As of Thursday, September 14, the Dominican Republic has announced plans to potentially close borders between themselves and Haiti. In a statement released, they announced adding “possible closure of air, sea, and land borders” between the two countries, on top of the current land border crossings in place.
As such, the US Embassy is urging US citizens to make alternate arrangements for any travel disruptions as they won’t be able to assist with entry through a closed border crossing.
The announcement is of no immediate surprise, as the two countries continue to be at odds over a number of issues.
Just this week, Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, suspended visas to Haitians after the country complained about the recent excavation of a supposed canal that will divert water from the Massacre River.
While Abinader believes this will harm its farmers and the environment, a high-level Haitian delegation is coming to the Dominican Republic to try and alleviate the potential crisis.
Furthermore, this Haitian delegation expeditiously wants to remove any restrictions as the French-speaking country is in a delicate socio-economic situation exacerbated by political uncertainty. The country gets most of its imports from their neighbors and doesn’t want to further exacerbate a fragile situation.
The Caribbean country has been in a state of disorder since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse back in July of 2021. Since then, the interim government of Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry has pleaded to the international community to send aid and support to restore peace and security in the country.
Haiti is currently under the Travel Advisory Level 4, “Do Not Travel” designation from the US Embassy advising US citizens to depart immediately as safely as possible.
Due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor healthcare infrastructure, Washington is advising US citizens to not travel to Haiti. This follows the Department of State ordering US government employees and non-emergency US government employees to depart Haiti in July.