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    Default DR1 Daily News - Monday, 24 February 2020

    Presidency requests Attorney General suspend investigation into collapse of municipal election
    IFES confirms its participation in e-voting glitch investigation
    JCE IT director is suspended
    Millennials to PLD: You are messing with the wrong generation
    Thousands take part in the pot-banging protest for democracy
    Political groups march for democracy
    More than 8 million ballots to be printed
    After week ordeal, Colonel Guzmán and Claro tech go free
    Participación Ciudadana: Jean Alain Rodríguez has "kidnapped" the Public Ministry
    Senator Felix Bautista insulted in a restaurant
    Venezuela's Diosdado Cabello says elections were canceled because PLD was losing
    Santo Domingo Metro and the demonstrations at the Plaza de las Banderas
    Boeing maintenance center to operate at Barahona International
    Presidency enacts new tax amnesty law
    DR leads entire region in economic growth
    Solidarity Bank disbursed over RD$6.8 billion in 2019
    World Bank is preparing water solutions for Moca and Gaspar Hernandez
    Dominican students evacuated from Wuhan arrive in Ukraine to a hostile welcome
    Domiciliary arrest authorized to Cesar El Abusador's spouse
    Arsenio Quevedo and Erikson de los Santos ordered back to jail
    Police solve casino robbery in Puerto Plata
    Ming porcelains and other artifacts from the sea
    Political situation causes changes in East Santo Domingo Carnival

    Presidency requests Attorney General suspend the investigation into collapse of municipal election
    Legal advisor to the President Flavio Darío Espinal, in a press conference, on Friday, 21 February 2020, announced the Dominican government has requested the Organization of American States (OAS), International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore) carry out an independent audit of the reasons leading to the collapse of the e-voting system. In the presence of the two closest aides to President Danilo Medina, Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo and Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta, Espinal read the announcement of the recent decisions.

    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) had told the nation the Attorney General was in charge of the investigation. Now, the Attorney General is practically fired from the investigation. The announcement of the Presidency coincides with recent reports in El Dia and Acento of a widespread effort by the Attorney General Office to hire new staff for key positions, including anti-corruption prosecutor, high-tech crimes prosecutor and the electoral crimes prosecutor.

    The statement from the Medina administration highlights that the indignation of the people is proof Dominicans are not indifferent to not being able to vote. "Democracy begins, while it does not end there, with the vote," read Espinal, a former Dominican ambassador to the OAS and to the US Government.

    In the message, the Medina administration acknowledges the Dominican people want answers to what happened on 16 February 2020. Dominicans demand a credible answer, said the legal advisor. "Nothing is achieved if the explanation that is given, even if truthful, does not have the credibility that is the base of the trust between governors and the governed," read Espinal on the government position.

    Espinal said that, following instructions from President Danilo Medina, he, Administrative Minister José Ramón Peralta and Dominican Ambassador to the OAS Josué Fiallo met with Luis Almagro, secretary general of the OAS to request the participation of an OAS mission in an audit to determine what caused the system to fail.

    Espinal read that after the cancellation of the election, Dominicans have demanded a transparent and credible explanation of what happened with the e-voting system. He said what happened is unfortunate, shameful and frustrating. Protestors are demanding and deserve an explanation. That answer needs to be independent, transparent, rigorous and objective, he said.

    Political parties had already requested both the OAS, IFES and Uniore lead an independent investigation. On Friday, 21 February 2020, the JCE announced the information technology (IT) director of the JCE, Miguel Angel García, was suspended to facilitate the investigation.

    IFES confirms its participation in e-voting glitch investigation
    On Friday, 21 February 2020, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) informed the nation that both the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore), had confirmed they would participate in the investigation into the e-voting glitch that lead to the 16 February 2020 election being aborted.

    As reported, IFES says its technical contribution would focus on assistance with electoral verifications after 16 February, to detect intrusions and manipulation of the voting machines. IFES will also review key procedures and records to ensure that the appropriate processes were followed and will identify where the system may have failed.

    The Foundation proposes that the review process be carried out with "total transparency for political parties and local and international observer groups."

    JCE IT director is suspended
    The president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Julio Cesar Castaños Guzman, said on Friday, 21 February 2020 that the plenary decided to suspend Miguel Angel Garcia, from his role as director of information technology at the electoral institution. The suspension is to facilitate the investigation into the reasons for the electronic glitch that resulted in the aborting of the municipal election on 16 February 2020.

