Dominican Republic, We’re Messed Up

Probably you’ve heard nice things about the Dominican Republic, its people, its weather, its beaches, how affordable it can be here, and so on. This country is rich in culture, natural attractions, food, and many more things, but there’s one detail of our everyday lives that has kept us behind for generations in the past and to come, and that is: C O R R U P T I O N.

Seeing the news from here, and it doesn’t matter how you do it: radio, television, press or digital sites. You see blood EVERYWHERE, literally, as well as you have to deal with stories about the local LGBT community being discriminated for whatever reason, that our Department of Justice does not give a damn in order to find the ones responsible for the excessive public spending on infrastructure developed by Brazilian company ODEBRECHT, a 50-something-year-old woman was shot in the middle of Santo Domingo by a cop because of a shooting due a robbery happened nearby (and the lady had 2 children inside the vehicle, thank you!), and so on.

Santo Domingo may be a small city with tropical glitz, but it’s dangerous as many cities across Latin America and the Caribbean can be. And it’s really sad that a place with such a rich culture, history and origins is in such a horrid state.

In a country where poverty is found anywhere, more than a third of its population lives in extreme poverty, and there’s reported economic growth for like 20 years in a row, where the hell did all of that growth went to? Oh, I know the answer, and most of us here in the island know it too: the pockets of our beautifully corrupted politicians. Many western societies, like most of Latin America, for example, are also dealing with corruption.

The Dominican Republic is so messed up right now that almost every aspect of our everyday lives has been impacted greatly by the horrible governments we’ve had in our past and the one we have today. A pretty recent example of this is that this past week there were elections called for the student’s federation at the Autonomous University‘s (the country’s only public, government owned and operated school for higher education) Law School, and because of issues between the campaign & candidate backed by the governing political party of the country (Isn’t that messed up?) and the other campaigns & candidates running for president of the student federation (some of them supported by other major political parties) a riot exploded in the middle of the polls at the main campus in Santo Domingo.

What was the result of this politically charged riot? 1 student dead and 5 others injured. Back in the 60s and 70s, being a student at the UASD (the acronym of the school in Spanish) was a source of pride, since student-led revolutions lead to changes in the country’s policies and government itself. Since the 2000s that pride has been diminished by heavy corruption inside the campus and its student federations. I mean, these student institutions have done NOTHING in recent years to help their fellow colleagues to achieve anything in their favor.

Back to the main topic of this, somewhat rant, this country needs to be better, deserves to be better. The disappointment I see on many youngsters, millennials, young adults, you name it, who even though seek all possible opportunities of development here on the island are looking for all possible methods to get the hell away from here, and I think that’s an epidemic all over Latin America, and it’s sad to see that the youth seeks for opportunities but as a collective force we’re either ignored or blatantly rejected.

Quisqueya, la bella! You’re always in my heart. But I wish I can get more motivation from others and see a change of attitude from absolutely each and all of us to get you to the better place you deserve. Damn, it’s heartbreaking to see so many people doing NOTHING for you, for all of us who live here.

I’m hoping and praying to still be around on the day the change starts here. C’mon, LET’S DO THIS! This change is a necessary evil this country needs. If we don’t do it now, it will be way too late to do so, if not look at countries like Venezuela, for example, that had to reach pretty much rock bottom in order for the revolution to start.

That’s all for now. Until next week, or maybe two!


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