President Medina to Costa Rica inaugural
Preparations for President Medina to visit China this 2018
Human rights violations discussed by ICHR in Santo Domingo
No quorum yet for debate of the open primaries
Construction Cluster to serve construction sector
Signing with China opens new source of borrowing for government
Queen Letizia of Spain to visit in May 2018
Monte Plata is again becoming a prime pineapple growing area
Get to know Gazcue, to conserve this architectural heritage
10 years in jail for stealing US$200,000
30-year old dies from jump from Agora atrium
Major flooding in San Cristóbal
Albert Pujols reaches 3,000 hit milestone
Las Caribeñas win 1st Superior Volleyball League Championship
Zoe Saldaña is first Dominican with a Hollywood star
Jazz concert at the Plaza de España



President Medina to Costa Rica inaugural
President Danilo Medina is expected to travel to San José, Costa Rica to attend the inaugural of President-elect Carlos Alvarado on Tuesday, 8 May 2018, according to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Costa Rica. The Presidency of the Dominican Republic, nevertheless has not yet announced the trip.

President Medina heads the Central American Integration System (SICA) that unites the heads of state of Central America countries and the Dominican Republic. Other presidents that have confirmed their attendance are Juan Carlos Varela, Panamá; Jimmy Morales, Guatemala; Salvador Sánchez Cerén, El Salvador; Lenín Moreno, Ecuador; Evo Morales, Bolivia.

The new president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, is a 38-year old journalist, writer and musician and will replace President Luis Guillermo Solís.


http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...osta-rica.html


Preparations for President Medina to visit China this 2018
Preparations are underway for a visit by President Danilo Medina to People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping this year, according to the PRC commercial representative in the Dominican Republic, Fu Xinrong. Xinrong has highlighted that the new bilateral ties will be beneficial for both countries in regards to trade and investment, not only for this generation but also for future generations. In a recent statements made to Efe in Santo Domingo, she highlighted the importance of the Dominican Republic given its strategic role in regards to geographic position and stability.

The Dominican Republic is a major importer from China in the Caribbean, with around US$2 billion in imports and only US$85 million in exports in 2017. The signing of the agreement would enable the country to receive designated status as a destination for the estimated 135 million Chinese that are traveling. She says that underway are Chinese investments in mining, infrastructure and manufacturing for around US$800 million. She spoke of a multifunctional project on Yuna River in the north, the construction of 10,000 low cost dwellings and a major waste-recycling project to generate energy.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...mismo-ano.html
https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...erdo-DN9807036


Human rights violations discussed by ICHR in Santo Domingo
The InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) of the Organization of American States opens meetings in Santo Domingo on Monday, 7 May 2018. The CIDH has said it will discuss human rights topics related to Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. The CIDH has been very critical of the Dominican Republic’s management of migratory matters with Haiti. The activities will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santo Domingo.

Flavio Darío Espinal, legal advisor the President Danilo Medina, and representative of the government at the meetings, said that on agenda are 30 hearings of cases of violation of human rights. He said that it is customary that cases related to the host country are not presented during the hearings.

https://elnuevodiario.com.do/cidh-in...esiones-en-rd/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...ica-dominicana
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...la-agenda.html


No quorum yet for debate of the open primaries
Nothing is new. The Chamber of Deputies did not session on Thursday, 3 May 2018 after quorum was not met. A minimum quorum of 96 deputies is required, and only 90 said present of a total 190. As reported, official party members loyal to President Danilo Medina left the session so the quorum could not be met.

Up for debate is the Political Parties Bill that would instate obligatory open primaries for all political parties to choose their presidential candidates for the 2020 general election. The bill requires two-thirds of the vote of those present, with the minimum quota of 96 deputies required. Chamber of Deputies president Ruben Maldonado convened the next session for Wednesday, 9 May 2018.

The Political Parties Bill, which was approved in the Senate, would also impose enhanced checks and controls on campaign financing, but has languished in the National Congress for more than 20 years.

The most controversial issue this time around was the more recent addition of the articles related to simultaneous open primaries. The bill would require the Central Electoral Board to create mechanisms so that voters cannot vote for different political party candidates on the same day. Experts say, in the absence of these control measures, it would be possible for voters to cast ballots in multiple primaries across political parties.

The open primaries are backed by followers of President Danilo Medina, not so by followers of former President Leonel Fernandez, both of the ruling PLD party. President Medina is banned from running for reelection. He was also banned for doing so for the 2016 election, but maneuvered through a constitutional amendment which allowed him to seek a one-time reelection. The 2015 Constitution allows former President Leonel Fernandez to stand for election.

