PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, July 24,2015 (AMG) – A group of prominent organisations in Guadeloupe has issued a statement urging Guadeloupeans to boycott products from the Dominican Republic. The campaign is in response to the Dominican Republic’s plan to deport en masse Dominicans of Haitian descent, many of whom have never lived in Haiti.
Leaders in the Haitian diaspora have been calling for a boycott of the Dominican Republic ever since the 2013 court ruling that retroactively stripped as many as several hundred thousand Haitian-Dominicans of their citizenship. Calls for a boycott of Dominican imports have been growing in Haiti since the beginning of the year, gaining increased momentum in February when a Haitian shoe shiner was lynched in Santiago.
When international media put a spotlight on the looming deportations the DR planned to begin in June, an international campaign to boycott tourism in the Dominican Republic gained steam on social media, using the hashtag #BoycottDR.
The Guadeloupean coalition now joins the list of groups calling for a boycott. The group, which calls itself the Collective for the Respect of Human Rights in the Dominican Republic, includes among others: one of the country’s prominent labour unions, several human rights organisations, and the Guadeloupe section of Amnesty International.
The Collective’s statement declares: “No Caribbean people can rest indifferent to this situation. If this denationalisation is effective, other countries of the world will follow in its steps.”
It remains unclear if the pressure from boycotts will have any impact on Dominican politics. The DR government reports that, 40,000 people have ‘voluntarily’ left the country in recent months, a dubious characterisation, given the climate of fear that has been created by the Court’s ruling and the militarisation of the government’s deportation programme.