OECS Heads Pile on Pressure on the Dominican Republic over Planned Expulsion

Monday, June 29, 2015 3:30 PM - George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE'S, GRENADA, June 30, 2015 - GIS: OECS Heads on Monday, June 29th, expressed their concern with the expulsion of Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic, either through State-initiated actions or actions by private parties.

The Heads expressed consternation that among the thousands expelled or forced through private pressure to leave their homes in the DR were women and children.

“We have already spoken out forcefully from day one when we had the meeting in Cuba.

All the Caribbean countries spoke out strongly against the initiative by the Dominican Republic and the President was there,” said new OECS chairman Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

“In fact we were being advised then to cool it because things are going to work out and they are going to find an amicable solution. Well what we are finding out is that those who were advising us to cool it are now realizing that this may not have been the wisest decision”.

OECS Heads remain deeply concerned that the mass migration would lead to a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions in the Western Hemisphere's most vulnerable country – a country which historically paid a heavy price for the freedoms which today are enjoyed by many throughout the region.

The OECS' position would be based on a number of fundamental principles which include, among other things, a recommitment by the Dominican Republic that there would be no such deportation.

“Nothing has stopped the Dominican Republic in moving to do what we consider to be a highly unusual action in our community,” said Dr. Mitchell.

“At CARICOM level that would come up again and strong positions will be taken on a unified platforms on this”

The Heads underscored a willingness to assist the Dominican Republic, within the framework of the CARIFORUM Grouping, to identify a humanitarian approach to addressing this extremely serious matter.

The OECS Heads agreed to engage this issue at the upcoming CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Barbados in a few days (July 2nd-4th).

The agreement among the Heads took place in a caucus session during the 61st OECS Authority meeting, chaired by Grenada's Prime Minister, and held at the Radisson Grand Beach Resort in Grenada on Monday, June 29th.





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