Saturday, April 22, 2006

Banana Republic?

Time magazine does it again. There is a great article in the latest magazine on the Dominican Republic. Click here to read.

24 comments:

Kevin Christopher Houlker,LMSW said...

This was a great article. I think it was hard hitting and touched on many points that I was thinking about. The poor, the economic future of DR. Iam a social worker by trade and I feel that a well planned and solid social programs to both educate and provide health care will help the country. I was surprised that the writer didn’t address the high rates of HIV/Aids in DR. It has the highest rate of HIV positive people in that region.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Kevin's source of info on the HIV rate in the country. I just read an article a few weeks ago saying that the country had turned the corner on HIV infections and was experiencing a greatly reduced new rate of infection. We do all need to remain 100% safe in our activities.

Anonymous said...

I find it very poor politics when only 10% of the teenagers finish High School and they still are shown to be underfunding education. Other problems that they really need to address are the electricity problem and the corruption of the Police Forces. Those two areas directly affect tourists and Fernandez does know about it but has done nothing to prioritize fixing these issues. I wonder why these three issues are so difficult to resolve. Maybe it is because of the lack of education for those who run the government? Without an educated workforce they will never come out from being a 3rd world country.

Anonymous said...

I am amused by the comments published here. While this article was about the DR it could well be about the good ol USA where oil companies will reap an 80 BILLION DOLLLAR PROFIT this year and the US has no universal health plan to take care of it's citizens. Our public educational system is a shambles and the corruption involving the "re-building" of Iraq continues with those companies close to the present administration stealing billions of dollars without accountability. The rich get rich and the poor have children, and those children grow up to fight the wars for the rich elite. It seems so easy to point the finger elswhere, but the truth is we, here in the USA, should be outraged by what our government is doing. We are no better off, we just have a higher GNP.

Anonymous said...

Ans some of us will soon have government sponsored health care for everyone in Massachusetts. Things are not perfect in the USA but at least those of us who want to work can find work to support ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Replying to the above comment, like I said...we just have a higher GNP!

Kevin Christopher Houlker,LMSW said...

here are some stat data inference to hiv rates in the Caribbean region and DR.

• Haiti and the Dominican Republic, taken together, account for 85% of the total number of HIV cases in the Caribbean.

Sources: UNAIDS/WHO epidemiological fact sheet – Dominican Republic (2000), The World Bank, Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development-Issues and Options (June 2000)

*The AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 24,000 lives in the Caribbean in 2005, making it the leading cause of death among adults aged 15-44 years.
A total of 300,000 people are currently living with HIV in the region, including 30,000 people who became infected in 2005.
New HIV infections among women are surpassing those among
men. Young women in particular face considerably higher odds of becoming infected than do young men. In Trinidad and Tobago, for example, HIV infection levels are six times higher among 15–19 year-old females than among males of the same age (Inciardi et al., 2005).
*Earlier studies indicated that women younger than 24 years in the Dominican Republic were almost twice as likely, and teenage girls in Jamaica were two-and-a-half times more likely to be HIV-infected, compared with their male counterparts (MAP, 2003).

Sources:UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Team Fax: +1 868 623 8516.

*Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean has the highest HIV prevalence rateof any region of the world and the highest HIV incidence rate among women in the Americas. Nine of the 12 countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the Americas are in the Caribbean area. It is estimated that approximately 2 percent of the region's population is infected with HIV. The primary mode of HIV transmission in the Caribbean is presumed to be heterosexual contact, accounting for 64 percent of AIDS cases in CAREC-member countries. Mother-to-child HIV transmission represents 6 percent of reported AIDS cases and may rise due to increasing infection rates among women and the lack of programs across the region to prevent motherto- child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Among men, 20 percent of HIV/AIDS infections are reportedly due to sex with other men.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/qa/index.htm

Bahian Heat said...

Unfortunately the article didn't mention about how business is done in DR. My experience has been that the Department of Tourism as well as other business people do not return phone calls, keep prompt appointments and woo business opportunities that don't cater solely to the upper class. Let's not forget to consistant police corruption and the court system that favors only Dominican's and not foriegners. In my opinion the country has a long way to go before it becomes the next China, India or even Mexico but I wish them well.

Anonymous said...

America IS slowly becoming a banana republic. The infrastructure is collapsing, wages for middle class workers are depressed, jobs are being outsourced, illegal immigrants are filling jobs many americans used to hold, basic services are controlled by conglomerates that could care less about service, harder to own your home, the prison system is booming, and good luck if you don't have health care, a good attorney-with connections, and... cash.

If you really believe hard work is all it takes to make it here, you either don't see what's happening in the states, or willfully choose to ignore it... and this is from a man on the "sunny side" of the street.

Anonymous said...

Very good feed back and comments. I'm just wondering why Mario Sessions has not contributed to this intellectual dialogue. He seems to have many comments about less important matters.

Anonymous said...

To the above commenter, I was just thinking the same thing.I was also wondering why Rafael from Puerto Rico has not commented.

