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Dialogue with Candidates 2012: Words of Reception to the Presidential Candidate Hipólito Mejía

Mr. Hipólito Mejía, presidential candidate

Mrs. Ana María Ramos, President of the Board of Regents of INTEC.

Members of the Board of Regents and the Academic Council,
Authorities, professors, students, collaborators of INTEC
Ladies and gentlemen accompanying the presidential candidate
My friends.

About fifty years ago, after a night in May that ended a bloody dictatorship, our country enthusiastically resumed the steep path that leads to democracy. The subsequent journey has not been free of challenges, risks and threats, because if the execution of a tyrant could be the work of a handful of brave men, the construction of a new society is necessarily the task of an entire people.

The search for the democratic ideals of freedom, progress and equity, has been the theme of our time ever since, and the holding of regular elections constitutes the maximum expression of the commitment of Dominicans to those ideals. The act of voting, appreciated in its proper dimension, is a recurrent renewal of faith in the possibility of a better life, and a renunciation, even momentary, of the pessimism that usually inhabits a part of our population.

The event that brings us together this afternoon seeks to be an INTEC contribution to the strengthening of the democratic process and the noble exercise of citizen participation. The activity has not been conceived as a stage for an exhibition of popularity, but as a serene space in which we hope to dialogue with our political leaders on relevant issues.

Put in other words, our intention is to provide a stage for the discussion of proposals, but in the calm sea of ​​academic solemnity. In this way, we are being faithful to our vocation as a university of excellence and to our desire to be, more and more, a beacon of light for Dominican society and a true model for the Dominican higher education system.
In that spirit, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to welcome our guest, the presidential candidate of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, Mr. Hipólito Mejía, whom we thank for the prompt acceptance of our invitation and for reserving a space in his agenda to talk. with our academic community.

Our guest was born in 1941, in the municipality of Gurabo, and carried out his first studies in Santiago de los Caballeros. In 1962 he graduated as an Agronomist from the Loyola Polytechnic Institute and, later, he pursued higher studies at the University of North Carolina, in the United States. Throughout his professional life, he also received a wide variety of training in management, administration and agribusiness.

His resume reveals an admirable sequence of achievements, of which I will only cite a few particularly luminous ones. In 1965, at the age of twenty-four, he was appointed Director of the Tobacco Institute, with the rank of Sub-secretary of State, and in 1978, at the age of 37, he was appointed Secretary of State for Agriculture. From these positions, he sponsored various laws to encourage agribusiness and promoted various programs to promote agricultural technification.

In political terms, Mr. Hipólito Mejía has been a member of the Dominican Revolutionary Party since 1976, initially as a director of the Agricultural Front, and later as vice president of the organization and as a member of its Political Commission. In 1982, he was nominated for Senator for Santiago and in 1990 he was a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the Republic. Finally, during the period 2000-2004 he was Constitutional President of the Republic, a position to which he is currently running as a candidate.

It is in this condition that we welcome you this afternoon, eager to hear your views on topics of interest to us. We hope that his words, like the words of the other candidates who will visit us in the coming days, will help define the way to improve the living conditions of the Dominican men and women, especially those, as the poet would say, " the humble, those of the heap gone out ”.

Mr. Candidate, Mr. Hipólito Mejía, on behalf of INTEC, I once again warmly welcome INTEC, while I politely invite you to occupy the main table that we have reserved for you.