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Domínguez Brito candidate in 2020?

Two years before the next presidential election in the Dominican Republic, some of the potential candidates are trying to get into position. Among them are "exotic" figures such as the grandson of the 1961 murdered dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, Ramfis Domínguez Trujillo, who has already founded his Democratic Party (PED), or "Prince" Karim Abu Naba'a, born in Florida in 1984, he is the son of a businessman from Dubai and a Dominican mother, who was already candidate as a mayor for the National District, and made

headlines as the boyfriend of ex-president Leonel Fernandez's eldest daughter Nicole, both of whom are playing it safe and try to score with populist anti-Haitianism.

Leonel Fernández himself is also actively seeking to get supporters for a possible candidacy for the ruling PLD party at home and abroad. And now President Danilo Medina is again covered, whether he wants to run for re-election once more or not. Some expect him to comment on this topic at his statement of accounts on this 27th of February.

Another candidate has now announced his decision to compete for the presidential election 2020 for the governing party PLD: Environment Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito. He said that serving the Republic as President is the highest honor for someone like him, who has been demonstrating his genuine commitment in various public ministries during the past 20 years. It is an honor for him to be part of the government of President Danilo Medina, who is doing so much to advance the education of the country and has built so many schools, more than anyone has ever done. Likewise, this government had distinguished itself in the fight against poverty and created a model with the surprise visits of the President in the countryside, which was praised by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

Domínguez Brito added: "My pride is to lead the Ministry of Environment in the transformation of conservation of nature, to preserve the beauty that God has given to this island, and to promote tourism and agriculture as engines of development of our economy."


15 February 2018 · Various sources

Market burned down on "Kanaval"

It is one of the landmarks of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, the Marché de Fer, the iron market, inaugurated in 1891. In the night of February 12 to 13, one of the two halls  of the market was destroyed for the third time in ten years. While people celebrated the Haitian Carnival (Kanaval), the historic market went up in flames for unknown reasons. It is thought that the fire started in a rubbish container.

The Marché de Fer, also known as Marché Vallières or Marché Hyppolite, is the central market of Port-au-Prince, a gigantic market where everything from pots and voodoo dolls to live animals is on sale. Most of the merchants who had their stalls in the affected hall lost everything they owned and now are demanding help from the Haitian government.

Originally the Marché de Fer was planned to become a railway station in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. The iron building was manufactured in Paris, but the deal failed and then Haitian President Florvil Hyppolite got wind of it and contacted the French authorities to ship the parts to Haiti where they were assembled in 1891.

The French construction company built two 2,000-square-meter halls of iron, which are connected with an oriental-looking gate with four towers in the style of minarets. The whole building was painted in red.

Already in 2008, the historic building was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt after. In January 2010, during the big earthquake, the market

was again completely destroyed. The owner of telephone company Digicel, Denis O'Brien, rebuilt the market through his foundation for 18 million dollars. Former US president Bill Clinton reopened the market in 2011.


13 February 2018 · Sources: Le Nouvelliste, Nuevo Diario

Dengue vaccine might be dangerous

The hope was huge to finally have found an effective vaccine against the worldwide increasingly spreading dengue fever, when the French pharmaceutical company went on sale with the vaccine Dengvaxia. But possibly the hope was premature.

Meanwhile, the voices warning against the medicine are getting louder and louder. It has already been withdrawn from the market in the Philippines and banned for sale after 734,000 Filipino children have been vaccinated already with Dengvaxia. Because it was found that the vaccine can worsen the disease  in children who were not yet affected by dengue.

However, in people who have had one of the four dengue serotypes, the vaccine provides continued protection. After a first Dengue infection, the body forms antivirals that can be infection-enhancing if the person becomes infected with one of the other three subtypes.

Every fourth person on earth lives in a region where he can get dengue. Each year, 390 million people are infected with this fever, which in its most severe form, the haemorrhagic dengue, frequently is fatal. Every year, around 25,000 people die from this disease transmitted by the tiger mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Especially children and the elderly are threatened. There is no drug for dengue. Only the symptoms can be treated: high fever, body aches, or internal bleeding at haemorrhagic dengue. Therefore, the patient should never take Aspirin if he has fever or pain without flu symptoms in the tropics, because it dilutes the blood and increases the risk of internal bleeding.


5 February 2018 · Various sources

"Carnaval" in Puerto Plata

February is the month of "Carnaval" in the Dominican Republic. And this Carnival does not end on Ash Wednesday, this year on February 14, and with the beginning of Lent like in the rest of the Catholic world, but it lasts until March.

