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Senator Menendez, You can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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You should know that a few years ago, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for a “Tourist Boycott’ to the Dominican Republic, I was the only elected official who, publicly, criticized Mayor De Blasio’s intention to interfere in another country’s immigration laws.

Now it is important for you to know that on May 15th, 2019, United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to interfere in the upcoming election for President in the Dominican Republic. Senator Menendez’s letter begins with the following:

“I write to express my deep concern about current efforts to reform the Constitution of the Dominican Republic to circumvent established presidential term limits and allow incumbent President Danilo Medina to run for unprecedented second re-election.”

I want you to know that this is the same US Senator Menendez who continues to accuse Russia of interfering in our 2016 presidential election, who seeks to punish Russia with sanctions for meddling in US elections, and who demands that we find ways to deter Russia from interfering in the 2020 Presidential election.

While none of us want any foreign government to undermine our democracy and interfere with our elections, how can we remain silent when elected officials like Senator Menendez seeks to interfere in the presidential election of the Dominican Republic?

It is my understanding of American history that in 1965, more than 1,400 Marines were ordered to invade the Dominican Republic, further frustrating that nation’s ability to restore democratic constitutional rule. The Dominican Intervention by the United States government did not end well.

With all of this in mind, I must ask myself: “Does Senator Menendez really think he can and should, on one hand, tell the State Department to intervene in the elections of the Dominican Republic and at the same time, expect Russia to respect our nation’s sovereignty?

On the other hand, I never heard Senator Menendez criticize Mayor Michael Bloomberg when the Mayor used his fortune and influence to change the Charter of New York City and bought himself another four-year term.

This being said, I want to make crystal clear that I am not in favor of changing the constitution of any government to accommodate personal interest, however, Senator Menendez must be consistent in his criticism.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that our government should be extremely cautious about intervening in the government of the Dominican Republic and that we should permit their citizens to decide their own political destiny the same way we Americans expect to decide our own.

I am Council Member Reverend Rubén Díaz, Sr. and this is what you should know.

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