The day Leonel Fernández “put both feet in the same shoe”

Act of alliance between the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), in 1996. Juan Bosch, Jame David Fernández Mirabal, Joaquín Balaguer and Leonel Fernández participated.

It was the year 1998 and the writer of this went to take the former President of the Republic and consecrated writer Joaquín Balaguer, the work my first lyricsby Octavio Paz, Nobel Prize for Literature 1990. Text that saw the light through Editorial Seix Barral, second edition (1990).

His interest in itself was not to read the work but to study it by Enrico Mario Santí, an eminent scholar of Hispanic letters. Upon entering the room, I noticed him annoyed and unwilling to speak. That noon the skin of my face was reddish and, since it had already become a custom between us to greet each other affectionately, I confess that I felt a cold inside my body that permeated my bones.

Every time I went to visit him, he kindly invited me to sit in a chair placed in front of his sofa bed and asked me about the family. But that day he did not do it, I was speechless and a ray crossed my mind that left me breathless, because I thought it was some mischief, some rumor that someone had sent him to cause the rupture of our friendship.

He had learned so much from him and had a deep understanding of the bad feelings that were woven around his personality: some because of envy and others because certain nuclei of the family considered themselves owners even of their breathing.

By not inviting me to sit down, I told him: “poet, I am retiring and I will only return to this house if you ask for my services”. Hearing me react in this way, he told me: “Poet Gerón, can you imagine someone accusing you of a crime that you have not committed? Especially, in my case, that you have never stained your hands with blood.” “Tell me… if the summons that Dr. Guillermo Moreno has sent to my residence, linking me to the crime of Orlando Martínez, does not go beyond the limits of prudence; It is an ignominy, an aberration and the most vulgar disrespect for a citizen, as in my case, who has always acted facing the sun, who has never even mistreated a lizard. They will pay dearly for this inconsiderate mistreatment. President Leonel Fernández has put both feet in one shoe,” he said, his face still flushed.

It is recalled that the bailiff who brought the summons to Balaguer’s residence had it smashed in his face.

At that moment, Balaguer made a long silence. I took the opportunity to state: “It is an act of clumsiness because, in any case, President Leonel Fernández and the prosecutor Guillermo Moreno would have to present evidence.” After pronouncing these words, he excused himself and ordered me to sit down, but not before telling me: “I have never shown such a degree of impoliteness in front of you, but the thing is that all morning I have felt indignant and mistreated. Never, not even in the Era of Trujillo, was I vilified with such calumnies. When in the Public Forum, Trujillo, yes, Trujillo himself, made the mistake of writing some insidious paragraphs about me. When I read them while having breakfast I got so upset that I broke the plate containing the food and immediately got ready and ordered my driver Secundino to go to the newspaper El Caribe, to deliver a letter of protest to the director of the organ Dr. Germán Emilio Ornes Coiscuou , who refused to publish it because he considered its terms too harsh. So I went back home and wrote a second letter with more elevated tones and again went to the Caribbean. When Dr. Ornes Coiscuou was told that the person speaking to him was in his office, he refused to see me. However, I delivered the letter to his secretary with the following message: “If it is not published, I am going to call a press conference with members of the foreign press. Given this fact, the director of El Caribe contacted Trujillo and explained the situation to him, and days later I learned that Trujillo told Ornes Coiscuou: “don’t worry, I’ll take care of solving what happened.” From the aforementioned newspaper I went to the office, in the National Palace, of my best friend Ramón Emilio Jiménez, at the time, secretary of the Presidency, to tell him about the seriousness of my situation and while I was telling him about my indignation at that moment, Trujillo entered the Jiménez’s office, an opportunity I took advantage of to tell him: “President, I owe you everything, except my honor.”

After a long pause, he tells me: “For several months, I had been receiving information that Dr. Guillermo Moreno had traveled to the General Archive of the Nation and one of the archivists belonging to a PLD committee and that he had worked in the Imprenta Félix located on José Reyes street, corner of Mercedes, in the colonial city, assisted him in the search for reports and journalistic articles from the time Orlando Martínez was murdered, with which he put together his “wicked and unhealthy accusation.”

Days after the summons to Balaguer, President Leonel Fernández dismissed Dr. Guillermo Moreno as prosecutor of the National District and gave explanations to Dr. Joaquín Balaguer. From then on, former President Balaguer kept silent on the subject and told his closest friends that “his support for the PLD through the Patriotic Front had a very high price and therefore, in 2000 I will collect it with interest.” .

When the time came for the 2000 elections in which Hipólito Mejía Domínguez and Danilo Medina Sánchez competed for the presidency of the Republic, the former lacked a few votes to pass the 50% barrier plus one vote to be declared the winner, so that a second round was imposed. Balaguer, aware that the PLD had been buying reformist votes for months and given the promise that he would lose that political organization due to the outrage in the Orlando Martínez case, when the members of the PLD Political Committee Danilo Medina Sánchez, Euclides Gutiérrez Félix and Norge Botello , went to visit Balaguer at his residence on Máximo Gómez number twenty-five to ask him to go to a second round, Balaguer replied: “I’m very sorry, but I already congratulated the winner”

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The day Leonel Fernández “put both feet in the same shoe”