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9702: Re: Foreign Policy Faux-pas (fwd)
Dr. Allen writes:
"...It is rumored that Aristide after giving private assurances that Haiti would vote for the neighbor directed the Haitian delegation to vote for Mexico, which it apparently did. The Dominicans are reportedly very unhappy because they felt that they have been double-crossed by Aristide, who according to them, has not kept his word (what else is new)."
Well Dr. Allen, there are many areas in which one could find fault with Haitian diplomacy, but I'm of the mind that this is NOT one of them. The D.R, to put it very mildly, has not been very neighborly toward Haitians or the Republic of Haiti. We are consistently being humiliated by Dominican officials at all levels, yet they are "very unhappy" because we didn't vote for them. Very unhappy does not even begin to measure the degree of anger every Haitian -- hell, every human rights activist -- feels regarding the treatment Dominicans reserve for Haitians.
We do not know the exact circumstances and possible behind-the-scences negotiations that led to Haiti voting for Mexico, if indeed that's the case. Let us only hope that the Haitian vote was cast after careful analysis and consideration of the pros and cons. If the Haitian delegation did engage in such analysis and decided to vote for Mexico on the basis of its interests, then it has done the right thing as far as I'm concerned. For heaven's sake a vote for the D.R. should not at all be considered automatic, proximity notwithstanding!
As for the Dominicans getting angry because they felt "double-crossed": They need to take a very long and hard look at themselves over many decades.
On a final note: Let's hope this vote against the D.R is a sign that Haiti will put more vigor in managing its relationship with our eastern neighbors. For starters, we need to regulate our borders and control the tremendous amount of goods coming in. On a daily basis, untold amount of Dominican goods enter Haiti without any control. Yet, Haitian goods are very carefully monitored and routinely forbidden. Dominican tour operators regularly take tourists to the Citadelle and other historic sites of the north. Again very little benefit to Haiti.