TCRLA_Public/060503.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                    L A T I N   A M E R I C A

          Wednesday, May 3, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 87

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AZYDER SA: Trustee Will Stop Accepting Claims After May 30
CABANA DON JOAQUIN: Proofs of Claim Must be Filed by June 20
CERRO CONSTRUCCIONES: Trustee Won't Accept Claims After June 23
CLAVE ELECTRONICA: Claims Verification Deadline Is June 14
EDITORIAL PLUS: Last Day to Submit Proofs of Claim Is Today

EMPRENDIMIENTOS: Sets June 16 Claims Verification Deadline
GRAN BRISTOL: Verification of Proofs of Claim Ends on June 19
HOSPITAL VECINAL: Claims Verification Deadline Set for Aug. 23

B A H A M A S

WINN-DIXIE: Wants Sedgwick Declared Not Liable in Four Lawsuits

B E R M U D A

CHEVRONTEXACO CHINA: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends on May 5
CREDIT SUISSE: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 10
CITADEL LTD: Sets May 5 as Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline

B O L I V I A

PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: May Incur Losses in Bolivian Investments
REPSOL YPF: May Face Losses in Bolivia's Hydrocarbons Industry

* BOLIVIA: President Declares Nationalization of Gas Industry

B R A Z I L

COMPANHIA VALE: Shareholders Approve Forward Stock Split
EMBRATEL PARTICIPACOES: First Quarter Net Profits Up at BRL128M
VARIG S.A.: ILFC Wants to Collect Payments Under Sept. 2005 Deal
VARIG S.A.: VarigLog Ups Purchase Offer to US$450 Million

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ASTER CITY: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 19
BALANCED HIGH-YIELD: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends by May 18
CITIGROUP ALTERNATIVE: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting on May 22
DEXON STRATEGIC: Schedules May 26 as Deadline for Filing Claims
JERICO: Liquidator Will Present Liquidation Accounts on May 12

C O S T A   R I C A

* COSTA RICA: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension

C U B A

* CUBA: Economy Up 11.2% in First Quarter 2006, Says President

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DELTA AIR: Adds Flight to Dominican Republic Starting Dec. 15

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program

E L   S A L V A D O R

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: To Join the NASDAQ-100 Index on May 8

* EL SALVADOR: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program

G R E N A D A

* GRENADA: Head Carps on Lack of Aid from European Union
* GRENADA: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program
* GRENADA: Will Ink Pact with Venezuela on Oil Shipment

G U A T E M A L A

* GUATEMALA: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension

G U Y A N A

* GUYANA: Nears Securing Deal for Berbice Refinery with US Firm

J A M A I C A

* JAMAICA: Government Faces Less Debt Burdens on Fiscal Year
* JAMAICA: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program

M E X I C O

GRUPO MEXICO: Workers Halt Demonstrations at Taxco Mine
KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN: Closes Speedway Venture With Norfolk

P A N A M A

* PANAMA: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension

P U E R T O   R I C O

GLOBAL HOME: U.S. Trustee Appoints Seven-Member Creditors Panel
MUSICLAND HOLDING: Request Media Files Sched. of Assets & Debts
R&G FINANCIAL: Receives Approval to Pay May & June Dividends

U R U G U A Y

* URUGUAY: Denies Leaving Mercosur Trade Bloc
* URUGUAY: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension

V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO: Selects IBM Services to Increase Efficiency & Growth
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Buys US$2 Billion of Oil from Russia

* VENEZUELA: To Ink Pact with Grenada on Oil Shipment


                         - - - - -                            


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A R G E N T I N A
=================


AZYDER SA: Trustee Will Stop Accepting Claims After May 30
----------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Alberto Trejo, the trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires
court for the bankruptcy case of Azyder S.A., will no longer
entertain claims that are submitted after May 30, 2006, Infobae
reports.  Creditors whose claims are not validated will be
disqualified from receiving any payment that the company will
make.

Individual reports on the validated claims will be presented in
court on July 25, 2006.  The submission of the general report on
the case will follow on Sep. 5, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Hugo Alberto Trejo
         Avenida Cordoba 744
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


CABANA DON JOAQUIN: Proofs of Claim Must be Filed by June 20
------------------------------------------------------------
The validation of creditors' proofs of claim against Cabana Don
Joaquin S.A., a company under reorganization, will end on
June 20, 2006, Argentine daily La Nacion reports.

Buenos Aires' Court No. 11 approved the company's petition for
reorganization filed after the company defaulted on its debt
payments.  Alberto Samsolo was appointed as trustee.

An informative assembly will be held on Mar. 29, 2007.
Creditors will vote to ratify a completed settlement plan
during the assembly.

Clerk No. 21 assists the court on the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Cabana Don Joaquin S.A.
         Inclan 3302
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Alberto Samsolo
         Paraguay 1225
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


CERRO CONSTRUCCIONES: Trustee Won't Accept Claims After June 23
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Scheinkopf, the trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires
court for the bankruptcy proceeding of Cerro Construcciones
S.A., will no longer entertain claims that are submitted after
June 23, 2006, Infobae reports.  Creditors whose claims are not
validated will be disqualified from receiving any payment that
the company will make.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jose Scheinkopf
         Avenida Pueyrredon 468
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


CLAVE ELECTRONICA: Claims Verification Deadline Is June 14
----------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Clave Electronica
S.A. insolvency case will end on June 14, 2006, Infobae reports.  
Israelson-Kohan, the court-appointed trustee, will submit the
validation results as individual reports on Aug. 15, 2006.  The
trustee will also present a general report on the case in court
on Oct. 4, 2006.

On May 14, 2007, the company's creditors will vote on a
settlement proposal prepared by the company.  

The trustee can be reached at:

         Israelson - Kohan
         Lavalle 1672
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The debtor can be reached at:

         Clave Electronica S.A.
         Hipolito Irigoyen 1544
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


EDITORIAL PLUS: Last Day to Submit Proofs of Claim Is Today
-----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires' Court No. 17 extended the submission of creditors'
proofs of claim against bankrupt firm Editorial Plus Ultra S.A.
until today, May 3, 2006, from Aug. 12, 2005.  Mr. Nestor
Rodolfo del Potro, the court-appointed trustee, will validate
the claims.

The submission of the individual reports on the verified claims
has been moved to May 31, 2006, from Sept. 26, 2005.  The
presentation of the general report on the case has also been
rescheduled to July 26, 2006, from Nov. 8, 2005.

Clerk No. 34 assists the court in this case.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Nestor Rodolfo del Potro
         Avenida Corrientes 1291
         Buenos Aires, Argentina    


EMPRENDIMIENTOS: Sets June 16 Claims Verification Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims against Emprendimientos
Veterinarios S.A., company under reorganization, will end on
June 16, 2006, Infobae relates.  Juan Manuel Vila Perbeils, the
court-appointed trustee, will examine the claims and submit the
validation results as individual reports on Aug. 11, 2006.  He
will also present a general report in court on Sep. 22, 2006.

On March 23, 2007, the company's creditors will vote on a
settlement proposal prepared by the company.  Infobae adds that
a Mendoza court handles the company's reorganization case.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Juan Manuel Vila Perbeils
         Vidal 1670
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The debtor can be reached at:

         Emprendimientos Veterinarios S.A.  
         Larrazabal 252
         Buenos Aires


GRAN BRISTOL: Verification of Proofs of Claim Ends on June 19
-------------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' proofs of claim against Gran
Bristol S.A. will end on June 19, 2006, Infobae reports.

Infobae relates that a court in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires,
converted the company's reoganization case into bankruptcy.  

The name of the trustee is yet to be disclosed.

The debtor can be reached at:

           Gran Bristol S.A.
           Calle F s/n entre A y G
           Puerto Mar del Plata
           Buenos Aires, Argentina


HOSPITAL VECINAL: Claims Verification Deadline Set for Aug. 23
--------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors with claims against Hospital Vecinal de Marmol Juan
Marisco Asociacion Civil Sin Fines de Lucro must present proofs
of the company's indebtedness to Olga Susana Urriza, the court-
appointed trustee, by Aug. 23, 2006.

Infobae relates that validated claims will be presented in court
as individual reports on Oct. 5, 2006.

Hospital Vecinal began reorganization proceedings after a court
in Banfield, Partido de Lomas de Zamora, granted its petition to
reorganize.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Hospital Vecinal de Marmol Juan Marisco Asociacion
         Civil Sin Fines de Lucro
         Banfield, Partido de Lomas de Zamora
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Olga Susana Urriza
         Rodriguez Pena 296
         Banfield, Partido de Lomas de Zamora
         Buenos Aires, Argentina



=============
B A H A M A S
=============


WINN-DIXIE: Wants Sedgwick Declared Not Liable in Four Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Before Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates filed
for bankruptcy, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.,
served as the Debtors' claims agent and continues in that role
postpetition.

D. J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,
in New York, relates that Sedgwick was authorized to negotiate
settlements of claims against the Debtors and to issue
settlement checks drawn on a bank account maintained for the
sole purpose of paying settled claims against the Debtors.  The
Settlement Account was at all times funded solely by the
Debtors.

In its capacity as the Debtors' claims agent, Sedgwick
negotiated prepetition settlements of claim against the Debtors
asserted by:

    -- Rita Ferguson,
    -- Elizabeth Whitbeck,
    -- Ann Wiggins and Ralph Wiggins, and
    -- Carol Schweitzer.

In connection with the settlement, Sedgwick issued prepetition
checks from the Settlement Account.  Sedgwick's representative
capacity on behalf of the Debtors was stated on the Check.

After the bankruptcy filing, in accordance with their
obligations under the Bankruptcy Code, the Debtors stopped
payment on all outstanding checks, including those checks issued
by Sedgwick from the Settlement Account.  As a result, the
checks issued in settlement of prepetition claims were
dishonored, including the Check issued to:

    -- Ms. Ferguson,
    -- Ms. Whitbeck,
    -- the Wigginses, and
    -- Ms. Schweitzer.

Ms. Ferguson has commenced litigation against Sedgwick in an
attempt to recover from Sedgwick the full amount of her
prepetition settlement with the Debtors in the Circuit Court for
Talladega County, Alabama, seeking damages for US$35,000.

Ms. Whitbeck and her attorneys, Dell & Schaefer, P.A., commenced
and are prosecuting an action against Sedgwick in the Circuit
Court for Palm Beach County, Florida, in which they are
attempting to recover from Sedgwick the full amount of the
prepetition settlement with the Debtors of US$100,000, together
with treble damages of US$300,000, and costs and attorneys'
fees.

The Wigginses and the Law Offices of Blake Maislin, LLC, have
commenced litigation against Sedgwick in the Municipal Court for
Clermont County, Ohio, seeking damages totaling US$6,000 for the
full amount of the prepetition settlement with the Debtors.

D. J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,
in New York, asserts that the Wigginses and Maislin
intentionally filed the Action with full knowledge of the
Debtors' Chapter 11 cases and continued to prosecute the Action
against the Debtors after being notified that the actions
violated the automatic stay.  As a result, the Debtors incurred
attorneys' fees and costs in the Action and in the Adversary
Proceeding.

