The military training operation nicknamed Jaded Task took by surprise Dominican Foreign Ministry.
The US Army started today a training operation in the Caribbean country as part of routine maneuvers of the Southern Command. The landing had been kept so secretly that Dominican Foreign Ministry Hugo Tolentino was reported... by the TV.
As per the first reports, the US troops are training Dominican soldiers on anti-terrorism operations in the north of the island. When the national media started announcing the landing, country's Foreign Minister was having a lunch. Tolentino said that, as chief of the Dominican diplomacy, he should have been formally advised, as personally requested to the Dominican Army and the US Embassy to Santo Domingo.
In the past, both armies had performed similar maneuvers in Dominican soil. However, this kind of operations is very much resisted by the local population, especially after the last US invasion to the tiny island in 1965.
However, the most interesting thing, here, is that the Communist Party of the Dominican Republic did know about the operations. This correspondent had access to two formal communications issued by the US Embassy including details of these activities, during the Communist summit held in Buenos Aires in January. There, the US ambassador to Santo Domingo reported about 10.000 soldiers coming to the Dominican Republic to take part of the training.
Moreover, the communists and other leftist forces in the country made know such documents to the local media in November. According to the denounce, US soldiers can freely enter and leave the country without any kind of permission. Also, they can do it through owned means of conveyance.
On the other hand, US troopers are not subject to local legislation. If they commit a crime US courts under US legislation would try them.
For Minister Tolentino, there is nothing wrong on this as cooperation between both armies is usual. However, Army officials denied that 10.000 troopers would land in the island. At the same time, the uninformed Foreign Minister admitted that the number of US officers could reach such amount.
Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina
Photo (PL): The Dominican TV reports on the US operations in the island.