Local September 23, 2023 | 11:00 am

No progress between Dominican Republic and Haiti one week after border closure

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic and Haiti maintain their positions on constructing the controversial canal bordering the Masacre River. This Friday marks a week since Santo Domingo closed all borders with the neighboring country, generating significant economic damage to both parties.

Meanwhile, along the dividing line, calm reigns, including the main border crossing point, Dajabón (northwest of the Dominican Republic), where, in statements to the media, the general commander of the Dominican Army, Major General Carlos Antonio Fernández Onofre, assured Friday that the border is calm and controlled and that there are no threats.

Distant positions and few possibilities of dialogue Since 06-00 local time on September 15 (10-00 GMT), when the Dominican Republic closed the land, sea, and air borders with Haiti, with the consequent blockade of bilateral trade, there has been no progress and the positions have become more distant.

While at the beginning of this crisis, the Haitian government dissociated itself from the project, a private initiative without official support, now the executive branch affirms that work on the controversial canal must go ahead and has decided to support it.

“Yes, the canal must be built. Yes, efforts must be made so that the water reaches the canals as it should. Yes, it is through solidarity and unity that the land of (the Maribahoux plain) can be irrigated,” said the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday on behalf of the cabinet, which defends the right of “Haiti to benefit in a balanced way from the resources it shares with its Dominican neighbor.”

For all these reasons and given the Dominican government’s demand that the works must be stopped before sitting down to talk, the resumption of the bilateral talks does not seem close. A dialogue was interrupted on Thursday, September 14, when the Dominican President, Luis Abinader, announced that the borders would be definitively closed the following day when the Binational Commission was meeting in Santo Domingo to resolve the situation through dialogue.

The Dominican Executive, which considers that the canal violates bilateral treaties, puts as a condition for this dialogue that the “illegal transfer” of water by “a small group of Haitian individuals (…), a small economic-political elite to profit” from the sale of water to small producers in the area, as Abinader reiterated last Wednesday in his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Massive departure of migrants and blocked trade

While there is no rapprochement, the works of the canal are advancing, and thousands of Haitians leave the Dominican Republic every day and return to their country despite the acute crisis and the extreme violence being experienced there at the hands of the armed gangs that control a large part of Port-au-Prince and other areas of Haiti.

Although there are no official figures, the scene is repeated daily of numerous people waiting with their belongings for the temporary opening of the border posts, especially Dajabón, to leave Dominican territory. In addition, Haitians in an irregular situation are deported.

The other significant effect of the border closure is the dynamic trade between the two countries, especially in places close to the border where, until now, bilateral markets were held several days a week where Haitians and Dominicans exchanged all kinds of products.

This entails heavy losses for traders and producers in the area. The Dominican Government has adopted measures to minimize the consequences, such as debt restructuring, granting zero-rate loans, marketing by official agencies of products not being sold, or distributing rations in economic canteens to take advantage of the food and prevent it from spoiling.

Some negative impacts for both parties were warned at the time by the United Nations expert for Human Rights in Haiti, William O’Neill, who asked the Dominican Republic to reconsider the border closure, a measure that Abinader announced would be maintained “as long as necessary.”

But above all, the most affected will be the Haitian population, with 43% suffering from food insecurity and almost 50% needing humanitarian aid.

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joaquin lukoki
September 23, 2023 3:08 pm

If anything the current times and geopolitics should have though this government and those who support the border closure (and other anti haitian measure like no more transportation even to LEGAL residents) is that talking and acting tough does not work anymore…Gone are the times where one country will flex its muscles, bark and the other one will obey… Look at how Niger who is standing still against France (and we all know the power differences between Niger and France is far far far bigger than Haiti and the DR… Other example…? Sure, Burkina Faso against france, the dedolarization of more and more countries despites Biden threatning them… Also how long can the government subsitize the exporters who sell to Haiti…? Haiti is one if not the only country where the DR has a trade surplus with so in the long run, the DR has more to lose because money coming isn is far far better than money going out so should find a solution now before it is too late before Haitian either grow their own products or buy from somewhere else.

That being said, it will be hard to come to a solution because the harsh rethoric from Abinade only added fuel on the fire and more and more haitian are in favor of the canal and the Haitian ‘government’ has no control over its territory…

The things that should happen is first stabilize Haiti and install a legitimate government and then only then this canal small issue that has been blown out of proportion could be solved. I know there are elections next year and like in any countries dinstrumentalizing immigration always put pation to the voters… But on e thing people should realize is confrontation won’t solve this because times changed, populations are starting to stand their ground.

God bless and need to find a solution to this non sense because you guyz share the same land, you should be best frinds and not enemies.

Last edited 8 months ago by joaquin lukoki
September 23, 2023 8:44 pm
Reply to  joaquin lukoki

write a book mate….mucho blah blah

Alberto Gomez
September 23, 2023 11:33 pm
Reply to  there

He’s should help the hordes by being there with them , please help them so they won’t have to leave their homes . Yep mucho talk but no action.

My Name Is Not Important
September 24, 2023 12:17 am

Just tear gas them until they left. If they start shooting, shoot them back.

September 24, 2023 3:17 am

What anyone expects from dysfunctional “country” is beyond me !
They can’t govern themselves ,it was proven on many occasions …

Land should be leased to a higher bidder for at least 200 +years ,and problem will be solved …
Once they learn (if they ever learn) give them back functional institution…

Stephen pierre
September 24, 2023 1:20 pm
Reply to  Fundador

How would you feel if I lease your mama for 2 years since she doesn’t know how to govern herself when it comes to men? After i made some profits then i return her to you, like many females of your country like to do anyway.. if you know your history and background.

September 24, 2023 10:25 pm
Reply to  Stephen pierre

I’m your daddy …and stop wearing skimpy skirts while begging for money …you’re example of real congoid…???? ???? ???? …stop smoking your dirty socks for breakfast ….???? ???? ???? ….you’re typical baboon ranting on the net and crying like a biach that you’re …???? ???? ???? …go back on the street and sell used condoms…???? ???? ???? …you made me laugh ..???? ???? ????

September 26, 2023 1:55 pm
Reply to  Stephen pierre

More Haitian women and girls are sold into prostitution and sex trafficking than anyone else. If you want to dwell on history and truth, then there’s a fact for you. Trump once called your country a “shithole” because that is exactly what it is, unfortunately….

Stephen pierre
September 24, 2023 1:13 pm

Those racists, untra nationalists think they can tell Haitians what to do in their land, never. Thats why we need all haitian farmers to leave y’all racists land and come home to do the same thing in Haiti so we can have some real organic foods unlike DR…keep the borders close for good.and let’s look for alternate markets until the Haitian farmers can feed the whole country.

September 24, 2023 10:27 pm
Reply to  Stephen pierre

stop smoking your dirty socks for breakfast …