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Daily News - 16 July 1998

Integrating city governments with tourism industry
The Ministry of Tourism, the Dominican Municipal League and the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants seek to integrate the cities with the tourism development zones. The effort begins with a seminar to be held 24-26 July in Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata. Experts from the World Tourism Organization, and Spanish tourism experts will be attending. Spanish experts that will be attending include Antonio Cid, from Torremolinos, Manuel Marchena, from Sevilla, and Manuel Iglesias, Huelva.
Felix Jiménez, Minister of Tourism, Julio Mariñez, head of the Dominican Municipal League, and Arturo Villanueva, vice president of Asonahores, the hotel association made the announcement of the agreement to work together. The 19 municipalities range from Montecristi to Barahona, and the mountain areas of Jarabacoa, Constanza, San Jose de las Matas and other beach and large cities that receive large inflows of visitors.

Parking building to cost RD$124 million
The Listín Diario reports that the parking building planned to be built in back of the Police headquarters of Leopoldo Navarro Avenue will be eight levels tall and have capacity for 1,515 vehicles. It will be built in an area of 45,000 square meters. The company that won the contest was Mapek S.A. The government has budgeted RD$124 million for the project. The project also contemplates the construction of a heliport on the roof with capacity for two helicopters. The parking building will bring relief to the government offices zone where after 8 am it is almost impossible to find a parking space.

JCE gives political parties through 16 August to present statements
None of the political parties that participated in the 16 May congressional and municipal elections, that were financed by tax payers money, have presented the statements of the use of the funds. The president of the Junta Central Electoral, Dr. Juan Sully Bonelly said that if the parties do not comply by 16 August the parties will be penalized as established by the Electoral Law.

US AID administrator praises DR government
The administrator for the Agency for International Development (AID) of the U.S. Government for Latin America and the Caribbean Mark Schneider said in Santo Domingo during a visit to President Leonel Fernández that the Government of Bill Clinton has offered to assist the Dominican government in its efforts to reform and modernize the state. Schneider congratulated the Dominican President for the free trade agreement signed with Central America and for hosting the Caribbean Heads of State Summit in Santo Domingo this coming August. He also praised the government for the high economic growth rates while maintaining a low inflation. Schneider is in the Dominican Republic to attend a meeting of Ministers of Labor of Central America that is programmed for this week in Puerto Plata.

Update on Castro's visit to DR
The President of Cuba, Fidel Castro will be in Santo Domingo as of 20 August to participate in a Caribbean heads of state summit. During the visit he will also formally inaugurate the Cuban Embassy in the DR and visit several towns in the interior, as per his busy agenda for the trip. He will remain in the DR for a couple of days more after the Caricom meetings conclude on 22 August. Secretary of the Presidency Danilo Medina did not confirm if Castro would visit the provinces of Peravia or Montecristi. Montecristi is home of Generalísimo Máximo Gómez, the Dominican who fought for the independence of Cuba from Spain.

Castro used DR as training ground
Angela Peña, an investigative reporter that writes for Hoy newspaper, continued publishing information that confirms that Fidel Castro used the DR as training ground to prepare the guerrilla troops that would help him gain power in Cuba. Retired military interviewed, that preferred to remain anonymous in order to preserve the "mystique of the corps", say that Dictator Trujillo allowed Fidel Castro to train troops here between 1956 and 1959. Once he reached power, Castro became a strong opponent to Trujillo, who at the end backed Cuban Dictator Batista against Castro. Training took place at the Itabo, Haina, the Centro de los Héroes and military infantry center that was located where today the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña university stands. Among the instructors participating in the training were today General Enrique Pérez y Pérez and César Augusto Cocco Recio. The military even explained that after reaching power in 1959, Castro came on board a ship to Montecristi, on the northwestern coast, to sign a non-aggression pact with Trujillo.

DR to request exclusion of beer from regional trade agreement
The president of the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, engineer Rafael Menicucci requested that beer be included in the list of products to be exempted from free trade provisions with Central America. He explained that while Presidente beer is competing successfully in the U.S. territory, to the point it is the seventh largest sales of imported beer, in the short range it will not be able to be sold in Central America. He explained unscrupulous businessmen have registered the brand name there. While the company will contest this, this will delay the sale of Presidente in Central America. He also explained that production costs in Central America are less than those in the DR due to the fact that imported inputs used to manufacture beer there pay less import duties.
Menicucci is concerned that Central American beers will get a head start penetrating the DR market at a time when the leading Dominican brand will not be able to be sold in Central America.

Night time tours of Colonial City
The Centro Cultural Hispánico is fostering once a month night-time guided tours of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo. The Spanish government supported cultural center is organizing the tours that will be held on the third Tuesday of every month. Each tour will cover a different route. This month's tour will take a group to visit the Colegio Dominicano de Artistas, the Casa de Teatro, ending at the Restaurant La Briciola. Tickets are RD$25 and can be purchased at the Centro Cultural Hispánico. The group travels on board a trolley.

French mime stars on 28 July at National Theater
The famous French mime 75-year old Marcel Marceau and his Mime-Drama Company of Paris will perform at the National Theater of Santo Domingo 28 July and 29 July at the Cibao Theater in Santiago de los Caballeros. Tickets are for sale for RD$1,000 orchestra and RD$500 balcony.

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