    Garcia had been in the position since January 2017. Previously, he had served in the same position from 2003 to 2011.

    Castaños Guzmán also announced on Friday, 21 February that the international investigation into the election failures would begin in the next week and would be conducted by the International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore).

    The JCE IT division will now be the responsibility of its four deputy directors, who will be acting in a collegiate manner.

    On Friday, 21 February, the Presidency announced it was requesting the assistance of an Organization of American States (OAS) mission to establish the reasons for the errors in the e-voting system.

    Millennials to PLD: You are messing with the wrong generation
    On Monday, 17 February 2020, Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) candidate for deputy Bolivar Valera (El Boli) had posted a tweet stating: "The popis don't vote, they only want their likes for participating in the protests." Popis is a pejorative name given to well off young people. Valera was referring to the trickle of middle-class youths that had protested outside the Central Electoral Board (JCE) after the electoral body announced the municipal election was suspended on Sunday, 16 February. Bolivar Valera apologized and erased the tweet, but it already had been captured and gone viral.

    On Wednesday, 19 February, three tear gas bombs would be detonated to disperse the dozens of youths protesting at the Plaza de las Banderas. A video shows that one of the tear gas bombs was ejected from a window on a third floor in the Central Electoral Board (JCE).

    The tear gas bombs action had a contrary effect. Afterward, it was hundreds and hundreds of youths that would join the protest. What began as a trickle of people was now one of the largest spontaneous protests in the nation's history.

    Meanwhile, independent journalists focused on how the JCE had left up to the discredited Public Ministry the investigations and prosecution of who might have caused the collapse of the e-voting system. The Public Ministry and the Police announced the arrest of a police colonel Guzmán Peralta and a Claro technician Manuel Regalado. Regalado had tipped off Guzmán in a WhatsApp chat that something fishy was going on involving the e-voting equipment and shared the name of Army Colonel Koji Maruyama. In an interview with investigative journalist Alicia Ortega, Regalado explained the Public Ministry seemed intent on finding someone to blame for the failed election.

    Thousands take part in pot-banging protest for democracy
    The "cacerolazo," the popular form of protest in Venezuela, has found a great following in Santo Domingo. After the bid to bang pots, on Friday, 21 February from 8 to 8:10pm thousands of households made their voice heard from home.

    On Saturday, President Danilo Medina was greeted with pot-banging at his own condominium. The action was then repeated on Sunday, 23 February from 3 to 3:10 pm, 6 to 6:10 and 8 to 8:10 and 9 to 9:10pm.

    The action is taken to demand that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) organize fair and transparent elections on 15 March (municipal) and 17 May (congressional and presidential).

    Political groups march for democracy
    Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) presidential candidate Luis Abinader, former President Leonel Fernández for the People's Force (FP) and Federico (Quique) Antún of the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC) headed a march of followers ending in Puerta del Conde (Altar de la Patria) on Sunday, 23 February.

    "We call on the heads of the Central Electoral Board to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to it by the Constitution to organize free elections, with fairness, objectivity and transparency," read PRM vice president Faride Raful, at the Altar de la Patria at the end of the march. The media reported that Faride Raful, vice president of the PRM, spoke for the group of 13 parties. She is running for senator for Santo Domingo on the PRM ticket.

    Originally the march had been scheduled to end in front of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), but on Saturday the direction was changed to leave the Plaza de la Bandera space to the millennial protest.

    The PRM and 13 other political parties have been asked to stay away from the Plaza de la Bandera protest by the young adult groups.

    Abinader and Fernández together did not take any stage at the event, nor did their groups coincide during the march.

    PRM National District candidate to mayor, Carolina Mejía, did not participate in the march. El Nuevo Diario explained that the absence could be related to the distance former President Hipólito Mejía, father of Carolina, has kept with former President Fernández. When the PRM announced the alliance with Fernández followers for certain congressional and municipal positions, she issued a statement expressing her opposition but accepting the party position.

    Earlier, Alianza Pais had stated it would not participate in the protest march. Guillermo Moreno, president of Alianza Pais has asked for the resignation of the judges of the Central Electoral Board (JCE).

