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DR maintains Haiti border closure
Sept. 18, 2023
Dominican Republic Luis Abinader defended his decision to close air, sea and land traffic with Haiti, and said restrictions will remain in place until construction is halted on a canal in Haiti, which seeks to use water from the Massacre River to alleviate a drought in Haiti’s Maribaroux plain, reports the Associated Press. (See Friday’s post.)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a humanitarian exemption for the world agency Friday in order to ensure the continuity of activities in Haiti. The U.N. stores part of its humanitarian stocks in the Dominican Republic, which its aide agencies would need to have access to in the case of an emergency in Haiti, reports the Miami Herald.
Critics of Abinader’s move in the Dominican Republic say the closure is a call to war, and that it will have a boomerang effect on the DR’s economy.
“Haiti’s situation is desperate. But real support would mean more than a conscience-salving mission, compared by one human rights activist to “a Band-Aid on a cancer,” argues the Guardian editorial board. “If those outside really want to help, they must listen to civil society, not just (Prime Minister Ariel) Henry, before dispatching a security force, and must prioritise political transition too.”
“An effort to transfer dozens of disabled Haitian children to safety in Jamaica, after three died because of escalating gang violence, remains deadlocked, with the head of Haiti’s child welfare agency reprimanding the orphanage for not reporting the deaths and the prime minister remaining silent,” reports the Miami Herald.
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres called for the G77 countries to foment a global structure with more fairness for developing countries. “The conclusion is clear: The world is failing developing countries,” he said kicking off a summit in Cuba on Friday. (Associated Press)
The organization that grew out of the U.N. non-aligned movement and now includes 123 developing nations, notes the Miami Herald.
"After all this time that the North has organized the world according to its interests, it is now up to the South to change the rules of the game," said Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the opening of the summit. (AFP)
More Regional Relations
In Cuba, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called the embargo imposed by the United States on the island "illegal" and denounced the island's inclusion on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. (Reuters)
“The judiciary in several Latin American countries has proved itself to be the best line of defense against democratic backsliding,” write Tamara Taraciuk and Rebecca Chávez in Americas Quarterly. “The role of an independent judiciary in protecting people’s right to vote in free and fair elections is essential … Judges should understand their rulings have political implications, but they are not politicians. This is a very delicate balance to strike, but when courts get it right, their contribution to strengthen fragile rule of law can go a long way.”
Guatemalan president-elect Bernardo Arévalo plans to call citizens into the streets this week to protest efforts to derail his presidency before he can take office, he told the Associated Press. (See last Thursday’s post.)
Alleged Mexican trafficker Ovidio Guzmán, a son of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, has been extradited to the United States, reports the Washington Post. Guzmán’s extradition had been a priority for the U.S. Biden administration, which has intensified pressure on Mexico to curb the production of fentanyl.
The fast-tracked extradition of Guzmán to the U.S. “and a months-long, underworld-enforced prohibition of fentanyl production suggest Mexico’s government and some of its most-targeted criminal actors may be trying to reset US-Mexico counternarcotics relations,” reports InSight Crime.
U.S. lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and hedge fund manager Paul Singer of collusion in connection to a 2014 case involving Singer’s fund NML Capital and Argentina, reports the Buenos Aires Herald.
“A U.S. judge ruled that Argentina must pay $16.1 billion to minority shareholders of state-controlled oil company YPF due to the government’s 2012 nationalization of a majority stake in the firm,” reports the Associated Press.
“Argentinian presidential candidate Javier Milei railed against socialism and praised Donald Trump in an interview with U.S. host Tucker Carlson that has underlined how global attention is focusing on Argentina since Milei emerged as the frontrunner in the country's presidential race,” reports the Associated Press.
Mauro Cid, Jair Bolsonaro’s former personal secretary, reportedly told police he handed tens of thousands of dollars to the former president after selling two luxury watches that Bolsonaro had received as official gifts. Cid was released from four months’ detention on Saturday after striking a plea deal with police, which reportedly requires him to provide information relating to a series of suspected crimes committed during Bolsonaro’s administration, reports the Guardian.
Fourteen people on a small plane died when it crashed in Brazil’s northern Amazonas state on Saturday. (Reuters)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro said cocaine has always been a top export for his country, in response to a Bloomberg estimate that cocaine could overtake oil to become Colombia’s main export.
“The Colombian right has done everything in its power to undermine Gustavo Petro. That hasn’t stopped the nation’s first leftist president from achieving ambitious reforms for Colombia’s poor and working class,” according to Jacobin.