Commentary: Haiti and the concept of chaos
By Jean H Charles
I took recently the red-eye flight from New York’s Kennedy Airport, not to Los Angeles but the other way around to Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, en route to Haiti. The flight was uneventful. There were few passengers on the plane; as such I could take a whole row of seats to make a comfortable bed for myself to sleep over the entire journey until we landed in sleeping Santiago at the dawn of the day.
The time to make friends with a travelling companion on arrival at the gate who was also making a detour to get into Haiti, it was almost five in the morning. This companion, a former American marine, will prove very useful later against the strangely corrupt Dominican custom agents. We hopped into a cab to the bus station towards Dajabond, the frontier town linking Haiti with the Dominican Republic via the sister city of Ouanaminthe.
A pleasant journey, the six o’clock bus picks up the earlier workers; it seems they know each other by engaging into the same routine every day. It is a two-hour drive; the kids in their blue shirts and khaki pant suniform all along the road depict a confident Dominican Republic facing the future in spite of the international commotion against the racist ruling depriving the Haitian Dominicans of their national identity.
At the border, in spite of paying the $20 exit fee in addition to the $10 tourist visa entrance (albeit I was only in transit in the DR), some enterprising Dominican custom agents were trying to shake us down for some more pesos as we were entering into Haiti. My new friend, like a true marine, refused the corruption whip and threatened to denounce and vituperate. The officials bowed down, surprised there are still gallant and valiant Haitian people that do not back down when facing bandits in uniform.
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Category: DR News |