    More than 8 million ballots to be printed
    After a second try with electronic voting failed, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) is returning to manual voting. On Friday, the JCE announced 8 million physical ballots are being printed in two weeks. Editora Corripio got the contract. The company had already printed the sections where physical ballots would be used for the failed municipal election.

    Mario Núñez, JCE elections director, said the artwork for the ballots was approved by the political party delegates on Thursday, 20 February.

    8,270,775 physical ballots that will be used in the Sunday, 15 March 2020 municipal election. This includes 8% more than the 7.4 million eligible voters.

    Núñez said that the 3.2 million ballots that would have been used in the 16 February election will be stored in freight containers until the protocol for their incineration is met.

    In other developments, the date for alliances has been extended to 25 February, and the deadline for registering presidential candidacies is extended one week, from 3 March to 10 March 2020.

    After week-long ordeal, Colonel Guzmán and Claro tech go free
    On Friday afternoon, the Attorney General Office desisted from its investigations of Colonel Ramón Antonio Guzmán Peralta and Claro technician Manuel Antonio Regalado Martínez, both singled out by the Public Ministry as having ties to the sabotage of the municipal election on Sunday, 16 February 2020. Adjunct prosecutor Joan Alcántara said the process could continue with the men out of jail.

    Defense lawyer Antoliano Peralta said this was a win of the Dominican people that vehemently called for respect to the Constitution and the rights of these persons. Peralta on Thursday, 20 February had filed a complaint demanding that Army Colonel Koji Maruyama be investigated. Both security officers had expressed concern about taking preventive actions against possible sabotage related to the 16 February election. This was captured in a chat that was leaked to the media.

    The defense lawyer Peralta denied charges pressed by the Police and Attorney General prosecutors that the two were involved in the collapse of the e-voting system. He demanded a serious investigation. He said no file had been submitted because the authorities were still "inventing" what would go into the file.

    After the release, the media showed how both Guzmán and Regalado thanked the Dominican people for their support. Both had been subject to a long ordeal after their arrest on Sunday, 16 February.

    The two were arrested after Regalado Martínez had alerted Guzmán of the suspicious attempted entry to a Claro facility by Army colonel Koji Maruyama. In an interview with investigative journalist, Regalado had stated the prosecutors were not looking for the truth, but for someone to blame.

    The Electoral Military Police said that Maruyama was in charge of the custody and physical security of the optic fiber that connected the Central Electoral Board (JCE) computer center.

    Former President Leonel Fernandez tweeted on the issue: "Due to popular pressure, the government is forced to abandon its strategy of distracting from the failed attempt at fraud in the municipal elections. The false investigation and the hoax of the Public Ministry and the National Police have been defeated."

    Participación Ciudadana: Jean Alain Rodríguez has "kidnapped" the Public Ministry
    The civic watchdog organization and local chapter of Transparency International Citizen Participation (PC) denounced on Friday, 21 February 2020, that Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez has a plan to "kidnap" the Public Ministry. In a press conference, PC said that Rodríguez has convened a contest to appoint new people to the main positions in the Public Ministry. PC claims that prosecutors have been forced to resign prematurely.

    Likewise, PC says it has ascertained that an enormous number of new persons have entered the prosecutor career, which the entity says is an apparent attempt to control the Public Ministry in the short-, medium- and long-term. PC says this is a clear attempt at ensuring impunity in the case of a change of government in the 17 May election.

    PC rejected making major changes to the body of state prosecutors during an electoral and political transition time. The entity called for the Superior Council of the Public Ministry, under the control of the Attorney General of the Republic to "apply the best practices that indicate that decisions of this kind should not be taken in the middle of an election, and put a stop to the public contest that is underway."

    PC is acting after a detailed story on the matter appeared in Acento online portal. A group of anonymous prosecutors say that this and other actions of the Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez have set back the Public Ministry at least 18 years, as no other official in that area had done, putting all the departments at the service of himself and politicians.

    The anonymous prosecutors say that the recently appointed electoral prosecutors were given instructions by the Attorney General to only prosecute electoral crimes of the opposition.

    In July 2019, Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez pulled off a previous overhaul of the Public Ministry. At the time, the irregularities in that contest were denounced by journalist Edith Febles, Altagracia Salazar and Ricardo Nieves, and this cost them their jobs on CDN television and radio network.

