Archive for the ‘dominican politics’ Category
Thursday, October 14, 2004
The extraordinary hurricane activity of September seems a long time ago now. The only visible evidence that something untoward happened is the still debris-strewn reef which is either waiting for the local council to get their launch out there with a cleaning team or for a very high tide to release the stranded material mostly consisting of bark-denuded tree branches.
As is usual for this time of year beach visitors mid-week are none too plentiful but the weather gives us it’s best with a recent sequence of stunning sunsets that as always can be viewed ideally from the Playa Vista terraza.
Bar talk frequently refers to the new government still getting its feet under the table. Much is reported nationally on a daily basis regarding changes. The peso appears to have reached a stability midway between the value that the previous government inherited four years ago and its lowest point to the end of their administration currently, for better or worse depending on your viewpoint, about 32 pesos to the dollar. Lack of electricity continues to present difficulties in many parts of the country but happily in Boca Chica we are spared almost all inconveniences. Long may that continue and hopefully spread further afield too. The more underlying changes will almost certainly need more time to bear fruit.
Meanwhile… as tourism is one of the cornerstones of economic development in the Dominican Republic in general, and therefore needy of government attention, we remain very hopeful that planning and support of international standard tourism will be further spurred on in our small corner of the country in a way good old Boca Chica deserves!
Meanwhile seven years later:
Frankly speaking not even the most enthusiastic PLD/Fernandez supporter can claim much progress was made for the man in the street. The peso has been kept under that 40 to the dollar level throughout that Fernandez administration and the second that has followed however the polls currently indicate that Hipolito Mejia is favorite to be the new president next year as a very disappointing signal to that PLD/Fernandeez government over these last seven years.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
HURRAH… was indeed the word on Monday last. The streets were full of purple flag-waving supporters of the new president-elect: Leonel Fernández. According to the official figures he easily passed the required 50% achieving a convincing 57.11% of the national vote and carrying a full 26 of the nation’s 29 provinces. Here in municipality number 226 of Boca Chica he also carried the day obtaining a close to national average of 53.56%.
Monday was announced as a public holiday and the people celebrated with equal verve, their relief that the uncertainties were all over and their hopeful expectations for the future. Unfortunately violence, though limited but always looming potentially ruinously, did rear its head in full down in Barahona where a total of 6 people ended up losing their lives for alleged politically motivated reasons. Happily in the rest of the country incidents were reported to be few and far between and none of any note whatsoever in Boca Chica where the jubilation flowed through the streets nearly all day long. People who had seemingly kept their colors hidden took them out of the closet in the upsurge of joy, while those who had supported the white party ditched their old white flags and surprisingly seemed to fully embrace the change to come.
We had the pleasure of visiting an important government institution in Santo Domingo the following day and observed that the atmosphere in general in the city was very upbeat although those employed in the institution itself are phlegmatically resigned to the fact they will have to seek new employment because a change of government in this country means a clearance of nearly all public employees too.
Speaking of presidential change, this week sees the change of the label on the bottle of the exceedingly popular and indisputably good Presidente beer. Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana, the makers of the beer, claim the new label to be fresher, more modern and more stylized which appears to be a fair claim. Not a bad formula for our new president to follow when he is finally, according to the Dominican constitution, sworn in three months from now. He is reportedly by now busy with his plans for a new four year period within which the popular slogan from the election-campaign: ‘Vuelve el Progreso’ (Return to Progress) hopefully will come true sooner rather than later… and we wish him all the best!
Meanwhile seven years later:
We now know that Fernandez will be giving way to somebody else in next year’s May election but coincidentally headline news in the Dominican Republic this week asks what has been gained from the RD$6 billion that has been distributed among the political parties in the past 12 years. At least less violence might be part of the answer to the question if nothing else.