The ‘Dominican Vespers'

By Kevin Jenks
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 7, Number 4 (Summer 1997)
Issue theme: "The abuse of asylum and refuge"
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc0704/article_670.shtml



The bloodbath came unheralded. At places all along the border, and deep within their country, too, the killers struck - armed with machetes, armed with bayonets, armed with knives - at the despised foreign intruders. They dragged their helpless victims from their huts and cut them down in the muddy yards as scrawny chickens scattered. The attackers spared few words on their prey; but one word - perejil, "parsley" - recurred, enigmatically, repeatedly, a subtle spice for a slaughter.

Again and again the blades stabbed and slashed; the peasant shirts of slaughterer and slaughtered alike grew spattered or soaked in blood. Before a week was gone, uncounted thousands lay dead in the countryside that grim October, sixty years ago this autumn.

The year 1937 is generally accounted a harsh one in the history of mankind's tenancy of the planet. It saw depression in the democracies, the rise of the totalitarian powers, civil war in Spain, total war in China - but these knives hadn't flashed in Nanking; these bayonets weren't driven home in Bilbao; nor was it Stalin's enemies or Hitler's Jews who fell gashed, bleeding, mutilated.

Kevin Jenks is a lifelong resident of California. A freelance writer, he is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract. This atrocity was smaller, briefer, more obscure - but for its victims no less terrible. And for Americans, of all that era's mass killings this one fell closest to home 700 miles from Miami, within 200 miles of Puerto Rico, on a tragic island, Hispaniola, where U.S. troops had occupied and ruled less than a decade before. There, under the swaying palms and azure skies of Caribbean reverie, part-black Dominicans and full-black Haitians briefly danced a deadly dance, a fatal merengue. When it ended, many thousands of Haitians on Dominican soil had died horrendously. Then our government intervened - with words. Bribes passed hands in Port au Prince; and a nightmare faded, dreamlike, into history, evanesced from memories of almost all but Haitian and Dominican.

Were this a single grotesque incident, an isolated tropic horror, a backdrop for a Graham Greene novel, the sanguinary affair that has come to be called - misleadingly enough - the "Dominican Vespers" might merit its present general oblivion. But, in fact, this slaughter was a characteristic, if extreme, expression of the Dominican Republic's immigration policy - past and present - toward Haiti; thereby it betokens quite the opposite of recent Dominican policy vis a vis the U.S., to which the D.R. encourages, indeed depends on, an unrestricted immigration.

Dominican Republic Immigration:

Now America's Problem

Few leading source-nations of current migration to the U.S. have so low a profile in American consciousness as does the Dominican Republic. The immigration of Dominicans has been a fairly recent one; they have tended to cluster in just a few metropolitan areas, above all New York City, already home to large Spanish-speaking Caribbean populations. In recent years, in comparison to, for instance, its close neighbors in the Caribbean - Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico - the affairs and culture of the Dominican Republic have attracted little more than specialized attention in the U.S.

The hard realities of Dominican immigration to the U.S., however, leave ignorance no longer an option. Since the 1980s, the Dominican Republic has become, in absolute terms, the leading source of legal immigration to New York City.1 In the previous decade it provided more Spanish-speaking immi-grants to the U.S. than any place but Mexico.2 According to the INS, in 1993 the Dominican Republic, with a population of a little under eight million, ranked sixth as a source of legal immigrants to America.3 There may now be as many as a million Dominicans - legally and illegally - in the New York area alone.4

"an interagency report on the smuggling of illegal aliens to the

U.S.  identified the Dominican Republic as ‘the key problem country in the Caribbean region.'"

