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Daily News - 13 August 1999

Monday is a holiday in the DR, DR1 Daily News to take a break
The DR1 Daily News will not be updated on Monday, 16 August. Monday is a holiday in the DR. Headline news will be compiled and published in the Tuesday, 17 August edition.
The holiday commemorates the 136th anniversary of the restoring of national sovereignty. In 1861, then President Pedro Santana convinced the Queen of Spain to send troops to the DR. He urged the establishment of a political and military protectorate under Spanish domination. The DR had suffered under the domination by Haiti which ended in 1844 when independence was proclaimed. General Santana publicly justified the move by warning of a possible new Haitian invasion. He told Spain that the US wanted to takeover the DR. Historians, nevertheless, say that one of the motives of Santana's request for a military takeover of the island by Spain, was to impede a coup d'etat by adverse political forces. Eventually, in 1865, a group of Dominicans that sought to restore the nation's independence, secured the support of Haitian President Fabre Geffrard who saw the Spanish troops as a threat to Haitian security.
16 August marks the date in 1863 when 14 Dominicans led by Santiago Rodriguez crossed the border from Haiti into Dominican territory and raised the Dominican flag, at Capotillo, signaling the beginning of a new war for independence. This bloody two-year guerrilla war took place in the provinces and resulted in 10,000 casualties for Spain and hundreds of dead Dominicans. The war devastated the economy. Spain abandoned the war when it became apparent that the population wanted independence. All Spanish troops had left by July 25, 1865.
Puerto Plata's international airport bears the name of General Gregorio Luperón, regarded as one of the heroes of the restoration war.

Lila Alburquerque to preside Chamber of Deputies?
Former President Joaquín Balaguer chose Rafaela (Lila) Alburquerque (PRSC-San Pedro de Macorís) to preside the Chamber of Deputies. The actual election of the president of the Chamber of Deputies is scheduled for 16 August. But the leading political parties have voiced their support for whomever Balaguer chooses.
News reports say that Hatuey De Camps objected Balaguer's first choice, Rogelio Genao. Genao is the promoter of the "Balaguer, una vez más por necesidad" campaign that is promoting the candidacy of the 92 year old former statesman for President. Genao is also seen as a supporter of today president of the Chamber of Deputies, PRD dissident Hector Peguero Méndez, an arch-rival of the PRD.
Earlier, PRD presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía had said he would unconditionally accept any candidate chosen by Balaguer. The Listín Diario headlined that Hatuey De Camps was able to override presidential candidate Hipolito Mejia's initial statement that the PRD would accept any candidate proposed by Balaguer.
The PRD hopes to please the former statesman. Political analysts say that the two leading contenders for the 2000 presidency need Balaguer's endorsement to win.
The Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC)-chosen board is as follows: Rafaela Alburquerque, president; Alfonso Fermín Balcácer (Monseñor Nouel), vice president; Miguel Angel Franjul Troncoso (Peravia), vice president and Ambrosina Saviñón (La Romana), secretary.

More buses for city transport
Transport unions are joining forces with the city government of Santo Domingo to purchase 2,000 new buses for the public transport system. The City of Santo Domingo is authorized by Art. 267 of Law 346 to regulate the circulation and parking of vehicles within the limits of the city. The new agreement will set up new routes, signposts, bus repair shops, and stops for the new buses. The buses will be purchased from a Venezuelan company, through Avelino Abreu, a leading automobile import firm. Financial terms of 8 and 9% interest rates, with long term five year financing are making the vehicles attractive to union members. It is expected that the buses will complement the efforts of the Metropolitan Transport Authority and the OMSA. 150 transport unions are part of this effort.

Study shows National Police is obsolete
A study ordered by the Proyecto de Modernización de la Policía Nacional to the Miami-based Consulting Group shows that low morales and salaries, lack of incentives, unkept norms and rules, absence of hiring policies, and internal corruption are key problems affecting the National Police force. The diagnosis shows the National Police is obsolete. The Police lacks modern methods and a community-oriented focus.
A lot of the police's woes can be traced back to the defacto privatization of security forces in the DR. Instead of strengthening the police force, to save money, previous governments allowed the privatization of the force, which has brought about legions of private watchmen. Now the citizenry is looking up to the Police again, as a wave of crime has swept over cities. The government is implementing a RD$150 million plan to revitalize the police. The diagnosis of the present situation, is a start.

Automation of civil registry to take at least two years
The automation of the civil registry in the DR may take another two years. Datocentro has been contracted to digitalize the registrations of Dominicans that are contained in hundreds of books in 155 civil registry offices (Oficinas de Estado Civil) located throughout the country. Maria Dolores Sención de Yaryura, in charge of the Dirección Nacional is optimistic that in two years time, a computerized national archive with personal data may evolve. The archive will have data on births, marriages, divorces and deaths.

