Anti-Haitianism or Antihaitianismo was blatant discrimination against Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The policy wasn’t intended to target Black Haitians, but they were mostly the victims under President Rafael Trujillo. In practice, it was prejudice towards language and culture.
Starting during European colonial dominance in the Caribbean in the 16th century, divisions on Hispaniola were established early. Haiti had a cultural base that came from the French, indigenous peoples, and African slaves. The Dominican Republic—then Santo Domingo—had a similar make up only it was Spanish dominated and its population wasn’t made up of mostly African slaves.
Hostilities grew during the 18th and 19th century as Hispaniola was the battleground for a power struggle between Spain and France. The island also saw a number of revolutions and one unification during these centuries. However, because of the cultural and racial distinctions drawn between the Dominican Republic and Haiti peace wouldn’t last.
Antihaitianismo in the 20th Century
President Rafael Trujillo was in control of the Dominican Republic between 1930 and 1938 and 1942 and 1952. During this time, there were a number of border issues. Trujillo ordered Haitians who were said to have practiced voodoo or witchcraft to be killed resulting in the death of tens and thousands during the Parsley Massacre.
Trujillo would also be involved in a number of activities that can be described as a terror campaign. Targets included Haitians living in the DR and those considered subversives. One such act included allowing political enemies to conduct their business freely–so he could gather identities to assassinate or imprison them later.