Nothing New Under the Sun The Occupation— and the DR Migration Crisis

The centennial, on July 28, of the start in 1915 of the 19-year occupation of Haiti by the U.S. brings back to Haitians everywhere feelings of frustration and revolt. We just can’t come to terms with the disgrace of the violation by hostile foreign troops of the land our ancestors had won heroically from France 111 years prior to the invasion.

United States Marines invaded Haiti on July 28, 1915 — and they did not leave until August 1934

July 28, 2015 will evoke for many the centennial of the US occupation of Haiti that lasted from July 28 1915 to August 1934. The timelines below provide some of the context that led to this sad chapter in Haiti’s history and capture key events help to illustrate how history tends to repeat itself. We have also solicited comments from opinion leaders, academics and activists active in the Haiti reconstruction project. Some share with us their perspectives, lessons learned— or just not learned, to quote Dr. Margareth Armand from Florida.

Late 1890s

Application of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 which opposed European interference in Latin America with WWI looming. It found its application in the Big Brother policy (late 1880s) and the Roosevelt Corollary Doctrine (late 1890s-early 1900s). It applied specifically to Haiti given strong German and French economics influences in the banking system and customs of Haiti and persistent rumors of Germany’s interest in Haiti’s Mole St Nicolas as a possible naval base - an idea previously entertained by US President Harrison. At the end of the 19th century with its variation, the Roosevelt Corollary, the Monroe Doctrine was in full motion with Marines invasion in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and the construction of the Panama Canal.

US needs to speak loudly on DR crisis

The international community is speaking out against the Dominican Republic’s reckless immigration crackdown that targets people of Haitian descent. Newspapers, human rights groups and a few key political leaders here in the United States are stepping up their pressure on the DR to adhere to international norms and to back away from wholesale deportations.

But, an important voice has been missing from the dialogue— at least in the public realm: Our federal government has remained silent on the issue of the Dominican Republic’s wrong-headed policy. That posture needs to change.

Many leave Dominican Republic for Haiti to avoid deportation

OUANAMINTHE, Haiti — Thousands of people from Haiti or merely of Haitian descent aren't waiting to see if they'll be forcibly removed from the Dominican Republic now that the deadline has passed to apply for legal residency.

The end of a yearlong application period has sparked an exodus to Haiti of people who failed to qualify. Some plan to wait out what they fear could be a wave of mass deportations, while others will start uncertain new lives on the poorer side of Hispaniola.

Haitian artisans find exposure, income via Business Network

Finding a reliable source of high-quality, affordable and sustainable Haitian artwork can be a challenge— even for those who travel to Haiti often. Haggling for art or souvenirs from roadside vendors can get old real fast— and who knows how— or whether— the actual craftspeople who made the items are compensated fairly for their artistry.

The Artisan Business Network is designed to help casual collectors, tourists— and especially diaspora Haitians hoping to support homegrown artists without anxiety about who’s profiting. The network, developed jointly by Fairwinds Trading and HAND/EYE Fund, empowers Haitians with entrepreneurial tools, design input, and market access. They operate three depots— or retail shops— in Jacmel, Port-au-Prince and Croix-des-Bouquets, where many of the Haiti’s distinctive and beautiful metal pieces are created.

Haiti beats Honduras 1-0, earns trip to Gold Cup quarterfinals

Duckens Nazon scored in the first half and Haiti earned a 1-0 win over Honduras in the last CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A game for each at Sporting Park on Monday night in Kansas City.

Haiti (1-1-1, 4 points) clinched a third-ever berth in the quarterfinals and first since 2009 after the US and Panama played to a 1-1 draw later on Monday night. Honduras (0-1-2, 1), which reached the semifinals the last three tournaments, failed to advance out of the group stage for the first time since 2003.

Haitians proved tough opponent for USA in 1-0 loss

Haiti must win against Honduras on Monday to stay alive in Gold Cup tourney

Clint Dempsey broke a scoreless stalemate early in the second half and the United States clinched a place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Haiti (0-1-1, 1 point) on Friday night before 46,720 fans at Gillette Stadium.

The result guaranteed that the Americans (2-0-0, 6 points) will finish first in Group A after a 1-1 draw between Honduras (0-1-1, 1 point) and Panama (0-2-0, 2 points) earlier in the evening left the Central Americans sides too far adrift.

Dominican Republic has long history of using Haitians as political foils

Patrick SylvainPatrick SylvainOne would hope a country with institutional memories tries to avoid mistakes from the past by using the past as guiding posts for policies, and, or, as teaching tools so that future generations can learn from mistakes, as well as from achievements worthy of celebrations in order to uplift or maintain a national narrative.

Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. A country without institutional memories is doomed to repeat past mistakes due to the fact that guideposts are either non-existent, or ignored, and therefore procedural continuities or crucial historical learning moments are categorically ignored.


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