International

Dominicans propose closing already closed border with Haiti

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (defend.ht) - The leader of the National Progressive Force (FNP) political party in the Dominican Republic suggested to Dominican President Danilo Medina that he should close the border with Haiti and increase immigration control.

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (defend.ht) - The leader of the National Progressive Force (FNP) political party in the Dominican Republic suggested to Dominican President Danilo Medina that he should close the border with Haiti and increase immigration control.

It deserves to be recalled that the Dominican Republic does not have an open-border policy or a reasonable path to citizenship with its island-sharing neighbor state Haiti.

Vinicio Castillo of the FNP told D.R. President Medina that this response would be in the same measure to Haitian authorities, who place a ban on the importation and sale of eggs and chickens from the Dominican Republic "...without explanation," according to Casillo who spoke in El Caribe .

"The President and the Dominican government was more prudent and cautious when he sent a high-level commission to Haiti, trying to make the problem resolved. But, the treatment and the ratification of the ban, without an explanation to support it, is a clear act of hostility which merits a firm and forceful response from the government," said Castillo.

Castillo said that "immense" damage had been done to the international image of the Dominican Republic. "It spread news that the ban was motivated by the existence of bird flu, which was ruled innacurate by international health authorities," recalled Castillo.

The Dominican right-wing politician said the situation with the tourism sector for D.R. could be affected because it is "an unusual fact that Haiti, the Latin American country with the highest rates of health problems," could take such measures supposedly to prevent virus transmission as avian flu.

"The Haitian government hostility is clear. Despite the recent visit of our President Danilo Medina last week to Haiti, he was not told anything about that 48 hours later there would be a ban on the importation of poultry and eggs from the Dominican Republic," concluded Castillo.

Casillo leads the sixth ranked political parties in the Dominican Republic. His party, the FPN, only won one seat in the 2010 legislative elections which was in the Distrito Nacional, where this past weekend a violent expulsion of Haitians took place.

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