Free zones applaud Medina shares their vision
More comments in favor and against President Medina’s Annual Report
Diario Libre calls speech “rhetorical” 
Green campaign builds momentum
Medina should run for President again
Military Parade on the Malecon
Alpha Valores: understanding the Dominican stock exchange 
Domestic manufacturing declines in January 2017
State Sugar Company is a delicate case
Many criminals on the run in the country
Fire in the Colonial City
Documentary on the Dominican win of the 2013 World Baseball Classic 
National Choir presentation at Bellas Artes



Free zones applaud Medina shares their vision
The president of the Dominican Association of Free Zones (Adozona), José Tomás Contreras appreciated the remarks President Danilo Medina made in his Annual Report on the Nation on the export manufacturing industry. Contreras said Adozona enthusiastically shares Medina’s vision of the great potential the free zone industry has for growth and development. 

Contreras said the President’s remarks concur with the announcement by Adozona during their annual luncheon in October 2016 that predicted significant growth and diversification with many new jobs being created in industrial parks all around the country during the next four years. Adozona is forecasting growth in existing products as well as business ventures in new areas. 

In his Annual Report, President Medina commented on how 2016 had been a year of great expansion for the free zone industry. He observed that licenses for 52 new companies were approved in eight free zone parks, creating 17,000 additional jobs and generating US$62.6 million in hard currency. 

Medina said the government was interested in finding new ways to back the productive sectors and one of the strategies is to link exports and attracting investment. “I am convinced of the great potential the export free zone has to grow and continue developing, both in existing productive areas as well as in developing new businesses to generate new jobs, create value added products and diversify the number of  products (including high tech) made in the Dominican Republic, said the President. 

“We recognize the opportunities in the marketplace and so we have to attract new investment in export manufacturing – this is especially relevant given that the United States has withdrawn from participating in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Medina said that his government was committed to work together with the free zones and take advantage of opportunities in these new times. 

Contreras expressed the interest of the Adozona members in working with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, National Council of Export Free Zones (CNZFE), Ministry of Superior Education (MESCYT), Institute of Professional Technical Training (Infotep), Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD), Customs Agency (DGA) and Pro-Industria. 

http://www.eldinero.com.do/37663/ado...a-la-economia/


More comments in favor and against President Medina’s Annual Report
The president of the Dominican Republic Association of Industries Campos de Moya was satisfied with President Danilo Medina’s remarks on 27 February 2017 that the investigations into the Odebrecht bribes and overpricing scandal would continue all the way under the the Attorney General’s Office. 

The executive vice president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus) called for giving a vote of confidence to the President. He stressed that it is the fist time that the President takes such a firm stand speaking before the National Assembly so that it is prudent to wait for him to fulfill his commitments, since otherwise he will be the most affected.

Andres Bautista. president of the PRM, the largest opposition party, called the speech “fantasy” and “demagogic” and said the President’s performance was worthy of an Oscar. 

Federico Antun Batlle (Quique), speaking as president of the PLD former ally, the PRSC, said that it was a barely convincing monolog that had let the Dominican population down. He observed the people had wanted to hear more in depth about the Odebrecht bribe scandal.

The president of EDUCA, José Mármol spoke positively of the remarks by President Medina on how from 2012 to 2016 average wages for public school teachers working in the extended day program had increased by more than 66%. 

The president of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD), Waldo Ariel Suero thought there was a lack of information about the health sector in the speech and said that no measures to improve the precariousness of the Dominican hospital system had been announced, only the remarks that the remodeling of the hospitals would be finished.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...te-el-discurso
http://acento-main-cdn.odsoluciones....de-Cuentas.pdf


Diario Libre calls speech “rhetorical” 
Adriano Miguel Tejada, executive editor of Diario Libre, called the 27 February 2017 Annual Report by President Danilo Medina “a rhetorical speech,” and focused on Medina’s announcement that the government would continue working with Odebrecht on the Punta Catalina power plants. 

Tejada wrote:
“No one in their right mind can explain why the government insists on continuing to do business with a confessed criminal. It is as if you, our reader friend, hire a bricklayer for a job in your house, and in the middle of the work you not only discover that the guy is stealing from you, but he confesses this, and you say: “Pay what you say you stole and keep working.” 

Tejada writes that the prudent thing to do would have been to appoint experts, in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office, to investigate the amount of the robbery, not a “commission of notables,” mentioning the conflict of interests of several of the members. He concludes: “President Medina made a wonderful use of rhetoric in his speech. The question is whether it will have achieved the intended effect.”