    The Attorney General addressed the Participación Ciudadana claim on Friday, and called for PC to present evidence that the Attorney General Office had asked for the resignation of any prosecutor. In a press release the Attorney General said that terms for 80% of the positions had already expired. The PGR says it is an obligation of the entity to fill these positions.

    Senator Felix Bautista insulted in a restaurant
    The Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) senator for San Juan de la Maguana, Felix Bautista was all smiles to insults received and captured on a video that was largely circulated on social media this weekend. Bautista had just left a restaurant in Santiago. Bautista is running for re-election on the ruling party ticket.

    Venezuela's Diosdado Cabello says elections were canceled because PLD was losing
    The president of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, insists the Dominican government is responsible for the suspension of the municipal election. In a recent statement, he said he maintains his original statement that the Dominican government canceled the election "because they knew they were going to lose."

    "The people of the Dominican Republic were upset with me, because of what I said. I don't understand. I reiterate that, the only ones to blame are those who are governing the country at this time. Or whose fault is that? Venezuela's, or the Diosdado who declared it," he emphasized.

    He remarked that if the cancelation had happened in Venezuela, this would have been on all the front pages of the newspapers worldwide with headlines saying: "Dictator suspended elections".

    "The truth is that the Dominican government ordered for the election to be suspended because it was going to lose, that is the reality. Then they hide, and they say that 'Diosdado is getting into the internal affairs of the Dominican Republic'".

    He added that people are not protesting in the streets because of what he said, nor for Venezuela, but against the government and the Central Electoral Board because there was no election. "Blame me if you want."

    He said that some countries should remember when "Hugo Chávez held out his hand to them". "You go to the Dominican Republic and ask about Hugo Chavez and they applaud him, because the people are grateful, that's what governments forget," he concluded.

    Dominican foreign minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado said the statements by Cabello were "unfriendly, disrespectful, and unfortunate." "In electoral matters and in all democracy matters, Cabello Rondón lacks any quality to give lessons to Dominicans," said Vargas.

    The Santo Domingo Metro and the demonstrations at the Plaza de las Banderas
    The authorities at the Santo Domingo Metro have refuted the claim that access to the Metro was denied to any person dressed in black or carrying signage. The snapshot of a Metro agent talking to a young woman carry a cardboard sign and wearing black has circulated throughout social media in the Dominican Republic and, really, the world.

    As a result, the Specialized Security Corps of the Metro and Tramline of Santo Domingo (Cesmet), has been forced to explain just what was going on in that now-famous photograph. According to the authorities, the agent was merely explaining the norms contained in Article 15, section D of the User Manual of the Metro. This explains the maximum dimensions of any object to be carried on the Metro. According to the press communiqué, the Metro says that the young lady was allowed to take the Metro to her preferred destination, and that no person has been denied access because of the clothing they were wearing.

    In another note, Cesmet agents prevented an upset person from diving in front of a Metro train, in an apparent suicide attempt. Video has surfaced of the Cesmet agents dragging the individual across the subway platform. He was yelling and screaming that he carried a contagious disease and he was placed in a security room.

    Initially, videos had surfaced on social media of the Cesmet personnel literally dragging the young man across the platform. Later on, it was revealed that the person received assistance from doctors and medical persons from the 911 Emergency System. The Metro office issued a note that said that they apologized for the aggressive level of behavior of their agents as seen on the video, and promised to continue working to offer information regarding this case…."

    On video from the National Police said that "we stopped an individual who was trying to commit suicide by throwing himself on the train tracks."


    Boeing maintenance center to operate at Barahona International
    The Presidency announced on Friday, 21 February the enactment of the new Public-Private Partnership Law 47-20 and shortly afterward the new agreement with Boeing. As reported, the Medina administration has signed an agreement with Boeing and FTS Holdings Group for the construction of an aviation maintenance center at Barahona's Maria Montez International Airport. The airport built in southwestern city was only used to assist Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

    Representing Boeing was Randy Lander, director for Latin America; Ronald Anderson, director supply management Boeing Global and Ubaldino Real, executive vice president for FTS Holdings Group. The plan is to invest US$40 million in the new maintenance center for Boeing commercial jets serving the Latin American region. The new center could create 1,500 jobs in its first 10 years.

