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Daily News - 6 April 1998

Books, books, and books
Five hundred ten exhibitors will participate in the First International Book Fair of Santo Domingo that opens at the Plaza del Conservatorio on Thursday, 23 April. The book fair is the same national book fair now gone international, thus the new record of exhibitors. In 1997, 240 exhibitors attended. This year, exhibitors are coming from 19 countries. Some 103 foreign publishing houses have registered. The largest foreign delegation is from Spain, where the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura of the Spanish government is cosponsoring a pavilion with 30 Spanish publishing houses. Participants are also coming from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, the United States, Canada, Israel, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Taiwan, Germany, Japan, Haiti and Argentina.
Also registered are 85 Dominican book stores, 15 children book stores, four Dominican publishing houses, 11 international organizations, 24 non-governmental organizations, 25 Dominican government organizations, 12 local universities, 12 cultural foundations, 99 authors, 12 religious organizations, five computer-related stores, six Dominican newspapers, two educational video companies, two professional associations, six banks and 14 other businesses.
In the magazine section of the fair, some 30 exhibitors have registered. Also, some 25 painters, sculptors and drawers in the plastic arts section; 14 Dominican cookbook authors will be participating in the cooking book section, 11 authors in the decoration section, and 25 writers in the women's book stand.

Widow of Majluta passes away
Ana Elisa Villanueva, the widow of Jacobo Majluta, the Vice President who turned President when President Antonio Guzman passed away 43 days before handing over the presidency to President Salvador Jorge Blanco in 1982, died on 6 April. She had been ill for several months. She was known for her efforts in favor of indigent children, especially through the Consejo Nacional de la Niñez (Conani) that she co-founded with First Lady Renee Klang de Guzmán. She was buried in the Cemeterio Cristo Redentor on 7 April 1998. She is survived by her daughter Consuela Elena and brothers Fernando, Maria and Sonia. Her husband died on 2 July 1997 of lung cancer.

Colmado owners can't get their message across
Owners of colmados and federations representing colmado owners are threatening to strike on 21 April and 22 April in an attempt to call attention to their plight. They are suffering from what they describe as unfair competition from the government itself. The government is implementing an Inespre food program called "Alimentos para Todos" whereby it has set up low cost food stalls near the colmados themselves and has some 400 mobile units roaming the city selling low cost produce. The government has agreed to stop the program but not until after the 16 May elections.

Peña Gómez is recovering
Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez, the candidate to mayor and leader of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, the political party with the most followers in the DR as per the 1996 presidential election, is not suffering from metastasis. Peña Gómez suffers from pancreatic cancer but has said it is in remission. When he delayed in recovering from a pharyngitis, and traveled to New York City for medical check up in the midst of the campaign for mayor, it was speculated that he was dying. His personal physician Rafael Lantigua reported that Peña Gómez had gained four pounds in his first three days of being hospitalized and that he was recovering. He was interned at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Friday, 4 April. Lantigua said he no longer has the fever and that the infection in his throat is gone. Lantigua said that studies carried out discard that the cancer has mestatasized. He said that Peña Gómez would be back next week in Santo Domingo.

Cristina apologizes to Dominicans and asks to put aside the controversy
Cristina Saralegui Enterprises, Inc. published full page advertisement-apologies in several daily newspapers in response to Dominican criticism to her talk show. The producer of the No. 1 rated Hispanic talk show is mainly accused of inviting more than a normal share of sordid Dominican candidates to her talk shows. She has replied that the Dominicans are very expressive and has increased the ratings of her show. A recent expose by Dominican investigative talk show revealed that while the Dominican talent bank was larger as many Dominicans were attracted by the offer of a free trip to Miami with all expenses paid and many times compensations for taking time off from work. The accusations, indeed, received a new twist when Dominican TV investigative talk show, Nuria Piera, revealed that several of the Dominicans presented on the TV show were not who they said they were and were instead impersonating characters.
Once this was revealed the local TV channel that showed the programs accepted to change the show time to 10 pm up from 5 pm, and the Cuban-born former editor of Cosmopolitan, went through the expense of publishing several advertisements in local newspapers although she would not admit her guilt in allowing the impersonators on her show. "Logically it is always possible to lie even when the person be who he is and deceive the most careful of production teams," was as far as she went to acknowledge her fault. She stood behind her team saying that no one on her team knew the guests were impersonations.

Dominican TV host Nuria says that while it was possible that Cristina herself was not aware, there were strange things going on if her production team was not aware. In an interview for El Siglo newspaper's show business supplement, Nuria said that it is strange especially in the case of a woman who appeared on the show in November and then was back with makeup job by Cristina's production team and a wig in February. Nuria said that Cristina has yet to show the documentation that she says she has that would prove that the stories on her talk show are real and not fake drama as demonstrated by Nuria's TV show.
After meeting with a group of Dominicans in Miami, last week Cristina promised Consul General Javier González that she would take special care to investigate the stories before airing them on television. Cristina apologized to Dominicans and said it was not convenient for any of the parts that the controversy continue. The consul general favored that the issue end there.


