US Congresmen call for investigation into DR sugar sector


Well-known member
Apr 24, 2019
Life working in the Sugar Industry here in Palm Beach county is much better since the cutting is mechanized

Belle Glade, FL, where 1/2 of all the US sugar is produced is the poorest city in Florida

..."It is also an area replete with nebulizers, The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica found. Residents live among swaths of cane fields, which companies burn during the winter-to-spring harvest. Cane burning is the cheapest method to prepare it for harvest, but one that releases harmful pollution into the rural atmosphere. Sugar representatives have fiercely defended the practice, denying that it causes major pollution or health problems. But many residents told the news organizations they avoid the outdoors because of asthma or other breathing problems during the harvest season."...

Life in Belle Glade is
is a lot better than life on the batayes in the DR
Which, I suspect, you have never visited?

You would speak with a great deal more authority if you knew anything about life on the Batayes

...,"The sugar industry is one of the wealthiest, most powerful industries in the Dominican Republic. They own an incredible amount of land, where bateyes are built. Men work in the field cutting sugar cane with a machete all day long – very physical, repetitive and demanding work. For this, they earn between 8,000 and 25,000 pesos a month ($160-$500). The sole employer in the area, the company governs bateyes, providing housing for all men employed and their families. Houses have minimal comfort, and life in the batey is closely controlled by the company’s police, which will interrupt any activity that doesn’t suit the company’s interests. Some bateyes offer more services than others, such as basic schooling and – for the larger ones – medical services.

.As Hodrina explains, “life in my batey was really hard. We were very isolated and didn’t even have the electricity.” With her husband and 2 kids, she moved a couple years ago to a larger batey. Her new house has electricity and medical services close by. Hodrina works as a maid and raised funds for a Kiva loan to resells clothes bought in Santo Domingo from her house. This second income allows her to provide her 2 (soon 3!) children with all they need to go to school. "...

having been in the mining equipment industry for years I feel confident that I am familiar with the food chain. Its is nice that you take such an interest and concern with the sugar cane workers. I do have 1 question, are any of them held at gun point or chained up in the fields?


Dec 11, 2003
Completely agree. I am as conservative as a Ronnie Reagan clone, but am also a Christian. We are admonished to love our neighbor as ourselves as a demonstration of loving the invisible God. We view (or should view) our wealth as a gift from God. Does that mean we need to live on dirt floors and drink toilet water? Of course not. But we need to help those who can't help themselves. If we are business owners, that means treating them as we wanted to be treated. This is not rocket science or advanced theology. It's just the way things should be.
And I am as conservative as Eisenhower.