No agreement after 3rd round of Venezuelan political talks in Santo Domingo
Deputies approve US$135 million in loans
Foreign films shot in the Dominican Republic
Smart Cities to discuss transport planning in Dominican cities
The profitable business of smuggling Haitians
Panamanian tanker impounded in Montecristi
Will it be Licey vs Aguilas?
Prince Royce, Ilegales and Mozart La Para in benefit concert



No agreement after 3rd round of Venezuelan political talks in Santo Domingo
A first round of talks between Venezuelan government officials and representatives of the opposition that lasted from 10-13 January 2018, in Santo Domingo produced no significant breakthroughs. However, both sides agreed to continue talks on 18 January 2018, in the Dominican capital. The talks are being held at the convention hall of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

President Danilo Medina, former Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado and foreign ministers from Chile, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Mexico have been serving as mediators between the representatives of the Venezuelan government and the political opposition.

The most recent meetings took place from Wednesday, 10 January 2018 and concluded on Saturday evening, 13 January in Santo Domingo at the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

In his remarks on the meeting, President Danilo Medina said: “At the dialogue table we have agreed on the principle that nothing is agreed upon until all is agreed upon.”

Julio Borges, president of Venezuela's National Assembly and lawmaker of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD), and spokesman for the opposition, said that agreements have been reached on several points, but other issues have not been resolved that have bogged down negotiations.

Mayor of Caracas Jorge Rodríguez, speaking for the Venezuelan government, said that the Venezuelan government would not yield to pressure.

Nevertheless, observers are hopeful a deal might be struck now that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s cash-strapped administration needs support to refinance Venezuela’s rising foreign debt. The sides are hoping the discussions will stabilize Venezuela's economy and maintain peace.

Venezuelans are scheduled to vote for a new president in 2018, but a date has not been set amidst the political and economic crisis affecting the country.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...proximo-jueves
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/ne...0112-0013.html


Deputies approve US$135 million in loans
The PLD-majority Chamber of Deputies approved in its last session a loan for US$100 million for the electricity sector. The loan would be used to fund the Losses Reduction Program implemented by the Dominican Electricity Corporation (CDEEE).

A second loan that was also passed in the last session is for US$35 million that will be used to implement the governmental Program for Productive and Competitive Development in San Juan de la Maguana province, an Inter-American Development Bank loan. This loan seeks to improve access to farm credit by farmers and small businesses in the southwestern province. Also to improve their access to markets while reducing transportation costs by improving the provincial road network. It also contemplates optimizing the use if available water resources.

Upon the passing of the bill in the Chamber of Deputies, opposition deputy Ulises Rodriguez (PRM) criticized that the government continues to take on foreign debt.

http://www.agricultura.gob.do/index....-prov-san-juan
BID No. 3107/OC-DR)
http://eldia.com.do/camara-de-diputa...s135-millones/


Foreign films shot in the Dominican Republic
Ivette Marichal, director of the Film Agency (DGCine), reports that in 2017, some 62 foreign films were shot here, including seven that adhered to tax incentives plans under the Films Law (Ley de Cine 18-10). She says the other 55 companies did not require tax incentives and brought productions with budget of RD$197.5 million. The films included TV series chapters, reality show, documentary, video, TV commercials, TV shows, short films and long films.

Marichal mentioned that Barry Jenkins, of Moonlight, shot several scenes of the film “If Beale Street Could Talk”, with a RD$31 million budget. Also, the Survivor Turkey-Greece reality show, with a RD$308 million budget, and the Survivor Challenge Brazil, with a budget of RD$212.9 million, both directed by Mustafa Kazan were filmed here. She also mentioned the comedy “GuzBay Nueva York” directed by Victor Reyes with a budget of RD$46.5 million.

https://www.dgii.gov.do/legislacion/...nts/108-10.pdf
https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...cion-YX8819177


Smart Cities to discuss transport planning in Dominican cities
The Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC) and the University of Twente in the Netherlands are hosting from 18 to 19 January 2018 presentations and discussions on productivity and transport in Santo Domingo. During the event, ICT-related innovations will be presented that can positively impact mobility in cities. The symposium aims to contribute to the local debate on transport system planning and urban development according to the needs and activities undertaken by citizens of the modern on move society.

The sessions will be held at the INTEC campus at Av. Los Próceres in Santo Domingo.

The focus will be on the topics:
Major roads, social exclusion and accessibility analysis for scenarios of transport infrastructure.
Public transport, value of time and multimodality of transport networks, urban living labs and new urban developments in the context of developing countries.
Traffic safety and the role of infrastructure management.


