Wikileaks: Leonel temía que militares corruptos lo derrocaran si los destituía

SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana.-El embajador Hans Hertell y el embajador Robert Fannin relatan en los informes enviados al Departamento de Estado, y revelados por Wikileaks, que el presidente Leonel Fernández les dijo que las Fuerzas Armadas de República Dominicana eran una institución “corrupta”, pero que él creía que si destituía a los jefes militares corruptos podría ser depuesto como gobernante.

La embajada norteamericana le expresó al presidente Fernández preocupación por los siguientes altos oficiales militares: Manuel de Jesús Florentino y Florentino, Pedro Peña Antonio, Héctor Medina Medina, Rafael Bencosme Candelier y José Muñoz Monción. A esos oficiales el gobierno de Estados Unidos no los quería en cargos importantes en las instituciones militares u otras áreas del Estado dominicano.

A tal punto que uno de los cables de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos, expresa:

“La embajada trajo a colación los problemas con el Departamento Nacional de Inteligencia  (DNI) bajo el liderazgo del general retirado Manuel de Jesús Florentino y Florentino y llevó a cabo una franca conversación sobre la competencia e  integridad de Florentino, así como informaciones que vinculan a Florentino con Paulino (Quirino Ernesto Paulino Castillo, el narcotraficante).  El Presidente (Leonel Fernández) señaló que durante su primer mandato, Florentino había sido Secretario de las Fuerzas Armadas y que había encabezado la guardia presidencial también.  Fernández lo consideraba un oficial serio y correcto  y dijo que no le conocía asociación a Florentino con el narcotráfico.  El Presidente pareció aceptar los argumentos de la embajada, sin embargo, estuvo de acuerdo en sacar a Florentino pronto, en un momento menos volátil políticamente, y pidió consejo de la embajada sobre su reemplazo”.

«Fernández dijo que se sobreentiende que los militares de alto rango a menudo toman el 10% de los recursos que pasan por sus manos como “comisión”, añadiendo que las fuerzas armadas es una institución corrupta.  Dijo que si se movía demasiado rápido cancelando a los oficiales corruptos, su propia posición estaría en peligro”

Asimismo, señala: “El Mayor General Florentino Florentino, un individuo sobre el cual la Misión (la embajada de EE.UU) tiene  gran preocupación en cuanto a la actividad ilegal, fue nombrado jefe de la Dirección de  Desarrollo Fronterizo, donde las oportunidades para la corrupción relacionada con la frontera haitiana son significativas”.

En las conversaciones sostenidas entre el embajador Hans Hertell y el presidente Leonel Fernández, el representante del gobierno norteamericano le habría expresado al gobernante dominicano que “tres posibles ascensos” provocaban “seria preocupación para EUA”, y correspondían al general Héctor Medina Medina, que sonaba para Ministro de las Fuerzas Armadas;  el general Rafael Bencosme Candelier, que sonaba como Jefe de la Policía;  y José Muñoz Monción, almirante retirado, como Jefe de Estado Mayor de la Marina.

La embajada de EE.UU saluda que esos nombramientos no se materializaron, pero agrega:

“Sin embargo, la Misión mantiene su preocupación en cuanto a los servicios de seguridad: el Presidente” confirmó” a Medina Medina en su actual posición como Jefe del Cuerpo de Ayudantes Militares (CAM), donde él continuará teniendo una poderosa influencia sobre las decisiones militares del Presidente (particularmente en lo que concierne al personal).  Muñoz Monción fue nombrado comandante de la Base Naval de Las Calderas, ubicada en una región importante en la actividad de tráfico de drogas.  Los recursos del país anfitrión establecidos en Las Calderas son los que deben actuar frente a las entregas de drogas por mar provenientes de Suramérica.  El Mayor General Florentino Florentino, un individuo sobre el cual la Misión tiene  gran preocupación en cuanto a la actividad ilegal (Ref D) fue nombrado jefe de la Dirección de  Desarrollo Fronterizo, donde las oportunidades para la corrupción relacionada con la frontera haitiana son significativas”.

