Today, the Dominican Republic celebrates its Independence and President Leonel Fernández will deliver the State of the Union Address.
The Dominican Republic made its first declaration of independence from Spain on November 30, 1821, only to see the country invaded by Haitian forces in February 1822. Anti-Haitian movements of several kinds — pro-independence, pro-Spanish, pro-French, pro-British, pro-United States — gathered force following the overthrow of Haitian President Boyer in 1843. In 1838 Juan Pablo Duarte founded a secret society called La Trinitaria, which sought the complete independence of Santo Domingo without any foreign intervention. On February 27, 1844, the Trinitarios declared independence from Haiti. The Dominican Republic’s first Constitution was adopted on November 6, 1844, and was modeled after the United States Constitution.
Today, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated the people of the Dominican Republic as they celebrate the 166th anniversary of their independence.:
“People around the world have been moved by Dominican generosity and compassion in the wake of the devastating earthquake in neighboring Haiti on January 12. The Dominican Republic has played a leading role in international rescue and relief efforts. Within hours of the disaster, Dominican officials and citizens from all walks of life began mobilizing and sending food, water, supplies, equipment and medical teams. Many lives were saved through this extraordinary effort, and some measure of hope restored to a shattered nation. U.S. aid workers, medical personnel and troops are partnering with Haitians, Dominicans and people from around the world to support Haiti’s recovery, and we appreciate the leadership and continuing commitment of the Dominican Republic.
Our two nations are united by shared history, values, and hopes for the future. We are working together as partners to promote regional security and stability, to widen opportunity and prosperity, and to strengthen democratic governance and the rule of law across the Americas. Bonds of family, commerce, culture and sports bind our people together. And today, we salute the many contributions that people of Dominican heritage have made to the culture and prosperity of the United States.
On this anniversary of Dominican independence, I reaffirm our enduring partnership and offer my warmest wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year ahead.”
Photo of Dominican Republic Independence Celebrations by Jana Carga. You can see her photos, especially her album of photos from the Dominican Republic, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jannaya/425554403/