Dominican Republic in the 1960's and 1970's

Dominican Republic in the 1960’s and 1970’s

North America

The administrative division has been remodeled several times during the 1960s and today the country is divided into 26 provinces plus the National District.

At the 1970 census the residents were 4,011,589, that is 964,519 more than in 1960 (average annual increase of over 3%). According to a 1975 estimate they were 5,118,000 (105 residents per km 2). The capital had a population of 671,402 in 1970, which increased by 83% in 10 years; in the metropolitan area of ​​Santo Domingo de Guzmán as a whole, today around 800,000 people live. The other major center, Santiago de los Caballeros, has around 160,000 residents. Rural activities are still the mainstay of the economy, absorbing 61% of the working population and providing nearly a quarter of the gross national product and the majority of exported goods. The end of the Trujillo regime led to significant changes in the land structure with the restitution of confiscated businesses and the nationalization of land; however, there was no real agrarian reform. The crops of cane (11.9 million q of sugar in 1973), coffee (450,000 q), cocoa (300. 000 q) and tobacco remain of great importance as they provide three quarters of exports; but there was a sharp increase in food crops for domestic needs (maize, cassava, sweet potato, rice: the latter, whose surface was expanded with irrigation, supplied 2.1 million q in 1971, allowing you to export to a traditionally importing country). Cotton is also progressing, by now sufficient to meet the needs of the country; the banana and sisalana agave crops are noteworthy. allowing you to export to a traditionally importing country). Cotton is also progressing, by now sufficient to meet the needs of the country; the banana and sisalana agave crops are noteworthy. allowing you to export to a traditionally importing country). Cotton is also progressing, by now sufficient to meet the needs of the country; the banana and sisalana agave crops are noteworthy.

The bovine herd, although increasing (1.5 million head in 1973), no longer gives rise to export due to the increased internal demand; numerous are also pigs, goats and horses.

Bauxite (1.5 million tonnes in 1973) has been actively mined in Pedernales for about fifteen years and sent to the United States and Canada. Hopes are raised for the nickel discovered in Bonao. In 1972 the installed power was 260,000 kW and 1,270,000 kWh were produced.

Industry, which contributes to the gross national product at a rate roughly equal to that of rural activities, is mainly made up of food establishments, especially sugar refineries; but there are other plants, including a large cement factory.

In recent years, exports have increased more than imports and since 1972 the trade balance has been slightly active. The United States is the largest supplier and customer, purchasing much of the coffee, bauxite and, since the Cuban revolution, sugar; also noteworthy is the export of sugar to Great Britain and tobacco to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1972, 130,000 tourists flocked to the DR.

The main ports are Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macorís and La Romana. International airport in Punta Caucedo. The road network is approximately 10,000 km long and in 1972 75,000 vehicles were circulating on it; the railway one extends for 1400 km, but is largely made up of industrial lines.

History. – Echevarría and Balaguer exiled in 1962, R. Bonelly was able to retain power and hold regular elections in December. The response of the polls led to the presidency J. Bosch, a notable figure of democratic intellectual who for almost forty years had fought the Trujillo dictatorship from exile. Installed in February 1963 amid the enthusiasm of the people and the sympathy of the American nations, Bosch set about fulfilling his mandate following a decidedly reformist approach: a very difficult task in a country whose economy was suffering the consequences of the disastrous legacy of Trujillo. Bosch was opposed by the oligarchic reaction and the distrust of the military, especially the air force commanded by Colonel E. Wessin y Wessin and the police led by General A. Imbert Barreras. Against such forces, in a country where the illiterate predominated, Bosch’s idealism could not take root: eight months after his inauguration, in fact, he was deposed (September 1963) by a military coup. The president was first arrested then exiled, his supporters imprisoned while Congress was dissolved. The reins of the government went to a triumvirate of civilians who soon gave way to D. Reid Cabral who remained in power for sixteen troubled months.

According to localbusinessexplorer, the Dominicans’ reaction to political illegality was sudden and violent on April 24, 1965: the people rose up, occupying the presidential palace and putting Reid Cabral on the run, who found refuge in New York. The leader of the revolt was Colonel F. Caamaño Deñó; but the armed forces, under Wessin’s command, were fully united in facing the rebellion. The USA, in fear of a new Castro-type movement, intervened against the insurgents (April 28) by landing tens of thousands of marines and paratroopers. A few days later (May 5) the OAS approved the creation of an Inter-American Peacekeeping Force (14 votes to 5) which served to mitigate the responsibility of the unilateral US intervention, harshly criticized almost all over the world. While the bloody fighting raged, numerous attempts at pacification by the OAS, the UN and the papal nuncio remained without appreciable results: the fratricidal struggle lasted another four months. Finally, the leaders of the “loyal” forces yielded to pressure from Washington: on August 30, General Imbert resigned and Colonel Wessin y Wessin accepted the appointment of consul in Miami.

The elections of June 1, 1966 brought J. Balaguer to the presidency again, presenting himself with a reformist program, while J. Bosch (absent from the country during the rebellion) was defeated and had lost part of his popularity. The US and Inter-American troops withdrew from the country by September and Balaguer was able to devote himself to the pacification of the country, the resumption of agrarian reform, industrialization, imposing an austerity regime. On the eve of the 1970 elections, J. Bosch returned to Santo Domingo from his voluntary Spanish exile, without presenting a candidacy. Balaguer managed to get re-elected despite strong opposition. In the countryside the guerrillas rekindled, while student demonstrations led to the closure of the University of Santo Domingo (1973).

Balaguer was confirmed president on May 16, 1974, after opposition candidate A. Guzmán Fernández withdrew in protest against bullying during the election campaign. The president found support in a new class of politicians not disliked by the petty bourgeoisie, satisfied by a certain economic recovery and relative tranquility after the terrible dictatorship of Trujillo and the serious laceration inflicted on the social fabric of the country by the civil war of 1965.

Dominican Republic in the 1960's and 1970's