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Coffee has to be imported Dramatic Crop Loss due to Coffee Leaf Rust / No plastic Rice found, but modified Starch

The Dominican coffee industry currently is in the most severe crisis of all time. The plantations of the country, which once exported coffee, have been attacked for a decade by the coffee leaf rust (Spanish: roya), a fungus (Hemileia vastatrix), which leads to the dropping of the leaves of the coffee plants, which are severely weakened and die in case of mass infestation. The coffee leaf rust has its origin in Africa and could be kept away from the American continent by strict quarantine measures up to the seventies. After appearing in Brazil, the disease spread rapidly to Central America and the Caribbean where it caused immense damage. But the leaders of Dominican Coffee Associations also complain about the government's lack of interest in their problems. The production of the country has fallen to only 213,000 quintals on the average of the last three years, a value as one hundred years ago. As a result, 30,000 families of coffee farmers have lost 18 million pesos in income over the past four years, leading to an increase in rural poverty. The Dominican Republic therefore has turned from an exporter to an importer of

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coffee to cover the coffee needs of its own population. According to the Customs Authority (DGA), the Dominican Republic imported about 430,000 quintals of coffee in 2015, compared with 381,000 quintals in 2016. This amounts to 60.5 million dollars in 2015 and 40.5 million in 2016, which were spent on imports from Vietnam, Brazil, the USA, Colombia, Mexico, but also from Italy and Switzerland. In the impoverished south-west of the country, coffee cultivation was once one of the most dynamic economic activities. But that's over. According to the producers of coffee, the whole plantation system has been completely destroyed, and additionally comes the lack of interest of the government to help. The producers are now hoping to see President Danilo Medina, who declared 2017 the “Year of Development of Forestry”, that he also will be focusing on coffee cultivation. Andrés Gómez Pérez, the coordinator of Codocafé (Council for Coffee), said that it needed more than four billion pesos to recover 420,000 tareas (26,000 hectares) for coffee cultivation in the Enriquillo region. This was also important to counter rural exodus.

After movie clips in the social media, where it could be seen how “rice” made of plastic is produced in China, there came up suspicions that this dirt is also mixed with the rice here in order to increase the volume. Under the direction of the Ministry of Health, national and imported rice was examined to find out whether there was “plastic rice” on the Dominican market. The result was that there was no “plastic rice” in the country, but twelve percent of the rice is adulterated with fillers which are “not harmful to health”. It is mainly modified starch. The samples showed, however, that it is not “plastic rice”. “Although we have a food adulterated with an additive, there is no indication that it is harmful to health” and the people could continue eating rice.

Consumer Information Pro Consumidor confiscated 10,000 Products / Milk Powder for Sweets and Cheese

The consumer protection organization Pro Consumidor removed more than 10,000 items from the shelves of the supermarkets and colmados before Easter which were no longer suitable for human consumption. Primarily, it was food with an expired shelf life, in rusty and dented cans or unlabeled. The campaigns were carried out by Pro Consumidor in Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and HigĂźey, and in HigĂźey there were the most complaints by far. There, 7,464 products were taken from the shelves, corresponding to 74 percent.

The campaign was held in areas where the majority of tourists travel during Easter. There were also 128 visits to restaurants, bars and paradas (rest houses) to check the sanitary conditions. Pro Consumidor recalled that the restaurants, cafeterias and bars must have their menues with clearly visible prices and they must also indicate on the menu whether the prices include taxes and service. The invoices must also specify in detail what was consumed. Anina del Castillo (photo), the chairwoman of Pro Consumidor, also warned that the shops must have the items of the special offers in a sufficient quantity for which they advertise to attract more customers. After controls at the petrol stations in Santo Domingo, six gasoline pumps were closed because they dispensed less gasoline than indicated. To educate consumers about their rights, Pro Consumidor distributed information material at many bus stops throughout the country.

