Why is The Dominican Republic the Only Nation in the UN Security Council Backing Washington in its Quest to Sanction Iran?

Pompeo and Abinader. AP
Last week, AlJazeera wrote that the United States has never been so isolated in its quest to sanction Iran, with only the Dominican Republic voting to extend an arms embargo against the Islamic Republic.

The Dominican Republic just recently swore in Luis Abinader, of Arab descent, into power. Beyond using his Arab clout to strengthen ties with Middle Eastern states, Mr. Abinader also needs to reassure the United States of where his loyalties lie. 

These loyalties need to be strong in the coming months as the Dominican Republic begins the difficult work of enforcing Judgement 168-13, the controversial 2013 ruling by the country's Constitutional Tribunal which retroactively voided the citizenship of more than 250,000 Haitians born in the Dominican Republic, all the way back to the year 1929. 

Although before being elected it was unclear whether Mr. Abinader would abide by the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling, his Minister of Foreign Relations, Roberto Alvarez, clarified last month that the issue had been resolved and that the ruling would be respected.

Before leaving power just days ago, former President Danilo Medina granted citizenship to 750 Haitians, offering perhaps the strongest indication of what he wants his legacy to be and what he expects Mr. Abinader to do. Mr. Medina did not appreciate the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling because he didn't enjoy being an international "pariah." Nonetheless, it seems that Mr. Abinader, in siding with the United States against Iran in the Security Council, has absolutely no qualms about how he may be perceived internationally. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Dominicans unemployed, and one way that Mr. Abinader could alleviate unemployment and boost his chances for reelection in 2024 is by executing Judgement 168-13, something that he may be compelled to do by the current crisis. 

Is It Just Police Killings that We Need to Protest?

In signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997, President Bill Clinton gifted the future a legacy known as the "1033 Program." Henceforth, "surplus" military hardware would be gifted to civilian police departments, thus commencing the full-blown militarization of the American Police

The Homeland: The New Battlespace! Source
Fast forward to 2020 and Americans rioting against police killings committed in broad daylight are faced down by drones formerly used by the Pentagon to target members of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and faced on by MRAPs designed to withstand IEDs and meant to intimidate the Afghan population with merely their sheer size and brutal edges.

But it is not hardware alone that leads most foreign observers to believe that the United States is a police state. 

To truly understand America, one must consider what the German government of Adolph Hitler would have argued if his diabolical regime had won the war. 

The Nazis would have likely argued that they invaded America to "free" interned Aryan citizens. Since the Japanese were considered "honorary Aryans" by the Germans and because the US government never stripped them of citizenship with Executive Order 9066 (which ordered their internment) this means that the internment of Jews in Germany was in fact more legal than what the United States did... since the Jews had been stripped of citizenship prior to the onset of hostilities.

The Germans were "interning" non-citizens in concentration camps, while the Americans were interning "Honorary Aryans," which meant that when Jews were being killed in the gas chambers, they were not entitled to civilian tribunals as per the modern laws of war, since in 1942 the United States Supreme Court decided in Ex parte Quirin that even citizens could be subjected to military tribunals and secretly  executed. 

And, indeed, in WWII the US government executed Hans Herbert Haupt, a German-American dual-national, meaning that the Nazis could have argued that the Americans had secretly executed many more Aryan citizens. 

An astute German prosecutor could have argued that "America was justly invaded because it was secretly interning Aryans and clandestinely executing Aryans through closed military tribunals."

If these arguments appear to be only relevant to WWII because it was nearly eight decades ago and "times have changed," the truth is that they're not irrelevant because the Barack Obama administration used Ex parte Quirin to argue that US citizens could be secretly executed via drone with merely the wave of a hand by the president. 

Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, and his 16-year-old son, born in Colorado, were killed in Yemen by President Obama after being placed on the Disposition Matrix. To justify killing a minor, Attorney General Eric Holder determined that a 16-year-old was a "military-aged male" and could be legally executed, even if they were a non-combatant. 

Attorney General Holder, when asked if the same attacks could be carried out in the United States, replied that it would be "possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States."

The Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001 is open-ended and global, meaning that the United States has been engaged in hostilities for nearly two decades, and with that state of war come emergency powers which give the government the legal rationale to intercept the communications of every single American. The National Security Agency intercepts every byte of data which exits and enters US borders, holding a facility in Utah that is large enough to store all of the world's data to be created this century. 

