News Americas, SANTO DOMINGO, D.R., Thurs. June 25, 2015: Dominican Republic-born Major League Baseball players are being urged to defend their country of birth from accusations of racism.
The call comes from Vinicio Castillo, a deputy of the minority conservative party FNP, on the heels of the laws that will see thousands of Haitians deported from the Dominican Republic.
Castillo, who has been a political advisor to several presidents including current President Danilo Medina and was ousted by a prostitute in 2013 who claimed he had sex parties and indicted Senator Bob Menendez was present as well, insists that reports of ethnic cleansing and xenophobia towards Haitians are ‘blatant’ lies voiced by personalities from the US and other countries, according to Dominican Today.
Castillo urged DR-born MLB baseball players to “do a spot together defending their country against the people from the United States and the world, rebuking that we are a racist or xenophobic country and stress the solidarity and generosity of our people toward the Haitians.”
There are over 120 current DR-born players in the MLB and many more with roots in the Caribbean country. They include the Red Sox’s David Ortiz, New York Mets’ Jose Reyes and Kansas City Royals Miguel Tejada.
The end of the DR government’s immigration legalization program and the plan to deport many Haitians and DR nationals of Haitian descent has sparked fierce criticism with some suggesting a boycott of the country’s thriving tourism.
Castillo, according to the Dominican Today, said baseball players “would be the best way to reach hundreds of millions of citizens in the world with a valuable testimony at a time when the country most needs them.”
His call come as the Dominican General Directorate of Immigration (DGM) reported that since June 18th, a day after the end of the National Plan for Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE), 12,165 people had returned voluntarily to Haiti.
Meanwhile, days after the end of the Plan for Regularization, CARICOM has finally called on the Dominican Republic’s government to halt any deportations to avoid a grave “humanitarian crisis” in the region.
“The Community calls on the Dominican Republic authorities” to adhere to the principles of protection of citizenship to Dominicans of Haitian descent, adding that those “persons shall not be rendered stateless,” CARICOM said in a statement this week.
The Dominican Republic is not a member of CARICOM although it has applied for membership. Haiti is one of the 15 members. The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, with Haiti located in the western portion.