Moving forward to grab a UN Security Council seat for 2019
Organic niche is the way to go for Dominican fresh produce exports
Unigold gets green light for Dajabón exploration
Deputies defend Mother’s Day gratuities
Global focus on Haiti after DR drops Taiwan tie
David Jessop on the expanding role of China in the Caribbean
Another incident of a large amount of cash seized, suspected to be drug related
Drug cartels use DR as transfer point
Parking row ends in murder of three, confessed killers repent
DR loses in volleyball to Brazil, moves to play in Thailand
“How to Wake Up a Lover” showing at the National Theater



Moving forward to grab a UN Security Council seat for 2019
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas is confident in the country’s efforts to line up sufficient votes to secure a non-permanent two-year term seat at the prestigious United Nations Security Council. This at a time when former Dominican ambassador in Washington, economist and historian Bernardo Vega has advised the Dominican government not to pursue the seat, arguing that projecting a neutral profile is in the best interest of the country, given the difficult times the world community is facing.

But the recent globetrotting that took Vargas around the world to China and Brazil, among other countries makes it evident that President Danilo Medina wants the DR to land one of the two seats assigned to Latin America and the Caribbean. Vargas reported that as a result of that trip, he has received the support for the country from China and Brazil. On his trip to China, Vargas announced the Dominican Republic would start diplomatic relations with that country.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations has indicated that the Dominican Republic is making advances on securing the two-thirds vote required, which translates to 126 votes needed to win the seat for the 2019-2020 appointment. The elections will take place in June 2018.

Vargas was also recently in New York City where he met with Latin American and Caribbean Group (Grulac) members and committed to vote in favor of Latin American and Caribbean interests if elected to the Security Council.

Diario Libre reports that in his quest to win the needed votes, Vargas also has on his side his personal relationship with the present secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal and former president of the International Socialista, of which Vargas is the president for Latin America.

The DR had applied for a non-permanent seat in 2002 and lost to Mexico and again in 2007 when it lost to Costa Rica.

The Security Council is composed of 15 members: five permanent members (China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) and 10 non-permanent members. The five permanent members each have veto power over resolutions voted upon in the Council.

Non-permanent members are elected for a term of two years by the General Assembly, where all 193-member states of the United Nations are represented and where each member state has one vote. Every year, the General Assembly elects 5 non-permanent members.

http://www.mirex.gob.do/medios/notic...-seguridad-onu
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-onu-GC9958901


Organic niche is the way to go for Dominican fresh produce exports
New Agriculture Minister Osmar Benítez points to the growing sustained export of organic bananas and cacao as examples of how the country is and can be competitive in fresh produce exports. Benítez says combined organic banana and organic cacao exports at almost US$300 million a year. He said in both products the Dominican Republic is the world leader. “We have advanced a lot in that sense,” he said.

Benítez says there are other fresh produce with big export potential. He mentioned mango, avocados and vegetables, especially those exported as organic produce, when speaking at the Second Organic Farming Forum organized by the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD).

https://www.listindiario.com/economi...s-300-millones


Unigold gets green light for Dajabón exploration
Coinciding with repeated visits by President Danilo Medina to the border area to make announcements of support for community groups, the Ministry of Energy and Mines announces it has approved a new exploration concession for Unigold. The company has been exploring the region since it was first authorized in 2012.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines has issued authorization to Unigold Inc. for the Neita Fase II Exploration Concession in Restauración, Dajabón province. The Concession is valid for a three-year period after which there is a possibility to two additional one-year extensions. The approved concession has a 21,031 hectare footprint and hosts several gold and copper surface geochemical anomalies, most of which have not been extensively explored.

Joseph Del Campo, interim president and CEO of Unigold commented in a recent press release: “We are very pleased the Dominican Government has approved our exploration concession and we are anxious to resume exploration of the Neita Concession to follow up on the promising results at the Candelones Extension returned from our 2016 exploration drilling program. That drilling, targeting higher grade areas of the inferred mineral resource, was undertaken to evaluate the potential to delimit a higher grade resource amenable to underground mining. The results included some of the highest grades intervals to date at the Candelones Extension deposit. It also intersected, high grade, massive sulphide mineralization within the mineral resource footprint. This copper-gold rich massive sulphide zone remains open at depth and offers an opportunity to increase both the quantity and quality of the mineral resource at Candelones.”

http://www.unigoldinc.com/i/pdf/nr/2...Concession.pdf
https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...cin-NJDL328137


Deputies defend Mother’s Day gratuities
Deputy Víctor Suárez (PLD-Santiago) in a letter to the president of the Chamber of Deputies Rubén Maldonado criticized that the legislators received vouchers for a total of RD$57 million to distribute at their discretion on occasion of Mother’s Day in the Dominican Republic that fell on Sunday, 27 May 2018.