Ms. Schweitzer has commenced litigation against Sedgwick in an
attempt to recover from Sedgwick the full amount of her
prepetition settlement with the Debtors in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western
Division, seeking damages of US$85,000, plus attorneys' fees and
costs.

Sedgwick demands that the Debtors defend and indemnify it in the
Actions.

The Debtors believe that there exists an actionable controversy
within the meaning of Section 2201(a) of the Judiciary
Procedures Code between the Debtors and the Claimants and
Sedgwick, regarding the alleged liability of Sedgwick and the
Debtors to the Claimants.

For these reasons, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and its debtor-
affiliates ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District
of Florida for a judgment declaring that:

    (a) Sedgwick has no liability to the Claimants as to the
        Actions;

    (b) as a result of their prepetition settlement with the
        Debtors:

        -- Ms. Ferguson holds an unsecured non-priority claim
           for US$35,000, represented by Claim No. 5158, which
           will be allowed against Winn-Dixie Montgomery, Inc.;

        -- Ms. Whitbeck holds an unsecured non-priority Claim
           for US$100,000, represented by Claim No. 2012, which
           will be allowed against Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.;

        -- the Wigginses hold an unsecured non-priority claim
           for US$6,000, represented by Claim No. 12720, which
           will be allowed against Winn-Dixie Raleigh, Inc.; and

        -- Ms. Schweitzer holds an unsecured non-priority claim
           for US$85,000, represented by Claim No. 5158, which
           will be allowed against Winn-Dixie Raleigh, Inc.; and

    (c) the Claimants hold no other prepetition claims against
        any of the Debtors.

Winn-Dixie Raleigh also asks Judge Funk to:

    (1) declare that the Wigginses and Maislin's commencement
        and prosecution of the State Court Action constituted a
        violation of the automatic stay;

    (2) hold the Wigginses and Maislin in contempt of court for
        violation of the automatic stay;

    (3) sanction the Wigginses and Maislin for their contempt by
        ordering them to pay WD Raleigh's attorneys' fees and
        costs incurred in connection with the State Court Action
        and the adversary proceeding;

    (4) enjoin the Wigginses and Maislin from prosecuting the
        State Court Action and from taking any further action in
        violation of the automatic stay; and

    (5) sanction the Wigginses and Maislin for their contempt by
        fining them a fixed sum each day until the State Court
        Action is dismissed.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
-- http://www.winn-dixie.com/-- is one of the nation's largest
food retailers.  The Company operates stores across the
Southeastern United States and in the Bahamas and employs
approximately 90,000 people.  The Company, along with 23 of its
U.S. subsidiaries, filed for chapter 11 protection on Feb. 21,
2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-11063, transferred Apr. 14,
2005, to Bankr. M.D. Fla. Case Nos. 05-03817 through 05-03840).
D.J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, and
Sarah Robinson Borders, Esq., and Brian C. Walsh, Esq., at King
& Spalding LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring
efforts.  Paul P. Huffard at The Blackstone Group, LP, gives
financial advisory services to the Debtors.  Dennis F. Dunne,
Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, and John B.
Macdonald, Esq., at Akerman Senterfitt give legal advice to the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Houlihan Lokey &
Zukin Capital gives financial advisory services to the
Committee.  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$2,235,557,000 in total assets and
US$1,870,785,000 in total debts.  (Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 36; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-
7000).



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CHEVRONTEXACO CHINA: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends on May 5
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of ChevronTexaco China Limited are given until
May 5, 2006, to prove their claims to Gary Pitman, the
company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any
distribution or payment that the company will make.

Creditors are required to send by the said date their full
names, addresses, descriptions, the full particulars of their
debts or claims, and the names and addresses of their lawyers,
if any, to Mr. Pitman.

A final general meeting will be held at the office of the
liquidator on May 26, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., or as soon as
possible, for the purposes of:

   -- receiving an account laid before them showing the manner
      in which the winding-up of the company has been conducted
      and its property disposed of and of hearing any
      explanation that may be given by the Liquidator;

   -- by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
      accounts and documents of the company and of the
      Liquidator will be disposed of; and

   -- by resolution dissolving the company.

The company began liquidating assets on April 18, 2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Gary Pitman
         Chevron House, 11 Church Street,
         Hamilton, HM DX, Bermuda


CREDIT SUISSE: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 10
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Credit Suisse First Boston Company Limited are
given until May 10, 2006, to prove their claims to Mr. Robin J.
Mayor, the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment that the company will make.

Creditors are required to send by the said date their full
names, addresses, descriptions, the full particulars of their
debts or claims, and the names and addresses of their lawyers
(if any) to Mr. Mayor.

A final general meeting will be held at the office of the
liquidator on May 31, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., or as soon as
possible, for the purposes of:

   -- receiving an account laid before them showing the manner
      in which the winding-up of the company has been conducted
      and its property disposed of and of hearing any
      explanation that may be given by the Liquidator;

   -- by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
      accounts and documents of the company and of the
      Liquidator will be disposed of; and

   -- by resolution dissolving the company.

The company began liquidating assets on Apr. 19, 2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Robin J. Mayor
         Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman
         Clarendon House, Church Street
         Hamilton, HM DX, Bermuda


CITADEL LTD: Sets May 5 as Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Citadel Limited are given until May 5, 2006, to
prove their claims to Mr. Robin J. Mayor, the company's
liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any distribution or
payment that the company will make.

Creditors are required to send by the said date their full
names, addresses, descriptions, the full particulars of their
debts or claims, and the names and addresses of their lawyers
(if any) to Mr. Mayor.

A final general meeting will be held at the office of the
liquidator on May 26, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., or as soon as
possible thereafter, for the purposes of:

   -- receiving an account laid before them showing the manner
      in which the winding-up of the company has been conducted
      and its property disposed of and of hearing any
      explanation that may be given by the Liquidator;

   -- by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
      accounts and documents of the company and of the
      Liquidator will be disposed of; and

   -- by resolution dissolving the company.

The company began liquidating assets on April 7, 2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Robin J. Mayor
         Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman
         Clarendon House, Church Street
         Hamilton, HM DX, Bermuda



=============
B O L I V I A
=============


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: May Incur Losses in Bolivian Investments
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's state-owned firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras
may incur losses in Bolivia after President Evo Morales declared
on May 1 the renationalization of the country's hydrocarbons
industry.  Oil and natural gas fields operated by foreign firms
were seized by the country's military.  Foreign companies like
Petrobras were ordered to renegotiate their operating contracts
within six months or risked expulsion from the country.

Industry analysts did not expect Bolivia to take 100% ownership
of oil and gas projects.

"This is a worse scenario than we had anticipated," Lucrecia
Tam, an oil analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in New York, told
Bloomberg.  The analyst expected a 60-40 share in the projects.

Petrobras, Bolivia's largest company, halted its US$5 billion
investments in the country after both parties were unable to
agree on gas prices.

According to Bloomberg, Petrobras' total oil and gas reserves in
Bolivia is 2.8% of its total gas reserves.  In an interview in
April, Petrobras president Jose Sergio Gabrielli said that the
company is not ready to write off reserves in Brazil and it's
still willing to reach a negotiated settlement with the
government.

Bolivia's natural gas and oil sales abroad totaled US$1.3
billion in 2005, accounting for half of the country's total
exports.  Bolivia has South America's second-largest natural gas
reserves after Venezuela.  The country has about 31 trillion
cubic feet of proven gas reserves.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro
S.A. aka Petrobras was founded in 1953.  The company explores,
produces, refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and
natural gas and power to various wholesale customers and retail
distributors in the country.

                        *    *    *

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rated Ba3 by Moody's and its foreign currency long-term debt is
rated BB by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigned these ratings on Petroleo Brasileiro's senior
unsecured notes:

  Maturity Date           Amount        Rate       Ratings
  -------------           ------        ----       -------
  April  1, 2008        $400,000,000    9%          BB+
  July   2, 2013        $750,000,000    9.125%      BB+
  Sept. 15, 2014        $650,000,000    7.75%       BB+
  Dec.  10, 2018        $750,000,000    8.375%      BB+


REPSOL YPF: May Face Losses in Bolivia's Hydrocarbons Industry
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA may incur losses after Bolivian
President Evo Morales declared on May 1 the renationalization of
the country's hydrocarbons industry.  Subsequently, oil and
natural gas fields operated by foreign firms were seized by the
country's military.  Foreign companies like Repsol were ordered
to renegotiate their operating contracts within six months or
risked expulsion from the country.

Industry analysts did not expect Bolivia to take 100% ownership
of oil and gas projects.

"This is a worse scenario than we had anticipated," Lucrecia
Tam, an oil analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in New York, told
Bloomberg.  The analyst expected a 60-40 share in the projects.

Repsol, Bolivia's biggest gas producer, has been at odds with
the government since the election of President Morales.  Early
this year, Repsol suspended its investments in Bolivia after
taxes were raised.  The company's local subsidiary, Andina SA,
has been accused and faces investigation for alleged oil
smuggling.

Repsol has already wrote down half of its reserves in the
country as a result of higher taxes.

Repsol has invested more than US$1 billion in Bolivia since 1995
and employs 3,000 workers in the country.

Bolivia's natural gas and oil sales abroad totaled US$1.3
billion in 2005, accounting for half of the country's total
exports.  Bolivia has South America's second-largest natural gas
reserves after Venezuela.  The country has about 31 trillion
cubic feet of proven gas reserves.

                        *    *    *

On June 20, 2005, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the ratings
of Spanish-Argentine oil company Repsol YPF's local subsidiary
YPF S.A. Moody's upgraded YPF's senior unsecured rating to Ba3
from B1 and the unit's domestic currency issuer rating to Baa2
from Baa3.

YPF's foreign currency issuer rating of Caa1 remained unchanged,
as it is constrained by the sovereign ceiling of Argentina.
YPF's Corporate Family Rating (formerly known as the senior
implied rating) is aligned with the foreign currency issuer
rating at Caa1.


* BOLIVIA: President Declares Nationalization of Gas Industry
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivian President Evo Morales declared on Monday, May 1, the
renationalization of his country's hydrocarbons industry.  

The state has reclaimed control of energy companies privatized
in the 1990s.  President Morales ordered the military to seize
gas fields and asked foreign energy companies to send their
locally produced supplies to the state or exit Bolivia within
six months.  

The foreign oil majors operating in Bolivia include:

  -- Brazil's state-run company Petroleo Brasileiro SA;
  -- Spanish-Argentine company Repsol YPF;
  -- British company BP PLC;
  -- British company British Gas Group; and
  -- France's Total SA; Exxon Mobil holds a stake in Total's oil
     field.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    B-       Jun. 17, 2004
   Long Term IDR      B-       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     B-       Dec. 14, 2005



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COMPANHIA VALE: Shareholders Approve Forward Stock Split
--------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD reports that the forward
stock split proposal was approved at the Extraordinary General
Shareholders' Meeting.

After giving effect to the stock split, CVRD's capital will be
composed of 2,459,657,056 shares, with 1,499,898,858 common
shares and 959,758,198 preferred class A shares.

