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Thread: Haiti's earthquake - Impact on the DR?

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    Default Haiti's earthquake - Impact on the DR?

    At this time of suffering, loss of lives and dismay in Haiti's capital, this may certainly be a thread who's mere existence may be challenged by a wide variety of perceptions of political correctness.
    Still, I am sure, I am not the only one asking myself what the social, demographic, financial and even political impact of this disaster may turn out to be on the Dominican Republic (?).

    Now that our attention has been so brutally directed onto Haiti and more specifically it's capital city, Port Au Prince and the dreadful conditions even on "T minus 1", and then on the horrors of the situation of today, I believe that what we are learning only little by little may not only be appalling and disturbing, but may eventually turn out to become of direct concern to the Dominican Republic.


    • When only 7 year ago, the official census declared a little over 700 thousand residents in Port Au Prince, news agencies seem now to suggest a population of around 3 Millions! 200 to 300 thousand just in ONE one-by-one mile "barrio" (Cite Soleil) alone!
    • The city is overtaken in size by "barrios" said to be more populated and even more dangerous than even Sao Paulo's and Rio's "favelas"!
    • Help organizations lament the total lack of most basic infrastructure, like only road ways, power, water, sewer, short EVERYTHING at T-1. Some "barrios" don't even have businesses like colmados anymore because of the the lack of basic services and crime. Of the little there ever was in some few select neighborhoods, it is feared none may be left salvageable either now.
    • 80% of Haitians live under the poverty line, over 50% below the worst poverty.... that's a NATION wide AVERAGE! The data released only now would suggest that the bulk of the later 50% live in a city like Port Au Prince... so, the numbers will be worse there.

    The list of sad and deplorable data could probably go on and on. A country which by all means can be labeled a failed state, has virtually LOST it capital and thus ability to be governed and helped from within.

    I think that, with this time, really, but REALLY nothing to look back upon, many residents of Port Au Prince will quite naturally find nothing holding them back from leaving the city and most likely a good portion of these, the country. Easiest way out? The DR would probably top the list!

    Can the DR handle more immigrants from Haiti? Many of which will come from that nation's poorest situations, probably lacking the most basic education and trained working skills and rather used to live in crime riddled barrios?
    Can the DR's frail social system take them up without collapsing and failing to it's own people?
    Will the Dominican people accept more Haitians living among them?
    Can the DR's government (afford to) withstand international pressure to freely accept undefined numbers of Haitian refugees and can it handle refugees in orderly manner so that they can be redistributed to other locations once they would be found?

    I understand that this has ALWAYS been a delicate subject. One which can easily raise points which can easily at least be suspected to be driven by racial thoughts and nationalistic hatred. And especially in these days, I myself, writing these thoughts and questions of mine here, wonder if it is not just blatantly politically incorrect to bring this up at this time.
    But on the other hand, I am almost certain, these are issues we will sadly have to confront, may be sooner than we would like to think.

    So, lets try to discuss this in an educated manner, never forgetting to show respect for the hardship Haitians are going thru right now.


    ... J-D.

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    I think your points are off base a little. You write about how over there may affect us over here. I tend to think there is no there, we are ALL here. Assume if you will the point of origination to be 15-30 miles east of where it actually was. You would still be in the hinterlands of Haiti but cities in the DR would be destroyed just as well. ANd then what would the people say internationally? Would they be like Pat Robertson and say the Dominicans made a deal with the devil? Would they blame the DR for lack of quality building standards and other equivalencies? I mean come on, they build roads here that dont stand up to a washout. So if a bunch of small cities were affected how could you help them? Cotui, San Jose, San Juan de la Maguana, Villa Gonzalez, Tamboril? Who would help? the PN? What would they do? How couldthey get the materials to them? And the chain of command? Who wouldit be? The General who got his job by favoritism and nepotism or through actual competence?
    WHy did China, Cuba, Germany and Venezuela already ship goods and workers there but the US, France and Canada are contemplating?

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    JD

    You raise great points of discussion, but these questions you raise are difficult to answer. You can throw discussions on history, economy, politics, race, victory and definitively the endless animosity between Dominicans and Haitians. I mean all sorts of other discussions could be raise to truly have an answer to the effect of the expected Haitian diaspora in the DR. Can Dominican Republic handle it? My answer is NO...remember these points of discussion are subjective.

