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Open Access Of peasants, plantations, and immigrant proletarians

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Of peasants, plantations, and immigrant proletarians

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image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

[First paragraph]Dominican Sugar Plantations: Production and Foreign Labor Integration. MARTIN F. MURPHY. New York: Praeger, 1991. xii + 186 pp. (Cloth US$49.95)Peasants in Distress: Poverty and Unemployment in the Dominican Republic. ROSEMARY VARGAS-LUNDIUS. Boulder CO: Westview 1991. xxi + 387 pp. (Paper US$ 32.95)Few other places in the Caribbean region have as great a potential for international conflict as the island of Hispaniola. The historical antagonism between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is no doubt known to readers of this journal, as is the recent upsurge in tension between the two countries, which culminated in the expulsion of tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants from the Dominican Republic, from June to September 1991. The quickening pace of events, added to the worsening spiral of economic hardship gripping both nations, threaten to render obsolete even the most recent analyses of relations between the two countries. Even so, against the background of an increasingly acrimonious debate between the Dominican government and international human rights organizations accusing it of enslaving Haitian immigrants in the cane flelds, the appearance of two works by long-time students of the migration of Haitians as cane workers to the Dominican Republic is particularly timely.

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