Dominican Republic: Naval Base Will Not Violate National Sovereignty

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 19, 2012

Above: the announcement of the new base (Photo: Rafael Beltre)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

After the announcement of a new United States-built naval station in the Dominican Republic led to a whirl of activity on Twitter, the Dominican government said the new $1.5 million base would not constitute a violation of national sovereignty.

Vice Admiral Nicolas Cabrera Arias yesterday announced the construction of the project, which aims to increase maritime surveillance on the eastern coast of the country.

The issue led to increased traffic on social media sites like Twitter, with some claiming the new base would infringe upon the DR’s national sovereignty.

According to the government however, members of the Dominican Navy would populate the base, not US marines.

The base will be built by the US Southern Command in coordination with the Military Assistance Advisory Group on the island of Saona.

The Navy said the funds for construction, which is set to begin in March, would come from the US Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, a commitment launched by US President Barack Obama in 2009.

Arias said the construction of the base would help interdict criminal maritime activity to Puerto Rico, along with drug trafficking and smuggling.

According to Cabrera Arias, the construction work will be coordinated by the Military Assistance Advisory Group in the Dominican Republic.

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