Biography of Buenaventura Báez (1812-1884)

Politician and Dominican military in the small town of Rincon, in the Department of Neiba (today Cabral), born on October 20, 1812 and died in anteater (Puerto Rico) in 1884. His political career was placed the presidential sash on five occasions, ruled with a despotic and dictatorial character and their cabinets were dreamed up administrative corruption scandals.

He studied in France during his adolescence, and on his return to the country gave the first steps in his political career collaborating with the Haitian occupation Government representative in the southern region. Integrated in the French movement that, with the support of the French consul Levasseur, justified the need for separate from Haiti and invoked the protection of France, clashed openly with the Trinitarians which, commanded by Duarte, they fought against the occupation but also against foreign protectorate. When on February 27, 1844, the duartistas proclaimed the independence of the country and was established the first Republic, Baez showed his opposition to the autonomous movement and sought asylum at the French Consulate in Santo Domingo. However, at the end of that year he/she was one of the drafters of the Constitution of San Cristobal and in 1845 received the appointment of Commander in arms of the Department of Azua.

Pedro Santana had assumed the direction of the Central Administrative Board on July 13, 1844 and November 14 became President of the first Republic. Four years later, Manuel Jiménez took over from power but Santana snatched it back and, after the refusal of Santiago Espaillat accept presidential, gave way to the first administration of Buenaventura Báez on September 24, 1849. During his tenure, which lasted until February 1853, Baez returned to their initial protectionist positions and sought the support needed to stop invading the Haitian Government purposes in the European powers. Finished the presidential period laid down in the Constitution, Pedro Santana got the electoral victory and assumed power until after his resignation in 1856, it was replaced by the Vice-President Rule Mota.

Buenaventura Báez began his second presidential adventure October 8, 1856, with the launch up a series of economic measures which, far from alleviating the country's crisis, aggravated the situation of Dominican merchants and provoked the so-called revolution of July 7, 1857. The rebels formed an interim Government led by José Desiderio Valverde and Baez had to leave the Presidency and the country on June 12, 1858. He/She returned to sit or stand on the political front during the four years of the Spanish annexation (1861-1865), period in which served as Spanish field marshal.

After the war of independence and the restoration of the Republic ephemeral governments followed one another, and on December 8, 1865 Báez returned to reach the Presidency. This time his mandate only could be extended for five months because independence leaders, led by Pimentel and Luperon, teamed up to wrest the power the man who, after defending the Spanish occupation, wore the presidential sash from the Dominican Republic autonomous. But the eternal political enemies of Baez has only enjoyed two years of their absence in the Palacio Nacional. His fourth presidential term was inaugurated on May 2, 1868 after overthrowing the Government of José María Cabral. Báez returned with new impetus annexation, this time facing the United States, although his project finally failed because of strong pressures of the Dominican independence movement and opposition to the U.S. Senate. The unionist revolution of November 1973 caused the fall of the President and the formation in Puerto Plata for a provisional Government. Without alternatives, Buenaventura Báez submitted his resignation on January 2, 1874.

From this moment opens in the country a long period of political instability that ephemeral governments followed one another. And Baez, the most tenacious politician from the Dominican Republic, once again occupied the presidential chair between December 1876 and March 1878. He/She died exiled in Puerto Rico in 1884.