SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Authorities in the Dominican Republic announced Monday that they will demand an explanation from the U.S. government for why it annulled the diplomatic and tourist visas of the Caribbean country's electoral commission president.
Commission officials said the U.S. should also share any relevant information that would explain the action taken against Roberto Rosario, who said the U.S. consul notified him of the decision late last week.
The U.S. Embassy declined to provide details, except to say that it had the right to revoke U.S. visas based on information that may come to light at any moment.
It is the first time that U.S. has annuled the diplomatic visa of a high-level Dominican official. Rosario, whose diplomatic visa was to have expired next year and the tourist visa in 2024, traveled with some frequency to the U.S. because the electoral commission has several offices there to serve the Dominican community.
Rosario said last year that the U.S. ambassador had previously threatened to cancel his visa at a time when Dominicans of Haitian descent complained they could not vote because their IDs were being illegally held by government officials. As president of the electoral commission, Rosario in 2007 launched a program to withhold those IDs, saying they had been fraudulently processed to obtain Dominican nationality.
The annulment of Rosario's visas comes as Dominican senators prepare to debate whether he should be re-elected as the commission's president.