Starting May 22, 2006, each share of the company traded in the
Sao Paulo Stock Exchange aka Bovespa will undergo a forward
stock split into two shares.  Each current share, both common
(VALE3) and preferred (VALE5) will be represented by two shares
post-split.

On May 25, 2006, the distribution of new shares as a result of
the split will take place, in the proportion of one additional
shares issued per each existing share, for the shareholders on
record as of May 19, 2006, the record date in Brazil.

Beginning June 7, 2006, each American Depositary Receipt aka ADR
representing common shares aka RIO or preferred shares aka RIOPR
of the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE, will
also undergo a forward split.  On the same day, the distribution
of new ADRs -- in the proportion of one additional ADRs issued
per existing ADR -- will be finalized for ADR holders of record
as of May 24, 2006, the record date in the US.  The proportion
of one ADR to one underlying common or preferred share will be
maintained.

Between May 22, 2006, and June 6, 2006, the shares listed on the
Bovespa will be traded post-split and the ADRs listed on the
NYSE will be traded pre-split.

JP Morgan, CVRD's depositary bank in the US, will not execute
issuances and/or cancellations of ADRs between May 24, 2006, and
June 9, 2006.  The trading of CVRD's ADRs on the NYSE will occur
normally.

The forward stock split being executed by CVRD aims to
reposition its share prices after substantial appreciation of
181% in US dollars between Aug. 19, 2004, when the last CVRD's
forward stock split took place, and April 25, 2006.  It also
facilitates trading by retail investors.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Companhia Vale do Rio
Doce -- http://www.cvrd.com.br/-- engages primarily in mining
and logistics businesses. It engages in iron ore mining, pellet
production, manganese ore mining, and ferroalloy production, as
well as in the production of nonferrous minerals, such as
kaolin, potash, copper, and gold.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 5, 2006, Fitch Ratings assigned a long-term foreign
currency rating of 'BB' to Vale Overseas Limited's proposed
US$300 million issuance due 2016.  Vale Overseas is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, a large
diversified mining company located in Brazil.  The notes are
unsecured obligations of Vale Overseas and are unconditionally
guaranteed by CVRD.  The obligation to guarantee the notes
rank pari passu with all of CVRD's other unsecured and
unsubordinated debt obligations.  Fitch expects the proceeds of
this issuance to be used for general corporate purposes and
primarily to pay down US$300 million of Vale Overseas' 9.0%
guaranteed notes due 2013.

Fitch also maintained these ratings for CVRD and CVRD Finance
Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of CVRD:

  -- CVRD foreign currency rating: 'BB', Outlook Positive;
  -- CVRD local currency rating: 'BBB' Outlook Stable;
  -- CVRD national scale rating: 'AAA(bra)', Outlook Stable;
  -- CVRD Finance Ltd.: series 2000-1 and series 2000-3:
     'BBB';
  -- CVRD Finance Ltd., series 2000-2 and series 2003-1: 'AAA'.


EMBRATEL PARTICIPACOES: First Quarter Net Profits Up at BRL128M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Embratel Participacoes, a Brazilian long-distance telephone
carrier, saw a sharp jump on its 2006 first-quarter net profits
at BRL127.9 million or about US$60 million, which is almost
triple to the BRL43.3 million in 2005, the company disclosed in
a statement.

The company attributed the rise to the reduction in the cost of
connecting to other companies' networks and to lower debt
levels.

Dow Jones Newswires relates that the actual earnings came out
higher than the BRL115 million that analysts expected.

According to analysts, the cost of connecting to other
companies' networks was reduced due to new fixed-line concession
contracts.  These contracts approximately cut the cost to an
approximate 20% at the start of the year, which presented a
major boost to the earnings.

Net revenue reached BRL2.04 billion, which is almost twice the
BRL1.90 billion in 2005.  The increase was attributable to the
24% increase on a quarter-on-quarter basis in data service
receipts, to BRL554 million.  This offset the 2.4% fall in
revenue due to long-distance calls.

The EBITDA came up at 13% from 2005 to reach BRL527.7 million.  
The EBITDA margin came in at 25.9%, higher than the 24.5% in
2005.

Costs reached BRL1.08 billion, which is up at 6% from that of
2005, due to regulatory tariffs increase.  However, it was
compensated by reduced interconnection costs that fell to 2.7%.

"Embratel demonstrated tight cost control," wrote Rizwan Ali,
telecom analyst at Bear Stearns, in a research note.

Dow Jones relates that Embratel's joint venture with Net
Servicos S.A., an Internet provider; to offer Voice over the
Internet Protocol services will likely continue the cost control
of the company.

Dow Jones reports that Mr. Ali wrote in a research note that the
full consolidation of Telmex do Brasil and Primesys, majorly
helped the company.  Embratel is a unit of the Mexican telecom
giant telefonos de Mexico or Telmex.

The company acquired Telmex do Brasil along with a 37% stake in
Net Servicos from its parent company in Oct.24, 2005, Dow Jones
relates.

Total investments for the first quarter came at BRL323 million.

Embratel Participacoes is Brazil's leading long-distance
carrier.

Embratel Participacoes is rated by Moody's:

       * local currency issuer rating -- B1; and
       * senior unsecured debt -- B2.


VARIG S.A.: ILFC Wants to Collect Payments Under Sept. 2005 Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
International Lease Finance Corporation asks the U.S Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York to Compel VARIG,
S.A., and its debtor-affiliates to comply with the terms of a
stipulation signed on Sept. 1, 2005.

ILFC, which leases 11 aircraft to the Foreign Debtors, entered
into a stipulation on Sept. 1, 2005, with the Foreign Debtors
Foreign Representatives, Vicente Cervo and Eduardo Zerwes, that
resolved ILFC's request for relief from the preliminary
injunction.

Under the terms of the September 2005 Stipulation, the Foreign
Debtors agreed to remain current on all payments that fall due
on or after Sept. 20, 2005, to ILFC.  The Foreign Debtors are
also to maintain and insure on a current basis their leased
aircraft.

Contrary to the Stipulation, the Foreign Debtors failed to pay
rent totaling over $2,000,000 on certain of the aircraft, did
not properly maintain them and failed to timely return one, Jon
Yard Arnason, Esq., at Klestadt & Winters LLP, in New York,
says.

Because of the defaults, ILFC asserts it is entitled to the
return of all aircraft pursuant to the terms of the Stipulation.

"This case has been a history of broken promises and missed
deadlines by the Foreign Debtors, indicative of their serious if
not fatal financial difficulties," Mr. Arnason tells Judge
Drain.

Mr. Arnason estimates that the cascading defaults of the Foreign
Debtors are putting at risk equipment with a value in excess of
$400,000,00 and causing ILFC continuing losses of approximately
$80,000 per day or $30,000,000 per annum.

ILFC also asks the Court to:

   a. hold the Foreign Representatives and the Foreign Debtors
      in contempt for violation of the Stipulation;

   b. grant to ILFC costs and expenses together with other
      damages; and

   c. assess against the Foreign Representatives and the Foreign
      Debtors a fine of $50,000 per day until the Stipulation is
      complied with.

                        About VARIG

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, VARIG S.A. is Brazil's
largest air carrier and the largest air carrier in Latin
America.  VARIG's principal business is the transportation of
passengers and cargo by air on domestic routes within Brazil and
on international routes between Brazil and North and South
America, Europe and Asia.  VARIG carries approximately 13
million passengers annually and employs approximately 11,456
full-time employees, of which approximately 133 are employed in
the United States.

The Company, along with two affiliates, filed for a judicial
reorganization proceeding under the New Bankruptcy and
Restructuring Law of Brazil on June 17, 2005, due to a
competitive landscape, high fuel costs, cash flow deficit, and
high operating leverage.  The Debtors may be the first case
under the new law, which took effect on June 9, 2005.  Similar
to a chapter 11 debtor-in-possession under the U.S. Bankruptcy
Code, the Debtors remain in possession and control of their
estate pending the Judicial Reorganization.  Sergio Bermudes,
Esq., at Escritorio de Advocacia Sergio Bermudes, represents the
carrier in Brazil.

Each of the Debtors' Boards of Directors authorized Vicente
Cervo as foreign representative.  In this capacity, Mr. Cervo
filed a Sec. 304 petition on June 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
Nos. 05-14400 and 05-14402).  Rick B. Antonoff, Esq., at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents Mr. Cervo in the
United States.  As of March 31, 2005, the Debtors reported
BRL2,979,309,000 in total assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total
debts. (VARIG Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 18; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


VARIG S.A.: VarigLog Ups Purchase Offer to US$450 Million  
---------------------------------------------------------
VARIG, S.A., and its debtor-affiliates entered into an agreement
with Varig Logistica S.A., pursuant to which VarigLog would
acquire a 95% controlling interest in VARIG for US$450,000,000.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 12, 2006,
VarigLog initially offered US$350 million for VARIG's assets.  
The bid was later increased to US$400 million.

The agreement has a closing deadline of May 12, 2006, and is
conditioned upon the approval of VARIG's creditors and the
Commercial Bankruptcy and Reorganization Court in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, no later than May 15, 2006.  VARIG cannot
negotiate for a competing proposal within a 35-day period, until
May 18, 2006.

If VARIG consummates a transaction involving another buyer on or
before Dec. 31, 2006, VARIG will pay VarigLog a BRL73.5 million
cancellation fee.

                     VarigLog Proposal

Under the VarigLog Proposal, US$50 million of VarigLog's
investment will be paid towards the Foreign Debtors' severance
obligations to labor creditors and 5% of the equity in the new
Varig entity will be contributed to the Foreign Debtors' estates
to be distributed among the Foreign Debtors' non-labor
prepetition creditors.

The remaining US$400 million will be available to New Varig and
will be "earmarked" for:

   -- working capital;

   -- repairs and maintenance of aircraft and engines;

   -- payment of current postpetition lease obligations; and

   -- payment of ongoing lease obligations on aircraft remaining
      in New Varig's fleet.

The transaction will be structured, in compliance with article
60 of Brazil's Law on Bankruptcy and Court Recovery, as an
acquisition of an individual unit from VARIG, which will be
capitalized by means of transfer of certain designated assets
and assumption of certain obligations.

Romina Nicaretta at Bloomberg News reports that unions
representing VARIG workers were not so enthusiastic on the
initial offer.  The Unions demand that VarigLog "put more into
VARIG's employee pension fund and pare back proposed job cuts,
Ms. Nicaretta relates.

                Acquired Assets & Obligations

VARIG will transfer these assets, free and clear of all
encumbrances and charges, for capitalization of the Individual
Unit:

   1.  Rights stemming from lease agreements for 48 aircraft;

   2.  All the rights ensuing from concessions, authorizations,
       licenses and permissions to operate domestic and
       international air routes, as well as to operate in the
       Brazilian and offshore airports served by those routes;

   3.  All computation systems;

   4.  The entire database for clients in the mileage program;

   5.  All movable and immovable assets needed for the conduct
       of the business; and

   6.  All rights ensuing from agency agreements.

VarigLog will assume VARIG's obligations:

    a) stemming from leasing of the 48 aircraft and due after
       the Petition Date; and

    b) related to tickets issued, early sale of tickets,
       vouchers, coupons and similar obligations in relation to
       air travel, as well as all obligations assumed pursuant
       to the VARIG mileage program Smiles, but only insofar as
       any of the obligations may have been incurred in the
       normal course of business and in accordance with the
       practices of VARIG prior to the Petition Date.

