Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Rep. ask US for support in Haiti crisis

Panama City, Oct 20 (EFE).- Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic said Wednesday they expect a “more effective participation” from the United States to find solutions to the crisis in Haiti.

They said it was necessary to help the country and promote infrastructure and reforestation plans that create jobs to discourage the emigration of its citizens.

The presidents of Panama Laurentino Cortizo; Costa Rica’s Carlos Alvarado, and

the Dominican Republic’s Luis Abinader discussed the agenda of issues addressed within the framework of the Alliance for the Strengthening of Democratic Institutionality.

This was formalized by the three countries in September during the United Nations General Assembly and which had its first meeting Wednesday at the Panamanian capital.

This Alliance “is a political gesture that results in action in various spheres,” said the Costa Rican president, who added that the “three sister countries that share values ??of democracy coming together to form this alliance in democracy is something worth highlighting” in these complex times.

Panama and Costa Rica are transit countries for the tens of thousands of Haitians who have undertaken a journey on foot to North America, especially the US. In addition, the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighbor, is also a destination for this immigration.

According to Panamanian data, more than 107,000 migrants, the majority Haitians, have crossed the country this year, an unprecedented number. They risk their lives during the entire journey, which involves a dozen countries, but especially when crossing the Darien jungle, the border of Panama and Colombia.

“We are talking about an unsustainable problem,” said Cortizo, adding that by the end of this year 150,000 migrants are projected to pass through Panama, which welcomes them at reception stations where they take biometric data and offer them food and health services.

“The role of the United States is very important” in the resolution of the (Haitian) crisis. This is a regional problem, the solutions have to be regional and we expect from the US a much more effective participation, with concrete measures,” the Panamanian president said.

The alliance proposed to “the international community the execution of urgent actions such as the disarmament and pacification of the population and the strengthening of security, establish a comprehensive plan for the development and construction of public infrastructure that generates massive employment and thus minimize migration; the statement read.

Abinader said the pacification of Haiti is a “preamble for free and transparent elections” and for development plans, “and in that sense the US obviously due to its economic level, political and military power is the main government that can achieve, together with us, those changes in Haiti”.

“We are going to follow up these recommendations (of the Alliance), our ambassadors in Washington will go to Congress to discuss these proposals, they will also go to the different thought centers, they will approach the State Department, they will give a spatial follow-up,” the Dominican president said. EFE


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