From nuts to rotten apples, WikiLeaks sling more dirt on Dominican officials

Local – 26 July 2011, 7:46 AM

Santo Domingo.- Diplomatic cables from the United States embassy in Santo Domingo link retired general Manuel de Jesus Florentino to narcotics trafficker Quirino Paulino (El Don), extradited to New York February,19, 2005, charged with the 1,387 kilos  of cocaine seized in December, 2004.

The confidential information sent by ex ambassadors Hans Hertell and Robert Fannin, filtered by WikiLeaks and divulged by local news source Noticias SIN, also revel Washington’s mistrust of the generals Héctor Medina Medina, Rafael Bencosme Candelier and retired admiral Jose Muñoz Monción.

On February 11, 2005 Hertell reports that “three possible promotions which caused serious concern for the US weren’t carried out,” referring to the possibility of Medina Medina being designated Minister of the Armed Forces; Bencosme Candelier wasn’t tapped as Chief of the National Police and Muñoz Monción as head of the Navy.

The ambassador, reporting on his conversations with president Leonel Fernandez, that the chief executive considered Florentino “a serious and correct officer” of whom he wasn’t aware of his association with drug trafficking.

Florentino had been head of the National Investigations Department, the Presidential Guard and Minister of the Armed Forces.

“Commenting on the Armed Forces, Fernandez said that it was common knowledge that senior offices take 10% from the funds which pass through their hands as “commission,” adding that the Armed Forces is “a corrupt” institution, the cable says.

The cables filtered by WikiLeaks also reveal the United States concern with piracy in Dominican Republic and requested a halt to alleged illegal broadcasts by Telemicro, channel 5.

The cables also note that Fernandez felt that Jose Serulle Ramia, then ambassador in Haiti, “wasn’t being totally faithful to the guidelines of Dominican policies.”

“Fernandez noted that Serrulle, like others in his family, is a little crazy and emotional and half jokingly commented that he wouldn’t be surprised if Serrulle considered himself a viable candidate for the presidency of Haiti.”

Foreign minister Carlos Morales also informed to the United States, in conversations in early 2005, that “Serrulle was useless and crazy and said that he would be fired in the next two weeks.”

The May 6, 2005, cable states that president Fernandez would travel to Washington May 11 to 12 for the first time since taking office in August 2004, for which he managed to be greeted by then president George W. Bush, because “not being received by the American president in his first visit, the commentators and the politicians would interpret any visit to Washington as a personal rebuke and a failure of his administration”

An August 27, 2008, report sent by then ambassador Robert Fannin states mistrust in then Industry and Commerce minister Jose Ramon (Monchy) Fadul. It says that when Fadul was the Minister of Labor “seemed misinformed on important topics.”

As to the firing of then Education Minister Alejandrina German, Fannin notes: “allegations of corruption against her.”

“She (German) was accused of multiple cases of corruption, including a case which involved a company linked to her daughter who allegedly sold millions of dollars of nutritionally deficient lunches to the Government.”


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