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Daily News - 10 December 1999

US urged to adopt visionary leadership
President Leonel Fernández appealed to the United States to adopt a visionary leadership position and forge a strategic alliance with Central America and the Caribbean. He urged the US to strengthen its ties with the region by passing the textile parity bill, still pending in the US Congress. He delivered the keynote address at the 23rd Miami Conference on the Caribbean and Latin America, Dec. 7-10. He spoke during the Plenary Dinner of Thursday, December 9 at 7 pm at the Miami Inter-Continental Hotel.
During his talk he highlighted US investments in the DR in recent years:
Allegro Resorts (tourism), US$50 million. (Foreign investment in tourism has been over US$300 million from January to October 1999, with 5,773 new hotel rooms.)
Codetel and Tricom (telecommunications) US$220 million.
NYPRO (plastics) US$10 million.
Swedish Match North America (tobacco) US$11 million.
Braun Medical (medical supplies) US$2 million
Colgate Palmolive (consumer goods) is expanding its operations.
Citibank (banking) is expanding its operations.
AES (power supply) is investing in the power distribution system. (Together with the Spanish firm Unión Fenosa, the investment of the power distributors is US$320 million.)
In Miami, President Fernández met with investors to promote the Santo Domingo Cyberpark, a high tech industrial complex.
President Fernández is expected back in Santo Domingo tonight. This morning, he was scheduled to give a conference on "Dominican Republic: Policies and Priorities" at the University of Miami.
The Miami 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

President Clinton could visit in early 2000
The Listín Diario reports that President Bill Clinton may visit the Dominican Republic in early 2000. Ambassadors Roberto Saladín of the DR and Charles Manatt of the US are heading the preparations for the visit. The new US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Manatt arrives next week. The Listín Diario highlights that the US President's interest in the DR increased after Mrs. Hillary Clinton visited in fall 1998 and returned with praise on the DR. Fernández and Clinton have met five times in the past three years, including one official visit to the White House in June 1998. They have coincided in New York, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Santiago de Chile.

President Fernández says Medina will win in second round
President Leonel Fernández told journalists in Miami, that he believes that PRD presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía has reached its peak (43% preference of voters), which is not enough to win the first round of the election. El Siglo newspaper reports from Miami, that the statesman is confident the PLD will win the 2000 presidential election in the second round with the vote of the PRSC followers. A recent survey showed that 2-1 of PRSC voters favor the PLD over the PRD. Fernández said that the popularity of the PLD candidate, Danilo Medina should start to increase as the final stage of the PLD campaign gets going. President Leonel Fernández has committed to actively campaign in favor of Medina, in the last stretch of the campaign. Fernández will participate in a dinner, at RD$100,000 the plate, to support the candidacy of Medina. Some 10,000 persons are expected to attend the event.

More aid for ACP nations in Lomé successor agreement
El Siglo newspaper reports that the European Union increased aid allotted for African, Asian and Caribbean countries to US$13,900 million, up 7%. According to the DR Ambassador in Brussels, Clara Quiñones President Leonel Fernández, president of the ACP bloc of nations, had requested the increase in a letter sent to Lipponeen Pavvo, acting president of the European Union, following the conclusion of the ACP Summit held in November in Santo Domingo. The aid is sought to help manage the transition to the new global trade schemes. ACP and European Union negotiators have been meeting in Brussels to finalize matters for the successor agreement that should be signed in January. The Lome IV agreement expires in 28 February 2000.

Y2K not expected to affect power supply in DR
El Siglo newspaper reports that the Y2K phenomenon will have little effects on CDE power plants. Engineer José Luis Moreno explained that power generation will not be affected because most of the generators operate manually. He said that some plants may shut off at 12 midnight 31 December, and there could be problems at some of the older transmission substations, but that overall there will not be any major problems with the systems.
Engineer Moreno explained that plants and systems that shut off will be reconnected immediately because their computerized controls are not being used, and most are on manual setting. Furthermore, he explained that the transmission and electricity distribution systems, as well as the thermal plants and the private generators are ready for the change of the millennium. Plants that were less than five years old have had their systems adapted and thus will not be affected. He said that the older plants are the least to be affected because they operate with manual systems.