VarigLog will not assume VARIG's other obligations, including,
without limitation, tax, labor, social security, consumer
relations, environmental, commercial and civil obligations.  
VarigLog will be granted full release and exemption from
liability with regard to all of the Excluded Obligations.

VarigLog, at its exclusive discretion, will have the right to
select and determine which employees will be transferred to the
Individual Unit for the purpose of ensuring the maintenance of
the business.  The list of seniority at VARIG will be followed
for the crewmembers.

A full-text copy of the certified English translation of the
Acquisition Agreement is available for free at:

   http://bankrupt.com/misc/VarigAcquisitionPact.pdf

                Creditors Meeting on May 8

The Brazilian Court called a meeting of the General Assembly of
Creditors on May 2, 2006, in Rio de Janeiro.  The "second call"
is scheduled on May 8.  The purpose of the meeting is to examine
and decide on:

   a.  the proposal for amending the Judicial Recovery Plan and
       its legal details; and

   b.  the proposal for restructuring the companies undergoing
       judicial recovery submitted by VarigLog.

Representatives of VarigLog, including MatlinPatterson, met with
and made presentations to the Foreign Debtors' creditor body
regarding the VarigLog Proposal on April 25, 2006.  The purpose
of the presentation was to give creditors a chance to comment
and provide feedback on the VarigLog Proposal in advance of the
meeting of the General Assembly of Creditors.

                 BNDES to Extend Financing

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, a national
development bank run by the Brazilian government, said it is
willing to finance investors who may want to buy VARIG,
Bloomberg News reports, citing O Estado de S. Paulo.  Dilma
Rousseff, chief of staff to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula
da Silva, told Estado that BNDES is eager to fund the purchase
if investors can guarantee they will pay back the money.

                        About VARIG

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, VARIG S.A. is Brazil's
largest air carrier and the largest air carrier in Latin
America.  VARIG's principal business is the transportation of
passengers and cargo by air on domestic routes within Brazil and
on international routes between Brazil and North and South
America, Europe and Asia.  VARIG carries approximately 13
million passengers annually and employs approximately 11,456
full-time employees, of which approximately 133 are employed in
the United States.

The Company, along with two affiliates, filed for a judicial
reorganization proceeding under the New Bankruptcy and
Restructuring Law of Brazil on June 17, 2005, due to a
competitive landscape, high fuel costs, cash flow deficit, and
high operating leverage.  The Debtors may be the first case
under the new law, which took effect on June 9, 2005.  Similar
to a chapter 11 debtor-in-possession under the U.S. Bankruptcy
Code, the Debtors remain in possession and control of their
estate pending the Judicial Reorganization.  Sergio Bermudes,
Esq., at Escritorio de Advocacia Sergio Bermudes, represents the
carrier in Brazil.

Each of the Debtors' Boards of Directors authorized Vicente
Cervo as foreign representative.  In this capacity, Mr. Cervo
filed a Sec. 304 petition on June 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
Nos. 05-14400 and 05-14402).  Rick B. Antonoff, Esq., at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents Mr. Cervo in the
United States.  As of March 31, 2005, the Debtors reported
BRL2,979,309,000 in total assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total
debts. (VARIG Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 18; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)



===========================
C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S
===========================


ASTER CITY: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 19
---------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Aster City Cable Europe I (Cayman) Limited are
required by May 19, 2006, to present proofs of claim to William
G. Neisel, the company's liquidator.

The company started liquidating assets on Apr. 3, 2006.

Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors at the time and place that the
liquidator will specify.  Failure to present claims would mean
exclusion from the benefit of any distribution that the company
will make.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            William G. Neisel
            c/o Stuarts Walker Hersant, Attorneys-at-law
            P.O. Box 2510, George Town
            Cayman Financial Centre
            36A Dr. Roy's Drive, George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


BALANCED HIGH-YIELD: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends by May 18
-------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Balanced High-Yield Fund I Limited are required to
submit particulars of their debts or claims by May 18, 2006, to
the company's appointed liquidator, Piccadilly Cayman Limited.  
Failure to file their claims by May 18 will exclude a creditor
from receiving the benefit of any distribution that the company
will make.

The company started liquidating assets on April 3, 2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Piccadilly Cayman Limited
            Attention: Ellen J. Christian
            BNP Paribas Private Bank & Trust Cayman Limited
            3rd Floor Royal Bank House
            Shedden Road, George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Tel: (345) 945-9208
            Fax: (345) 945-9210


CITIGROUP ALTERNATIVE: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting on May 22
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Citigroup Alternative Investments Balanced
Arbitrage Strategies Fund Limited will have a final general
meeting on May 22, 2006, at 11:00 a.m. at the company's
registered office.

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholders will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or a creditor.

The company's liquidators can be reached at:

           John Cullinane
           Derrie Boggess
           Walkers SPV Limited
           Walker House
           P.O. Box 908, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


DEXON STRATEGIC: Schedules May 26 as Deadline for Filing Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Dexon strategic Fund are required to submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before May 26, 2006,
to Richard L. Finlay, the company's appointed liquidator.  
Failure to file claims by May 26 will exclude a creditor from
receiving the benefit of any distribution that the company will
make.

Creditors must send their full names, addresses, descriptions,
the full particulars of their debts or claims and the names and
addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the liquidator.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Richard L. Finlay
            Attention: Krysten Lumsden
            P.O. Box 2681, George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Tel: (345) 945-3901
            Fax: (345) 945-3902


JERICO: Liquidator Will Present Liquidation Accounts on May 12
--------------------------------------------------------------
The sole shareholder of Jerico Inc., and the company's
liquidator, Eric Fook Chuen Li will have a final meeting
at 10:00 a.m. on May 12, 2006, at:

           7/F, 17-19 On Lan Street
           Hong Kong

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or a creditor.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Eric Fook Chuen Li
           7/F, 17-19 On Lan Street
           Hong Kong
           Tel: (852) 2846-1560
           Fax: (852) 2842-1734



===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================


* COSTA RICA: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension
---------------------------------------------------------------
Costa Rica is among the developing countries that will benefit
from the proposed extension of the export-subsidy program, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados presented last week in Geneva, Switzerland, to the
Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of
the World Trade Organization to extend the export-subsidy
program to 2018, the Advocate reveals.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates the countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

                        *    *    *

Costa Rica is rated by Moody's:

   -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst Ba2        
   -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt  Ba1        
   -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst NP         
   -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt  NP
   -- Foreign Currency LT Debt Ba1                   
   -- Local Currency LT Debt   Ba1        

Fitch assigned these ratings to Costa Rica:

   -- Foreign currency long-term debt, BB
   -- Local currency long-term debt, BB
   -- Foreign currency short-term debt, B

Costa Rica carries these ratings from Standard & Poor's:

   -- Foreign Currency LT Debt BB
   -- Local Currency LT Debt   BB+
   -- Foreign Currency ST Debt B
   -- Local Currency ST Debt   B



=======
C U B A
=======


* CUBA: Economy Up 11.2% in First Quarter 2006, Says President
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cuba's economy increased 11.2% in the first quarter of 2006 as
trade and cooperation grows with Venezuela, the country's
President Fidel Castro told the Associates Press.

AP states that the Cuban leader did not state what criteria he
was using to arrive at the growth estimate but he could be
comparing this year's quarter with that of last year.

According to Prensa Latina, President Castro lauded during the
Labor Day celebration full employment, strengthened national
currency and a successful domestic economy that is sensitive to
social demands.  These were attributed to the ban the US imposed
on Cuba.  

The president told Prensa Latina that the ban, which caused the
participation of the US dollar in Cuba's economy to decrease
from 90% to 30%, has backfired and instead helped Cuba grow and
reach new heights.

The President told Prensa Latina, "A rational centralization in
the use of hard currency with supervised contracts and deals
helped allowed for timely payments, fighting crime and
corruption and easier access to more favorable financial terms."

The accords with Venezuela under the Bolivarian Alternative for
the Americas aka ALBA have strengthened regional unity and
integration, President Castro informed Prensa Latina.  

President Castro, says Prensa Latina, revealed that the trade
proceeds between Havana and Caracas exceeded US3.17 billion in
2005.

Prensa Latina reports that unemployment in Cuba dropped under
2%.

AP states that the United Nation's Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean stopped reporting on Cuba's economy in
2005 as the country is using its own new methodology for
calculating economic growth that takes into account the its vast
social safety net and subsidized services, making Cuba's growth
figures difficult to compare with those of other countries.  

Economics Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez had projected last year
that Cuba's economy will grow 10% in 2006, AP recalls.

According to AP, Cuba reported in 2005 that its economy grew
11.8%, saying it had turned a corner in its recovery from severe
financial crisis.  

Mr. Rodriguez was reported by AP saying that Cuba had fully
recovered from the special period of the early to mid-1990s when
stern measures were adopted to survive a crushing economic
crisis due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings on Cuba:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst, Caa2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt, Caa1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst, NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt, NP
      -- Issuer Rating, Caa1



===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================


DELTA AIR: Adds Flight to Dominican Republic Starting Dec. 15
-------------------------------------------------------------
Delta Air Lines will expand to four the number of non-stop
destinations served on one of the Caribbean's most enchanting
islands with the addition of service between Atlanta and Puerto
Plata, Dominican Republic, effective Dec. 15, 2006.  The new
service, which will be operated in the peak season with Delta's
150-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, will complement existing
service from three other Dominican destinations to the United
States, including daily flights between Atlanta and Santo
Domingo and Punta Cana, and between New York-JFK and Santo
Domingo and Santiago.

Delta Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst announced the route
during a speech to Latin American and Caribbean airline leaders
gathered at the 14th Annual International Airline CEO Conference
in Miami.

Said Whitehurst, "By 2007, Delta firmly intends to become the
No. 2 carrier to Latin America and the Caribbean among U.S.
carriers. Delta already holds a strong No. 2 position to Deep
South America, and we're quickly closing the gap in Central
America and the Caribbean. Never has there been a better time to
grow service in this vibrant region of the world and to offer
our customers more choices to experience the beauty, warmth and
growing centers of tourism and commerce throughout the
Caribbean."

Puerto Plata's more than 1850 square kilometers exhibit the
region's agricultural products of rice, coffee, rum and tobacco
combined with beautiful hotels, resorts and shopping
opportunities. The city offers everything from rest and
relaxation to some of the Caribbean's best windsurfing. History
buffs can rent a taxi just 20 miles up the coast to the long-
abandoned settlement at La Isabel, a national treasure where
Christopher Columbus landed during his second trip in 1494.

