Haiti, Dominican Republic: Slaves in Paradise

Says Collectif Haiti de Provence (Fr):”For International Anti-Slavery Day, May 10, 2007, Pour Que L'esprit Vive Association is organizing a series of activities to denounce living conditions in [Dominican] bateys: photo exhibits, roundtables with Haitian and Dominican intervenors, films. The event will be titled ‘Slaves in Paradise’.”


  • Diana Garner

    I want to know more about D.R.?

  • What exactly would you like to know about the Dominican Republic…

    There are plenty of things to say about this country….

  • Bisou-Bisou

    Dominican Republic is a beautiful country but it has a bad external campain of difamation because the Haitians that works in the “Bateyes” doesnt have the conditions needed for a human people, it isn’t a thing of the another world, because there are dominicans too, it is a bad reality of a few quantity of people, dominicans and haitians, it isnt just a Haitian problem, its a problem of both nations, not a Dominican problem only.

  • Janio

    As stated, the Dominican Republic is a beuatiful country in the caribbean that shares the island of La Hispaniola with the poorest country in the western hemisphere- Haiti.
    The life of haitians in the Dom Rep has been blown out of proportion by journalists, priests, etc. The conditions are below standards, true; the conditions sometimes are inhumane, true. But let’s sit back and think of what is the alternative: HAITI. You can ask them what they prefer and they’ll tell you DR. The economical burden of all the illegal Haitians that stay behind and enjoy the chance to work, to eat, to have kids in a hospital or simply a chance to continue alive is ENORMOUS and the rest of the world does not give the DR one penny for this. It is great to come out in defense of the poor but what are you doing about it? The UN wouldn’t touch the subject, the OAS either. If you really want to erradicate the lifestyle of the Haitians in DR then create jobs, repopulate their hills with trees, send vaccines but no it is easier if you don’t move a finger and they just migrate to the DR. The Dominican government has reached across the island and is starting to develop some of the sources of jobs in Haiti. Haitians will receive temporary IDs if they are legally in the DR so they can have social services available to them. As I write this I cannot stop thinking of the situation the US has with Mexicans, it’s the same deal and what is being done about that?
    I am not a politician, I just know that there is another side to this coin. GOD BLESS!

  • J.H.C

    The Dominican authorities have allowed the unchecked migration of more than a 1.5 million Haitians to the Dominican Republic. Thousands of Haitian women crossed the border to DR to give birth to their children and no Dominican dares to deny them basic health services. Every Dominican town or city has become home to thounsands of hungry Haitian migratians…Granted, Haitians in DR have a hard time getting services and the support of the Dominican authorities. But, should the Dominican taxpayer pay to solve crisis that has been created on the other side of the border? It’s sad that many activists ignore that the same suffering affect more than 4 million poor Dominicans. I guess they don’t count. I feel that this debate has been reduce to a simple proposition: “Haitians are good, Dominican are bad.” Ironically, NO OTHER COUNTRY HAS GIVEN MORE TO HAITIANS THAN THEIR DOMINICAN NEIGHBORS. Think about it…Haitians are free to go back to Haitian if the choose. Dominicans will be the first ones to approve of voluntary return.

  • 2sharp

    So you´er saying that Haitians aren´t robbed of their Passports so they can´t return to Haiti?
    You´re saying their childrens teeth are aren´t rotten because all they have to eat is sugarcrop while the owner of the biggest sugarmill sits in Florida eting and drinking like a pig?
    You must not be informed properly and might just be sypathising with those cruel people that deny Human beeings to live as such with clean water medical help etc.
    It´s surely not the Haitians fault that Dominican People are poor aswell but does this justify slavery?

  • Moreno

    JHC & Janio-

    There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Dominicans that have migrated to the US. Could you imagine, for one second, how loudly you would protest if the US were to do to the Dominicans what is happening to the Haitians in the bateys? Anytime you have a hard time finding that part of your heart that feels sorry for what is happening to the Haitians in the bateys, just imagine it happening to your own people (which, unfortunately, is the only way some of us understand). After all, your country may be economically better off than Haiti, but it has its own economic problems that leads to many, many migrants that rely on the economies of other countries (like the US). And although you might think that you’re white, there are many white people in the US that know that you are not and they can easily do to you what you do to the Haitians and can justify it with the SAME exact reasoning. How does the saying go, “Don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house”.

  • Chris Morris

    I am a British student of Spanish and, as part of my course, I have to write an essay on a topic of my choosing about some aspect of Spanish or Hispanic culture. Having heard the song ‘Ojalá que llueva el café en el campo’ (by Juan Luis Guerra) my interest was drawn to the Dominican Republic and the plight of its agricultural workers. Further research led me into the arguments for and against the assertion that there exists a regime of slavery in the sugar cane plantations. My instincts tell me that there is no moral dimension to ‘big business’ and that, hence, there could be truth in these comments. However, there seem to be passionately held opinions on both sides.
    I am resolved to make this issue the subject of my essay, but what is the truth and where do I find it?

    Chris Morris
    Hampshire, UK

  • The xenophobia is a extreme dislike of foreigners and their customs, is a deep abhorrence. Have you heard talk about the skinhead in Germany or The Blueskull in Spain?. I`m sorry to tell that this don´t exist in my country. Certainly D.R. is not USA or Europe, our unemployed rate is still too high and we cannot offer at 2 millions of haitians in Dominican Republic a good lifestyle. Of course, some isolated cases of quarrel or death can happen as occur in Italy and Spain with albanians and morrocans, in Puerto Rico with dominicans, in USA with Mexicans, etc,etc.

  • Antonio

    I hope all Dominicans around the world come back to the D.R., live and work here, so our country will grow and develop . But I also want all the non Dominicans illegally living in this country to go back to theirs. We don’t need foreign investors (does not matter where they come from, because they are always looking for our resources). We have the best country, climate , land, beaches , etc on earth (and the worst President) , but we can live by ourselves. Whatever we need , we will buy it, whatever we produce we will sell it.
    I hope that all those organizations helping Haitians over here take them back to Haiti and help them over there.
    We have lost 10 kms of our border due to the deforestation caused by desperate Haitians, as they did in their country…so in less than 50 years there will be nothing but desert on the entire island. We have enough poor Dominicans so we can not add 3 or 4 millions more and create more problems to us. Another negative thing of our neighbors is that they reproduce by dozens per families and we don’t.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.