Contributing editor Nelson Espinal Báez, who is an Associate MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, observes in his comments on the 27 February speech that politics has many similarities to soap operas and that the government is buying time. “They know that a good strategy is not based on a single reality, but on the flow of realities. This speech will have a second part and new episodes.” 

An article in Diario Libre by Tania Molina lists several past corruption cases in which the “sacred cows” have not yet been identified, including those of the State Sugar Council (CEA), State Enterprises Corporation (Corde), Super Tucano Brazilian aircraft, among others.

In another article in Diario Libre, opposition deputy Wellington Arnaud says in January-February 2017 the government made payments of US$171 million to Odebrecht for past works carried out. This coincided with the agreement the Attorney General’s Office announced that Odebrecht would compensate the government for US$184 million, that is double to the confessed US$92 million in bribes paid for government contract work.

Judge Alejandro Vargas will decide today, 1 March 2017, to validate or not the bribes compensation agreement. 

http://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/a...rico-YD6432067
http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...adas-DM6428243
http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...echt-LN6429962
http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...echt-BY6427838
http://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/e...erde-DD6432216
http://acento-main-cdn.odsoluciones....de-Cuentas.pdf


Green campaign builds momentum
After listening to President Medina’s remarks on 27 February 2017, leaders of the “Green March” (Marcha Verde) movement against corruption and impunity have concluded that President is part of the corrupt structure that exists in the Dominican Republic.  The Green March organizers noted that President Medina ignored the call for independent prosecutors and the United Nations to conduct an investigation to determine those responsible for the Odebrecht bribes and overvaluations.

In a press conference outside the Presidential Palace, spokespersons for the civic group said it was not possible that a credible investigation be carried out by a politically-involved Attorney General. The leaders of the Green March movement believe that the bribery scandal investigation would eventually implicate President Danilo Medina himself, and former Presidents Leonel Fernández and Hipólito Mejía, and a number of ministers, former ministers and the businessmen with ties to the Odebrecht construction contracts.

http://hoy.com.do/marcha-verde-quier...el-e-hipolito/


Medina should run for President again
Political experts Daniel Pou and Belarminio Ramírez believe that as a result of the crisis affecting the political party system, and the lack of leadership, President Danilo Medina continues to be the best-positioned politician into the 2020 election. 

Speaking on the P Fuera de Record (Off the Record) TV program produced by journalist Elvis Lima on Channel 45, both Pou and Ramírez observed that neither Leonel Fernández nor other party members inside the PLD currently could challenge Danilo Medina, which was why Medina should stake out a position of strength within the Party, protect his image and reputation and rid himself and his government of the suspicion of corruption that could damage his standing among the populace.  

It should be noted that for President Danilo Medina to run in 2020, it would require that Congress once again change the Constitution as it did in 2016 that enabled Medina to run for re-election. 

http://hoy.com.do/politologos-vatici...edina-en-2020/


Military Parade on the Malecon
On Monday, 27 February 2017, with the presence of President Danilo Medina and Vice President Margarita Cedeno, the traditional military parade took place to celebrate 173 years since National Independence, and as every year, thousands gathered to view the spectacle.

The event took place of George Washington Avenue (Malecon) with hundreds of men and women in the armed forces marching, this year the parade included battalions of cadets from Mexico and Colombia. 

Accompanying President Medina were First Lady Candida Montilla, Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta, Education Minister Andres Navarro and the Minister of Interior and Police, Carlos Amarante Baret.

http://eldia.com.do/danilo-medina-en...sfile-militar/


Alpha Valores: understanding the Dominican stock exchange 
The stock exchange company, Alpha Valores, and the training firm AulaHispana presented their first electronic book (Dynamic eBook), "Stock Market: Catalyst of the sustainable development of Dominican Republic". The free tool, which can be accessed online or downloaded at ebook.alpha.com.do, explains in simple language and with supporting videos, how to invest in the Dominican Stock Market (Bolsa de Valores de la República Dominicana). The book was created to serve as a digital guide to the local stock market. 

http://elnacional.com.do/lanzan-guia...do-de-valores/


Domestic manufacturing declines in January 2017
Manufacturing outside of free zone industries declined significantly in January 2017. The Monthly Manufacturing Activity Index (IMAM) showed that manufacturing had declined to 40.2 points as compared to manufacturing levels in December 2016 that had registered 50.2 points.  

The Dominican Republic Association of Industries (AIRD) called the decline alarming. AIRD, which calculates the IMAM index, noted the downward trend is similar to that which occurred from December 2015 to January 2016 when manufacturing also declined, from 54.0 to 38.2. 