    Presidency enacts new tax amnesty law
    President Danilo Medina enacted Transparency and Patrimonial Reassessment Law 46-20 (Ley de Transparencia y Revalorización Patrimonial) on Friday, 21 February 2020. The law allows taxpayers to declare, reassess and make the corresponding payment, voluntarily and exceptionally, for assets that have not been declared before the Tax Agency (DGII) to regularize their tax obligations according to current market prices.

    Individuals, legal entities and undivided inheritances (an inheritance that has not been distributed) may benefit from this regime. Among the assets subject to declaration and reassessment are the possession of national or foreign currency, financial instruments and movable and immovable property. A 2% tax is set on the value of the asset, as a single and final payment.

    The exceptions to the law are holdings of currency deposited in foreign financial institutions and securities in countries identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as high risk or non-cooperative.

    Those interested in taking advantage of the benefits of this special tax regime have a 90 calendar day term, from the entry into force of the law.

    DR leads entire region in economic growth
    The InterAmerican Development Bank Group "Activities Report 2019" has the Dominican Republic seeded as the country with the largest economic growth in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean. The document was released during the IDB Governors Meeting on Central America and the Caribbean held in El Salvador over the weekend. The Dominican Republic showed a 5% growth rate in Gross Domestic Product, versus Panama with 4.3%. The regional average was set at 3.4%, which is above the average for Latin America and the Caribbean and above the global forecast of 3% growth in GDP.

    The high growth is attributed to an increase in exports, a larger amount of remittances, resulting from the United States' continuing economic success, together with greater internal consumption influenced by low inflation rates. During 2019, the IDB approved US$384 million in financing for the Dominican Republic, which was used for improved transportation, agricultural development and improved energy efficiency.

    Solidarity Bank disbursed over RD$6.8 billion in 2019
    The director-general of the governmental Solidarity Bank, Mayra Jiménez, says in 2019 the bank granted over RD$6.9 billion in financing for micro- and small businesses. This represented an 8% growth in the credit portfolio of the bank. The bank has 110 offices and branches nationwide. Reportedly it provided services to 127,986 clients, including 38,000 new clients.

    World Bank is preparing water solutions for Moca and Gaspar Hernandez
    The World Bank has announced that work has begun on the water solutions for the cities of Moca and Gaspar Hernandez in the province of Espaillat. Rafael Martinez, the director of the Moca Water and Sewer Corporation (Coraamoca), reported during a meeting with reporters that sewage drainage systems and more efficient water systems and the cleanup of the rivers that supply the water to these two municipalities is being carried out with backing from the World Bank.

    The National Institute for Water and Sewers (INAPA) will be in charge of the project. The very ambitious project was the result of the combined efforts of the ministries of Hacienda (Treasury) and Economy, plus the input from the World Bank, INAPA and Coraamoca.

    Dominican students evacuated from Wuhan arrive in Ukraine to a hostile welcome

    Dominicans met with hostility as they arrive for 15-day quarantine in Ukraine. Five Dominican students arrived in good health to Ukraine after being evacuated from Wuhan, China. News media, nevertheless, reports that the local residents in the village of Novi Sanzhary were not happy about the transitory keeping of the foreigners, in their transit to the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans were part of a flight of 70 people that arrived on 20 February 2020 and were taken by bus to a local sanitarium where they would be quarantined. As reported, protestors tried to block the road and even hurled stones at the buses.

    More than 10 people were detained, and Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov personally visited the site of the protests to try to calm the crowd down.
    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tried to reassure people that the quarantined evacuees wouldn't pose any danger to local residents.

    In a statement published on his Facebook page, Zelenskiy said the people evacuated from China are healthy and will live in a closed medical center run by the National Guard in the village as a precaution. "In the next two weeks it will probably be the most guarded facility in the country," Zelenskiy said.

    Five Dominicans were part of the group of 27 foreign nationals that took off from Wuhan; the other 22 were from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and other countries. The other 45 on the flight were Ukrainians. .

    Domiciliary arrest authorized to Cesar El Abusador's spouse
    On Friday, 21 February, judge Yanibel Rivas authorized accused drug trafficker Cesar Emilio Peralta (Cesar El Abusador) to keep household arrest. She is not allowed to leave the country. She had been at the Najayo Jail since 9 September 2019, when she was arrested after her spouse became a fugitive of justice. Cesar El Abusador had gone undercover after the Treasury designated him under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act on 20 August 2019.

