Through a 2013 ruling that retroactively stripped Dominican citizenship from up to 200,000 people of Haitian descent, the Dominican Republic committed a major human rights violation. The United States is supporting that ongoing violation by continuing to provide D.R. with military assistance, personnel and border patrol agents. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the U.S. has supported human rights violations in D.R.: The U.S. supported dictator Rafael Trujillo, who murdered up to 30,000 Haitians in 1937. Will the U.S. do better this time around?
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It’s Really Happening: The Dominican Republic Is Deporting Its Haitian Residents.
This isn’t the first time the U.S. has stood by the Dominican Republic even as its government has violated the human rights of Haitians.
Javiera Alarcon, Foreign Policy in Focus
April 4, 2016
They called it the Parsley Massacre.
Directed by the ruthless Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, soldiers rounded up thousands of people along the Dominican Republic’s borderlands with Haiti, demanding that they identify a sprig of parsley. The story goes that when French- and Creole-speaking Haitians failed to mimic the Spanish pronunciation, perejil, they were murdered. Estimates of the number killed range as high as 20,000 to 30,000.
The 1937 massacre is a haunting flashpoint in a long tradition of anti-Haitian politics — anti-haitanismo — on the eastern half of the island shared by the two countries. Now there’s a different kind of test for Dominicans of Haitian descent. And the price for failure is deportation.
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