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Haitian migration is by far one of the oldest in Latin American and Caribbean. While the migration wave toward Cuba died down in the 1960s, the numbers have continued to grow in the Dominican Republic. The Latin American and Caribbean countries with noticeable quantities of Haitians are Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and a very few in Ecuador, Panama, and Jamaica. The territories — Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin, and French Guyana — of France, the territories — Turks and Caicos and Cayman Islands — of the United Kingdom, and the territories — Aruba, Curaçao, St Marteen — of the Kingdom of Netherlands, have been permanent fixtures of Haitian migration dating as far back as the early years of the Twentieth Century. For strategic and geopolitical reasons, the territories shall be subchapters of their European motherlands.
However, throughout the region, Haitian migration gathers immense resistance with no end in sight. In a display of hysteria to feed the base of multiple factions, “The Haitians are coming,” make headlines in Guyana, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and of late The Bahamas in the aftermath of hurricane Dorian.
In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Haitians prominently migrated to five (5) counties, with small pockets in Jamaica. However large numbers are in LAC territories of the US. – Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands – of the United Kingdom – Turks and Caicos and Cayman Islands – of the kingdom of Netherlands – Aruba and Curaçao — and of France – Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana and St Martin. For geopolitical reasons, these sub-federations shall be under the Federations of the indexed countries. To highlight the diaspora’s departing point — brain drain — and welcome the former diaspora’s return – brain regain – the Haitian diaspora Federation of Haiti is featured first.
With an area of 10,714 sq miles, an upward population of 12 million (2020), GDP of US$9.6 billion (2019) and a per capita of US$759 (2019), Haiti is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and Jamaica and south of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It occupies the western three-eighths of the island which it shares with the Dominican Republic. To its south-west lies the small island of Navassa Island, which is claimed by Haiti but is disputed as a United States territory under federal administration. Haiti is the most populous country in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the second-most populous country in the Caribbean after Cuba. The Republic of Haiti shares its border with Dominican Republic, making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states.
Noted History of Haiti includes 1) inhabited by the indigenous taíno people (Indians) for hundreds of years; 2) in 1492, Columbus discovered the country and founded the first European settlement in the Americas; 3) 17th century; the island was claimed by Spain and named La Española, part of the Spanish Empire; 4) in 1697, the island was ceded to France and named Saint-Domingue; 5) French colonists established lucrative sugarcane plantations, worked by vast numbers of slaves brought from Africa, which made the colony one of the richest in the world; 6) in1779, prior to its independence, Haiti contributed to the US — Battle of Savannah, The Louisiana Purchase; 7) beween 1791–1804, In the midst of the French Revolution, slaves and free people of color launched the Haitian Revolution, led by a former slave and the first black general of the French Army, Toussaint Louverture; 8) on 1 January 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti’s sovereignty; 9) post independence global alienation and forced payment of US$21 billion to France, partly paid with timber (beginning of Haiti’s deforestation and subsistence farming); 10) Haiti annexation of dominican Republic; 11) US Occupation of Haiti, but, unlike Dominican Republic, Haiti failed to to benefit from economic emowerment-oriented pilars — infrasstructure, Basebal; 12) Haiti inspired and helped with the independence of Greece, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador and Peru; 13) Haiti welcomed Jews during the horrendous Holocaust; 14) Haiti’s Vote for Israel State in 1947, 15) Haiti is a founding member of the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Association of Caribbean States, and the International Francophonie Organisation, member of CARICOM, the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States;
Notwithstanding the above, Haiti is the most underdeveloped country — lowest Human Development Index, 80% unemployment, per capita of US$759, abject poverty, low level education, importation of most commodities with severe trade deficit, and constant instability with multiple coup d’état and U.N. intervention — in the Americas. The combination of these contributions and resources should have positioned Haiti to garner support in its development’s quest. Noted is the lack thereof. Also noted is the fratricidal and natural disasters that continuously hamper that development.
