Furor over CARICOM's Delayed Response to Constitutional Court Ruling

The Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Court's (CC) ruling, denying citizenship rights to Haitian-Dominican citizens is coming from one government official in the Caribbean region. But the anger is not directed so much at the DR as it is at CARICOM, a regional body advancing and protecting Caribbean nations' interests. Dr. Timothy Harris, an MP representing St. Kitts and Nevis, charges CARICOM with dragging its feet on the ultimate effect of denying citizenship status to descendents of Haitian migrants, deportation.


Although CARICOM is reluctantly taking a position on the matter , that's not good enough for Harris, who claims, "CARICOM is losing its vitality . . . (in) "matters of governance" . . . (and) "is being undermined . . ." Harris adds ex-Jamaican Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, had to apply pressure to get CARICOM to respond to the issue.

And Harris has a valid point when he says CARICOM must develop a policy to address issues affecting CARICOM member states, of which Haiti is a member. Haiti would be receiving thousands of deportees, seeking citizenship there. Its citizenship policies are Byzantine, and would leave migrant Haitians stateless.

But Albert Ramdin, Organization of American States Secretary General, defends CARICOM, stating it is playing a pivotal part "to get the statelessness issue resolved."

Nations in the region are casting a critical eye on the CC ruling, which is a disguised effort to rid the DR of residents not of pure Dominica blood.

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Read more: Dominican Republic, CARICOM, Dominican Court Ruling, International

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