The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Who Profits by Closing the Border?

Nov 13, 2023

The following article was translated from the October 21, issue (number 1314) of Combat Ouvrier, the newspaper of the revolutionary workers group active on the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Since September 15, the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has been closed by the Dominican government because of the construction of an irrigation canal on the Haitian side of the Massacre river.

On Friday, October 13, the business owners of the Association of Haitian Industries declared that they support the closing of the border. They asserted that "the Haitian Republic, like every other country, has the right, the obligation, and the privilege of using its own resources for the benefit of its population." But cutting off competition helps their businesses, while the population is the victim.

Few goods move across the border now. The goods sold from the Dominican Republic are cheaper than those produced in Haiti and are the only ones the poor population can afford. Now, where the markets function at all, importers raise the prices, using the pretext of the closed border. All while in the industrial zone, the bosses pay poverty wages.

The big traders, big capitalists and other smaller business people have the means to fill their refrigerators, to buy products from overseas. They can make a show of their nationalism and call for the border to remain closed and benefit themselves in the end. That is not the case for the mass of the population who rely on the cheap goods that come across the Dominican border.