Geographic and Governmental Profile of The Dominican

Background
The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was since reelected to a second consecutive term.
Location
Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
Geographic coordinates
19 00 N, 70 40 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
48,670 sq km
rank:
132
land:
48,320 sq km
water:
350 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
Land boundaries
total:
360 km
border countries:
Haiti 360 km
Coastline
1,288 km
Maritime claims
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea:
6 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrain
rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Lago Enriquillo -46 m
highest point:
Pico Duarte 3,175 m
Natural resources
nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Land use
arable land:
22.49%
permanent crops:
10.26%
other:
67.25% (2005)
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Irrigated land
2,750 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
21 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
3.39 cu km/yr (32%/2%/66%)
per capita:
381 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues
water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Law of the Sea
Geography - note
shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
Country name
conventional long form:
Dominican Republic
conventional short form:
The Dominican
local long form:
Republica Dominicana
local short form:
La Dominicana
Government type
democratic republic
Capital
name:
Santo Domingo
geographic coordinates:
18 28 N, 69 54 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
31 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Bahoruco, Barahona, Dajabon, Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, El Seibo, Elias Pina, Espaillat, Hato Mayor, Independencia, La Altagracia, La Romana, La Vega, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Monsenor Nouel, Monte Cristi, Monte Plata, Pedernales, Peravia, Puerto Plata, Salcedo, Samana, San Cristobal, San Jose de Ocoa, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Sanchez Ramirez, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Valverde
Independence
27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Constitution
28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002 and January 2010
Legal system
civil law system based on the French civil code; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote by law
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012)
cabinet:
Cabinet nominated by the president
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held on 20 May 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
election results:
Danilo MEDINA elected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA 51.2%, Hipolito MEJIA 47%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ elected vice president
Legislative branch
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (183 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections:
Senate - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); in order to synchronize presidential, legislative, and local elections for 2016, those members elected in 2010 will actually serve terms of six years
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 31, PRD 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 105, PRD 75, PRSC 3
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by the National Judicial Council comprised of the president, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the president of the Supreme Court, and an additional non-governing party congressional representative)
Political parties and leaders
Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]; Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Ramon ALBURQUERQUE]; National Progressive Front [Vincent CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO]; Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Enrique ANTUN]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania); Collective of Popular Organizations or COP; Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice or FINJUS
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA (associated member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Anibal de Jesus de CASTRO Rodriguez
chancery:
1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 332-6280
FAX:
[1] (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general:
Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Sun Valley (California)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Raul H. YZAGUIRRE
embassy:
corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo
mailing address:
Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
telephone:
[1] (809) 221-2171
FAX:
[1] (809) 686-7437
Flag description
a centered white cross that extends to the edges divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch (left) and a palm branch (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD (God, Fatherland, Liberty), and below the shield, REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes
National symbol(s)
palmchat (bird)
National anthem
name:
"Himno Nacional" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music:
Emilio PRUD"HOMME/Jose REYES
adopted 1934; also known as "Quisqueyanos valientes" (Valient Sons of Quisqueye); the anthem never refers to the people as Dominican but rather calls them "Quisqueyanos," a reference to the indigenous name of the island
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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