Abinader affirms Dominican readiness for any scenario in Haiti
Santo Domingo.- President Luis Abinader declared that the Dominican Republic is “prepared for any additional situation of instability” in Haiti as protests erupted across the neighboring country, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
Amid calls for the Haitian people to take to the streets, voiced by former rebel leader and ex-senator Guy Philippe, who advocated for a “revolution” against Ariel Henry, the situation appears to be escalating, according to reports.
Addressing the ongoing developments, Abinader stated during his weekly press conference, “We are monitoring the situation in Haiti, we are prepared for any situation of instability, which is not new in Haiti; it has been a constant in these two and a half years.”
He revealed that Dominican authorities hold weekly meetings to assess the situation in Haiti, emphasizing the need for vigilance.
Abinader’s comments come less than two days before February 7, the traditional date for Haitian presidential inaugurations. Haiti has been without a head of state since the assassination of Jovenel Moise in 2021, with Ariel Henry serving as the highest authority in an “interim” capacity. Protests and calls for Henry’s resignation have intensified amid a severe crisis and escalating violence in the country.
In addition to the political unrest, Abinader addressed the ongoing border canal dispute between the two countries. Haiti’s construction of a canal on the Masacre River (Dajabón for Dominicans) led to tensions last September, prompting measures such as the closure of Dominican borders. Despite resumed meetings in January, Abinader noted that no progress has been made, citing Haiti’s alleged non-compliance with the 1929 Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship, and Arbitration.
As part of the measures taken by the Dominican Republic, the La Vigía canal, located on the Dominican side of the Masacre-Dajabón river, was reactivated. Abinader confirmed the canal’s readiness, emphasizing its purpose to secure water for downstream producers.
“While there has been no shortage of water so far due to sufficient rainfall in recent months, the La Vigía canal is ready to ensure water supply downstream for our producers,” Abinader stated.