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Daily News - 17 September 1999

President Fernández to go on 12-day international tour
President Leonel Fernández is scheduled to start a 12-day international tour to Washington,D.C., New York, San Francisco, California, St. Louis, Missouri and Taipei, Taiwan. The tour is described as having social, political and economic importance for the country. President Fernández will leave 22 September and return 4 October.
Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre released the following agenda of the statesman and his committee:
22 September, Washington,D.C.
Visit to the US Congress to lobby for the passing of the Caribbean Basin Enhancement Bill. The bill would include provisions so that apparel assembly plants and other local industries can compete with Mexico, that is a signatory of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The bill has the support of Central America. Central American presidents will also be in Washington, D.C. at the time to lobby for the bill. The DR is in a worse competitive position than Central American apparel producers, because these can import cheaper Asian materials, thus reducing costs. The DR is limited to using the higher priced US textiles in its apparel production lines. Producers fear they will continue to lose contracts due to the resulting higher production costs.
In Washington, President Fernández will meet with the Interamerican Dialogue members to discuss regional topics. He is also scheduled to meet with the president of the Interamerican Development Bank, Enrique Iglesias, who will host a dinner attended by ambassadors, international organization leaders and political and economic figures based in Washington,D.C..
Also on his Washington agenda is a meeting with the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States.
23 September, New York City
President Fernández will travel to New York City to speak at the United Nations General Assembly. President Leonel Fernández will address statesmen and foreign ministers on 23 September during the 54th General Assembly of the United Nations. He will address issues he considers crucial for humanity in the next millennium, specifically the role the UN will play to reduce the gap between wealthy and poor countries.
In New York he will offer a reception in honor of the representatives of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific nations signatories of Lomé Convention. Santo Domingo will host the II ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government in November 1999.
24 September, Boston
President Fernández will travel to the University of Harvard, in Boston, where he will be recognized for his government's efforts to strengthen Dominican democracy, intercultural relations as well as his regional leadership. He will receive the Harvard Foundation Award.
25 September, Taipei, Taiwan
He will travel to Taiwan to sign agreements and cooperation projects in education, environment and health. In Taipei he will meet with President Lee Teng-hui and other high ranking officers. The object of the meeting is to present the DR as an excellent place for investment, emphasizing high tech industries. President Fernández will visit the Hshinsu Industrial Scientific Park and the Industrial Technology Research Institute. Fernández envisions setting up a high-tech industrial park in the DR.
29 September, San Francisco, California
Meetings are scheduled with executives of high tech US firms, most located in the Silicon Valley. President Fernández will present investment opportunities in the DR.
He will be honored at the Candlestick Stadium, home of the San Francisco Giants. This will take place during the last game held at the historic stadium that will soon be demolished.
The event is organized by Manuel Mota, coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and players Raúl Mondesí, Adrián Beltré, José Vizcaíno, and Robinson Pérez Checo.
2 October, St. Louis, Missouri
President Fernández will be present at the last game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. His presence is a token of solidarity on behalf of Dominicans to Sammy Sosa, who has written baseball history.
Members of the presidential committee are:
Eduardo Latorre, Minister of Foreign Relations; Temístocles Montás, Technical Secretary of the Presidency; Luis Manuel Bonetti, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Ligia Amada Melo, Minister of Education; Amílcar Romero, Minister of Agriculture; Juan Marichal, Minister of Sports; Vicente Bengoa, Superintendent of Banks. Also Eddy Martínez, executive director of the Office for the Promotion of Foreign Investment; Miguel Rosado, rector of the state university; and Gabriel Castro, director of the National Council of Free Zones.
Businessmen that will be accompanying the President are Manuel Arturo Pellerano, Manuel Enrique Tavares, Aníbal de Castro, Manuel Alejandro Grullón, Ramón Báez Figueroa, Rafael Rivas, Andrés Dauhajre, Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado, Rafael Toribio, Gustavo Rojas, Felix García, Fernando Capellán, Luis M. Pellerano, José Clase, Angel Rosario and Arturo Peguero.
The presidential team is made up by General Hernán Disla, chief of the Corps of Military Assistants; Adriano Miguel Tejada, Press Secretary; Darcio Andújar, special assistant; Danilo Pérez, personal secretary; Natasha Despotovic, assistant to the president; and Ana Martínez, special assistant to the Minister of Foreign Relations.