Agrega que en la Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia, el cooperador director Sigfrido Pared Pérez fue sustituido por el mayor general Ramón Aquino García, “cuyo récord es más neutral”.

“Como una nota potencialmente más positiva, Bencosme Candelier fue llevado como jefe de la Autoridad Metropolitana de Transporte (AMET), donde supuestamente tendrá  menos oportunidades para las actividades nefarias” (Nota de Acento.com.do: nefarias significa abominables, nefastas, muy malas).

Más sobre los militares y la corrupción

Según uno de los cables enviados por los embajadores de Estados Unidos,  el presidente Fernández le habría comentado al embajador estadounidense que aunque apreciaba a los militares, porque si había algo que funcionaba en la República Dominicana, era las Fuerzas Armadas, por su disciplina y respeto a la jerarquía, y porque son orgullosos de su posición.

No obstante, el diplomático afirma en su cable:

“Comentando sobre las fuerzas armadas, Fernández dijo que se sobreentiende que los militares de alto rango a menudo toman el 10% de los recursos que pasan por sus manos como “comisión”, añadiendo que las fuerzas armadas es una institución corrupta.  Dijo que si se movía demasiado rápido cancelando a los oficiales corruptos, su propia posición estaría en peligro”.

Asimismo, dijo que un logro importante importante de su gobierno había sido el retiro forzoso de 100 generales desde que retornara al poder el 16 de agosto de 2004, y que había otros 100 generales más que debían ser relevados de sus cargos.

De acuerdo con el cable de la embajada de Estados Unidos, el presidente Fernández señaló que (Hipólito) Mejía le tenía aprecio a los militares y mantenía a miembros de su seguridad en uniforme mientras que él prefiere que su seguridad vista de civil.

Estas informaciones están contenidas en tres de los más de 2 mil cables de la embajada estadounidense en Santo Domingo, que fueron obtenidos por el sitio en Internet Wikileaks, que a su vez los cedió al grupo de comunicación SIN, que preside Fernando Hasbún, para sus programas El Informe con Alicia Ortega, Noticias SIN y El Despertador. El grupo SIN los cedió a Acento.com.do, gracias a una alianza estratégica. Los cables citados este lunes están fechados el 11 de febrero de 2005,   el 6 de mayo de 2005 y  27 de agosto 2008, y fueron enviados por Hans Hertell y por su sucesor Robert Fannin.

Este lunes los cables fueron difundidos y analizados tanto en El Despertador con Alicia Ortega, como en Noticias SIN, por Antena Latina, canal 7.

WIKILEAKS

Los cables en inglés:

26895  11 de febrero, 2005

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 SANTO DOMINGO 000709

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA, WHA/CAR, WHA/EPSC, INL; NSC FOR SHANNON AND

MADISON; TREASURY FOR OASIA-LAMONICA; USTR FOR MALITO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2015

TAGS: EFIN, KIPR, ETRD, DR

SUBJECT: DOMINICAN PRESIDENT ON BROADCAST PIRACY, LAW

ENFORCEMENT REFORM, EXTRADITION AND ECONOMIC PROGRAM

Classified By: DCM LKUBISKE. Reason 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C)  Summary.  Dominican President Leonel Fernandez

discussed the Dominican economy, CAFTA, broadcast piracy,

Haiti and police and intelligence reform during a February 2

meeting with the Ambassador.  Fernandez believes the new IMF

Standby Agreement is as important for creating confidence as

it is for bringing stability to the country.  He said that

his government is committed to educating the public on CAFTA,

an agreement still misunderstood by much of the country.  He

promised to look into the continuing problem of television

broadcast piracy.  Fernandez gave details regarding planned

changes in the National Directorate of Intelligence and said

that he would accept Embassy information to assist in

cleaning up the corrupt police force. He said that he would

speak with the Dominican Ambassador to Haiti regarding his

behavior, and acknowledged the importance of a sensitive

extradition case now underway.  End summary.

2. (SBU) In a February 2 meeting, the Ambassador

congratulated President Fernandez on completion of the IMF

Standby Agreement, announced January 31.   Fernandez noted

that the agreement is as important for creating confidence as

it is for bringing economic stability.   He believes it vital

for Dominicans to understand that the Standby agreement is

not creating new austerity, but that his government began

taking the current cost-cutting measures immediately after

taking office last August.   &I think that the worst of the

crisis has passed,8 he said.

