Santana, Pedro pā´ᵺrō säntä´nä [key], 1801–64, president of the Dominican Republic (1844–48, 1853–56, 1858–61). He joined the revolution that in 1844 freed his nation from Haiti and became its first president. He and his bitter rival, Buenaventura Báez , alternated in power. Santana was unscrupulous and dictatorial. He repulsed later Haitian attacks, but the republic did not fare well under his repressive rule. Convinced that security was possible only with foreign protection, Santana in 1861 placed his country again under Spanish rule, converting it into an overseas province of which he became governor. Intense opposition forced him to resign.
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