Police arrests two suspects of bloody assault
The National Police says it has leads to find the three men who killed two Remesas Vimenca (Western Union agency) and injured another two while getting away with RD$3 million pesos (this sum includes US$72,000).
The Police said it raided a home in the east end of the city finding US$3,000, and four money bags that were stolen from the Vimenca transport vehicle. They also found weapons that supposedly were used in the assault.
The Police urges anyone who knows the whereabouts of the assassins to contact the Police by calling the homicide hot line 689-9878 and 685-3532.
The police suspects the assailants are part of the group of 18 that escaped in March from the La Victoria jail. While two leaders of the so-called Banda de Murdo have been gunned down by the Police, they now suspect that Alberto Gutiérrez Cruz, alias "Guelo", is the leader of the assailant group. The group is suspect of several assaults in Mirador Sur, Arroyo Hondo, Los Prados, Naco, Gazcue, El Eden and Residencial Independencia and east side middle class neighborhoods.

Bank rates drop 10 points in three months
The Listín Diario reports that interest rates have dropped 10 points in the past three months due to the excess of liquidity in the financial system. At the start of the year, banks were lending money to their preferential clients at 24%. Banks are now paying 11-12% for deposits and lending out money at 15-16% to their preferential clients. Andrés Aybar, president of the Banco Mercantil and the American Chamber of Commerce said that the gap between the interest rates paid for pesos and dollars is narrowing. money they are lending to preferential lclients at 15-16%.

Two Dominican consuls in Haiti suspended
The Ministry of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre confirmed that two Dominican consuls based in Haiti have been suspended. He said Wenceslao Guerrero Pou and Dominican ambassador in Haiti, Silvio Herasme Peña carried out an investigation that led to suspension of consul Rachel Montes Gómez, based in Juana Minthe, and José Montás, based in Cap Haitien. Both consuls had been appointed by this administration in 1996. The investigation confirmed the consuls had issued more visas than they were authorized to. Press reports denounced that the consuls were charging for the visas. The report was sent to President Leonel Fernández.

Floyd affects Dominicans in NY
Hoy newspaper carries a story commenting on how surprised Dominican New York immigrants where when Hurricane Floyd knocked on their doors. The Dominicans thought they would never see a hurricane again when they moved to New York. Hurricane Floyd caused downing of trees, overflowing of rivers, broken windows, flooding of homes and sent numerous objects flying all over in New York on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

30 year problem cannot be solved by magic
President of AES Distribuidora del Este, Karl Huber defended the maintenance program carried out by the company. He said, "We are not magicians and it would be impossible to correct a problem in 30 years from the night to the morning."
The increase in the cost of power and the numerous blackouts have irritated Dominicans. There is concern that the private power companies are trying to compensate for the 400,000 users that do not pay for the service by increasing the bills of those that do pay for the service. Furthermore, the repeated blackouts continue to damage electrical and electronic appliances.
Rhadamés Segura, administrator of the Dominican Electricity Corporation, which is the intermediary between companies that generate power, and the distributors, denied that the blackouts are due to deficit in production. He said the CDE has on line more power today than in July. The private companies, AES and Unión Fenosa, took control of distribution on 5 August and 13 August respectively. As of those dates, blackouts of 10-15 hours a day have become common again in the DR.

DR to match Cuba in soccer on Sunday
The Dominican Republic will match Cuba this weekend, seeking a spot in the Sydney, Australia Olympic Games. The first game will take place this Sunday, 19 September at 3 pm at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Stadium. The second game is scheduled for 17 October in the Parque Sixto Marrero of La Habana, Cuba. The DR won the right to match Cuba by defeating Haiti. It was the first time the DR defeated Haiti.

