Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 16th, 2020.
President Luis Abinader was sworn in today as President of the Dominican Republic. In a ground-breaking speech he promised a wide-ranging program of reforms and got straight to business.
“I want to announce to you today that our government will launch a national plan for the detection, isolation, tracking, and treatment of infected persons on an unprecedented scale in our history, with the commitment to guarantee access to the virus vaccine to the entire Dominican population. as soon as it is available.”
He also announced a plan to reorganize and decentralize the health care system to serve communities better.
Public works to be started immediately will include:
- The construction of the Amber Highway, which would allow getting from Santiago to Puerto Plata in just 25 minutes and from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata in two hours.
- The tourist development of Pedernales, which would develop its own airport as well as the construction of 3,000 hotel rooms in various hotels.
- The port of Manzanillo which will give us access to banana exports and free zones of Santiago and the Northwest.
“We’ve gotten worse in international testing of school children since 2015, today ranking last out of 79 countries in math and science and second to last in reading,” said the new president as he promised that every school child will have a computer or tablet so that they can continue their education regardless of how the pandemic pans out.
He declared war on corruption, stating: “I want to reiterate so that no one is confused, that there will be no impunity for the corruption of the past, nor for that committed in the future.”
And he also declared that the relationship of the Dominican Republic with Haiti is important and needs to be tended, for the benefit of both countries.
After the inauguration Abinader met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had flown in for the occasion.
After the meeting, US Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown said that Abinader and Pompeo had discussions about joint efforts to fight narcotics trafficking, cocaine smuggling, and crimes like money laundering on land, sea, and in cyberspace.
There was also discussion about what the US described as a shared goal to see the peaceful replacement of the current regime in Venezuela with a more democratic government.