The deputy chairman of Fenacerd (National Association of Traders and Entrepreneurs), Ricardo Rosario, protested against Pro Consumidor. As a result of the confiscation of milk powder at wholesalers and importers, Pro Consumidor was creating uncertainty and bottlenecks in the dairy industry, because the industry needs milk powder for its production of sweets and cheese. There was a witch hunt on sacks of milk powder, which after scandals may no longer be repacked. It was discovered that traders are extending milk powder, which they buy in large sacks, with foreign substances for the resale. Dairies protested that in supermarkets and colmados is sold imported packaged milk powder, which does not meet any hygienic standards. Pro Consumidor pointed out that this product is not even milk, but a milk component that does not meet the quality and safety of genuine milk. Rosario complains, Pro Consumidor comes to the shops and confiscates milk powder in sacks without regard for the brand, alone assuming that it could be repackaged in small portions in the shop. That is contrary to the right to free entrepreneurship. Therefore his organization could be compelled to proceed by law against Pro Consumidor, in order to protect the rights of the members of Fenacerd.

Increasing Numbers Less Dominicans coming home from abroad / Nearly 2,000 People drowned in five Years US Americans came this first quarter of the year. In Dominicans living abroad, the number of visitors even declined by 3.9 per cent, which is probably due to the fear that they might no longer be able to return to the US due to the intensified entry controls of the new US government. There were 8.2 per cent fewer visitors from South America, mainly due to the crises in Venezuela and Brazil. Partly, these losses were compensated by more tourists from Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. The Dominican Central Bank (BCRD) is reporting further increases in tourism. According to its latest report, in the first quarter of this year, there came 3.8 percent more visitors from abroad than in the previous year. The highest increase was seen among Europeans, of whom came 49,716 more than in the year before. An increase of 15.5 percent. Overall, however, Europeans rank only second (24.9 per cent) after the North Americans, which account for 61 per cent of tourists, with the Canadians gaining 7.2 percent, while only 0.2 percent more

One of the most common causes of death worldwide is drowning. According to a WHO report, 372,000 people are drowning every year. Over 90 per cent of them die in countries with low to middle income. In Europe it is about 37,000 people annually. Drowning is the second most frequent cause of death among children aged between 5 and 14 years, and the fourth most frequent in the age group of 15 to 29 years. In poor countries, eight times as many men as women are drowning, in Europe it is five

times as many. In young people and adults, alcohol consumption on the shores or in the water is a leading cause of drowning. According to the National Statistics Office (ONE), a total of 1,921 people drowned in the Dominican Republic between 2010 and 2015. 84 percent of them were men. 32 percent of deaths from drowning were under 15 years old. According to Alexandra Izquierdo, the chairwoman of ONE, in recent years, awareness of the danger of drowning has increased, and therefore there has been a drop in the number of victims.

New President in Ecuador Lenín Moreno wins clearly / Attack on Haiti's President / Major Unrest in Venezuela According to the official results of the elections in Ecuador, Lenín Moreno got 51.15 percent of the votes in Ecuador's final ballot, with more than two percent ahead of his challenger Guillermo Lasso, who got 48.85 percent. Lenín Moreno will be the successor of President Rafael Correa, who will leave office on the 24th of May. However, Guillermo Lasso from the centerright party CREO wants to challenge the election results. He says the elections were fraudulent and he was the real president. If Lenín Moreno took office, he was an “illegitimate” president. Lasso demanded a recount, since some 4,200 of the acts were faulty, which was a symptom of irregularities in the entire election process. More than five million Ecuadorians voted for the change, insists Lasso.

Throwing stones at his vehicular convoy in the city of Arcahaie, about 40 kilometers north of the capital, Port-auPrince, was denounced as a “terrorist act”, by the new Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. The police now arrested seven suspects for interrogation. “Words are not enough to describe the vileness of this terrorist act”, said an angry Moïse. Before this barbarism, the whole country must be united and defend the republican values freedom, equality and fraternity, the President said. However, some of the members of his entourage said that the wrongdoers were simply angry citizens of the city which repeatedly opposed the decision of exPresident Michel Martelly, who in a decree divided the town of Arcahaie into two separate cities in July 2015. The United Nations Security Council now decided to end the mission to stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) after 13 years on the 15th of October and replace it with police. The resolution was adopted unanimously. The current 2,370 soldiers from 19 nations and policemen from 39 nations will start their retreat within the next six months. MINUSTAH will be replaced by the UN mission “MINUJUSTH” in support of the judiciary. At about 346 million US dollars a year, MINUSTAH was one of the most expensive operations of the UN. In Haiti itself the mission was very controversial, since many Haitians regard MINUSTAH as an occupation force which also is blamed for the cholera epidemic.

The crisis in Venezuela is becoming increasingly explosive. Almost daily there are violent demonstrations of the opposition to President Nicolás Maduro. In the meantime, five demonstrators died. More than 500 others were injured. While the State Department of the United States demands immediate elections and the release of the political prisoners from President Maduro, he is supported by the countries of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance of Our Nations). At an event in Cuba's capital, Havana, they turned against the “interference” of the Organization of American States (OAS), whom they accuse of manipulations and lies against Venezuela that endanger the sovereignty, independence and stability of the country.

AIDS Figures do not decline Increase could be stopped, but no All-Clear / 100,000 new Infections in Latin America The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS, Spanish: ONUSIDA) announced that no major progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Latin America. It is therefore necessary to take new measures in this region. César Núñez, Regional Director of ONUSIDA for Latin America and the Caribbean, says: “In Latin America, we continue to report about 100,000 new infections per year. This has been the same for five, six, seven years,

which means that the epidemic has been stopped, but it is not declining.” According to the organization's data, Latin America has counted two million people with HIV. There were 100,000 new infections in adults and 2,100 in children. In total, about 50,000 people have died of AIDS-related diseases on the subcontinent. Núñez recalled that the region has committed itself to reaching the “target 9090-90” by 2020. This means 90 per cent of people infected with HIV know about their situation, 90 per cent of people infected with HIV receive continuous antiretroviral

treatment, and 90 per cent of these people reach a virussupression, which means that the virus is under control. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to offer free examinations in all countries, to begin treatment immediately, to stop the stigma of the disease, and to find out where there might be new infections. In the Dominican Republic, 56 percent of the hospital staff, according to a poll of the organization CONAVIHSIDA, said that they would prefer, not to treat people infected with HIV nor gays.

Rita Indiana


Literary Award

Tear Gas in Caracas

Nidia Rivera “Queen of Beans” After seven years of absence from the show stages, the Dominican artist Rita Indiana Hernández performed in the fourth edition of the festival “Isle of Light” in Santo Domingo. She presented her new song “El castigador”, which deals with corruption, justice and decadence. Overpowered by the reaction of the audience, the star who is living in Puerto Rico, was talking about the motives of her return to music. For more than an hour she sang the hits of her cult album “El juidero”, published in the year 2011. In addition to music, Rita Indiana is also a successful writer who has published three books with stories and four novellas. Her latest novella, “La mucama de Omicunlé”, has now been awarded the Grand Literary Prize of the Caribbean Writers Association, which was awarded in Guadeloupe in early April. It is the first time that a Spanish-language opus has received this award. The congressional committee has to decide on the works from 20 countries in the three languages spoken in the Caribbean, English, French and Spanish. Rita Indiana's novella was also a finalist in the 2nd Biennial Prize for Novels Mario Vargas Llosa last year.

The 72-year-old Dominican emigrant Nidia Rivera has earned herself the title “Queen of Beans” in New York. At the age of 46, she decided to move from Moca in the province of Espaillat to New York. She left behind four children and her entire family, except her sister, who opened her the doors in Washington Heights, a district where many Dominicans live. At the beginning, she sold cakes, chocolate and coffee on the streets, until she got the idea to do what she had already done in Moca: Habichelas con dulce, sweet beans, a Dominican specialty eaten especially during Holy Week. She rented a basement, where she initially prepared six libras (pounds) of beans a day, which she then offered on the streets. In the meantime, she prepares two quintals a day from Monday to Friday and three quintals per day on weekends. She prepares this sweet specialty with two sisters-in-law from six in the morning until four in the afternoon. From 10 o'clock in the morning her sister and her cousin are selling the sweet beans and some other delicacies until 10 o'clock in the evening. “In the Holy Week, you have to work even harder, because then the people are buying in buckets”, says Nidia Rivera, who also runs the business “Las habichuelas de Nena” (The Beans of Nena). Despite her 72 years, she still stirs the large wooden spoons with strong arms. “Doña Nena” as she is called, who has already received several awards for her sweet beans, intends to spend her last years in her hometown of Moca.

Nacho, part of the successful Venezuelan pop duo Chino y Nacho (see La PLAYA 77), who lives in Miami, traveled to Venezuela to participate in the demonstrations against the government of Nicolás Maduro. In doing so, he got a few swathes of tear gas like many others. While rubbing his face with a towel, he assured that he did not support violence but the right to protest.

Luisito Pie Sportsman of the Year 2016

The Taekwondo athlete Luisito Pie, the only Dominican medalist at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, has now been elected Sportsman of the Year.

What are these Guys singing? “Playa y arena” by Mark B feat. Gabriel A light and easygoing summer hit of last year, which was now awarded a Premio Soberano for the best collaboration. Mami, dime a ver, este party está empezando, nada más falta usted. Ya tengo mi trago en mano, dime k lo k, solo falta usted, dime k lo k. El día da pa' playa y arena, la vamos a pasar muy bien. Playa y arena. Nos quedamos hasta el amanecer. Ella es blanquita, pero le gusta coger su sol para ponerse morena. Me encanta ese bikini que tiene puesto y como modela. Shorty, ya no hay tiempo para perder tiempo. Mírame a la cara y ve que no miento. El día da pa' playa y arena, la vamos a pasar muy bien. Playa y arena. Nos quedamos hasta el amanecer. Con ese cuerpo de sirena vamos a revolcarnos en la arena. Mami, porque tu estás tan buena que no te de pena, cuando tu mueves esa cadera. Dale, menea, menea. Shorty, ya no hay tiempo para perder tiempo. Mírame a los ojos y ve que no miento. El día da pa' playa y arena, la vamos a pasar muy bien. Playa y arena. Nos quedamos hasta el amanecer. Oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh. Mami, dime a ver, este party está empezando, nada más falta usted. Ya tengo mi trago en mano, dime k lo k, solo falta usted, dime que es lo que es. El día da pa' playa y arena, la vamos a pasar muy bien. Playa y arena. Nos quedamos hasta el amanecer. Da pa' playa y arena, la vamos a pasar muy bien. Playa y arena. Nos quedamos hasta el amanecer.

Mom, tell me, let's see, This party is just starting, only you are still missing. I already have my drink in my hand, Tell me what's going on, only you are missing, Tell me what's going on. The day is for beach and sand, We will have a very good time. Beach and sand. We'll stay until dawn. She is white, but she likes the sun, to go brown. I like this bikini that she is wearing and how she is modelling. Shorty, there is no time to lose time. Look me in the face and see that I don't lie. The day is for beach and sand, we will have a very good time. Beach and sand. We'll stay until dawn. With this body of a siren we will roll in the sand. Mom, because are you so great you should not feel sorry, when you move that hip. Go, move it, move it. Shorty, there is no time to lose time. Look into my eyes and see that I don't lie. The day is for beach and sand, we will have a very good time. Beach and sand. We'll stay until dawn. Oh oh oh. Oh oh oh. Mom, tell me, let's see, this party is just starting, only you are still missing. I already have my drink in my hand, tell me what's going on, only you are missing, Tell me what's going on. The day is for beach and sand, we will have a very good time. Beach and sand. We'll stay until dawn. For beach and sand, we will have a very good time. Beach and sand. We'll stay until dawn.

The Música urbana has evolved in many different directions. One of them is Reggaeton which became very smooth and soft, in a strong contrast to the older style which very often was rude and obscene. A very popular direction is the Dembow, very simple and very rhythmic, but unfortunately mostly with the most primitive texts. Rap and Hip-Hop are also counted as Música urbana. And there is the catchy mainstream Popmusic that includes the hits of Vakeró, or Mark B., who had a huge success with “Pal de velitas” (LA PLAYA 152) which he recorded with El Alfa who usually is a star of Dembow. Also in the song “Playa y arena” which now was awarded a Soberano as the “collaboration of the year” Mark B. was working with a colleague, with Gabriel. Later, there was a remix, adding the Puerto Rican star Ozuna. Whether there will be another collaboration between Mark B. and Gabriel is written in the stars. After the nomination last year, the two had a heated dispute and insulted each other as “hypocrites”.




A lady stands at the court for assaulting a mammogram technician. „Your Honor. I am guilty, but there were extenuating circumstances.“ The female Judge says, „I'd love to hear those extenuating circumstances!“ So the defendant starts to tell her story. „Your Honor. I had a mammogram appointment and was attended by this friendly smiling clipboard carrier. 'Hi, I'm Belinda. All I need you to do is to step into this room right here, strip down to the waist and put this gown, okay?' Then she slipped away to prepare the check-up. With the right side finished, Belinda pushed me to the left and said, 'Can you stand on your toes, please, and lean in a tad so we can get everything?' I was freezing, bruised and out of air. My body was in a holding pattern that defied gravity, my breast wedged between those two 4 inch pieces of square glass, when I heard and felt a sap. Complete darkness. The power was off! Belinda said, 'Maintenance is working. I bet they hit a snag.' Then she headed for the door. 'Hey! Excuse me! You are not leaving me in this vise alone, aren't you?' Belinda kept on going and said, 'I'll be right back. The door is open, so you'll see the emergency hall light.' Then she disappeared. So the maintenance men found me, half naked, my breast smashed between glass. To my utter disbelieve one of them asked, if I knew that the power was gone, then they left. After two hours Belinda came back and said, 'I'm so sorry! The power came back and I totally forgot about you. And silly me, I went to lunch. Are you upset?' And that, Your Honor, is exactly how her head ended up between the clamps.“ „Case dismissed!“, says the Judge.

Each row, column and square has to contain the numbers from 1 to 9. X-Sudoku must show these numbers also on the two diagonal lines. Solutions on page 14.

Jack meets his friend Earl, who seems quite depressed. “Hello Earl! How are you?" “Terrible, Jack, my wife died last week.” “For God's sake! What was wrong with her?” “Her retail business was very small and she had not much money on the bank account.” “No, I mean, what did she suffer from?” “From finding a construction site to expand the business.” “I don't mean that! What did she die from?” “Oh, now I understand! Well, she went to the cellar to get some sauerkraut and potatoes for lunch. On the stairs she slipped, fell, and broke her neck.” “That's terrible! And what did you do then?” “I cooked noodles.”

Sudoku No. 387 (easy)

A man asks, „How tall is a penguin?“ His colleague replies, „I just read something about it, about 50 centimeters.“ „Are there no bigger ones?“, the man asks. „Well, a king penguin can become about 90 centimeters tall,“ says the colleague. „And that is the tallest species?“, the man wants to know. The colleague adds, „No, there are also emperor penguins. They are up to 1.40 meters tall, but there are no bigger ones!“ The man breathes heavily and says, depressed: „Then I must have knocked down a nun on my way to work!“

Sudoku No. 388

A man to the bank clerk, „Yesterday you were wrong with the payout by 1,000 dollars.“ The bank clerk replies kindly, „You should have reported it immediately, now it's too late!“ „Okay, I'll keep the money.“

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Looking for villa/house 20 km around Sosua in quiet area - 2-3 bedrooms - 2 bathrooms, kitchen, garage/storage area, garden min 600 m2, pets allowed, pool (not a must). Property must be in good maintenance condition and not furnished. Long term renting for retired European people. Eventual villa/house for rent with option to buy. Offers welcome only by: Who has to give away used furnishing? Like refrigerator, TV, everything you don't need any longer. Please call 829-815-1948 Looking for House/Apartment in Cabarete from November for 5 months, We are looking for Apartment in Sosúa/Cabarete to rent or buy. Up to 70 sq.m, quiet guarded area, offers to 849-264-9676

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Thriving business for computers and stationery in Sosúa for sale for private reasons. Price negotiable. Please call 809-707-2079 Health Insurance Group. Three people needed to start a Health Insurance Group. Please contact Ken 809-206-8962

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German Nailstylist in Costambar. Specialist in Gel, Acryl, Shellack,, Tel. 829 7276845 All kind of LED lighting! We also have Cinta LED Impermeable. Call for best prices on the island! 849626-5809 Electric 8 inch chainsaw 2,000 RD$, GEC Fridge with freeze box, h. 60 inches, w. 24 inches 10,000 RD$, Toshiba DVD Player 1,500 RD$, 2 free-standing Fans s. 500 RD$, l. 750 RD$, 1 gl Pool Paint, unopened 1,800 RD$ Stainless steel serving plates s. 150 RD$ each,m. 200 RD$ each, l. 250 RD$ each. 2x Lava Glitter Lamp (blue) 500 RD$, 30 ft. Extension ladder 5,000 RD$, Black & Decker Car vacuum cleaner 1,000 RD$, Sankey House cleaner 2,000 RD$ Antique Queen Anne chairs 1 @ 250 US$, 1 @100 US$, Computer, monitor, printer, key board, mouse, table & chair 15,000 RD$ Call 829-678-3311

Suzuki Vitara XL-7 for sale, 4x4, year 2005, red, US$6,999 o.n.o. Whatsapp 829-859-7389 Mitsubishi Montero, 1998, Jeep 4x4, Gas & petrol g.w.o., new tyres, new battery, fully serviced, 5,250 US$, Call 829-678-3311 Honda Scooter, 2006, 600 cc, Silver Wing,14,000 km, like new, US$ 5,800 o.n.o., Call 829-891-1460 or 809-817-8345

Looking for a boarding kennel? We offer over-night care for your dog on large premises in Sosúa. Cost: US$25 / 24 hours. casa.rep.dominicana Birds for sale by breeder: Budgies, cockatiels, lovebirds, finchen and more. Contact Andrea: 809-4628140 or

For rent: 2017 cars, automatic, power windows, A/C, 4 door, very good gas mileage. Price US$133 per week. Call 809-727-9850 or 809-2616001. Restrictions apply. Looking for a small car, such as Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, Toyota, Chevrolet, mechanic or automatic, not more than 130,000 km, up ro RD$ 200,000. Tel. 829-263-9200 (also Whatsapp).


Director: Werner Rümmele, Phone: 829-373-1218 RNC 5-31-87397-3

Copies: English 1,500 German 1,500

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by phone: 829-373-1218 LA PLAYA office in Sosúa at the Beach Way Plaza Mon. - Fri. 1- 4:30 p.m.

PRESS DATE FOR ISSUE 197 (3rd of May 2017): 25th of APRIL 2017 Sudoku solutions from page 11:

Sudoku No. 387

Sudoku No. 388

La playa 196en  
La playa 196en