Why we need more bridge construction in the Dominican Republic

Bridge construction in Haiti has become a topic of debate and controversy.

For many, the construction of a new bridge between the Port-au-Prince and the Caribbean islands is an important step towards bridging the gap between the two countries.

It will also help bring stability to a country with a history of political unrest, poverty and poverty.

But for others, the bridge project is merely a symbolic symbol of a project that has been in the works for decades, which has led to the displacement of thousands of Haitians. 

While the project is controversial in Haiti, it has not been without its supporters, who have fought for the project to proceed.

Here are 10 of them.

1. 

The Haitian-Canadian group “Athonio”, who is based in Haiti, started the bridge construction campaign. 

“We’re not against bridge construction, but it’s an example of how this process can be done in a way that will help improve people’s lives,” Athonio told Al Jazeera. 

He continued: “This bridge will be for everyone.”

2. 

Athanio, who is Haitian-Caucasian, is also the founder of the Bridge Bridge Collective, a group of Haitian-Canadians that is responsible for coordinating the bridge, which will be built by a consortium led by the Haitian-French company Toulouse-Lautrec. 

3. 

Toussaint Drouhakis, a former presidential candidate, is the head of the Haitian Bridge Coalition and was also the founding chair of the Haiti Bridge Coalition.

Drouhanakis was a long-time advocate for bridge construction.

He has been active in the bridge advocacy since the late 1990s, when the country was still ruled by an old dictator, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Dromas the former president and his son, Aristide, both received medical treatment from Toulouse Lautrec during their years in Haiti.

4. 

Cynthia Lautreaux, who was also a long time advocate for the bridge movement, is currently president of the Bridge Bridge Bridge Alliance.

The group, which is also led by Drouhinakis, has been a vocal proponent of the project.

The Alliance is a coalition of NGOs, businesses, community groups and individuals, and includes the Haitian National Assembly, the Haiti Economic Development Foundation, the Haitian Chamber of Commerce and the Haitian Community Development and Trade Association.

5. 

Patti Lautrelle, a Haitian-American politician and member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, was one of the founders of the Alliance.

Lautres was a strong supporter of the bridge when she served as the head the Haiti House of Representative, and she was instrumental in helping to organize the first round of negotiations to finance the project in 2011.

6. 

Emanuel Lebel, a political activist and former Haitian-Italian politician, has been active in promoting the project since the early 1990s.

He was one the people who lobbied for the construction to begin in the first place. 

It was the first time in hundreds of years that Haiti had been able to construct a bridge.

In 2004, Lebel took part in the construction in Port-aux-Prince.

7. 

Dennis Kieu, a prominent Haitian-Dominican politician, was a key member of this coalition.

He is also the director of the Center for the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Haiti and was a founding member of Haiti Bridge, the advocacy group responsible for negotiating the bridge.

Kieu also played a key role in helping organize the negotiations. 

8. 

Laurie G. Sousa, a member of a Haitian Congress who is a member of the Haiti-Dominicans Parliament, has worked closely with Lautreaus. 

Sousa has advocated for bridge projects throughout the years, and is an outspoken advocate for it.

She has also spoken out about the bridge in recent years, including during President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Haiti.

9. 

Luis A. Raul, a Dominican citizen, was one of many people who supported the bridge during President Aristide’s rule.

Rul was also an activist during the construction.

10. 

Dominican businessman Michel Lautrault was a prominent member of that coalition. 

His wife is a former president of Haiti.

He served as an aide to the former Haitian president.

He also worked for the Haitian Embassy in the US, and as a member on the board of the World Bank. 

What do you think about the proposed bridge in Haiti?

Share your views in the comments section below. 

Image: Wikimedia Commons