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Daily News - 29 November 1999

DR is spokesman before WTO for developing world
The Dominican Republic is the spokescountry for the unified grouping of African, Caribbean and Pacific states before the II World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (www.wto.org) that opens in Seattle, USA 30 November. The position of the ACP governments for "globalization with a human face" also has the support of Latin America and Eastern Europe. The four day conference ends 3 December.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Luis Manuel Bonetti heads the delegation. Other members are Minister of Agriculture Amilcar Romero; Technical Secretary of the Presidency, Juan Temístocles Montás. Likewise, Osmar Benitez, agriculture advisor to the Executive Branch; Luis Manuel Piantini, vice governor of the Central Bank; Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations Frederic Emam-Zade and president of the National Commission of Trade Negotiations (CNNC); Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Miguel Angel Heredia. Also Deputy Miniter of Agriculture Juan José Espinal; Magdalena Lizardo of the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency; Executive Branch judicial deputy advisor, Margarita Cedeño; Federico Cuello, WTO ambassador based in Geneva, Swtizerland. Martiza Amalia Guerrero, technical ambssador in charge of WTO at the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Ruth Lockward, of the Executive Branch press department.
The ACP nations seek that Europe fulfill commitments made during the Uruguay talks. Much of this focuses on the subsidies Europe provides to its farmers. They also support the United Nations proposal for "globalization with a human face." http://www.undp.org/hdro/99.htm
During the II ACP Summit held in Santo Domingo, President Fernández expressed that the ACP nations seek non-reciprocal trade for a limited time (2010), and measures to help developing nations insert their products in international markets. President Leonel Fernández, who is president of the ACP group of states, asked for a waiver before the WTO so that the European Union can continue or renovate their cooperation. "We need a vision of development that would ensure the special and differentiated treatment that our disimilar economies merit," said the President referring to the differences between developed and developing countries.

President Fernández hosts President Preval for lunch at National Palace
President Rene Preval of Haiti and President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic met for lunch for an hour and a half on Saturday. President Preval was in the DR for the II African, Caribbean and Pacific Summit that concluded on Saturday. He had already shared President Fernández's table at other activities during the summit. At the end of the meeting, a press note was released by the National Palace announcing a Wednesday meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Dominican Republic of the ministers of foreign relations of both countries and directors of the departments of migration. The director of Migration of Haiti recently did not show up at a meeting Minister of Foreign Relations of Haiti Fritz Longchamps had requested. In the press note, Haiti recognizes the right of the DR to carry out deportations of undocumented Haitians. Deportations are suspended, nevertheless.
In addition to the ministers of foreign relations, also present at the luncheon were Haitian ambassador Guy Lamothe; the coordinator for the Lomé program in the DR, Max Puig; Minister of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Manuel de Jesús Florentino; Secretary of the Presidency Alejandrina Germán; and the directors of migration of both countries.
Upon being interviewed prior to departing from the DR, President Rene Preval said that migration of Haitians to the DR would only stop when living conditions in Haiti. He feels the help of the international community is necessary for this.
The political, social and economic crisis that is by now normal in Haiti has impeded that country from getting its act together and moving on to development. For Haiti, the migration of thousands of its illiterate poor is essential to resolving its national problems and social pressure.
For the DR, the migration is a heavy burden on already precarious health, education and environmental services. A recent United Nations study shows there is only 1% of forests left in Haiti. Dominican environmental groups have alerted Haiti is accepting to be the depository of toxic wastes from developed countries. Likewise, birth control is not part of the Haitian culture.
The international community had promised millions in aid would flow in following the 1995 military intervention of Haiti to restore Jean Bertrand Aristide carried out at a time hundreds of Haitians were traveling by boat to attempt entering the US. This aid never materialized as promised. And as a result of the embargo forced on Haiti to restore Aristide, that nation losts hundreds of jobs in free zone industries. To this day, political and cultural problems within Haiti, continue to be its major obstacle to progress.
Today, while migration to the US has considerably been reduced by US coast guard efforts, migration to the DR is now up as there are less opportunities within Haiti. Realistically speaking, there is no way the DR can stop Haitian migration across the about 300-kilometer border. Nor can it manage the logistics and cost of deporting those already living in the DR. It is well known that most of those deported, find a way to return. More over, whenever the local authorities have deported undocumented Haitians, the Haitian diplomacy is quick to get sectors abroad to present the DR as "the bad guys." Indeed, while President Preval publicly accepted the DR's right to deport undocumented Haitians, Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis threatened the DR government with strong measures to be taken by international organizations if the repatriations continued.
Gradually, in the DR there is more of an awareness of the need to help Haiti to develop, erst Haitians will undevelop the DR. One leading business group in Santiago, has plans to install free zone industries along the frontier if the US Congress passes the textile parity bill. The National Union of Businessmen (UNE) has requested that the DR foreign debt be condoned and moneys used to build hospitals and schools, as well as develop work centers, along the frontier to provide new opportunities to indigent Haitians. Other organizations are pressing for an increase in international aid to Haiti. Today aid to Haiti is difficult to channel due to lack of institutions, and rampant corruption within that nation.

Inmates exhibition at Centro Cultural de España
El Siglo newspaper reports that 18 inmates will be exhibiting at the Sala Maria Ugarte of the Centro Cultural de España, the Colonial City Spanish embassy-sponsored cultural center. The exhibit/sale of art, clothing and cakes is the result of months of efforts by Monte Plata inmates. When Colombian inmate Julio Cesar Valencia Quintana (one would supposed he was jailed on drug-trafficking charges) entered the jail he convinced the authorities of starting programs to teach inmates artistic painting, sewing and bakery. With the help of the board that assists the jail, friends of those in jail and the military stationed there, the programs were started. El Siglo newspaper points out that the jail has done a complete turn around, from the days of several mutinies to days of productive activities. More than 500 inmates participate in the programs. Don Emilio feels that the transformation of this jail could be copied and implemented at other jails.

Winter baseball update
Monday, 29 November 1999, 8 pm games
Santo Domingo: Pollos vs. Licey
San Pedro de Macorís: Aguilas vs. Estrellas

Team standing as of Sunday, 28 November 1999:
Leones del Escogido 16-7 (.695)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 16-9 (.640) ­1 game
Estrellas Orientales 11-13 (.453) ­5.5 games
Tigres del Licey 8-15 (.348), -8 games
Pollos del Cibao 7-14 (.333) ­8 games

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