Those who oppose the open primaries say it will enable the wealthier PLD to bankroll the candidacies of the weaker candidates in the opposition parties in the primaries to facilitate an eventual win in for the PLD candidate in the 2020 general election.

Minor opposition political party leaders have expressed their displeasure to the open primaries proposal.

But the leadership of the PRM, the largest opposition party, is now divided on the issue. This means the vote of 40 members of this party could break either way. The former presidential candidate of the PRM, Luis Abinader, has spoken up against the open primaries bill, taking the stand of PLD dissident former President Leonel Fernandez.

On the other hand, former President Hipolito Mejia, who leads a faction in the PRM, now openly backs the open primaries. It should be noted that the PRM deputies loyal to Mejia did not attend the session. The absence of Mejia loyalists during the session was interpreted as a way to back President Medina’s followers, without actually having to cast a vote. Over the weekend, Mejía released a statement where he gives his reasons for backing the open primaries.

The president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Julio César Castaños Guzmán, has criticized the high cost of the initiative of open primaries, estimated at price tag of RD$5.6 billion (more than US$114 million).

On the other hand, political analysts say the political parties stand to gain if the bill is not passed given the supposed increased controls and checks on campaign spending it would bring.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ados-HE9789977
https://www.metrord.do/do/destacado/...-partidos.html
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/02/0...-en-la-camara/
https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...-mas-JE9798748
https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...ound-HL9793876
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...l#.WvAlAtPwa9s


Construction Cluster to serve construction sector
The newly formed Construction Cluster seeks to facilitate the creation of quality jobs in the country, improve construction worker skills, make training more available and foster improved quality of Dominican construction materials. The Dominican Republic Association of Industries (AIRD) executive vice president, Circe Alamzar says the cluster is a space to foster linkages between the many subsections and companies that make up the construction sector.

The new construction cluster has the support of the Asociación de Constructores y Promotores de Vivienda (ACOPROVI), Cámara Dominicana de la Construcción, Asociación de la Industria del Plástico (ADIPLAST); Asociación Dominicana de Acero (ADOACERO); Asociación de Usuarios no Regulados (ANUNR); Asociación Dominicana de Productores de Cemento Portland (ADOCEM); Asociación de Industrias y Empresas de Haina y Región Sur; Asociación de Industriales de la Región Norte (AIREN), among others.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/05/0...-construccion/


Signing with China opens new source of borrowing for government
Former governor of the Central Bank, Pedro Silverio Alvarez, speculates in his comments in Diario Libre this week, that the Dominican government, by signing with the People’s Republic of China, opens up opportunities for increased trade, financial and cultural exchanges. “Particularly, it is possible that the Dominican government will have access to a new source of financing through the Chinese government that has been very receptive to the financial needs of friendly governments. Such as in the case of Venezuela that over the last decade has received US$50 billion in Chinese financing,” he writes.

Nevertheless, he says the challenge is another. Alvarez says in principle the signing with China is good. “But all will depend on how prepared the country is to take on the challenges that this means, both institutionally and economically,” he writes. From the institutional point of view, Chinese investors tend to be morally more lax in their relations with public officials and, therefore, more prone to bribes, he highlights. He stresses: “If they find fertile land the planting will be copious.”

The Dominican Republic already has a trade deficit with China of around US$2 billion. Alvarez makes the point that from an economic point of view, the low diversification of Dominican exports, in terms of volumes, poses an asymmetry between both economies that can only be addressed with public policies that promote more exportable products and services. Otherwise, he said we could be throwing a hook for another to catch the fish, highlights the former Central Bank manager.

https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...olar-FL9793205
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0ed1f464c0a48


Queen Letizia of Spain to visit in May 2018
Queen Letizia of Spain will be visiting Haiti and the Dominican Republic from 20-24 May 2018. During her visit she will tour development projects sponsored by the Spanish government in both countries. She will also gather more information on programs sponsored by the Spanish government that support gender equality, democratic governance and rural development, according to the Spanish government.

Spanish government secretary for international cooperation and Iberoamerica and the Caribbean, Fernando Garcia Casas, in making the announcement said the visit would contribute to "strengthening cooperation between two countries that have been predestined to collaborate together". The visit will coincide with the "great steps" being taken by the government of Dominican President Danilo Medina "regarding the acquisition of nationality and social integration" of the Haitians.