This sustained underdevelopment, impacted by the 2010 Haiti earthquake, induced a small free market economy with the foregoing consequences. It also 1) prompts experts on “Haiti Affairs” to admit that Haiti represents a terroristic threat for the Americas and beyond and 2) causes Haitians to flee — diaspora. This diaspora is estimated at 4-5 million, with 83% of Haiti’s expertise among them — “Brain Drain”.
Over the years, though, this diaspora supported Haiti’s economy through Remittances, Haiti’s primary source of foreign exchange. This diaspora and descendants have also accumulated economic and social assets — saving bonds, pension, mortgage equity, retirement, and contacts. Indeed, Haiti can be in good company as several countries have successfully pursued or are aggressively pursuing their Diaspora expertise and investment. Prominent among them are 1) Israel whose diaspora invest over 60 billion dollars in diaspora bond in Israel’s economy in addition to remittances, expertise, and the most powerful lobbying force on behalf of Israel worldwide; 2) India whose diaspora invest over 30 billion dollars in Diaspora bond in addition to remittances, expertise, and export; 3) Dominica Republic — our next door neighbor — whose former diasporas, including Lionel Fernandez, who came back home to provide expertise for its economic Revolution; and 4) post-genocide Rwanda whose diaspora returned in mass at Paul Kagame urging to transform the country into a coveted model for underdeveloped countries, such as Haiti.
In a glance of hope, the diaspora is slowly returning to Haiti – – Brain Regain. Among them are some brave retirees and the civic minded, who remember “Haiti then”. Among their challenges are integration, acculturation, and exclusion. They are, though, asset to the diaspora as our “boots on the ground,” and potential voters of their former host countries. They are greater assets to Haiti by bringing their intellectual, professional, and economic and social assets — saving bonds, pension, mortgage equity, retirement, and contacts. Those assets, especially capacity (brain-regain) shall serve as leverage to create businesses and bring significant Industries to Haiti to increase its per capita, now the lowest in Caribbean and Latin America. Today, though, the exact number is not known, underlying the need for a census.
In summary, encouraged by the Rwanda and Dominican Republic’s and other countries’ Economic Revolution, a number of diaspora (brain regain) are now returning to Haiti. They are the diaspora’s “foot on the ground” and are poised to bring an infusion of resources to Haiti – intellectual, professional, economic, and social assets. Unfortunately, they also face challenges in Haiti and linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is tenuous. Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti’s challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for results-oriented collective engagement.
With an area of 18,792 sq miles, a population of 10.5 million people (2020), GDP of US$216 billion (2020) and per capita of US$9,731 (2019), Dominican Republic (DR) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles Greater of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states.
Noted Dominican Republic’s history includes 1) Dominican people declared independence in November 1821 after three hundred years of Spanish rule; 2) Haiti annexed the Dominican Republic in February 1822; 3) internal conflicts and a brief return to Spanish colonial status before permanently ousting the Spanish during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1863–1865; 4) In the early 1900s, seasonal migration of Haitians sugarcane cutters, who did not return to Haiti and formed permanent population of Haitians in the Dominican Republic — Haitian batey; 5) United States occupation between 1916 and 1924; 6) the 1937 Parsley Massacre when Trujillo annihilated upwards 35,000 Haitians (Dominican historian Bernardo Vega); 7)1965 end the second U.S. military occupation; the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer (1966–1978 and 1986–1996), Antonio Guzmán (1978-1982) and Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982–1986), and 8) Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, who, in his homily, told president Fernandez to fight corruption and illicit wealth, because “the people have been the victims of all these injustices, and they deserve and demand a remedy that is moral and satisfactory”; 9) On September 23, 2013, the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court issued a ruling that retroactively stripped Dominicans of haitian descent of their Dominican nationality and rendered them stateless from 1929.
