Dominican Republic History

Freely-Elected President Balaguer Witnesses Withdrawal of Foreign Troops

 

In 1963, a military coup ousted Bosch and installed a civilian triumvirate. Leftists rebelled against the new regime in April 1965, and U.S. president Lyndon Johnson sent in marines and troops. After a cease-fire in May, a compromise installed Hector Garcia-Godoy as provisional president. In 1966, right-wing candidate Joaquin Balaguer won in free elections against Bosch, and U.S. and other foreign troops withdrew.

In 1978, the army suspended the counting of ballots when Balaguer trailed in a fourth-term bid. After a warning from President Jimmy Carter, however, Balaguer accepted the victory of Antonio Guzmn of the Dominican Revolutionary Party. In 1982 elections, Salvador Jorge Blanco of the Dominican Revolutionary Party defeated Balaguer and Bosch. Balaguer was again elected president in May 1986 and remained in office for the next ten years.

In 1996, U.S.-raised Leonel Fernndez secured more than 51% of the vote through an alliance with Balaguer. The first item on the president's agenda was the partial sale of some state-owned enterprises. Fernndez was praised for ending decades of isolationism and improving ties with other Caribbean countries, but he was criticized for not fighting corruption or alleviating the poverty that affects 60% of the population.