3. (C) The Ambassador noted that the quasi-fiscal deficit is

a serious and persistent problem.  Fernandez said that yes,

the deficit is real, but argued that the peso,s appreciation

has made it a smaller problem than it was before.  He

reported that a committee had been formed with

representatives from the Attorney General,s Office, Central

Bank, and the Banking Superintendent to decide how to

liquidate Baninter debt.  Fernndez added that the proceeds

from collections will be used to reduce the deficit, and

pointed out that this year government deficit spending is .7%

and that the 2006 target is to eliminate the deficit

completely.  Any surplus in 2006 would be applied to reduce

the quasi-fiscal deficit.

CAFTA and IPR

4. (C) The Ambassador mentioned the recent meeting of foreign

ministers in Central America regarding CAFTA and their

universal support for ratification.  Fernandez asked when the

United States expected to ratify.  The Ambassador responded

that ratification is moving forward in the United States

already and that the Dominican Republic should proceed as

soon as possible.  Fernandez noted that Chile has done

exceptionally well and benefitted under its bilateral free

trade agreement with the United States.  He was conversant

with Chile’s export figures and saw the country,s free trade

relations with the United States under NAFTA as responsible

for the country,s strong economic performance, adding that

the Dominican Republic,s proximity to the United States

should allow for even greater benefits here.  Fernandez said

that he wants to organize a daylong program at his Global

Foundation for Democracy and Development (www.funglode.org)

to help explain and discuss CAFTA.   He thinks that there is

still much misunderstanding about the agreement and that a

discussion by Dominican senators, business leaders and

economists would lead to greater public understanding of the

benefits of CAFTA.  He hopes that one or two people from USTR

could speak at this event.

5. (C) The Ambassador incicated the U.S. Government,s desire

to see an end to television broadcast piracy and noted that

U.S. Representative Katherine Harris has expressed her

concern about the broadcast piracy problem in the Dominican

Republic and will soon be sending Fernandez a letter

documenting her interest.  The Ambassador said that

television broadcast piracy remains a serious problem here

and that despite a court case late last year against the

major Dominican station Telemicro, independent state action

to stop the problem is urgently needed.  He reminded

Fernandez of his desire to develop the film industry here and

to organize a film festival in the future to promote the

industry, noting that these plans will not advance if piracy

continues.  The Ambassador told Fernandez that the Motion

Picture Association of America (MPAA)  has asked for a review

of the Dominican Republic,s GSP status based on the

continuing problem.  Fernandez asked if CAFTA would not make

GSP redundant.  The DCM noted that broadcast piracy will

continue to be a problem in any number of contexts, including

CAFTA ratification, if not cleaned up.

6. (C) Fernandez said that he knew that Telemicro had

broadcast &new8 (pirated) movies in the past, but thought

that the problem had been resolved.  He said that he would

check into the issue, adding in English,  &I’ve got the

message.8   Continuing with the theme of IPR enforcement

related to movies, Fernandez mentioned that he had argued

with the head of the National Copyright Office (ONDA)

recently for having conducted a raid on a prominent local

video store.  He noted that the video rental business has no

interest in pirated products and that these &legitimate8

stores are against piracy.  (Note:  We have heard several

versions of the raid story; and one includes the use of

presidential police to call off ONDA during the raid.  The

issue of video stores is murky, involving legitimately

purchased products created for the U.S. market being sold

here, circumventing the regional code protocols set up by

major studios.  End note.)

Paulino–Drugs

7. (C ) Speaking of the recent arrest of retired Captain

Quirino Paulino Castillo for narcotrafficking, Fernandez said

that the case had taken the country by surprise.  Fernandez

commented that it is often impossible to know what a person

is truly like.   During his campaign the president personally

heard very positive comments about Paulino.  He noted that he

hopes for Paulino,s prompt extradition without mishaps.   He

promised to try to ensure adequate security for Paulino while

his extradition request is pending a Supreme Court decision.

