History is not on an Organization of American States-lead dialogue’s side. Dominicans have yet to heal from OAS’ Inter-American Peace Force, established after the second U.S. military intervention in our country, in 1965. As for our history with Haiti, early on, being Dominican was defined as the opposition to all things Haitian. Unlike most countries in the Americas, our independence war was not fought against colonialist Spain, but against Haitian occupation from 1822 to 1844.
A lot, of course, has happened since then. At the risk of oversimplifying a history of dispute and exploitation by both countries’ elites of the Haitian people — including the Haitian government’s acceptance of money paid by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo to buy pardon for the 1937 massacre, or the permanent human trade promoted and validated by governments of both sides of the island — I’ll go on with the current situation. But some context is important.
The Dominican government reacted to Almagro’s statement by refusing all dialogue with Haiti through O.A.S., a move that greatly pleased the ultranationalists. Ultranationalism has flourished since a constitutional court reviewed the case of one woman of Haitian descent and, in September 2013, ordered the revision of all national birth records from 1929 to 2007, and declared that those born of foreign undocumented parents could not be recognized as Dominican. The fear that tens of thousands would be left stateless and deported, mainly to Haiti, has unleashed an international discussion in which facts have been battered and speculation has thrived.
“There is so much historical baggage between the Dominican Republic and Haiti that mutual mistrust is no surprise.” via The Huffington.