Since 1996, Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy marked by Leonel Fernández return from Bronx, New York, to spearhead Dominican Republic’s current Economic Revolution. Today, the Dominican Republic has the ninth-largest and fastest-growing economy in the Americas, Latin America and the Caribbean and Central America – with an average GDP growth rate of 5.4% between 1992 and 2014. The most visited destination in the Caribbean, its economic growth is fueled by agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tourism, the largest gold mine — Pueblo Viejo mine — and a high level of remittances. Notwithstanding the above, DR imports a large number of its commodities, an opportunity that Haiti fails to seize. Instead, Haiti imports almost everything from its neighbor, a weakness that Haiti needs to address.
Combined with proximity, climate, and employment and education opportunities, the foregoing attributes attract a large number of Haitians to the Dominican Republic. Haitian migration to DR started with the overstay of some Haitians after DR’s occupation by Haiti. However, the arrival of Haitians to the rest of the country began after the United States occupation of Haiti and the Dominican Republic around 1916, when US-owned sugar companies imported thousands of Haitian workers — annually to cut costs.The 1935 census revealed that several border towns were of Haitian majority; between 1920 and 1935 the Haitian population in the Dominican Republic doubled. In 1936, Haiti received several of these villages located in La Miel valley after a revision of the borderline. Between 1935 and 1937 the dictator Rafael L. Trujillo imposed restrictions on foreign labor and ordered the deportation of Haitians in the border area, but the trafficking of undocumented Haitian immigrants continued with the assistance of Dominican military men, civil authorities, and US-owned sugar companies. By April 1937, Cuba’s deportation of thousands of Haitians fueled the arrival of unemployed Haitians en masse to the Dominican Republic.
After the events of 1937, Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic halted, until 1952 when Trujillo and Haitian president Paul Eugène Magloire agreed on the annual shipment of thousands of Haitian laborers to work in American-owned and Dominican-owned sugar plantations at a cost per head. After the fall of the dictatorship of Trujillo In the 1960s, Haitian immigration boomed. Upwards 30,000 Haitians crossed the border between 1960 and 1965, according to Joaquín Balaguer. During the administrations of Joaquín Balaguer, Antonio Guzmán and Salvador Jorge Blanco, and the Duvaliers in Haiti, yearly contracts were signed between both countries for the importation of over ten thousand Haitians as temporary workers in exchange for the payment of millions of dollars.
They and scores of others (cheap laborers) rarely returned to Haiti. They remained illegally in Dominican Republic with their Dominican-born children. According to Theodat (2006), 750,000 Haitians migrated Dominican Republic from 1919 to then. By 2008, an estimated 800,000 to one million Haitians lived in Dominican Republic. Then came Haiti’s 2010 earthquake that brought an exodus of Haitians to different countries, including Dominican Republic. Then, Human Rights Watch estimated that 70,000 documented Haitian immigrants and 1,930,000 undocumented immigrants were living in Dominican Republic.
Thereafter, On September 23, 2013, the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court issued a ruling that retroactively stripped Dominicans of haitian descent of their Dominican nationality and rendered them stateless from 1929. Before 2010, the Constitution of the Dominican Republic generally granted citizenship to anyone born in the country, except children of diplomats and persons “in transit“. The 2010 constitution was amended to define all undocumented residents as “in transit”. The High Court decision decision stripped Dominican citizenship from about 210,000 people who were born in the Dominican Republic after 1929 but are descended from undocumented immigrants from Haiti. Many of the Dominican Republic-born of Haitian ancestry do not have Haitian citizenship and have never been to Haiti. The court decree prompted protests in New York, international denunciations, and interventions, including that of the federation as noted above. Nonetheless, by August 2015 “hundreds” had been deported and now the voluntary and forced deportation is continuing. Today, the exact number of remaining Haitians in DR is not known, underlining the need for a census.
Of note, a number of famous Dominicans of Haitian-descent — Ulises Heureaux, José Francisco Peña Gómez, Santiago Rodríguez Masagó, Pablo Alí, Miguel Sanó, Alfonso Soriano, Fernando Guerrero, Juliana Deguis Pierre, Sonia Pierre — have contributed to Dominican Republic’s Economic Revolution whose leader, Leonel Fernández, is rumored to be of haitian ancestry. Excluded is a number of famous Haitian-descent baseball players from the bateys:
“Many players have come from the bateyes of the provinces of San Pedro de Macoris, La Romana, Haina, Nizao, Boca Chica and Barahona”, said Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, president of the Confederation of Professional Baseball of the Caribbean (CBPC);
“The inability to obtain identification documents prevent some of these athletes from being signed by professional teams; often times, their origins are kept hidden for fear of discrimination”, he added.
