Local February 29, 2012 | 8:57 am

Officials fail to quell fears of U.S.-funded Dominican Navy station

Santo Domingo.- On incessant rumors that the U.S. will build a naval base on Saona island, Environment minister Ernesto Reyna Tuesday said he’ll fight the media reports with the truth, and against the “ill will” to misinform the population.

“There’s been talk that what they’re going to do here is a naval base, nothing of that, you’ve been able to verify that what we are going to do is improve this infrastructure,” he said.

The official said the new facility will be built on pillars to protect the environment and help species such as sea turtles to reproduce.

In that regard Navy chief Nicolas Cabrera Arias affirmed that although the project will materialize with U.S. funding of US$1.5 million, there’s no other interest than to fight drug trafficking and illegal crossings.

He said the donation forms part of the bilateral cooperation and joint operations to protect territorial waters, adding that it forms part of a strategic plan to prepare the coastal control positions.

But the assertions fail to quell fears of residents in Saona’s only village, Mano Juan, who according to news source elcaribe.com.do, who’ve state their concern with a possible entry of U.S. soldiers into the island.

Catuano Navy Post dates to 1961

Time and the sea have deteriorated Catuano station and its pier, on which Cabrera notes that unless there are inconveniences, the reconstruction will start in March and would be finished in around three months.

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