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Daily News - 03 June 1998

CDE privatization process
President Leonel Fernández, in a meeting at the National Palace with the board of directors of the Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad and the Comisión de Reforma de la Empresa Pública, the government committee in charge of the privatization of government enterprises, said that as of July the distribution and marketing of power will be in the hands of private companies. He said the CDE is following the time schedule for its privatization as it was originally designed. He said that the CDE program for the installation of power plants that was recently approved by the new board of directors does not mean that the CDE will be operating the new plants. These will be transferred to the private companies that win the tender as part of the privatization of the CDE.

Sand removed from Puerto Plata public beach
No official explanation has been given for the several trucks and mechanical shovels that extracted hundreds of cubic meters of sand from Long Beach, the public beach of Puerto Plata city. The trucks removed the sand in violation to Decree 2125 of 1972 that declared Long Beach a tourism priority and of national interest its protection. Deputy Minister of Tourism César José de los Santos after visiting the site prohibited further extraction of sand. El Caribe newspaper reported a motorcyclist commenting that the sand was being used by a government contractor.

Air France strike affects DR flights
The pilots' strike that has paralyzed Air France operations affected passengers that had booked Air France flights to Paris yesterday. Strike Flight 698 from Paris was cancelled, affecting several passengers who had traveled to the airport to take the 4:40 pm flight to Paris.

The names of the Santo Domingo International airport
There is a bill in congress that would change the name of the Las Americas International Airport to the Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport. The airport is the nation's principal port of entry for passengers.
A report in El Siglo newspaper gives the history of name changes of the airport. The first airport of Santo Domingo city was the General Andrews International Airport which was located inside the city, where today the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center is. In 1955, Dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered the construction of an airport in the peninsula of Punta Caucedo, several kilometers east of the city on the southeastern coastline. Construction began in 1956 and it entered into service in 1958, although it was formally inaugurated in November 1959. An accident of a cargo airplane near the today Conservatorio Nacional de Musica caused contractors to accelerate the construction and relocation of the airport.
By Decree 5311 of 10 November 1959, on the day the airport was inaugurated, it was named Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Caucedo. Then on 20 November of the same year, the name was changed to Aeropuerto Internacional General Trujillo, in tribute to the dictator. On 25 November, 1961, following the death of the dictator, the airport returned to its first name of Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Caucedo. Pan American World Airways was the first international airline to establish regular flights to Santo Domingo.
President Dr. Joaquin Balaguer changed the name of the airport to Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas by way of Law 389 of 18 December 1968. The highway leading to the airport bears the same name.
On 20 May 1998, the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill whereby the name would be changed to Aeropuerto Internacional Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez in tribute to the Dominican politician who died in May. The bill is expected to be passed by Congress as the PRD has the majority in both houses of Congress. Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez was the leader of the PRD since the 60s and was known for being one of the Dominican politicians with most international contacts.

RD$25,000 million to resolve rain water drainage problems
Santo Domingo Mayor Rafael Suberví Bonilla estimates in RD$25,000 million the cost of resolving the accumulated water that affects traffic in Santo Domingo streets when it rains. Suberví said that the city government cannot afford this investment that will have to be carried out by the central government. He explained that a study carried out by Dominican engineers and a Spanish firm, Ingeniería y Auditoría de Barcelona, and that has the approval of the Interamerican Development Bank and the European Union, estimates that the project can be carried out in 26 years times. It requires the tearing up of the streets of the city to install the new pipelines.
Suberví said that project needs to be favored by all the political parties as it will be carried out through several governments.

Migration issue is main obstacle in DR-Haiti talks
The mass migration of Haitians to the Dominican Republic is the most difficult issue on the agenda for the establishment of a cooperation and assistance program pending for the signing of Presidents Rene García Preval of Haiti and Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic. The statesmen are scheduled to meet 18-19 June in Port-au-Prince. The Listín Diario reported that the Dominican-Haitian committee that is discussing the agreement has met several times and that there is a consensus on aspects related to tourism, environment, customs cooperation, agriculture, phytosanitary issues and many others. But talks are stagnant over the issue of migration. The Listín says that the Haitian authorities want to include a clause whereby for the DR to deport a Haitian a form must be filled out, submitted to the Haitian embassy for their review and approval prior to the deportation.

Who's performing at the Presidente Latin Music Festival
Twelve national artists and international groups will be the stars of the Festival Presidente de Música Latina that opens in Santo Domingo this coming 26 June and will last the weekend.
The stars are Milly Quezada, Fernando Villalona, Los Hermanos Rosario from the Dominican Republic. From abroad, Mexican Alejandro Fernández, Spanish duo Azucar Moreno, Puerto Rican salsa performer Jerry Rivera, Niche group and Carlos Vives from Colombia; Puerto Rican Ricky Martin, the rock group Maná, Juan Gabriel and salsa performer Victor Manuel are also featured on the program. The Festival is a spectacle of music, lights, fire works and choreography. Presidente beer says it holds the festival to thank consumers for their support throughout the years.
The Festival, that is staged at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Stadium, opens on Friday, 26 June at 6 pm with the participation of Puerto Rican Ricky Martin, Fernando Villalona, Spanish duo Azucar Moreno and grupo Niche.
On Saturday, 27 June, at 6 pm, those attending may listen to Alejandro Fernández, Carlos Vives, Jerry Rivera and Milly Quezada.
On Sunday, 28 June at 5 pm, the performance of Grupo Maná, Juan Gabriel, Hermanos Rosario and Victor Manuel.
Tickets are for sale at Codetel telecommunications centers and personal business centers of Banco Popular. They cost RD$150 per person and RD$200 grandstand per night. The doors to the stadium will be open from 3 pm. For security reasons, the organizers will not allow anyone to re-enter the stadium on the same ticket.

Dominican batters having a good year
Bienvenido Rojas, of El Siglo reports that Dominicans batters are having a great season start in Major League baseball. As of 1 June 1998, six Dominicans had double-digit figures in homeruns. These are Alex Rodríguez, with 21, who leads the American League. Others are Samuel Mejía with 15, Raul Mondesí14, Henry Rodríguez 12, Moisés Alou 11 and Manny Ramírez 10. As per runs batted in, Moisés Alou had 49, Samuel Sosa had 44, Raul Mondesí 38, Alex Rodríguez 42.

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