As noted, the Haitian Diaspora in the Dominican Republic faces relentless challenges – migration, active deportation, discrimination, integration, assimilation, relative poverty,and heath and economic disparities. Various issues of social and economic integration have been at the center of the periodic crisis and bilateral conflicts between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Included is an estimated 500,000 residents — uneducated cheap labourers — who live in 400+ bateyes without latrines, potable water, electricity, and education and healthcare. Indeed, they live under the same conditions in Haiti, except for the addition of work, for which they are thankful.
Until today, no clear progressive policies to guide the growth and development of over five (5) generations of Haitian natives and descendants born, working and studying in the Dominican Republic have been devised, Common Diaspora integration challenges coupled with persistent trade and border issues further complicate Dominican Haitian Diaspora relations and role in Haiti’s affairs. Indeed, the brave leader of the Economic Revolution, Leonel Fernández, criticized the collective expulsions of Haitians as “improper and inhumane”. Experts on Haiti Affairs fault Haiti’s sustained underdevelopment and the failure of its diaspora’s collective engagement as culprits. In a glance of hope, though, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard. There is one Haitian Embassy in Santo Domingo and 4 consulates — Barahona, Dajabon, Higüey, and Santiago — in the Dominican Republic, but their involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid. Additionally, Haitians in the Dominican Republic own some businesses, but their inability to expand is credited to underfunding and or lack of expertise. Further, there are several Haitian nonprofits Haitian organizations — Hyppolite foundation, Zile Foundation — including churches.
In summary, upward of one million Haitians and descendants live in the Dominican Republic. This community faces daunting challenges, but it is also blessed with solution-oriented resources – a coveted model, people, diplomatic outlets, businesses, nonprofits, including churches. However, the linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal outcomes and criticisms to overcome. Meanwhile, this diaspora and Haiti’s challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.
With a an area of 42,426 sq mi, without the territorial waters, population of 11 million (2018) and GDP of US$295,6 billion (2019) and per capita of US$ 6,664.70 (2017), the Republic of Cuba is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Considered as part of Latin America, Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey.
Cuba’s noted history includes 1) inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonization; 2) a colony of Spain until the 1898 Spanish–American War when Cuba was occupied by the United States; 3) gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902; 4) attempt to strengthen its democratic system in 1940; 5) dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952; 6) Batista’s rule ousting in January 1959; 7) 26th of July Movement established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro’s Communist Party; 8) a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962; 9) extant Marxist–Leninist socialist states, with the vanguard Communist Party enshrined in the Constitution; 9) enjoy relationship with the Soviet Union and socialat-leaning Europe, Canada, and Venezuela; 10) numerous human rights abuses, including short-term arbitrary imprisonment; 11) involvement in a broad range of military and humanitarian activities in Guinea-Bissau, Syria, Angola, Algeria, South Yemen, North Vietnam, Laos, Zaire, Iraq, Libya, Zanzibar, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo-Brazzaville, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Mozambique; sending upwards 400,000-troops to fight in Angola (1975–1991) and defeated South Africa‘s armed forces in conventional warfare.
A member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States, Cuba is a sovereign state with planned economies, dominated by tourism and the exports of skilled labor, sugar, tobacco, and coffee. The Human Development Index ranked Cuba the eighth highest in North America Cuba in human development and some metrics of national performance — health care and education. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF. Of note, Cuba has been much supported by Haiti – technical cooperation, medical doctors and nurses, free training of physicians and other professionals. However, Haiti fails to absorb these competences. Also noteworthy is, like other countries, Cuba heavily relies on importation of its commodities, including food. This is one area Haiti could exploit.
