martes, 6 de enero de 2015

The Sugar Cane Business: Dominican Republic and Haiti. A Timeline

 Photo: Pending Source.

First Published on June 27th 2014. 

Como parte de mi preparación para mi film de final de primer año les comparto una cronología/timeline sobre hechos/sucesos que fui buscando dentro de la relación Rep Dominicana- Haití a propósito del tema de la sentencia, racismo y "patriotismo".

Film in Youtube click here.

Cada quien emita su propio juicio.

As a part of my first year final film preparation, here I share a chronology about some facts and acts that I was looking related to the relationship between the two countries related to the judgement, racism and 'patriotism'.

Each one of you build your own judgement.


1492 - Christopher Columbus arrive to the island of Santo Domingo/La Hispaniola/Quisqueya

1501 - The Spanish Monarchy authorizes colonizers to import slaves from Africa to work the sugar crop. The first African slaves arrive in 1503.

1510 - comes the first great expedition of African slaves to the island of Hispaniola coming from Spain.

1613 - Juan Rodriguez moves from the island of Hispaniola to what today is New York.

1640 - Due to abandonment of the colony by Spain, France established direct control reorganizing as Official Cologne.

1697-Treaty of Ryswick (Spain officially recognizes the French presence in the western part of the island). Over the next century the French colony of Saint-Domingue became one of the richest in the world, producing mostly sugar and coffee.

1791- Haitian Revolution Begins.

1793 - Leger-Felicité Sonthonax, Governor of the Island of Saint-Domingue, decreed the abolition of slavery

1794 - The National Convention of the French Republic confirms the abolition of slavery in Saint-Domingue.

1795 - In the Treaty of Basel Spain ceded the colony of Santo Domingo to France

1801 - The Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture, write the constitution of colonial Saint Domingue, which again confirms the abolition of slavery.

1802-Napoleon restored slavery in Haiti.

1804-Haiti declared independence from France under the leadership of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

1808/1809- starts and complete the "Reconquista" war. Santo Domingo rejoins Spain.

1821 - Jose Nuñez de Cáceres declared the independence of the "Independent State of Spanish Haiti." This brief period between the declaration of independence and the unification of the island is known as the "short-lived independence." (Independencia Efímera)

1822 - President Jean-Pierre Boyer unifies the island under the Republic of Haiti. The Haitian government decreed the abolition of slavery in Santo Domingo with the unification of the island, since neither Spain nor Nuñez de Caceres had abolished slavery.

1844 - Declaration of independence of the Dominican Republic from Haiti.

1863-1865  Dominican Restoration War against Spain.

1915 - North American Invasion of Haiti (until 1934)

1916 - North American Invasion in Dominican Republic (to 1924)

1920 - At this time they were 28,258 Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

1933 - After a decision by Fulgencio Batista to promote local jobs for the natives, in Cuba, thousands of haitians were expelled to Haiti and most of them moved to Dominican Republic.

1933 - Trujillo passed a law “Dominicanizing” the cane harvest, requiring that 70% of the workers in the field were Dominican.

1934 - Dominican Republic deported 8,000 of Haitians. The Congress passed another migration law, followed by a law promoting Dominican colonization of the border area, but the Haitians continue coming until Trujillo decided to solve the problem permanently in October 1937 just as the cane harvest was about to begin.

1935 - A year after US leave Haiti and eleven years they’d left DR there were 52,657 legal Haitians residents in DR. “The Corporations had relied so heavily on cheap foreign labor that Dominicans no longer considered cutting cane themselves.  That was ”Haitian work” unfit for native sons.

1937 - The Parsley Massacre; also referred to as El Corte (the cutting) by Dominicans and as Kouto-a (the knife) by Haitians; was a government-sponsored genocide in October 1937, at the direct order of Dominican president Rafael Trujillo, taking the lives of around 25,000 Haitians in the area of the Dominican -Haitian border.

1937 - The braceros working for multinational were spared. But because the harvest had not begun yet that year, there were, in fact, very few workers in the fields. The Haitians stopped coming leaving the plantation managers scrambling to find workers to cut the cane when the harvest began in November.

1948 - The price of sugar had more than doubled from its Depression low. Trujillo saw the Haitians under a new light.

1952 - Trujillo and Haiti’s President, Paul Magloire, agreed on a plan to ensure a steady supply of cane cutters: Dominican sugar mills would simply buy the workers straight from the Haitian government. The first year they bought 16,500 Haitians.

1966 - Dominican Republic signed a new contract with Duvalier for the annual supply of broad backs, strong arms, sweat and blood. Trujillo was gone but his inhuman labor system remained. (...) The braceros never saw the money. The money went directly to Duvalier family pockets.

1970’s - The Dominican government was paying Haiti as much as $3 million a year for the braceros.

1980 - The Dominican government under international pressure warned employers about hiring illegal workers would be prosecuted. A the end of that year harvest Dominican soldiers rounded up al the Haitians they could find and deported them.

1983 - The Dominican government responded to a 1983 International Labor Organization inquiry into the status of the cane cutters with an ingenious and but accurate argument: “One of the worst forms of slavery today is practiced by the developed countries when they keep down the prices of basic products by subsidizing and dumping products competing with those that are vital for the countries of the “Third World”.

2008 - Estimates range between 650,000 and 1 million Haitians who live in the country. Several Haitian rights NGOs argue that the latter includes Haitians born in Haiti as well as their DR-born offspring.

2010 - Haiti Earthquake leave around 210,000 and 316,000 deaths; 300,000 injured; 1.5 million initially displaced.

2010 - Dominican Republic carries out important work in helping to manage the crisis and rebuild Haiti.

2013 - July. Haiti's government prohibits the sale of eggs and chickens from Dominican Republic related to a 2008 case of H1N1.

2013 - September 23rd is Issued the Judgment TC168/13.

2014 - January. The Haitian government lifts the ban on the sale of eggs and chickens from Dominican Republic.

2014 -  On May 15, the Dominican President Danilo Medina prepares and submits a bill in order to restore citizenship to stateless by TC168/13 judgment. At the end of this edition the bill is in the Congress been analyzed.

from multiples sources: press articles, interviews with historians, and from the book “Why the Cocks Fight” by Michele Wucker. Chapter: Life on the Batey. pag 93.

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