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When the president of Haití, Bertrand Aristide, affectionately known as Titid, decided to eliminate the Haitian army that he had inherited from Papa Doc(replete with Tonton Macoutes, the horrible informers of the Duvalier dictatorship) the Dominican army of Hipólito Mejía decided to acquire a few helicopters. The Haitían threat has always been used as a pretext to expand the budget of the Dominican military and its troops.

Titid, with one eye to the moon and the other to the earth, made a bad move in leaving his government undefended. The gringo-backed coup against him proves it. With fewer than 200 ex-soldiers and police Guy Phillipe, paid by Bush, entered into Santo Domingo and crossed the border to screw the Haitian people. They carried Titid off in an airplane to his African land of origin.

I do not know many helicopters the Dominican army has. What I do know is that I have never understood what they are good for other than to tour a pair of important visitors around the country, or for traveling to property of Elías Piñas de Quirino (a captain recently accused of possessing a bit over 1500 kilograms of cocaine), or for frightening all those who ride in them with their decrepitude. One thing is certain: these helicopters are functionally useless because the moment the mountain range caught fire we had to ask for help to put it out. And it was then that the helicopters of Chávez arrived.

Read carefully: The helicopters of Chávez arrived to bomb the mountain range with water to put out the fire; they did not come to drop incendiary bombs like the helicopters of Bush in Fallujah, Iraq. The interesting part of all this is that last week Don Rumsfeld, traveled to Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Guatemala to warn of the danger of Venezuela’s purchase of helicopters and rifles from Russian president Putin.

The Dominican government, which has helicopters that are useless, asked their North American friends for help to suffocate this fire. The US said that it would come only if the Dominican Republic declared a state of emergency. It would then come not with a pair of seaplanes to put out the fire, but with four aircraft carriers and soldiers, which they would position throughout the area to control everything, as is their custom.

Canada, on the other hand, said that it would come at a cost of $100,000 per day. By the time the Dominican government had discussed the price and accepted it, Canada had decided to raise their price to $500,000 per day. When they called Chávez, he gave the order to deploy helicopters immediately, at no cost and without bureaucratic procedures, without hesitation, just that simple, in solidarity, without fanfare, as it should be among the peoples of the south.

A few months ago, Chávez was here in the Dominican Republic, to inaugurate a small park named "plaza Bolivar". During his visit Chávez asked the current President, Leonel Fernandez, what would he think about a baseball game between a team of Venezuelans and Dominicans against a gringo team. Thus Chávez summarized his proposal to Leonel to integrate himself into the Bolivarian project, into the project of the south, into the project of the American brotherhood, into the Grand Homeland. Leonel still has not responded, although his party base is more than in agreement. Rebelión Translated by Dawn Gable