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Daily News - 06 December 1999

DR has outstanding participation in Seattle WTO conference
The developing world surprised the European Union, the United States and Japan when attending the World Trade Organization well prepared. DR negotiators lead alliances with African, Caribbean, Asian and Latin American countries and took to the Seattle Ministerial World Trade Organization meeting a unified front to defy the world's richest nations deciding their futures without consulting them.
The US press highlighted the position and the DR negotiators leadership position that resulted in the forcing of the world power brokers to pause and rethink their positions. For an overview of the event, and interviews of Dominican negotiators, see

President Fernández to participate in Miami Conference
President Leonel Fernández will travel to Miami on Wednesday to deliver the keynote address at the annual Miami Conference on the Caribbean and Latin America, Dec. 7-10. His talk is scheduled for the Plenary Dinner of Thursday, December 9 at 7 pm at the Miami Inter-Continental Hotel. He will travel with Secretary of the Presidency Alejandrina Germán, Technical Secretary of the Presidency Temístocles Montás, Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre, director of the Office for the Promotion of Investments Eddy Martinez, and others.
The conference is organized by the Caribbean/Latin American Action (C/LAA). C/LAA is a Washington-based non-profit corporation that has as objective to work year-round to promote prosperity for the Caribbean and Latin America and for those who do business there.
For more information on the conference, see www.claa.org

Interview with President Fernández on CBS
Those living abroad can tune in to listen to a live interview with President Leonel Fernández tonight. CBS Telenoticias, the Spanish version of CBS, on its program "America Habla", will telecast the interview. The interview can also be heard via the Internet on www.cdnradio.com.do
The Interview will be tonight, Monday, 6 December at 9:30 pm.

JCE is focus of national attention
The Junta Central Electoral, the government body in charge of organizing presidential, municipal and congressional elections in the DR, is in the limelight as the presidential election date nears. Elections in the DR are slated for 16 May 2000, and different sectors have questioned the managerial ability and technological aspects behind the organizing the 2000 election. Sectors point to the high cost of the present elections, more than RD$700 million, versus the cost of the 1996 elections, RD$150 million.
The Centro de Asesoría y Promoción Electoral (Capel), an election advisory board affiliated to the Organization of American States, has recommended that the Dirección de Cedulación and the Oficina Central del Estado Civil departments of the JCE be intervened if problems in controls of the identification card are to be corrected.
Participación Ciudadana, a local civic society group, does not discard that citizens may have to vote with the old voting card and the new voting card.
Well-respected Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado has denounced that 80% of the citizens who have registered for their voting card have their data stuck in the central server of the JCE and that this will impede them from being included in the final voting list. He criticized that much equipment is abandoned in the JCE headquarters and will not be able to be used for the election.
The PLD insists that most of the Dominicans that come of voting age for this election have not been able to get their voting cards. The Reformista party criticizes the process in general. PRD presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía says that while the PLD and PRSC parties were complaining about the political partisanship within the JCE, they were urging their voters to get their new cards, and thus they have no qualms with the process.
The president of the JCE, Dr. Manuel Ramón Morel Cerda says there are no problems, and offers guarantees for the election. The JCE has announced it will hold a meeting with political parties to answer questions and give an update on the procedure.

Major constructions equal major bottlenecks
Expatriate Dominicans returning to Santo Domingo this year will run into bottlenecks at the entrance of the city. The Ministry of Public Works had hopes of completing the works by Christmas, but the frequent daily rains that have fallen in the Caribbean erased these. Travelers should program at least half an hour more than usual to make it to and from the airport and at least an extra hour if traveling at rush hours. Furthermore, if your relatives can take a taxi into the city, this is preferred. In the DR it is common for caravans of family members to receive relatives at the airport. Those traveling at night should be extra careful because the areas under construction are not appropriately lit, and there are major detours, especially near the Venezuela Avenue area upon entering Santo Domingo. Those coming into Santo Domingo would be better off to avoid the Duarte Bridge route and use the Avenida España alternate route.

