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.