Fifty years ago, on the 28th of April, the United States invaded the Dominican Republic. Coming ashore in Santo Domingo. Unfortunately, the U.S. has a habit of using its might for all the wrong reasons. In my opinion, this was again one of those times when they should have stayed home and minded their own business. They supposedly came to help restore democracy, but the real reason they came is because they were scared to death of having another Cuba off its shores.
Today, the the Dominican state has been commemorating those events.
I have a friend visiting who is known to like a nice bar and have a drink or two, when on vacation. I keep telling him that during the week it is dead. With most places closing by 1 a.m. He then goes on the nightlife page and sees that I put up a listing for Pure Disco Club, which is located in the Sheraton Hotel on the malecon. Well, last night there was a nice crowd there, and they had a great bartender who makes a nice drink. It is NOT a gay club, but if you're looking for something to do and there are no other options, check them out.
Congressman David Collado Morales submitted today to Congress a bill that has the return of the Tax on the Transfer of Industrialized Goods and Services (ITBIS) on purchases and consumption of processed products in the Dominican Republic.
The legislator said that more than a dozen countries in the world have a drawback of this type of tax to tourists, allowing to increase the purchasing power and increasing the consumption of visitors in stores and products made locally.
Purchases made must have a value greater than seventy and five US dollars.
Click here to read the full article (translated by Google).
This has to be one of the best ideas I have ever heard coming out of the Dominican congress. Now, if someone could see how lowering the taxes on airline tickets would significantly increase tourism to the country. That maybe asking for too much.
We survived another Semana Santa week. Everyone is back to work, or on their way from vacation to go back to work. Not much traffic today. Should be back to normal tomorrow. The weather in the city wasn't great, either cloudy or rainy. Not too bad in Juan Dolio. Just cloudy. Hope everyone had a great Easter.
And here's a video of why you shouldn't go to Boca Chica during Semana Santa. Just toooooo many people.
George, who ran Bar Friends, has died. There are many rumors swirling, but nothing definitive as yet. I'm trying to get in touch with Joe Green to get some confirmed information. Will the bar continue? Who will run it? When is the funeral? Etc. That's all I know right now. As I get more information I will pass it on.
Is this a video of a thwarted robbery in progress? The driver of this S.U.V. was "being arrested" by these gentleman, who supposedly had a warrant for his arrest. Fortunately, it was caught on tape and police officers called. Then it was reveleaed that the men trying to "arrest" the driver are actually members of the national police. A full investigation has been promised. Uh huh. Very scary.
Recently, I have been hearing about people who visit that are getting great deals by purchasing the hotel and airfare together. Many of the hotels I had not visited in years. One such place is the Palacio. Someone I know wanted to come down for a quick jaunt, and purchased the package, which included the Palacio. I thought he had made a mistake, until I went to visit. The hotel has been freshened up nicely. They allow guests, as long as they have valid i.d., with no problem. And the room was very nice and comfortable. My friend was very happy. Below, is a video of the luxury hotel in the colonial zone, Billini Hotel.
Went this morning to La Casa Rosada, the AIDS orphanage. There is a rep. from an organization visiting from the U.S. who wanted to find out what type of donations they needed. This is a great organization and they encourage visitors to come and see their facilities. I have seen how they have greatly expanded over the years. They now have 29 kids, and have the capacity for 50. They don't need any medicines. Their greatest needs are food, pampers and clothes. I am enclosing their information. You can contact them directly, if you like. They also graciously accept donations of food and money. If you ever visit Santo Domingo, and have the time, stop by and see what these amazing people are doing for vulnerable children.
La Casa Rosada Av. Prol. Venezuela, C/ Isabel Aguero "Loly" #1 Los Tres Brazos, Domingo Este, República Dominicana 809-388-2250
If you like to make a monetary donation: Banco Popular en Dominican pesos: #700-502842-5 (name: Sister Maria Carmen Veiga) Banco Popular in U.S. dollars: #455-17461-5 Código: SWIFT BPDODOSXXX (name: Sister Maria Carmen Veiga) Banco Popular in euros: #712382696 Código: SWIFT BPDODOSXXX (name: Sister Maria Carmen Veiga) And they also accept donations by PayPal. Click here and scroll to the bottom and click on the PayPal link.
Lulu's Tasting Bar, located in the colonial zone that has specials on Tuesday. Actuall, they have specials everyday (pay with American Express and get 50% off from 6 - 8 p.m.). On Tuesday's, they have a all-you-can-eat special for RD$800 pesos (about $18 dollars). Very good food and service. And great cocktails, along with a wine store next door.
The gay U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic has sharply criticized comments the country’s tourism minister made against LGBT tourists.
El Caribe, a Dominican newspaper, reported James “Wally” Brewster during an interview on Tuesday “deplored” what the publication described as Tourism Minister Francisco García’s assertion that the country “is not interested in exploiting the potential of the said market.”
“When the official that is the head, the boss of the Dominican government, says that he does not want a certain group of people, it puts us in a difficult situation in terms of supporting tourist activity in this country,” Brewster told El Caribe.
A source in the Dominican Republic told the Washington Blade that García made them on Tuesday in a statement he released.
EFE, a Spanish news agency, on Wednesday reported that García criticized Brewster’s comments.
“We very much regret these declarations of Ambassador Brewster, someone who we respect,” said García, according to EFE. “Nobody can accuse us of discriminating against any tourist group.”
The Dominican Ministry of Tourism did not immediately return the Blade’s request for comment.
García’s comments come less than a month after the Blade reported that a Dominican advocacy group is working with government officials and travel industry representatives on a campaign designed to promote LGBT tourism and gay rights in the Caribbean country.
Last Saturday, I noticed a lot of people gathered on the street. Didn't know what all the commotion was, until this morning. An American, 67 years of age, was caught with a 17-year old in his apartment. Seems his neighbors had been suspicious for some time with all the underage visitors he was having. His apartment was raided and his computer seized, and allegedly it was found to contain many images of underage boys. Lived a block away from me and I don't think I have ever seen him before. You never know what your neighbors are doing behind closed doors.
The president, Danilo Medina, toured the colonial zone yesterday. He came to check on the progress of the work, and meet with leaders about the problems plaguing this area. I like him. He has made some great strides. I hope he can do something to get things together here. Please.
Former New Yorker (Harlem!) living in Santo Domingo since January 2004. The person I was when I arrived is a totally different person today. I still love living in the D.R. Even with all its obvious contradictions. This blog is where I write about things I find interesting with the gay community, news, gossip, culture, and of course, men. Strictly from my point-of-view.