Delta customers traveling between Dominican Republic and the
airline's largest hub in Atlanta will have access to one of the
world's most extensive schedule of connecting flights, making it
convenient to connect to the Dominican Republic from most any
corner of the globe. From Atlanta, Delta and the Delta
Connection carriers will offer customers non-stop service to
nearly 230 worldwide destinations aboard more than 1,000 peak-
day flights with the summer 2006 schedule. Delta's new flights
between Atlanta and Puerto Plata, which are now available for
sale to customers at delta.com, will operate as follows:

Delta's new daily non-stop service between Atlanta and Puerto
Plata, effective December 15:


Flight        Departs                   Arrives
256     Atlanta at 11:05 am       Puerto Plata at 3:12 pm
257     Puerto Plata at 4:14 pm   Atlanta at 8:40 pm

Delta's expanded non-stop service between Atlanta and Dominican
Republic is the latest in a series of nearly 40 new routes to
Latin America and the Caribbean added or announced by Delta in
the last year as part of the largest international expansion in
the airline's history. In the last three months, Delta has begun
service to new non-stop destinations including Acapulco, Merida,
and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa Mexico, and San Pedro Sula and Roatan,
Honduras from Atlanta; Los Cabos, Mexico from Cincinnati;
Mazatlan, Mexico from Salt Lake City; Puerto Vallarta and
Acapulco, Mexico from New York JFK; and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa from
Los Angeles.

A portion of travel for some itineraries may be on the Delta
Connection carriers: Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Chautauqua,
Comair or Shuttle America.

                   About Delta Air Lines

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta Air Lines --
http://www.delta.com/-- is the world's second-largest airline  
in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. carrier
across the Atlantic, offering daily flights to 502 destinations
in 88 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, the Delta
Connection carriers and its worldwide partners.  The Company and
18 affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on Sept. 14, 2005
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-17923).  Marshall S. Huebner,
Esq., at Davis Polk & Wardwell, represents the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Timothy R. Coleman at The Blackstone
Group L.P. provides the Debtors with financial advice.  Daniel
H. Golden, Esq., and Lisa G. Beckerman, Esq., at Akin Gump
Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, provide the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors with legal advice.  John McKenna, Jr., at
Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital and James S. Feltman at
Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC, serve as the Committee's
financial advisors.  As of June 30, 2005, the Company's balance
sheet showed US$21.5 billion in assets and US$28.5 billion in
liabilities.


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic has supported Barbados' proposal to the
Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of
the World Trade Organization to extend the export-subsidy
program to 2018, the Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates that the proposal was presented in Geneva
last week to the SCM.  The countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Grenada;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on the Dominican Republic:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     B-       May 11, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B-      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      B        May 11, 2005



=====================
E L   S A L V A D O R
=====================


MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: To Join the NASDAQ-100 Index on May 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A. will become a component of:

   -- the NASDAQ-100 Index,
   -- the NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index  and
   -- the NASDAQ-100 Ex-Tech Sector Index

prior to market open on Monday, May 8, 2006.  Millicom will
replace Pixar.  Millicom will also be included in the NASDAQ-100
Index Tracking Stock.

With a market capitalization of approximately US$5 billion,
Millicom International Cellular S.A. is a global
telecommunications investor with cellular operations in Latin
America, Africa and Asia.

The NASDAQ-100 Index, launched in January 1985, is one of the
most widely followed benchmarks in the world.  The NASDAQ-100
Index Tracking Stock represents ownership in the NASDAQ-100
Trust.  The Trust holds a portfolio of equity securities that
compose the NASDAQ-100 Index and aims to provide investment
results that generally correspond with the performance of the
Index.

NASDAQ is the largest U.S. electronic stock market.  With
approximately 3,200 companies, it lists more companies and, on
average, trades more shares per day than any other U.S. market.  
It is home to companies that are leaders across all areas of
business including technology, retail, communications, financial
services, transportation, media and biotechnology.  NASDAQ is
the primary market for trading NASDAQ-listed stocks. For more
information about NASDAQ, visit

   -- the NASDAQ Web site at: http://www.nasdaq.comor  
   -- the NASDAQ Newsroom at: http://www.nasdaq.com/newsroom/.

The Trustee for the NASDAQ-100 Trust is required to adjust the
composition of the Trust within three business days of the
effective date of a change to the composition of the NASDAQ-100
Index.

The NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock is subject to risks similar
to those of stocks, including those regarding short selling and
margin account maintenance.  An investor cannot invest directly
in the Index. Index performance does not reflect the fees and
expenses associated with investing in the NASDAQ-100 Index
Tracking Stock.

While there is no assurance that the performance of the NASDAQ-
100 Index can be fully matched, the NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking
Stock is designed to provide investment results that generally
correspond to the performance of the NASDAQ-100 Index before
fees, expenses, and taxes. Past performance is not indicative of
future performance.

ALPS Distributors, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, is
distributor for the Trust.

The sponsor of the NASDAQ-100 Trust, a unit investment trust, is
NASDAQ Global Funds, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The
Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.  Investment returns and principal
value will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed
or sold, may be worth more or less than the original cost.

Millicom International Cellular S.A. -- http://www.millicom.com/
-- is a global telecommunications investor with cellular
operations in Asia, Latin America and Africa.  It currently has
cellular operations and licenses in 16 countries.  The Group's
cellular operations have a combined population under license of
approximately 391 million people.

The Central America Cluster comprises Millicom's operations in
El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  The population under
license in Central America as at December 2005 is 26.4 million.

The South America Cluster comprises Millicom's operations in
Bolivia and Paraguay.  The population under license in South
America as at December 2005 is 15.2 million.

                        *    *    *

Millicom International's 10% senior notes due 2013 carry Moody's
B3 rating and Standard & Poor's B- rating.


* EL SALVADOR: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program
--------------------------------------------------------
El Salvador has supported Barbados' proposal to the Committee on
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of the World Trade
Organization to extend the export-subsidy program to 2018, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates that the proposal was presented in Geneva
last week to the SCM.  The countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Grenada;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on El Salvador:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB+      Jun. 18, 2004
   Long Term IDR       BB+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B        Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB+      Dec. 14, 2005



=============
G R E N A D A
=============


* GRENADA: Head Carps on Lack of Aid from European Union
--------------------------------------------------------
Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell claims that the
Caribbean lacks support from the European Union aka EU, the
Caribbean Media Corporation aka CMC reports.

The prime minister revealed to CMC at the Grenada Mission to the
United Nations that the EU has been tardy in assisting their
Caribbean allies.

"We don't feel that we're getting the level of support, given
that the amount of changes that are occurring to our economy is
devastating in many respects," Prime Minister Mitchell was
quoted by CMC saying.

According to CMC, Prime Minister Mitchell said EU should provide
more assistance to the region in areas like educational,
training and security.  He said the EU should give more
resources to help the region diversify its economies.

                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 21, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term
and 'C' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Grenada.  S&P
said the outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

The ratings on Grenada are constrained by large government debt,
which, at an estimated 118% of GDP in 2006 (98% of GDP on a net
basis), is one of the highest among the 110 sovereigns rated by
Standard & Poor's.  The debt burden has been partly alleviated
by the restructuring completed in November 2005, which extended
the maturity of roughly US$261 million (or 44% of the total) in
debt to 2025 and reduced the interest payment by more than half,
to about 2.5% of GDP in 2006.


* GRENADA: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program
----------------------------------------------------
Grenada has supported Barbados' proposal to the Committee on
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of the World Trade
Organization to extend the export-subsidy program to 2018, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates that the proposal was presented in Geneva
last week to the SCM.  The countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 21, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term
and 'C' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Grenada.  The
outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

The ratings on Grenada are constrained by large government debt,
which, at an estimated 118% of GDP in 2006 (98% of GDP on a net
basis), is one of the highest among the 110 sovereigns rated by
Standard & Poor's.  The debt burden has been partly alleviated
by the restructuring completed in November 2005, which extended
the maturity of roughly US$261 million (or 44% of the total) in
debt to 2025 and reduced the interest payment by more than half,
to about 2.5% of GDP in 2006.


* GRENADA: Will Ink Pact with Venezuela on Oil Shipment
-------------------------------------------------------
The governments of Grenada and Venezuela are expected to sign
this month an agreement either in Caracas or in St. George,
pointing out the terms of a deal that sees the shipment of oil
from Venezuela to Grenada, the Jamaica Observer reports.

"We are signing the frame agreement this month that will
facilitate the shipment to Grenada and Grenada being able to
Purchase directly from Venezuela" Jamaica's Energy Minister
Gregory Bowen told the Observer.

Mr. Bowen further related to the Observer that Venezuela's
energy minister is expected to visit Grenada soon.  It is
expected that when he arrives, the deal will be signed,
otherwise it will be Mr. Bowen that will go to Venezuela to sign
the deal.

However, storage problems are hindering Grenada's effort to
fully take advantage of the Petro-Caribe deal with Venezuela.  
The country has not been able to meet the required storage
necessity to store the millions of gallons of the oil as agreed
in the deal.

The government has asked the private companies to use their
facilities for the storage but an agreement has not been
reached.

"The timing is dependent on the facilities to store.  Shell and
Texaco has facilities in Grenada they have not come on board to
say that we can use their facilities, " Mr. Bowen related to the
Observer.

"So Venezuela is looking to put ships out there so we can use
for the world cup and to supply these larger tankers with
smaller ships so that they would be our storage outside of
Grenada.  We have gotten quotations for this and it is up a cent
or two".

The Grenada Electricity Company or Grenlec and the Points
Salines International Airport have facilities that will be used
to store some small amount of the commodity.  Mr. Bowen admitted
that these facilities are limited.

"Grenlec with their facilities and the international airport
will be able to get diesel for their generating plant and for
aviation jet fuel forthwith because they do have facilities,"
Mr. Bowen told the Observer.  "They do not have enough so we
would not have economies of scale of ordering in bulk but still
just be ordering directly through the Petro-Caribe arrangement
we will be able to get a reduction on fuel; and on the diesel
for the electricity."

The arrangement could result in increased revenues for the point
Salines International Airport since airlines that normally
detour Grenada for Antigua and Tobago, could now refuel there.

The Caricom leaders disclosed that they had already ironed out
their differences over the Petro Caribe oil deal with Venezuela
in their quarterly summit in Port of Spain.  They have agreed
that Caricom countries will be able to:

   -- purchase energy products on credit,
   -- have a moratorium on the start of payments, and
   -- have a twenty-year time frame to pay.

Grenada's Prime Minister Manning told the Observer that they had
discussed openly the pros and cons of the deal with Venezuela.  
Moreover, he acknowledged the assistance by energy consumers,
especially in these times of high oil prices.   Moreover, it was
agreed that prices are kept low by suspending import tariffs on
energy products under Petro-Caribe.

Mr. Manning also related to the Observer that he was mandated by
Caricom to negotiate a deal with Venezuela for Port of Spain to
refine Petro-Caribe oil rather than the finished product going
to Caricom directly from Caracas.  This move is aimed to offset
resulting loss of regional market share by Trinidad and Tobago.

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B2 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

On Nov. 29, 2005, Fitch Ratings assigned expected 'BB-' ratings
to the pending issues of Venezuelan government bonds maturing
Feb. 26, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2020.  The 2016 bond has a 5.75%
fixed coupon and the 2020 bond has a 6% fixed coupon.  The bonds
are being marketed in Venezuela to be purchased in local
currency at the official exchange rate but under New York law,
with all coupon and principal payments in U.S. dollars.

