Friday, January 10, 2014

Haiti, Dominican Republic meet to discuss disputes

The Associated Press reports that Haitian and Dominican officials met earlier this week to discuss differences. Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and several members of his cabinet met with Dominican officials in the Haitian border town of Ouanaminthe to discuss issues including commerce, migration, and security. The neighboring countries share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

Lamothe and Gustavo Montalvo, the Dominican president’s chief of staff, greeted each other and met. "[T]he meeting’s main focus, according to Haitian officials, is a September court ruling that threatens to revoke citizenship from people living in the Dominican Republic who are mostly of Haitian descent. They could be sent to Haiti even though they weren’t born there. Dominican authorities said last week that they only planned to discuss trade, the environment and security, and not the court ruling, which has been condemned by the United Nations, Caribbean leaders and human rights groups."

The Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court ruled that people born in the country after 1929 to foreigners living illegally in the country are not automatically granted citizenship. Human rights groups have decried the plan and the ruling, saying that an estimated 200,000 people could lose their citizenship, the majority of them of Haitian descent. 


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