The legal immigration has been accompanied by a vast illegal one, including many thousands who come clandestinely by boat to Puerto Rico. This latter traffic, far from being limited to Dominicans, has attracted "customers" from around the world. In 1995, an interagency report on the smuggling of illegal aliens to the U.S. - prepared for President Clinton by the Departments of State and Justice, the INS, the FBI, the CIA and the Coast Guard - identified the Dominican Republic "as the key problem country in the Caribbean region."5

On reaching America, Dominican immigrants and their families have benefited disproportionately from welfare.6 Their involvement in serious crime - above all in areas connected with drug trafficking - is well known to police: predominantly Dominican precincts in NYC have long been among the leaders in robbery and murder.7

This essay approaches one of America's problematic immigrations by going to its source. That is: unlike the preferred approach from sociology, and in defiance of the common focus on America's doorstep and foyer as the origin of immigrant woes - ours and theirs - it attempts to place immigration from the Dominican Republic in the fabric of the D.R.'s own migration strategy and practice, past and present. In other words, in this essay "multi-culturalism" is fiercely embraced, more so perhaps than advocates of the "gorgeous mosaic" will like, in an earnest effort to see if part, at least, of Uncle Sam's immigration problems of the present have roots that reach back long ago and deep.

Hispaniola's Tortured Past

The past of the once-verdant island of Hispaniola, home to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, reminds us that immigration, dispassionately defined, is not unfailingly benign, either for the "immigrants" or the host population. Three hundred and fifty dark and bloody years of recorded history preceded the "Dominican Vespers."8 The Spanish invaders brought to the native population slavery, disease, and extinction. Prey to Spanish neglect and the depredations of buccaneer and privateer, Hispaniola became something of a colonial and economic backwater until the rise of French power in Europe enabled France's acquisition of the western third of the island (by the Treaty of Ryswick, 1697). Then commenced in earnest the importation, under indescribable circumstances, of African slaves to work, in conditions scarcely less wretched than those on the slave ships, the sugar plantations that soon made French Saint Domingue the world's most profitable colony.

While the French masters of Saint Domingue prospered from the sugar crop, the Spanish part of Hispaniola gradually subsided into a sleepy colonial backwater. But French luxury and Spanish somnolence ended abruptly and forever in the 1790s. The slave rebellion against the French that began with the onset of France's own revolution wore on in a savage war of extermination and attrition, with treacheries and atrocities on all sides, swallowing whole armies from France and Spain, until at last it ended in independence for Haiti, but occupation (in 1822) for the Dominicans - by Haiti.

Haitian rule over Santo Domingo, as it was known in the nineteenth century, lasted for over twenty years. Though the Haitian occupiers freed Santo Domingo's slaves, their rule was arbitrary and brutal, and drove the bulk of the country's Creoles (i.e., native-born whites) into exile.

From its liberation, in 1844, when the Spanish-speaking, heavily mixed-blooded Dominicans drove out the French-speaking, more purely African Haitians - at that time several times more populous, and quite more prosperous than the Dominicans - to the present day, the Dominican Republic has sought not only to defend, but to distance, itself from its neighbor.

Fear of outright Haitian reconquest dominated Dominican political considerations for several decades afterward. During the American Civil War the Spaniards were invited back in, ruling from 1861 to 1865; later, during the Grant administration, a treaty providing for Santo Domingo's annexation to the United States failed by a single vote in the U.S. Senate (1870).9

Following the 1860s, the Haitian military threat receded, but aversion to the Haitians lived on in learned tract and peasant lore. While Dominican "Antihaitianismo," as the phenomenon is classified in the Enciclopedia Dominicana, is not entirely based on race (in that largely mulatto country), a good bit of it is. Thus the Enciclopedia: "Extreme paradox it is to base the spiritual essence of a nation fundamentally composed of Negroes and mulattoes on an ideology that is clearly racist!"10

The Haitian menace - both military and "racial" - provided the chief impetus for the population policy the Dominican Republic practiced from its initial independence into at least the 1960s. In a nutshell, that policy was to encourage population growth by discouraging emigration and by fostering immigration - chiefly (and often exclusively) white immigration. This way, the largely white (even more pronouncedly in their own self-images) leaders of the little republic hoped to reduce Haiti's still heavy numerical advantage, and further to counteract it with "superior" European blood.11

While the Dominican Republic has opened its doors to white immigration of many types - including, under the despotic Rafael Trujillo, Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and Loyalists fleeing Franco's Spain - white immigration to the little Caribbean republic has never amounted to much more than trickles. One such freshet, however, that of white sugar planters from Cuba fleeing the island after the failed revolution of 1868, helped Santo Domingo develop its own sugar industry, which soon eclipsed that of its Haitian neighbors. From the start the planters found themselves reliant on immigrant labor for the cutting and weighing of the crop - jobs the poorest Dominicans wouldn't touch, at least for what the sugar planters paid.