Calendar of upcoming activities
Handicraft fair coming up this week
Feriarte 99 will be held 16-19 September at the Hotel Embajador. Feriarte, in its ninth year, is the leading handicraft fair held in the DR. It is organized by the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce. The fair is an exhibition of Dominican crafts where those attending can purchase items at attractive prices.
National Theater Drama Season continues this weekend
The National Theater's drama season resumes this weekend, 15-19 September with the presentation of the play, "Bachata para María Viveza." This play will last through 26 September.
Radhamés Polanco wrote and directs this play that was chosen "best drama" by Casa de Teatro in 1997.
The action takes place primarily in a brothel. Actors play the role of eight Dominican stereotypes.
The play will also be shown 22-26 September at 10 am and 8:30 pm at the Sala Ravelo.
Starring roles are played by Laura Guzmán (María Viveza), Henry Mercedes (Pedro Baile), Ramón Matrille (Deputy Medina Rubirosa), Clara Luz Lozano (Maria Paulino), and Doris Sánchez (Rosa Velorio). The play is produced by Mariela Freundt.
The National Theater's drama season continues with: "Creonte" from 1 October to 7 November; "La Trinitaria Blanca," from 12 November to 5 December and "Chicken Cordon Blue," from 14 January to 6 February.
National Symphony Orchestra season continues
National Theater presents, Symphony Season 1999.
Tickets: RD$150-RD$120 for sale at the National Theater.
22 September 1999
Piero Gamba, conductor
Erling Bentsson, cello solo
Works by:
McMussorgsky: A Night at Monte Calvo
P. I. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra.
A. Dvorak: B. Symphony No. 9 (New World)
29 September 1999
Fernando Geraldes, conductor
Zvezdana de Tabar, violin solo
Franz Ureña Rib, viola solo
Participation of the National Choir
Works by:
Mc Luna: Tres Preludios para Cuerdas
J.S. Bach: Cantata No. 172 for choir and orchestra
W. A. Mozart: Concert Symphony for violin, viola and orchestra K364
I. Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
6 October 1999
Alejandro Posada Gomez, conductor
Works by:
A. Mejia: Pequeña Suite, Aires Sinfónicos Colombianos
L. U. Bueno: El Cucarrón (Pasillo)
M. A. Martin: Carmentea (Joropo).
G. P. Alvarez: Mi Buenaventura (Currulao)
H. L. Bermudez: Prende la Vela (Mapale)
L.V. Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
CTO annual conference in Santo Domingo
Final organization works are taking place for the celebration in Santo Domingo of the Caribbean Tourism Organizations 23rd annual Caribbean Tourism Conference. The event will be held 23-25 September at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino of Santo Domingo. President Leonel Fernández is expected to address the delegates at the opening session. Chris Mottershead, managing director of Airtours Holidays, a leading UK tour operator, will be the keynote speaker. Workshop topics include:
Tourism marketing in the new millennium;
Cruising into the 21st century: Trends, forecasts and implications for Caribbean destinations.
Developments in the Caribbean time-share industry;
E-commerce: How to buy and sell on the information highway
Health, safety and security expectations of the visitor: Is the Caribbean ready?
Charting a new course for tourism education and training.
For more information, see the Caribbean Tourism Organization web page at www.caribtourism.com

Tribute to bolero music in October
"Con la Magia del Bolero...100 Años Despues" will be an evening dedicated to romance at the stages of the Teatro Lafiesta in Santo Domingo (Friday, 1 October) and Centro Español in Santiago (Saturday, 2 October). Romantic boleros will be staged by legends such as Lucho Gatica, Olga Guillot, Lope Balaguer, Anthony Ríos and Francis Santana.

Expo Europa set for October
More than 130 Dominican and foreign companies will participate in the Vth Expo Europa '99 exhibition, sponsored by the Federation of European Chambers of Commerce of the DR and the Office for the Promotion of Foreign Investment (OPI). The event will take place at the convention center of the Hotel Dominican Fiesta from 7-10 October.

Iberoamerican Theater Festival starts 11 October
The National Theater is announcing the Second International Iberoamerican Theater Festival. The festival was first held in 1997. This time, Dominican works will be included in the program of plays to be presented. Dominican plays that will be shown are "Amanda," "Quijote," and "Wish-ky Sour."
The festival is a series of theatrical presentations, forums and workshops on theater. The activities will take place at the Eduardo Brito and Ravelo halls of the Teatro Nacional, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Museo de Historía y Geografía, Paraboloide del Museo de Arte Moderno and the Museo de Historia Nacional through 24 October.
The event has become a place for the encounter of leading playwrights from Ibero America. Participants are coming from Spain, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Argentina.

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