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Fwd: US Troops in the Dominican Republic Today; Need for material aid

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  • Michael Novick
    From: ruben garcia Dear Michael: This is the article I promised you. I will be going back to the Dominican Republic in April.-- Ruben
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2003
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      From: ruben garcia <rubendario717@...>

      Dear Michael:
      This is the article I promised you. I will be going
      back to the Dominican Republic in April.-- Ruben

      The Dominican Republic Today

      The Dominican Republic is the second biggest Caribbean
      Island, smaller only than Cuba in the area. Our next
      door neighbor is Haiti, with whom we share the
      Hispaniola Island.
      The US government had had a special interest, more than
      anything else in the Dominican part of the island. At
      the end of the "Spanish-American" war of the
      nineteenth-century, the US wanted to install a
      military base at the bay of Samana; the Dominicans
      took to the streets, making it impossible for
      Washington’s plans to materialize. The US then decided to
      settle for the Guantanamo base in Cuba and a number of
      bases in Puerto Rico. Despite the struggle of the
      Dominican people against colonialism and for
      independence and self-determination, the United States
      government up to today still has insisted on
      dominating their internal affairs.

      In 1916 under the US presidency of Woodrow Wilson,
      Washington ordered the invasion of the Dominican
      Republic. Eight years later the marines left, leaving
      behind thousands of dead and one of the worst Latin
      American dictators in our history. Almighty, commander
      in chief of the armed forces, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo
      Molina.

      Trujillo served the US well and diligently; he was an
      advocate of anti-communist hysteria for thirty years
      and subdued his opponents with death. He got rid of
      whole families; among them were the beloved Mirabal
      sisters whom he ordered to be assassinated. Patria,
      Minerva and Teresa Mirabal dared to oppose the
      dictatorship of Trujillo, for which they paid with
      their lives. It seems like the people of the world are
      condemned to be left behind with a merciless
      dictatorship every time the US intervenes in a country.

      In 1961, the US began to feel uncomfortable with Trujillo’s
      behavior, not because of his criminal activities, but
      because of his taking over US properties and making
      them his own. The CIA got involved in a plot with
      high-ranking Trujillo army officers, and assassinated him
      that year.

      The Dominican people had hardly buried Trujillo, when
      the then-US-president Lyndon Baines Johnson, under the
      umbrella of the Organization of American States (OAS), ordered
      thousands of US marines to invade the Island. The
      excuse was to reestablish "order and democracy" in
      Santo Domingo. It was the year 1965, and the Dominican
      people had begun an uprising, the April revolution. US troops
      put it down.

      History repeated itself a few years later, after the
      American troops left the island and an almighty
      dictatorship started once again. This time it was the
      turn of the heir to the Trujillo regime, former Trujillo
      Secretary of State, Vice-president, and President Mr.
      Joaquin Balaguer. Killing thousands of people,
      disrupting every labor union, peasant and student
      organization, Joaquin Balaguer did exactly what US
      ordered him to do before their departure.

      After another thirty years or so of dictatorship, the
      Dominicans celebrated free “democratic elections.” In
      the year 2000 the Dominican Revolutionary Party won
      the elections under the leadership of Hipolito Mejia.

      Mr. Bush Senior Visited Dominican Republic

      This year, by "coincidence," ex-US-president George
      Bush senior visited the Dominican Republic just at the
      trailing edge of the Venezuelan "general strike" against Chavez,
      invited by a Venezuelan oil magnate who owns a mansion
      in la Romana, a province of the Dominican Republic.
      During old president Bush’s vacation in the Dominican
      Republic, the people had a general strike and all
      night vigils, and marches against the war in Iraq.

      Also by "coincidence," at the same time, the government
      of the Dominican Republic was negotiating an agreement
      with the International Monetary Fund.

      Simultaneously several hundred US troops were being
      stationed around the north in Constanza, and at the
      border with Haiti.

      On Tuesday February the 4, in the middle of a
      Dominican general strike, demanding the lowering of
      the cost of living, more electrical power, no war in
      Iraq, and other demands, ex-president Bush arrived in
      the country.

      On February 6 Mr. Bush was decorated with the highest
      medal of honor of the country, the medal of Duarte,
      Sanshez and Mella.

