US Congressman Adriano Espaillat has joined those in the Dominican Republic who request US Embassy withdraw the recent travel alert it has uploaded to its website in the Dominican Republic.
New York Congressman for the 13th District, Adriano Espaillat, requested on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 the immediate withdrawal of the note “Alert: Ongoing Dominican Migration Enforcement” issued by the Embassy of the United States of America on Saturday, 19 November 2022. He said the note is unfounded.
Espaillat expressed his categorical rejection of the measure and said he requested from the US State Department and the chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic, Robert W. Thomas, verifiable evidence for the allegations made in the note. He said he has not received a response.
Espaillat spoke with journalists at the Presidential Palace at the end of a private meeting with President Luis Abinader and US Texas congressman, Vicente Gonzalez.
“And I come here because I am categorically opposed to the unfounded alert circulated by the State Department and by the embassy of my country, the United States, here in the Dominican Republic,” he said.
“So far they have not been able to provide me with any evidence that could support this type of alert, so I have categorically requested that the alert be lifted. Together with other congressmen, we are going to ask for a thorough investigation by Congress and the US government, to tell us why they raised the alert, what are the reasons, since both the embassy and the State Department have so far refused to provide us with evidence,” insisted Congressman Espaillat.
He warned that the system of law has to be based fundamentally on evidence and that no one can accuse another person anonymously without presenting proof and so far, they have not presented it.
“So I formally ask you to strike down the alert and we are going to ask for a formal investigation to get to the bottom of why this alert was raised, which could naturally affect the Dominican Republic,” he emphasized.
The US congressman also expressed that the Dominican Republic has every right to protect its border in the face of violent chaos led by gangs in Haiti, a situation that prompted the United Nations Security Council in recent days to toughen sanctions against gang members.
“I myself signed a letter in Washington along with another congressman asking them to apply the Magnitsky Act to gang members and any other politician or businessman who is linked to it. So the Dominican Republic has every right to do everything possible so that this wave of violence does not cross the border,” he said.
He said that his presence in the country was made as a Dominican-American, in a gesture of solidarity with the Dominican Republic at a difficult time, where there is an avalanche of criticism and accusations of which, so far, he has no evidence as to why they arose.
“Congressman Vicente Gonzalez from Texas is with me and I hope that this can be clarified as quickly as possible and I have already received many calls of concerns from my constituents, not only Dominicans, and others as well, friends of Dominicans who feel that this attitude was very aggressive against the Dominican Republic,” Espaillat stated.
Regarding the timing of the request, he explained that they will initiate an investigation process which will take time.
He said that the Dominican Republic is characterized by friendship, with a hospitable attitude, where everyone is treated well, which is why millions of tourists visit its beaches, rivers and mountains annually.
Likewise, Congressman Gonzalez explained that he accompanied his counterpart Espaillat to the meeting with President Abinader, which he said was productive.
González indicated that he has the same concern as Congressman Espaillat and called for a thorough investigation into why the alert was issued.
Read more in Spanish:
24 November 2022