There were two sources for this foreign labor: Haiti, and Great Britain's possessions in the West Indies. That all these workers were black, and that few of them returned to their homes after the harvest, led the Dominican Republic to enact restrictive legislation in 1912. The law limited all but seasonal immigration to non-whites, and that only when there was a shortage of indigenous labor. Even then a special presidential permission was required. In the meantime, the island republic continued to seek unrestricted white immigration.

"The Haitian menace - both military and ‘racial' - provided

the chief impetus for the

population policy the Dominican Republic practiced from its

initial independence into

at least the 1960s."

This law was not in force very long, however. The continuing incompetence of the Dominican Republic's leaders and the instability of its institutions, together with its mounting foreign debt and Yankee fears of European intervention, gave the U.S. cause (or pretext) for occupation and military rule from 1916 to 1924. (A parallel American intervention resulted in the U.S. Army's occupation of Haiti between 1915 and 1934.)

The occupiers, interested in a ready supply of cheap and willing labor (for Dominicans continued to disdain the bottom rung jobs at the sugar plantations), one that didn't have to be re-transported across the water, quickly overturned the 1912 restriction law. By 1919, braceros (seasonal agricultural laborers) were coming in freely from Haiti; even after the U.S. Navy and Marines departed, the Haitians continued to come.

Organizer of the Vespers

The American withdrawal set the stage for the rise of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo - and thus the "Dominican Vespers."12 Trujillo, from a poor family of mixed black and white racial origins - reputedly including Haitian blood - was trained as an officer in the U.S.-organized military force, the National Guard, which by 1927 he commanded. In 1930 he led a successful coup against the president, then rigged his own election a few weeks later. Few would have predicted that this was the beginning of a 31-year autocracy.

Of interest here is Trujillo's Haitian policy, rather than the details of his hard rule over his own country. Yet one discerns similar threads in both areas: Trujillo's brutality, his nationalism, his ruthless energy in crushing his enemies and increasing his personal fortunes, his facility for enlisting capable lieutenants and for linking his personal ambitions to national goals and, often, to popular enthusiasm.

"Numerous questions remain

about the ‘Dominican Vespers'.

Documentation is thin and largely second hand. The number of victims and the motives of their killers

are still not entirely clear."

As Trujillo cemented his personal rule over the D.R., Haiti, in the aftermath of the U.S. Army withdrawal, bore sickly comparison even to its anemic neighbor. Whatever the gains in dignity and freedom for its people following liberation from the white man's ownership and rule, Haiti had gone in those years from an economic powerhouse to the poorhouse of the Caribbean. Its political history was a line of willful rule by tyrants, broken only by assassination or coup; its peasant populace, freed from the forced cultivation of the sugar, sunk in poverty and voodoo; the land itself bare and eroded as the people wrung a desperate existence ever further up the hillsides. Increasingly, its leaders were neither able, nor concerned, to defend its nationals abroad.13

Thus there were Haitians resident in the Dominican Republic, not merely those about the sugar plantations in the south and east, but first and foremost a sizable and largely unregulated population in areas along the ill-defined border, particularly in the northwest. Many of these were descended from families that had moved in during the unrest of the Haitian-Dominican independence war of the previous century.