Concerns about Dominican Intelligence Chief

8. (S) The Embassy raised problems with the National

Intelligence Directorate (DNI) under the leadership of

Retired General Manuel de Jesus Florentino y Florentino, and

led a frank discussion concerning questions about

Florentino,s competence and personal integrity, as well as

information linking Florentino to Paulino.  The President

noted that during his first term Florentino had served as his

Secretary of the Armed Forces and had headed the presidential

SIPDIS

security guard as well.  Fernandez had seen him as a serious,

and &correct8 officer and said that he had not known of any

association by Florentino with narcotrafficking.  The

president seemed to acknowledge Embassy arguments, however

and agreed to remove Florentino &soon8 at a less

politically volatile moment, and sought Embassy input on his

replacement.

Crime and Corruption

9. (C ) Commenting on the military, Fernandez said that it is

understood that high-ranking military staff members routinely

take 10% of resources that passes through their hands as a

«commission,8 adding &the military is a corrupt

institution.8  He said that if he moved too fast in firing

corrupt officers, his own position would be in jeopardy. He

noted that Mejia was fond of the military and kept his guards

dressed in uniform while Fernandez prefers civilian clothing

for his guards. Fernandez considered it a significant

achievement to have forced retirement of 100 generals since

taking office.  He commented that this still leaves 100 more

who should be relieved.  On the other hand, he said, «if one

thing works in the Dominican Republic, it,s the military,8

— indicating that the military is disciplined, and

hierarchical, and proud of position.

10. (C)  Fernandez said one of his government,s priorities

is dealing with crime and an important element is cleaning up

the police force.  Immediately after his inauguration, he

noted, Dominicans just wanted him to strengthen the peso, but

now all they want is a lower crime rate.   Fernandez asked

for Embassy ideas on combating police corruption and said

that he was receiving advice from the New York City Police

Department, the NYPD, New Jersey State Police, and John Jay

College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New

York, and had invited the Bogota (Colombia) police chief to

help improve training of the Dominican police force.  Embassy

NAS Officer noted that training and equipping the police

force is vital, but narcotics-related corruption at the

highest levels of the police force must also be addressed.

Fernandez said that he would fire corrupt police officers

when provided with evidence and asked for Embassy,s help in

obtaining this.  The Ambassador offered to provide additional

details regarding known corrupt officials.

Haiti

11. (S) As a followup to previous discussions between the

Ambassador and President Fernandez regarding Haiti, the

Ambassador referred to rumors that Dominican Ambassador to

Haiti Jose Serulle Ramia was not being entirely faithful to

Dominican policy guidelines.  Fernandez replied that he had

chosen Serulle for this position because he belongs to a

respected family and is serious, educated, honest, and

trusted, and fluent in French and Creole and thus a fitting

representative for the Dominican Republic.  However,

Fernandez conceded, Serulle, like others in his family, is a

&little crazy8 and very emotional, and commented only half

in jest that he would not be surprised if Serulle considered

himself a viable candidate for the presidency of Haiti.

Fernandez stated categorically that he understands that

Serulle is meeting in a «leadership role» with all sectors of

Haitian society, including the opposition, — which,

according to Fernandez, «is not his job.»  Fernandez promised

to rein in Serulle.  He emphasized that the Dominican

Government recognizes the Haitian Interim Government (IGOH).

He said that he believes his government has a responsibility

to help Haiti, since Haiti,s situation affects both sides of

the border.   (Note:  Foreign Minister Carlos Morales

Troncoso, in comments to the Ambassador on February 7, called

Serulle &useless8 and &crazy8 and said he would be

removed within the next two weeks.  Septel reports details of

that meeting.  End note.)