The stronghold of the Dominican carnival is La Vega, where every year come about one million visitors who are spending around 500 million pesos, - an important economic factor in the city south of Santiago. In La Vega, where a first carnival had already taken place in the ruins of the old city in February 1510, around 150 groups will take part in the parades this year, with about 2,500 limping devils (diablos cojuelos), who beat their visitors with their pig's bladders. Since this has molested many, this year for the first time there are devil-free zones next to the parade, where visitors are not allowed to be beaten.

Every Saturday at the Parque de las Flores there are free concerts by Dominican and international artists of all genres from Bachata, Merengue and Salsa to Música urbana. Also on the Sundays after the parades, there are these concerts, which are initiated by local DJs.

Puerto Plata, the "Bride of the Atlantic", has been trying for years to play an important part in Dominican carnival alongside La Vega, Santo Domingo, Santiago and San Pedro de Macorís. Some things have been done in recent years to improve it, but there has always been harsh criticism from residents around Puerto Plata's malecón at the height of the fire station, who complained that visitors were leaving garbage everywhere and thieves were making trouble. To change that, the carnival of Puerto Plata was moved to the other end of Malecón, at the traffic circle with Michelangelo's David statue. The stages are now set up and the Sunday parade will be held there.


2 February 2018 · Various sources

Sarodj Bertin, the Haitian Miss Universe participant in 2010, presented her new photo calendar in which she advertises interesting landscapes of the country where she was born. Its motto is "I Love Haiti". The proceeds of the popular calendars are donated to their foundation "Sarodj for a Purpose", which supports children from their country who lack everything from food and clothing to education. The first calendar of this series was published in 2012.

Sarodj Bertin is not only a photo model and television presenter

New photo calendar of Sarodj Bertin

but also a lawyer. After the murder of her mother in Port-au-Prince in March 1995, a lawyer and critic of then-Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Sarodj Bertin was sent to the Dominican Republic by her family, where she studied law from 2003 to 2010 and worked as a human rights lawyer. After the January 2010 earthquake, she was reproached that there are more important things to do for Haiti than to compete in a Miss Universe contest. But Bertin said she sees herself as the voice of the Haitian people, to whom she wants to direct the world's gaze after the catastrophe.

Sarodj Bertin was also named "Ambassador of Good Will", along which stars such as Shakira, Plácido Domingo or Angelina Jolie.


2 February 2018 · Source: El Día

Stranded in Santo Domingo

Passengers of various nationalities have been stuck in the hall of the International Airport Las Américas (AILA) in Santo Domingo since the withdrawal of license to fly five days ago of the sole Dominican airline PAWA Dominicana for three months due to payment problems to the Aeronautical Authority (JAC) and the airport operator Aerodom Siglo XXI. The airline owes the Dominican state 7.8 million dollars and also has debts with service companies and Aerodom.

The travelers, mostly Venezuelans, Cubans and Dominicans, complain: "We have been sleeping on the ground for five days. Boys, girls and the elderly, who also take on all sorts of inconvenience because we have no money to buy food."

Most say they came to the Dominican Republic on vacation and now can not fly home. They complain that nobody comes and informs them about the situation.

Some of the passengers guarded by the Tourism Police Cestur threaten: "If no solution is found by tomorrow, we will resort to reprisals and we will not guarantee for the consequences." They say that although the directorate of the airport authority has promised to rent two planes for the passengers to bring them home, nothing had happened so far.

PAWA has announced that it will refund the passengers' money, but to date no one of its staff has shown, not even to explain what happens next.


1 February 2018 · Source: HOY

Razzamatazz in "Nueba Yol"

In the north of the island of Manhattan in New York - Upper Manhattan - lies the district Washington Heights. The population of Washington Heights today consists largely of emigrants from the Dominican Republic. The office of state accountant Thomas DiNapoli has now published a report calling Wahington Heights one of the two noisiest neighborhoods in New York.

The area with the largest population of Dominican immigrants in the world had the highest complaint rate due to street noise, quarrels,

 loud music, drunks in the streets and other rebellious behaviors that affect the quality of life.

About 82 complaints per thousand adults were reported to the city's 311 emergency number, the report said. Only in one other quarter, in Harlem, there were also 82 complaints per thousand adults. Here, in addition to a large Dominican population live also Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and African Americans. The average complaint rate of all districts of New York during this time was 38 complaints per thousand adults per year.

DiNapolis report called the nightlife and construction activities as two of the most common causes of noise pollution. Between 2010 and 2015 there were 10,589 complaints due to noise at night at Washington Heights.


1 February 2018 · Source: Diario Libre

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