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Daily News - 28 April 1998

Important finding of cave paintings
Researchers of the Museo del Hombre Dominicano, the Dominican museum of anthropology, announced what they describe as "the most extraordinary finding of white pictographs to this date in the Dominican Republic". The director of the museum's Department of Cave Painting Art and Speleology, Jose Gabriel Atiles and French speleologist Alain Gilbert made the findings in the La Cidra cave of the province of Elías Piña and Nalga de Maco National Park. Some 130 black pictographs, with a surprising mastery in their execution and the techniques used, were discovered. The most important finding, though is a white pictography of a Hispaniola Boa, 58 mm at its widest and 26 mm at the narrowest. The other drawings are mostly geometric shapes.

Thousands of children forced to work
A study carried out by the International Labor Organization reveals that 354,000 children, aged 7 to 14 years, are forced to go to work, at the expense of their health, and education. This total is 19.2% of the children of those ages living in the Dominican Republic. Of those that need to work, 124,000 are in the 10-14 age group. Most work in farming activities, or 29.2%, compared 24.9% that labor in stores, street sales and personal services in urban areas.

Politicians gather for release of book by former President of Ecuador
Former President of Ecuador Rodrigo Borja was impressed with the turnout at the placing into circulation of his new book, "Enciclopedia de la Política," carried out in Santo Domingo as part of the International Book Fair of Santo Domingo activities. President Leonel Fernández presided over the event.
Former Dominican Presidents Joaquín Balaguer, leader of the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC) and Juan Bosch, ad vitam leader of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) accompanied him on the presiding table. Hatuey de Camps, secretary of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) represented that party's leader, Dr. Jose Francisco Peña Gómez. Former President of Ecuador Borja said, "... the presence here tonight of the great political leaders of this country is an example for all of Latin America."
He explained that the objective of his book was to enlighten young Latin Americans that began careers in politics. He explained he wrote the book during his travels around the world.

PRSC expels members
The commission of the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano that is in charge of that organization's municipal and congressional election campaign expelled 10 leading PRSC members. The decision was reached without a prior hearing. It was speculated in the press that the party members were helping opposition candidates, against the better interests of the party.
Members expelled include the present director of the National Department of Passports, Annie Felipe de Roquel, and several present deputies, including Miriam Mendez de Piñeyro (Independencia province), José Tatis Gómez (Montecristi province) and Víctor Ortega (Puerto Plata province).
The resolution was signed by Víctor Gómez Bergés, Licelot Marte de Barrios, Katiuska Bobea de Brenes, Ramon Pérez Martínez, Johnny Jones, Miguel Sanz Jiminián and Leopoldo Pérez Sánchez for the PRSC.

President Fernández feels more taxes are needed
President Leonel Fernández agreed with Mexican intellectual Jorge Castañeda who in a gathering at the National Palace commented that Latin American nations need to increase their tax collections so that the states can reduce the poverty levels and reduce the inequalities among citizens. Castañeda, a philosopher and lecturer in the history of economics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and New York University, feels that Latin American tax collection levels should be equivalent to 30% of the Gross Domestic Product. President Fernández said that tax collections in the Dominican Republic are only equivalent to 13-14% of the GDP. Congress has rejected proposals made by the central government to increase tax collections. Castañeda has studied in Princeton and Paris universities and today travels around the world promoting meetings between leading politicians and thinkers of this century. He was in Santo Domingo on occasion of the International Book Fair of Santo Domingo.

U.S.-D.R. trade increases
El Siglo newspaper reported that the Dominican Republic continues to be by far the leading trade partner of the United States in the Caribbean. According to a U.S. government report, the Dominican Republic carried out 44.4% of transactions between the United States and the 22 Caribbean Basin nations. Caribbean Basin trade with the United States reached US$18,579 million in 1997, of which the DR carried out US$8,257 million. Trade between the US and DR grew 22% from 1996 to 1997. Trade in general with the Caribbean grew 14.5%.
Exports to the US from the Caribbean grew from US$8,909 million in 1996 to US$10,426 million in 1997. Dominican exports increased from US$3,183 million in 1996 to US$3,928 million in 1997, or 19%. Imports from the United States increased from US$3,575 million in 1996 to US$4,329 million in 1997, up 17.5%.
The Dominican Republic is the United States' 38th most important trading partner. Principal imports from the US are clothing, electrical appliances and equipment, machinery, vehicles, optical instruments, paper, plastics, wood, food products, shoes. The principal goods the DR exports to the US are tobacco, cigars, sugar, cocoa, and items manufactured at industrial free zone products.
The Caribbean Basin nations are Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Bahamas, Haiti, French Guyana, Netherlands Antilles, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Aruba, Surinam, Guyana, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands, Guadeloupe, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Kitts, Nevis, Dominica, Martinique and Anguilla.