SECRET

SIPDIS

HERTELL

32129    6 de mayo , 2005

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 SANTO DOMINGO 002576

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SHANNON; DEPT FOR S/S, WHA, WHA/CAR, EB,

EB/TPP/BTA/EWH; TREASURY FOR DO:N LEE, R TOLOUI, L CARTER;

SECDEF FOR OSD; SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/05/2015

TAGS: PREL, OVIP, ETRD, DR

SUBJECT: POLICY POINTS; WASHINGTON VISIT OF DOMINICAN

PRESIDENT LEONEL FERNANDEZ, MAY 11-12

Classified By: Ambassador Hans H. Hertell.  Reason: 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C)  Dominican President Leonel Fernandez travels May

11-12 to Washington for the first time since his August 2004

inauguration. The USG and regional focus of the event is the

CAFTA free trade agreement now under consideration in the

U.S. Congress.  For Fernandez, however,  the visit is much

more: it is a validation of his status as the democratically

elected leader of the Dominican Republic.  Fernandez has told

the Ambassador repeatedly that he could not afford to go to

Washington without calling on President Bush; if he were not

received by the U.S. President on his first visit, Dominican

commentators and politicians would construe any Washington

visit as a personal snub and a failure of his administration.

Following is background and a suggested approach for several

topics that could be discussed during the trip, depending on

the final Fernandez schedule.  They include CAFTA,

corruption, support for the Coalition, and the need for a

national security strategy.

ECONOMIC BACKGROUND

2.  (C)  Fernandez and his party have articulated a

market-friendly, socially conscious approach to domestic

politics.  Fernandez is an eloquent advocate for

international cooperation and multilateralism.  In the nine

months to date of his administration his economic team has

successfully put the country back into a standby agreement

with the International Monetary Fund and adhered to agreed

targets.  They openly favor the CAFTA free trade agreement

and in December secured the repeal of a CAFTA-unfriendly

protectionist tax.  The CAFTA is under consideration in the

Dominican Senate; powerful domestic business interests,

especially from the sugar industry, are seeking significant

fiscal concessions as a price for non-opposition to the

agreement.  At the same time, the Dominican letter of

agreement with the IMF specifies that the government will put

forward proposals for fundamental tax reform this year to

offset significant revenue losses that will occur pursuant

CAFTA and WTO commitments to ending many levies on imported

goods.  Dominican legislators would prefer to wait until

after the mid-2006 congressional elections to consider fiscal

reform.

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT IN CAFTA RATIFICATION

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

3.  (C) President Fernandez is eloquent in public

pronouncements about globalization and free trade, and he has

endorsed CAFTA in general terms. He has not engaged

legislators or business interests personally on the subject

or sought to broker a practical agreement that would end the

debate about ratification. His passivity is of great concern,

for influential business interests assert that lawmakers must

grant them extensive tax concession BEFORE ratifying CAFTA.

The Dominican Senate is controlled by the opposition PRD.

Congressional elections for all seats in both houses are

scheduled for May 2006.

CAFTA APPROACH:

– – The Dominican people and legislature need their President

to engage actively in the CAFTA ratification process.

– –  You have spoken eloquently about globalization and free

trade.  With your 57 percent mandate in the presidential

election, you have the moral authority to pursue passage of

CAFTA.

– – The obligations of CAFTA require a major tax reform, a

fact your government acknowledged in negotiations with the

IMF.  You personally and your team need to engage now to

articulate these reforms and pursue them.

CORRUPTION

– – – – –

4.  (C)  Fernandez says he is deeply concerned by levels of

corruption in the country.  The Dominican public and press

are discussing the corruption revealed over the last two

years, including, most prominently, the «Baninter» bank fraud

and related embezzlements at Bancredito and Banco Mercantil

that collectively cost 20 percent of GDP in 2003; narcotics

trafficking and payoffs; government procurement scandals

affecting the previous administration and both of Fernandez’s

administrations. Fernandez has appointed men of integrity to

key law enforcement positions. USAID is providing him help to

mount an anti-corruption/ethics in government mechanism and

campaign.  On May 2, responding to the urgings of the U.S.

ambassador, President Fernandez he belatedly and without

comment relieved his intelligence chief and two other senior

officers known to be corrupt.  The government is preparing

several pieces of legislation to assure greater transparency

and to prevent opporunities for corruption.

CORRUPTION APPROACH:

– – We greatly admire your Attorney General Francisco

Dominguez Brito and several other key law enforcement

officials in your administration.

– – The USG will continue to support you in your stand

against corruption.

