Haiti and Dominican national security

President Luis Abinader has described the situation in Haiti as a state of low-intensity civil war, a failed state that has not been able to overcome the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship 36 years ago, since when – coups and instability – has been the norm until it falls absolutely, in the current situation of ungovernability.

In the midst of a hemispheric exhaustion on the Haitian issue, after multi-million dollar investments – multilateral from the UN and bilateral – for decades, which have not even succeeded in mitigating the most serious problems – the Dominican President has indicated this week in Washington – accurately – that this situation is a threat to national security.

We must not forget that Haiti is the Siamese brother from whom we separated politically and militarily in 1844 due to our deep cultural differences of origin, but from whom we will never be able to do so geographically, in addition to being an important trading partner and, as a result of the economic changes and social events of the 20th century in both states, both during the Trujillo dictatorship (1930-61), and on the occasion of its fall, except for a short period (1961-86) – the result of a more mature political class and a more mature business community. committed – we managed to get well ahead of the development path by growing – on average (1966-2021) more than 5.5% over 46 years, while they got poorer every year.

The “friends of Haiti” – Venezuela, France, Canada and the USA – are tired of trying to help them and disillusioned because there, everything, except the correct thing, has been tried without results. No nation wants to even provide soldiers for a pacification that is a prerequisite to any recovery plan and, of course, no one dares to continue voting money in that black hole of disorder and misery.

Being on this side of the border, as a country, is already a security risk because, having to see ourselves as friends and allies, our relative prosperity makes us a danger and history confirms us as an enemy: that is not a reality that we can change, our last governments, all of them, Hipólito, Leonel and Danilo, did everything to improve our relations and turn us into a close brother and collaborator in their frequent misfortunes, natural and political; the result has been more hate.

Binational relations during the last century were determined by the North American invasion of both republics, Haiti (1915) and the Dominican Republic (1916), then by Trujillo’s imprint with the “Court” and its influence on Haitian governments and, when after his death, democracy was established, due to the diplomatic crisis of April 1963, between Bosch and Duvalier, after the invasion of the Dominican Embassy in Port-au-Prince by Ton Tons Macoute and, after the April War of 1966, due to the pale figure but firm Joaquín Balaguer who maintained a cordial relationship with the ruling dynasty on that side.

The coming to power in 1991 of Jean Bertrain Aristide, a former priest who had studied here, exhibiting a xenophobic anti-Dominicanism, exacerbated the spirits and that did not improve with his dismissal in 1993, until Rene Preval came to the Presidency, the only space of certain consensus: the first still with some influence, is retired, the second, passed away and without leaders in sight, Port-au-Prince and the rest of that nation, is a territory of chaos under the control of armed gangs as a result of the terrible decision to dissolve the Army in 1996, the only Haitian institution in existence since 1804.

This “Cauldron of the Devil” to cite a well-known title that gives an idea of ​​the situation, certainly constitutes a danger to national security, first, because in the Dominican Government there is no intelligence service that provides reliable information on the situation and its evolution. Second, because there are no ambassadors left to negotiate between the parties in conflict, in fact, there are no parties to a political conflict since there are no leaders left to serve as interlocutors, it is a fratricidal war – messy and chaotic – of everyone against everyone in the middle of anarchy and the most extreme misery, with no solution in sight.

Within the framework of this terrible Dantesque reality, any political error by the Government on this side can have terrible effects, in the short and medium term; In Haiti, with an extremely fragmented political class, contaminated with gangs of kidnappers and drug traffickers, with very limited territorial influence, one of the few issues that unites some is anti-Dominicanism.

Many of us believe that Claude Josep, former Prime Minister, like the leaders of Haitian gangs, do not deserve to visit our country – which has always been the land of asylum for all Haitians, politicians, businessmen and simple laborers – he carries a daily unjust and ruthless campaign against us, but perhaps a presidential decision was not necessary, an instruction to the consulates and immigration offices was enough: The right thing is done with wisdom, not with intelligence, because we have given a gratuitous enemy not just a flag of struggle, but we have placed him at the head of a mob, small but compact with an issue that unites a Haitian sector, at a time when, as our President said, there is a risk of national security.

It is not in the space of the unimaginable that on any given day groups with tens of thousands of hungry Haitians, desperate, with the elderly, women and children, directed, march to the border, unarmed, seeking to cross to the green side of the island putting in the obligation to intervene – to preserve the territory as it is their duty – to our soldiers: I do not think that the Ministry of Defense has a planned contingency plan for something like this.

If the reader does not believe this possibility of affecting our national security, it should suffice to look at the news of the 13 thousand Haitians who from Mexico, thousands of kilometers away, tried to cross the border with the United States where they camped for days: Images of the border police dispersing them on horseback with whips traveled the world and forced the US government to apologize. Imagine if it happens here!
With more than two million Haitians in our territory, dispersed without location, located in dozens of bateyes, neighborhoods and ghettos, an altercation between a Haitian and a Dominican national is enough – even intentionally provoked – to light the fuse of a civil disorder that is difficult to control. throughout the country for which, of course, the Ministry of the Interior and Police does not have a contingency plan: If it seems exaggerated, I ask you to read about “the night of the knives”, when, in 1804, in a single night in Throughout Haiti, in search of their political space, the Haitians killed in less than twelve hours the 25,000 whites on which the richest colony in France rested, which since then has been called the Republic of Haiti, the poorest in America.

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