Local February 26, 2015 | 7:57 am

Attack on consulate stuns Dominican Republic-Haiti ties

Santo Domingo.- The government of the Dominican Republic last night protested the attack on the Dominican Consulate in Haiti Wednesday which according to local media were thousands of people who marched to protest alleged Dominican racism.

The diplomatic crisis caps two weeks of incidents in the wake of the death of a Haitian national found hanged in a park in Santiago, the country’s second biggest city

In a press conference called in haste, Dominican Foreign minister Andrés Navarro said the country cannot accept the attacks on its consulate. "A group of people not only threw stones at the facilities of our consulate, but also broke into the interior of the property, and dared to take down the Dominican flag from its pole and tried to mutilate and burn it."

He noted that while the Haitian government didn’t sponsor the assault, it should take clear steps to halt to the violence against Dominicans interests in Haiti.

Navarro said the Dominican government has been cautious and patient in its response to such violence.

The official warned Haiti’s authorities however that patience has its limit, "and we have proven to the world that we’ve made the greatest efforts to maintain a healthy, productive, respectful relationship with the Haitian government.”

Pulls Ambassador

Navarro said the Dominican government has called its envoy in Port au Prince for consultation and issued a diplomatic note of protest over yesterday’s violence.

He said Dominican Republic has been subjected to an international campaign, accusing it of racism, in contrast to the solidarity shown by the government and the Dominican people toward Haiti.

Rebuffs racism

Navarro called the crimes in the country in recent days including the murder of two Haitian nationals, and the burglary at the residence of Haiti ambassador Fritz Cineas isolated facts, to which Dominican authorities gave a resounding and swift response, and in no way stems from official policy of the Dominican government, for which "it’s unacceptable to accuse the country of racism and xenophobia against the neighboring nation."

The official’s statements respond to a letter of protest to a missive from his Haitian counterpart Pierre Duly Brutus, accusing Dominican Republic of fostering racist policies.

Haiti fires Ambassador

Just hours after Navarro’s statement, Haiti envoy Fritz Cineas was removed from the post and replaced with Daniel Supplice, an announcement that comes one day after a group of Haitians staged a protest in Haiti’s Embassy demanding faster access to documents to qualify for Dominican residency.

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