– – CAFTA and new Dominican legislation will provide stronger

safeguards.

– – The public must see your government act strongly and

impartially against those suspected of fraud and corruption.

SUPPORT FOR IRAQ- – – – – – – –

5. (C) Fernandez did not criticize his predecessor’s dispatch

of a 300-soldier batallion to Iraq and never commented

publicly on Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The Dominican Armed

Forces Minister, acting on his understanding that he has

authorization from the President, is in the process of

selecting a limited number of Dominican staff officers,

perhaps 15-20, for duty with the U.S. Central Command and in

the Iraq area of operations.  The Dominican government has

not formally notified the United States of this decision and

it has not been publicized.  Selection and testing is under

way; first deployments could occur in June.

APPROACH ON IRAQ SUPPORT:

– –  I understand that you have given your Armed Forces

Minister authorization to select a number of staff officers

to support the coalition efforts to protect and rebuild Iraq.

– –  The Iraqi people and authorities will appreciate this

support.  So do we.

– –  We appreciate the quality of Dominican military

professionals; this will further qualify those officers to

participate in multilateral operations with the UN or the

Organization of American States.

NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY-

6. (C).  President Fernandez has expressed great interest in

drawing up a national security strategy. Senior military

officers have not begun this work in earnest, devoting their

attention instead to a «White Paper» on the military instead,

and have not been receptive to Fernandez’s military advisor.

The U.S. Embassy’s Military Advisory and Assistance Group

can assist in drawing up a national strategy.

SECURITY STRATEGY APPROACH:

– –  The President bears the responsibility for defining the

National Security Strategy of a nation, giving guidelines to

the government and armed forces.

– –  I encourage you to take a direct interest in this work,

to constitute a working group headed by your personal

representatives with a mandate from you, and to insist on a

concerted effort.

– –  A clear vision of security threats, requirements, and

resources is vital to assuming your responsibilities toward

your own population and toward the community of nations.

HERTELL

167592     27 de agosto, 2008

S E C R E T SANTO DOMINGO 001353

NOFORN

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAR AND INR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/26/2048

TAGS: PGOV, PINR, SENV, MARR, ETRD, ECON, DR

SUBJECT: FERNANDEZ PLAYS MUSICAL CHAIRS WITH CABINET

REF: A. SANTO DOMINGO 1340

B. USDAO IIR 6 827 0228 08/08-21-2008

C. SANTO DOMINGO 1189

D. TD-314/03112-05/01-19-2005

Classified By: P. Robert Fannin, Ambassador, Reasons 1.4(b), (d)

Summary

——-

1. (C) In a series of decrees issued following his August 16

inauguration, President Fernandez shuffled his cabinet;

however, many of the officials simply moved from one ministry

to another.  There was no clear public policy message sent by

the personnel moves.  Rather, by keeping most of the cabinet

positions in the hands of PLD party insiders, particularly

those loyal to him personally, Fernandez appears to be

keeping an eye on party rival Danilo Medina (Ref A).  The

demotion of Alejandrina German from Education to Women’s

Affairs was positive, given the corruption allegations

against her. The new Minister of Industry and Commerce,

Monchi Fadul, does not inspire much confidence.  New

Ministers were also named for the Armed Forces, the

Presidency, Labor, Tourism, Education, and Youth.  In the

security and intelligence services, while three potentially

seriously problematic appointments were avoided, we have

continuing concerns regarding several key officers. For

biographic information, see paras. 12-19.

Armed Forces

————

2. (C/NF) The new Minster of the Armed Forces, LTGEN Pedro

Pena Antonio, has a very favorable and positive background

with U.S. officers in military conference, professional

training in the U.S., and USDAO and security assistance

venues.  He seeks constructive relationships with U.S.

officers without losing Dominican integrity and pride or

appearing as a doormat or puppet.  He favors USG security

policies as being best for Dominican security as well.  USDAO

assesses that of the several candidates to become Minister,

Pena was unquestionably the most favorable to U.S. interests.

This is based principally on his attempts to achieve a

semblance of security of Dominican airspace and his desire to

professionalize the Air Force (see also Ref B).

