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News > Articles

Dominican Republic at the Crossroads With Haiti Imploding

  • Police attack protesters, Haiti, Oct. 9, 2022.

    Police attack protesters, Haiti, Oct. 9, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @aReferenciaNews

Published 10 October 2022

The ultimate responsibility of what is transpiring in Haiti right now, falls squarely with the U.S., after interfering in Haiti's internal affairs for decades.

“The island is one and indivisible” Toussaint L’Ouverture prophetically pronounced over three centuries ago, not knowing what Destiny and Providence had in store for both peoples of Hispaniola on this tumultuous Twenty First Century.  


Opposition Party Rejects Any Military Intervention in Haiti

Dominican Republic stands today in astronomically stark contrast, to Haiti’s chaotic instability, simultaneously beholden to the fiery trials of “el pais vecino”, or “the neighboring country”, as Dominicans sometimes refer to Haiti, hoping subconsciously that its neighbor’s many ills do not penetrate their territory, along with the increasing exodus of Haitians over its porous border, yearning for better life.

The increasingly bloody violence, massacres, mass evictions, kidnappings, etc., by paramilitary armed groups in 2021 and early 2022, limited at first to neighborhoods in Port Au Prince, spreading further as far as Artibonite, and en route Croix des Bouquets, with its highway connecting Malpasse and Jimani on the Dominican side of the border, all this began  to loudly ring alarm bells in nearby Dominican Republic.  

President Abinader thus took the unusual step in November, 2021, of suspending automatic yearly renewals for Haitian student visas, due to his concerns that armed groups members could infiltrate D. R., under guise of students.  

In addition, Dominican defense authorities took the precautionary measures of deploying up to 12,000 troops along the border, due to Haiti’s deteriorating security.  Dominican military contingents included special forces, and elite mountain troops (somewhat similar to U. S. ARMY Rangers).  Other forces are equipped with armored halftracks and ATVs mounting heavy machine guns.  

Helicopter and Super Tucano aircraft overflights have also taken place along the border area, and the border is being reinforced with the latest surveillance technology, besides regular patrols, and a new border wall is being built along the northern Dajabon perimeter. 

However, all these increased Dominican security measures, could not guarantee a worst case scenario from unraveling in “el pais vecino”, directly impacting its territory and citizens.  For instance, it was disclosed recently there were was a Dominican embedded in one Haitian armed band, and as the saying goes “where there’s smoke there’s fire”.  

And although Dominican authorities vehemently claimed, that the case of a Dominican apprehended by Haitian police, in connection with an armed band was an isolated case, they likewise cannot guarantee there are not more Dominicans operating with Haiti’s armed groups, since it is open knowledge there are Dominicans living in Haiti, in spite of that country’s unstable political climate.  

As a matter of fact, the aforementioned Dominican apprehended by Haitian police, surnamed "Ortiz Mieses" (also known in Kreyol as "Neg ate a"),  who was embedded in the "Ti Lapli" gang, astonishingly confessed there were other Dominicans operating with the bands, including one named "Joselito".

In addition, Haitian police disclosed, it had recently apprehended persons connected with illegal arms trafficking, through the border crossings of Belladere and Ounaminthe.  So in reality, this is a multi-dimensional scenario, with the possibility however remote, of Haitian armed groups with embedded Dominicans, crossing the border, while guns are being smuggled in Haiti's direction, from the Dominican side. 

Another source revealed, that kidnapped Haitians being held in one armed band's safehouse, could overhear some band members speaking in Spanish, lending credence to the claim, of more Dominicans embedded within Haitian armed groups.

Furthermore, the same source stated, although there is no official confirmation, that other Latin Americans have arived in Haiti, to conduct training with the "Ti Lapli" and "Izo 5 Segonds" bands.  This training consisted of weapons handling, driving vehicles, and use of technology. Such training was in the context of the deployment of these bands, regarding the kidnapping business, which is a very lucrative form of revenue for them.

With these dark clouds hanging menacingly over Dominican Republic, presidential pre-candidate Francisco Dominguez Brito of the PLD Party (“Partido de la Liberacion Dominicana”), recently conducted a very sobering press conference in Santo Domingo.  

