Search

 

Cablegate: Santo Domingo Economic-Political Roundup,

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDG #1456/01 2621242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181242Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1440
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN PRIORITY 2188
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0927
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN PRIORITY 1100
RUEHKG/AMEMBASSY KINGSTON PRIORITY 2892
RUEHPO/AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO PRIORITY 1225
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE PRIORITY 4857
RUEHSP/AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN PRIORITY 1926
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0205
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMISTA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS SANTO DOMINGO 001456

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ELAB EFIN ECON PGOV VE PM CA DR
SUBJECT: SANTO DOMINGO ECONOMIC-POLITICAL ROUNDUP,
SEPTEMBER 17, 2008

(U) In this edition of the roundup:

1. Open Skies Agreements with Panama and Canada
2. U.S. Company Purchases Airport Operations
3. Bank Fraud Conviction Upheld
4. Venezuela: Scandal Over Houses Donated to Storm Victims
5. Unions Press for Wage Increase

1. (U) Open Skies Agreements with Panama and Canada

The Dominican Republic recently signed open skies agreements
with Panama and Canada. Civil Aviation Board President Luis
Rodriguez told EconOff that the Dominican Republic is also
negotiating an agreement with Chile. He said that the
Dominican Republic is looking to increase air traffic to the
island to boost tourism, among other objectives. Rodriguez
added that he hopes to see foreign airlines use the Dominican
Republic as a jumping-off point for flights between the
Americas and Europe and Canada.

2. (U) U.S. Company Purchases Airport Operations

On September 9, U.S. private equity company Advent
International announced that it had acquired Aerodom, the
Dominican airports operator, from the Hazoury Group,
Vancouver Airport Services, and other local investors. The
value of the transaction was estimated to be US$400 million.
Aerodom has a 30-year concession contract with the Dominican
government and the Airport Commission to develop, operate,
and mange six airports in the Dominican Republic. According
to Advent, Aerodom's existing management and Vancouver
Airport Services will continue to run the company. Advent
told the media the company plans to invest over US$1 billion
in the airport system over the next five years.

3. (U) Bank Fraud Conviction Upheld

On September 11, the National District Court of Appeals
upheld the August 2006 conviction of Bancredito President
Manuel Arturo Pellerano and Vice President Juan Felipe
Mendoza Gomez for the fraud which led to the collapse of the
bank in 2003. The court sentenced them to eight years in
prison, an increase from the original sentence of three
years. The defendants have not yet said whether they will
appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

4. (SBU) Venezuela: Scandal Over Houses Donated to Storm
Victims

On September 16, President Fernandez fired the appointed
Governor of Monsenor Nouel Province, Nestor Melenciano. The
President's action, announced by decree without further
explanation, comes after the Venezuelan Ambassador, Francisco
Belisario Landis, wrote to the Dominican Government to
protest the GODR's handling of Venezuela's donation of 100
homes to the province's victims of Tropical Storms Noel and
Olga. In the letter, which was leaked to the media, Landis
accused Melenciano of turning homes over to occupants without
using the proper process for designating beneficiaries.
Separately, Narciso Isa Conde, a far-left Dominican
politician and public supporter of Colombia's FARC guerillas,
criticized other leftists for their role in the housing
allocation. Isa Conde told the media that activists such as
Fernando Pena had interfered in the designation of
beneficiaries for "personal reasons," which damaged the
effort for "political solidarity" (a presumed reference to
relations with Venezuela).

5. (U) Unions Press for Wage Increase

The National Council of Union Unity (CNUS), a labor
confederation, is pushing hard for a private sector wage
increase and states that it will organize protests to press
home its demands. CNUS cites the high cost of food,
transportation, and electricity to justify is wage proposal,
and notes that most government workers received a 15 percent
raise in August. Minister of Labor Max Puig, who has been in

office for only one month, told the press that the Government
would not intervene in the dispute, but rather will play the
role of mediator. The last pay increase occurred in April
2007, when labor unions and business groups negotiated a deal
that raised the minimum wage by 15 percent and increase
salaries by 5 percent for all other private employees earning
30,000 pesos (approximately US$1,000) per month or less.

(U) Please visit us at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/santodomingo/
BULLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: