Fwd: US Troops in the Dominican Republic Today; Need for material aid
- From: ruben garcia <rubendario717@...>
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
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
Washingtons 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
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 Trujillos
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
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 Bushs 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
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
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 dont 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 countrys 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
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
If the mine is exploited, there will be serious
consequences to the rainforest surrounding Blanco, and
eventually the disappearance of the rivers that are
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.
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
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:
Peace and love,
Ruben Dario Garcia.