The AP has released this story about the new transit system under construction in the Dominican Republic. As always, the project is faced with skepticism and much criticism by several factions within the Dominican political/social arena. I look forward to seeing how things work out. This is an exciting and challenging time as the Dominican Republic moves forward into the 21st century. (the before & after pics were found on the internet)
The Associated Press (AP) says that the streets of Santo Domingo are changing because President Fernandez, who grew up in New York City, dreams of converting the city into a "Little New York." The subway project, says the AP, the first in the Caribbean, looks like pure New York, with noise, controversy and a budget that has exceeded the original estimate. According to the AP, the President has promised that the first 14 kilometers of the first subterranean subway system in the Caribbean will be built before the elections next 16 May, for which he is seeking re-election. Critics point out that the government is spending a fortune, which would be better spent tackling the problems of poverty, hunger and the lack of electricity in the DR. The article in Listin Diario reviews Fernandez's childhood in New York City, mentions the hundreds of thousands of Dominicans that live there and send back billions of dollars in remittances. At one point the article quotes Fernandez as telling a reporter that Dominicans won't have to immigrate to New York, because "we are going to bring New York here." However, the AP does point out that if the subway is completed on time, and reduces traffic and smog, the President will be a hero. "But if there are problems, he (Fernandez) could be punished with the vote."