His rule was further criticized for a growing disparity between rich and poor. It was, however, praised for an ambitious infrastructure program, which included large housing projects, sports complexes, theaters, museums, aqueducts, roads, highways, and the massive Columbus Lighthouse, completed in a subsequent tenure in 1992. HP Pavilion dv6-2131so laptop keyboard
In 1978, Balaguer was succeeded in the presidency by opposition candidate Antonio Guzmán Fernández, of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). Another PRD win in 1982 followed, under Salvador Jorge Blanco. Under the PRD presidents, the Dominican Republic experienced a period of relative freedom and basic human rights. SONY VAIO VGN-AR370E laptop keyboard
Balaguer regained the presidency in 1986, and was re-elected in 1990 and 1994, this last time just defeating PRD candidate José Francisco Peña Gómez, a former mayor of Santo Domingo. The 1994 elections were flawed, bringing on international pressure, to which Balaguer responded by scheduling another presidential contest in 1996. HP Pavilion DV6-1027nr laptop keyboard
This time Leonel Fernández achieved the first-ever win for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), which Bosch founded in 1973 after leaving the PRD (also founded by Bosch). Fernández oversaw a fast-growing economy, with growth averaging 7.7% per year, a drop in unemployment, and stable exchange and inflation rates. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5160 laptop keyboard
In 2000 the PRD's Hipólito Mejía won the election. This was a time of economic troubles, and Mejía was defeated in his re-election effort in 2004 by Fernández, who won re-election in 2008. Fernández and the PLD are credited with initiatives that have moved the country forward technologically, TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6102 laptop keyboard
such as the construction of the Metro Railway ("El Metro"). On the other hand, his administrations have also been accused of corruption. Danilo Medina of the same PLD party was elected president in 2012 under the promise of investing more on social programs and education and less on infrastructure. ASUS F9J laptop keyboard
The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the second-largest island in the Greater Antilles, Hispaniola. It shares the island roughly at a 2:1 ratio with Haiti. The country's area is reported variously as 48,442 km2 (18,704 sq mi) (by the embassy in the United States) and 48,730 km2 (18,815 sq mi) (by the U.S. CIA), ACER Aspire 4315 laptop keyboard
making it the second largest country in the Antilles, after Cuba. The country's capital and greatest metropolitan area, Santo Domingo, is located on the southern coast. The country lies between latitudes 17° and 20°N, and longitudes 68° and 72°W.
There are many small offshore islands and cays that are part of the Dominican territory. Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard
The two largest islands near shore are Saona, in the southeast, and Beata, in the southwest. To the north, at distances of 100–200 kilometres (62–124 mi), are three extensive, largely submerged banks, which geographically are a southeast continuation of the Bahamas: Navidad Bank,Silver Bank, and Mouchoir Bank. ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard
Navidad Bank and Silver Bank have been officially claimed by the Dominican Republic.
The country's mainland has four important mountain ranges. The most northerly is the Cordillera Septentrional ("Northern Mountain Range"), which extends from the northwestern coastal town of Monte Cristi, near the Haitian border, DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard
to the Samaná Peninsula in the east, running parallel to the Atlantic coast. The highest range in the Dominican Republic – indeed, in the whole of the West Indies – is the Cordillera Central ("Central Mountain Range"). It gradually bends southwards and finishes near the town of Azua, on the Caribbean coast.
In the Cordillera Central are found the four highest peaks in the Caribbean: Pico Duarte (3,098 metres or 10,164 feet above sea level), La Pelona (3,094 metres or 10,151 feet), La Rucilla (3,049 metres or 10,003 feet) and Pico Yaque (2,760 metres or 9,055 feet). Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard
In the southwest corner of the country, south of the Cordillera Central, there are two other ranges. The more northerly of the two is the Sierra de Neiba, while in the south the Sierra de Bahoruco is a continuation of the Massif de la Selle in Haiti. There are other, minor mountain ranges, such as the Cordillera Oriental ("Eastern Mountain Range"), Sierra Martín García, Sierra de Yamasá and Sierra de Samaná. HP Pavilion G7-1081NR Laptop Keyboard
Between the Central and Northern mountain ranges lies the rich and fertile Cibao valley. This major valley is home to the city of Santiago and most of the farming areas in the nation. Rather less productive is the semi-arid San Juan Valley, south of the Central Cordillera. Still more arid is the Neiba Valley, SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard
tucked between the Sierra de Neiba and the Sierra de Bahoruco. Much of the land in the Enriquillo Basin is below sea level, with a hot, arid, desert-like environment. There are other smaller valleys in the mountains, such as the Constanza, Jarabacoa, Villa Altagracia, and Bonao valleys. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard
The Llano Costero del Caribe ("Caribbean Coastal Plain") is the largest of the plains in the Dominican Republic. Stretching north and east of Santo Domingo, it contains many sugar plantations in the savannahs that are common there. West of Santo Domingo its width is reduced to 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) as it hugs the coast, FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard
finishing at the mouth of the Ocoa River. Another large plain is the Plena de Azua ("Azua Plain"), a very dry region in Azua Province.
