People work on the construction of the border wall that is being built to divide the Dominican Republic from Haiti, in Dajabon, Dominican Republic (Photo by Erika SANTELICES / AFP) (Photo by ERIKA SANTELICES/afp/AFP via Getty Images)
On Sept. 15, President Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic announced the closure of all land, air, and sea borders to its neighboring country, Haiti.
Dominican officials maintain that the decision to close its borders is necessary, due to Haiti’s violation of a decades-long treaty that “governs the fair use of waterways” shared by the two countries. The 1929 agreement prevents either nation from altering the natural course of their shared waters. Abinader has called the country’s canal plan a “totally inadequate construction without any type of engineering” and a “provocation that this government is not going to accept,” the Post reported. Haitian officials vehemently disagree with Abinader’s remarks, calling the move by Abinader a bid for reelection at the demise of its people.
“The canal issue is just an element to reactivate hatred,” said the Rev. Germain Clerveau, a Haitian priest who has lived near the border for decades.
Maismy-Mary Fleurant, a former officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, believes Dominican officials are simply joining in on centuries of anti-Blackness hurled at Haiti, dating back to the reign of Rafael Trujillo.
“These actions are not driven by concerns for international law,” he said, “but rather by local politicians aimed at demonstrating who can be the most vehemently anti-Haitian. Unfortunately, Haitians consistently bear the brunt of these local political maneuvers.”
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Source: Black Enterprise