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After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule, the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821. The leader of the independence movement, José Núñez de Cáceres, intended the Dominican nation to unite with the country of Gran Colombia, but the newly independent Dominicans were forcefully annexed by Haiti in February 1822. Independence came 22 years later in 1844, after victory in the Dominican War of Independence. Over the next 72 years, the Dominican Republic experienced mostly civil wars, several failed invasions by its neighbour, Haiti, and brief return to Spanish colonial status, before permanently ousting the Spanish during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1863-1865. During this period, two presidents were assassinated (Ulises Heureaux in 1899 and Ramón Cáceres in 1911).
The first person of Dominican descent to migrate into what is now known as the United States was sailor-turned-merchant Juan Rodríguez who arrived on Manhattan in 1613 from his home in Santo Domingo. Thousands of Dominicans also passed through the gates of Ellis Island in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The most recent movement of emigration to the United States began in the 1960s, after the fall of the dictatorial Trujillo regime. (Full article...)
Image 26A bohío near Santo Domingo. Many Dominicans --especially those in rural areas-- used to live in bohíos until well into the mid-20th century, like the native Taínos. (from Culture of the Dominican Republic)
Contreras is a two-time bronze medal winner at the World Weightlifting Championships: 2005 and 2010. She was awarded Dominican Republic Athlete of the year in 2005, and as of 2012, she have been awarded Female Weightlifting Athlete of the Year six times. She is two-time gold medal winner in Pan American Games, in 2007 and 2011, and silver medalist in 2003. She is the record holder of these games, which she set in the 2007 edition and improved in the snatch in 2011. She is also a Central American and Caribbean Games two-time gold medal winner, in 2006 and 2010 and record holder, set in 2010. (Full article...)