Local July 8, 2015 | 5:36 pm

Dominican Republic, Haiti escalate war of words

Washington.- In an escalating war of words with repercussionson the island of Hispaniola where around 20 million people call home, the Governmentof the Dominican Republic on Wed. accused Haiti of

Dominican envoy to the OAS, Pedro Verges said the HaitianGovernment’s criticism of the Dominican Republic’s program to regularize foreignersaims to focus attention away from Haiti’s problems with its current electoralprocess.

He said the latest hurdle which Port-au-Prince seeks touse against Dominican Republic’s right to its sovereignty is to instill theterror of an alleged humanitarian crisis that would emerge upon by receiving itsnationals once the regularization program concludes. "It’s the first timewe hear of a country that it has nationals to spare in their territory. Make nomistake."

After listening to Haitian Foreign minister LenerRenauld, and the position of various countries who spoke during the session,most of which support Haiti and requested a protocol that respects humanrights, Verges reiterated the Dominican position.

He said for too long many states, especially in theregion, have used policies whose proponents never carry out in their countries."Needless to say we’re not a perfect society, but those who criticize us aren’teither, and while we share some of the same shortcomings, irresponsibility isnot one of them…hypocrisy and shamelessness are evident in many cases."

He said the Government of Haiti, through its ForeignMinister, accommodates the inner reality and distorts it. "In the DominicanRepublic there’s not statelessness, there has been no deportations since November2013."

Verges said the Haitian government failed to document itsnationals, a process which had international support, and has been supported byprominent Haitians, including its ambassador in Dominican Republic. "Stillin the Dominican Republic we are waiting for the Haitian government to fulfillits promise."

Once the Dominican official concluded a visibly upset Renauldasked to speak, to accuse Dominican Republic of treating his nationals as outcasts."Why treat Haitians like a nation of pariahs? Their sense of history escapesthem?"

After Renauld affirmed that the Dominican ForeignMinister hindered the signing of a repatriation protocol, Verges again took thefloor and said the conflict entered a different phase at the special session, notingthat in a country where thousands of Haitians live, there’s no human conflictthat can create the status of pariah.

And while Verges reiterated Santo Domingo’s support forthe OAS mission slated to visit Dominican Republic and Haiti, he recalled theregional organization’s ‘traumatic’ intervention that crushed a nascentdemocracy.

"The OAS was dramaticallymistaken with the Dominican Republic once, so dramatically that it’s one of thegreat national traumas, when it supported sending tens of thousands of soldiersto prevent a legitimate democratic process. We would like that experience toserve so nothing similar ever happens again."

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