|Blind but deadly.|
I'm Dominican, but I've also lived in Korea. One thing that always struck me was how, despite being so far away, the two cultures could be so similar. Although North Korean and South Korean culture have diverged greatly over the past half century, the political culture in the Dominican Republic has remained pretty much the same as it was during the Trujillo dictatorship, and thus like N. Korea. Here's where I think the two countries are eerily similar:
1) The leader is supposed to be old if he wants to have legitimacy. Joaquin Balaguer, the world's only blind, octogenarian strongman, wielded immense influence until his death, with many people seeing him as the only man who could hold the nation together.
|Accomplishment of the government is a conquest of the people.|
2) The leader is supposed to inscribe his name on everything while taking credit for its construction. Is the government opening a small rice warehouse in a village 500km from the nearest road? The President has to personally fly there to cut the ribbon in order to inaugurate the new facility, heralding it as a sign of the progress being made by the country.
3) The leader is supposed to make surprise visits. The current president of the Dominican Republic often finds himself traveling to remote rural areas, meeting with groups of farmers, promising government support to throngs of frenetic supporters.
|Surprise inspection of the people's work.|
4) Political figures make bombastic threats over small insults. Did a famous writer make an off-hand remark about the country's policies? A politician will angrily threaten to blow up the foreign printing press of the enemy.
5) Giant government posters herald the progress being made by the country. Did a new subway line get built? That clearly warrants a giant poster proclaiming that the country is moving forward.
|Always with the people.|
6) Everyone works for the government, or is related to someone in government. Are you making negative comments on a bus about so-and-so mayor of a hamlet 500 kilometers away? You may want to watch the volume of your voice, someone could be related to him.
7) The killer always confesses. In a country where everyone's cousin is a cop or an informant, there's no hiding the truth, just confess, serve your 20 years in the concentration camp and get on with your life.
|Sleeping on a floor and eating left-overs|
8) The purity of the blood must be guarded against the Godless enemy across the border. Although the Dominican/Haitian border is not as militarized as the South/North Korean border, many Dominicans wish it were.
9) A largely rice and root diet during times of "arduous marching." Dominicans eat: rice, beans, plantains, eggs, and chicken on most days. When the going gets rough, the rice gets rationed out and the yucca, a root, becomes the new chicken.
10) The country is the happiest in the world and the leader enjoys the highest level of popular support in the region. Countless surveys have proven it.