The already strained relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti are taking on a new and alarming dimension, revolving around the issue of the Massacre River water diversion project by the population of northeastern Haiti. In response to this initiative, the Dominican Republic has unveiled a series of drastic measures, including the closure of the Dajabón border crossing and the suspension of visa issuance to Haitian nationals.
Additionally, the Dominican government is contemplating the suspension of all land, sea, and air trade exchanges with Haiti, effective from Thursday, September 14.
The core of this crisis revolves around the Massacre River water diversion project. The Dominican Republic has expressed concerns regarding the potential repercussions of this canal on the water supply in the border region and its environmental impact. This situation has heightened tensions between the two neighboring nations.
Despite Dominican apprehensions, the population of northeastern Haiti remains resolute in pursuing the construction of the canal. They argue that this project holds paramount importance for the economic development of their region, promising job creation and an improvement in local living conditions.
This standoff illuminates the intricacies of the relationship between these two nations, characterized by one of the world’s longest and most permeable borders. Managing the flow of people and goods has consistently presented a significant challenge, resulting in tensions related to immigration, illicit trade, and security.