Three Worst Presidents in the History of the Dominican Republic

mejiaHipolito Majia

The presidential administration of Hipolito Majia has the distinction of being touted as one of the Dominican Republic’s worst administration in their constitutional history. His terms have been plagued with allegations of extreme corruption, massive inflation, and a record drop in the currency of the nation. He also has reported ties to key drug trafficking lords and other dubious characters. Even though his legacy is mitigated by a few successes, a majority of the country’s working class and poor people suffered while he was in office.

Leonel Fernandez

fernandez_leonelEven though there were some economic improvements in the beginning of Fernandez’s first term, it was later marked by increased poverty toward the end. The history of his administration is plagued by scandal and government corruption. In 2000, some of his cabinet members were accused of embezzling over $100 million from government program that helps impoverished Dominicans who are unemployed or do not make enough money. Instead of condemning such a deplorable crime, Fernandez and his administration defended the criminals by saying it was false accusations from opposing political parties.

Many critics point out that Fernandez stacked the deck of his cabinet by filling most of the positions with old friends. He started his second election into office by appointing the same four men who were accused of embezzlement into key cabinet positions. In the middle of an economic crisis that was blasting a majority of his countrymen, President Fernandez signed a $500 million plan for a subway system. Economic pundits opine that it makes no sense to pay so much money on a luxury item when the country is in dire need of financial and educational reform.

Salvadore Jorge Blanco

JORGE-BLANCOAs the 41st president of the Dominican Republic, Blanco was the first to officially be charged and tried for political corruption. Not long after he was elected, the country’s economy went south and the government decided to accept predatory loans from the International Monetary Fund. There were several mass riots across the country due to worsening economic conditions. Blanco sent in the national army, which resulted in the deaths of over one hundred citizens, injuries of over five hundred and the arrests of thousands. Even after such brutality, Blanco was quoted as praising the military’s actions. Many Dominicans were outraged at what they saw as Blanco’s complacency in order to keep power.

Blanco was tried for corruption charges and spent time in prison. Jorge Blanco would be released after spending less than a year in prison and he continued in his law practice. He wrote several books and went on a lecturing tour. He kept a lot of his political ties that he had while in office.