Raúl Yzaguirre, embajador USA en República Dominicana.
El embajador de Estados Unidos en el país, Raúl Yzaguirre, también aparece como uno de los actores en la gestión del contrato para la colocación de equipos de rayos X en los puertos dominicanos.
El diplomático debía favores políticos al senador Robert Menéndez (demócrata-Nueva Jersey) y también al oftalmólogo Salomón Melgen. De acuerdo al diario estadounidense Washington Post, Yzaguirre habría recibido el apoyo de ambos para convertirse en embajador.
Según la publicación, en el año 2009, cuando el nombramiento de Yzaguirre parecía haberse estancado en el Senado, Menéndez presidía el subcomité del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores, que manejaba los asuntos del Caribe.
The New York Times también Entre a este link: http://www.acento.com.do/index.php/news/49003/56/TNYT-revela-embajador-EEUU-presiono-al-gobierno-por-contrato-de-rayos-X.html
Ambassador Raul Yzaguirre’s team pushed the government to enforce the contract — which calls for operating X-ray scanners to screen cargo at the country’s ports — despite objections over its merits and its price tag.
The port deal has come under heightened scrutiny in the United States in recent weeks because of its chief investor, a wealthy Florida eye doctor named Salomon Melgen who stood to gain a windfall if the contract was enforced, and his close friend Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
Menendez, whose relationship with Melgen is the subject of a Senate ethics inquiry, was a major beneficiary of the doctor’s generosity, repeatedly flying on his private plane to the Dominican Republic, staying as a guest at his seaside mansion and receiving large campaign contributions. Melgen donated $700,000 to Menendez and other Senate Democrats last year. The senator was also the most powerful champion of the port deal, publicly urging U.S. officials to pressure Dominican authorities to enforce the contract.
Menendez pointed to the port security deal at Yzaguirre’s confirmation hearing to become ambassador, an aide to the senator said, asking him to put a priority on security efforts aimed at countering drug trafficking through the Dominican Republic. Melgen, too, sought Yzaguirre’s help in enforcing the contract.
Yzaguirre, for his part, received help from both men in becoming ambassador. They had provided a crucial boost to his nomination when it ran into trouble.
The details of efforts by Yzaguirre and embassy staff on behalf of the port security contract remain sketchy. But the ambassador spoke approvingly of stepping up drug interdiction measures when Dominican reporters specifically asked him about the port deal. And embassy officials told the American Chamber of Commerce that they were seeking a resolution of the contract favorable to an American investor, according to William Malamud, the chamber’s executive vice president.
Though it was unusual for a U.S. Embassy to cross swords with the local American chamber, embassy officials said they were doing what U.S. diplomats around the world do when American investors get ensnared in legal or bureaucratic problems.
But this was no routine case because of the relationship among the three men: the senator, the eye doctor and the envoy.
When Yzaguirre’s nomination in 2009 to become ambassador to the Dominican Republic was held up by Republicans in Congress over other disputes with the State Department, Melgen and Menendez came to his aid. At the time, Menendez chaired the subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that handled Caribbean affairs. With the nomination stalled, Melgen spoke with the senator and registered once again his support for Yzaguirre being confirmed, according to Melgen’s lawyer.