Security Services

—————–

3. (S/NF) In the security services, three potential

promotions that prompted serious U.S. concern (Ref C) did

not/not take place:  Gen. Hector Medina Medina was not

appointed Minister of the Armed Forces; Gen. Rafael Bencosme

Candelier was not made Chief of Police; and RADM Jose Munoz

Moncion was not selected to be Navy Chief of Staff.

4. (S/NF) However, Post has continuing concerns regarding the

security services:  The President «confirmed» Medina Medina

in his current position as the Chief of the Presidential

Military Aide’s Corps (CAM), where he will continue to have a

powerful influence on the President’s military decisions

(particularly regarding pesonnel).  Munoz Moncion was

appointed as Commander of the Las Calderas Navy Base, located

in a principal region of drug trafficking activity.  Host

nation asssets based at Las Calderas are the ones which

should respond to maritime drug deliveries from South

America.  Maj. Gen. Manuel Florentino Florentino, an

individual with whom Post has serious concerns regarding

illegal activity (Ref D), was appointed head of the Frontier

Development Directorate, where opportunities for graft

related to the Haitian border are significant.  At the

National Directorate for Intelligence, the cooperative

Director Sigfrido Pared Perez has been replaced by Maj. Gen.

Ramon Aquino Garcia, whose record is more neutral.  On a

potentially more positive note, Bencosme Candelier was moved

to head the Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET), where he

will presumably have fewer opportunities for nefarious

activities.

Industry and Commerce

———————

5. (C) In comments to the Ambassador, an American Chamber of

Commerce (AMCHAM) representative noted that the new Minister

of Industry and Commerce, Jose Ramon «Monchi» Fadul, has only

limited experience in the areas of trade and energy which

fall under his portfolio, including overseeing the

implementation of CAFTA-DR.  The Embassy was not particularly

impressed with his performance in his previous position as

Labor Minister, where he seemed to be uninformed on important

issues.  However, Fadul is a loyal party member, which should

give him some clout within the Administration.

Presidency

———

6. (C) As Minister of the Presidency, Cesar Pina Toribio will

fulfill a role similar to Chief of Staff in the U.S. system.

USAID worked with Pina in his previous positions, and

describes him as an ally of U.S. programming for the justice

sector.  He has played a key role in the implementation of

the criminal procedures code.  Some analysts portrayed

Fernandez’s choice of Pina as one designed to avoid having at

his right hand a person who himself aspires to the presidency.

Labor

—–

7. (C) The new Minister of Labor, Maximiliano Puig Miller, is

the leader of the leftist Alliance for Democracy Party and

the only non-PLD party member in the new cabinet.  Puig was

dropped from his position as Minister of Environment in 2007

after making public allegations of corruption against the

Senate.  He is expected to play an important role not only in

implementing the labor provisions of CAFTA-DR, but also in

the running of the new state-run health care system.  In

comments to the Ambassador, an AMCHAM representative

described Puig as a better officer than his predecessor, the

new Minister of Industry and Commerce Fadul.

Tourism

——-

8. (C) Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia Fernandez,

another political loyalist, is being rewarded for his role as

campaign manager for the President’s re-election campaign.

Minister of Tourism is seen by many Dominicans to be a

lucrative position.  During his time as Minister of Industry

and Commerce, Garcia supported transportation interests that

opposed a U.S. company’s right to implement new contracts,

which almost derailed the entry into force of CAFTA-DR.  An

AMCHAM representative told the Ambassador that he was not

particularly impressed with Garcia’s prior service in the

Industry and Commerce Ministry.

Education

———

9. (C) Minister of Education Melanio Paredes has extensive

experience in the education sector, having taught at two

Universities in Santo Domingo (UNIBE and UTESA).  During his

time as a congressman (1990-1994) he was chairman of the

Education Committee, and earlier he served as the General

Secretary of the Labor Union for teachers.  In his previous

position as Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Embassy

found him to be an easy going person who is open, accessible,

and responsive.  Post is pleased to see his predecessor,

Alejandrina German, gone from the ministry.  She was the

subject of multiple corruption allegations, including a case

involving a company tied to her daughter which allegedly sold

millions of dollars worth of nutritionally deficient school

lunches to the government.

