BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has joined other regional heads in condemning a recent ruling by the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court that denies citizenship to persons born in the Dominican Republic, who are of Haitian descent.
During a lecture delivered at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, Anthony referred to the ruling as a “most callous and insensitive invective of people based on their ancestry.”
Anthony further stated, “It can never be right that persons who are born in a country can be denied the right of citizenship within that same country. What this September 23rd ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court has effectively done is to banish hundreds of thousands of persons who were born on Dominican soil and to relegate them to a stateless existence. Many of these people speak Spanish, not Haitian Creole.
“These barriers to people cause only harm, only discord and only perpetuate division. They cannot in any way be a step towards integrating the Caribbean as a community.”
Since the September 23, 2013 ruling, many regional and international organizations have expressed concerns about the effects of the implementation of such a ruling.
It is estimated that some 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent who were legally considered Dominican and contributed, as citizens of the Dominican Republic, to the growth and development of their society, economy and politics, would be rendered stateless.