The profitable business of smuggling Haitians
Trafficking in undocumented Haitians seeking work in the Dominican Republic is a profitable business for many. The trafficking goes on all year round, while authorities step up the controls every January at the border area when thousands of Haitians that had returned to their home country for the Christmas holidays, make the trek back to the Dominican Republic where they make a living.

An unnamed former military told El Dia reporters that the Haitians will pay RD$5,000 to the smugglers for the trip to the central city of Santiago from the border. He said in Dajabón he counts around 60 other persons dedicated to the Haitian smuggling business.

The military said he works full time now on smuggling in people after he was cancelled from his job in the military in 2011. He said he has smuggled in Haitians whose final destination is Santo Domingo, Bavaro, Puerto Plata, Samana, but mostly works transporting the undocumented immigrants to Santiago. He said the effort is possible with the complicity of Dominican military. Military are posted at 16 road checkpoints leading from the border.

He explained those who want to make the trip are concentrated in transfer houses near Dajabón, especially in communities such as Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Gozuela and Santa Maria in Montecristi province and then transferred from there to the cities by the traffickers.

Meanwhile, Diario Libre reported that in the first 13 days of January, more than 14,000 Haitians were stopped at the border. Father Regino Martínez of the Jesuit Order, complained about the smuggling business. He said that while the Specialized Border Security Corps (Cesfront) stopped 14,402 from passing, another 15,000 are let through. He said controls at the border are corrupt and selective. Cesfront reported on Saturday, 13 January detaining 622 Haitians that attempted illegal crossing.

http://eldia.com.do/yo-solo-he-cruza...en-siete-anos/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...anos-EJ8975565


Panamanian tanker impounded in Montecristi
The Customs Agency (DGA) announced the impounding of a Panamanian flag tanker, the Rayo McQueen, that had allegedly attempted to smuggle 109,100 gallons of diesel into the Dominican Republic through the northwestern port of Manzanillo in Montecristi province. The ship was detained together with crew by authorities of the DGA and the Dominican Armada. The ship documents indicating it was traveling without cargo. The DGA had received notice from intelligence organizations that suspected irregularities in the operation of the ship.

The detention of the ship occurred on 23 December 2017, in coordination with the Ministry of Defense, the Dominican Armada, the Customs Agency, Public Ministry, and the Port of Manzanillo.

For being in possession of the contraband, two Honduran citizens, the ship’s captain, Heri Omar Erazo and a crewmember, Joel William Cooper, were taken into custody by local authorities. The two men were allowed to post bail for RD$15,000.

While in custody, the DGA says that the captain changed his story and requested permission to declare the cargo. However, the two companies that allegedly consigned the shipment were not authorized to import fuel into the Dominican Republic.

Furthermore, the DGA inspected the ship and determined that the vessel does not meet international regulations for the cargo established by the International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP), International Convention for the Protection of Marine Pollution from Ships or the International Maritime Organization (MARPOL convention).

The Rayo McQueen was ordered to be taken to the Sans Souci Naval Base for inspection on 6 January 2018, and by 10 January, the discharging of the fuel was completed.

On 31 December 2017, a similar inspection of a tanker traveling the north coast waters revealed a cargo of 1,500 kg of cocaine.


Will it be Licey vs Aguilas?
This has been the most closely contested baseball professional baseball tournament in recent years. Over the weekend, the Gigantes and the Escogido teams refused to be left behind, winning important games. The Tigres and the Aguilas are now leading tied with 8 wins and 6 losses. But the Gigantes and the Escogido are close by with 6 wins and 8 losses. Over the weekend the Gigantes defeated the Aguilas and the Escogido the Licey.

The next games will pit the Tigres against the Aguilas and the Gigantes against the Escogido. The difference between the second place team and the team in the fourth place is only 2 games and there are only seven games to go before the end of this round robin to choose the playoff teams.

http://estadisticas.lidom.com/Estadisticas/Inicio
http://www.lidom.com/home/calendario/


Prince Royce, Ilegales and Mozart La Para in benefit concert
The “Quiereme Como Soy” non-profit organization that helps institutions that assist children with special needs, announces its fundraising concert for Saturday 17 February 2018, at the Palacio de los Deportes in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. The artists performing that evening include Prince Royce, Ilegales and Mozart La Para. Tickets cost RD$850 and are for sale online at Uepa Tickets and at the Supermercado Nacional and Jumbo stores.

http://quieremecomosoy.com/