Women

—–

10. (SBU) Alejandrina German was demoted, but remains in the

cabinet as Minister of Women’s Affairs.  During the first

part of her term at the Education Ministry, German’s

relationship with USAID was challenging.  Over time these

challenges turned into opportunities and the relationship

improved significantly.  German was eventually responsive to

our request for coordination and recognized USAID as an

important partner.  She has been an advocate in expanding

USAID’s Regional Centers of Education for Teacher Training

and has committed the Ministry’s own resources in the

expansion.

Youth

—–

11. (U) The new Minister of Youth, Franklin Rodriguez, is a

lawyer and journalist.  Born in 1979, he is an alumnus of the

State Department-sponsored National Democracy Institute

Leadership Program.  Mr. Rodriguez is the youngest member of

the Central Committee of the PLD and was the coordinator of

the PLD youth campaign.  He has also served as vice-president

of the Dominican Student Federation.

Biographic Information

———————-

12. (S/NF) Minister of Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Pedro Rafael

PENA Antonio

– Air Force Chief of Staff (2006-2008)

– Described as intelligent and outspoken, as well as pro-U.S.

and friendly with U.S. officials

– Helicopter pilot with search and rescue experience;

personal pilot to President in Fernandez’s first term

– Prior service as Assistant Military Attache in Washington,

Air Force Comptroller, Inspector General, and Vice Chief of

Staff

– Degree in human resources management

13. (U) Minister of Industry and Commerce Jose Ramon «Monchi»

FADUL

– Minister of Labor (2004-2008)

– Member of the PLD’s Political Committee

– Influential in Santiago, where he was mayor (1990-1994) and

congressional representative (1982-1986, 1994-2002)

– Former Director of the Dominican Corporation of State

Enterprises

14. (U) Minister of Presidency Cesar PINA Toribio

– Presidential Legal Adviser (1996-1999 and 2004-2008)

– Attorney General (1999-2000)

– Member of his family’s law firm since receiving his

doctorate from UASD in 1970

– Taught law at PUCMM, UNIBE, and UASD, focusing primarily on

criminal law and criminal procedure

– Member of the PLD Party’s Central Committee

15. (U) Minister of Labor Maximiliano PUIG Miller

– Minister of Environment (2004-2007)

– National Coordinator for the Lome IV Accord, with rank of

Minister (1996-2000)

– Served as Senator (1990-1994), at first with PLD, then when

that party suffered split in 1992, Puig and ten deputies

resigned from PLD to set up ADP party (ADP was in coalition

with PLD in 2008 election and prior).

– Studied sociology and public law at the University of Paris

and received his PhD in Political Science there in 1970

– Taught sociology at UASD (1971-1992)

16. (U) Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier GARCIA Fernandez

– National Campaign Manager for Leonel Fernandez for

President (2007-2008)

– Minister of Industry and Commerce (2004-2007)

– During the first Fernandez administration (1996-2000)

served as general manager for national lottery, president of

state-owned oil refinery, and executive director of port

authority

– Member of the Central and Political Committees of the PLD

– In private sector, worked as real estate developer

17. (U) Minister of Education Melanio A. PAREDES Pinales

– Minister of Industry and Commerce (2007-2008)

– Director General, National Institute for Technical and

Professional Training (2004-2007)

– Executive Director for Airports (1999)

– Professor, UNIBE and UTESA

– Congressman for San Cristobal (1990-1994)

– Physics degree, UASD

18. (U) Minister of Women’s Affairs Alejandrina GERMAN

– Minister of Education (2004-2008)

– Minister of Presidency (1999-2000)

– Director, Higher Education Council (1996-2000)

– Member of PLD party Political Committee

19. (U) Minister of Youth Franklin RODRIGUEZ

– President, PLD party youth wing

– Alumnus of the State Department sponsored National

Democracy Institute Leadership Program

– Member of Central Committee of PLD

– Former vice-president of Dominican Student Federation (FED)

– Born 1979 in San Cristobal

(U) Please visit us at

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/santodomingo/

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