Anonymous said...

you queens are s h a d y. what is this bull with sessions and rafael at least they use their names. i know i didn't use mines,i did not take the time to register yet but i will. so sue me.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Rafael and Mario are limited to Buggarons and Cheese. To the above commenter, birds of a feather flock togeather.

Anonymous said...

Some of you silly, old hens seem to have nothing better to do than to criticize. FYI, I got back from SD a few days ago where I had a great time and stayed at Casa New Yorker with Scotch and Byron. I had not logged in until now. Give me a chance to catch up, will you?
From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

Anonymous said...

to the tired queen with the comment, birdS of a feather flock together,GET A LIFE AND STOP HATING ON OTHERS, THIS BLOG IS FOR INTELLIGENT COMMENTS ABOUT REAL ISSUES NOT FOR YOUR TIRED GAY QUEEN NONSENSE. BE MAN ENOUGH TO TELL THOSE TWO INDIVIDUALS TO THEIR FACES
I SWEAR THESE PUNK ASS TIRED QUEENS ARE FULL OF HATE FOR THEMSELVES.
AS I LEAVE, I'M LAUGHING MY ASS OFF AT YOUR DUMBASS!

Anonymous said...

How can innocent articles that should inform us all always seems to turn into name calling, silliness? No wonder people dont want to treat us a equals............sometimes, some of us dont deserve it........What is wrong with open honest discussions without all of this ugliness?

Monaga said...

What is interesting is that instead of commenting on the TOPIC (!), some have chosen to comment on others who keep the blog comments lively. At the very least, THEY DON'T ATTACK PEOPLE ANONYMOUSLY.

Here's a suggestion. If you have any problems with Mario or Rafael, why not contact them directly?

Okay, shall we get back on topic?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

By popular demand:

I wholeheartedly agree with Ken Stier's point of view in his article. President Fernandez needs to find a way so that the man on the street can benefit from the rise in economic prosperity in the Dominican Republic. Steir indicates that Fernandez needs to focus and invest more on social issues: health, education, security, transportation, etc. I believe that if Fernandez does not address these issues in the remainder of his term, he faces being voted out in 2008. The reason will be the same one why he lost in 2000: the gains of the wealth produced by the government did not reach enough of the general population.

Now try to follow this, you losers.

From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

John K said...

Rafael, didn't Leonel decide not to run for office in 2004 because of several different scandals? None was as spectacular as the banking implosion of Baninter, Bancredito and Banco Mercantil under Hipólito, but he presided over the wholesale looting of the government too. Another candidate whose name escapes me ran on the PLD line in 2000, right?

Leonel's policies seem to be in line with the neoliberal economics that many Latin American countries pursued in the 1990s. In almost every case, even when the economies grew or certain sectors expanded, the majority of the population did not benefit. This is one reason why so many Latin American countries have rejected neoliberalism and replaced it with moderate (Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Argentina) or hardcore democratic socialism (Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru if Ollanta Humala wins, Mexico if López Obrador wins). The right-wing Bush government is looking on at all of this with horror, but they AND the Democrats have pushed these sorts of economic policies since the 1980s.

Mejia represented the major left-leaning party, right? So it's unlikely that people will return one of their candidates to the presidency given the ongoing scandal. But then again, Leonel's failure to invest in expanding economic opportunities beyond the tourism sector could come back to haunt him politically, as Rafael says, and it certain won't do the country any good.

PS: Did anyone else see the article in the New Yorker about how these wealthy Americans are planning to buy up whole swaths of the north coast near Cabarete and Cabrera to build their "creative utopia"? It was disgusting....

Monaga said...

John, Leonel didn't run for relection in 2000, because by law he couldn't. Mejia had the law changed. Mejia's party were the majority in congress and he had the law changed and ran against Leonel.

Do you have the New Yorker article?

Anonymous said...

Anthony is right in indicating that Fernandez did not run for president in 2000. The PLD candidate was Danilo Medina who lost to Hipolito Mejia. Medina received the dissatisfaction of the voters that was felt towards Fernandez at that time. From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

John K said...

Anthony, thanks for the clarification. So this means that Leonel could run again in 2008.

I'll try to find that New Yorker article and bring it so you can check it out.

Nena said...

I don't know enough about DR politics to comment. Trying to keep up with what's happening in Puerto Rico while living in nYc is consuming enough.
Happy to see that Anthony, Rafael and John are well informed.
Nena LMSW

Anonymous said...

As someone who until just a few days ago NEVER read the comment posts,at first I found them amusing and then quite annoying. You queens tend to use the forum to vent your hateful silly rants about nonsense and not the topic!!Then spew your personal yet anonymous venom for each other. As someone who admires what Anthonys intention for creating the blog,it's sad to see how some choose to utilize it.But Anthony you do you!! You come across as someone who is intelligent and well informed and honest to a fault.....the bitch in you does rear it's head by moment,but with integrity. Stay true, stay you!! M,NYC