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Daily News - Friday, 31 January 2014

President Medina sees Licey ball players off
The Tigres del Licey team that will represent the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Baseball Series visited the Presidential Palace yesterday, Thursday 30 January to receive the Dominican flag from President Danilo Medina. The team is traveling to Isla Margarita, Venezuela to start the championship on Saturday, 1 February.

The President asked the team to return with the national flag flying high with glory.

"The Dominican Republic is now unanimously with the Tigres del Licey and we hope that the Licey fills itself with the glory and increases the number of victories that it has and at the same time increase the victories for the Dominican Republic," he said.

The government was also represented by Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo, Economy Minister Temistocles Montas and legal advisor Cesar Pina Toribio.

The team delegation was head by club president Miguel Guerra, general manager Manny Acta and team captain Emilio Bonifacio.

Dominican Baseball League president Leonardo Matos Berrico, deputy sports minister Soterio Ramirez and immortal sportsman Juan (Pinao) Ortiz were also present.

Good for the President
Diario Libre's editorial today, Friday 31 January congratulates President Danilo Medina on his response to the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves.

"Our country has waited too long before putting the Prime Minister of [St Vincent and] the Grenadines in his place. This newspaper has suggested that a firm answer should have been given from the start, because fools should not be allowed to keep at it.

"President Medina's vigorous position at the CELAC Summit is the position of all the country that wants a solution to a problem for which we are responsible to be found, but that cannot be resolved neither by foreign pressure nor agreement with the particular wishes of people, institutions or countries that are not stakeholders.

"The prime minister's double standards are obvious. A story in the island's leading newspaper describes how five Haitian citizens who had overstayed their visas by several months were deported. Mr. Gonsalves does not want another sovereign state, such as the Dominican Republic to do what [St. Vincent and] the Grenadines does.

"The country is with its President and congratulates him for the dignified position based on the law expressed in Cuba."



Santo Domingo is Ibero-American Youth Capital
The general secretary of the Ibero-American Youth Organization, Alejo Ramirez met with President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace yesterday, Thursday 30 January, to announce the appointment of Santo Domingo as Ibero-American Youth Capital for 2014. Brasilia was the capital in 2014. The event will be coordinated in the Dominican Republic by Minister of Youth Jorge Minaya. Also visiting the President was Bruno Vanhoni, of the National Youth Secretariat in Brazil, and Laiza Johnson, youth coordinator at the Panamanian Social Development Ministry.

"We want to recognize the work being carried out in the Dominican Republic in recent times. We believe there has been a substantial change in public policies for youth by this government," said the general secretary when outlining the reasons for the appointment.

President Medina pledged to bring topics of the youth agenda to the next Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government set for Veracruz, Mexico in December 2014.

The Ministry of Youth will celebrate its annual National Youth Award. The winner of the award is Dominican actress Marta Gonzalez, better known for her appearances in several soap operas for Televisa, Univision, Nickelodean and Telemundo.



DR is getting older
A recent report says that by 2020 people over the age of 65 will make up 7.35% of the total population. This age group already comprises 6.22% of the population, according to data from the 2010 Census.

US Ambassador meets the press
The new United States ambassador in the DR James (Wally) Brewster met with editors of Dominican print newspapers yesterday, Thursday 30 January.

As reported in Hoy, the ambassador expressed his support for the Dominican government in the talks between the DR and Haiti on the effects that the Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13 that confirms previous criteria for nationality in the Dominican Republic and establishes paths for citizenship and legal residency for foreigners has had on the relationship between both countries. The ambassador praised President Danilo Medina's commitment to respecting human rights and the decision to apply an immigrant legalization program.

As reported, he also said that the US is concerned about the lack of opportunities for Haitians in their own country. He expressed his trust that the two nations can coexist on the island but "with each country in its place," in terms of the burden, it has been said that developed countries want the DR to bear the burden of the difficulties in Haiti.

"Two strong countries are needed to make a strong island," said the Ambassador, as reported in Diario Libre. He said the US is backing the talks so that the differences may be resolved and the National Foreigner Legalization Plan can be implemented in the short term, while respecting human rights.

During the meeting, Brewster also spoke of the priorities for US relations with the Dominican Republic, including combating drug trafficking, and supporting education, publc health, the judiciary and strengthening trade. He mentioned that he was aware of an increase in US tourism to the DR and expressed his satisfaction with the results of the DR-CAFTA free trade agreement for the DR. The agreement will be fully implemented in 2015. Brewster said the Embassy was listening to Dominican concerns regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Dominican trade.

As reported, he said that US supports the diversification of energy sources in the DR. The ambassador said that the US government considers the expansion of electricity generation of using liquefied natural gas to be favorable for the DR

Brewster said the US government backs the revision of the extradition treaty of the DR with the US that dates back to 1909 and concluded by advocating that a new treaty should also focus on hi-tech crimes.

The editors who attended the meeting were Rafael Molina from El Dia, Osvaldo Santana from El Caribe, Persio Maldonado from El Nuevo Diario, Adriano Miguel Tejada from Diario Libre, Miguel Franjul from Listin Diario, Jose Antonio Torres from El Nacional and Nelson Marrero from Hoy. US Embassy counselor for public affairs James Russo and press attache Jeremiah Knight, were also present.



