|Voters in NYC elect Dominican president. Almomento|
While the global economy languishes and the New York City subway decays, the Dominican Republic is enjoying 7% economic growth on a yearly basis, with the Santo Domingo metro now the largest and fastest-growing in Central America.
None of this would have been possible without the rise to power in 1996 of Leonel Fernandez, a technocrat who moved to NYC as an infant and returned after adulthood.
Mr. Fernandez' party, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD,) has astutely used the small island's large expat community to uplift the nation by offering them privileges, and this has led to voters in NYC having more voting power than 17 Dominican provinces and 23 countries.
This past Sunday, Dominicans in NY turned out en masse to elect the man who would direct the nation: 124,556 of them.
124,556 people is greater than the population of many Caricom islands, the Dominican Republic's main economic competitor, and this is the main reason why the DR is the main Caribbean island benefiting from globalization.
Although this is good news for Dominicans, it also means that United States policy has to heavily favor the Dominican Republic, lest the main contender in the US presidential elections lose NY.
Dominicans are heavily involved in local politics, so this means that pressure does not only come from the grassroots, but also from Dominican politicians in the state.
At some point, people lose the ability to tell which team they're voting for, and foreign loyalties may override the intentions of voters in the domestic arena.