By Max A. Joseph Jr.
The Dominican Republic’s policies toward Haiti over the last three decades made abundantly clear that the island of Hispaniola, which Dominicans and Haitians shared for approximately five centuries, can no longer accommodate both nations.
The cornerstone of D.R.’s policies was an enduring project of destabilizing its neighbor. Acts ranged from sheltering terrorists to making the D.R. a launching pad for an internationally-sanctioned uprising against the Lavalas government in 2004.
Do the Dominican policy makers really expect the denaturalized Dominicans of Haitian ancestry to humbly accept the fate assigned to them and move on with their lives?
The D.R. leadership may have crossed a point of no return with this latest development, which undoubtedly poisons the relationship between the two countries for generations to come. In other words: bat chyen-an, tan’n met-li¸or what goes around, comes around.
Because of their emotional attachment to Spain, which they proudly describe as the “motherland,” the Spanish-speaking Dominicans possess an alternative that is simply not available to Haitians who, according to an absurd viewpoint, may have forfeited their place in the family of nations by not embracing their former colonizer.
If the Dominicans feel uncomfortable with the centuries-old accommodation, they should migrate to Spain, given that the western portion of Hispaniola, which Haitians inhabit, cannot be towed or forcibly emptied of its residents.
With international relations essentially a controlled environment, whose rules and edicts rigorously enforced by the architects of the post-WWII geopolitical order, why are the Dominicans allowed to act with such impunity?
Given that the future of Haiti will never be decided by international resolutions, MINUSTAH or the D.R., irrespective of intent, mandate or aspiration, this is one of the instances where ignorance is bliss.
However, we cannot ignore one important fact: the open season on Haitians, who are unreasonably persecuted at home by an occupation force and subjected to inhumane treatment abroad. It calls into question the integrity and fairness of the global system and should be used as a catalyst for a renewal of the Haitian character, which would definitely require an epic cultural upheaval.
Haiti did not find itself in this unfortunate situation by chance. The label of “failed state” is absolutely undeserving. An adrift and dysfunctional state would be a more accurate description of Haiti. It should be noted that Evans Paul aka (K-Plim), the country’s current prime minister, actively took part in the international-backed plot to sabotage Haiti’s bicentennial in 2004 at a meeting held in Santo Domingo, the D.R. capital, in December of 2003.
Lo and behold, the plan came to fruition two months into that infamous meeting when Haiti was invaded and occupied on February 29, 2004 by French and U.S. troops. The lukewarm reaction of the Haitian government at this moment of national humiliation may be the clearest indication that the intelligence goods collected by the Dominican secret services from that meeting onward are being used to silence these impenitent collaborators.
A political system that produces these morally deficient and repugnant individuals is definitely in needs of a comprehensive makeover. As presently structured, Haiti’s system is custom-made for foreign subversions through the use of local proxies. The Dominicans and others have taken full advantage of that situation by hiring and making use of these mercenaries. We need strong institutions (not strong men) that can endure the machinations of our adversaries and snuff out the subversive tendencies of the internal enemies of the state, because a dignified, stable and prosperous Haiti will remain an impossible dream with these people at the helm.
These demagogues have mastered and elevated unaccountability into an art form that allows them to endorse or promote absurdities they later blame on the proverbial law of “unintended consequences” which is defined as “outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and intended by a purposeful action.” Suffice to say, they consistently utilize this art form to absolve themselves of all responsibilities. Because history has always been unkind to those that fail to defend their fundamental rights, these politicians’ indifference in the face of malicious provocations may bring the end of Haiti as a nation.
Haiti has to develop a multi-thronged strategy of securing its backyard by reclaiming its sovereignty and taking a practical approach to dealing with its adversaries or tormenters, while reforming the way it is governed. That being said, we must be willing to embrace the kind of system that meshes with our distinctiveness and reject the ones that facilitate subversions and promote anarchy, regardless of their attractiveness to others.
The complacency of the political class is costing us dearly. Future generations of Haitians could find themselves in a worse predicament than the one we are presently living.
History taught us that remarkable leaders’ political philosophy and approach to governing are shaped by unfortunate events. Hopefully, the savior that would extricate Haiti from its predicament will emerge out of this relentless and unwarranted persecution by our neighbors and apathy of the international community. The present situation and a sense of urgency dictate that it will be sooner rather than later. Indeed, we can bring the necessary changes and propel Haiti forward, provided the political establishment musters the courage to address its shortcomings in a resolute manner.