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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.


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Airports World Ranking: 111
36 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 16
Over 3,047 m 3
2,438 to 3,047 m 4
1,524 to 2,437 m 4
914 to 1,523 m 4
Under 914 m 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 20
1,524 to 2,437 m 1
914 to 1,523 m 1
Under 914 m 18 (2012)

1 (2012)

Oil 99 km

Railways World Ranking: 125
Total 142 km
Standard gauge 142 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 110
Total 19,705 km
Paved 9,872 km
Unpaved 9,833 km (2002)

Ports and terminals
Puerto Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo
Oil terminals
Andres LNG terminal (Boca Chica), Punta Nizao oil terminal


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  Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo):

  GPS points from Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo)

El Cigual Provincia De Elias Pina

Arroyo Holguin Puerto Plata

El Tablon Provincia Maria Trinidad Sanchez

Canada Manaclar Provincia De Azua

La Cuchilla De Hato Viejo Provincia De Peravia

Arroyo Rancho En Medio Provincia De San Cristobal

Loma El Duey San Pedro De Macoris

Los Mogotes Provincia De San Cristobal
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