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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic
Capital: Santo Domingo Nationality: Dominican Population: 10,088,598
Currency: DOP(Dom. peso) Off. Lang: Spanish Area: 48,670 sq km
Internet DM: do GDP: $93.23 bil. Life Exp: 77.44 yrs
Literacy: 87% Location: 19 00 N, 70 40 W Calling Code: 243

Dominican Republic is an island country that lies east of Haiti and shares the island of Hispaniola, with a location of 19 00 N, 70 40 W.
The island has an area of 48,670 sq km. The official language is Spanish. Santo Domingo is the capital.


The population is 9,823,821, with a life-expectancy of 77.15 years. The population is 73% mixed, 16% white, and 11% black. The religious makeup is 95% Roman Catholic, and 5% other.  86.8% of males and 87.2% of females are literate.

Climate Change Preparedness

 Cost of Inaction by 2025 12.2 bil.

The Dominican Republic has experience major climatic weather conditions. Droughts have occured with rainfall occuring with great intensity leading to flooding--rivers overflowing and damaging communities. Agriculture is being hit hard and threatens livelihood. Yields in rice and banana crops and other staples have decrease due to erosion of soil from extreme torrential rains. The largest inland lake in the Caribbean, Lake Enriquillo, has expanded its shores, with entire towns, villages, and farmland being loss. The Dominican Republic has responded with great awareness of action on climate change by forming the Climate Change Council. Awareness by and education of the population has been taken. Action of re-forestation and the policing of illegal logging for charcoal has been pursued.


History of the Dominican Republic

The Spanish inhabited the eastern side of Hispaniola, based in Santo Domingo and expanded west. In 1697, the French occupied the western side of the island, while the Spanish retained the eastern region. Haiti in 1822 officially took over the Dominican Republic and held it for twenty-two years. In 1844, the Dominican Republic declared independence, with later intrusions by Haiti.

In 1861,  the region was re-annexed by Spain for four years, followed by the War of Restoration, which established Dominican independence. A dictatorship headed by Ulises Heureux(1882-1899) was established. Later, A Roman Catholic Archbishop named Meriño governed the island.

In 1916, the island was occupied by the U.S. The U.S. left in 1930. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina took power in 1930. Trujillo run the country as his private company. He suppressed all opposition, using torture, blackmail, and murder. His Dominican Party had absolute power. During his reign in 1937, 10,000-18,000 Haitians lost their lives. He was assassinated in 1960.

President Belaguer(1960-1962) assumed the presidency of the island. In 1962, Belaguer was overthrown by the military. Dr. Juan Bosch of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano(PRD) succeeded Belaguer. Seven month in his presidency, he was ousted by Colonel Elias Y. Wessin. A three-man body was setup to run the country.

In 1978, Silvestre Antonio Guzman assumed the presidency. During the 1980s, the country experienced economic hardship. This caused the splitting of the PRD. In 1982 Dr. Salvador Jorge Blanco was elected to the presidency. 

In 1986, Belaguer was re-elected to the presidency, with much economic malaise, causing many strikes within the country. In 1991 with strong anti-Haitian sentiments in the society and much economic hardship, Belaguer engaged in mass deportation of Haitians from the country. Belaguer was re-elected in 1994, but agreed to serve only two terms, after being accused of election fraud. 

In 1996, Leonel Fernández of the Reyna of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) was elected to the Presidency. PRD returned to power in 2000, with the election of Hipólito Mejía. In the election of 2004, PLD returned to power with the re-election of Leonel Fernández. Fernández bailed out the wealthy depositors of the bankrupted Banco Intercontinental, the second largest bank in the Dominican Republic, causing much economic decline.  

Work Cited

"Dominican Republic." Microsoft® Encarta® 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

Cameron, Sarah and Box, Ben(1993). Caribbean Islands Handbook. Prentice Hall Travel, pp. 250-252, ISBN 0131169718