Several Spanish newspapers are reporting that King Juan Carlos I has arrived in the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic. The former monarch left Spain on Sunday, shortly before an official announcement that he was to go into exile. Several media sources have reported that Juan Carlos left Spain via Portugal.
The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia is now reporting that, during the weekend, Juan Carlos was in the small town of Sanxenxo in the Spanish region of Galicia. From there, the King Emeritus travelled into Portugal to the city of Oporto, the site of a large international airport. Reports state that Juan Carlos later left on a private jet for the Dominican Republic.
The newspaper La Vanguardia claims that sources close to the former monarch has stated that the King is planning to stay for a few weeks at the luxury resort Casa de Campo in the Dominican city of La Romana. The king does not plan to settle permanently on the island. However, El Pais newspaper states that its sources have confirmed that Juan Carlos isn’t in the Dominican Republic.
Reuters has tried to confirm the information on whether the King Emeritus is in the Dominican Republic. The Migration Office in the Dominican capital Santo Domingo said to Reuters that the former monarch’s last trip to the Caribbean country was from February 28 to March 2 2020. The foreign ministry also said it had no information about a possible arrival of Juan Carlos in recent days.
The news-agency AFP is currently on the Dominican Republic. They have received a comment from the Dominican foreign minister who refuses to comment on the claim that the former king is in the country. At the same time, they report increased activity associated with the luxury resort that the king is said to be staying at and increased presence of security guards.
Juan Carlos, who ruled Spain between 1975 and 2014, announced he was leaving the country in a short letter to his son and successor, Felipe VI, published by the Spanish Royal Household on Monday August 3rd 2020. In it, he said his decision had been motivated by ”the best intentions towards Spain”. The move came after months of controversy over his financial affairs. King Juan Carlos is currently being investigated over allegations he hid money that came to him via a rail contract in Swiss bank accounts.
Juan Carlos is widely credited with bringing democracy to Spain when he succeeded as king on the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco. Hugely popular for decades, his legacy has been tarnished in recent years by a string of scandals.