Dominican Republic as a model of economic success.

JD Jones

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I think you are presuming a lot. Popular in Santo Domingo maybe. Having said that David Collado is their next logical candidate, but a lot can happen in four year. Abel may be the next.
You may be right.

The latest polls have Luis at over 60%, Leonel at 20% and Abel at 6%.

As much as I like Abel, I think whoever runs in 2028 will mop the floors with him.
 
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AlterEgo

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You may be right.

The latest polls have Luis at over 60%, Leonel at 20% and Abel at 6%.

As much as I like Abel, I think whoever runs in 2028 will mop the floors with him.

I personally am surprised that Abel has done so poorly in polls. Mr AE thinks it’s because he’s tainted by the PLD. One has to wonder if he regrets resigning as Santiago mayor, where he did so well and was so popular.
 

JD Jones

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I personally am surprised that Abel has done so poorly in polls. Mr AE thinks it’s because he’s tainted by the PLD. One has to wonder if he regrets resigning as Santiago mayor, where he did so well and was so popular.
I agree. Leonel is reaping what he sowed with all of his bad actors. He should have done better.
 

NALs

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I always do, AlterEgo... Truth is always a careful path to walk.

But... Here's another thought... Let's come back to the topic of this thread... I wonder what the path that the Dominican Republic economic development will carefully tread (hopefully) will look like.

In Singapore, we saw a London School of Economics/Cambridge alumni (law degree), Lee Kuan Yew, lead the country to amazing economic and social development levels... But not without problems... Even violent problems... Including issues with neighboring countries.
When you run a country as a quasi-dictatorship, whatever problems (particularly those that threaten your power) are swiftly dealt with. In his case, he basically made it impossible for his rival (who was/is a communist and would had diverted Singapore on that route since all he saw was the inequalities created during the initial years of Singapore transformstion rather than having a long term look), keeping problems at bay is almost a given. Trujillo had that for about 31 years. It isn’t a coincidence who got rid of him were not his enemies, but rather his friends.

Singapore also has sidewalks devoid of old buble gum, unlike the sidewalks of NYC. Hmm, wonder why? :rolleyes:

And then in Jamaica, we saw another London School of Economics alumni, lead the country into ruin and violence; a situation that Jamaica still suffers from some 40 years later. And keep in mind that Jamaica was in a strong economic condition before Manley came to power in 1972 (well-established tourism, agriculture, and bauxite industries).
What ruin Jamaica is the same thing that ruin most countries in Africa (and preventing that from being implemented in Singapore is a major reason for its success), after independence adopting many ideas that essentially were socialists.

The DR was also under great pressure to fall into the communist orbit, but the government took a strong stance against that (sometimes going too far, IMO such as killing active communists in the DR whether they were young or not, why not arrest them and put them in jail?) The DR even took other measures against communism which included but wasn’t limited to making communism illegal (you read that right,) prohibiting any Dominican citizen to visit any communist country, immediate arrest any Dominican or foreign communist arriving in any of the country’s airport/ports, among other things.

While the anti-communisr stance of the DR is often seen as something that the country adopted after the Trujillo dictatorship, in reality it was Trujillo who first imposed an anti-communist agenda from the part of the government (in part because most anti-Trujillo and by consequence anti-his-dictatorship were communists and that also included foreigners like Venezuela’s president Rómulo Bentscourt.) Trujillo himself once said in an interview I think done in 1960 that (paraphrasing) “Fidel Castro is a crazy man. He says that his revolution isn’t complete until he takes it to Santo Domingo. … If they come to Santo Domingo, I will defeat them that they will eat the Dominican dirt.” By that time there were things such as the killing of all the members that took part in the June 15, 1959 invasion via Constanza and Maimón (Puerto Plata) and Éstero Hondo (Puerto Plata). They were all communist that got training from Fidel Castro in Cuba and attempted to impose it in the DR. Trujillo’s army literally hunted each and every single man that arrived via Puerto Plata and those that arrived via Constanza were all captured and burned alive.