Several legislators answered back. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rubén Maldonado (PLD-Santo Domingo) earlier had said a tender was held to choose the company for the vouchers that the beneficiaries can use to shop for electrical appliances and other items. He said this is a 25-year old practice in the Chamber of Deputies. He said under his presidency, the gifts fund were reduced by 65% the so called social fund in order to use the savings for the remodeling of the Chamber of Deputies. The funds would be delivered by the legislators and members of the Presidency in the different municipalities. Maldonado speculated Suárez’s vocal criticism is due that the stipend was reduced by 56% and was not distributed in cash. He said that last year the deputies received RD$730,000 in cash for the Mother’s Day activities.

Maldonado said the allotment was only rejected by deputy Fidelio Despradel. Despradel, of the Alianza Pais opposition party said that the PLD is responsible “for institucionalizing and modernizing the system of privileges and patronage instated in the National Congress.” Despradel is the only deputy that has rejected the regular slush fund (el barrilito) and other benefits such as the Mother’s Day and Christmas funds.

Another critic of the legislator’s position and defender of the vouchers, Orlando Espinosa (PLD-San Cristóbal), said that instead of criticizing the Mother’s Day bonds, Súarez should return the four months of wages he had received while traveling abroad. Fellow legislators also criticized the many absenses of Suárez from his legislative work in Congress.

http://hoy.com.do/dice-que-el-pld-es...-del-congreso/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...el-los-rechazo


Global focus on Haiti after DR drops Taiwan tie
The Miami Herald is following the saga of People’s Republic of China advances in Latin America, with the recent aligning of the Dominican Republic on 30 April 2018 the latest scoop.

The US State Department, through acting ambassador Robert Copley, practically reprimanded the Dominican Republic for untimely signing with China. And now, the Miami Herald reports the US would not like to see Haiti sign a sweeping bilateral agreement with China.

Republican legislator Marco Rubio has been outspoken about the matter in complaining about the DR signing with China and warning Haiti to not make the move. Rubio's advice to the Haitian delegation this weekend:
"One dollar investment from Taiwan is better than $3 of investments from China," he is reported to have said in the Miami Herald. "Three dollars of Chinese investments not only will not flow to you, but it comes with all kinds of strings attached that are going to be problematic for decades to come."

Last year, nevertheless, a consortium in China offered the city of Port au Prince a billionaire makeover, just what the convoluted city needs to make a turnaround of its practically nonexistent sanitary and transport infrastructure. Port-au-Prince Mayor Youri Chevry wants to transform his destitute capital city -- and he thinks China can help even though Haiti remains loyal to Taiwan, as reported in the Miami Herald.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nati...211776004.html
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nati...readmore_inlin


David Jessop on the expanding role of China in the Caribbean
David Jessop, a European Union expert on Caribbean matters, writes in his column “The View from Europe” on how China is fast advancing in aligning Caribbean states, with the most recent being the signing on of the Dominican Republic and of Trinidad & Tobago as the first country from the Caribbean to partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Jessop says: “The hope in Santo Domingo is that China, already the Dominican Republic’s second largest supplier of imported products, will now deliver significant investments in road, rail and energy infrastructure, as well as in agriculture and tourism. Although not confirmed, some reports suggest that the value of Chinese support could run to US$3.1bn.”

As is, the turnaround in China’s quest for an expanded role in the Caribbean happened during the Second China-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Ministerial Forum held in Santiago, Chile, in January 2018. The CELAC and China Joint Plan of Action for Cooperation on Priority Areas 2019-2021 released during the gathering made it clear that the PRC was ready to unfold at the regional and sub-regional level a range of programs to expand the Beijing relationship into many new areas.

In his remarks in “The View from Europe”, Jessop says that the absence of any alterative practical US support for the region other than for US-led renewable energy initiatives, and security measures largely intended to defend US Homeland Security, has opened doors for China to fill the void.

“China’s rise is of profound significance. It demonstrates that the world’s centre of gravity is relocating,” he writes.

https://www.caribbean-council.org/ch...aribbean-role/


Another incident of a large amount of cash seized, suspected to be drug related
National Drug Control Agency officers and state prosecutors seized EUR690,400 that had arrived in a freight container to the Multimodal Caucedo Port from Europe.

The DNCD also reported that on 25 May 2018, in an intelligence operation, three Dominicans were arrested when attempting to complete a transaction involving US$652,535.00 at Av. Gregorio Luperón in San Gerónimo, National District.

