“La Fuerza del Pueblo: A Growing Project”, an article by Dr. Leonel Fernández

July 25, 2022

As Roberto Carlos, the virtuoso Brazilian singer, says in his very popular song, La Fuerza del Pueblo (The People’s Force) already has a million friends. These numbers clearly highlight their presence in the national political scene, in favor of democracy and prosperity.

This political force has reached its success due to the constant effort of thousands of men and women who set their goals, right from the start, to create a new organization in the Dominican Republic that would restore a sense of dignity to local politics. The goal is to reach the power structure in order to serve the people and become a beacon of hope for future generations.

At first, there were challenges. The new party came about as a result of the division with the party that was in power at the time, which made the initial growth process more complex.

La Fuerza del Pueblo: Un proyecto en ascenso

We proceeded to found this new organization within the platform of the Dominican Workers’ Party (PTD), which in a gesture of generous solidarity opened its doors for us to work together for a better future for all Dominicans.

But then, the misfortunes began. Our adversaries contested all our steps. First, the PTD´s General Assembly ordered the dissolution of the organization. Second, the new name of the party, Fuerza del Pueblo. Third, its colors and symbols; and fourth, the rejection to the registration of all our candidates for the 2020 elections.

In summary, our political demise was the goal from the very moment it came into the world. But this goal was not achieved. On the contrary, we won each of the legal obstacles we faced, through judicial decisions that supported the truth of our allegations.

This way, and without an organized structure and no resources, the Fuerza del Pueblo participated, for the first time, in an electoral process where, although it could not win, it nevertheless received the support, sympathy and recognition of many national sectors.

A Majority Party

Just six months after making its presence on the Dominican political scene it managed to obtain a series of important advances in the 2020 elections.

First of all, the party went from occupying the 18th slot on the electoral ballot to the third place in the list for the upcoming 2024 elections. In other words, it jumped 15 points to compete with the country´s two other political forces: the PRM and the PLD.

Second, it was recognized as a majority political force, allowing it to receive public financing from the country´s Central Electoral Board.

Third, it became the second majority and the first opposition force in the Senate of the Republic, obtaining nine seats in the Upper House.

After these achievements, La Fuerza del Pueblo set the goal of bringing in a million members. The organization fully dedicated itself to reach this goal, with tenacity and perseverance for a full year and a half. It finally obtained the current results.

New members were sworn in each and every week. Sometimes two or three times a week. Sometimes the swearing-in ceremonies would be held at party headquarters. On other occasions the leadership went directly to the towns, neighborhoods and communities to carry out the ceremonies.

La Fuerza del Pueblo continued to advance. In December 2021 the party presented its first formal registry before the Central Electoral Board. At the time, the party was supported by 650,000 members.

The other two major parties wanted to show off their strength and exhibit a force that they do not have. They boasted that they had up to two million members in their respective organizations. Obviously, it was a poor joke.

Six months later, in June of this year, the party returned to the Electoral Board. This time to show that it had fulfilled its first objective. It had managed to register more than 1.9 million members.

With that critical mass under its banners, La Fuerza del Pueblo has dedicated itself to the organization of grassroots leaders; intermediate directorates; electoral district leaders; municipal directorates, as well as municipal districts and provincial directorates.

Similarly, it has managed to set up a sectorial structure, where teachers, doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers, businessmen and women, students, housewives and representatives of the transportation sector. In other words, with all those who have connected with the principles and values that characterize La Fuerza del Pueblo.

A Vision of the Future

Although it has not celebrated its third anniversary, La Fuerza del Pueblo is preparing itself for the economic, social and political debates that pertain to the Dominican Republic.

By understanding the serious health, economic and social situation provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the party granted the current Government a honeymoon year in which to work.

It tried to collaborate in everything that was within its reach to, through national unity, overcome the difficult situations the country was facing.

We participated in all round tables participating in the National Dialogue and in Congress. The party has provided its support to all projects of national interest.

However, when the government began to consider the need to reform the Constitution – to supposedly guarantee an independent Legal System – we raised our disagreement as an opposition party.

We stated that the proposed reform lacked clear objectives, since the current 2010 Constitution guarantees the System´s independence, and that the new recommendation is included in the Organic Laws of the Public Ministry.

We distanced ourselves from the government when it pretended to ignore that the Dominican Republic is currently the third country with the highest rate of inflation in Latin America. Of course, if you don’t recognize this reality, you will never solve the problem.

The government, on the other hand, lives in a bubble. It manipulates statistics, including data dealing with economic growth, unemployment figures, poverty levels and the surveys it carries out.

It shelters itself in the midst of hyperbole and exaggeration. It occupies the first place in everything. A strange pathology is beginning to appear: the Botero Complex, where reality is adulterated by data with a volumetric anatomy.

The result is that the current Administration has entered into a premature dwindling phase. La Fuerza del Pueblo is the only political project which is growing in numbers.

Our next goal: two million members by May 2023, one year exactly before the next electoral process. From then on, an exponential growth to guarantee a democratic, just and united Dominican Republic.

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