      The embassy of the US in the country had justified
      their low-tension invasion of the country for two main
      reasons:

      1- The Dominican military at the border with Haiti do
      not know how to handle immigration affairs.

      2- The Dominican Republic is being used as a bridge for
      illegal drug traffic to US.

      In reality, the Dominican people are afraid that in the
      long run US troops will start shooting Haitians and
      blaming it on the Dominicans, thus starting a war
      between Dominicans and Haitians; and then using that as
      a justification for a full invasion of the country. On
      the second part, the pretext about preventing the use
      of the country as a bridge for drug traffic, the
      consensus in the Dominican Republic is that the US has
      to resolve the drugs problems in US.

      US troops disguised themselves under the umbrella of
      working with the community on construction of roads,
      schools and housing among other things. But if the US
      wants to help, troops don’t have to do what Dominicans
      can do. More than fifty per cent of able bodied
      workers are unemployed around the country, including
      skilled workers like carpenters, mechanics,
      ironworkers, bricks-layers, construction contractors
      and others. If the US wants to help, the people always
      say, Give us the funds and we build what we need.

      Blanco Gold Mine

      Amidst high mountains, riverbeds, streams that are the
      headwaters of a good portion of the country’s rivers
      live the community of Blanco. This community, located
      in the north central part of the island, had been
      reduced to about ten thousand inhabitants from more
      than sixty thousand that it used to be.
      Also under the ground of these mountains lies the
      biggest deposit of gold ore of the entire Caribbean
      island system. International investors had been
      interested in the exploitation of the gold mine there.
      Investors led by US, Canadian, Italian, German
      investors have tried for more than fifty years to
      reach an agreement with different governments for the
      exploitation of the mine. The people of the community
      of Blanco led by the Federation of Peasants, despite
      many losses to the dictatorships, have gathered the
      support of labor unions, students, teachers’ union,
      government agencies, professional organizations and
      others against the exploitation of the mine. Ex-President
      Bush Sr is on the board of one of the major gold-mining
      corporations.

      The headwaters at the mountain of Blanco provide all
      of the drinking water to the rivers that supply the
      largest communities of the province of Monseñor Noel,
      which includes Bonao, Piedra Blanca, Maimón and all it
      surroundings.

      If the mine is exploited, there will be serious
      consequences to the rainforest surrounding Blanco, and
      eventually the disappearance of the rivers that are
      born there.

      Lots of strange activities had been going on around
      the mountains of Blanco, like many international
      agencies (such as Peace Corps, and others), doing
      research without the communities’ consent, and
      bringing large containers of tools and materials to
      the area. The thousands of US soldiers are stationed close by in
      Constanza, supposedly to deal with drug traffic, but
      the major road they built was one between militarized
      Constanza and gold-rich Blanco. The Dominican people
      have learned from experience that when high command US
      officials appear in sight, plus US soldiers, plus
      activities around the mountains, it has always added
      up to a new push to exploit the gold mine in Blanco.

      Dear friends:
      As you know I am now living in the community of Los
      Quemados, in Bonao, Dominican Republic.
      I am now releasing a lists of materials, which the
      peasant organization with whom I work can use.I am
      living LA on Wednesday April 2, so fill free to donate
      anything you can afford out of this list.
      Umbrellas, rain coats,kids toys such as card game,
      dominos, chess game and others, don't forget dolls for
      the little girls. Clothings for children of both sexes
      ages 0 to thirteen. Back pack for school. Sports items
      such as baskeball, baseball shoes, boxings and
      baseball gloves.

      Tents and tarps, celullar phone -- word of mouth and
      celullar are our only way of communication; there are
      no telephone lines in the community. A computer. Luxury
      items are also welcome, except TVs -- we do much better
      without them. But we welcome radios, cd players, and
      musical instruments. We need a good wheel chair.

      If you have any of these items you can donate it by:
      Bringing them to Ruben Garcia at
      10005 Sepulveda Blvd.
      Mission Hills, Cal 91345 or you can call me to pick
      it up at 818-830-3931 or you can mail it to me at the
      above address before April 2. I am open for
      suggestions; you can write to me at my e-mail:

      Rubendario717@...

      Peace and love,
      Ruben Dario Garcia.
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