Despite the DR’s anti-communist stance, you will see many streets in today’s Santo Domingo named after people who were known to be communist (and often were victim of Trujillo) such as ave Jiménez Moya, ave Rómulo Bentacourt, etc. A few years ago a small park was created by a Dominican NGO to commerate the either Trujillo or Balaguer assasinations of The Palmarejo Boys. Sad event how they were killed. Care to guess what was their political leanings? I think it was under Balaguer that Amín Abel Hasbún was killed in a building that still exist (in fact from the street you can see the staircase where he was gunned down and bled to death.) He was young at the time, I think in his 20’s. A station of the Santo Domingo Metro has his name. What was his political leaning? Exactly… I’m not mentioning these examples to suggest any support for the killings, but to show to what degree the Dominican government was willing to take in its anti-communist stance. Amín Abel Hasbún was killed by members of the Dominican army. He lived in the apartment above and was going down the stair to walkout like he always did.

When the US invaded the DR for a second time in the mid-1960’s, in the speech for the reason of the invasion then US president Lyndon Johnson included the words “to prevent another Cuba in the Caribbean.” Because of that, the strong pressure of the DR to become communist and its resistance for that to happen, is a major reason why the USA decided to give tiny DR support to maintain its capitalism. That’s a major reason for why the US began to give Dominicans facilities to move to the USA by making easier for Dominicans to get visas (initially many were leftists, so that was an additional way of reducing the communist threat in the DR, you will notice things such as Silvio Torres-Saillant, the founder of the Dominican Studies at NYU, he ended up in NYC because his mother migrated there and took him. She was arduantly anti-Balaguer… guess why… When you look into some of the Dominicans thst are pro-Haitian, very often you scratch the surface and notice that either they are communist or not communist but left leaning and grew up in a home where pictures of the Ché or Fidel Castro were hanged on the wall as they were heroes of their parents.)

The DR is a very right wing and conservative country (despite what is seen in places like Sosúa) to the point that often “leftists” political parties are so far to the right that they wouldn’t be called leftists in the USA and certainly in Europe. Right now the DR is governed by a “center-left” party, but that’s what’s on paper. How they are acting often is more in tune with the right, in fact this is even one of the most pro-business party to rule the DR in recent times. Imagine that, a “center-left” party that is very pro-business. They even use the image of José Francisco Peña Gómez when he was even a member of The International Socialist.

The DR was going through what was known as the “Dominican Miracle” since due to government policies taken mostly in the 1960’s and some in the 1970’s, the DR was seeing things such as the creation and growth of a market dependent middle class (until then the very small middle class was almost entirely composed of government workers) and the development of many sectors, particularly in manufacturing which then was the basis of the development. Balaguer was once criticized because the government was giving too manh incentives to promote regular manufacturing, the free trade zones, tourism, etc and was having a noticeable decrease in the government’s tax receipts. Balaguer responded that that was the price to be paid for the future development of the country. Imagine any Dominican politician saying that to support policies that would decrease the amount collected in taxes all for the benefit of the economic development of the country. Modern politicians hesitate about lowering the ITBIS which is already at 18%. If anything they might increase it again! They don’t believe that with reducing the tax rates it will stimulate production and consumption that in the end the amount the government receives via taxes will actually be more. They can’t see how decreasing actually results in increasing and since they think they know more, decreasing taxes is thrown out the window.

Things began to change when the PRD first came to power in 1978. That’s when began things like the severe relaxing of border controls which led to a gradual but rapid increase of the illegal immigrant Haitian population. At that time started the ballooning of the national debt as since Trujillo the Dominican government was weary of taking out loans due to the experience of losing controls of customs and the removal of the Dominican currency replaced by the US dollar (the US government had control of DR customs to help pay the national debt which the DR was going to default on.) It was in the 1940’s when the Trujillo government paid off the national debt (one of the few countries to ever do that), purchased all the DR branches of the Bank of NY and converted them into the newly created Banreservas (still the largest bank in the DR and one of the most valued in the Caribbean worth billions of dollars), the creation of the Central Bank and replacing the US dollar with the Dominican peso (which was kept value at slightly above the US dollar for the remainder of the dictatorship and for a few years afterwards until devaluation became necessary), etc.

