Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Faces of a divided island - CNN
“Dominicans want all this island for themselves,” he says, referring to Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola, the largest in . The economic relationship between the two countries was. This could be a long answer, but I would sum it up by saying that the countries get along but the DR does not want to have a lot more to do with Haiti than the.
Pre-independence[ edit ] Though having vast demographic and cultural differences since colonial times, the inhabitants of modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti have at times been allies and foes, constantly vying for dominance of Hispaniola. The conflicts began during the colonial era which developed into military and political conflicts between the two governments.
They resolved their dispute in by splitting the island into two countries. Spanish Haiti, the predecessor of the Dominican Republic, became independent from Spain on December 1,after more than years of Spanish rule. The people living in the Spanish colony, however, who represented less than one-fifth of the French colony's population, were primarily white and mulatto Spanish-speaking Roman Catholics.
This drew Santo Domingo deeply into the battles of the Haitian Revolution, as France sought to use its new acquisition as a base from which to quash the revolt.
Before the arrival of the French troops his army marched east and expeditiously took over the former Spanish colony. When French forces landed the following year with the aim of seizing the entire island, they were unable to capture Saint-Domingue. They did succeed, however, in occupying Santo Domingo. French forces in Santo Domingo threatened Haitian sovereignty, and the French governor of Santo Domingo further provoked Haiti by authorizing colonists to capture and enslave Haitians.
Dominicans ejected the French in and reincorporated themselves into the Spanish Empire. A group of Dominican military officers favored uniting the newly independent nation with Haiti, as they sought for political stability under Haitian president Jean-Pierre Boyer. The Dominicans were unaware that Boyer made a concession with the French, and agreed to pay France for the lost territory of Haiti.
80 Years On, Dominicans And Haitians Revisit Painful Memories Of Parsley Massacre : Parallels : NPR
Boyer agreed to pay a sum of million Francs more than twice what France had charged the United States for the much larger Louisiana territory in thus the Haitians would essentially be forced into paying to maintain their freedom from the French. During twenty-two years of Haitian occupation, the Haitians implemented what some Dominicans viewed as a brutal military regime. In addition, the Haitian army confiscated all church land and property and imposed mandatory military service.
This difficult time for the Dominicans created cultural conflicts in language, race, religion and national tradition between the Dominicans and Haitians. Many Dominicans developed a resentment of Haitians, who they saw as oppressors.
Faces of a divided island
In order to raise funds for the huge indemnity of million francs that Haiti agreed to pay the former French colonists, and which was subsequently lowered to 60 million francs, Haiti imposed heavy taxes on the Dominicans.
Since Haiti was unable to adequately provision its army, the occupying forces largely survived by commandeering or confiscating food and supplies at gunpoint.
Attempts to redistribute land conflicted with the system of communal land tenure terrenos comuneroswhich had arisen with the ranching economy, and newly emancipated slaves resented being forced to grow cash crops under Boyer's Code Rural.
It was in the city of Santo Domingo that the effects of the occupation were most acutely felt, and it was there that the movement for independence originated. According to their constitution, it was unlawful for one to deny property from A citizen who already owned it.
Because her birth was not recorded in the civil registry, the law to "fix" her status would require multiple identification documents, notarized testimonies of Dominicans to vouch for her birthplace, and a two-year wait to apply for citizenship. Her father passed away, Cherlina says, and she has no idea where he kept the documents that may prove her identity and place of birth to the satisfaction of Dominican authorities.
Bernard Teillon is an undocumented Haitian immigrant who has lived in the Dominican Republic for decades. A wheelbarrow and a dream Bernard Teillon says he has lived in the Dominican Republic for 50 years. And he wants to go back to his native Haiti, as soon as he can afford it. A long-time laborer in the fields -- sowing and harvesting crops -- Bernard would qualify for legal work status under a recent Dominican law to address the population of undocumented immigrants.
The National Regularization Plan was the government's answer to the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants already living in the Dominican Republic, some for decades. A census of migrants found that aboutHaitian immigrants live in the Dominican Republic. The requirements to get right with the law sound reasonable enough: Prove your identity and provide evidence of how long you've been in the country, your ties to Dominican society, and your work and socioeconomic condition. It's an invitation to "come out of the shadows," to borrow a phrase from the U.
Dominican Republic–Haiti relations
These apparently simple requirements, however, proved for many to be a bureaucratic nightmare, a hell brimming with red tape. Bernard, for instance, struggled to get a copy of his Haitian passport or birth certificate to prove his identity. He said he couldn't afford the time or money to put together the required paperwork. It is not impossible to get legal status without a birth certificate or passport. Some 20, undocumented immigrants registered without them, according to the Dominican Interior Ministry, but the alternate routes are not easy.