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/02/2...contrajo-enero
http://hoy.com.do/actividad-manufact...da-en-enero/ 
http://www.eldinero.com.do/37657/el-...cayo-en-enero/


State Sugar Company is a delicate case
The president of the commission designated to audit the sale of State Sugar Council (CEA) lands, former Environment Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez says a number of irregularities have been discovered even as the investigation is just getting underway. One of the irregularities detected is the sale of the same piece of property to multiple individuals.

Rojas Gomez also said that of around 42,000 files that the commission has received for investigating, they have reviewed 10,000 to date, and they have found situations where the same piece of land has been sold several times over. Preliminary investigations have also revealed that some individuals are in possession of more property than the sales records show.  

The commission is working on a consolidated inventory that will be presented to the President in bi-monthly progress reports via the Ministry of the Presidency. 

When asked if there were government officials and members of the military involved in the CEA land, Rojas Gómez said that they had not yet reached that part of the investigation. 

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...tante-delicada


Many criminals on the run in the country
Experts estimate that 71 people (comprised of 33 Dominicans and 38 foreigners) who are believed to be residing in the Dominican Republic are on the run from United States’ Justice Department. 

Some have escaped from US jails, while others have been arrest warrants for kidnapping and murder for hire. In addition, others are being sought for drug trafficking, fraud, multi-million dollar tax avoidance, rape, acts of sabotage and terrorism, among others. 

The foreigners include Americans, Canadians, French, Spanish, Italians, Cubans who are US nationals, Venezuelans and Colombians.

Taking part in the search in the Dominican Republic are the FBI, DEA, Interpol as well as Dominican intelligence agencies and officials from the Migration Agency (DGM), at the request of the United States federal authorities.

According to information obtained by El Nacional newspaper, migration authorities and the intelligence agencies in the country have lists with the names and photographs of those being sought, although many of them are thought to have two or three passports with different names making identification of these individuals a difficult task. Included on the list are bankers, other professionals and ex-military personnel.

In order to locate them, Migration, the agencies and federal organizations are carrying out lightning raids in different parts of the country, with a special focus in tourist areas.

Last year, the Dominican authorities deported more than 90 foreigners; many of whom had been sought by their respective countries, while others had committed crimes here. 

http://elnacional.com.do/buscan-aqui...usticia-de-eu/


Fire in the Colonial City
A fire at the dawn of Tuesday, 28 February 2017, destroyed a cluster of six precariously built wood and zinc homes on Arzobispo Portes Street in the Colonial City. The area is being developed for boutique hotels and luxury homes. 

The dwellers attributed the fire to a short circuit. The dwellers say they lost everything, even their cell phones, and were only able to quickly abandon the houses. They took refuge with relatives and friends. No one was injured, as reported in Diario Libre. 

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...al-JY6427946 


Documentary on the Dominican win of the 2013 World Baseball Classic 
To get fans motivated to follow the World Baseball Classic 2017 that opens in Miami on 6 March 2017, the Ministry of Sports announced the presentation of the gala premier of the documentary “Clásico Mundial de Béisbol 2013” that tells the story on how the Dominican Republic won the 2013 WBC championship without losing a single game. 

The presentation is scheduled for 7:30pm at the auditorium of the Hall of Fame of Dominican Sports at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. 

The presentation is open to the general public but because seats are limited, early attendance is advised. 

The documentary was filmed by Miguel Vásquez and lasts around an hour. 

http://www.listindiario.com/el-depor...e-beisbol-2013


National Choir presentation at Bellas Artes
To celebrate its 62th anniversary, the National Choir will perform Bach’s “Magnificat” at the auditorium of the Palacio de Bellas Artes on Wednesday, 1 March 2017. The performance is free at 8:30pm. 

Maestro Elioenai Medina will be the director. Also participating is the National Youth Symphony conducted by Alberto Rincón. 

In addition to the Bach pieces (Magnificat), the choir will also sing classics such as “Como me besabas tu” by José Dolores Cerón, “Al pie de una verde ceiba” an arrangement by José Manuel Joa; “Caña Brava,” by Toño Abreu in arrangements by Maestro Jorge Taveras and the version by Maestro Rafael Campos,” among others. 

Guest soloists are Paola Gonález, Pura Tyson, Glenmer Pérez, Helvis de la Rosa and Eduardo Mejía. 

Listen to Magnificat performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9kug7GSyH0

For information on upcoming events:
http://www.dr1.com/calendar


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