A few other small coastal plains are in the northern coast and in the Pedernales Peninsula.
Four major rivers drain the numerous mountains of the Dominican Republic. HP G42-362LA Laptop Keyboard
The Yaque del Norte is the longest and most important Dominican river. It carries excess water down from the Cibao Valley and empties into Monte Cristi Bay, in the northwest. Likewise, theYuna River serves the Vega Real and empties into Samaná Bay, in the northeast. SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard
Drainage of the San Juan Valley is provided by the San Juan River, tributary of the Yaque del Sur, which empties into the Caribbean, in the south. The Artibonito is the longest river of Hispaniola and flows westward into Haiti.
There are many lakes and coastal lagoons. The largest lake is Enriquillo, a salt lake at 45 metres (148 ft) below sea level, the lowest point in the Caribbean. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard
Other important lakes are Laguna de Rincón or Cabral, with freshwater, and Laguna de Oviedo, a lagoon with brackish water.
Bajos de Haina, 12 miles (19 km) west of Santo Domingo, was included on the Blacksmith Institute's list of the world's 10 most polluted places, released in October 2006, SONY KFRMBA152B Laptop Keyboard
due to lead poisoning by a battery recycling smelter closed in 1999. Cleanup of the site began in 2008, but children continue to be born with high lead levels, causing learning disabilities, impaired physical growth and kidneyfailure.
The climate of the Dominican Republic is mostly tropical. The annual average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard
At higher elevations, the temperature averages18 °C (64.4 °F) while near sea level the average temperature is 28 °C (82.4 °F). Low temperatures of 0 °C (32 °F) are possible in the mountains while high temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) are possible in protected valleys. ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard
January and February are the coolest months of the year, while August is the hottest month. Some snowflakes can fall in rare occasions on the top of the Pico Duarte.
The wet season along the northern coast lasts from November through January. HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard
Elsewhere, the wet season stretches from May through November, with May being the wettest month. Average annual rainfall is 1,500 millimetres (59.1 in) countrywide, with individual locations in the Valle de Neiba seeing averages as low as 350 millimetres (13.8 in) while the Cordillera Oriental averages 2,740 millimetres (107.9 in). SONY VAIO VGN-N31S/W Laptop Keyboard
The driest part of the country lies in the west. Tropical cyclonesstrike the country every couple of years, with 65% of the impacts along the southern coast. Hurricanes are most likely between August and October. The last time a category 5 hurricane struck the country was Hurricane David in 1979. SONY VAIO VGN-CS14G/B Laptop Keyboard
The Dominican Republic is a representative democracy or democratic republic, with three branches of power: executive, legislative, and judicial. The President of the Dominican Republic heads the executive branch and executes laws passed by the Congress, appoints the Cabinet, and is commander in chief of the armed forces. ASUS F3Sv laptop keyboard
The president and vice-president run for office on the same ticket and are elected by direct vote for 4-year terms. The national legislature is bicameral, composed of a Senate, which has 32 members, and the Chamber of Deputies, with 178 members. Judicial authority rests with the Supreme Court of Justice's 16 members. IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard
They are appointed by a council composed of the President, the leaders of both houses of Congress, the President of the Supreme Court, and an opposition or non–governing-party member. The Court "alone hears actions against the president, designated members of his Cabinet, and members of Congress when the legislature is in session." HP Mini 210-1124TU laptop keyboard
The president appoints the governors of the 31 provinces. Mayors and municipal councils administer the 124 municipal districts and the National District (Santo Domingo). They are elected at the same time as congressional representatives.
The Dominican Republic has a multi-party political system. SONY VAIO VGN-NW23GF laptop keyboard
Elections were held every two years, alternating between the Presidential elections, which are held in years evenly divisible by four, and the Congressional and municipal elections, which are held in even-numbered years not divisible by four. "International observers have found that presidential and congressional elections since 1996 have been generally free and fair." SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard
The Central Elections Board (JCE) of 9 members supervises elections, and its decisions are unappealable. Starting from 2016, elections will be held jointly, after a constitutional reform.[There are many political parties and advocacy groups and, new on the scene, civil organizations. SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E/B laptop keyboard
The three major parties are the conservative Social Christian Reformist Party (Spanish: Partido Reformista Social Cristiano [PRSC]), in power 1966–78 and 1986–96; the social democratic Dominican Revolutionary Party(Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Dominicano [PRD]), in power in 1963, 1978–86, and 2000–04; HP G62-b21SL laptop keyboard
and the centrist liberal and reformist Dominican Liberation Party(Spanish: Partido de la Liberación Dominicana [PLD]), in power 1996–2000 and since 2004.
