When Dominican Republic wage War over Salami

Barthelemy Kinsky - December 2 2013, 2:22 AM

When Dominican wage War over Salami -- If someone really thinks about the latest Haitian-Dominican crisis, one will realize that the whole situation started when the Haitian government passed three bans affecting Dominican import to Haiti.

The first ban concerned poultry and eggs. Haitian health authorities linked a recent case of H1N1 in the Dominican Republic to swine and avian flu. Fearing that the movement of goods of and foods products might be the cause of the disease crossing the border, Haitian officials were quick to call for a halt in commercial exchanges at the border.

The Second ban stopped processed meat products manufactured in the Dominican Republic from entering the Haitian market.

The cause of this interdiction was seemingly the detection of e-coli, a bacterium living in human feces and nitrate byproducts in a shipment of Salami received by Haitian importers.

Outraged and with the stigmata of the recent cholera outbreak in the country, the Haitian public took matters to the streets.

Protests erupted everywhere to demand that the Haitian government block all tainted foreign food products from the Haitian market.

The Haitian government, facing the growing discontent of the protesters and on the ground of protecting public health called for an investigation of the tainted Salami incident.

Results of the investigation not only confirmed the facts that the Dominican salami was indeed tainted, but the conditions of the manufacturing process were grossly unsanitary.

The third ban concerned plastics and Styrofoam food containers that disposal after consumption present two big challenges to Haiti.

One challenge is environmental and the second is a health concern.

The Haitian consumer has a very bad habit of throwing away plastics and plates anywhere, whence it is a known fact that certain plastic can have a very negative impact on the environment because they are not bio-degradable.

Also Styrofoam and nitrates that yield a pinkish color to salami and sausages and certain processed meats are known carcinogens.

All in all even if Haitian authorities reacted on false premises of erroneous information in banning Dominican products because they are carcinogenic and pose other direct health threats to Haitian population, their reactions were normal and were rooted in the desire of protecting health and national interests.

What went wrong in this picture were the Dominican official and unofficial responses to the matters at hands
For losing such a big client as Haiti, Dominicans were forced to write off more than $ 4.5 million dollars a week off their accounting book. Over a year period this will add to more than $2.34 billion us dollars.

This loss was not something to surely, merrily, happily accept.

They had to react, they reacted badly, and they overreacted.

Because they could not fathom what had changed in the Haitian psyche, because they could not comprehend how such a very nice neighbor who complacently accepts anything suddenly decides to demand respect and request the best quality for a change.

Not thinking a bit, Dominicans decided that chasing and killing were the appropriate responses, turning to the old fashion political tenets of anti-Haitians and violence against everything Haitian.

In such situation violence is not the solution.

In such situation a provider really confident of the quality of its production will offer it to other clients.

The real problem is that other clients may have more stringent rules for quality control when it comes to import of food products where compared to Haiti those rules might be nonexistent or if they exist, they cannot be enforced due to systemic technical inabilities such as, laboratories capable of testing for noxious substances present in food products.

In those conditions, Haitian represent a very good and a very big client that Dominicans cannot afford to lose, but their reactions were for the least immature and can be sum up as follows: "Either they eat my garbage or I kill them" because in the in the Dominican psyche the Haitian is a negligible entity an unfit material for humanity and an animal.

Surely enough they have lost this time the friendship of a group of animals but not any animals, political animals.

Article Written by Barthelemy Kinsky

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