After 1978 the DR government started to take out huge loans, many times without seeing where the money went to. Former Trujillo companies that were confiscated by the government to the Trujillo family in the 1960’s and they were all profitable during the dictatorship begsn to have huge losses as many of the employees were not essential for running the companies but rather hired for political clientilism where their support of a political party meant they were put in the payrolls of these companies as pay back. All the sugar mills of the government (which included sugar mills like Central Haina which was the largest in the world) went from being profitable to having losses year after year. Eventually, most government sugar mills has to be closed and many were later dismanteled and sold for scrap.

During the Trujillo dictatorship the temporary workers visa with Haitian sugar cane platations workers were upheld with every temporary worker sent back to Haiti when the zafra was over. That basically ended with the temporary workers simply left in the country, many of which formed families and continue to live in the country in an irregular state. Many of their generations were placed in the civil registry and even considered Dominicans in complete violation of what the constitution has said since 1929 that every person born in the DR to a diplomat or a person in transit (included illegal immigrants, tourists, etc) would not be given Dominican citizenship at birth but rather that of his or hers parent. Trying to clean up this mess from the national civil registry was the basis of the Regularization Plan in 2016, though several NGO’s took that and presented an erroneous image in the media in the DR and abroad which was basically putting pressure for the DR to leave without effect the Regularization Plan.

The country’s air carrier Dominicana de Aviación was used for things like taking deputies and senators and their families to NYC for their shopping trips in Manhattan and later that day flying them back to Santo Domingo with everything they bought. An entire airplane was “rented” just for a single family and everything was free since the airline, owned by the Dominican government though created by Trujillo, didn’t charged them a single cent. The airline was run to ground and one of the oldest airlines in the Caribbean ceased to exist in the 1990’s. I actually flew on that airline (it was more I was flown since I was a kid) and one time was enough. My mother says you can see the arms of the seats as they looked old and “fell down” presumably due to a lack of maintenance.

Other things also took place after Trujillo. Electricity which was stable and constant were replaced by rolling blackouts that became the norm. Water which was always on and perfectly drinkable from the faucet was replaced with permanent water shortages and the water from the faucet can actually make you sick. Santo Domingo and other towns went from being very clean to seeing litter on many of the streets and open air garbage dumps. Santo Domingo was actually held as a model of what a beautiful, clean and modern Latin American capital should look like. Very orderly, beauty and pleasantness was taken into account as the city continue to grow. Today Santo Domingo is no example of urban development! The electricity and telephone wires which were orderly became essentially a spiderweb and a riduculous amont of wires were added. Flooding due to blocked storm drains didn’t exist and then they became nothing to raise an eyebrow. Manholes were all covered and now many as missing their covers! A lot of things changed that basically should had never changed.

You seem to be naive about many aspects of the DR, both currently and from where it comes from. This is very obvious from your posts. I suggest you take the time to study the history of the DR. Many of your questions will be answered with that. Many “aha” moments to be had.
 
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NALs

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I agree. Leonel is reaping what he sowed with all of his bad actors. He should have done better.
Leonel wrote a paper in the 1990’s or early 2000’s about the decrease of popularity of leaders after they spend too much time in power. Lets not pretend he doesn’t know this or “forgot.”
 

keepcoming

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Try to make the posts briefer. Too many long posts in this back and forth. Also, no more about Singapore, etc..
 
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CristoRey

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I personally am surprised that Abel has done so poorly in polls. Mr AE thinks it’s because he’s tainted by the PLD. One has to wonder if he regrets resigning as Santiago mayor, where he did so well and was so popular.
I wish he didn't resign.
He was a fantastic mayor.
 

bob saunders

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I personally am surprised that Abel has done so poorly in polls. Mr AE thinks it’s because he’s tainted by the PLD. One has to wonder if he regrets resigning as Santiago mayor, where he did so well and was so popular.
When the political caravans did they drive through Jarabacoa the PLD had by far the largest turn out. No idea if that translates to votes, but they also won the majors office.
 

bob saunders

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Leonel wrote a paper in the 1990’s or early 2000’s about the decrease of popularity of leaders after they spend too much time in power. Lets not pretend he doesn’t know this or “forgot.”
My wife said before he was even president that Danilo was a SNAKE that would destroy the PLD.
 