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    theres nothing subjective about THIS: The DR cannot even handle its own people. IT WILL NOT be able to handle millions of haitians on top of its own citizens....unless we are looking for MAJOR civil unrest and/or another war. Point blank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by POPNYChic View Post
    theres nothing subjective about THIS: The DR cannot even handle its own people. IT WILL NOT be able to handle millions of haitians on top of its own citizens....unless we are looking for MAJOR civil unrest and/or another war. Point blank.
    What??? Millions??? Subjective???

    "Your" opinion is what makes this discussion subjective...but you are right to an extend, I do not believe, Dominican Republic can handle the Haitian Diaspora. However, I'm not Sociologist, I would hate to write something completely out of context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
    WHy did China, Cuba, Germany and Venezuela already ship goods and workers there but the US, France and Canada are contemplating?
    Cuba didn't ship anyone there, they were Cubans already in the Country. There are huge amount of Canadian and American NGO and other Aid organizations that were already in Haiti. The Americans had troops and relief supplies on their way within hours, Canada had a recce team there immediately (next day) and have already send a team with water purification systems, doctors, nurses, engineers,...etc that arrived at noon today. You haven't got a frigging clue what you are talking about. The USA now has 2000 troops on the ground as well as an Aircraft carrier and hospital ship on their way. Canadian navy has 2 ships full of supplys on the way and Hercules leaving every couple of hours. I know because I'm where they are leaving from. Many countries have also sent teams.

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    let me clraify: what i meant is NOT subjective is the fact that the DR CANNOT HANDLE ALL THE DISPLACED HAITIANS. the DR is already poor and struggling.

    i said millions as in pretty much all haitians. some people are saying a "montserrat" type relocation deal should be stricken and they should ALL be moved....either way....

    whether it be millions or tens of thousands---things can and will get ugly.

    if people are already up in arms about the haitians currently here, is it not a given that there will be MUCH more unrest if haitian refugees start flooding thru the borders en masse? <-------that IS subjective but a pretty easy conclusion to draw.

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    Default Here's a non hypothetical, immediate impact...

    Many flights from the U.S. are now being turned away from P Au P and redirected to Santo Domingo to unload their cargo and personnel there. The Dominican Army has mobilized cargo convoys to make the trip by road to the affected area. The USAF has taken over ATC duties at the L'Overture airport and army logistics units are being called to assist the Dominican cargo effort.

    I would be interested to hear what DR1 "boots on the ground" are seeing there. It appears that most of the incoming aid for the next few days will be rerouted through the Dominican capital until the logjam of air traffic into Haiti's capital winds down.

    Cargo is being staged and delivered by order of priority as determined by the organizing groups so food, water, medicine and EMS equipment and personnel are getting in first, then tents, clothing, etc. From our end it sounds like there is more official organization in Haiti right now than there has been since the days of PapaDoc. I'd be interested in the reality.

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    American, American Eagle to restrict bags on Haiti, Dominican Republic flights
    3:45 PM Thu, Jan 14, 2010 | Permalink
    Terry Maxon/Reporter Bio | E-mail | News tips

    American Airlines said Thursday that travelers to Haiti (when travel to Haiti resumes) and the Dominican Republic won't be able to bring extra bags through Feb. 14.

    That means no "excess, oversize and overweight baggage."

    Said American:

    For the next 30 days, customers traveling to these destinations will be allowed to check two pieces of baggage of normal checked-bag size and weight - up to 50 pounds and 62 dimensional inches each. Customers will also be allowed one properly sized carry-on bag.

    ... Sports equipment, such as golf bags, bikes and surfboards, may be checked as part of the total checked-bag allowance, although additional charges may apply.

    The restrictions will apply to Port-au-Prince when flights resume and to the DR cities of Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata, American said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
    WHy did China, Cuba, Germany and Venezuela already ship goods and workers there but the US, France and Canada are contemplating?
    Dude, read the news already!

    These off the cuff posts are starting to remind me of Mirador.

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