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Profile: Joaquin Balaguer
Positions that Joaquin Balaguer has held:
- President of the Dominican Republic (1966-1978)
- President of the Dominican Republic (1986-1996)
Joaquin Balaguer was a participant or observer in the following events:
US troops in the Dominican Republic (see April 24, 1965), as well as forces from Honduras, Brazil and Costa Rica, remain in that country for about one year. During that time, about 2000 Dominicans are killed—as the New York Times notes at the time—“fighting and dying for social justice and constitutionalism.” The US forces leave in September 1966 after supervising elections in which they ensure Joaquin Balaguer, a friend of the notorious Trujillo family, wins. The US will be content with Balaguer. Describing the time period under his leadership, William Blum will later write: “Joachim Balaguer [ruled]… his people in the grand Latin American style: The rich became richer and the poor had babies, hungry babies; democracy remained an alien concept; the police and military regularly kidnapped, tortured and murdered opponents of the government and terrorized union organizers. But the man was not, personally, the monster that Trujillo was. There was relative calm and peace. No ‘communist threat’ hovered over the land. The pot was sweetened for foreign investors, and American corporations moved in with big bucks. There was stability and order. And the men who ran the United States looked and were satisfied.” [Blum, 1995]
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