Dominican Republic Closes Borders with Haiti

    Dominican Republic Closes Borders with Haiti
    Image copyright: Flickr [via Wikimedia Commons]

    The Facts

    • The Dominican Republic on Friday closed all land, air, and sea borders with neighboring Haiti as a dispute over the construction of a canal on the Haitian side of a shared river has worsened.

    • This comes as Dominican President Luis Abinader announced Thursday a total border shutdown that will last "as long as necessary," with backing from their military and police forces, while talks with the Haitian government continue.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The world is failing the Haitian people, and this dispute is yet another example of it. The Dominican government's unilateral decision to close the border essentially traps Haitians — who are already facing extreme levels of violence and struggling to feed their families and access clean water and health care — in a move to politically capitalize on anti-Haitian sentiments ahead of next year's election.

    Narrative B

    The border closure is a necessary measure that must remain in effect while the Haitian government, which has problems controlling its territory, fails to prevent the building of this provocative canal to divert water from the Massacre River. Talks to address this ongoing dispute are underway, and hopefully, Santo Domingo will soon come to good terms with Port-au-Prince.

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