Balaguer, Joaquín (Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo) (hwäkēnˈ bälägārˈ rēkärˈᵺō), 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.
Born Sept. 1, 1907, in Santiago. Governmental and political figure of the Dominican Republic.
A lawyer by education, Balaguer held diplomatic and government posts from 1932 to 1952. He then was elected to the national congress and served as secretary to the president. Minister of education and the arts from 1955 to 1957, he was vice-president from May 1957 to August 1960 and president from August 1960 to January 1962 (chairman of the Council of State from December 1961 to January 1962). He resigned in January 1962 and emigrated to the USA. Balaguer returned to his country in mid-1965 and became president of the Dominican Republic in July 1966. His policy is pro-American.