Cuba acquired its Haitian flavor in the 1800’s (post-independence) after French slave owners brought 27,000 kidnapped African slaves to Guantanamo, Cuba for coffee and sugar cane plantation. Later, especially during the American occupation of Haiti, more Haitians migrated to Cuba as “ braceros”– hand workers. Induced by the tourism construction boom, proximity, and easy crossing by boat from the Northwest of Haiti –Haitian migration continued to grow exponentially in Cuba. The Cuban revolution slowed down the trend. Added is the sugar cane induced-crash’s return of thousands. According to Theodat (2006), 400,000 Afro-Cubans of Haitian heritage are reported to live in Cuba, with their hub in Camaguey. This number is likely increased by the 2010 earthquake’s exodus. Howerever, the exact number is not known today, underlying the need for a census.
Today, Haitian migration to Cuba faces less challenge – migration, integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. – than any other country. However, this can be improved with the Haitian diaspora’s collective engagement. In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard. There is one Haitian Embassy in Havana, Cuba, underlining the presence of a significant number of Haitians, but its, but its involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid. There appears a skeleton nonprofit but there NO reported Haitian Businesses or churches by Google search, making linkage a difficult but achievable task.
In summary, upward 400.000 Haitians live and work in Cuba. Although less, this community still faces challenges, but it is blessed with solution-oriented resources – people, diplomatic outlets, and nonprofits’ institutions. However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal outcome and criticisms to overcome. Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti’s challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.
With an area of 353,841 sq. miles, population of 31.98 million (2017) and GDP of $70.14 billion USD (2019) and per capita of 3,411 US dollars (2018), Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a federal presidential republic, consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), and federal dependencies (covering Venezuela’s offshore islands) and many small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. The Venezuelan government maintains a claim against Guayana to Guayana Esequiba, an area of 61,600 sq miles. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world’s list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Noted history of Venezuela includes 1) colonized by Spain in 1522; 2) first Spanish-American territories to declare independence in 1811; 3) a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia until 1821; 4) full independence as a country in 1830 with Haiti’s assistance; political turmoil and autocracy until the mid-20th century; 5) series of democratic governments since 1958; 6) Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s leading to Caracazo riots of 1989 and two attempted coups in 1992; 7) impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1993; 8) election of Hugo Chávez in 1998 and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution with a Constituent Assembly in 1999; 8)Hugo Chávez died In 2013; and 9) succeeded by Nicolas Maduro, who is still in power today.
Venezuela has a market-based mixed economy dominated by the petroleum sector, which accounts for roughly a third of GDP, around 80% of exports, and more than half of government revenues. Previously, the country was an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, but oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The recovery of oil prices in the early 2000s gave Venezuela oil funds not seen since the 1980s, The Venezuelan government under Hugo Chávez then established populist social welfare policies that initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, temporarily reducing economic inequality and poverty in the early years of the regime.The 1980s oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis. Inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995. The destabilized economy led to a crisis in Venezuela — hyperinflation, economic depression, shortages of basic goods and drastic increases in unemployment, poverty,disease, child mortality, malnutrition and crime. Like Haiti, these factors have precipitated the Venezuelan migrant crisis where more than three million people have fled the country.
Of note, Venezuela has been of much support to Haiti – debt cancellation after the earthquake, allocation of more than US$3 billion loan though Petrocaribe. However, the money was squandered in Haiti and future generations still owe the debt. also, Haiti–Venezuela relations cooled off after the OAS vote. Venezuela heavily relies on importation of its commodities, including food. Indeed, Venezuela had sought food from Haiti in exchange of the Petrocaribe debt, but Haiti, as usual, failed to deliver. This underlines the need for a change.