It might require Bernard getting seven sworn statements from Dominicans who would attest to his life in the country. Bernard found it too daunting. His neighbors are mostly Haitian.
Relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti | Diversity Abroad
What Dominicans would vouch for him? Do the Dominicans he has worked for or interacted with remember him or know him well enough to write a testimony on his behalf? The immigration controversy is red hot, so many Dominicans might not want to put their name as a reference for an undocumented immigrant.
Bernard rents a small room in the Hato Mayor neighborhood of Santiago, the country's second-largest city. Immigration raids have snared neighboring tenants, and he knows it could happen to him.
A brief history of Hispaniola Still, he wants to leave. All this has taken me to a place of consciousness to go back to my country.
But he says he is too poor; even saving money to pay for transportation to the border is out of reach. Next to his room, a wheelbarrow is locked to a post with a chain.
It's an old wheelbarrow, and it is the one asset Bernard owns that helps him earn money doing small jobs. Bernard remembers it as a place of permanent persecution during the rule of strongman Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier.
Though times have changed in Haiti, it made me wonder about the effects of trying to solve a country's immigration problem without talking to the nation of origin. Can taking a unilateral, hard-line stance against Haitians work if there is no future in Haiti either? Bernard says his health is failing. The stress makes him feel that his age has caught up to him.
Long lines -- and longer waits The sun was past its highest point in the sky in Puerto Plata, the historic port city on the Dominican Republic's northern coast, when I met Mirlande Saint Jean. She was outside the city's main government office, waiting in line to try to get her immigration status "regularized.
But Mirlande says she really has been waiting for much longer.
The authorities tell her she is missing this document, or that document. This is her fourth trip to city hall. Everyone slept on the street," she said. In the city of Santiago, the line of immigrants waiting at city hall stretches for blocks. There was no dire situation that pulled her to emigrate, she just felt too closed-in in Haiti. She wanted to be somewhere with more possibilities. She settled in Puerto Plata, working first in a restaurant and now at a villa. Politically, she is not opposed to the government's immigration controls.
Every country needs to have its residents documented properly, she says. At dawn the next morning in Santiago, a line of migrants stretches around the block containing city hall and continues across the street along a park. He says that better life never materialized.
He has a job as a doorman, he says, but "I'm still struggling. My job doesn't pay well. Surprisingly, many of the immigrants I meet in line aren't opposed to the idea of registering the undocumented. It's only fair, they said, that a nation should know who is living within its borders. But this isn't the way to do it. The laws, they say, need to be carried out fairly. It left me wondering: How can a nation tackle the issue of illegal immigration -- by asking migrants to trust the government's proposals -- when the same government has not addressed its own legacy of racism?
Prejudice on Hispaniola dates back to the first colonies and intensified as Dominican leaders portrayed Haitians as inferior to those with Spanish and indigenous roots. How can immigrants give the government the benefit of the doubt that there are no ulterior, xenophobic motives behind the new policies, when they have suffered discrimination from the same government for generations?
A Dominican taxi driver contends with Santo Domingo traffic. Immigration seemed to be on everyone's mind. Hate on the radio waves It's early morning, and we're on the road between Santiago and Puerto Plata.
The drive is longer than an hour, and because we're tired, the small talk subsides and it's silent in the car. Except for the radio. Two hosts are talking about immigration. They are discussing a campaign by groups supporting Haitian immigrants to boycott Dominican exports to Haiti. So they will eat dirt, since you know the Haitians eat dirt," one host says. The other host agrees: How are Haitians going to eat, since they don't produce anything? One of the hosts suggests Haiti is trying to discredit the Dominican Republic in the eyes of the international community.
A monument near the border, in the Dominican town of Capotillo, celebrates the start of that war.Families Are Deporting Themselves to Haiti: Dominican Deadlock (Dispatch 3)
Encouraging dialogue Tatiana Fernandez for Latino USA Regino Martinez, a Jesuit priest based in the Dominican border city of Dajabon, believes that dialogue about the massacre would help Dominican-Haitian relations — which remain tense today. He is involved in an annual commemoration of the massacre in Dajabon called Border of Lightsorganized by a group of international scholars and activists, including many Dominicans and Haitian-Americans.
Paulina is half-Dominican, half-Haitian. Another was replacing place names, which often were in French or Haitian Creole, to patriotic-sounding names in Spanish. A new province in the Dominican northwest was named Liberator. Now she tries to make amends by helping Haitian immigrants. More thanHaitians and their descendants live in the Dominican Republic, according to a U.
Not everyone in town appreciates Betances' efforts. In the Haitian border town of Ouanaminthe, residents relax with an afternoon game. Eighty years after the massacre, tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti remain high, in part because of the large numbers of Haitian immigrants who come to the Dominican Republic to work for low wages in fields like construction.
One right-wing Dominican politician has suggested building a wall on the border to send a message to migrants.