Photo: Dominican Republic News
Today, all of Dominican Republic is celebrating and rejoicing its 168-year old independence from Spain. Columbus arrived in 1492 making this the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas. The Spanish occupied Dominican Republic for over 300 years followed by a Haitian occupation and a small period of U.S. occupation.
The Dominican Republic declared independence following the Haitian occupation on February 27, 1844. Over 70 years the country has endured outbreaks of civil war, political instability and economic chaos. However, today the country celebrates its founding fathers, Juan Pablo Duarte, Matias Ramon Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sanchez.
The country today enjoys a democratic government and is recognized as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. There is a vibrant Dominican population in the U.S. that is celebrating with friends and family on this special day with ‘sancocho’ and other island favorites.
The U.S. government via Secretary of State John Kerry sent their well wishes to the people of the Dominican Republic:
The United States and the Dominican Republic have a strong relationship based on historic ties and mutual interests. Our citizens’ security, governance, economic growth, health, and education are regional challenges that we address as partners. Last year’s launch of Alerta Joven highlighted our joint commitment to youth opportunity and cooperation in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. The Dominican Republic was also the first Caribbean nation to sign a joint statement on global supply chain security to increase and facilitate trade, and I look forward to further collaboration on these and other issues.
The United States stands with the people of the Dominican Republic as you celebrate the anniversary of your independence. May peace, prosperity, and social equity frame the year ahead.