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Daily News - 23 December 1998

Presidents of the Americas to visit DR in 1999
President-elect Hugo Chávez of Venezuela will visit the DR 8 and 9 January for preliminary talks with Dominican authorities. President Leonel Fernández himself explained that the Venezuelan president-elect will visit to discuss topics on the new bilateral agenda, such as petroleum matters as part of the Acuerdo de San José. President Fernández said, "Chavez is identified with us, and believes the DR together with Venezuela can play an everyday more active role in the Caribbean zone."
Twenty-four statesman from the Caribbean will visit early next year. They are scheduled to be in Santo Domingo in April for the meeting of the Association of Caribbean States. For that meeting, President Andrés Pastrana of Colombia, President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, then President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Central American chiefs of state and heads of state of the Caribbean have confirmed their visit.

Three Kings Day holiday switched back
Three Kings Day will take place on 6 January as has been traditional. Law 139 of June 1997 established that the holiday would be moved to Monday, 4 January, but the Ministry of Work overrode the decision and established that stores should stay open on the Monday and Tuesday leading to 6 January. The Ministry also establishes that that day will be an off day for workers.

Senate closes with poor track record
As has occurred for years, the new Senate in office since 16 August 1998 left behind several important bills. The Senate is predominantly in the hands of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano that has all but three senators. The senators will not meet again until 27 February 1999.
Among the bills the senators, busy with issuing worthless resolutions and political bickering didn't get around to passing, are the Financial and Monetary Code, the General Electricity Bill, the Water Code and the Environmental Code. Likewise, the Senate chose to ignore the bills related to tariff reform that would reduce import duties and increase the sales tax, or ITBIS. Bills that would favor single mothers and aging persons were also left waiting for the attention of the senators. Upon their return, the senators also have pending the Free Trade Agreement signed with several Central American countries. The Senate neither studied loan contracts with international credit organizations for US$200 million. The funds would be used for education, health, environmental, farming and electricity projects.
The major achievement of the Senate was to approve the National Budget. The incentive to do so was that if they didn't, the Presidency would operate with the 1998 budget and would have millions of extra pesos to use at the discretion of the Executive Branch.

What's happening in Santo Domingo
December is to Dominicans what August is to Europeans... very little work gets done. Indeed there is little news these days because everyone is out shopping, partying or preparing for Christmas and New Year partying. News reports are that Duarte Avenue, Mella Avenue and Conde Peatonal are packed as is the city's largest shopping mall Plaza Central, Americana Departamentos, Ferreteria Haché, Plaza Lama or Juguetón toy stores. You better go at 8 am if you want to find parking in the supermarkets that also are posting record sales. Of course, the city is one bottleneck, but again, 'tis the season to be jolly and you may even come across a Santa Claus directing traffic as occurred on the intersection of Lope de Vega and Roberto Pastoriza, yesterday. On the very positive side, the weather in Santo Domingo is very pleasant, with cool (27C) Christmas time breezes bringing a relief to the hot days of the tropics. Merchants say sales are up, and there is lots of holiday spirit in the air.

Biblical Park
The city government of Santo Domingo is endorsing the construction of the Biblical Park, a project promoted by Father Manuel Ruiz. Visitors to the park will travel through scenes of the Bible from Genesis to the Apocalypsis. The park will feature movie houses, churches, a library, sports areas, exhibition halls, restaurants, an amphitheater, a book store and a hotel. It will be located at Avenida Ecológica, in front of Los Tres Ojos. Father Manuel Ruiz explains that the idea came to him after listening to Pope John Paul II's call to celebrate the 2,000 years of the birth of Jesus. Father Ruiz says that the park calls for an investment of RD$50 million. He has the support of persons related to Disney Work and says that the park as conceived could be built in six months.

Nicolas Eastwick-Field joins Allegro Resort
Nicolas Eastwick-Field, a well known sales and marketing specialist, has been hired by Allegro Resort Corporation as executive vice president of their Hotel Management Company division. He will be responsible for new businesses, as well as strengthening international relations of the company, reported Benny Guevara, the company's chief executive. He has more than 33 years experience working in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. He comes to Allegro from Renaissance where he was senior vice president for development of new products for Renaissance and Ramada International for several years. He knows the DR travel product well for his involvement with the Jaragua Renaissance. Eastwick-Field was born in Cambridge, England and studied hotel management in Lausanne, Switzerland. He resides in Santo Domingo.

Don't miss the Nativity Concert
Do not miss the 1998 Nativity Concert at the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. The Choir of the Cathedral, directed by José E. Delmonte Peguero will delight all with its Christmas music on 25 December, Christmas Day at 8 pm. Attend early, because seats at the Cathedral are limited. The event is sponsored by the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial and admission is free. This year's soloists are Pura L. Tayson Mateo, Rafaela Taveras, Belkys Hernández, Alejandro Sosa and Modesto Acosta Vargas.
The program is as follows:
Fun, fun, fun de navidad (Spanish traditional carol)
Ave Maria (Hector Martínez Cabruja, Dominican Christmas carol)
Venid, pastorcillos (Juan Urteaga)
Dónde váis? (Spanish traditional carol)
Al Niño Dios la Virgen (17th century choir)
Oh, poor little Jesus (Black Spiritual)
A la nanita nana (Norman Luboff)
La Virgen lava pañales (Alice Parker and Robert Shaw)
Miles de pastores pequeñitos (Monsita Ferrer)
Campanas navideñas (Russian Christmas carol)
Cantad al Niño Dios (José Delmonte Peguero, Dominican Christmas carol)
O Tannenbaum (German Christmas carol)
Si al ver en el oriente (Esteban Salas, 18th century)
Adeste Fideles (John Reading)
Sancta María, Mater Dei (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Al mundo paz (Georg Fredrich Haendel)
En el portal de Belén (Ramón Díaz, Dominican Christmas carol)
Jesus, Joy of Man's Desire (Johann Sebastian Bach)
White Christmas (Irving Berlin)
Aleluya (Bienvenido Bustamente)
Cantique de Nouel (French Christmas carol)
Silent Night (Frank Savier Gruber and Joseph Mohr)

December baseball games
This and next week's Dominican Winter Baseball League games are:

Saturday, 26 December
4 pm.Tigres del Licey vs. Leones del Escogido in Santo Domingo
8 pm. Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

4 pm. Sunday, 27 December
Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Leones del Escogido in Santo Domingo
Tigres del Licey vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

8 pm. Monday, 28 December
Leones del Escogido vs. Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo
Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís

8 pm. Tuesday, 29 December
Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Escogido Lions in Santo Domingo
Tigres del Licey vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís

8 pm. Wednesday, 30 December
Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Leones del Escogido in Santo Domingo
Tigres del Licey vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

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