Santo Domingo, DR.- Our last three leaders have traveled outside the country more than 182 times. Hipolito Mejia about 34 times. Leonel Fernandez over 70 Daniel Medina more than 78 times. Yes Louis Abinader He has 9 stays abroad. It is confirmed that there is no clear justification of the reasons for the expenses incurred during Presidential travel.
Billions have been invested in these trips with an unknown breakdown as the payments have not been transparent.
Journalist Julissa Céspedes revealed in her special report that in only 20 of the more than 70 official trips made by former President Danilo Medina and former Vice President Margarita Cedeño, between 2013 and 2018, the state paid for the rental. of private jets and air ticket purchases of over 170 million pesos.
Spending that on many occasions has been managed with exaggeration and luxury, even at times when presidents have decreed austerity.
According to the survey published by CDN, one of the most significant trips was that of Medina Sánchez in May 2015. At that time he visited New Jersey in a Gulfstream V plane. A one-way trip that cost more than 3 million 500 thousand pesos, of which 182 thousand corresponded to payment for catering (food and drink).
The report says that although national media at the time reported that the former president was traveling with very small delegations, the reality was different. The method of sending large groups of companions on a commercial flight is used. And on a private flight the entourage that was released.
The number of members of the processions was varied, although many did not justify their presence on their own.
The Travels of Leonel Fernandez
Julissa Céspedes’ survey reviews the spending made by former President Leonel Fernández during his two four-year terms. In 2011, the former president traveled at least 9 times. In just 5 of these trips, he spent more than 70 million on renting planes and buying plane tickets.
One of Fernández Reyna’s longest trips has been his tour of Spain, the Middle East, France and the United States. He stayed more than 10 days outside the country. To move from Madrid to Paris and make three stopovers, the former president hired an Airbus A319 plane for more than 18 million pesos. Of this amount, 1 million was spent on food and drink.
Likewise, the report details that in November 2011, the Fernández administration billed over 10 million pesos in plane tickets to travel to Miami. Leonel Fernández was accompanied by a delegation of 101 people. But while the former president traveled to Miami, the first lady, Margarita Cedeño, traveled to Paris for 5 days. He was accompanied by his nephew, Luis Gilfredo Cedeño Pockels.
For Fuerza del Pueblo party member Inocencio García Javier, the end justifies the means. If a head of state has a foreign policy plan in place, he doesn’t have to save a few pesos by flying economy class.
Comparison of presidential travel expenses
Leonel Fernández spent 13 million pesos to travel to New York in 2011. However, in 2021 President Luis Abinader spent 2 million pesos to travel to that same city. There was a difference of over 11 million pesos.
In November 2012, former President Danilo Medina spent 7 million pesos to travel to Madrid, Spain. While Luis Abinader in 2022 spent 1 million 655 thousand pesos for a difference of more than 5 million pesos.
President Luis Abinader’s trip to Puerto Rico in January 2021 cost 2,500,000 pesos. In July 2015, Danilo Medina’s visit to the neighboring country cost more than 5 million, for a difference of 2 million pesos.
Danilo Medina’s visit to New York in 2015 meant spending 5 million pesos. When President Luis Abinader moved to the same city, they amounted to 2,744,598 pesos. These trips had a difference of almost 3 million pesos.
An official trip to Ecuador in 2016 meant spending 10 million pesos during Medina Sánchez’s tenure. In 2021, during the tenure of Luis Abinader, it was 1,500,000, for a difference in cost of more than 8 million pesos.
During a trip to Panama by Danilo Medina in 2016, the state paid around 10 million pesos. In 2021, Luis Abinader’s trip to the same country cost 965,000 pesos. In other words, former president Medina Sánchez spent 9 million more than the current president.
In March of this year, Luis Abinader spent more than 1,500,000 pesos renting a private plane and buying plane tickets to fly to Costa Rica. In 2018, Danilo Medina spent over 8 million pesos. It is 6 million 500 thousand pesos more than its predecessor.