Cabrera up in smoke.

Cabrera up in smoke.

Finally have a bit of time to myself. Yesterday I was wondering what topic I could use for my next post. Nothing really new came to mind so I just let flow take its course and sat back knowing it will arrive when it’s supposed to. Nothing came to mind the rest of that Sunday so me and my good friend Ron Brugal had a long chat together. Slept like a baby only to wake up and there it was my subject had arrived. Monday morning I woke up only to find Cabrera up in smoke!

Upon waking up from Ebony’s (our Rooster) crowing I opened the curtains to view what the weather had in store for today. When panning my sites over the town I found it was completely covered in dark black smoke. Smoke around the country is normal but it’s from the farmers burning foliage from the rapid growth and it’s white in color. Not the same as the dense black smoke that I was witnessing today. Being here for so long I knew immediately two things. First it was tires burning and second tires burning because of a huelga. Huelga is Spanish for strike. The people were protesting but for what. That I didn’t yet know.

During our chat together things got a little fisheyed

During our chat together things got a little fisheyed

Taking care of what’s most important first has always been a habit of mine. After last night’s visit from Mr. Brugal the first and most important thing was coffee. Sorry but it’s true. Had a friend also who stopped by for a quick beer. He doesn’t talk much but that’s OK since I don’t listen well it makes for a perfect duo. After a short stay he left back to the coop for the night.

My amigo from last night chat. Doesn't have much to say but hell it works.

My amigo from last nights chat. Doesn’t have much to say but hell it works.

Slowly clearing the fog from last evenings chat Liane and I discussed what might have caused the people to protest. The same few topics came to mind nothing new or exciting.

A short time later Liane walked down the hill to one of the local stores to pick up a few things. Feed for the chickens and a few veggies for the house. Liane thought how strange it was that on a Monday morning all the little markets were closed. People support each other when it comes to protesting. On her way back home she ran into one of her sources for local happenings.

As she was walking back from the store with empty arms she ran into Isolina. Isolina is one of her favorite neighbors. Since no ones in a hurry here Isolina put out a plastic chair and invited her for a chat. All of the older ladies love Liane but Isolina is possibly her closest. Isolina is a warm wonderful lady in her mid-70’s.

Meet Isolina. A finer woman I don't know of. We love her lots.

Meet Isolina. A finer woman I don’t know of. We love her lots.

The two of them can sit for hours chatting about the old times and customs of the country. Isolina learns from Liane and vice versa. By the way she still hints for her famous banana bread recipe but it’s a secret so Liane just continues to supply them with fresh loaves when she’s making a batch.

Liane asked why everything is closed. Isolina responded there’s a huelga protesting edenorte. Edenorte is the country’s power company. Liane responded so that’s why everything is closed. Isolina asked what is it that you need? Just a few things for the house and some feed for the chickens but it’s not urgent Liane responded. Isolina said follow me.

They both went down a back path which led to the back of a couple of the stores. Isolina knocked on the door and the store owners responded. They invited Liane in and took care of all that she wanted to purchase. After the traditional gracias and yada yada’s they departed. Isolina went on to tell Liane that when these things happen the local stores pull down the front shutters in efforts to look closed. That is closed to the public. The store owners are open for all the local neighbors though. When Liane asked this doesn’t make sense to her Isolina explained. The local store owners view us neighbors as extended family not only as retail customers. With that in mind they feel why should they’re extended family suffer when we can take care of them and still honor the strike by being closed to the general public. This is an acceptable yet unwritten rule.

Large retailers even supported the people. When was the last time you've witnessed that kind of Bonding together for a common good.

Large retailers even supported the people. When was the last time you’ve witnessed that kind of Bonding together for a common good.

When there’s a protest or strike for the benefit of the masses and you don’t support it because of personal reasons and prefer to remain open to the public concerned about the loss of sales for that day the people don’t take kindly to it. Those who don’t support a strike that benefits all the people are viewed as being selfish and only thinking of their own best interests. That’s not a good place to put yourself or your business thinking in what might be called long term best interests.

While some folks might view this as having their free will restricted I choose to see it as unity among the people. I would remind you to reconsider how near perfectly the plan of divide and conquer has piece by piece torn some once great nations apart. I wrote an article several months past about the strike because the Government wanted to raise the tax 2% on some basic staples. To my knowledge it’s still held and there was no increase. Any ways it’s just something to consider.

Liane finally returned to the house mentioning I now know what the strikes all about. I on the other hand nodded with little interest nursing by second coffee. A few minutes later I mustered up enough interest to inquire what’s going on.

The strike is because yesterday there was a high ranking official in Cabrera from edenorte. The people are protesting for a full 24 hour uninterrupted city power. Not having to rely on their Inversol and batteries for part of the day. They were also very upset that we’re being billed too much for the actual service and kilowatt hours being received. The official sympathized and said he’s going to be presenting this to his superiors and recommend a 20% increase of city power per day.

They even cared enough to include my meter. Funny I'm not upset but rather humbled that we were included as we support it to the max.

They even cared enough to include my meter. Funny I’m not upset but rather humbled that we were included as we support it to the max.

He continued to mention that we are approximately 2 or 3 years away from that 24 hour city power cycle for the area. I personally believe him not because of what he said but because of knowing Edenorte has been approaching some of the farm folks I know looking to negotiate permission for the towers on their properties. Otherwise I would just think he’s lying to look good.

In protest almost every electric meter in the town and hills was spray painted so the numbers could not be loaded for this month billing.

In protest almost every electric meter in the town and hills was spray painted so the numbers could not be loaded for this month billing.

Obviously the people were not exactly pleased with what he had to say so now you have the reason for today’s Cabrera up in smoke huelga. The usual is taking place. Burning tires on the main roads is what’s producing the black thick smoke. The people had spray painted almost all of the power meters so they can’t read them for this month’s billings. Yes they still use employees to go around once a month and gather the meter readings and last is all the stores are closed at least to the public (WINK).

You have the free will to look at this in any way you choose to. Some folks choose to band together in a herd of sheep and others choose to band together in a pride of lions. Seems funny how a pack of lions is named a pride… as in a pride of lions. I’ll always choose to band with the people when it comes to abuses from companies and or Governments. I have my PRIDE in myself and together a few people close people. Not saying I’m correct as that varies for the individual and it’s only my view. I’d love to hear yours so feel free to leave a comment expressing it. What I am saying is both Liane and I can count on this Pride should we ever require it. The only thing I can say with certainty is the pride will always survive longer than the herd. In that last statement I have history backing me 100%. Until next time this is Barry in

juan j.m. August 5, 2014 at 2:55 am

Greetings Barry. I trust all is well after the huelga(strike). As always your posts are not just informative and intertaining, they’re also a unique and revealing glimps into the lifestyle and mindset of the people not just of Cabrera but quite possibly the whole of the DR. It isn’t uncommon to have what you just wrote about occur in multiple towns across the Dr. It is the DR way of life. However, nobody is ever compelled to join in. You’re free to participate or not. FREEDOM is somet
hing that is valued by the citizens of the DR? AS I’M sure your readers do also. Best of luck in all that you are doing to awaken those of us that still slumber even at such a late hour. Looking forward to meeting with you again. Still plannning to be there with the family sometime in december. Godspeed Barry. With best regards to Liane. Untill next time,JuanJ.M.
I Ii know

Barry August 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Juan we too look forward to seing you once again. Glad all is going well for you.

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