did not say the Dominican Republic, but it is inferred, because there is pressure for us to receive it here. Well, and you see it, those who have come, from the United Nations, ask the Dominican Republic not to deport, and they no longer talk about deporting, they talk about forced return, it is no longer a right to deportation,” stressed the leader of the FP.
He added that “forced return and violation of human rights is because they want us to receive the Haitian population here, and that simply cannot be.”
In this sense, Fernández declared that, faced with this situation, it is not only the Dominican Government that has reacted, but also all of Dominican society, unanimously, has said that this cannot be done”.
He stressed that the country must do everything through diplomatic channels, correctly, “but that it be recognized and understood that the Dominican Republic cannot accede to these pressures,” referring to the installation of camps for Haitian refugees.