The Haiti & D.R. Conflict

The Conflict and tensions between Haiti and Dominican Republic:

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One island, two countries; both steeped in tradition. Although they share the same land form, the small Caribbean countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic cannot be any more unlike each other; both in their traditions and language, it is difficult to ignore the dislike and tension shared between the two. To grasp a better understanding of why these two countries share only a small space on the earth’s spectrum, one must first delve into the history of how these two countries came to be.

A BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Like with any Caribbean islands’ recorded history, the island that is currently Haiti And Dominican Republic Conflictknown as Haiti and the Dominican Republic was first founded by Christopher Columbus in the year 1492. By claiming the island for the Spanish Empire, Columbus titled the island “La Isla Espanola” which translates to “The Spanish Island.” While the Spaniards had established a settlement on the island, the natives who had inhabited the Island prior to the Spaniards arrival, was now exposed to diseases to which they had no immunity.

Upon his return to the island one year later, Columbus had found the settlement he had established to be destroyed and all the settlers had been killed. Re-establishing other settlements throughout the island, the Spaniards reclaimed the Island whilst the surviving natives were forced to find new villages elsewhere. It was during that time, that a war of independence was taking place between Spain in Europe and the English. Dutch traders and pirates joined the English and French traders after the Spanish closed their home ports and cut off the salt supplies needed for the Herring Industry. The infuriated Spain, decided to forcibly resettle the inhabitants of the island closer to the established city of Santo Domingo, after learning that the western Hispaniola continued illegal trades with the French and Dutch traders. This action taken by Spain, resulted in disastrous consequences for the Spanish Crown, as the majority of resettled colonists  died of starvation and disease, cattle were abandoned and many slaves escaped. The action taken by the Spaniards proved to be counterproductive as many of the inhabitants either fought, escaped to the jungle or fled to the safety of passing Dutch ships which resulted in the freedom for the English, French and Dutch to establish bases the islands now abandoned coasts.

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