Black Sugar

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

In the Dominican Republic, the politics of sugar always include the issue of the Haitian cane workers who are essential to the industry. To ensure a steady supply of labor, the Dominican government used to bribe Haiti’s usually dictatorial presidents to provide braceros. These arrangements ended in 1986, after the dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier was expelled from Haiti. Today, Haitians and their descendants still cut Dominican cane, but almost all are defined as “illegals” who can be deported at will.