Local October 20, 2014 | 5:33 pm

Homage to Haitian war criminal prompts apology to Dominicans

Santo Domingo.- An umbrella group of Haiti organizations on Monday apologized for the tribute canceled last Saturday at the Santo Domingo State University (UASD) to the late Haiti president Jean Jacques Dessalines, which they said was intended solely to learn about the life of one of Haiti’s anti-slavery heroes, but in no way to hurt Dominicans’ "historical memory."

"We the members of the Fedayodeh-RD (Federation of Haitian Associations and Organizations in Dominican Republic) reiterate that we are peace loving friends of the Dominican people, from whom we’ve received great examples of solidarity and of brotherhood," they said in a statement.

They reiterated that their only interest is to promote friendly relations between Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The organization said they’ve been contributing with the Haitians who live and work here and who can’t get their documents and regularize their immigration status.

The said they and many Haitian intellectuals celebrated Juan Pablo Duarte’s birthday in the Dominican Embassy in Port-au-Prince on January 26.

Fedayodeh-RD added that some mayors and political leaders as well as groups of Haitian artists were to attend the ceremony in the UASD last week, “in a clear attitude of respect for the Dominican people, for their heroes, its history and its legitimate sovereignty, the result of great struggles.”

Dominicans consider Dessalines a mass murderer for the historic genocide “Deguello de Moca,” the central city were he ordered the decapitation and impalement of women and children during his force retreat back to Haiti.

History nearly repeated itself when Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered the murder of thousands of Haitians along the border.

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