Dominican Republic Recalls Ambassador to Haiti

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Above: Dominican Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Trullols and Haiti Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Fritz Cineas (Photo: OPDR)

By Alexander Britell

The Dominican Republic has recalled its Ambassador to Haiti, Ruben Silie, for “consultation,” the government announced Wednesday night.

In a release issued by the government, the Dominican Republic revealed that it had recalled Silie, citing “the actions of the authorities” in Haiti, which it accused of violating a joint statement signed by both parties last week.

That statement was part of an attempt to resolve a quickly-escalating dispute over the controversial Constitutional Court decision in the Dominican Republic in September, a ruling that could deprive hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship.

The “violation” appears to be related to Haiti’s presence at high-level CARICOM talks in Port of Spain on Tuesday which discussed the court’s decision.

Following that meeting, attended by Haiti President Michel Martelly, the Caribbean Community announced that it would be suspending its review of the Dominican Republic’s bid for membership in the regional body.

“At the meeting of CARICOM held Tuesday in Trinidad and Tobago, Haitian authorities showed a clear violation of the Joint Statement, so we are obliged to call for consultation our ambassador in Haiti to address this issue with the due care it deserves,” Acting Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Trullols said in a statement.

The diplomatic mission in Haiti will provisionally be led by Minister Counselor Pastor Vasquez as Charge d’Affaires, the Dominican Republic said.

The country said it had verbally notified the Foreign Ministry in Port-au-Prince of the decision.

Trullols met Wednesday afternoon with Haiti Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Fritz Cineas, in an emergency meeting at the Foreign Ministry to express what he called the Dominican Republic’s “displeasure” with the developments.

Cineas himself was recalled by Haiti shortly after the Constitutional Court’s decision earlier this fall.

Earlier Wednesday, the Dominican Republic announced it would be backing out of talks with Haiti scheduled for this weekend in Caracas, also citing what it saw as a breach of the Joint Statement by Haiti.

The Dominican Republic stressed that it was working to find a solution to the judicial decision, which has been heavily criticized internationally.

“The President [Danilo Medina] has consistently said that our government strongly respects the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in particular with regard to human rights and fundamental freedoms, as essential components of democracy,” Trullols said.

 

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