Venezuela's sovereign ratings are supported by superior
international liquidity and low external financing
requirements relative to similarly rated sovereigns.  The
ratings are constrained by vulnerability to external shocks
because of oil dependency; diminished capacity of the private
sector to absorb shocks because of heavy government
intervention in the productive sector; recent spending
increases that reduce fiscal flexibility; and concerns about
the rule of law and potential political instability.  Fitch said
the Rating Outlook is Stable.

                       *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 21, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term
and 'C' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Grenada.  The
outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

The ratings on Grenada are constrained by large government debt,
which, at an estimated 118% of GDP in 2006 (98% of GDP on a net
basis), is one of the highest among the 110 sovereigns rated by
Standard & Poor's.  The debt burden has been partly alleviated
by the restructuring completed in November 2005, which extended
the maturity of roughly US$261 million (or 44% of the total) in
debt to 2025 and reduced the interest payment by more than half,
to about 2.5% of GDP in 2006.



=================
G U A T E M A L A
=================


* GUATEMALA: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension
--------------------------------------------------------------
Guatemala is among the developing countries that will benefit
from the proposed extension of the export-subsidy program, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados presented in Geneva last week to the Committee on
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of the World Trade
Organization to extend the export-subsidy program to 2018, the
Advocate reveals.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates the countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Guatemala:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BB+      Feb. 22, 2006
   Long Term IDR      BB+      Feb. 22, 2006
   Short Term IDR     B        Feb. 22, 2006
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB+      Feb. 22, 2006

Fitch also rated Guatemala's senior unsecured bonds:

Maturity Date          Amount        Rate       Ratings
-------------          ------        ----       -------
Aug. 3, 2007        $150,000,000     8.5%         BB+
Nov. 8, 2011        $325,000,000    10.25%        BB+
Aug. 1, 2013        $300,000,000     9.25%        BB+
Oct. 6, 2034        $330,000,000     8.125%       BB+



===========
G U Y A N A
===========


* GUYANA: Nears Securing Deal for Berbice Refinery with US Firm
---------------------------------------------------------------
The government of Guyana is close to sealing a US$500 million
deal with US-based firm Delta Energy and Petroleum Company to
establish the Berbice refinery, according to an official
statement.

The plant would create 1,000 new jobs, the Office of the Prime
Minister told the Caribbean Media Corporation aka CMC.  It would
have the capacity to handle about 100,000 barrels of crude daily
and could help decrease fuel price on the local market.

The government and Crab Island Refineries Incorporated had inked
a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment and
operation of the plant, the office was quoted by CMC saying.

According to CMC, the construction of the refinery will start
next year.  A statement released by the office revealed that
construction would be done in stages with actual production
being realized within a further 15 months.

Other foreign firms were eager to set up more petroleum plants
in Berbice due to the proximity to the Berbice River and the
Atlantic Ocean, the statement said.



=============
J A M A I C A
=============


* JAMAICA: Government Faces Less Debt Burdens on Fiscal Year
------------------------------------------------------------
The Jamaican government will spend 59 cents on every dollar
collected, including loans, or about US$210 billion this year to
pay off the national debt that came up above US$842 billion by
January 31, 2006, Camilo Thame at the Jamaica Observer reports.

The debt service for fiscal year 2006/2007 shows improvement
from that of 2005/2006 when the government spent 65 cents on
every dollar to service the national debt.  The planned debt
service for 2006 runs from Apr. 1, 2006 to Mar. 31, 2007.

Finance Minister Dr. Omar Davies presented to parliament a
forecasted expenditure of US$358 billion for the 2006/2007
fiscal year.  He also projected a US$148 billion sum left for
other government programs, the Observer relates.

US$117.6 billion in loans will mature and interest cost on
existing stock debt will amount to US$92.4 billion for the
2006/2007 fiscal year.  These numbers show improvement compared
to that of 2005/2006, when the government was faced with a
US$224.5 billion debt servicing cost.  Debt cost in the current
fiscal year is lower by US$14.5 billion, which is attributable
to the smaller amount of the loans owed that will be due for
payment, where most of them that fall due will be rolled over,
the Observer relates.

However, interest obligation on the stock debt is predicted to
increase from US$84.7 billion to US$92.4 billion, which is up by
9% from the previous fiscal year.  In 2005, interest rates were
cut to a ten-year low and have remained stable since April,
whereas stock debt has grown.

Improvement on debt servicing for this fiscal year is further
supported by the fact that in fiscal year 2004/2005, the
government faced an interest payment of US$93.6 billion and
spent US$228 billion or 67 cents on every dollar on debt
servicing.

The improvement on the numbers gives the government 22% more for
non-debt spending.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 23, 2006, Moody's put its B rating on Jamaica.

"The outlook for all ratings is stable, reflecting a balance
between ongoing efforts at fiscal consolidation and the
vulnerability of the country to external shocks," Moody's said.

The agency points to Jamaica's strengths as a commitment to
fiscal discipline, proven ability to face severe shocks and
comparatively low external Government debt ratios.

Among the challenges which Jamaica faces, according to the
rating agency, is a closely managed exchange rate that is
subject to severe recurrent pressures and a large public sector
debt burden with growing exposure to international capital
markets.

The agency notes that the economy as well as the fiscal and
external positions remain sensitive to external and domestic
shocks. It further observes that, "they remain supported by the
Government's commitment to return to a balanced budget position
and by a constitutional provision mandating debt-service
payments as the first expenditure priority."

Moody's, which influences the behaviour of international
institutional investors, says despite Jamaica's recent adverse
external developments and a downturn in the local business
sentiment, "confidence in the medium-term programme and in the
ability of the policymakers has remained somewhat intact, as
evidenced by the relative stability of the foreign exchange
market, notwithstanding some bouts of pressure."


* JAMAICA: Seeks Extension of Export-Subsidy Program
----------------------------------------------------
Jamaica has supported Barbados' proposal to the Committee on
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of the World Trade
Organization to extend the export-subsidy program to 2018, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates that the proposal was presented in Geneva
last week to the SCM.  The countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Grenada;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 23, 2006, Moody's put its B rating on Jamaica.

"The outlook for all ratings is stable, reflecting a balance
between ongoing efforts at fiscal consolidation and the
vulnerability of the country to external shocks," Moody's said.

The agency points to Jamaica's strengths as a commitment to
fiscal discipline, proven ability to face severe shocks and
comparatively low external Government debt ratios.

Among the challenges which Jamaica faces, according to the
rating agency, is a closely managed exchange rate that is
subject to severe recurrent pressures and a large public sector
debt burden with growing exposure to international capital
markets.

The agency notes that the economy as well as the fiscal and
external positions remain sensitive to external and domestic
shocks. It further observes that, "they remain supported by the
Government's commitment to return to a balanced budget position
and by a constitutional provision mandating debt-service
payments as the first expenditure priority."

Moody's, which influences the behaviour of international
institutional investors, says despite Jamaica's recent adverse
external developments and a downturn in the local business
sentiment, "confidence in the medium-term programme and in the
ability of the policymakers has remained somewhat intact, as
evidenced by the relative stability of the foreign exchange
market, notwithstanding some bouts of pressure."



===========
M E X I C O
===========


GRUPO MEXICO: Workers Halt Demonstrations at Taxco Mine
-------------------------------------------------------
The strike at Grupo Mexico's zinc and lead mine near the
southern city of Taxco that began on April 23 has ended, Dow
Jones Newswires reports.

The National Mining and Metal Workers Union told Dow Jones that
about 400 workers from Section 17 of the mine in Taxco returned
to work on Saturday, after Grupo Mexico granted a 6% wage
increase and 2% in additional benefits.

The union said in a statement that Grupo Mexico also agreed to
pay half of workers' wages for the period of the strike at
Taxco.

Grupo Mexico's representatives expressed to Dow Jones their wish
for the Taxco case to be an example for ending strikes at other
copper and zinc mines in Sonora and Zacatecas, as the work
stoppages have affected copper sales and influenced copper
prices on some global markets.

Like in other Grupo Mexico mines, the strike at Taxco was
instigated by the leadership conflict of the SNTMM miners and
metalworkers federation.

Dow Jones states that the workers went on strike when
authorities refused to recognize Napoleon Gomez Urrutia as union
leader.  Mr. Urrutia was accused of corruption by the national
government.  Reports say that he has fled to Canada to escape
prosecution.

The workers also demanded that the mines be made safer and that
Mexican Labor Secretary Francisco Salazar be dismissed, alleging
that the secretary is not respecting their autonomy and
criticizing his actions after the underground explosion of the
Pasta de Conchos coal mine that killed 65 miners in February.

Mr. Salazar, however, refused to step down, Dow Jones reports.

The union informed Dow Jones that the conflict at the Taxco
mines was resolved after a settlement was reached between Grupo
Mexico and a representative of Gomez Urrutia.  The strikes at
the La Caridad and Zacatecas mine, however, continues.

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--   
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, Grupo Mexico is the world's third largest copper
producer, fourth largest silver producer and fifth largest
producer of zinc and molybdenum.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings to Grupo Mexico SA de C.V.:

     -- foreign currency long-term debt, BB; and
     -- local currency long-term debt, BB.


KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN: Closes Speedway Venture With Norfolk
----------------------------------------------------------
Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern have closed on the
joint venture to increase capacity and improve service on KCS'
Meridian Speedway between Meridian, Miss., and Shreveport, La.

On Dec. 2, 2005, KCS and NS announced an agreement to form this
joint venture on KCS' Meridian Speedway between Meridian, Miss.,
and Shreveport, La.  This rail line is an important direct rail
connection moving rail traffic between the southeast and
southwest U.S.  The joint venture involves the contribution of
KCS' 320-mile line between Meridian, Miss., and Shreveport, La.,
to the joint venture company and an NS investment of US$300
million in cash, substantially all of which will be used for
capital improvements to increase capacity and improve transit
times over the line.  The transaction was subject to regulatory
review from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which was
completed April 10, 2006.

With the closing, KCS has contributed the rail line to the joint
venture entity, the Meridian Speedway LLC, and NS has made an
initial cash contribution of US$100 million.  NS will make
additional cash contributions over time, resulting in a total
cash investment of $300 million.  Also upon closing, KCS will
begin operating the line according to the joint venture
operations agreement.

"We are pleased to close this historic joint venture," said
Michael R. Haverty, chairman, president and chief executive
officer of Kansas City Southern.  "Now we can move forward with
implementing capacity and service improvements to the benefit of
shippers using this very important transcontinental rail
corridor.  This is another key element in KCS' overall strategy
to develop the franchise, not only north and south, but east and
west."

"This partnership creates benefits that extend beyond the
geographical scope of the Meridian Speedway," said Wick Moorman,
Norfolk Southern chief executive officer.  "By adding rail
capacity, we will strengthen the nation's transportation network
for handling traffic growth efficiently and reliably."

