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2009-10-28

Oct. 28 News Brief Central America/Caribbean

PANAMA CITY, Panama – No news of hijacked ship: More than a week after the Panamanian-flagged grain carrier MV Al Khaliq was seized by Somali pirates off the Seychelles, Panamanian authorities know nothing about the fate of the vessel and its 26-man crew, consisting of 24 Indians and two Burmese. NATO reports indicate that the sailors are being held as hostages. According to European Union anti-piracy force NAVFOR, the ship weighs 22,000 tons and is 600 feet long.

[Reuters, ANSA, EFE]

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Religious leaders make Haitian immigration plea: Roman Catholic and Protestant church leaders in the Dominican Republic called on their government and the Haitian authorities to establish “clear” rules to control immigration by undocumented Haitians. Santiago Archbishop Ramon Benito de la Rosa y Carpio called for an improvement in Haiti’s economy, “so that Haitians can come to this country as tourists.” He explained that citizens who visit their neighbors as tourists when their own country’s economy is doing well become emigrants when their prospects are limited by poverty.

[El Nuevo Diario, EFE]

HAVANA, Cuba – EXPOCUBA Trade Fair attracts exhibitors from 56 countries: Exhibitors from 56 countries have registered for the EXPOCUBA Trade Fair, which will be held in Havana Nov. 2–7. Panamanian Trade and Industry Minister Roberto Henriquez announced that, for the first time, companies from his country will be taking part in the expo. This is one of the first steps toward a closer relationship with Cuba since Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli took office. In March, the two countries signed an agreement to boost exports of Panamanian products, including fish, fruit juice, paper and plastics.

[Prensa Latina, EFE]

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Private enterprise to start wind farm second stage: The Nicaraguan government announced that energy consortium Amayo has been awarded the contract to build, operate and maintain the second stage of a wind farm in the south of the country. According to the Energy and Mines Ministry, the US$55 million deal covers the installation of eleven 2.1 MW wind turbines, with a total 23.1 MW generating capacity. At present, the nineteen 420-foot-tall turbines at the Amayo wind farm in Rivas province generate 40 MW.

[La Prensa, EFE]

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