In 1929, shortly before Trujillo came to power, the Dominican Republic and Haiti signed an agreement attempting to define and regulate their mountainous common border. As far as the Dominicans were concerned, this accomplished little - as did a Dominican law, enacted in 1934 under Trujillo, to encourage settlement of the frontier by farmers of white blood. A large and unassimilated Haitian population remained in close proximity to the border and virtually removed from Dominican sovereignty. Haitian currency circulated freely, Haitian Creole was the language, and voodoo the popular religion.14

‘Ethnic Cleansing' in the Caribbean

Numerous questions remain about the "Dominican Vespers." Documentation is thin and largely second hand. The number of the victims and the motives of their killers are still not entirely clear.15

The essentials, how-ever, seem fairly well es-tablished. Several weeks before the "Vespers," Trujillo toured the northwest border for the first time in his life. The massacre - whether it started at the end of September or on October 4th - came at his order. Dominican military and paramilitary forces carried it out disguised as campesinos and armed with machetes to simulate a popular uprising aimed at driving out Haitian "cattle rustlers." (The name "Dominican Vespers," with its allusion to the Sicilian national rising against their French rulers in 1282, seems clearly of Trujillist provenance.)

Nothing like an exact figure for the dead, let alone the maimed survivors, has emerged, although Bernardo Vega, the chief D.R. expert on the "Dominican Vespers," puts the number at around 12,000.

It is not clear exactly what mixture of motives led Trujillo to act: a concern for his country's sovereignty; his evident shame about his own Haitian blood; the exacerbating factor of the recent Haitian immigration, particularly in light of the international economic depression; the evidently not negligible problems of Haitian crime, above all rustling and smuggling across the frontier; the precedent set just months before, when Cuba's dictator Batista had expelled an estimated 35,000 Haitian braceros to lessen unemployment (and, reputedly, Negro blood) in Cuba.

Vega argues that Trujillo's chief motive was to carry forward his policy of "whitening" the Dominican Republic. There is certainly warrant for this opinion, for the mixed-blood caudillo had commissioned an elaborate genealogical investigation to establish that he was of pure, indeed noble, European stock. Important elements of the population were undisguised in their contempt for the largely pure-blooded Haitian blacks. But there is more to the story.

"Trujillo's actions in succeeding years reinforce suspicions about

the merely racial motivation for

the massacre."

The "perejil" challenge, for instance. This Spanish word for parsley is especially difficult for Haitians to pronounce, and thus it has functioned to the present day as a "shibboleth" - in the style of the Old Testament - to distinguish black Haitians and black Dominicans. If race alone was the criterion, why have a linguistic test - one that assimilated Haitians could likely pass?

Noteworthy as well is that Haitians were spared who were in the country - under agreements that worked in good measure to Rafael Trujillo's private profit - to work on the sugar plantations.

Trujillo's actions in succeeding years reinforce suspicions about the merely racial motivation for the massacre. In 1941 the dictator undertook a program of "deafricanization" of the frontier by measures which included the settlement of Dominican farmers, moves to root out the speaking of Haitian Creole, and the dispatch of Jesuit missionaries to combat the voodooism entrenched in the northeast. In its own, rough, and (in 1934) horrific way, it might be argued, Dominican policy under Trujillo sought to assimilate some Haitians, kill or drive out others, exploit the rest for labor - part melting pot, part holocaust, part modern semi-slavery.

The "Vespers" sparked brief outrage in the United States, which had not lost its special interest in Dominican affairs. Congressman Hamilton Fish called the massacre the worst outrage in the history of North America; the U.S. pressed the Organi-zation of American States to mediate. Soon enough, a settlement of $750,000 was arranged, which Trujillo, beset by international outcry, agreed to pay, while professing no special remorse. (In the end the Dominicans paid their reparation at a fraction of the agreed figure by bribing Haitian officials, who wound up pocketing most of the money.)

Before long, Dominican-American relations were back to normal. As American concern turned toward extra-hemispheric threats to U.S. interests in the Caribbean, FDR remarked famously of Trujillo, "He's a son-of-a-bitch... but he's our son-of-a-bitch!" and had him and his family as guests at the White House a few years later. As for Fish, the voice of censure, he was soon enough reported to be on retainer from Trujillo to represent the interests of the dictator in Washington.16

Sugar-coated Contempt

Although there hasn't been another Dominican Vespers in the six decades that have followed, this in no way means the Dominicans have ceased their vigilance or dropped their contempt for their Hispaniola neighbor.

Relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti continued to be, for the most part, formally correct, but less than cordial, during the remainder of Trujillo's rule. The dictator made three further "bracero" agreements with his opposite numbers in Port-au-Prince, providing sorely needed cash for the Haitian rulers, and dirt-cheap labor for the sugar plantations, a good percentage of which Trujillo came to own or control.

Trujillo's brutality at last made him more of a liability than an asset in Washington's eyes, and the author of the Dominican Vespers was assassinated, with help from the CIA, in 1961. While Dominican politics have changed from the rule of one to a spirited competition between more or less democratic parties, the Dominican Republic's relationship with Haiti has continued largely unchanged.

One symbol of this continuity has been the enduring leadership of Joaquin Balaguer, one of Trujillo's right hand men, who headed the Dominican Republic's conservative party and presided over the country, off and on, well into the 1990s. Balaguer profited from the U.S.-led intervention in 1965 more than any other politician, perhaps, winning two consecutive upset presidential elections and remaining a force in the D.R. to the present day. Balaguer has been and remains a prominent ideologist of anti-Haitianism, authoring the profoundly pessimistic and racialist study of his country's relationship with Haiti, La Isla al Revés (The Topsy-Turvy Island), which he had reissued in 1985.

Whether under conservatives like Balaguer or social democratic leaders, the importation of seasonal Haitian sugar workers has continued, in conditions which have drawn the interest of the Anti-slavery Society in London and other human rights groups. According to them, it is common practice to dragoon into the sugar compounds any and all Haitians needed for harvest who happen to find themselves in the D.R. Meanwhile, recruiters venture into Haiti with offers of wondrous wages, and fine conditions; they seem to find unending takers, despite the Haitian leadership's expressed opposition to the traffic (in recent years, the rights groups have taxed the Duvalierists and their successors with taking surreptitious "compensation" for complying - under Trujillo, payment to the Haitian rulers was undisguised). One scarcely need add that the continuing seasonal import of laborers housed in fetid barracks for the meanest type of work did nothing to sway Dominicans from their anti-Haitian views; at best "anti-Haitianism" was stabilized by the swift, low-profile entries and exits (usually on buses under armed military guard) and comparable invisibility in the squalid sugar compounds.17

A Two-faced Immigration Policy

The end of the Trujillo era was followed by a brief period of comparative prosperity, largely financed by U.S. aid. By the early 1980s, however, the Dominican economy, lashed by actual and figurative tempests (from the oil embargo to tropical storms to the collapse of the world sugar market) and proving incapable of resuscitation from within, had to a large extent unraveled. Immigration, chiefly to the United States, which had been actively discouraged under Trujillo, blossomed following the post-1965 U.S. reform, then swelled to a flood tide.

"[Ruth] Messinger, borough president of Manhattan, where Dominican criminals have been rampant  has already been campaigning in the D.R. 

No telling if the hand she

shakes there may cast a vote

in New York this fall."

At the present time, the Dominican Republic is heavily dependent on remittances from its immigrants in the U.S. who provide an estimated one-third of its foreign exchange revenue. Meanwhile, since the 1960s, and despite the opposition of the church, the small republic - for some time now more populous than Haiti - has encouraged family planning to limit population growth, with some success. The earlier drive to attract white immigrants has been forgotten; instead, the Dominican Republic strives to build a tourist industry to rival those of its Caribbean competitors. Tensions with Haiti persist, of course; the leftist governments of Aristide and his successor, Preval, condemn the exploitation of the sugar workers, and commemorate the Vespers - while the Dominicans closely monitor the border and hound illegal Haitians within.18

Perhaps the varied stance of most Dominicans on two sorts of migration - their own to America, and Haitians to the Dominican - is best reflected in events surrounding last year's presidential election. The winner, Leonel Fernandez, was the holder of a U.S. green card. Although the candidate of a different, and arguably left-liberal party, Fernandez had conservative Joaquin Balaguer's support. And why did Balaguer not endorse his own party's candidate? Reportedly because Leonel Fernandez's other opponent, Jose Francisco Pena Gomez - a black with Haitian antecedents - would otherwise have likely won. It is also reported that Fernandez supporters brandished toy monkeys and apes at political rallies. (During the previous 1994 presidential election, Balaguer ran head to head against Pena Gomez, winning the election - not without a little fraud - after putting it around that his opponent planned to merge the D.R. with Haiti.)19