Airport route to commemorate Sammy Sosa's home runs
The Municipality of Santo Domingo named the stretch that connects the Las Americas International Airport with the Las Americas Highway "Route 66" in honor of the record-breaking 66 home runs Sammy Sosa delivered in 1998. Johnny Ventura made the announcement when hosting Chicago Cubs' slugger Sammy Sosa at the city hall last week.

Las Americas airport cleared for Y2K
The Civil International Aviation Organization has notified Dominican civil aviation authorities that the Las Americas International Airport is prepared for flights coming in at the turn of the century. OACI report says that the DR leading airports will not have problems with their air control systems, navigation systems. Bernardo Then, who is president of the local committee of airlines, and operations manager for American Airlines in the DR said that that airline will be carrying out all its flights as usual on 31 December. He said that the airline, the leading carrier of passengers in the Caribbean, has taken all precautions regarding Y2K. An AP newswire report that Caribbean hoteliers and cruise ship operators are not fully reserved as expected. John Bell, executive director of the Caribbean Hotel Association, said in an interview that apparently the tourists that would be paying the premium-priced hotel rooms and cruises decided to spend the holidays at home with those for whom they cared most. The AP news release forecasts there will be many specials for the millennium holiday, as hoteliers and cruise ship companies scramble to fill their rooms.

Charlie Bluhdorn's grandchildren are Dominicans
Hatuey de Camps and Dominique Bluhdorn's triplets became Dominican citizens last week. The triplets, Alexandra, Olivia and Charles were born in June in a New York City hospital. They were recently issued Dominican passports after their parents applied at the Dominican Consulate in New York. The triplets are now dual nationals, or citizens of the United States and the Dominican Republic.
Dominique Bluhdorn is the daughter of Charles Bluhdorn, the former founder of Gulf & Western Corporation and the Casa de Campo and Altos de Chavón complex in La Romana. Bluhdorn is credited as being the father of the Dominican tourism industry.
His daughter, who remained in charge of the Altos de Chavón cultural center, wed Hatuey de Camps, a leading politician and president of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD), three years ago. The family keeps residence in Connecticut and Santo Domingo. The babies have yet to travel to the DR.

New CD is collection of 100 years of Dominican music
The Ministry of Tourism has sponsored "A Century of Dominican Music," a collection of four CDs that serves as an anthology of Dominican music of this century. The 4:10 hour production features 71 tracks by 57 composers, in the voices of 51 singers. The CD offers a variety of Dominican music, including merengue, mangulina, carabiné, pambiche, guarapo, sarambo, salve, bolero, balada, bachata, criolla, and canción lirica.
The CD will be launched during a music extravaganza at the Plaza de España in the Colonial City.
The collection of four CDs will sell for RD$1,000 (about US$63) in leading music stores.

Tickets on sale for Juan Luís Guerra concert
Tickets for the Juan Luis Guerra concert, a benefit for the children of the Hogar del Niño Padre Abreu in La Romana are going for RD$550 per person. They are on sale at the branches of Baninter bank. The concert by the legendary merengue musician and composer will take place on Saturday, 18 December at the 5,000-person Altos de Chavon amphitheater starting at 8:30 pm.

Christmas in the Colonial City
"Navidad 99" is the celebration of Christmas organized by the Ayuntamiento de Santo Domingo (city municipality), Secretaría de Turismo (ministry of tourism), Comisión de Monumentos (historic monuments commission), Oficina de Patrimonio Cultural (office of cultural heritage), and the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (board of the colonial city).
Activities start today, Wednesday, 1 December and continue all month long. Most of the events take place at the Parque Colón (Isabel la Católica corner Conde), the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (Isabel la Católica 103) or the Palacio Consistorial (Arz. Meriño corner Conde), Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Arz. Meriño corner Arz. Nouel), Capilla de los Remedios (Calle Las Damas corner Mercedes).
The schedule for the next 10 days is as follows:

Monday, 6 December
5:30 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert by the Navy Music Band. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Banda 25 presentation sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Christmas Festival. Concert by Soprano Ivonne Haza. Palacio Consistorial.

