Committing Suicide by Starvation
By now the whole world is aware of the conflict between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is forcing thousands of Haitian expats home. Haiti is the underdog in this war and does not know quite what to do. However, recently, the Minister of Finance, Wilson Laleau, suddenly decided that he would ban the importation by land of at least 23 Dominican food products. This is utter stupidity. Haiti is one of the poorest places on earth and the majority of the population struggles to eat. Almost everything is brought from abroad in Haiti. The country has fallen into such severe corruption that nothing is manufactured or grown. Now this myopic minister wants to ban Dominican-made products from coming into Haiti. How will that benefit Haiti?
Further, the Minister went on to state that the government would enforce land borders to limit smuggling of goods from the Dominican Republic. It appears that the only one who will be benefiting from this moronic decision is the government of Haiti. The average Haitian struggles every day because he/she has no food or job and will be unable to afford whatever food is available because of the expense.
The minister went on to state that the ban on the importation of food from the Dominican Republic will continue until the Haitian government has set up adequate security and structures to prevent smuggling.
What the minister fails to understand is that this premature decision to ban Dominican products will only lead to more smuggling of products into Haiti. What has also happened is that the price of food in Haiti has gone sky high with this news. The food was expensive even before this fiasco, and now it is beyond the reach of most Haitians.
However, the government thinks that in the long-term the decision to ban products from the Dominican Republic will be good for Haitians. He does not explain how. Most Haitians are against such a decision because it has led to a shortage of food products in many markets, and this has led to even more suffering in the country.
The President of the North East Chamber of Commerce, Jean Fritz, believes that this insane decision by the Ministry of Economy will destroy an entire class of traders, particularly in border areas. He has called on the relevant authorities to ensure instead, better control of the border crossing point instead of penalizing marketers and entrepreneurs.
What do the Dominican people think of this? Well, they claim that the restrictions imposed by the Haitian authorities will only make food prices higher, and will result in food scarcity throughout the country. To make matters worse, Haiti is already one of the poorest countries on earth, and this decision will not help improve the lives of Haitians.
Looks like the government of Haiti is going to profit from this decision because now they will offer contracts to their colleagues to build the border while the people of Haiti go hungry. This is intentional suicide. Rather than killing Haitians with bullets, now the government is trying to kill Haitians with starvation.