Local September 18, 2022 | 8:10 am

Abinader garners support for his stance on Haiti

Santo Domingo, DR
The seriousness of the situation in Haiti, with unrest in the streets, threats of deadly assaults, and the closing of some embassies in Port-au-Prince, are arousing the support of supporters and opponents to the stance taken by President Abinader to defend the DR.

The closing of the Dominican embassy and consulates in the neighboring country and the rebuke of the Dominican president that “Haiti is living a low-intensity civil war” reinforce the belief that “important steps are being taken,” according to a European diplomatic source.

The closure for the time being of the activities of the consulates in Haiti will have an immediate consequence on the business of the commercial partner. Furthermore, the Dominican Republic warned its citizens in the neighboring country to take shelter and stock up on food, given the chaotic situation.

The Dominican government also ordered that special forces maintain control of the perimeter of the diplomatic residence located in Pétionville in the highlands of Port-au-Prince and that a helicopter be kept ready for any evacuation of diplomatic personnel.

Speech at the OAS

Abinader’s pronouncement occurred at the OAS Council, which met in a special session to hear him. The session was also attended by several leaders of English Caribbean countries who also met with Vice President Harris, with climate change as a generic theme.

Abinader exposed the political problem represented by the situation in Haiti to the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in an almost whirlwind visit to the American capital amid the pressure. The Dominican leader reportedly notified the two stateswomen of the significant contributions that the Dominican side is making with its modest economy to alleviate the situation in Haiti, the political pressures of the neighboring country, and its armed gangs that terrorize the population.

Abinader has been the target of attacks by the former Haitian Foreign Minister, Claude Joseph, who, seeking to mark his territory in the politics of the neighboring country, accuses the Dominican side of being racist and other accusations. Joseph seeks to set himself up as the leader that the populace in the streets could support.

Abinader prudent

The Dominican leader has been prudent in handling the situation and has avoided responding to the epithets and insults proffered by Joseph on his Twitter account and in radio interviews in which he is increasingly radical in his judgments, perhaps trying to find supporters in the Diaspora.

Abinader flew to Washington, DC, for an already scheduled meeting with Vice President Harris, following up on a meeting of the Vice President with the leaders of several CARICOM countries. President Biden gave Harris that assignment in part because of her Jamaican background.

Diplomatic circles say that the United States is seriously concerned about the situation in Haiti, which could destabilize the region politically and further complicate the migratory situation as thousands of Haitians threatened by misery embark on boats.

The warning of a revival of the “boat people” crisis is a latent threat against the countries of the Caribbean basin, especially Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas, which could see waves of Haitian refugees embarking on boats to the United States and landing on their shores.

A similar misfortune occurred in Vietnam from 1978 to 1979 following the war’s end that bled that country and the departure of U.S. troops. The flight of poor Haitians in fragile boats complicates the situation in Cuba and the countries mentioned above that return them to their nation.


Total chaos is feared.

Some countries such as Spain, France, and Canada, which this week closed their embassies in Port-au-Prince for services to the public, fear chaos as the gangs terrorizing Haitian cities find no response from the Haitian National Police (HNP), which has neither strength nor morale. Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who admits that the situation is untenable and asks for help from friendly countries and the international community, has suffered a couple of attacks from which he has escaped unscathed and on Wednesday increased gasoline prices to bring them into line with the foreign market, which unleashed national anger.

Without any political basis whatsoever, the Haitian Prime Minister has the religious sectors, including the priests of voodoo, against him: they see the total deterioration of the political, economic, and social situation with no apparent way out. The Episcopal Conference denounced this week in a pastoral letter the insecurity and lack of authority.

No one seems to want to face a prognosis in the minds of Haitians inside the country and of the so-called “countries friendly to Haiti,” which would be foreign military intervention. The United States intervened in Haiti following the chaos created by the assassination of President Sam in 1915.

Marines and forces from several countries returned to the Caribbean nation following the 1986 flight of President Jean Claude Duvalier and the subsequent overthrow of President Jean Bertrand Aristide. He was the first democratically elected president in the country’s history. Aristide lives in Haiti, but quietly.

After years in exile, mainly in South Africa, where he went as an ordinary student to study Swahili, a language spoken by 45,000,000 Africans living north and south of the Sahara desert, Aristide may no longer run for president, but he retains popular support.

The United States, the country’s leading trading partner after the Dominican Republic, would not want to get involved in what would be an adventure while maintaining strong support for Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia and having domestic problems. Moreover, military involvement in the Caribbean could complicate President Biden’s plate, as he is seeking re-election in 2024.

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Ramon Garcia
September 18, 2022 9:11 am

The Dominican leader has been prudent in handling the situation and has avoided responding to the epithets and insults proffered by Joseph on his Twitter account and in radio interviews in which he is increasingly radical in his judgments, perhaps trying to find supporters in the Diaspora.

September 18, 2022 11:46 am

What a difficult problem to tackle but an international force must disarm all the gangs and restore law and order. The DR , as a christian nation with christian values must give aid to those who are suffering in Haiti, even if it means some domestic spending has to be postponed.

Peter Harris
September 18, 2022 5:27 pm

Good work Luis Abinader. I have contacted the office of Canada’s Minister of Global Affairs as well as the Prime Minister’s office. I urge other Canadians to do the same. The thousands of Dominicans living in New Jersey should phone their Congress representatives & Senators so that the USA does something.

September 18, 2022 9:03 pm

Haiti has historically been the example of positive change in the region. Every single time Haiti has positioned itself in a progressive manner, outside interferences have reared their ugly heads and have systematically wiped out the advances of that nation. One thing is for sure, when Haiti (alone) decided to take its independence from France, she succeeded. When Haiti was later extorted by France she devised a plan (to her detriment) to pay the extortion in full. Whenever Haiti is presented with problems (fair or unjust), she rises to the occasion and supersedes all obstacles. Haiti needs to be given its money back from France and the residence time to solve her own problems without any outside interference. Without being forced to accept heads of state who are hand picked by the US. Without removing heads of state who are engaged in civil disputes and litigation with France. Why are there so many countries creating stumbling blocks for Haiti when she is running with growth but are silent when she is falling into anarchy? Don’t these people realize that a stable and progressive Haiti is a win win for everyone in the region? I have analyzed it 1000 different ways and it all leads to one solution for the Dominicans. You would not need a wall had Haiti been a stable nation today! You would not need a regularization policy had Haiti been a stable nation today! Haiti does not need a better leader or a better mentor. She needs to rely on what made her a great victor in 1804. She needs to tap into her own abilities confidently and form unified walls of resistance against those who are set to disrupt her unity and advancements.