Minister of Sports injured in car accident
Minister of Sports Juan Marichal is recovering from contusions received in a car accident that occurred at 4:45 am on Monday on the Duarte Highway. The cabinet minister was returning from working in Montecristi, on the northwest coast of the Dominican Republic. He and his security guard were sleeping in the vehicle. The chauffeur said he lost control of the car when the hose that leads to the break pump broke. Minister Marichal and other occupants of the vehicle are said to be recovering satisfactorily. They received the first medical care in the public hospital of Villa Altagracia and then were transferred to the Hospital Central de las Fuerzas Armadas in Santo Domingo.

CDE administrator gives his side of impasse at AES Dominican Power
The administrator of the Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad, Radhamés Segura said that he based himself on Law 848, dating to 23 February 1933, that states that it is against the law to interrupt a public service without justified reasons. Reportedly, the company sought to pressure the CDE into finalizing a payment due to services rendered. According to press reports, the CDE had just made a payment of US$50 million towards arrears of US$95 million owed to the AES Dominican Power company, and was about to make another payment of US$25 million towards the debt. Radhamés Segura said that "If we accepted what the AES was doing, which was taking out 220 megawatts from the system, it would bring about a chain reaction which would produce the collapse of the national electricity grid," he said. Segura ordered the militarization of the power plant park that is located in Los Minas. on Friday to pressure for the payment. The impasse, with the military intervention, was resolved half an hour after. Segura said that in addition to technical reasons, to pressure for the payment, there are other reasons, which he did not specify. "I have said that, and I leave that to the interpretation of you. In criminology when a dead person is found, the first suspects are those that would benefit from the death," said Segura. Press commentators speculate that the company's pulling of the plug sought to harm the present government in its aspirations to win more seats in Congress. Elections are scheduled for 16 May. The improvement of the energy service is seen as crucial to the convincing of Dominicans to vote for the PLD candidates.

National Theater to stage winners of Van Cliburn contest
On Wednesday, 29 April, some 2,000 persons will be able to enjoy the exquisite interpretations by the three performers that won the International Van Cliburn 1997 contest, one of the most prestigious in the world. The piano virtuosos will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra directed by José Antonio Molina, Carlos Piantini and Julio de Windt. The soloists are Aviram Reichert, bronze medalist; Yakov Kasman, silver medalist; and Jon Nakamatsu, gold medalist. The presentation is promoted by the Fundación Sinfonía and sponsored by E. León Jimenes. The piano players will perform: Edvard Grieg, Concert for piano and Orchestra in La Minor, Op. 16; Sergei Prokofiev, Concert for piano and orchestra in Sol Minor, Op. 16; and Sergei Rachmaninov, Concert for piano and orchestra No. 3 in Re Minor, Op. 30.
The performance will begin at 8:30 pm at the National Theater, Plaza de la Cultura. For information on tickets: Sinfonía, Tel. 533-1724 or the National Theater at Tel. 682-8555.

International Book Fair of Santo Domingo
International Book Fair of Santo Domingo continues on the grounds of the National Music Conservatory. Folklore, shows, book presentations, children's activities and over 500 booths promoting reading. 9:30 am to 10:30 pm. Free admission.
The Tuesday schedule of events is as follows:
9:30 am
Presentation of the plays by Roberto Salcedo (a comedian-TV producer who is running for mayor of Santo Domingo), "Por qué dudan del seminarista?" and "Un intruso en el Cielo." Sala Juan Francisco García.
11 am
Presentation of the book, "Viaje sin destino," by Manolo Mejía Avalo. Sala Manuel Simó.
6 pm.
Presentation of the books "Palabra presente," by Alejandro Santana and "La justicia de Santo Domingo del siglo XVI" by Americo Moreta Castillo. Sala Juan Francisco García.
Conference by Dr. Jorge Castañón (Mexico), director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica, on Octavio Paz. Sala Alberto Baeza Flores.
6:30 pm.
Grupo Viñay, Ecuador, sponsored by the Embassy of Ecuador at the Explanada de Espectáculos.
7 pm.
Presentation of the book, "La presencia negra en la cultura dominicana" by Carlos Andújar Percival, Sala Alberto Baeza Flores.
7:30 pm
Presentation of the Spanish folklore dance group of the Casa de España. Spanish pavilion.
8 pm
Conference by Argentinian author, Abel Posse on politics, culture and literature in the Americas.
8:30 pm
Documentaries by Rene Fortunato. Sala Alberto Baeza Flores
9 pm
Performance of the Contemporary Dance Ballet Group from Cuba, "El pez de la torre nada en el asfalto."

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