S E C R E T SANTO DOMINGO 000075
DEPT FOR PRM, WHA/CAR, WHA/PPC, WHA/EPSC
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/11/2027
TAGS: PREL PREF XL XM XR DR
SUBJECT: CARIBBEAN MASS MIGRATION - PROBABLE DOMINICAN
REF: STATE 3439
Classified By: EcoPol Counselor Michael Meigs. Reason:
1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (S) Santo Domingo country team considers that the
Dominican government would NOT/NOT be willing to receive any
Haitian migrants in the event of a mass migration event and
that it would NOT/NOT be willing to place Cuban migrants in a
camp or under any similar system of controls. In the
unlikely event that the Dominican authorities were to agree
to the transfer to the national territory of Cuban migrants,
many of those migrants would be likely to enter into existing
illegal human smuggling circuits designed to deliver
individuals to Puerto Rico. 75 miles away.
Â¶2. (S) Responses below keyed to reftel:
a) The Santo Domingo country team considers that the
Dominican authorities would not agree to the establishment of
a refugee camp on national territory, regardless of funding
or management arrangements. Note that during Haiti's
February 2004 political crisis, the Dominicans granted
permission to Southcom to establish a forward operating base
at the southeastern town of Barahona but explicitly barred
any talk of establishing refugee camps.
b) not applicable
c) The Dominican authorities would not/not take any Haitian
migrants. The country has a resident population of mostly
undocumented Haitian nationals and Dominican-born individuals
of Haitian ancestry, totaling up to 12 percent of national
population. Issues of documentation, residence and
nationality of these individuals are extremely controversial
- - to the extent that the current process of constitutional
reform is likely to result in changes intended to bar these
individuals from Dominican nationality.
The Dominican authorities might be persuaded to accept a
limited number of Cuban migrants -- probably far fewer than
the 1,000 mentioned in reftel query. Given the historical
ties between the Dominican Republic and Cuba, as well as the
desire of the Fernandez administration to position itself as
friendly both to the USG and to the government of Cuba, the
country team expects that the authorities would not exercise
any control over any migrants accepted temporarily into the
d) The death of Fidel Castro would not change Dominican
e) An approach to the Dominicans on this subject would not
be successful. The Dominican authorities would strongly and
publicly reject any suggestion to accept Haitian migrants.
Concerning Cuban migrants they would be likely to make no
reply unless pressed repeatedly; the initiative would
certainly be leaked promptly to the press and would become an
issue of controversy.
f), g), h) not applicable.