                   About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern is one of the United States' premier
transportation companies.  Its Norfolk Southern Railway
subsidiary operates approximately 21,200 route miles in 22
states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada, serving
every major container port in the eastern U.S. and providing
superior connections to western rail carriers.  NS operates the
most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North
America's largest rail carrier of automotive parts and finished
vehicles.

                 About Kansas City Southern

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City Southern --
http://www.kcsi.com/-- is a transportation holding company that
has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama.  Its
primary U.S. holdings include The Kansas City Southern Railway
Company, founded in 1887, and The Texas Mexican Railway Company,
founded in 1885, serving the central and south central U.S.  Its
international holdings include a controlling interest in TFM,
S.A. de C.V., serving northeastern and central Mexico and the
port cities of Lazaro Cardenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50%
interest in The Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-
to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal.
KCS' North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are
primary components of a NAFTA Railway system, linking the
commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Canada and
Mexico.

                        *     *     *

On April 28, 2006, Moody's ratings services downgraded these
ratings on Kansas City Southern and its subsidiaries:

   Kansas City Southern

     -- corporate family to B2 from B1;
     -- Preferred Stock to Caa2 from Caa1; and
     -- shelf registration (P) Caa1 from (P)B3, and (P)B3 from
        (P)B2.

   The Kansas City Southern Railway Company

     -- senior unsecured to B3 from B2;
     -- senior secured to B1 from Ba3;
     -- B1 secured assigned to the bank credit facilities; and
     -- shelf registration to (P)B3 from (P)B2, and (P)Caa1 from
        (P)B3.


   Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.

     -- senior unsecured to B3.and Mexico.



===========
P A N A M A
===========


* PANAMA: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension
-----------------------------------------------------------
Panama is among the developing countries that will benefit from
the proposed extension of the export-subsidy program, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados presented in Geneva last week to the Committee on
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of the World Trade
Organization to extend the export-subsidy program to 2018, the
Advocate reveals.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates the countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.

The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan, and
     -- Uruguay.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Panama:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BBB      Apr.  8, 2005
   Long Term IDR      BB+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR       B      Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB+      Dec. 14, 2005



=====================
P U E R T O   R I C O
=====================


GLOBAL HOME: U.S. Trustee Appoints Seven-Member Creditors Panel
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Beaudin Stapleton, the U.S. Trustee for Region 3,
appointed seven creditors to serve on an Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors in Global Home Products, LLC's chapter 11
cases:

    1. Zhejiang Taizhou Aishida Electrical Equipment Co., Ltd.
       Attn: Stella Ye, Economic
       Development Zone, Wenling City
       Zhejiang, China, 317500
       Tel: (86) 576-619-9021
       Fax: (86) 576-619-9222

    2. Zhejiang Supor Cookware Co., Ltd.
       c/o Marc Cohen, Esq.
       Kaye Scholer LLP
       1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1700
       Los Angeles, Califonia 90067
       Tel: (310) 788-1000
       Fax:(310) 788-1203

    3. Asia Trading Company
       Attn: Alex Lee
       Unit 401, Tower II
       South Seas Centre, 75 Mody Road
       Kowloon, Hong Kong
       Tel: (852) 2429-2018
       Fax: (852) 2487-1105

    4. United Steelworkers of America
       Attn: David R. Jury, Esq.
       Assistant General Counsel
       Five Gateway Center
       Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
       Tel: (412) 562-2400
       Fax: (412) 562-2429

    5. Lewisburg Container Company
       Attn: Brian Thomas
       1800 C Sarasota Business Park,
       Conyers, Georgia 30013
       Tel: (770) 761-4628
       Fax: (770) 761-3251

    6. International Paper Company
       Attn: Bruce Gilliland
       4049 Willow Lake Boulevard,
       Memphis, Tennessee 38118
       Tel: (901) 419-1346
       Fax: (901) 419-1238

    7. Colorbox LLC
       c/o Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone, PLC
       Attn: Michael Traison, Esq.
       150 West Jefferson Avenue, Suite 2500
       Detroit, Michigan 48226
       Tel: (313) 496-7657
       Fax: (313) 496-8452

Official creditors' committees have the right to employ legal
and accounting professionals and financial advisors, at the
Debtors' expense.  They may investigate the Debtors' business
and financial affairs.  Importantly, official committees serve
as fiduciaries to the general population of creditors they
represent.  Those committees will also attempt to negotiate the
terms of a consensual chapter 11 plan -- almost always subject
to the terms of strict confidentiality agreements with the
Debtors and other core parties-in-interest.  If negotiations
break down, the Committee may ask the Bankruptcy Court to
replace management with an independent trustee.  If the
Committee concludes reorganization of the Debtors is impossible,
the Committee will urge the Bankruptcy Court to convert the
chapter 11 cases to a liquidation proceeding.

The Committee has retained Bruce Buechler, Esq., at Lowenstein
Sandler, P.C., as its counsel.

Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, Global Home Products, LLC
-- http://www.anchorhocking.com/and http://www.burnesgroup.com/
-- sells houseware and home products and manufactures high
quality glass products for consumers and the food services
industry.  The company also designs and markets photo frames,
photo albums and related home decor products.  The company and
16 of its affiliates, including Burnes Puerto Rico, Inc., and
Mirro Puerto Rico, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection on Apr.
10, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-10340).  Laura Davis Jones,
Esq., Bruce Grohsgal, Esq., James E. O'Neill, Esq., and Sandra
G.M. Selzer, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young, Jones &
Weintraub LLP, represent the Debtors.  When the company filed
for protection from their creditors, they estimated assets
between US$50 million and US$100 million and debts of more than
US$100 million.


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Request Media Files Sched. of Assets & Debts
---------------------------------------------------------------

A.     Real Property                                        $0

B.     Personal Property                                     -

       TOTAL SCHEDULED ASSETS                               $0

C.     Property Claimed As Exempt               Not applicable

D.     Secured Claims
          20th Century Fox Home Entertainment      $27,612,242
          Warner Home Video Inc.                    26,941,787
          Sony BMG Music Distribution               24,187,156
          Warner/Elektra/Atlantic Corp.             23,542,339
          Universal Music and Video Distribution    17,570,019
          Paramount Pictures, Home Video Div.       13,450,961
          Sony Pictures Home Entertainment          11,342,636
          Buena Vista Home Entertainment Inc.        7,976,516
          EMI Recorded Music, North America          7,705,060
          V.D.P IV, Inc.                             5,990,510
          Fleet Retail Finance, Inc.                 5,714,663
          Wachovia Bank, National Association        5,714,663
          National City Business Credit, Inc.        4,444,865
          The CIT Group/Business Credit, Inc.        4,444,865
          GMAC Commercial Finance LLC                3,174,686
          Westernbank Business Credit                3,174,686
          Lasalle Retail Finance                     2,539,977
          Textron Financial Corporation              2,222,242
          Wells Fargo Retail Finance, LLC            2,222,242
          Burdale Financial Limited                  1,904,888
          Grayson & Co.                              1,523,910
          Investment Advisor, Boston Management        889,202
          Eaton Vance Senior Income Trust              126,866

E.     Unsecured Priority Claims                          None

F.     Unsecured Non-priority Claims              Undetermined

       TOTAL SCHEDULED LIABILITIES                $204,416,981

                     About Musicland Holding

Headquartered in New York, New York, Musicland Holding Corp., is
a specialty retailer of music, movies and entertainment-related
products in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands.  The Debtor and 14 of its affiliates filed for chapter
11 protection on Jan. 12, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No.
06-10064).  James H.M. Sprayregen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis,
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.   Mark T.
Power, Esq., at Hahn & Hessen LLP, represents the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they estimated more than $100
million in assets and debts.  (Musicland Bankruptcy News, Issue
No. 10; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


R&G FINANCIAL: Receives Approval to Pay May & June Dividends
------------------------------------------------------------
R&G Financial Corporation, a Puerto Rico chartered bank holding
company, announced that it has requested and received regulatory
permission to pay its dividend obligations for May and June on
its four outstanding Series of preferred stock and five of its
trust preferred securities issues, which have payments due in
those months.  Regulatory approvals are necessary as a result of
the Company's previously announced agreement with the Board of
Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation and Commissioner of Financial Institutions
of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
    
As previously announced, the Company is in the process of
preparing restated consolidated financial statements for the
years ended Dec. 31, 2002, through 2004.  The Company expects to
file those consolidated financial statements in the summer of
2006 and, thereafter, will work diligently to file its 2005 and
2006 public reports.  Because the Company will not have audited
financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, for its
regularly scheduled annual meeting of shareholders, it is
postponing the holding of such meeting until the Form 10K for
the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, is filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  The Company will notify stockholders of
the calling of its annual meeting as soon as a date is
established.
    
R&G Financial, currently in its 34th year of operation, is a
diversified financial holding company with operations in Puerto
Rico and the United States, providing banking, mortgage banking,
investments, consumer finance and insurance through its wholly
owned subsidiaries R-G Premier, R-G Crown, its Florida-based
federal savings bank, R&G Mortgage Corporation, Puerto Rico's
second largest mortgage banker, Mortgage Store of Puerto Rico,
Inc., a subsidiary of R&G Mortgage, R-G Investments Corporation,
the Company's Puerto Rico broker-dealer, and R-G Insurance
Corporation, its Puerto Rico insurance agency.  At December 31,
2005, the Company operated 34 bank branches in Puerto Rico, 33
bank branches in the Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg and
Jacksonville, Florida and Augusta, Georgia markets, and 63
mortgage offices in Puerto Rico, including 32 facilities located
within R-G Premier's banking branches.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 22, 2006,
Fitch's assigned these ratings on R&G Financial Corporation and
its subsidiaries:

  R&G Financial Corporation:

     -- Long-term Issuer Default Rating 'BBB-'
     -- Preferred stock 'BB'
     -- Individual 'C'
     -- Support '5'

  R&G Mortgage:

     -- L-T IDR 'BBB-'

  R-G Premier Bank:

     -- L-T IDR 'BBB-'
     -- Short-term 'F3'
     -- Individual 'C'
     -- Support '5'
     -- L-T deposit obligations 'BBB'
     -- S-T deposit obligations 'F2'

  R-G Crown Bank:

     -- L-T IDR 'BBB-'
     -- Short-term 'F3'
     -- Individual 'C'
     -- Support '5'
     -- L-T deposit obligations 'BBB'



=============
U R U G U A Y
=============


* URUGUAY: Denies Leaving Mercosur Trade Bloc
---------------------------------------------
The Uruguayan government denies a report on Channel 10 that it
plans to leave the South American trade bloc -- Mercosur --
because of a dispute with Argentina.

"That is not in the plan," presidential press secretary Jose
Luis Veiga told Bloomberg in an interview.  "Uruguay is in the
process of deepenng commercial relations with the United States
but not leaving Mercosur."

Bloomberg quoted Uruguay's Channel 10's report as saying that
President Tabare Vasquez will disclose this week a new trade
strategy that allows the country to abandon its membership with
Mercosur.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Uruguay:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB-      Mar. 7, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB-      Mar. 7, 2005


* URUGUAY: May Benefit from Export-Subsidy Program Extension
------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay is among the developing countries that will benefit from
the proposed extension of the export-subsidy program, the
Barbados Advocate reports.