Haiti and DR farm sector representatives meet
Farming business representatives from Haiti and the Dominican Republic met at the headquarters of the Dominican Agribusiness Board yesterday, Thursday, 30 January to discuss issues of common interest. The businesspeople are seeking bilateral cooperation to strengthen production across the entire island. As reported in Hoy, there were discussions on possible technological innovations to share experiences and incorporate new technology in farm production. Opportunities in international markets for products from both sides of the island were also discussed.

During the meeting a joint project for the planting of coconut trees, with the support of the European Union was discussed.

"Around a million coconut trees have been planted in Haiti, and we have another two million. The goal is for an additional five million to be planted so that together we have eight million coconut trees... companies like Coca Cola are backing the development of large coconut plantations around the world, because they want to launch a coconut water based energy drink," said Dominican Agricultural Board (JAD) executive vice president Osmar Benitez.

He said coconuts also produce cream, milk, oil, and the shells and wood are also useful.

The Dominican Republic was represented by JAD president, Cesar Paniagua and fellow farming sector businesspeople Bolivar Toribio, Maria Gomez, Cesar Espaillat, Martin Familia, Apolinar Germosen, Rafael Ledesma, Frank Valdez, Carlos de la Rosa, Guido Malan, Pedro Garcia and Raymundo Roig.

Haiti was represented by Hubert Dufort, Allan Munne, Beavoir Leriche, Robert Brutus, Leogan Chatuler Router, Juan Eric Nunez, Nelson Garcia and Jeffery read.

The event was chaired by Osmar Benitez who singled out the efforts of leading Haitian agricultural businessman Hubert Dufort, a producer of coffee, cacao, vegetables, coconut essential goals and cattle ranching.

A third meeting was set for April in Port-au-Prince.


Former President Fernandez sworn in to Parlacen
President Leonel Fernandez joined other former regional Presidents as a member of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) in a ceremony held yesterday, Thursday 30 January. The regional integration entity is based in Guatemala City.

"We have new challenges from Central America, new challenges for the Dominican Republic and for all of Latin America. It is about, essentially, the new challenge of globalization and all this means for our peoples," said Fernandez during the event.

Romantic concert at the National Theater
Soprano Nathalie Pena-Comas will appear in a concert at the Sala Aida Bonelly de Diaz of the National Theater in Santo Domingo on 12 February. Museos, Music and Love, the traditional event organized of the Dominican Chapter of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). She will sing romantic songs with the music of Faure, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Puccini and others.

She will be accompanied by cellist Milena Zivkovic and pianist Elioenai Medina.

Carnival begins on Sunday
Carnival celebrations nationwide kick off this weekend with the Bonao, La Vega, Santiago and Constanza carnivals this Sunday, 2 February. The carnival celebrations, including popular music concerts and the carnival character parades, are sponsored by the Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana (Brahma and Presidente Beer) in these cities.


DR and Puerto Rico start Caribbean Series
The two teams that played the finals of the World Baseball Classic, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, will play in the opening of the Caribbean Series on Saturday, 1 February in Isla Margarita. The Series brings together the winning teams of the winter baseball leagues in the Caribbean. This year, Cuba will be playing for the first time.

The teams are Mexico (Hermosillo), Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey), Puerto Rico (Indios de Mayaguez), host country Venezuela (Navegantes de Magallanes) and Cuba (Villa Clara).

Mexico won the series in 2013, but the DR is the team that has won the most championships.

Two games are scheduled (first at 3:30pm, second at 8pm):

Saturday, 1 February:
Puerto Rico vs. DR
Cuba vs. Mexico

Sunday, 2 February:
Mexico vs. Puerto Rico
Cuba vs. Venezuela

Monday, 3 February:
DR vs. Cuba
Venezuela vs. Mexico

Tuesday, 4 February:
Puerto Rico vs. Cuba
DR vs. Venezuela

Wednesday, 5 February:
Mexico vs. DR
Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico




Uruguay vs. DR in Davis Cup tennis this weekend
The Dominican Republic's best tennis players will be playing in the BNP Paribas Group I Las Americas Zonal Cup that opens at the modern Parque del Este tennis courts in Santo Domingo today, Friday 31 January. The World Cup qualifying event lasts until Sunday 2 February.

Dominican players will be matching Uruguay as they seek to advance to the World Group of the Davis Cup. Jose (Bebo) Hernandez (ranked 298th ATP), will face Martin Cuevas of Uruguay for the first points on the morning of 31 January.

The DR and Uruguay have met 5 times previously and Uruguay holds a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head. Uruguay have won the last three meetings between the two nations, including a 3-1 win in Uruguay in the 2013 Americas Zone Group I first round.

Victor Estrella, ranked at his personal best of 142 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the top ranked Dominican player. The other members of the DR team are Jose Olivares and William Kirkman.

The DR debuted in the Davis Cup tournaments in 1989 and has been playing in the Americas Zone for 25 years. The Uruguayans have been playing since 1931, having competed in 46 tournaments.

The DR is ranked 40th in the International Tennis Federation, while the Uruguayan team is ranked 31st.

The games began on Friday, 31 January at 10am. On Saturday, 1 February games will be played at 11am, the doubles event. The tournament closes on Sunday, 2 February with two more games at 10am.

To follow the games, see http://www.daviscup.com/en/draws-results/tie/details.aspx?tieId=100021105

For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar

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