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MoJoInDR

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The only way to respond to this is to give a FULL history of the growth of Singapore that began in the early 60's. It would be a stretch here on DR1 for that convo to align with its' TOS. That wouldn't last a day on this foro.

At least mentioning it may encourage people to take a look at it, from a DR perspective, and perhaps help broaden their outlook/understanding regarding the matter of a model of economic success... Google, when used properly, can be a wonderful tool for this.
 

MoJoInDR

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You seem to be naive about many aspects of the DR, both currently and from where it comes from. This is very obvious from your posts. I suggest you take the time to study the history of the DR. Many of your questions will be answered with that. Many “aha” moments to be had.

Oy vey... I guess you didn't get the memo... Thankfully, I did.

Regarding your last childish ad hominem attempt... At no time in any of my comments have I tried to present myself as being an expert on "...many aspects of the DR...", neither regarding current affairs nor historically.

Here's my opening comment...

"During some research on the DR, I came across this article (Oct. 2023) that I found interesting... It may have been presented in the DR1's News section (I didn't check), but I wanted to bring it up here to find out what some here think about the reasons for the DR's economic success. Reading many of the threads can give the sense that the DR has a mountain of negatives to overcome... And yet, here we have a successful Jamaican businessman looking to learn from the DR. . . . So, DR's economic success... The DR has been around for a long time... What has happened, and is happening, that is causing this boom to take place?"

Do you not understand what in English grammar a "...?..." indicates?

I'm participating in this DR1 forum to learn about the DR from other forum participants... And I do this by engaging others in discussions about topics I create threads for, and topics created by others... Mainly by asking questions (what this "...?..." means) and bringing up certain related matters that will hopefully encourage comments on these matters.

This is like an aspect of research 101, NALs... And one researches to find out what they don't know.

Regarding the rest of your long, kindergarten-level attempt at a history lesson... Besides, as usual, leaving out a whole lot of factual details that even a "...naive about many aspects of the DR..." person could spot... You made yourself seem like a despot-loving, El Jeffe supporter... Which, if this is the case, is truly sad.

And the Dominican Republic had its own similar problems... Even more violent in the earlier years.

Anyway... I'll respect the request to keep comments shorter and stop here.
 

keepcoming

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MoJoInDR, in post #66 I was clear that Singapore, Jamaica, etc... are not permitted. So, your post has been edited. Going forward anything not DR related will be edited and/or deleted. Now as far as the back and forth with NALS, we do have a wonderful option here on DR1, it is called PM (private message). This is where the back and forth should be taken to.
 
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MoJoInDR

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For some reason, the link in my opening comment again takes you to another page... So here's the link again... Hopefully, this one will continue to work...

 

MoJoInDR

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MoJoInDR, in post #66 I was clear that Singapore, Jamaica, etc... are not permitted. So, your post has been edited. Going forward anything not DR related will be edited and/or deleted. Now as far as the back and forth with NALS, we do have a wonderful option here on DR1, it is called PM (private message). This is where the back and forth should be taken to.

As I just posted... I created this thread based on what I read... in... a... Dominican... newspaper.

Are... you... saying... that... the... subject... of... an... article... that... is... printed... in... a... Dominican... newspaper... is not permitted to be discussed on the General Stuff forum of the DR1 website?
 

keepcoming

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As I just posted... I created this thread based on what I read... in... a... Dominican... newspaper.

Are... you... saying... that... the... subject... of... an... article... that... is... printed... in... a... Dominican... newspaper... is not permitted to be discussed on the General Stuff forum of the DR1 website?
I am saying the article is from October 9, 2023... end of discussion.