Country of the World Dominican Republic

About the country Dominican Republic, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULER

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

NITTY-GRITTY

Lay of the Land: Located on the eastern two thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic has a generally mountainous terrain with tropical rain forests covering the eastern lowlands and valleys. The principal agricultural areas are the El Seibo coastal plain in the northeast and the San Juan Valley in the west.

Size: 18,816 sq. mi. (48,733 sq. km.).

Population: 5.1 million.

Who Rules: Although the constitution guarantees freedom of press, speech, and association, the Dominican Republic operates under the oppressive leadership of Dr. Joaquin Balaguer. In May, 1978, Balaguer was finally voted out of office. The new president, Antonio Guzman, pledged the people to defend human rights and give "all kinds of help to private enterprise."

Who REALLY Rules: The U.S. has dominated Dominican politics throughout the 20th century and has twice intervened militarily (1916-1924 and 1965-1966). Balaguer had recently complained that U.S. tariffs on imported sugar have hurt his country's economy, but the U.S. had in fact provided massive financial aid to keep him in power.

The police are equally feared by rich and poor alike. The police and military are closely associated, and little distinction is made between criminal and political offenses.

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