U.S. keeps close tabs on Dominican Gov. corruption: Envoy
Exclusive for Dominican Today
By Miguel Terc, US editor
Santo Domingo.- The U.S. is on the lookout for signs of corruption in the government of the Dominican Republic, so much so that it’s willing to expand cooperation with local authorities to achieve prosecutions and put a dent on the Caribbean country’s historic impunity, according to Washington’s recently-arrived envoy.
U.S. Ambassador Robin S. Bernstein said that the fight against the various types of crimes figure among her government’s priorities in the country and cited the enactment f the Magnisky Act as a critical tool to enforce the law regardless of country or the influence an accuse may muster.
She labeled as very serious Washington’s approach to fighting official corruption, a topic that prompted US Embassy chargé d’affaire Robert Copley to comment earlier this year that what the US wants to see is “all of the thieves in jail.”
(MT) Could the US expand security assistance and financial and intelligence support to uncover corruption in the Dominican Republic?
RB: Yes, yes. We have offered full cooperation to the Attorney General in all these cases and in fact when I was in Washington and that was just the Justice Department, they all have offered support in training and prosecution.
MT: Any other specific assistance that the US can provide to Dominican authorities to fight corruption?
RB: The United States has provided assistance with judicial prosecution and institutional building, because direct foreign investors demand transparency. The US offers to train judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and bringing corruption cases to a successful culmination.
The US envoy added that her country provides financial intelligence information regarding money laundering and through the Treasury Dept. at the request of judicial authorities. She also mentioned the cancelling of visas, provisions of the Magnisky Act, and the Odebrecht graft case.
In the third and final installment, Ambassador Bernstein will discuss social issues, relations with Haiti, the Jewish link, tourism, baseball and golf.
Editing by Jorge Pineda
Part 2 of 3
Robin S. Bernstein
Ambassador of the United States of America to the Dominican Republic
Ambassador Robin S. Bernstein was sworn-in as the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic by President Donald J. Trump, on July 3, 2018. She served as President and Director of Richard S. Bernstein and Associates, Inc. and Vice President and Director of Rizbur, Inc., both of West Palm Beach, Florida, until her resignation on June 29, 2018, after her confirmation as an Ambassador by the U.S. Senate. Her four decades of experience in business, government, and the non-profit community have demonstrated her dedicated and successful leadership and management. Her wide variety of contacts in the business, political and non-profit sectors have enabled her to contribute in many fields, such as education, disaster relief, and women’s empowerment.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Bernstein has developed extensive experience as an entrepreneur, business consultant, insurance broker, real estate broker and registered representative of numerous companies. She accompanied Florida Governor Jeb Bush as a member of his international trade mission to Israel in 1999. She was the Administrative Assistant to a County Commissioner of the Palm Beach County Commission, West Palm Beach, Florida and Executive Secretary to the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Ms. Bernstein has worked as a campaign manager for Federal election campaigns and as a member of a Presidential transition team. She has shown a demonstrated commitment to the non-profit sector and has served on many boards and councils. She is the Co-Founder of Palm Beach County Cares, a Florida relief effort for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.
Ms. Bernstein earned a B.A. in Language Area Studies from the American University, School of International Service, and an M.B.A. from George Washington University. She received the Women in Leadership Award from the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. Ms. Bernstein speaks French and intermediate Spanish.