The Dominican Republic

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held its first free election in nearly four decades. Juan Bosch won by a wide margin and was inaugurated on February 27, 1963. Almost immediately, opposition to his regime began to develop.

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Bosch was criticized as being too tolerant of pro-Castro and Communist groups, and the business community felt threatened by changes in the country’s economic policy.On September 25 Bosch was deposed by a military coup and the leaders installed a three-man civilian junta. To indicate disapproval of the coup, the United States withheld recognition until the new regime promised to hold elections by 1965. In the 1990 presidential election, Balaguer defeated Bosch by a narrow margin.

He was reelected in 1994 but agreed to serve only a two-year term after he was accused of electoral fraud. The Dominican Republic is governed under a constitution promulgated in 1966.The government contains a central government, a legislature, and a judiciary. There are also political parties. The central power is like the Executive branch in the United States. Executive power in the Dominican Republic is vested in a president, who is popularly elected for a term of four years.

The president appoints a cabinet and may also introduce bills in congress. The legislature of the Dominican Republic has a bicameral congress. The congress is composed of an upper chamber called the Senate, which has 30 members.The lower chamber is called the Chamber of Deputies, with 120 deputies. All legislative members are popularly elected for terms of four years. The Judiciary is also part of the government. The highest tribunal in the Dominican Republic is the Supreme Court of Justice, made up of a president and eight judges, all of whom are appointed by the Senate, and a procurator-general, appointed by the president. Lower courts include courts of first instance and courts of appeal.

There were also political parties.The Dominican party was the only legal party between 1930 and 1961, when it was dissolved and new parties were established. The principal parties in the late 1980s were the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano, the Partido de la Liberacon Dominicana ,and the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano. The Partido Reformista Social Cristiano draws support from the peasant and middle classes, the Partido de la Liberacon Dominicana was formed by breakaway members of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, and the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano is composed largely of landless peasants and urban workers. The Dominican Republics government has great concern for the health and welfare of its country. In 1964 the government of the Dominican Republic inaugurated a program aimed at raising health standards.

Drainage systems, garbage disposal plants, and aqueducts were built in all of the larger cities. Several government agencies were established for the purpose of increasing water facilities in rural and urban areas. The defense in government is one of great importance. In the early 1990s the armed forces of the Dominican Republic comprised an army of about 15,000, a navy of about 4000, and an air force of about 4200. The military is voluntary. The economy of the Dominican Republic is mostly agricultural, and nearly half of the work force is employed in farming.

The country also has an important mining sector. In the early 1990s the estimated national budget included about eight million sixty five thousand dollars in revenues and about seven million eighty four thousand dollars in expenditures. Agriculture is the main source of income. The principal cash crops of the Dominican Republic are raised on large plantations. Sugarcane is the main cash crop; the largest plantations are in the southeast.

In the early 1990s about 6.8 million metric tons of sugarcane were produced.Other important crops were rice, bananas, coffee and tobacco .Cattle, hogs, and poultry are raised primarily for local consumption. Forestry and fishing are also essential to the economy .About 13 percent of the land of the Dominican Republic is forested. The main woods cut are mahogany, satinwood, pine, and cedar. The fishing industry is underdeveloped, mainly because of a lack of deep-sea fishing equipment and refrigeration facilities.

The catch, which includes mackerel, tuna, bonito, and snapper, totaled about 17,200 metric tons annually in the early 1990s.Manufacturing is also very important. Sugar refining is a leading industrial activity in the Dominican Republic. Also produced were textiles, cement, cigars, cigarettes, fertilizer, molasses, refined petroleum, and processed wheat and rice. Almost all the Dominican Republic’s electricity is produced in thermal plants. In the early 1990s the country had an installed electricity-generating capacity of some 2.

3 million kilowatts, and annual production was about five billion kilowatt-hours.The unit of currency in the Dominican Republic is the peso. The republic has several commercial banks; one, the Banco de Reservas, is government controlled. The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic is the sole bank of issue. Trade with foreign countries is essential to flourish in a worldwide market. The principal exports of the Dominican Republic are sugar, ferronickel, gold, coffee, cocoa, and tobacco. Sugar and sugar products usually make up more than one-third of all export earnings.

Machinery, iron and steel, foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, and chemicals are leading imports. In the early 1990s the total value of exports was about million thirty five thousand dollars per year and of imports about $1.8 billion. The United States is the leading trade partner of the Dominican Republic, followed by Venezuela, Mexico, and Japan.In 1995 the Dominican Republic joined the Association of Caribbean States, a free trade group. The Association of Caribbean States is composed of the members of the Caribbean Community and Common Market and 12 nations bordering the Caribbean. The wage labor force of the Dominican Republic exceeded 2.3 million workers in the early 1990s.

An estimated forty nine percent of all Dominican workers engaged in agriculture, eighteen percent in industry, and thirty three percent in services. The Confederacin de Trabajadores Dominicanos, and the Unin General de Trabajadores Dominicanos, two of the nation’s leading labor unions, merged in 1988. In conclusion, the Dominican Republic is one of the many Spanish speaking countries, but has many qualities of the United States. The country went through much to gain independence just like the people in the United States did.There government is about similar to ours and they have a president who is elected by the people.

The Dominican Republic will flourish as well as the United States.