The Islamic Post Blog

Fourth Fleet: USS Kearsarge Establishes Diplomatic Efforts by Khalida
December 1, 2008, 12:43 am
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags:

By Jerry Peña
Islamic Post Contributing Writer
& Muhammad Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer

The USS Kearsarge arrived outside of the Dominican Republic this fall on Mission Continuing Promise (CP) 2008 which, as reported by Navy News, is a “collaborative effort between the United States and partner militaries, non-governmental organizations and partner-nation support organizations to build strong partnerships that can be called upon in the event of a regional situation requiring cooperative solutions.”
Two Dominican doctors, appointed by the Dominican Republic Secretary of State to assist in organizing CP 2008 events in the Dominican Republic, were invited aboard the vessel and assisted the Kearsarge’s surgical team with hernia operations.
According to Navy News, Kearsarge’s mission in the region is to “conduct civil-military operations, including humanitarian and civic assistance as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support to six partner nations and to send a strong message of United States compassion, support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.”
The vessel is under the operational control of the U.S. 4th Fleet.
It has been some months since the Pentagon announced the re-establishment of the 4th Fleet, which had been dissolved in 1950.
Military leaders explain that they are to have under their responsibility more than 30 countries, covering 15.6 million square miles in adjacent waters of Central and South America, along with the Caribbean Sea and its 12 islands, Mexico and the European territories this side of the Atlantic.
Any 4th Fleet vessels can approach within a few miles of any nation in the region.
Northrop Grumman, whose president sits on the board of directors Chevron-Texaco, is one of the contractors for the fleet.
While the mission of the USS Kearsarge is  diplomatic, the general mission of the Fleet is to watch ships, airplanes and submarines that traffic through the Caribbean, Central and South America with the purpose of undertaking, in conjunction with armed forces of other countries in the Americas, contingency tasks, cooperation and, if necessary, battle against narcoterrorism and other illicit activities.
Kearsarge was scheduled, after departure from the Dominican Republic, to continue with its mission in Trinidad and Tobago and then Guyana.
-The partial Spanish translation of this article is below.

Hace ya unos cuantos meses que se anuncio en el Pentágono sobre el restablecimiento de su IV Flota, disuelta en 1950. Su misión en estos tiempos será vigilar busques, aviones y submarinos que transiten por el Caribe, América Central y América del Sur con el fin de emprender, en conjunto con fuerzas armadas de otros países, tareas de contingencia, de cooperación y, si es necesario, de combate contra el narcoterrorismo y las actividades ilícitas.
Los propios jefes militares explican que tendrán bajo su responsabilidad a más de 30 países cubriendo 15,6 millones de millas cuadradas en las aguas adyacentes de Centro y Suramérica, el mar Caribe y sus 12 islas, México y los territorios europeos en este lado del Atlántico.
La principal constructora es la Northrop Grumman, cuyo actual presidente también forma parte de la Junta Directiva de la petrolera de Estados Unidos Chevron-Texaco.


Food Independence in the Dominican Republic by Khalida
December 1, 2008, 12:39 am
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags:

By Noora Ahmad
& Raheemah Atif
Islamic Post Staff Writers

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported recently that harvests in Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed by 40 percent what is needed for the people of the region.
The Dominican Republic, however, wishes to compete with larger grain-exporting countries like Brazil and Argentina in becoming the breadbasket of the region.
The focus for the small nation, which shares half of what used to be known as the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, is on a variety of food items, instead of the overproduction of one or two main cash crops which has a tendency to destroy the soil and create an export tunnel, while the general populace remains without basic food items.
Currently, the Spanish-speaking island grows 85% of its own food. This is remarkable in an era when most Caribbean countries, and even nations in South America, must import food to meet the local demands. Dominicans grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, and other foods; its people are not suffering the anguish of food shortages. With sugarcane being its most important cash crop, along with rice, coffee, corn, and tomatoes, the island’s farms also mass-produce sorghum, plantain, red and black beans, fragrant cilantro, onions, and garlic, along with cassava and sweet potatoes, and an extensive array of fruits such as passion fruit, bananas, tamarind, guava, and coconuts.
While other islands have allowed their markets to be flooded with food items that are less expensive than local production as part of free trade agreements, the Dominican Republic imports mainly to satisfy those of its nationals who, having lived in the United States or Europe, had become accustomed to northern brand names.
It is the local industry, however, that supplies the numerous tourism venues with the majority of its consumption demands, creating a robust commercial flow within the country.
In terms of exports, the  Dominican Republic has developed firm trade partners worldwide, with the United States, from which 75 percent of its export business is derived, and markets in Canada, Japan, and Western Europe where manufactured clothing, medical devices, nickel, sugar, coffee, cacao, and tobacco are traded.
The republic’s president, Leonel Fernandez, has turned the nation’s resources and attention toward increased food production beyond its current state by means of decreased production costs, and proliferation of modern technical expertise in growing methods and irrigation throughout the country. The government announced that it is offering farmers many incentives, including land for lease specifically for food production. One example of its bio-technical progress is the development of a fertilizer made from sugarcane that would drastically cut the escalating cost of (and dependence upon) petroleum-based fertilizers.
Dominican Republic’s prosperity has enabled it to be of assistance to its neighbors and even more distant countries that were seized by the waves of violent storms of the past year.  Shipments of food, building materials, and other supplies reached Cuba in the wake of hurricanes that ravaged the island, causing loss of lives, crops, and shelter for its citizens.  With much resolve, President Fernandez is vigorously leading the Dominican Republic towards an amplified role in commerce, economic development, and international fellowship.

IP Magazine: Writing of Love…and Hope by Khalida

By Maryam A. Latif,

the Dominican Republic

(Click on the original link above for the Spanish of this post.)

Sometimes, I have thought…
Here with the most humble remembrance,
that awakens during the night, when I’m sleepy;

He soothes me, He overwhelms me, matchless,
covering more than half my thoughts, those that
turn around in my mind and finally turn to You…

I hold on, in hope of some sign that will end
the uncertainty of that longing, for You, and what
You represent to me.

You love me with a pure love, sincere and with
compassion, and this is in what I hope.

You make me happy with each small thing, You give me
everything and at the end, after finding You and
knowing You, I will not have to hope nor desire,
for You are here.

You turn my shadow, in the light it travels, and
returns to me filling me with hope, an immense
serenity of peace that clothes my being, my soul
flaming to have found You, and to be taught by

What happiness is this which overwhelms
the uncertainty, arriving at Your path and coming
to know You?

So I come to understand that You are the
most pure and beautiful, all that I hoped for.

Never does it matter the stones, rocks, voids in
my path, every pain is worth you in the end. I
will come back to You and I place my hope in you
because You have filled me with life and flashes
of light, having fallen upon a dry earth, which
made me into Spring, for You.

For You are who I love in truth, Who has made me happy, so…
Can I live my life to Your desire, because
of You and for You, and renounce that which I
thought at one time was happiness?

Can I accept a way of living created by You which will bring me
nearer to You?
The answer is, yes, ya Allah
From me to Thee, oh Merciful One.

AP photo

Please note: there may be links at the bottom of this page that are from WordPress and unaffiliated with the Islamic Post.