Tuesday, 7 December.
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. La Salle School Choir, directed by Jose Cueli. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Xiomara Fortuna in Concert presented by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Concert for piano and violin. Olga Voigt and Zvedana de Tavar, Palacio Consistorial.
9 pm. Christmas caroling. Board of neighbors
from San Lázaro. Singers leave from Parque Colón.

Wednesday, 8 December
5:30 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert by the Music Band of the Army.
8 pm. Carlos Alfredo Fatule in Concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
8 pm. "Gloria a Dios", presentation of the choir of the Estudio Diná music school. Convent of Santo Domingo. Padre Billini corner Hostos street.
9 pm. Concert of the Marianela Sánchez children's choir. Palacio Consistorial.
9 pm. Christmas caroling by the neighbors of Regina. Leaving from the Parque Colón.

Thursday, 9 December.
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert of the Children's Choir of La Salle. Parque Colón.
8 pm Roberto del Castillo in Concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colon.

Friday, 10 December 1999
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Hogar de los Niños Choir. Parque Colón.
8 pm. José Lacay in Concert. Parque Colón.

Saturday, 11 December
5:30 pm. Puppet Show, "La Navidad de Leo y el Raton," Teatro Capuchín. Parque Colón.
6:30 pm. Festival del Ponche Tradicional. Parque Colón.
8 pm Revista Musical del Grupo Sentimientos. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Christmas partying and caroling organized by the neighbors of the El Conde neighborhood board. Parque Colón to the Mercedes Church.

Sunday, 12 December
8 pm. Rhina Ramírez in Concierto. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Christmas partying and caroling, with groups leaving from the Parque Colón.

Monday, 13 December
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Christmas music concert by the Choir of the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo.
8 pm. Grupo Afro Tambú. Parque Colón.

Tuesday, 14 December
8 pm. Vinicio Franco in concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colon.
9 pm. Christmas Festival. Soprano Ivonne Haza concert. Palacio Consistorial.

Wednesday, 15 December
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Christmas Music Concert by the choir of the Central Bank. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Performance of the Folklore Ballet of the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Convento de los Dominicos. Christmas music concer by the National Choir.
9 pm. Concert for piano and violin. Olga Voigt and Zvedana de Tavar, Palacio Consistorial.

Show people vs. baseball greats in benefit
Manny Mota, the former star Los Angeles Dodgers player, is bringing together popular music figures and baseb

ars for a benefit softball game. First Manny Mota Celebrities Classic will take place Wednesday, 8 December at the Quisqueya Ball Park. Among the expected players are Fernando Villalona, Kinito Mendez, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, Andrew Jones, Todd Hundley and others. Canseco and Hundley have already confirmed their participation.
The mascots of the Florida Marlins (Billy the Marlin), the Colorado Rockies (Colorado Dinger), and Seattle Mariners (Mariners Moose) are coming for the event.
Manny Mota says that it is probable that leading Dominican politicians may also participate, including President Leonel Fernández and the presidential candidates.
Tickets are for sale at the Plaza Lama stores and at the Quisqueya Ball park.

Winter baseball weekend games and standing
Monday, 6 December 1999
Santo Domingo: Pollos vs. Licey
San Pedro de Macorís: Aguilas vs. Estrellas

Team standing as of Sunday, 5 December 1999:
Leones del Escogido 20-10 (.667)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 19-11 (.633) ­1 game
Estrellas Orientales 15-15 (.500) ­5 games
Tigres del Licey 11-19 (.367), -9 games
Pollos del Cibao 9-19 (.321) ­10 games

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