Local October 20, 2023 | 9:48 am

Chancellor: “Canal has served as an escape valve for the Haitian people”

Santo Domingo.- The recent construction of a canal on the Dajabón River in the western part of the island has sparked discussions and tensions regarding the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. While the episode has unified Haiti in its frustration with years of political, economic, and social crises, it has led to complaints and claims from the Dominican Republic over problems unrelated to its people.

Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Álvarez, spoke about the situation during a Business Lunch event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic (Amchamdr). He noted that the prolonged crisis in Haiti and its impact on the Dominican Republic has caused fatigue on both sides of the border, turning a specific dispute into a symbol of a dysfunctional relationship. Álvarez highlighted the lack of an effective interlocutor on the Haitian side, which has exacerbated the situation.

He also denounced the false accusation made by Haiti that Dominicans are unwilling to share binational waters, describing it as a fallacy that confuses Haiti’s population and is unfair to the Dominican Republic.

Álvarez expressed hope that Haiti would fulfill its obligation to receive the technical mission of the Organization of American States (OAS), which aims to address the differences between both countries related to the Treaty of Peace and Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration of 1929. He emphasized that the Dominican Republic respects the fair and equitable use of shared water resources but opposes the construction of the Haitian canal due to concerns about ecological and human consequences.

In addition to discussing the border issue, Álvarez highlighted the Dominican Republic’s diplomatic achievements and its strengthened relations with Caribbean countries. He also mentioned that the country will host the Tenth Summit of the Americas at the end of 2025, which will involve the visit of leaders from across the Americas.

The Amchamdr Business Lunch brought together various stakeholders, including businessmen, politicians, media directors, and special guests, to address these important diplomatic and regional issues.

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Alberto martinez
October 20, 2023 11:56 am

the first mistake is dialogue with a failed country with no president and no moral or values, this country depends on DR hospitals and healthcare which 30 % of born in Dominican hospitals are Haitians that don’t pay 1 cents with each labour cost aprox $10,000 to $15,000 to the DR tax payers, Haitians are not to trust as they will always play the victim and play the “feel sorry for me” card, this canal has made the illusion for them that all of their problem will be solved but the truth is their country is a failed society since their inception as they will always blame others for their mistakes

Dave Lopes
October 21, 2023 12:09 am

Then why don’t you close and seal your border permanently instead of the endless whining. From what I see, Haitians in Haiti are fine with the border closure. They are keeping their border closed even after dominicans reopened theirs. It is dominican producers and sellers that are crying over missed revenues from Haiti.

Epaminondas La
October 22, 2023 8:37 pm

Haiti, a country that deserves respect, a country that sacrificed itself so that the DR and the rest of the Americas (more specifically, the rest of the world) could enjoy freedom and prosperity. Had Haiti not done what it did 219 years ago, slavery and colonialism would have still been a normalcy today. It is interesting how ungrateful we human beings can be. The whole thing could have been avoided if Abinader wasn’t playing politics with the livelihoods of the people on both sides of the island. I really hope that Haiti will keep his border closed indefinitely, and eventually cut all relations with the DR. Haiti does not need the DR, and should instead do business with other friendly more reasonable Caribbean, South American countries.