Microsoft aspires that by 2002, 25% of software usage be licensed
According to Microsoft Caribbean, eight out of every 10 software programs used in the DR are not licensed, says a report in El Siglo newspaper. The 20% of licensed users follows a campaign by the Software Business Alliance to encourage Dominicans to legalize their situation. In the past major sellers of computers sold the hardware with pirated software packages included. Today, the Attorney General's office carries out raids on companies to detect illegal use of software.
Pedro Rocafort who visited the DR for the launching of Windows 2000, said that if the software piracy drops 25% from 1998 to 2002, some 2,960 jobs will be created which will generate taxes for US$29 million. Local software market sales are US$36 million, generating 982 direct and indirect jobs and US$10 million in taxes today.

Pay your telephone bills by Internet
Tricom, the nation's runner-up telecommunications company, announced that its clients will now be able to pay their Tricom telecommunications bills, from anywhere in the world, by Internet using Visa or MasterCard credit cards. Executive Vice President Carl Carlson said that the new electronic billing system will revolutionize the way of doing business in the DR. Carlson said that Tricom installed 68% of the residential and commercial lines that were activated last year, and has a 50% market share of the cellular telephone market. For more information, see www.tricom.net

Freddy not interested in politics, announces noon time show
TV producer Freddy Beras-Goico said that he was offered the vice presidential candidacy of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana but did not accept. He said he is not interested in becoming a politician. "My character clashes with the political system, where you have to give in too much and be diplomatic. If I were sworn in as President on 16 August, by 11 am there would be about 70 persons in jail, and then imagine who would put up with me," said the popular television show producer. He said that he likes being free from commitments and being able to denounce wrongdoings. He described himself as "totally independent."
Beras-Goico recently announced he will be leaving Color Visión, Channel 9, and closing his popular late night show, Punto Final. He will be joining Super Canal, Channel 33, a UHF new station that airs next year. He will produce a noon time variety show starting mid February, according to El Siglo.
Beras Goico told El Siglo newspaper that the government of Fernández is one of the best in Dominican history. "I said that of Don Antonio Guzmán Fernández, who for me was one of the best statesmen we have had, to the point that when he ended his administration I gave him a plaque and if Leonel continues this way, he will get his," said Beras Goico.
He said he hopes the next President will do an even better government.
He spoke when he participated as master of ceremonies at a car dealership in Santiago.

Peña Gómez daughters support Medina of the PLD
Three daughters of former leader of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, José Francisco Peña Gómez, announced their support to the presidential candidate of the opposing Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, Danilo Medina. The three daughters -- Angela, Lourdes and Arlene Peña Guaba -- and the former wife of Peña Gómez, Julia Idalia Guaba announced their support for Medina at an activity where the Movimiento Luces del Milenio was launched. Medina said that the PRD believes that everything in the world has a price, defending the new supporters. The three daughters and former wife rarely participated in political activity before.

New Juan Luís Guerra CD slated for April 2000
Juan Luís Guerra, the most famous Dominican musician ever, told the Listín Diario that he will launch a new 4-40 production in April 2000. His last production, "No es lo mismo ni es igual," dates back a year. The new production will be also in the voices of Adalgisa Pantaleón, Roger Zayas and will mark the debut of Juan Enrique "Kiko" Rizek, who replaces Marcos Hernández. Hernández left the group to make it on his own as a soloist.
To watch an interview where Guerra explains his new projects, see the Mango TV interview on Saturday, from 7-8 pm or on Sunday, from 12 to 1 pm.
At the moment, he is working on his concert that will take place 18 December in Altos de Chavón. The Chavón amphitheater has capacity for 5,000 persons. All tickets are said to be sold out.
For more information on Juan Luís Guerra, see the web sites:
www.juanluisguerra.com.do
www.sdhumo.com

