Local August 9, 2013 | 8:03 am

Haiti-Dominican border still tense as both sides trade bans

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic has decided on tighter restrictions along the border with Haiti, in an apparent reprisal for Port-au-Prince’s ban on various products, in yet another setback for the efforts toward restoring the good relations between the Hispaniola neighbors.

However Dominican Immigration director Jose Ricardo Taveras on Thursday said he will travel to Dajabón (northwest) on Friday and meet with the community to explain the agency’s special measures which he affirms would make it easier for Haitians to cross into the Dominican Republic.

He said he’s surprised and astonished that Haiti authorities allegedly closed the border crossing at Ouanaminthe, in retaliation for Dominican Republic impeding the entry of its citizens which didn’t have the required papers.

But outlet Listin Diario reports that there was no such impediment Thursday night, and instead a misunderstanding with someone identified as a Haitian judicial official. "Precisely tomorrow (today), we head to Dajabón where we will meet with the community, we will talk about development for the border resident, that will have many benefits for the citizens who live on the other side of Dominican Republic’s border (with Haiti) with access to special documentation."

The official reiterated his surprise with Haiti’s alleged closing the border gate in retaliation for the Dominican authorities’ halting of undocumented immigrants, because in his view, it’s a provision which has been in effect "for life."

He said Dominican Republic has always enforced the law on travel documents but noted a “a sort of leniency” applied during Haiti’s devastating quake of 2010. "And then, the border was almost open from the solidarity that the Dominican people have shown with neighboring Haiti.”

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