Trouble within the city hall
Major Juan Ventura has protested that hierarchy within the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano took advantage that he had traveled to Winnipeg to officially receive the seat of the Pan American Games for Santo Domingo. When he was abroad, sectors within the PRD called for the election of the city government board, electing Rafael Díaz Filpo. Ventura opposes this election.

World Bank finances construction of highways leading to tourism areas
The World Bank will be financing the construction or reconstruction of several roads that are of interest to travelers. A tender is being called for work at the Barahona-Enriquillo (47.25 kilometers); Higuey-Nisibón-Miches (84.6 kms.), Hato Mayor-Sabana de la Mar (43.90); and Jarabacoa-Manabao (19.95 kms.). The deadline for bids is 23 August. For more information, contact the Ministry of Public Works at Tel. 565-2811, Ext. 5162.

Santiago Monument now open to the public
The Santiago Monumento a los Heroes de la Restauración is now open to the general public. An admission fee of RD$10 is being charged. The Monumento is where everyone gathers evenings in Santiago. It is located at the entrance to the city, and features two museums and a long climb to the top from where a panoramic view of Santiago can be seen. Delio Taveras, who is in charge of the monument, said that there are plans for cultural activities on Friday and Sunday evenings.

Dominican Parade in NY
The Dominican Parade in New York will kick off at 40th St and Sixth Avenue (Las Americas Avenue) this Sunday, 15 August. Important business and government figures from Santo Domingo are traveling to New York from within the US and the DR to participate in the event. The president of Presidente Beer, Rafael Menicucci was appointed International Grand Marshall of the parade. Complementing the activity, a grand annual banquet will take place at the Hotel Marriott Marquis of 46th St. and Broadway.

Juana Arrendel will compete in World Track Championships
Dominican high jumper Juana Arrendel will participate in the World Track and Field Championships set for 20 August in Seville, Spain. She is one of the favorites to win a medal. The president of the Dominican Track and Field Federation, Andres Polimar said that the Dominican delegation will also be made up by hurdler Felix Sánchez and middle distance runner Joselín Santa, who classified in the top eight in the Pan Am Games.
Polimar clarified that while testing positive in the drug test, Arrendel has not been suspended by the International Track and Field Federation. President of the Olympic Committee José Joaquín Puello will be traveling to Sevilla, where it he will give a medical talk on why Arrendel tested positive. Arrendel has maintained her innocence.
In Winnipeg she jumped 1.93 meters, two centimeters higher than the 1.91 meters which was enough to win her the gold medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games of Maracaibo, Venezuela. The runner-up silver medalist jumped 1.88. Arrendel is also traveling with her trainer, Russian Natalia Korotaeva.

Higuey to host National Fine Gait Horses Meet
Horse lovers staying in Punta Cana resorts, should take time off this weekend to attend an important equestrian competition. Higuey is half an hour's travel time by car from most Punta Cana hotels. The Dominican Fine Gait Association (Adopaso) is organizing the VI National Circuit of Fine Gait Horses (paso fino) there. Those who win, will represent the DR in the world fine gait championships scheduled for Tampa, Florida. The local equestrian event will be held Saturday, 14 August and Sunday, 15 August at the Los Limones ranch in Higuey. It is sponsored by Brugal Rum. Milton Ginebra, president of Adopaso, said that 200 horses and competitors from all around the country will be participating.

Presidente Beer Summer Games
Presidente Beer is sponsoring what is being called its Summer Games. Sumo fights (with contenders inside inflated balloon sumo costumes), races, roulette, beach volleyball and other games scheduled. There will also be live music with some of the top rock groups, including Al Jadaqui and Toque Profundo, as well as the participation of leading DJs.
The locations were the games will be held are as follows:
22 August: Cabarete, Puerto Plata
5 September: Boca Chica, Santo Domingo

"Aida" at the National Theater
Giuseppe Verdi's opera, "Aida" will go on stage at the National Theater, 25, 27 and 29 August. It is a presentation of the Opera de las Americas group. The performers include Evangelina Colon and Teresa Pérez de Frangie, mezzo soprano Marianne Cornetti, Ondina Matos, Antonio Barasorda and Francisco Casanova, Noel Ramírez, Janusz Monarcha, Frank Lendor, Carlos Alfredo Fatule and Juan Tomás Reyes. The National Choir, National Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Concierto Dominicano are also performing. The National Symphony will be directed by Jan Jozef Wnek. The New Orleans Opera Association is in charge of the stage design, and Malabar Limited, are providing the costumes. This opera is a production by Teresa Pérez de Frangie, Eduardo Villanueva and Luis Carlos López.

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