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Today (the 16th of August) in the Dominican Republic we celebrate the “Día de la Restauración” (the Restoration of Dominican Independence), which was proclaimed with the “Guerra de Restauración” (Restoration War) on August the 16th of 1863 – a day which every 4 years is the day the newly elected President of the country claims power. And so today, Danilo Medina Sánchez will be officially claiming his title of President of the Dominican Republic from former President Dr. Leonel Fernández.
A short history lesson – “Día de la Restauración”
It might sound strange that a country’s independence can actually be “restored” just a few years after it had been proclaimed, right? But according to our rich and interesting Dominican history, that is exactly what happened in this country – which is known for not only having reclaimed it’s independence, but also for having declared it’s independence on 3 different occasions!
After officially obtaining our National Independence on February the 27th 1844, thanks to Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Matías Ramón Mella (and previously in 1821 with the “Independencia Efímera” [Brief Independence]),the Dominican Republic once again lost power over its territory and people when Pedro Santana, who at the time was the country’s first President and Dictator, decided ruling the country was to much work – so he handed the power back over to Spain! (Remember that the Dominican Republic was once a colony of Spain).
A few years after Pedro Santana had handed the rule to Spain, a brave Dominican man, a great leader and example to all Dominicans, faught with his people against the Spanish forces. His name was Gregorio Luperón and he declared war (and independence) by raising the Dominican flag at the “Cerro de Capotillo (the Capotillo Hill) an action historically known as the “Grito de Capotillo” on August the 16th, 1863. It was then when the Restoration War was officially declared and faught between Dominicans and Spanish forces until 1865.
The result; the Spanish forces left the country and the Dominican Republic once again reclaimed it’s independence.
New President takes power
A very important date for all Dominicans, every year on the “Día de la Restauración”, the country celebrates democracy with the President’s speech based on his performance throughout the year, highlighting the progress of the country. And every 4 years (like this year), when there is a newly elected President, this is the day in which he (or she) takes power – which means that Danilo Medina Sánchez will be taking power TODAY until August 16th 2012.
New President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez
Dominican Traditions celebrated today
• All national television programs and radio stations will be covering the big event: Danilo Medina taking power – which will last at least until 1 p.m.• Dominican flags will be hung out on many balconies as it is a very important day for the Dominican Republic.• Social networks, especially Twitter, will be spouting out numerous comments referring to the “change of power” ceremony, with national “trending topics” such as: #16deAgosto, #DaniloMedina, #TomadePosesion #Restauracion (try it and you’ll see)!• Families organize a nice lunch to celebrate this special day!