The presidential elections of 2008 were held on May 16, 2008, with incumbent Leonel Fernández winning with 53% of the vote. COMPAQ Presario V6405CA laptop keyboard
He defeated Miguel Vargas Maldonado, of the PRD, who achieved a 40.48% share of the vote. Amable Aristy, of the PRSC, achieved 4.59% of the vote. Other minority candidates, which includes former Attorney General Guillermo Moreno from the Movement for Independence, HP Pavilion G7-1077NR laptop keyboard
Unity and Change (Movimiento Independencia, Unidad y Cambio [MIUCA]) and PRSC former presidential candidate and defector Eduardo Estrella obtained less than 1% of the vote.
Congress authorizes a combined military force of 44,000 active duty personnel. FUJITSU Lifebook S7111 laptop keyboard
Actual active duty strength is approximately 32,000. However, approximately 50% of those are used for non-military activities such as security providers for government-owned non-military facilities, highway toll stations, prisons, forestry work, state enterprises, and private businesses. SONY VAIO VGN-CR410E laptop keyboard
The Commander in Chief of the military is the President. The principal missions are to defend the nation and protect the territorial integrity of the country. The army, larger than the other services combined with approximately 20,000 active duty personnel, consists of six infantry brigades, a combat support brigade, and a combat service support brigade. HP Mini 110-3538tu laptop keyboard
The air force operates two main bases, one in the southern region near Santo Domingo and one in the northern region near Puerto Plata. The navy operates two major naval bases, one in Santo Domingo and one in Las Calderas on the southwestern coast, and maintains 12 operational vessels. In the Caribbean, only Cuba has a larger military force. ASUS X85S laptop keyboard
The armed forces have organized a Specialized Airport Security Corps (CESA) and a Specialized Port Security Corps (CESEP) to meet international security needs in these areas. The Secretary of the Armed Forces has also announced plans to form a specialized border corps (CESEF). Additionally, DELL PK1303Q0100 Laptop Keyboard
the armed forces provide 75% of personnel to the National Investigations Directorate (DNI) and the Counter-Drug Directorate (DNCD).
The Dominican National Police force contains 32,000 agents. The police are not part of the Dominican armed forces, but share some overlapping security functions. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard
Sixty-three percent of the force serve in areas outside traditional police functions, similar to the situation of their military counterparts.
The Dominican Republic has become a trans-shipment point for Colombian drugs destined to Europe as well as the United States and Canada. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard
Money laundering via the Dominican Republic is favored by Colombian drug cartels for the ease of illicit financial transactions. In 2004 it was estimated that 8% of all cocaine smuggled into the United States had come through the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic responded with increased efforts to seize drug shipments, arrest and extradite those involved, and combat money-laundering. SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E Laptop Keyboard
The often light treatment of violent criminals has been a continuous source of local controversy. In April 2010, five teenagers ages 15 to 17 shot and killed two taxi drivers and killed another five by forcing them to drink drain cleaning acid. On September 24, 2010, the teens were sentenced to only 3–5 year prison terms, despite the protests of the taxi drivers' families. DELL M711P Laptop Keyboard
The Dominican Republic is divided into 31 provinces. Santo Domingo, the capital, is designated Distrito Nacional (National District). The provinces are divided into municipalities (municipios; singular municipio). They are the second-level political and administrative subdivisions of the country. HP AEAT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard
The Dominican Republic has the second largest economy (the largest, according to the U.S. State Department) in Central America and the Caribbean. It is an upper middle-income developing country, with a 2007 GDP per capita of $9,208, in PPP terms, which is relatively high in Latin America. HP 540 Laptop Keyboard
In the trimester of January–March 2007 it experienced an exceptional growth of 9.1% in its GDP, which was actually below the previous year's 10.9% in the same period. Growth was led by imports, followed by exports, with finance and foreign investment the next largest factors. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard
The Dominican Republic is primarily dependent on natural resources and government services. Although the service sector has recently overtaken agriculture as the leading employer of Dominicans (due principally to growth in tourism and Free Trade Zones), agriculture remains the most important sector in terms of domestic consumption and is in second place, behind mining, in terms of export earnings. HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard
The service sector in general has experienced growth in recent years, as has construction. Free Trade Zone earnings and tourism are the fastest-growing export sectors. Real estate tourism alone accounted for $1.5 billion in earnings for 2007. Remittances from Dominicans living abroad amounted to nearly $3.2 billion in 2007. DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard
Economic growth takes place in spite of a chronic energy shortage, which causes frequent blackouts and very high prices. Despite a widening merchandise trade deficit, tourism earnings and remittances have helped build foreign exchange reserves. The Dominican Republic is current on foreign private debt. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard
Following economic turmoil in the late 1980s and 1990, during which the gross domestic product (GDP) fell by up to 5% and consumer price inflation reached an unprecedented 100%, the Dominican Republic entered a period of growth and declining inflation until 2002, after which the economy entered a recession. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard
This recession followed the collapse of the second-largest commercial bank in the country, Baninter, linked to a major incident of fraud valued at $3.5 billion. The Baninter fraud had a devastating effect on the Dominican economy, with GDP dropping by 1% in 2003 as inflation ballooned by over 27%. GATEWAY NV-59 Laptop Keyboard
All defendants, including the star of the trial, Ramon Baez Figueroa, were convicted. One subpoena was not delivered because the United States denied extradition.
According to the 2005 Annual Report of the United Nations Subcommittee on Human Development in the Dominican Republic, ACER Aspire 5930 Laptop Keyboard
the country is ranked No. 71 in the world for resource availability, No. 79 for human development, and No. 14 in the world for resource mismanagement. These statistics emphasize national government corruption, foreign economic interference in the country, and the rift between the rich and poor. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard
The country has a noted problem of child labor in its coffee, rice, sugarcane, and tomato industries. The labor injustices in the sugarcane industry extends to forced labor according to the US Department of Labor.
Three large groups own 75% of the land: the State Sugar Council (Consejo Estatal del Azúcar, CEA), Grupo Vicini, and Central Romana Corporation. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard
The Dominican peso (DOP, or RD$) is the national currency, although United States dollars (USD) and euros (EUR) are also accepted at most tourist sites. The dollar is implicated in almost all commercial transactions of the Dominican Republic; such dollarization is common in high inflation economies. TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard
Americans traveling to the Dominican Republic have a very good exchange rate. The exchange rate to the U.S. dollar, liberalized by 1985, stood at 2.70 pesos per dollar in August 1986,:p417, 428 14.00 pesos in 1993, and 16.00 pesos in 2000. Having jumped to 53.00 pesos per dollar in 2003, the rate was back down to around 31.00 pesos per dollar in 2004. Lenovo Thinkpad T420 Laptop Keyboard
As of November 2010 the rate was 37.00 pesos per US dollar. As of January 2013 the rate was 40.00 pesos per dollar.
Tourism is fueling the Dominican Republic's economic growth. With the construction of projects like Cap Cana, HP Mini 110-1032NR Laptop Keyboard
San Souci Port in Santo Domingo, and Moon Palace Resort in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic expects increased tourism activity in the upcoming year. Ecotourism has been a topic increasingly important in the nation, with towns like Jarabacoa and neighboringConstanza, and locations like the Pico Duarte, HP Pavilion zv6233ea Laptop Keyboard
Bahia de Las Aguilas and others becoming more significant in efforts to increase direct benefits from tourism. Most residents from other countries are required to get a tourist card, depending on the Country that he or she lives in.
The Dominican Republic has a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, with extensive mobile phone and landlineservices. SONY VAIO VGN-FS940 laptop keyboard
Cable Internet and DSL are available in most parts of the country, and many Internet service providers offer 3Gwireless internet service and most recently, the Dominican Republic became the second country in Latin America to have 4G LTE wireless service, offered by Orange. SONY VAIO VGN-FS730F laptop keyboard
The reported speeds are from 256 kbit/s / 128 kbit/s for residential services, up to 5 Mbit/s / 1 Mbit/s for residential service. For commercial service there are speeds from 256 kbit/s up to 154 Mbit/s. (Each set of numbers denotes downstream/upstream speed; that is, to the user/from the user.) HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard
Projects to extend Wi-Fi hot spots have been made in Santo Domingo. The country's commercial radio stations and television stations are in the process of transferring to the digital spectrum, via HD Radio and HDTV after officially adopting ATSC as the digital medium in the country with a switch-off of analog transmission by September 2015. SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard
The telecommunications regulator in the country is INDOTEL (Instituto Dominicano de Telecomunicaciones).
The largest telecommunications company is Claro – part of Carlos Slim's América Móvil – which provides wireless, landline, broadband, and IPTV services. HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard