Last April, during a two-week vacation back in Haiti, where most of my family comes from, my uncle and I discussed taking a road trip to the Dominican Republic. As he lamented what a crime it was that I hadn’t “seen the entire island,” he rattled through the many activities we could get into—some legally dubious, all exciting nonetheless. In that moment, I, like the rest of the ignorant world, had forgotten that the Dominican government had just stripped Dominican-born citizens of Haitian ancestry of their citizenship, rendering hundreds of thousands stateless.
Haiti was ethnically cleansed after the sale revolt. Those whites who had not fled were massacred. How did ethnic cleansing influence the different development paths of these two countries on the same island?
DR is a functioning state balancing issues of dealing with a failed stated next door. Migrant workers came to work in sugar fields which are not longer in production. Who’s fault is that? The artificial sweetener manufacturers?
Sugar production ended in 1995 because the deal with the USA ended in 1995. The deal with the USA was a 30 year deal sealed when John F Kennedy last sent Marines into Santo Domingo in 1965.
When the DR needed labor the Haitians came, to be benefit of both sides. Now both sides must work out a resolution. To call this ‘ethnic cleansing’ is to cheapen the discussion while attempting to reach for an easy answer.