Dominican Republic. In the May 16 presidential election,
Hipólito Mejía (Partido Revolucionário Dominicano, PRD) won
by almost 50% over the ruling party's Danilo Medina (Partido
de la Liberación Dominicana, PLD). Joaquín Balaguer,
Dominican politics grand old man (93 years) for four
decades, looked defeated.
COUNTRYAAH, the Dominican Republic, under President Leonel Fernández,
who took over after Balaguer's resignation in 1996, has
experienced a record economic growth - over 7% annually
since 1998 - among other things. through privatizations of
airports, sugar mills and electricity companies. But Mejía
has nevertheless declared austerity, among other things.
through mass redundancies within the state apparatus that
Balaguer has built up and manipulated for many years and
which is still large and ineffective.
Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic; 2.9 million residents
(2010). The city is on the south coast of Hispaniola. In addition to being the
country's political, economic and cultural center, Santo Domingo has some
industry, especially light industry and assembly plants. Santo Domingo is the
oldest European landscaped city in America.
Several buildings from the first decades of Columbus's arrival on the island
have been preserved. The Cathedral at Plaza Colón, Basílica Menor de Santa
María, was built in 1514-40, restored in 1992. America's oldest fortress
building, Torre del Homenaje, part of the Ozan Fort, was built in 1503-07 by
Governor Nicolás de Ovando (c. 1441-c. 1511).. Along the street Calle las Damas
are two private residences built for the sailor Rodrigo de Bastidas (1460-1526)
and Nicolás de Ovando. Here is also the Colony Museum Museo de las Casas Reales
in the rebuilt Governor's Palace and Audiencia from the same period; moreover,
the Viceroy's Museum in Alcázar de Colón, built 1510-14 by Columbus' son
Governor Diego Columbus (c. 1478-1526) and for a number of years the seat of the
supreme Spanish authority in America. In addition, a number of other houses,
churches and monasteries from the 1500-t have been preserved. The old town is
declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The supposed terrestrial remains of
Columbus are approximately 1992 transferred from the cathedral to a mausoleum in the
cruciform building of Faro a Colón.
Founded by the Spaniards in 1496, Santo Domingo was the starting point for
the Spanish conquest in America during the first decades of the 1500's. From
1535, the Viceroy of New Spain was established with the capital of Mexico, and
then the administration of South America was also transferred through the
creation of the Viceroy of Peru in 1542. Santo Domingo served as the
ecclesiastical and judicial center of the Caribbean and northern South America
until the late 1700's..; America's first university was founded here in 1538. The
city was named 1936-61 Ciudad Trujillo.