Alcohol sales banned in beaches
The Civil Defense prohibited liquor companies from installing alcoholic beverage sales booths in resort areas as well as on main highways and roads. The Red Cross has enlisted 3,000 volunteers to staff the 95 aide stations throughout the country. The measures are part of preventive measures to reduce accidents during the upcoming Thursday-Sunday Easter long weekend, the peak for domestic travel. Highways are congestioned because Dominicans take advantage of the weekend, the only one in the year when shops close down, to travel to their home towns and others to visit the vacation spots.
The Civil Defense also announced that it has banned bathers from the beaches of Los Gringos, Linda, Manresa, Güibia, La Playita de Hato Nuevo in the Distrito Nacional; Villas del Mar, La del Muerto, Marota, Playa Hawaii in San Pedro de Macorís; Plaza Poza del Castillo on the Malecon of Puerto Plata, El Canal in La Bombita in Sosua, La Hilera in Cabarete, Playa del Canal, La Bonita and La Hilera in Puerto Plata.
In Azua, Playa Cambey and Las Charcas were closed. In Barahona, bathers should stay away from Los Patos, Saladilla, Acapulco, Palito Seco and San Rafael. In San Cristóbal, San José beach is off limits. In the mountain area of La Vega (Jarabacoa), travelers are banned from La Confluencia, de la Poza, Baiguate, Salto de Jimenoa, Presa de Hatillo, El Vivero, and Trifurcación. Other areas off limits in the East are El Palo de la Garza, El Badén, Río Colorado, Boca Catalina and Tres Aguas.

Records retained for students that have not paid
The rector of the Universidad Eugenio Maria de Hostos (Uniremhos), Dionicio Soldevilla said that the university, that was closed earlier this year by the government for irregularities, has withheld the records of some 90 foreign students that have bills pending with the school. Students were not able to complete the school term, but the university is demanding the full payment of the balance that would have remained had they completed the class period. Students need these records in order to register with other universities to complete their medical studies. Dionisio Soldevilla, rector of the university, said that the university is owed a million pesos by the students. He said they have released to Cones the records of 606 students, including 46 graduates.

DR to ministerial meeting in Trinidad
Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre traveled to Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago on 6 April for a meeting with the foreign relations ministers of Caribbean Community (Caricom) nations and Haiti, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The meeting is in preparation of the summit of chiefs of state of the Americas to be held in Chile later this month. Reportedly, the ministers will discuss trade, investment, strengthening of democracy. On the Dominican agenda to discuss with Albright is the repatriation of criminals from the U.S., textile parity, and drug trafficking. Latorre traveled to Trinidad with Bernardo Vega, Dominican ambassador to the United States. On 7 April, Latorre will travel to Cuba for the opening of the Dominican consulate in Havana.

The best and worst in politics
The Demos 97 study on political perceptions of Dominicans (La cultura política dominicana: entre el paternalismo y la participación) showed that the political happening that received the highest degree of approval by Dominicans (67.5%) was the win of President Antonio Guzmán, candidate for the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) over 12-year President Joaquín Balaguer in 1978. Ironically, the second most approved political happening (53.2%) was the return of Joaquín Balaguer to power in 1986, after eight years of PRD governments.
The most rejected political happenings were the street riots in 1984 when the President Salvador Jorge Blanco (PRD) government imposed an economic austerity program recommended by the International Monetary Fund (71.2%) and the invasion by U.S. troops in 1965 to impede the returning to power of democratically-elected President Juan Bosch, who was regarded as a leftist (66.3%).
The study was carried out by sociologists Isis Duarte, Ramonina Brea and Ramón Tejada Holguín of the Proyecto para el Apoyo a Iniciativas Democráticas of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, and was funded by the U.S. government Agency for International Development.

Ramón Martínez almost pitches a no-hitter
Pedro Martínez's brother had an almost perfect day in his first appearance in Major League baseball season. Ramón Martínez of the Los Angeles Dodgers reached the eighth inning without a single hit. Eddie Taubenense ruined his chance at a no-hitter. Martínez had thrown a no-hitter in a game with the Marlins last year. Martínez's team mate, fellow Dominican Raúl Mondesí batted the homerun that decided the game against the Cincinatti Reds, 1-0.

Placas are a must
The Police confiscated vehicles of more than 700 drivers that had not renewed their permission to transit, or "placas." The deadline to secure the placas was 31 March. It takes five minutes to renew the transit permission.

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