D.R. Presidential Election Heats Up on Relations with Haiti
- Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:25 PM
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (defend.ht) - The 2012 Dominican Presidential Candidates, Danilo Medina and Pelegrin Castillo differ in positions with respect to relations with Haiti.
Candidate Danilo Medina told attendees at a rally on Monday that he would strengthen trade relations with Haiti if he is elected to the presidency. Medina said that he hopes to expand the border market in Haiti to more than 5 million consumers and that he believes the move will encourage industrialists, farmers and traders to invest in the region which would also increase employment.
In the south of the country, Medina promised an increase in social programs to help the thousands of families affected by floods caused by the overflow of Lake Azuei (brackish ponds) an area that lies between the Haitian and Dominican border.
Candidate Pelegrin Castillo, said the issue of relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is not a problem of migration, social problems or human rights, but an international problem. He said that he has been speaking to Dominican politicians to change their approach on migration issues.
Referring to recent statements by United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton who called for the rights of Haitian migrants, Casillo said:
"I told Clinton that this position is unacceptable. What we are not faced with is a problem migration, we do not face a problem of human rights. Rather, we are facing a serious international problem caused by the collapse of the Haitian state..."
Casillo said that the U.S. government knows that Haiti has been a failed state for some time and has not made â€‹â€‹the effort to rebuild it. "Every day, new immigrants arrive in this country," Castillo complained.
Voters in the Dominican Republic will vote for their new president on May 2012. 10 percent, or 900,000 Haitians live in D.R.
Related 10.06.2011: U.S. State Dept Official: "Haiti Should Concentrate on Police, Not Army"
Related 09.19.2011: Haitian and Dominican Police Officers Meet for Cooperation
Related 07.26.2011: D.R. Judge Finds Haitian Children Born in D.R. are Dominican
Related 07.16.2011: Dominican President Rejects U.S. Assistance to Fight Crime, Opting for Loans Instead