García Casas responded to Senator José María Cazalis of the PNV, who had expressed to the Secretary of State his concern about the border problems between the two countries of the island of Hispaniola, calling it "a political issue that remains latent and that could degenerate" until it becomes "a time bomb."

According to García Casas, the Spanish Cooperation has been involved in the solution of border problems between the two countries through various initiatives, such as the recent celebration of a seminar with mayors of the border towns to discuss the financing of a hospital in Barahona where Dominican doctors attend to Haitian patients free of cost. "Last year I visited the hospital and I hope that Her Majesty the Queen will visit him this time," he added.

He said in the Americas, the Queen had visited cooperation projects in Honduras and El Salvador in 2015. Queen Letizia is continuing the legacy of Queen Sofia who made these types of visits to give more visibility to programs of humanitarian aide fostered by Spain abroad.

http://thediplomatinspain.com/haiti-...n-de-la-reina/


Monte Plata is again becoming a prime pineapple growing area
Private investors are behind new pineapple plantations in central Monte Plata province. Monte Plata boasts a climate and soils that are ideal for pineapple cultivation. Two decades ago, Dole was among the first to develop plantations in Monte Plata, but when the company left the country after a dispute over packaging issues, the plantations were abandoned. While private investment is in the lead, the Medina administration’s Special Fund for Farming Development (FEDA) is also providing financial support for the project.

The Dominican Republic is on the way to becoming the second largest producer of pineapples in the world.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...pais-XH9786752


Get to know Gazcue, to conserve this architectural heritage
Gazcue or Gascue barrio of Santo Domingo gets its name from the official financial inspector of an early Spanish government in the Dominican Republic. Francisco de Gascue y Olaiz. Gascue, flaunting rules established by the Spanish government in the 1780s that prohibited government employees from entering real estate transactions on Hispaniola, purchased from Diego Camarena a large estate next to the walled historic city. Gascue was a native of Navarra, Spain and lived in the estate for around 40 years.

Engineer Antonio Jose Guerra Sanchez shared the details of the Gazcue’s past with those attending the “Miercoles de Gazcue” event, which celebrates the history of the legendary barrio. The event takes place on Wednesday evenings at the Academia Dominicana de Historia.

During the talk, the Guerra explained that Gascue and Raymond de Esparza Sastre were in charge of the finances of the colony in 1767. Esparza purchased lands on the eastern side of the Ozama River. Both became involved in the issuing of fake paper money to facilitate trade in which Gascue and Esparza had the most to gain. Guerra explained initially the money was issued provisionally as the officers waited for cash to arrive from Spain, but this then degenerated in the landowners becoming speculators and money lenders to others. Eventually, Gascue was arrested on 21 October 1789, and was forced to forfeit his assets. He would later be able to recover the assets that were in his wife’s name, and thus could be inherited by his offspring. When Esparza died he left his assets to the Spanish crown because he had not had children or a wife.

Guerra Sánchez attributed to British banker and vice consul Henry Hunt Gosling Smith being the pioneer who in 1904 built the first “cottage” in his estate in Gascue, where today the Central Bank is located. Gosling would marry Dominican Blanca Petronila Peregrine Ricart Perez. The architectural style was later followed by many others.

The next talk will be by Mauricia Domínguez on “Modern Movement Architecture in Gazcue” on Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 8pm at the Academia Dominicana de la Historia.

Over the past two decades, the historical area is under siege by real estate developers that have been replacing the hacienda-like houses with high rises.

https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...lino-DH9779674


10 years in jail for stealing US$200,000
Judges of the First Collegiate Court sentenced Quandary Martínez de los Santos, Ariel Santana and Leito Alberto Acosta to 10 years in jail each for the theft of US$200,000 against Alberto Alexis Diaz Ceara, a resident on Calle Eduardo ******* in Bella Vista. The robbery occurred on 13 December 2016. The thieves held up maid Miguelina Arias, forcing her to open the door to the house. They next gained access to a house safe from which they removed US$200,000 in cash, passports, vehicle registrations and other documents, according to prosecutors Paola Vasquez and Maria Cristina Benitez. The men were ordered to serve the sentences at the La Victoria Jail.

https://noticiassin.com/republica-do...e-bella-vista/


30-year old dies from jump from Agora atrium
30-year old Juan Aneury Ramírez Valdez died at 2:15am on Thursday, 3 May 2018, as a result of injuries he received after leaping from the fourth floor of the Agora Mall atrium around 10:28pm. He had been admitted to the emergency at the Plaza de la Salud hospital at midnight for multiple trauma injuries. Suicide is suspected, but no family member has gone public with what could have motivated the man to kill himself.