After the election, in which 50,000 Dominicans living in New York City voted (money from Dominicans in the U.S. amounted to one third of all campaign funds), President Fernandez, who lived in the city for years, was quick to disavow an agreement he allegedly made with New York police officials. It seems that, thanks to provisions in Dominican law against extraditing citizens to places where, as in New York, the death penalty may be imposed, fugitives from capital crimes in New York, chiefly murderers and narcotrafficantes, have taken to returning home - where, as politicians look the other way thanks to the powerful influence of drug kings from South America, they live unmolested and well.

To adulation in the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez defied New York's mayor, Rudolf Giuliani, and Police Commissioner Howard Safir. He would tolerate no New York policemen on Dominican soil. And, lest he have worried about roars of protests from Americans concerned about their country's sovereignty and safety, Fernandez won the quick support of several Democratic candidates for mayor of New York - among them Ruth Messinger, borough president of Manhattan, where the Dominican criminals have been most rampant. Messinger has already been campaigning in the Dominican Republic - no telling if the hand she shakes there may cast a vote in New York this fall.20

Since the start of the year, Fernandez has tightened controls along the Haitian border. An estimated 20,000 illegal Haitian immigrants have been repatriated.21

It would be facile to condemn the Dominican Republic, its leaders and its people. Nor is it our part to sneer at their "racism"; we have quite enough to attend to of our own. It might be argued, perhaps even with surprising facility, that for the most part the leaders of the Dominican Republic, over many years, have worked to advance the interests of their country and its people in conformity with such options as have been available. Insofar as immigration is the issue, can our leaders say the same? More important, can ordinary Americans - who are already supporting the massive immigration from the D.R. and whose children will be elbowed aside by those of the immigrants, if present policy remains unchanged - say the same of their leaders?

For the ancient Romans, two-faced Janus was a god of time and place: of the threshold, of the doorway (from whence our "janitor"), and of the year's end and opening (from whence our "January"). If a deity of borders hovers over eastern Hispaniola, his one face grimaces toward Haiti, the other looking north in glad anticipation. As for Americans, many wear two masks themselves: a wistful smile remembers our immigration policy pre-1965; a grimace and a shudder anticipates what, if unreformed, the present policy portends.

NOTES

1 New York Times, 12 January 1997, "Immigrant Influence Surges in New York City in the 90's," A1, B6. From 1990 to 1994, according to the New York City Department of Planning, one in every five legal migrants to New York City came from the D.R.

2 Ruben G. Rumbaut, "The Americans: Latin American and Caribbean People in the United States," in Americas: New Interpretative Essays, Oxford, England: Oxford U. Press, 1992.

3 The INS figures are for the fiscal year. Each of the five countries that exceeded the D.R. as a source of illegal immigrants has a population more than eight times larger than the Caribbean nation. Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice, cited in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1995, Mahwah, NJ: Funk and Wagnalls, 1995, p.386.

4 While there are no exact figures for illegal immigration or current population, at least half a million Dominicans have emigrated to the city since 1980. Counting illegals, earlier arrivals and their children, an estimate of a million Dominicans and first-generation Dominican-Americans in the New York area may be conservative. See note 1 above and New York Times, 16 September 1991, "Between Two Worlds: Dominicans in New York."

5 Reported in The Record, Hackensack, NJ, 28 September 1995. See also Christopher J. Farley's account, "Dangerous Tides" in Time, 10 April 1995, pp. 56-57. By 1995, to accommodate the international swarm of would-be migrants to America, the D.R. had become the biggest importer of outboard engines in Latin America.

6 Peter Brimelow, Alien Nation, New York: Random House, 1995, p. 146. Brimelow cites statistics from the U.S. House of Representatives showing a welfare rate among D.R. immigrants twice that of African-Americans.