16,000 hotel rooms in Punta Cana destination
Frank Rainieri, who can be recognized as the promoter of the Punta Cana beach strip, told the Listín Diario that air arrivals using the Punta Cana International Airport were up 20% compared to last year. He said there are 16,000 hotel rooms in the eastern Macao-Punta Cana area, which makes it the largest single Caribbean destination. He said flights to Punta Cana have increased from 110 a week to 220, but there has not been an increase in occupancy because of the increase in hotel rooms in the area. He was interviewed in Miami, where he traveled to talk with Central American tourism investors that are interested in the Punta Cana tourism development model. He said in Punta Cana there are 3,000 more rooms than in 1998. He said that last year the average stay was 12 days, but this year it dropped to less than 10 days. He said that to maintain the same level of occupancy, there would have to be a 30% increase in travelers. The decline in the average stay comes with the increase in US travelers. American tourists usually come for a week, versus two weeks of the European travelers.

Beauty of Haitian women showcased in art exhibition
Casa de Bastidas, in the Colonial City, is showing an exhibition of Haitian painter Jean Claude Legagneur highlighting the beauty of Haitian woman. 32 acrylic paintings are being shown in the exhibition sponsored by American Airlines. Legagneur is one of the highest rated Haitian painters. In 1971 he migrated to the US where he studied plastic arts. He has exhibited all around the world.

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 week is as follows:

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.

100 years of boleros
A selection of romantic songs from this century will be presented at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua, this Sunday, 12 December. Olga Guillot, Los Panchos, Roberto Yanés, Fausto Rey, Johnny Albino, Raúl Marrero, José Manuel Calderón, Vitín Avilés are traveling to the DR to join Dominican crooners. The Dominican performers will be Lope Balaguer, Anthony Ríos, Francis Santana, Niní Cáffaro and Luchy Vicioso. Maestro Jorge Taveras and Jesús Torres Tejeda will be conducting the musicians. Tickets to see the living legends of Latin American romantic music are for sale at the Teatro La Fiesta, 221-1435 and 412-4610.

Winter baseball weekend games and standing
Friday, 10 December 1999, 8 pm
Santo Domingo: Escogido vs. Licey
Santiago: Estrellas vs. Aguilas

Team standing as of Thursday, 9 December 1999:
Leones del Escogido 21-11 (.656)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 21-13 (.618) ­1 game
Estrellas Orientales 16-18 (.471) ­6 games
Tigres del Licey 13-20 (.394), -8.5 games
Pollos del Cibao 12-21 (.364) ­9.5 games

All Stars game set for 12 December
Dominican Professional Winter Baseball League's All Stars Game will be held Sunday, 12 December. In it the best players of the Santo Domingo city teams, the Licey and the Escogido, will match the best players of the interior provincial teams - Pollos, Estrellas and the Aguilas.
The game will be held at the Quisqueya Ball Park in Santo Domingo. Best seats sell for RD$200, but there are also tickets for RD$100 and the bleachers go for RD$15.
Leading up to the event, the local baseball league has organized a golf tournament for 11 December at the Cayacoa Country Club. Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Rentería, Marvin Bernard, Alex Rodríguez, José Rijo, Stanley Javier, Neifi Perez and Moises Alou, among others are expected to participate.

The Natura Bass Club and the Hatillo Dam Bass Club announced a fly fish-fishing tournament
this Saturday, 11 December from 10 am to 6 pm. The activity will continue on Sunday, 12 December, from 7 am to 12 noon. A photography exhibition of the reservoir lake will be shown. On Sunday, a Jet Ski competition is scheduled from 2 to 6 pm. The Hatillo dam reservoir is the largest artificial lake in the Caribbean, with 70 square kilometers. Hatillo is located 22 kilometers from the center of Santo Domingo.

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