The 1937 massacre. It took place when I was only six years old. How much does a 6-year-old remember? Perhaps how that experience forced my parents to rethink their life and request that our Embassy in Santo Domingo repatriate us in 1939.

One thing I remember distinctly is how when I was growing up, my father instilled in me an abhorrence for dictatorship based on Trujillo's carnage. He never let me forget how we were spared by pure luck.
That has colored my life of anti-dictatorship -- abhorrence for all dictatorships that use their power for death, at times on a massive scale.



To know that we were spared, because we weren't living in the border areas (we were near San Pedro de Macoris) makes me shudder. To know also that I couldn't get a birth certificate at birth -- because Haitians aren't deserving of one in the Dominican Republic -- colored my judgment of those who refuse humanity to other human beings.



Yet, when I gained notoriety as a Wall Street Journal financial writer, the Dominican government was ready to claim me as theirs and offered me citizenship. I deal with that in my book. In other words, Haitians are born inferior until they prove otherwise.

Raymond Joseph

Former Haitian Ambassador to the U.S.

Copyright 2013

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