The establishment of a naval base in Saona Island creates a polemic.

Saona - Island - V03United States Embassy said no military personnel would be involved.

The Dominican Navy announced the establishment of a naval base in Saona, with the alleged purpose of strengthening the fight against drug and human trafficking.

Dominican Navy Chief of Staff Nicolas Cabrera announced a few days ago that the U.S. Southern Command is planning to build a naval base and a deck in Catuano, in Saona Island, aimed at strengthening maritime surveillance in the Dominican East.

Progressive and leftwing organizations called to prevent the installation of a U.S. military base in Saona island, in the south west of the Dominican Republic.Fourteen parties, social organizations and youth movements called on people to attend a meeting on Monday at 7 pm in this capital to agree on the actions to be taken to prevent the materialization of that violation of Dominican sovereignty.

The declaration from the signing organizations called to honor National Hero Juan Pablo Duarte and all Dominican patriots by defending the homeland they bequeathed and that must be free and independent of any foreign power or the island will sink.

The people united cannot be defeated, as in April 1965, said Revolutionary Alternative, noting that this is a time when the Motherland calls on Dominicans to do their duty.

United States Embassy responds
The United States Embassy in the Dominican Republic said yesterday Monday February 20 that no military personnel would be involved in the construction or operation of the base or based on Saona Island, in response to questions on the role that they would play once their support for the Dominican Navy and the construction of the dock and a naval station was concluded.

The United States will just contribute the funds and the supervision of the construction, said the Embassy through their Press Attache, Judith Ravin. She said that, the US contribution falls within the priorities of the Security Initiative for the Caribbean Basin, which seeks to substantially reduce illegal drug trafficking as well as other international crimes that threaten regional security and the public security.

Despite the statements from the diplomatic delegation, public safety specialist Daniel Pou says that the issue should not be taken lightly since the US could expect some benefits. He pointed out that the institutional weakness of the country casts doubts on the support that these constructions at the Catuano Port, and that Saona Island could become a military enclave.

Temistocles Montas, the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, said that there should be no cause for concern about this project, pointing out that it is a base for the Dominican Navy, not a concession of national territory.




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