The Dominican Republic – Haiti Divide

Author: Regina Paulose

Most sad chapters in history involve a mix of bad (or an absence of) law and a tyrant. In 1930, Rafeal Leonidas Trujillo became the dictator of the Dominican Republic (DR). In October 1937, he ordered the massacre of thousands of Haitians (estimates range between 9,000 to 30,000 civilians). Dominican soldiers were ordered to carry a sprig of parsley and ask people to say the word “parsley” in Spanish. Those who could not pronounce the word paid the price by being hacked to death with machetes or through other violent methods. The U.S. Ambassador to the DR labeled it “a systematic campaign of extermination.” Bodies of Haitian’s were dumped in what became known as “Massacre River.” These events became known as the “Parsley Massacres” or “El Corte.” Continue reading

The Death of Duvalier and Justice for Haiti

Author: Regina Paulose

On October 4, 2014, Jean Claude Duvalier died of a heart attack. Widely known as “Baby Doc” he was given control over Haiti – at the age of 19- after his father passed away in 1971.[1]  His father, Francois Duvalier, was an educated physician. He was known as “Papa Doc.” Papa Doc instituted the “Duvalierist Revolution” where he declared himself president for life, destroyed any institution outside his reach or which criticized him, neutralized the army and had them replaced with the infamous secret police, the tonton makout.[2]  Continue reading