A report in the UK magazine The Economist, describes conditions in the
Dominican Republic 25 years after the USA invaded the country and imposed its preferred government and economic system. The report
Public services function only intermittently.
Poverty is endemic. Malnutrition is increasing.
In the capital, there is electricity for only four hours every day. Water is available for only an hour a day in many places.
Over 1,000,000 people have fled the country.
The country has a foreign debt of $ 4,000 million and a trade deficit of $ 1,000 million. The economy is stagnant, near bankrupcy, and would not
survive without remittances from Dominicans working abroad.
Investment from abroad is encouraged by a 15 year "tax holiday" in "free trade zones" where the average wage is $0.65 per hour. The USA
Ambassador, Paul Taylor, states that "Anyone who gets involved in unions here knows
that they'll lose their job and won't work in the free trade zone any more". The American Institute for Free
Labor Development (AIFLD), which is an agency supported by the USA government and large companies,
boasts that it "has been instrumental in discouraging hostile union activity in order to help US companies maximise