Dominican Republic History  

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola is accounted for by the Dominican Republic (the rest of the island is Haiti). Another of Columbus' stops in 1492, the Dominican Republic boasts the oldest continually inhabited European-founded settlement in the New World. The hemisphere's oldest monastery, hospital and cathedral are all here. Variously under Spanish, Haitian, and even US rule, the Dominican Republic came under the dictatorial rule of Rafael Trujillo in 1930 that lasted for the next three decades. In the 1960s, political instability in the country led to a US invasion in 1965. From 1966 to 1978, Joaquin Balaguer served as president. He was returned to the office in 1986, 1990, and 1994 (although the last election was challenged on the grounds of fraud leading Balaguer to serve only until 1996 (he was 89 years old at the time).

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