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Juan Pablo Duarte

Juan Pablo DuarteJuan Pablo Duarte y Díez (January 26, 1813 – July 15, 1876)
is one of the Founding Fathers of the Dominican Republic. He was a visionary and liberal thinker who along with Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Matías Ramón Mella is widely considered the architect of the Dominican Republic and its independence from Haitian rule in 1844. His aspiration was to help create a self-sufficient nation established on the liberal ideals of a democratic government.

The highest mountain in the Caribbean is named Pico Duarte in his honor, as are Juan Pablo Duarte Square in New York City, and many other noteworthy landmarks, suggesting his historical importance for Dominicans. His vision for the country was quickly undermined by the conservative elites, who sought to align the new nation with colonial powers and turn back to traditional regionalism. Nevertheless, his democratic ideals, although never fully fleshed-out and somewhat imprecise, have served as guiding principles, mostly in theory, for most Dominican governments. His failures made him a political martyr in the eyes of subsequent generations.

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