    Marisol Franco is under arrest for complicity in her spouse's drug trafficking operations. Cesar Emilio Peralta was arrested in Colombia. The US has requested his extradition.

    Arsenio Quevedo and Erikson de los Santos ordered back to jail
    The Court of Appeals of the National District rejected the acquittal of Arsenio Quevedo of Unatrafin, former city councilor of Pedro Brand Erikson de los Santos Solís and Cristino Batista. The court ordered a new trial.

    The men are accused of several homicides. They had been released by the Second Collegiate Court of the National District in March 2018. The three are accused of having been part of a network that murdered bus transporters to control bus routes in the country. In the case, Amauris Cabrera and Danilo Octavio Reinoso were sentenced to 30 years in jail.
    The case began in 2015.

    Police solve casino robbery in Puerto Plata
    The National Police announced the arrest of three accused of robbing the Living Las Vegas Sports Bar & Terrace in the city of Puerto Plata on Wednesday, 19 February 2020. The Police said the three men are of ages 18, 19 and 31. Two of them were said to be from Boca Chica's barrio of La Caleta and the third is from Puerto Plata. A fourth individual is sought.

    The men used a crowbar to break into the casino, and stabbed and beat a 36-year old security guard who had to be hospitalized.

    Police colonel Francisco Pérez Encarnación said that a nearby police patrol caught the thieves "red-handed," as the saying goes, with 12 bottles of whiskey and vodka, a haul of money, 13 casino machines and a safe.

    They were immediately arrested and taken into custody. All three will be sent up on charges before the Justice Department.

    DR loses game 1 to Canada in Pre-Americas Cup, game 2 tonight in Santo Domingo
    Canada won the opening game of the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Qualifier with an 89-72 victory over the DR on Friday, 20 February. The game was played in Oshawa, Ontario. Canada won the first half 54-32. Through the first half, the Dominican Republic had maintained a five-point advantage after the first and second quarters.

    The two teams will face each other again on Monday, 24 February, this time at the Palacio de los Deportes in Santo Domingo.

    Canada and the Dominican Republic are in Group C with Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the US Virgin Islands. Teams are meeting twice, both at home and away. The top three teams in each group qualify for the FIBA AmeriCup 2021.

    The FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Qualifiers feature 16 teams from the Americas zone divided into four groups of four teams. Teams play each other twice, home and away, during the qualifying phase with three windows set for 21-24 February 2020, November 2020 and February 2021.

    The top three finishing teams in each Group will earn a qualifying berth in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021. Group A consists of Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela; Group B includes Brazil, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay; and Group D includes Bahamas, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the USA.

    Ming porcelains and other artifacts from the sea
    The Cultural Center of the Reserve Bank of the Dominican Republic (Banreservas) is the host to a major display of artifacts salvaged from shipwrecks around the island of Hispaniola.
    There have been modern-day tales of fishermen selling Ming dynasty porcelains on the streets of Santiago during the 1960s for RD$10.00 each! Now, a large number of these items are on display at the Banreservas Cultural Center, in the Ada Balcacer Hall.

    The exhibition is called "Undersea treasures, Antiquities: Shipwrecks Salvaged from the Seas." The star of the show are the porcelains from the Ming Dynasty, recovered from the wreck of the Concepcion, which left Veracruz, Mexico in 1641. According to reports, these porcelains belonged to the widow of Hernan Cortes, the Conquistador of Mexico and the first Marques of the Oaxaca Valley during the early part of the XVI century.

    Political situation causes changes in East Santo Domingo Carnival
    The Carnival of Santo Domingo East has been set back to Sunday, 1 March 2020, announced the mayor of East Santo Domingo, Alfredo Martinez. Martínez said the carnival event will include more than 50 dance and performing groups, not only from East Santo Domingo but also from several of the surrounding provinces, such as Monte Plata and San Pedro de Macoris. Urban music stars such as Mozart El Para and Ala Jaza will be performing for the public along España Avenue next Sunday.
    Last edited by Dolores; 02-24-2020 at 08:38 AM.

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