In the late 20th Century, the majority of Haitians in Venezuela were students. By 2012, Venezuela had the largest Haitian population in Latin America. With over 40,000 Haitian natives living primarily in Caracas, Miranda, Carabobo and Lala, the demographics of the Haitian Diaspora is very different from before. More than half of Haitians living in Venezuela today made their way there after the 2010 earthquake, many thru trafficking. The relations between Haitians in Venezuela with the motherland is identical with other communities. Venezuela consists largely of illegal immigrants living in dire social and economic situations. Recently, working-class Haitians have selected to live in Venezuela as a result of a relaxed immigration policy. After the 2010 Earthquake, Venezuela, Chile and Brazil have relaxed their immigration policy toward Haitians, a contrast to Dominican Republic’s denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent. Today, the exact statistic is unknown, underlining the need for a census. However, there may be social and economic realities of the Haitian natives and descendants who live in Venezuela due to the slowing of the economy.
Haitian migration to Venezuela faces less challenges –– migration, integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. Nonetheless, the Haitian diaspora’s collective engagement can offer rays of improvement. In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard. There is one Haitian Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, underlining the presence of a significant number of Haitians, but its involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid. There is no reported Haitian diaspora business and church or nonprofit Haitian organizations by Google search, but linkage of any with the embassy and the greater diaspora would be beneficial to that diaspora and Haiti.
In summary, upward of 40.000 Haitians live and work in Venezuela. This community faces daunting challenges, but it is also blessed with solution-oriented resources – people, and diplomatic outlets. However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal outcome and criticisms to overcome. Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti’s challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.
With an area of 480,000 sq. miles, a Population of 19 million (2019),a GDP of US$295.6 billion (2019), and per capita of 26,317 (2019), The Republic of Chile is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Like Haiti, Chile is also a land of extreme natural events: volcanic eruptions, violent earthquakes, and tsunamis originating along major faults of the ocean floor periodically beset the country. Fierce winter storms and flash floods alternate with severe summer droughts. Unlike Haitians, though, Chileans have learned to build better.
Noted Chile’s history includes 1) Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century; 2) Chile declared its independence from Spain in 1818; 3) Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic; 4) significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific (1879–83); 5) Chile experienced severe and turmoil with left-right political polarization after defeating Peru and Bolivia In the 1960s and 1970s; 6) a 1973 Chilean coup d’état that overthrew Salvador Allende‘s democratically elected left-wing Marxist government and instituted a 16-year-long right-wing military dictatorship; 7) Chile’s 1988 referendum and end of Augusto Pinochet regime in 1990; 8) a center-left coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010; 9) Democratic rule in Chile since then.
Today, the modern sovereign state of Chile is among South America’s most economically and socially stable and prosperous nations, with a high-income economy and high living standards. It leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, and democratic development. Currently it also has the lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada. Nonetheless, like many countries, Chile relies on importation of its commodities, including food. This is one area Haiti could exploit.
The foregoing attributes attract a large number of Haitians to Chile, especially after the 2010 earthquake. In 2001, a few people of Haitian descent lived in Chile (about 50). After the 2010 Earthquake, Chili relaxed their immigration policy toward Haitians. This is a contrast to Dominican Republic’s denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent right after the disaster. By 2016, 3,898 Haitians migrated to Chile, authorities said.
Today, Chile is the new destination for Haitian opportunity seekers. Haitians are going to Chile at an alarming rate — more than 100,000 Haitians migrate to Chile in less than 2 years after the 2010 earthquake. However, the exact statistic is unknown today.
“The country does not offer anything, I am heading straight to Chile,” said the above uneducated peasant in creole on his way to Chile on a mule.
“There’s a problem with Haiti — no jobs for the young people, crime is rampant, corruption is a big problem, politicians don’t care, pastors don’t care —” said Allen.
“… if Haitians all over the world, who have Financial stability, came back to home (Haiti) to open businesses and create jobs, then the Youth of Haiti will not leave. we need to work on that… to stop getting help from other countries,” said Singing Rooster .
Their prayers deserve the benediction of the diaspora, but Haiti, with its shortcomings – lack of infrastructure, justice, security, rampant corruption sans impunity – may NOT be ready to welcome its already victimized diaspora – kidnapping, assassination, loss of investment and properties, and taxation without representation. Seven months into the year 2017, the number of Haitians who migrated to Chile was already at 44,289. Today, the exact number is not known but may be well over 300,000. This underlies the need for census.
