Portal:Dominican Republic

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Dominican Republic

Flag of the Dominican Republic
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Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic (Spanish: República Dominicana, Spanish pronunciation: [reˈpuβlika ðominiˈkana]) is a Latin American country located in the Greater Antilles archipelago on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. It shares the island with the Republic of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are split by two countries; the other is Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica.

The Dominican Republic is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, its capital Santo Domingo, which was also the first colonial capital in the Americas. It is the site of the first cathedral, university, European-built road, European-built fortress, and more.

For most of its independent history, the nation experienced political turmoil and unrest, suffering through many non-representative and tyrannical governments. However, since the death of military dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in 1961, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy.

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The peso oro is the currency of the Dominican Republic. Its symbol is "$", with "RD$" used when distinction from other pesos (or dollars) is required; its ISO 4217 code is "DOP". Each peso is divided into 100 centavos, for which the ¢ symbol is used. It is the only currency which is legal tender for all monetary transactions, whether public or private, in the Dominican Republic.

The first Dominican peso was introduced in 1844. It replaced the Haitian gourde at par and was divided into 8 reales. The Dominican Republic decimalized in 1877, subdividing the peso into 100 centavos. A second currency, the franco, was issued between 1891 and 1897 but did not replace the peso. However, in 1905, the peso was replaced by the U.S. dollar, at a rate of 5 pesos to the dollar. The peso oro was introduced in 1937 at par with the U.S. dollar, although the dollar continued to be used alongside the peso oro until 1947. (more...)

Selected biography

Danilo Medina Sanchez  is the current President of the Dominican Republic, since August 16, 2012.

With broad political career, Medina is a member of the Dominican Liberation Party, the political party which has run the government of the country since 2004. He won the May 2012 dominican presidential election, defeating Hipolito Mejía with 51% of the votes. Medina was born in Arroyo Cano, San Juan Province, in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. He is the oldest of eight brothers born of Juan Pablo Medina and Amelia Sánchez. Since he was 18 years old he was a student leader, founding the San Juan de la Maguana branch of the Frente Revolucionario Estudiantil Nacionalista at the UASD. When Professor Juan Bosch founded the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana in 1973, Medina joined him. He studied economics at Instituto Tecnológico Santo Domingo (INTEC), and graduated magna cum laude in 1984. He has been a member of the Central Committee of the PLD since 1983. In 1986 election he was elected a deputy in Congress. In 1987, he married psychologist Cándida Montilla and has three daughters, Sibeli, Vanessa and Ana Paula. (more...)

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Interior of Catedral Primada in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Credit: Lapo Luchini, 2004

Interior of Cathedral Primada in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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