November 19, 2013

Despite hate mail, PM firm on stance against Dominican Republic

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves will not be deterred from calling for the Dominican Republic to be barred from a number of regional organizations, even though he has been receiving hate mail because of his stance.{{more}}

Gonsalves, speaking at a press conference yesterday at Cabinet Room, said that he will continue to lobby for the rights of Haitians born in the Dominican Republic, despite ridicule from some persons.

“I am getting on my email lots of abusive stuff you know, but that doesn’t faze me, it only makes me stronger, because I know that on this issue, I am on the side of the angels. Who want to take the side of the devil can take it and cuss me. I am too long in this business to be worried about that.

“I know equally there are millions of people worldwide who are supporting the stance that the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the prime minister have taken.

“My ambassador in Washington called me yesterday evening to tell me that our embassy is flooded with commendations and praise from people in the United States of America about the stance we have taken.

“I have received them here too on my email. Of course I report equally to you that I’ve gotten some emails from people in the Dominican Republic cussing me.

The Prime Minister said that he is seeking to have the Spanish speaking nation, which shares an island with its French speaking Haitian counterpart to the west, suspended from a number of regional and international organizations.

“First of all, the Dominican Republic can’t come in CARICOM until this matter is settled, because the rules are once one country says no, that is the end of that, and this country says no. That’s clear, full stop. Exclamation mark!

“Secondly, I am calling for the Dominican Republic to be suspended from CARIFORUM.

“They have a lot of benefits to get out of their links with Europe, and certainly CARIFORUM.

“I have spoken to the Venezuelans. I wrote a letter to president Maduro asking that he give consideration to suspend the Dominican Republic from benefits under the Petrocaribe agreement…. I asked Camillo [Gonsalves, Minister of Foreign Affairs] to contact the Cuban Ambassador on this matter is because Cuba is currently the chair of CELAC of which the Dominican Republic is part.

“CELAC has to say something in the same way CARICOM has said something,” the prime minister stated.

Speaking passionately on the subject, Gonsalves said that the Danilo Medino led country is in flagrant violation of the human rights of persons on the basis of their national origin and ethnicity.

He also said that he would continue to maintain his position unless the Domincan Republic intends to make changes.

“In this Caribbean in our 21st century, you have people being discriminated based on the origins of their ancestors and their ethnicity and this component of our Caribbean civilization. St Vincent and the Grenadines will stand askance from that? No, no, no, no. You can say what you want about me, cuss me as much as you want, but there is no way that anybody can tell me that that is permissible on the grounds of sovereignty or internal affairs.

“Unless the Dominican Republic can give us a credible plan within the shortest possible time to correct in whatever legal form this dastardly ruling of their constitutional court, I will continue to maintain the positions which I am maintaining.”(JJ)