‘Engage Dominican Republic with Diplomacy’ – Bartlett

Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ed Bartlett, is urging CARICOM to leverage its diplomatic clout as it engages the Dominican Republic about the controversial deportation policy.

The policy has effectively rendered hundreds of thousands of Dominican-Haitians stateless.

Mr. Bartlett’s comments follow an ultimatum issued by Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator AJ Nicholson last week.

Senator Nicholson says Jamaica will not support the bid by the Dominican Republic to join CARICOM, if it fails to uphold the human rights of those persons it is looking to evict from the country.

The Opposition Spokesman says he’s unconvinced that an overly bullish or hardline position represents the best approach to resolving the matter.

Mr. Bartlett says diplomacy should be the first resort before any other measure is contemplated.

He says the region should mobilize support from the United Nations to resolve the dispute, because CARICOM is not in a position to impose an ultimatum on the government in the Dominican Republic.