Today there is a country wide strike or as it is called here huelga. People are protesting the rising cost of fuel and food among other things like the 4% for education.
Extra police and military personal have been deployed, especially in those problem areas, to keep the peace during this day-long strike. The Diario Libre says that there are 40000 in Santo Domingo alone. All there to make sure this is a peaceful strike. In the history of the strikes in DR there have been many problems with things turning violent. Mainly people are out of the streets burning tires and blocking the roads.
Sunday night in some areas in Cibao some violent acts occurred. In Hermanas Mirabal, Salcedo there were homemade bombs heard exploding. Tires were burnt in Villa Altagracia, Bonao on the road Maimón-Cotuí, also in Tamboril.
In Santo Domingo almost all business are closed. The Malecon, from the floating bridge and Ave. Mella are being guarded by the Marines. China Town, Avenidas Duarte, Mella, Jose Martí, Paris, Benito Gonzáles and México are almost empty. Even Mercado Modelo, the very busy market area has very few people milling around. There are few street vendors out as well and the ones that are out there trying to make a living are not making any money at all.
Calle El Conde in Colonial Zone, usually filled with people, is empty except for a few people here and there. It feels like a ghost town compared to the normal action along the Conde. Many of the businesses along the Conde likewise have their gates and doors closed because most of their employees could not get to work. There is alot of security in the Colonial Zone because it is a tourist area.
College did not close but most of the students did not show up for classes. The hospitals are open but there are few looking for medical service today which is not normal for the usually busy Mondays. Most of the gas stations will have military people around making sure all is well. There are only a few buses and taxis on the streets.
Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo had very little action today as well. Many people missed flights because they could not get to the airport because there few, if any, buses or taxis running. The lack of transport by buses and taxis forced many travelers to miss their flights as they were unable to reach the terminal.
Today is a good day to stay home or close to it. It is best to be safe than sorry. Rest, relax and enjoy home sweet home. Tomorrow is another day.
Be safe all.