Mark Palermo's Album

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The Dominican Republic


1994. The Dominican Republic.Not a very well focused shot, and for good reason. It was taken from inside a moving car. These folks were pretty upset and they had a right to be. The results of their presidential election had been postponed while the votes were "recounted." The results of the recount showed that the populist candidate, Pena Gomez,  had lost by a narrow margin and the CIA-backed puppet president, Joachim Balaguer- 87 years old and blind- was declared the winner just as he had been in previous so-called free elections. International observers concurred that the election was  rigged and the predictable response you see in this picture followed. You'd be mad too.

Author William Blum wrote, “Joachin Balaguer… ruled…his people in the grand Latin American style: The rich became richer and the poor had babies, hungry babies; democracy remained an alien concept; the police and military regularly kidnapped, tortured and murdered opponents of the government and terrorized union organizers. But the man was not, personally, the monster that Trujillo was. There was relative calm and peace. No ‘communist threat’ hovered over the land. The pot was sweetened for foreign investors, and American corporations moved in with big bucks. There was stability and order. And the men who ran the United States looked and were satisfied.”