Dominican Republic opposition party rift rocks NYC streets
NEW YORK- Capping months of infighting, around 50 New York Police officers from three uptown precincts had to break up a protest Thursday night against Miguel Vargas Maldonado, president of Dominican Republic’s major opposition party, PRD, with chants of "traitor."
Dozens of PRD rank and file who support the dissident faction headed by its former presidential candidate Hipolito Mejia accuse Vargas of being responsible for the party’s defeat in the May 20 elections.
The gathering at the local branch on 207 St. with 10th Av. in Upper Manhattan began early afternoon, when PRD leaders and others carrying pickets rebuked Vargas’ visit and that of other leaders including Peggy Cabral, the deputeis Víctor Gomez Casanova and Rafael Vazquez (Fiquito).
Leaders from both sides kept the melee from becoming a slugfest, as Mejia’s supporters rushed to the door of the second floor offices, where insults and threats prompted a call to police, whose bullhorns managed to calm the throng.
Amid the din, Cabral arrived on the scene as protesters doused her with dirty water and even threatened to attack her. Agents escorted her to a nearby bodega, from where she was whisked away in a patrol car.