‘No Haitians Here!’ Mass Protest Breaks Out in Dom. Rep. amid U.N.-Led Refugee Camp

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(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Hundreds of citizens in the Dominican Republic took to the streets on Sunday to protest a United Nations-led immigrant shelter for Haitian nationals displaced due to gang control in its neighboring country. 

The march comes as the U.S. and other Caribbean countries raise the alarm about an impending mass wave of illegal immigration from Haiti. 

Led by the Antigua Orden Dominicana (Old Dominican Order), a paramilitary and pro-sovereignty group that seeks to uphold the founding principles of the Dominican Republic, the march gained momentum when it neared the headquarters of the United Nations.

“We don’t want Haitians here!” the group’s members chanted in Spanish. “They must remain in their country and we will remain here.”

At the United Nations headquarters, federal army forces barricaded the front, shielding it from protesters, all the while the protesters played the Dominican National Anthem outside. “Out with the UN! Out with the UN!” they chanted.

“This march is taking place in protest against the imposition of the UN in our country… which seeks to burden us with the responsibility of accommodating Haitians, all while their countries refuse and deport Haitian nationals,” said Angelo Vasques, the leader behind the Sunday march. “Yet, we are expected to host refugee camps? Nobody elected the UN to govern us. If there’s no one willing to advocate for us, then we must advocate for ourselves.”

Vasques did not immediately respond to Headline USA’s messages via WhatsApp.

Visibly present at the march were Dominican Republic flags and photos of Juan Pablo Duarte, one of the founding fathers of the country who led the revolution against Haiti in 1844—when Haiti ruled the entire Hispaniola Island.

“Quisqueya has awakened,” read a sign, referring to the indigenous name of the Hispaniola Island, where the Dominican Republic is located. “No illegal aliens” and “Dominican Republic is not for sale” read two other signs.

As reported by local newspaper Listin Diario, the group delivered a stern message to the UN. “In unity and determination, we protect our sovereignty and work together for the well-being of our nation in line with the legacy of Duarte,” the group declared. 

The protest coincided with heightened concerns surrounding mass immigration from Haiti, following the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry amid pressure from criminal gangs. 

Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, the notorious gang leader, continues to wreak havoc in Haiti, allegedly orchestrating a prison break that freed approximately 4,000 criminals. 

In response to the security breach and prevailing uncertainty, the Dominican Republic halted air travel to Haiti, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis bolstered law enforcement presence across the Florida Keys. 

In the aftermath of Henry’s resignation, Secretary of State Antony Blinken convened a regional summit in Jamaica, aiming to forge solutions amidst the turmoil engulfing Haiti. 

In previous years, the Dominican Republic has clashed with Haiti over large-scale illegal immigration. Some critics on the left have accused the Dominican Republic of promoting xenophobia due to its anti-Haitian stance.

“We don’t harbor xenophobia against the Haitian community,” stated Elvin Castillo, a member of the order, in Spanish. “But it’s inconceivable that 30% of the national budget of a country so poor like ours is allocated to illegal aliens who don’t contribute their fair share of taxes.”

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