On 15 May 2018, the US Border Patrol and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA) agents seized 1326 pounds (601 Kilos) of cocaine on 14 May inside a vessel, arresting two aliens from the Dominican Republic. The estimated value of the seized narcotics was US$15.6 million.

http://www.dncd.gob.do/index.php/not...trito-nacional


Drug cartels use DR as transfer point
A report circulating on the Internet focuses on how the Dominican Republic is the victim of the huge demand for cocaine in the United States and Europe. The strategic geographical position of the country has made the Dominican Republic a connecting point between South American drug producing sources and the big markets abroad. Moreover, the dynamics of the economy make it an attractive site for drug money laundering, now in check with the recently passed Anti-Money Laundering Law.

The report especially focuses on the transit of drugs from Venezuela to Haiti to the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico or the United States and Europe. In the chapter on “The Dominican Republic and Venezuela: Cocaine Across the Caribbean”, the report states:
“For departing cocaine shipments, the Dominican Republic has a plethora of different routes to offer. For the US market, there is Puerto Rico, just 381 kilometers away. As a US territory, if smugglers can get cocaine onto this island, it makes for an easier ride to the mainland, being inside the US customs barriers. Similar dynamics apply with the French territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe for shipments into mainland Europe.158 British overseas territories like Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, as well as former colonies like Jamaica, are springboards into the United Kingdom. Yet thanks to linguistic advantages and a significant Dominican diaspora, Spain is still the principal entry point into Europe for drugs leaving the Dominican Republic. Spain has traditionally been the European nation with the highest cocaine seizures.”

The report plays on the country’s tourism slogan when it states:
“Drug traffickers have a problem exporting drugs from Venezuela. There are few commercial flights, little container shipping, no tourists and a collapsed fishing sector. But the Dominican Republic, 1,400 kilometers away, has it all. As cocaine pours largely unopposed across the border from Colombia, with production in the Andean nation at a record high, so organized crime has developed one of the region’s most prolific drug pipelines into the Dominican Republic. While there are some illegal flights that swing past, the lion’s share of the drug streaks across the Caribbean in go-fast boats. The Dominican Republic offers the drug trade some of the Caribbean’s biggest container ports, a lively tourist sector with commercial flights across the globe, and a booming property and banking sector, ready to wash narco-dollars.”

Read a summary and the full report at:
https://www.insightcrime.org/investi...oss-caribbean/
https://es.insightcrime.org/wp-conte...Crime-2018.pdf


Parking row ends in murder of three, confessed killers repent
25-year old Juan David Cuevas Acosta, a police corporal, and his father Simeón Cuevas, were sent to preventive custody for a year at La Victoria Jail by Santo Domingo judge Dolores Galay. They are accused of the killing of three in a conflict over their parking in La Toronja, Santo Domingo Este. Leaving the hearing, they expressed their regrets for the tragic deaths.

The victims were mechanic shop owner Miguel Luis Sosa, and his workers Ericson Fernández and Miguel Ángel Montero, who were reportedly shot to death by father and son after they were injured in the row.
Sosa operated a mechanics shop and had years in a row over parking. The case even had gone to the judiciary.

The tragedy occurred after the Cuevas went into rage when the mechanic blocked the entrance to the Cuevas dwelling with one of the vehicles he was repairing.

http://hoy.com.do/a-prision-padre-e-...triple-crimen/
http://hoy.com.do/atraparon-al-raso-...en-la-toronja/
http://hoy.com.do/en-fotos-asi-quedo...en-la-toronja/
http://eldia.com.do/orden-de-alejami...or-la-toronja/


DR loses in volleyball to Brazil, moves to play in Thailand
The Dominican Republic women’s volleyball team (FIVB 9th ranked) is now in Bangkok, Thailand for the Nations Volleyball Tournament, the leading annual event. This is the third of the preliminary rounds for the tournament that ends with the finals to be played in China. So far, the Dominican team, ranked 9th in the world by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has only won one game, against Argentina (ranked 11th). In its last game, on 24 May 2018, the DR lost 3-0 to 4th ranked Brazil (ranked 4th) with scores of 20 – 25, 10-25 and 13-25.

This week, the Dominican Republic goes against host Thailand (ranked 16th) on 29 May, the US (ranked 2nd) on 30 May, and Germany (ranked 13th) on 31 May.
http://www.volleyball.world/en


“How to Wake Up a Lover” showing at the National Theater
Award-winning Dominican actress, “Edilí” is starring in “Como despertar a un amante” at the Sala Ravelo of the National Theater. This is the experienced actress’s eighth monologue.

The monologue that focuses on the complex roles of Dominican women today is directed by Niurka Mota. Ediltrudis (Edilí) Pichardo is a high ranking government officer and as her day job serves as deputy minister for cultural identity and citizenship at the Ministry of Culture.

The drama opens Friday, 1 June through 3 June 2018. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:30pm and at 6:30pm on Sunday. Tickets are available at the National Theater box office for RD$1,000.