Dominguez Brito publicly requested of President Abinader to immediately invoke proactive measures, in order to prevent the possibility of Haitian armed bands crossing into Dominican territory, to conduct kidnappings or much worse, just as  they’ve been doing in Haiti with impunity.  

We are convinced Mr. Dominguez Brito was not issuing a mere electioneering statement, given his proven stature as former Attorney General of the Republic under former Presidents Fernandez and Medina.

His statement called for creating a special unit, counteracting Haiti’s armed groups, stipulating specific actions such as the creation of an intelligence database, and the interception of telephone communications.  

In other words, Mr. Dominguez Brito was recommending employment by the Dominican state, of IMSI Catcher/Stingray equipment, as operated by law enforcement and security agencies in North America and Europe, in order to conduct cellphone monitoring and tracking, of criminal suspects believed to be a threat to the state, and public safety. 

Adding to Dominguez Brito's dire warnings, former Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas publicly declared that insecurity in Haiti represented a "real threat" to Dominican Republic.  He further stated that Haiti's insecurity situation was worsening rapidly, and the power vaccum placed that nation on the verge of civil war, posing a real threat to Dominican Republic.  

As usually in the past, whenever Haiti comes to national attention, Dominican nationalist groups have energized themselves, projecting their cause publicly, in order to persuade public opinion.  The "Marcha Patriotica" action on August 6 was thus organized by the "Instituto Duartiano", and other civic society organizations and personalities.  

The August 6 nationalist action was both quantitatively and qualitatively superior to similar activities in the past.  Hundreds attended the march in downtown Santo Domingo. Additionally, on any given day hashtag #MarchaPatrioticaRD trends quite heavily, especially on its action date, and currently there is another such activity planned for Santiago in October. 

A tragic coincidence occurred on the same date as the "Marcha Patriotica" of August 6, the hate crime stabbing death of an Afro-Dominican man in Santo Domingo.  This hate crime happened on a bus, pursuant to an argument by two passengers, concerning a subject "regarding Haitians".  

The Metropolitan Bus Authority (OMSA) Communications Director, callously stated regarding this hate crime, that it had been an "isolated act", knowing fully well that the morning of August 6, the anti-Haitian "Marcha Patriotica" had taken place in the Capital, and later in the afternoon this hate crime happened.  

And to makes matters worse, the  "OMSA" did not immediately release the videos of this hate crime, according to testimony from the victim's family, leading one to reasonably conclude, of evidence tampering or obstructing justice, on the part of the authorities. 

Thus, the entire circumstances regarding this hate crime stabbing death of an Afro-Dominican man, coinciding on the same date as the anti-Haitian "Marcha Patriotica", coupled with the callous statement by the "OMSA" Communications Director, and with the aggravating prima facie evidence of official evidence tampering and obstruction of justice, merely validates the culture of racism and xenophobia, pervading in Dominican Republic to this day.

Regarding the Haitian diaspora in Dominican Republic, census figures vary from over half a million by UN accounts, to as many as one million or more, by other references.  Recent statistics indicate, that sometimes as many as 7,000 forced repatriations of Haitians per month or more, occur from Dominican territory.  

With the increasingly deteriorating situation in Haiti, it is obvious that the more recent influx of Haitians into Dominican Republic, defines them as "displaced persons" fleeing armed conflict, somewhat similar to that of refugees, escaping conflict areas in the Horn of Africa.  

And by that extreme standard, indeed the entire Haitian diaspora in Dominican Republic,  could fit that description, thus forced repatriations of Haitians from Dominican Republic, places that population in extreme peril, since in the words of Dominican President Abinader, Haiti is undergoing a "low intensity civil war".  

As we stated initially, Dominican Republic is indeed at a historical crossroads, regarding the dire and unpredictable situation in "el pais vecino".  However,  the ultimate responsibility of what is transpiring in Haiti right now, falls squarely with the U.S., after interfering in Haiti's internal affairs for decades.  And to be more fair, Uncle Sam is historically responsible for the Haitian debacle, going back to the Era of Gunboat Diplomacy during the Twentieth Century. 

Exactly how will Dominican Republic extricate itself from this conundrum, remains to be seen at this time.  The one remaining constant throughout all this, are Toussaint L'Overture's prophetic words over three centuries ago... "The island is one and indivisible".  

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