Although the US government assures us that this data can only be examined with a warrant and is designed to catch "terrorists," the Drug Enforcement Administration has been known to use this data to build drug cases, calling it "parallel construction," which entails using "information from the NSA’s mass surveillance programs that is then re-obtained through the less controversial powers granted by the 1976 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."

Essentially, the United States is using tools of espionage to apprehend ordinary criminals. Although the FBI has previously doubted the legality of "parallel construction," there's no way to ascertain if other agencies are using this spy data to build files on protesters, files that could one day be used to indefinitely detain "looters," especially since the New York Supreme Court has recently determined that "arraignments can be delayed" because we're in a "crisis within a crisis." Since this "crisis" could last for longer than a year, does that mean that people apprehended on suspicion of looting could be effectively sentenced to a year of incarceration?

The current protests are about more than just George Floyd, they're about confronting a government that has decided that it can spy on everyone, disregard habeas corpus, and kill anyone above the age of 16 in secret. 

Dead Over 5-Dollar-Bet; Teenager Kills Friend in Illegal Street Boxing Match

A tragic incident in the Dominican Republic after a teenager was killed via brutal knockout punch while engaging in a friendly bout with his friend. 

Seconds before the lethal blow. Instagram
The tragedy was captured on video two days ago, as 17-year-old Julio César Palmero fell to the ground and hit his head on the asphalt. 

According to the large-circulation daily Diario Libre, Mr. Palmero died while en route to a local hospital shortly after 5pm as a result of a traumatic brain injury which caused encephalitis. 

The Dominican Republic is currently imposing a curfew after 5pm as a result of the spread of COVID-19, meaning that all the participants and spectators are facing jail time due to violating social distancing restrictions. 

As the fight involved illegal gambling and a violation of the national curfew, the teen who delivered the lethal blow initially panicked and fled the scene

The teen who delivered the lethal blow, also 17, was later handed to the police by his mother, Maribel Jiménez Sosa, and members of a human rights group. The teen's name is being withheld due to legal reasons. 

Julio César Palmero was buried yesterday, with his grieving family now dealing with the fact that his childhood friend faces second-degree murder charges.

250,000 Foreigners of Haitian Descent were Stripped of Citizenship during his Reign; He Recently Cancelled the Elections, and Now Coronavirus has Given Him Dictatorial Powers

Suspended habeas corpus. Source
The Dominican Republic, in the name of fighting the deadly coronavirus, has now officially become a codified dictatorship.
President Danilo Medina, in a national speech, declared that a state of emergency would now prevail in the Caribbean nation of 10 million souls. 

President Medina decreed that habeas corpus -- the right to see a judge after incarceration -- would now be suspended and that the military had free reign to enter the home of any citizen. 

Before the outbreak of coronavirus, President Medina was accused of shenanigans and his government was believed to have interrupted the democratic process, cancelling the elections as his party was threatened to lose power.

The BBC reported that: "Opposition politician Luis Abinader said the suspension was 'outrageous and unjustified.'"

And true to Mr. Abinader's words, what is occurring in the Dominican Republic is outrageous and unjustified and shocks the human conscience. 

In 2013, with Judgement 168-13, the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal retroactively decreed that anyone born after 1929 was not entitled to birthright citizenship, effectively stripping of citizenship more than 250,000 people of Haitian descent. 

Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz wrote in response to Judgement 168-13 to the New York Times: "Such appalling racism is a continuation of a history of constant abuse, including the infamous Dominican massacre, under the dictator Rafael Trujillo, of an estimated 20,000 Haitians in five days in October 1937."

And today, with the declaration of martial law and a state of emergency, those 250,000 human beings who once considered themselves Dominican citizens find themselves in a precarious situation. The Dominican government has placed everyone not deemed Dominican enough into a military database, justifying their decision under the fact that the Netherlands, where the International Criminal Court is located, places illegal immigrants in a database that is accessible to the military, the Dutch Royal Marechaussee. 

The coronavirus has now sealed their fate, as the Dominican Republic implements martial law and suspends all economic activity. 

Judgement 168-13 affects four times as many Haitians as the Nuremberg Laws did Jews, and it is clear now that President Medina has been handed on his laps the reason to end their history in the Dominican Republic. 

By: Miguel Pimentel