Who is Juan Pablo Duarte, whose name is on so many streets in the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic once named three people as "the three fathers of the fatherland": Ramon Matias Mella, Francisco de Rosario and Juan Pablo Duarte. All three are national heroes and founders of the Dominican Republic. For this reason, Juan Pablo Duarte has his own statue in a park in Latin America. Several streets in the country even carry his name.

Biography: Juan Pablo Duarte

Juan Pablo Duarte was born on 26 January 1813. He was the son of Juan Jose Duarte, a native of the Spanish province of Cadis, and Manuela Diez Jiménez, of Spanish origin on his father's side and Dominican on his mother's side. He was baptized at only 9 days old in the church of Santa Barbara. Thanks to his opposition to the Haitian republic, he became for a time the president of the Dominican Republic. Duarte died on 15 July 1876 at the age of 63 in Caracas.

Who actually is Juan Pablo Duarte?

For the Dominican Republic, Juan Pablo Duarte is a national hero who fought for the independence of his country. Twelve years after the departure of the last French troops, the country was once again occupied by the Haitian Republic. In July 1838, at the age of 25, Juan Pablo Duarte founded a secret society called "la trinitaria" to oppose the Haitians and demand the independence of his country. The society evolved into a powerful organisation in 1843. The Haitian president Jean Pierre Boyer was removed from office by Charles Hérard. However, this was not in the Dominican Republic's favour and led Juan Pablo Duarte to go into exile in Curaçao. It was his companion Ramon Matias Mella who managed to strike back against the Haitian brigade in Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic came into being in July 1844. It was then that he became the president of the Dominican Republic until Pedro Santana opposed him and forced him into exile in Venezuela until his death.

The buildings erected in his honour

Although he was exiled, Dominicans still consider Juan Pablo Duarte a national hero. To pay tribute to him, the inhabitants have erected statues in his image, such as the "Statue of the Father of Independence" in Duarte Park and the "Bust of Juan Pablo Duarte" in the Latin American Park. His name has even become the name of several streets in the country. In addition, his former home in his native country has been turned into an independence museum.

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