Balaguer, Joaquín

Balaguer, Joaquín (Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo) hwäkēnˈ bälägārˈ rēkärˈᵺō [key], 1907–2002, president of the Dominican Republic (1960–62, 1966–78, 1986–96). A lawyer by trade, he held posts under the dictator Rafael Trujillo Molina. He served as vice president (1957–60) and assumed the presidency (1960) when the dictator's brother, Hector Trujillo, resigned. Power rested, however, with the dictator until his assassination inMay, 1961. Balaguer, unable to control the chaos following the assassination, was ousted by the military in Jan., 1962.

Exiled until 1965, he returned at the time of the U.S. military intervention, and won the presidency in 1966 and again, in elections boycotted by the opposition, in 1970 and 1974. His administration restored financial stability and promoted development, but social unrest and guerrilla activity led to repressive, sometimes brutal measures. He lost the 1978 and 1982 presidential elections. Advanced in age and blind, he was reelected in 1986, 1990, and 1994 on a conservative platform, but the 1994 election was so marred by fraud that opposition protests and international pressure forced Balaguer to agree to resign after an abbreviated two-year term. A scholar and poet, Balaguer authored numerous books on a wide range of subjects.

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