Dominican Congressman Linked to Florida Arms Trafficking Ring as Risk of Mass Political Chaos in Caribbean Skyrockets

The island of Hispaniola is currently in the early throes of what could be one of the bloodiest chapters in its history, with time running out to peacefully solve the problem of Haiti being a failed state.

Guy Philippe, a current candidate for Haiti's Senate and former CIA-backed guerrilla leader responsible for overthrowing the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has said that he will fight the interim government if he loses, with sources reporting that he has amassed an arsenal of war and is currently in the process of being even more heavily-armed by individuals residing in the United States. Adding to those fears, Dominican and Haitian customs officials have intercepted a veritable arsenal of death originating from Florida, with US authorities likely providing information to Dominican prosecutors on the suspected conspirators.

Many experts now believe that a full-blown conflict is on the verge of breaking out, since it appears that the intended recipients of the large shipments of weapons clearly have military objectives to be met.
To be accused of fomenting civil war?

Adding to fears that a war is brewing, the large-circulation daily Diario Libre is reporting that Néstor Muñoz, a Dominican congressman, is currently under investigation by the Public Prosecutor's office as a suspect in the trafficking of weapons from Florida.

Mr. Muñoz is a member of the Dominican Christian Social Reformist Party, which sternly ruled the island in the wake of the death of dictator Rafael Trujillo, with its leader Joaquin Balaguer leaving as his main legacy the preservation of the country's forests.

Members of the Social Reformist party take it upon themselves to carry the mantle of Mr. Balaguer, often harshly criticizing the current ruling party for failing to crack down on environmental degradation near the Dominican borderlands.

It now appears that the former ruling party has taken things into its own hands and is actively working to bring in the weapons necessary to effectuate the desired political change in Haiti, which will result in Haitians no longer crossing the border to cut down Dominican forests for charcoal.

According to Cadena de Noticias, Mr. Muñoz has already met with his lawyers, and the Reformist party is fully backing him, going so far as to categorically deny that one of its legislators could be implicated in the trafficking of weapons of war.

Given the level of support which Mr. Muñoz is currently receiving from his party, it will be difficult to prosecute him without creating major political upheaval on the island. At this stage, it may already be too late to prevent mass chaos since countless weapons already find themselves in the hands of men ready to face down Haiti's interim government.

Only the US government could potentially prevent the further arming of rebels in Haiti by issuing an indictment against Mr. Muñoz, especially if it can prove that he had a direct connection to the weapons traffickers in Florida responsible for raising the specter of war on the island of Hispaniola, but the very act of prosecutors in the United States indicting a Dominican politician could be seen as an attempt to shift blame and incite a conflict.