"We have lost people because of cholera and we have lost people through hunger. They were starving and then the cholera came. The two things are acting together and killing people." And, still the U.S. says nothing.
When we formed the coalition under #Rights4ALLinDR, we aimed to do something seemingly straight forward: ensure the rights of all people in the Dominican Republic are respected, regardless of race, class, or ethnicity. Since then, we have fought against the dangers of blind patriotism yet stood in awe of the courage of average citizens. We have claimed the diaspora's rightful seat at the table when decisions are being made yet have stepped back as mere servants when the people on the ground asked to tell their own stories. We have marched in every major city and changed the narrative in every major news outlet yet our people continue to be persecuted by the very government meant to protect them.
As 2015 comes to a close, we want to thank you- the true patriots- who have taken a stand for justice and humanity. You are the patriots who refuse to allow the constant barrage of threats and half-truths from the Dominican government sway your call for justice. You have never allowed lobbyist dollars or U.S. complicity to outweigh your right to hold our elected officials accountable for every dollar that goes to a pariah state, every person who has had to flee the DR. You are the true patriots that sustain the movement. And, it is with you that we will enter into 2016 with a renewed sense of urgency to push the DR and its partners to address the refugee camps on the border, respect the rights of migrants, and end statelessness. We want nothing less than transformative justice in the Dominican Republic.