It is with great surprise and outrage that most Dominicans and our friends throughout the world have found out that through a well-articulated and blatantly fabricated media campaign our country is being described as a “neo-fascist nazi bastion in the world”.
The simple, superficial and deceiving version is this: the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling 168-13 has unraveled a crisis in Dominican-Hatian relations by the “denationalizing of hundreds of thousands of people of Haitian Descent”, as a jurisdictional expression of impending xenophobia and racism.
The reality is quite different and complex at the same time. A reality that has been kept under wraps, because “hell is in what we keep silent”. Haiti, both emblematic and problematic, has collapsed as a state long before the earthquake of 2010. It consistently figures in the World Failed States Index of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
In light of this unquestionable geopolitical fact, the international community and specially the most powerful nations, should respond and aid Haiti. They have however, adopted irresponsible and erratic positions of minimum or cynical commitments that if not reversed run the risk of creating a crisis of major dimensions that will surely be of a regional character.
Efforts at reconstructing Haiti’s national bases have been discarded – which would the most rational and fair approach- among other reasons because of how costly and uncertain it would be. Also, for not wanting to resolve the issue of ungovernability in a country that has become a real headache.
Most central countries have nonetheless aimed their efforts at avoiding -at all possible costs- that Haitian immigration flows reach the coasts of Florida, the overseas territories of the United Kingdom and France and other insular Caribbean nations. However, due to the breath and scope of the Haitian crisis, most countries have opted for a formula -both cheap and easy at first sight- to condition the Dominican Republic into assuming the role of axis state, as it becomes a buffer zone or escape valve to the Haitian crisis. This is the reason why – without reservations- its weaknesses and dependence are being exploited via soft and hard resources of power.
It has been most certainly proven that this equivocated formula will not alleviate Haiti in its situation of devastation and prostration. Such actions will only continue in making the Haitian ruling class believe and act on the basis of self-entitlement, indifferent to the drama of eight million impoverished souls. An attitude that reflects their belief that everything is owed to them and that they have nothing left to lose.
Said power struggles slowly debilitate the Dominican state, who already faces dire conditions at attempting to apply its policies and strengthening its institutions. A medially developed, relatively functional state that runs the risk of losing all its notable conquests, should the international centers of power, namely the United States, continue to push a “Dominican solution” to Haiti’s problems.
Those that believe this can happen without there being any consequences, are profoundly mistaken and could be greatly surprised. The Dominican Republic is the nation with the largest interest in that its neighbor become stable, secure and prosperous. In cooperating with Haiti and the international community it has been supportive well beyond its means. Regardless of this, dominican national interests have begun to impose limitations on the scope of its capacity to help Haiti, not withstanding the efforts of the more complacent faction for it not to do so. The Dominican Republic cannot and should not impose itself over its neighboring country nor can it accept a “dominican solution” to Haiti’s problems. Any aid or cooperation with the international community and Haitian authorities must be strictly conditioned to the serious commitment of the reconstruction of Haiti in and within Haiti and its national bases.
Until now, the Haitian tragedy has been the sum of all failures. This tragedy has the potential to become cause for failure of the Dominican Republic and the entire Caribbean region as it is loaded with political tension and the violence of organized crime.
Due to the principle of order and self-determination that it implies, ruling 168-13 of the Constitutional Tribunal should be the starting point of a profound change in dominican foreign policy. Its main goal should be to revert the current disastrous trends and aim at guaranteeing that peace, stability and development are at the future horizon in the coexistence of our two nations.