Listin Diario reports he was the son of Maximiliano Ramírez and María Estela Valdez Ramirez, owners of El Tornillo vehicle spare parts store in Bani. The family explained that Aneury suffered from depression.

http://hoy.com.do/joven-viajo-a-la-c...ria-deprimido/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...ntes-banilejos


Major flooding in San Cristóbal
The Center for Emergency Operations (COE) reported that 3,070 persons had to be evacuated in San Cristóbal after major rains flooded the provinces of San Cristóbal, to the southwest of Santo Domingo. COE reported the overflowing of the Yubazo, Nigua and Blanco rivers. Hundreds of dwellings were affected and dozens of communities isolated.

One person, 77-year old Eugenio Contreras was reported dead, having drowned in the flooding waters of a gully.

The main water damages occurred in the communities of Madre Vieja, Moscú, Los Americanos, Pueblo Nuevo, Los Cacaos and Cambita that were assisted by representatives of the Civil Defense, Red Cross and Police.

The COE declared 24 provinces on weather alert.

http://www.coe.gob.do/index.php/noti...-valdesia.html
http://www.coe.gob.do/index.php/noti...-amarilla.html


Albert Pujols reaches 3,000 hit milestone
Dominican-born Albert Pujols joined the exclusive club of Major League Baseball players to have 3,000 or more hits. The feat was reached on Friday, 4 May 2018 in Seattle, Washington state. The landmark hit was a single to the right field in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners’ pitcher Mike Leake. Playing for the Los Angeles Angels, Pujols would latter add a two-run single in the ninth for his 3,001th hit. His team won 5-0.

"It was going to happen, it was just a matter of when," Pujols said. "I just thank the Lord that it happened tonight in front of my family, my friends. Now we just stay focused on the things that I want to do, which is help this ball club to win. We don't have to talk too much about 3,000 now."

MLB reports that Pujols, 38, becomes now the 32nd player to reach 3,000 and only the second after Adrian Beltré. With 620 homers, Pujols is only the fourth player to collect 3,000 hits and 600 home runs, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodríguez.

https://www.mlb.com/news/albert-pujo...it/c-275253320
https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/a...hit-milestone/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Pujols


Las Caribeñas win 1st Superior Volleyball League Championship
National volleyball team player Brayelín Martínez, playing for the Las Caribeñas team in the Superior Volleyball League Championship led her team to win the 2018 title. She contributed 13 points to the victory in the just two sets she played. Brenda Castillo, also of the national volleyball team, won the most valuable player award.

Las Caribeñas defeated Cristo Rey in the finals (17-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-20) held at the Palacio de Voleibol Ricardo (Gioriver) Arias in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center.

National District Mayor David Collado delivered the Santo Domingo City cup to the team players.
http://www.7dias.com.do/deportes/201...-voleibol.html
https://www.listindiario.com/el-depo...-son-campeonas


Zoe Saldaña is first Dominican with a Hollywood star
On 3 May 2018, science fiction star, 39-year old Zoe Saldaña, became the first Dominican to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on 3 May 2018.

Daughter of a Dominican father and Puerto Rican mother, Zoe Saldaña was born in New Jersey, but moved to live in Santo Domingo when her father died in an accident when she was just 10 years old. She lived in Santo Domingo for seven years. She studied dance at the Ecos Espacio de Danza academy and fell in love with performance. Her training in dance was inspiration for her to seek a career in theater when her family returned to the US when she was 17.

At the age of 21, Saldana got her big break when she was offered the starring role as a teenage ballerina in “Center Stage” in 2000. She would later gain roles in The Terminal with Tom Hanks, Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar, Avengers: Infinity War.

She attended the ceremony with her Italian husband Marco Perego and their three sons, twins Bowie and Cy, three, and Zen, 14 months.

Her star is the 2,637th one since the Walk Of Fame began in 1961. Her star is located at 6920 Hollywood Boulevard.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0757855/?ref_=nv_sr_1
http://variety.com/2018/film/feature...xy-1202794043/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMWigyATmfE
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0757855/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Jazz concert at the Plaza de España
Pengbian Sang and Retro Jazz will be playing for the general public at a free concert on 19 May 2018 at the Plaza España in the Colonial City. The show is at 8:30pm.