Local March 1, 2013 | 9:40 am

Contrary to popular belief, Founding Father admired the Haitian people

Port-au-Prince.- Dominican Republic Founding Father Juan Pablo Duarte always considered the Haitian people "friendly and admirable" and shared their vision of nationalism, far from the anti-Haitianism practiced by pro colonial oligarchies

The statement by Dominican Ambassador to Haiti Ruben Silie came during the celebration marking the 169 years since Independence and Duarte’s 200th birthday, as part of the activities in the Embassy in Port au Prince.

Quoted by listin.com.do, Silie said the separatist movement led by Duarte was driven by the Dominicans’ strong nationalism and not by a rejection of the Haitian people. “In his documents Duarte doesn’t convey any negative feeling toward the people with whom he lived since the age of nine.”

"Duarte knew to differentiate very clearly the patriotic feelings of a people who for 22 years of unification never relinquished their cultural identity and maintained an attachment to the political traits it historically had forged for centuries," the ambassador said.

"The new historical focus shows us that the ideals of the father of the nation were forged positively, demanding the freedom and independence that belonged to us as a nation, without detriment of the Haitian people," Silie said.

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