7 The heavily Dominican 34th Precinct in Washington Heights, Manhattan, led the city in homicides in 1992 (New York Times, 20 March 1997, "Police Blotter.") See also New York Times, 16 April 1996, "Life and Death in the Fateful Three-Four Precinct."

8 For the history of Hispaniola from Columbus to Trujillo, the Dominican and Haitian chapters in Hubert Herring's A History of Latin America, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1972 (hereafter Herring); Howard J. Wiarda and Michael J. Kryzanek, A Caribbean Crucible, 2nd edition, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992 (hereafter Wiarda and Kryzanek); and The Cambridge History of Latin America, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1990 (hereafter CHLA by individual volume and chapter).

9 For U.S. relations with Haiti and the D.R. from 1789-1873, and to a lesser extent for Haitian-D.R. relations during much of that time, Charles C. Tansill, The United States and Santa Domingo, Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1967.

10 According to the American historian of Latin America, Hubert Herring, writing 25 years ago: "The 3.8 million Dominicans are predominantly a mulatto people, with ambitions to be reckoned white." Herring, p.443. See under "Antihaitianismo," Enciclopedia Dominicana, 3rd edition, Santo Domingo, D.R.: Enciclopedia Dominicana S.A., 1988.

11 Bernardo Vega, Trujillo y Haiti (Vol.1), Santa Domingo, DR: Fundacion Cultural Dominicana, 1988 (hereafter Vega). P.25; Wiarda and Kryzanek, p.123.

12 For Trujillo's rise, rule and end, CHLA (vol.7), Frank Moya Pons, "The Dominican Republic Since 1930" (hereafter CHLA [vol.7] Moya Pons); Vega; and Bernard Diederich, Trujillo: The Death of the Goat, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1978.

13 For Haiti, in addition to works cited above, CHLA (vol.5), David Nicholls, "Haiti, c. 1870-1930" and CHLA (vol.7), "Haiti Since 1930."

14 CHLA (vol.7), Moya Pons. P.517.

15 For the massacre, Vega; Miguel Garcia, La Matanza de los Haitianos: Genocide de Trujillo, 1937, Santo Domingo, DR: Editor Alfa y Omega, 1983.

16 G. Pope Atkins and Larmen G. Wilson, The United States and the Trujillo Regime, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1972, pp.54ff.

17 For Post-Trujillo Dominican politics, Moya Pons and Jan Knippers Black, "Democracy and Disillusionment in the Dominican Republic," in Modern Caribbean Politics, Anthony Payne and Paul Sutton, editors, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993 (hereafter Black). For Haitian sugar workers in the D.R., Haitian Sugar Cane Cutters in the Dominican Republic, New York: America's Watch: National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, November 1989; and CHLA (vol.7), Nicholls, "Haiti Since 1930," pp.567ff.

18 For the D.R. economic collapse and its consequences, see Black and Wiarda and Kryzanek, (pp.5-6), and for recent D.R.-Haiti relations, Moya Pons and CHLA (vol.7), Nicholls.

19 Details of the 1996 Dominican presidential election are taken from Vita Echevarria, "Racism, Foreign Money Dominate ‘Clean' Dominican Elections," Hispanic, September 1996.

20 For the NYPD plan, and the reaction in the D.R. and among immigrant-friendly New York politicians, New York Times, 6 December 1996, "Safir Defends Plan for Outpost to Pursue Dominican Fugitives"; New York Post, "Kids' Killers Top List of Dominican Fugitives," 5 December 1996; and El Diario, 4 December 1996, "Cardenal dominicano fustiga propuesta de Safir."

21 El Diario, (New York City), 12 March 1997, "Culpan a exiliados haitianos por malas relaciones entre gobiernos."

MUTTS © 1997. Patrick McDonnell. Reprinted by permission of King Features Syndicate. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2007 The Social Contract Press, 445 E Mitchell Street, Petoskey, MI 49770; ISSN 1055-145X
(Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract)