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Cuenca News

Correa bribery trial underway, Gov’t still wants to cut fuel subsidies, Swan Lake at Carlos Cueva Tamariz, Tranvía tests continue, Food fair

Martes, 11/2/2020

Hola, Todos –

Correction to yesterday’s post – I mistakenly named Paúl Granda instead of Paúl Carrasco as the last prefect of Azuay.

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

“El lago de los Cisnes” (Swan Lake) – El Ballet Real de Rusia (The Royal Ballet of Russia) <Didn’t know Russia had a royal anything, but I guess Royal Ballet sounds fancier than The Peoples’ Ballet.> will be performing Swan Lake el 19/2 a las 18:00 y a las 20:30 in the Teatro Carlos Cueva Tamariz. 30 dancers from the Vaganova school in St. Petersburg will perform with 2 local ballet schools providing an opening act. Tickets available at Melatte, SoiOpticas de la Zona Rosa and the Las Américas shopping center.

The Russian Royal Ballet will perform Swan Lake February 19 at the Teatro Carlos Cueva Tamariz.

Crafts show – A show and sale of blued iron crafts by maestro Carlos Pauta will open miercoles in the Casa de la Cultura a las 19:00. The show, De Fuego y Color (Of fire and Color) is organized by CIDAP and the CCE and will be open for a month.

Poetry book launch – Cuencana journalist and poet Isabel Aguilar will launch her 2nd poetry book, “Poliamor Town” este viernes a las 19:00 in the Galería Vitrina at the CCE.

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Call for cooks – The municipality is planning Viva el Carnaval Bicentenario 2020, a food festival to be held el 23/2 in the plaza of the Portal Artesanal. It is calling for gastronomic businesses who want to participate to go to PRAC (Bolívar y Huayna Cápac) from 13:45-16:45 with a copy of their RUC, cedula, health certificate, voting certificate and fotos of their product. They are looking for products such as locro de sambo con papa chaucha, mote pata, dulce de pechiche, colada de capulí, dulce de sambo, dulce de guayaba, dulce de leche, miel con quisillo and caldillo de gallina runa. <As good as the gringo products in the ferias are, I don’t think they’ll meet these requirements. Are there even any gringos who know how to make these dishes – or what they are?>

Visa conference – The US Consulate and the Cámara de Comercio Ecuatoriano Americana and the Cámara de Comercio de Cuenca are holding a free conference on Tourist Visas, temporary jobs, and fraud prevention in the visa application process. It will be el jueves, 13/2 a las 17:30 in the Auditorio Roberto Crespo Toral in the Cámara de Comercio de Cuenca (av. Federico Malo 1-90 y 12 de Abril, 4th floor). The presenters will be officials of the US consulate. <If you’re wondering why you didn’t get a notice about this, my guess is because it’s geared to Ecuadorians.>

Otras cosas –

Titular – Inicia juicio por el caso “Sobornos” (Trial begins on the “Sobornos” case) – El lunes, the Corte Nacional de Justicia started the trial of 21 people accused of cohecho (bribery) including ex-Pres. Rafael Correa to see if there was illegal financing of the Alianza País party during Correa’s term.

450 km de vías sin asfaltar (450 km of unpaved roads) – According to the city Public Works Department, this is the equivalent of 4.000 unpaved blocks in the urban zone of Cuenca. The city does not have the money to pave the roads in bad condition which would require the entire city budget for the next two years. The cost of paving 1 km. with rigid paving is $1 million. The city is trying to reducir la brecha (bridge the gap – your phrase for the day) with a $38 million loan from the Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina <That’ll bridge 38 km of road – in the areas with the neighbors who squeek the loudest?> The city is waiting for a guarantee from the Ministerio de Finanzas before CAF will fund the loan. Residents in Misicata on the calle Ciudad de Cuenca protested and threatened to close av. Primero de Mayo if their claims aren’t considered.
The state of roads in the rural areas is more alarming. According to a study by the U. of Cuenca, of the 1,263 km of roads, only 608 are in good condition. Road improvements in the rural zone are a shared responsibility between the parish juntas (boards or councils) and the Prefectura del Azuay.

Irrigation systems at risk – 87 irrrigation projects in progress in Azuay are at risk of being delayed or worse, suspended, if Decree 989 if applied. This federal decree will take responsibility for irrigation back from the local GAD of Azuay and return it to MAG and Senagua.

Tranvía – Tests with passengers still haven’t been planned. The currrent rolling tests are to allow the conductors to get the hours of practice they need and for maintenance personnel to get the electrical supply system, rails and stops ready for service. There is also a process of informing people how to use the system on social networks and brochures at the stops.

Fuel subsidies – The government is analyzing how to get fuel subsidies to those who need it: the poorest people, farmers, and small and medium businesses. In various meetings on how to focus subsidies, the Minister of the Economy pointed out that they shouldn’t go to people on the margins of the law. Up to 40% of vehicle owners have not registered their vehicles and they shouldn’t receive subsidies. The VP noted that current subsidies benefit the wealthiest sectors of society with over 75% of the $2.5 billion in subsidies going to those who don’t need it. A lot of fuel is smuggled out of the country to Colombia and Perú from Carchi, Imbabura, Loja, Sucumbíos, Galápagos, El Oro and Esmeraldas provinces. Normal consumption of gasoline in the country is 20 gallons per month, but in the border provinces, there are at least 5,000 people who are buying over 500 gallons a month. Additionally, 65% of the facturas in the country aren’t right or don’t match the amount the State dispatches and what is sold.

Descuentos y compras –

El Mercurio – 2 liter whistling teapot for $10.50 at all El Mercurio offices – stainless steel, OK for use on induction or gas ranges.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne