Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

William Garcia




dominican, government, haitian, trujillo, Haiti, genocide


The tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti have been longstanding. Not only are the nations divided by a physical border, but there are much larger cultural, racial, and political schisms that separate them. In 1930, when Rafael Trujillo assumed the presidency in the Dominican Republic, he did not hesitate to publicize his anti-Haitian sentiments. His effort to promote “Dominicanness” created a strong distinction between the Hispanic, Catholic Dominicans and the African, Voodoo worshipping Haitians. These growing tensions exploded into violence in 1937 when Trujillo organized the Massacre of Parsley, also known as the Cutting. During this period, nearly 20,000 Haitians were murdered by Dominican soldiers, who used machetes to slaughter them in the fields; this targeted brutality can best be described as an act of genocide. Reflecting on this tragedy, both Haitian writers and Spanish speaking authors have used their works to criticize the Dominican government and its military for their cruelty and to accuse the Dominican society of complicity. Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian author, utilized her novels and short stories as a means of characterizing the Dominicans as guilty individuals that must be held accountable for the massacre. In the same respect, Freddy Prestol Castillo and Juan Bosch, both Dominican writers, used their works to condemn the actions of their own government and people. On the other hand, Carlos Canales, a Puerto Rican author, utilized metaphors and satire as a way of indirectly criticizing the actions of the Dominican government and military under Trujillo.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.