Barbados presented in Geneva last week to the Committee on
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures aka SCM of the World Trade
Organization to extend the export-subsidy program to 2018, the
Advocate reveals.

Barbados was quoted by the Advocate saying that the program is
an important component of the small economies' development
strategies.

The Advocate relates the countries who also seek for extension
include:

     -- Antigua and Barbuda;
     -- Belize;
     -- Dominica;
     -- Dominican Republic
     -- El Salvador;
     -- Fiji;
     -- Jamaica;
     -- Mauritius;
     -- Papua New Guinea;
     -- St. Kitts and Nevis;
     -- St. Lucia; and
     -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Advocate states that the SCM Committee may allow annual
extension to the countries until the end of 2007, under
procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial
Conference.  The countries will be subject to annual review of
transparency and standstill obligations.

SCM agreed that Keiya Iida of Japan, the committee's new
chairperson, would hold an informal consultation before the next
regular meeting set for October 2006, the Advocate reveals.  The
committee also elected Pablo Klein Bernard as its new vice-
chairperson.


The Advocate reveals that other developing countries that will
benefit from the extended transition period are:

     -- Costa Rica,
     -- Guatemala,
     -- Jordan,
     -- Panama.

Barbados, says the Advocate, said that as small and vulnerable
economies they need the policy space to maintain these programs.  

According to the Advocate, the agreement on SCM provided to most
developing countries an eight-year transition period that ended
in 2002 to eliminate export subsidies.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Uruguay:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB-      Mar. 7, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB-      Mar. 7, 2005



=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================


CITGO: Selects IBM Services to Increase Efficiency & Growth
-----------------------------------------------------------
CITGO Petroleum Corp. -- a refiner of petrochemicals,
transportation fuels, and other industrial products -- has
selected IBM servers and storage to power key business functions
and create new efficiencies.

CITGO has implemented IBM TotalStorage, System x, System p and
BladeCenter systems as the technology infrastructure to run the
company's trading and scheduling, supply chain management, HR
and finance operations.

As CITGO continually seeks to deliver consistent, innovative
products and services to its client base, the systems will
provide increased performance, reliability and lower total cost
of ownership to help streamline and transform these key business
functions.

"As gasoline retailing experiences tremendous change, it is
critical that CITGO take an innovative approach to meeting the
needs of our family of marketers and our technology
infrastructure is critical for delivering innovation,
reliability and security," said Bob Mareburger, General Manager
Information Technology and CIO for CITGO.  "We are continuing to
leverage a strategic technology relationship that IBM and CITGO
have together built over many years."

"Companies today are looking for competitive differentiation and
growth driven through innovation, improved performance and
streamlined operations," said Dan Bisett, Oklahoma Sales
Executive, for IBM.  "As a downstream petroleum leader, CITGO
has chosen IBM's industry-leading systems and storage to provide
maximum efficiency, flexibility, and reliability to continue to
drive competitive differentiation for the company."

CITGO is tapping:

   -- high-end, Intel-based IBM x460 System
   -- POWER5-based IBM System p570 and p520; and
   -- IBM BladeCenter.

The implementation includes IBM's TotalStorage DS4800, a key
component of IBM's business continuity solutions portfolio, and
the TotalStorage DS8300, which is designed to deliver robust,
flexible and cost-effective disk storage for mission-critical
workloads.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO is owned by PDV America,
an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela
S.A., the state-owned oil company of Venezuela.

PDVSA is Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the
development of the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry,
as well as planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling
the operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela
and abroad.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 23, 2005, Fitch Ratings upgraded the local and foreign
currency ratings of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. aka PDVSA to
'BB-' from 'B+'.  The rating of PDVSA's export receivable future
flow securitization, PDVSA Finance Ltd, was also upgraded to
'BB+' from 'BB'.  In addition, Fitch has assigned PDVSA a
'AAA(ven)' national scale rating.  The Rating Outlook is Stable.
Both rating actions follow Fitch's November 2005 upgrade of
Venezuela's sovereign rating.

As reported on Feb. 16, 2006, Standard and Poor's Ratings
Services assigned a 'BB' rating on CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Standard & Poor's 'BB' rating on CITGO is higher than the 'B+'
corporate credit rating on PDVSA, because of the relative
strength of the refiner's financial profile and the asset
protection afforded to CITGO creditors, if CITGO defaults for
PDVSA-specific reasons, for example, a Venezuela sovereign
default.  Nevertheless, CITGO could be challenged by events
surrounding PDVSA.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Buys US$2 Billion of Oil from Russia
------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela, through its state-owned oil company, Petroleos de
Venezuela SA has been given an "open account" in Russia for the
purchase of about US$2 billion of light oil until the end of the
year.

PDVSA was reportedly able to obtain a financing arrangement from
Dutch ABN Amro bank for the purchase of oil from Russia, but
believed to have dropped the bank after Russia's offer.

Luis Pacheco, a former planning director of PDVSA, told the
Financial Times: "Why would Venezuela be buying crude oil from
Russia? I would imagine it would be to meet obligations for
light oil deliveries, but they are relatively small. Most of
PDVSA's obligations are for heavy oil."

The FT says that Venezuela has been forced to turn to an outside
source to avoid defaulting on contracts with clients and third
parties as it faces a shortfall in production, according to a
person familiar with the deal.  Venezuela could incur penalties
if it fails to meet its supply contracts.

The move, the FT says, suggests a growing gap between
Venezuela's declining domestic output and its expanding
contractual obligations to international customers.  Under
President Chavez's administration, PDVSA's output has dropped
60%.  Analysyts said that the downward trend was accelerated
because of poor technical management, the FT relates.

President Chavez seeks to extend his influence throughout Latin
America promising cheap oil for allies and friends.

Venezuela supplies about 300,000 barrels per day of oil and
products to Cuba, Nicaragua and others under favourable long-
term financing arrangements.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA aka PDVSA is Venezuela's state oil
company in charge of the development of the petroleum,
petrochemical and coal industry, as well as planning,
coordinating, supervising and controlling the operational
activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela and abroad.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 23, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded the local and foreign
currency ratings of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. aka PDVSA to
'BB-' from 'B+'.  The rating of PDVSA's export receivable
future flow securitization, PDVSA Finance Ltd, was also upgraded
to 'BB+' from 'BB'.  In addition, Fitch has assigned PDVSA a
'AAA(ven)' national scale rating.  The Rating Outlook is
Stable.  Both rating actions follow Fitch's November 2005
upgrade of Venezuela's sovereign rating.


* VENEZUELA: To Ink Pact with Grenada on Oil Shipment
-----------------------------------------------------
The governments of Grenada and Venezuela are expected to sign an
agreement either in Carcas or in St. George, pointing out the
terms of a deal that sees the shipment of oil from Venezuela to
Grenada, the Jamaica Observer reports.

" We are signing the frame agreement this month that will
facilitate the shipment to Grenada and Grenada being able to
Purchase directly from Venezuela" Jamaica's Energy Minister
Gregory Bowen told the Observer.

Mr. Bowen further related to the Observer that Venezuela's
energy minister is expected to visit Grenada soon.  It is
expected that when he arrives, the deal will be signed,
otherwise it will be Mr. Bowen that will go to Venezuela to sign
the deal.

However, storage problems are hindering Grenada's effort to
fully take advantage of the Petro-Caribe deal with Venezuela.  
The country has not been able to meet the required storage
necessity to store the millions of gallons of the oil as agreed
in the deal.

The government has asked the private companies to use their
facilities for the storage but an agreement has not been
reached.

"The timing is dependent on the facilities to store.  Shell and
Texaco has facilities in Grenada they have not come on board to
say that we can use their facilities, " Mr. Bowen related to the
Observer.

"So Venezuela is looking to put ships out there so we can use
for the world cup and to supply these larger tankers with
smaller ships so that they would be our storage outside of
Grenada.  We have gotten quotations for this and it is up a cent
or two".

The Grenada Electricity Company or Grenlec and the Points
Salines International Airport have facilities that will be used
to store some small amount of the commodity.  Mr. Bowen admitted
that these facilities are limited.

"Grenlec with their facilities and the international airport
will be able to get diesel for their generating plant and for
aviation jet fuel forthwith because they do have facilities,"
Mr. Bowen told the Observer.  "They do not have enough so we
would not have economies of scale of ordering in bulk but still
just be ordering directly through the Petro-Caribe arrangement
we will be able to get a reduction on fuel; and on the diesel
for the electricity."

The arrangement could result in increased revenues for the point
Salines International Airport since airlines that normally
detour Grenada for Antigua and Tobago, could now refuel there.

The Caricom leaders disclosed that they had already ironed out
their differences over the Petro Caribe oil deal with Venezuela
in their quarterly summit in Port of Spain.  They have agreed
that Caricom countries will be able to:

   -- purchase energy products on credit,
   -- have a moratorium on the start of payments, and
   -- have a twenty-year time frame to pay.

Grenada's Prime Minister Manning told the Observer that they had
discussed openly the pros and cons of the deal with Venezuela.  
Moreover, he acknowledged the assistance by energy consumers,
especially in these times of high oil prices.   Moreover, it was
agreed that prices are kept low by suspending import tariffs on
energy products under Petro-Caribe.

Mr. Manning also related to the Observer that he was mandated by
Caricom to negotiate a deal with Venezuela for Port of Spain to
refine Petro-Caribe oil rather than the finished product going
to Caricom directly from Caracas.  This move is aimed to offset
resulting loss of regional market share by Trinidad and Tobago.


                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B2 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

On Nov. 29, 2005, Fitch Ratings assigned expected 'BB-' ratings
to the pending issues of Venezuelan government bonds maturing
Feb. 26, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2020.  The 2016 bond has a 5.75%
fixed coupon and the 2020 bond has a 6% fixed coupon.  The bonds
are being marketed in Venezuela to be purchased in local
currency at the official exchange rate but under New York law,
with all coupon and principal payments in U.S. dollars.

Venezuela's sovereign ratings are supported by superior
international liquidity and low external financing
requirements relative to similarly rated sovereigns.  The
ratings are constrained by vulnerability to external shocks
because of oil dependency; diminished capacity of the private
sector to absorb shocks because of heavy government
intervention in the productive sector; recent spending
increases that reduce fiscal flexibility; and concerns about
the rule of law and potential political instability.  Fitch said
the Rating Outlook is Stable.

                       *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 21, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term
and 'C' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Grenada.  The
outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

The ratings on Grenada are constrained by large government debt,
which, at an estimated 118% of GDP in 2006 (98% of GDP on a net
basis), is one of the highest among the 110 sovereigns rated by
Standard & Poor's.  The debt burden has been partly alleviated
by the restructuring completed in November 2005, which extended
the maturity of roughly US$261 million (or 44% of the total) in
debt to 2025 and reduced the interest payment by more than half,
to about 2.5% of GDP in 2006.


                         ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Marjorie C. Sabijon, Sheryl Joy P. Olano, and
Stella Mae Hechanova, Editors.

Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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