Of note, migrating to Chile is about to get tougher for Haitians. Starting April 16, 2019, Haitians seeking to get into Chile need to request a visa from the Chilean consulate in Port-au-Prince.
Although less educated, Haitian migration to Chile faces less challenges – migration, integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty – than most countries. However, the Haitian diaspora’s collective engagement can offer rays of improvement. In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard. There is one Haitian Embassy in Santiago and 1 Consulate in Valparaiso, Chile, underlining the presence of a significant number of Haitians, but their involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid. There is no reported Haitian diaspora business or church or nonprofit Haitian organizations by Google search. However, other churches — Jesuit parish church of Santa Cruz—and others organizations — Jesuit Migrants Service, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, IOM — service the Haitian Community of chile.
In summary, upwards of 300.000 Haitians live and work in Chile. This community faces less challenges than in other countries, but can benefit from improvement. In a glance of hope, It is blessed with solution-oriented resources – people, diplomatic outlets, nonprofits, and churches. However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal outcome and criticisms to overcome. Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti’s challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.
With an area of 4,655 sq.miles, Population: 208.5 million (2018), GDP of US$1.85 trillion (2019), and per capita of US$11,026 (2018), the Federation Republic of Brazil, the largest country in both South America and Latin America, is composed of 26 states, the Federal District, and 5,570 municipalities. Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. It borders all other countries in South America except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the LAC’s land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. Brazil is one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection. It is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.
Noted Brazil history includes 1) explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral claimed Brazil for the Portuguese Empire in 1500; 2) Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro; 3) elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve in 1815s; 4) Independence achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil; 5) ratification of the first constitution in 1824 leading to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress; 6) presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d’état; 7) authoritarian military junta to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985; and 8) democratic government with and the current constitution, formulated in 1988.
With the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, and eight by PPP measures, Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs, emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Indeed Brazil headed the UN mission to Haiti.
Coupled with a relaxed immigration policy, the forgoing attributes attract a large number of Haitians, especially after the 2010 earthquake. The presence of Haitians in Brazil was negligible before the political instability that affected the country in 2004. Since then, the presence of UN military peacekeepers (mostly Brazilian), Haitians have come to see in Brazil a reference point. That fact was reinforced after the earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010, triggering the great migratory wave. By 2012, a national immigration debate around the influx of Haitians resulted in the official adoption of an immigration measure after some 4,000 Haitians arrived illegally in the Amazon. The Haitian Diaspora in Brazil is expected to have grown to more than 40,000 by now. Brazil also offered legal residency to some 50,000 Haitians after the earthquake. However, the exact statistic is unknown, underlining the need for a census. On Aug 22, 2016, in an interview with HuffPost Brazil last year, Vasconcelos, mayor of a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. Said:
“The Haitians arriving in Brazil “can definitely be absorbed into the Brazilian society.” However, with the gap left by the state, it falls upon civil society to receive and help Haitians.’’
Indeed, they have been partly absorbed. However, the civil society aspect is missing and there may be social and economic realities of the Haitian natives and descendants who live in Brazil, considering the actual decline in the economy.
Nonetheless, Haitian Migration in Brazil faces less challenges – migration, integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. – than most countries. However, the Haitian diaspora’s collective engagement can offer rays of improvement. In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard. There is a Haitian Embassy in Brasilia, and 2 Consulates in Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, underlining the presence of a significant number of Haitians. However, their involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid. There is no reported Haitian diaspora business or church or nonprofit Haitian organizations by Google search, but Haitian in Brazil receive assistance from other organizations such as IOM and others.
In summary, upward 300.000 Haitians live and work in Brazil. This community faces daunting challenges, but it is also blessed with solution-directed resources – people, diplomatic outlets, and supporting nonprofit organizations. However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal outcome and criticisms to overcome. Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti’s challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.
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