Salvador Jorge Blanco
|Salvador Jorge Blanco|
|48th President of the Dominican Republic|
August 16, 1982 – August 16, 1986
|Vice President||Manuel Fernández Mármol (1982-1983)
|Preceded by||Jacobo Majluta|
|Succeeded by||Joaquín Balaguer|
|Born||July 5, 1926
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
|Died||December 26, 2010
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
José Salvador Omar Jorge Blanco (July 5, 1926 – December 26, 2010) was a politician, lawyer and a writer. He was the 48th President of the Dominican Republic, from 1982 to 1986. He was a Senator running for the PRD party. He started his political career as a Committee Secretary for the Unión Cívica de Santiago in 1963 and joined the PRD in 1964.
Jorge Blanco succeeded fellow PRD member Jacobo Majluta Azar to the presidency in 1982. Despite their political affiliations, Guzmán's term (before Majluta's) was characterized by a bitter feud with Jorge Blanco, who from the senate led the party in opposition to the administration. Unproven, but widely circulated rumors and conspiracy theories tied Guzmán's family advisers to corruption, especially following the president's alleged suicide in July 1982.
At the time of Jorge Blanco's election, it was hope that neopatrimonial patterns would experience a clearer and more dramatic break, given that Blanco was going to govern with a PRD majority in both houses (17 out of 27 in the senate and 62 of 120 in the chamber). However, two events highlight Jorge Blanco's constraints and his limitations while in office. In April 1984, sharp price increases mandated as part of an economic stabilization program approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led to massive riots and scores of deaths. This tarnished the administrations record in civil and human rights, one of the areas where the PRD had been able to project its sharpest differences with the former Balaguer administration. Then, in November 1985, a party primary that was intended to highlight the PRD's continued commitment to internal democratic procedures to select its presidential nominee ended inconclusively due to a shoot-out at the Concorde Hotel, where the ballots were being counted. Jorge Blanco governed the Dominican Republic during a period of dramatic economic difficulties imposed largely by the international system. In 1985, for the first time since the 1965 civil war, the country experienced negative growth rates.
Post-Presidency and Corruption Charges
Salvador Jorge Blanco was, at the end of his mandate in 1986, considered by many to be one of the most promising political leaders in Dominican Republic. However, following a long interrogation session and an order for his arrest on curruption charges relating to the illegal commissions on the purchase of equipment for the armed forced, Jorge Blanco fled to the Venezuelan embassy on April 30, 1987, requesting political asylum. A heart spasm led to his internment in a Santo Domingo clinic, even as the Venezuelan government opted not to respond to his asylum request. Jorge Blanco was allowed to leave for the United States for medical treatment after acknowledging there was a warrant for his arrest. President Joaquín Balaguer, who succeeded him, tried Blanco for corruption in November 1988. Blanco was prosecuted (in absentia) by Marino Vinicio Castillo, and eventually sentenced to a multi-million fine and 23 years in jail after several months of a trial that was televised. In May 2001, the Supreme Court reviewed the case, it found the case was damaged by violations of President Jorge Blanco's rights and the conviction was quashed. Blanco always denied the charges and claimed his nightmare was the result of political persecution by Joaquín Balaguer.
On November 25, 2010 the Ex-President was taken to the emergency room at the Center for Advanced Medicine Dr. Abel González, after falling from his bed and hitting his head causing a heavy internal hemorrhage. On the early morning of December 26, 2010 he suffered a heart attack and died after being in a coma for 37 days.
- Jonathan Hartlyn, The Struggle for Democratic Politics in the Dominican Republic, the University of North Carolina Press, 1998
- BBC News, May 11, 2001
- Biography and tenure by CIDOB Foundation (in Spanish)
Jacobo Majluta Azar
|President of the Dominican Republic
16 August 1982 – 16 August 1986