Life and History of Dominican President Horacio Vasquez

Horacio Vasquez, whose full name was Felipe Horacio Vasquez Lajara, is best known for serving as President of the Dominican Republic twice over. However, first, he served as the President of the Provisional Government of Junta (or military) from September to November 1899 and then again from May 1902 to April 1903. He was in office as official President of Dominican Republic from 1924-1930. His presidency was considered to be one of the most peaceful during so much political unrest within the Dominican Republic area over so much petty corruption and so many oustings as a result. He ensured that good roads and schools were built but did add to the national debt. He was later ousted by Rafael Trujillo.

Life Before Being President

Before becoming President, Vasquez served as Vice President. During that time, he successfully overthrew President Juan Jiminez of Santo Domingo on May 2, 1902. He was named President of the Provisional Government that same day. A year later, Vasquez was overthrown from the Provisional Government by General Alejandro Wos y Gil in as a revolt. Beyond this, and aside from knowing that he was an excellent leader as a General, not much is really known about President Vasquez, his early life or life before being democratically elected as President. Vasquez’s leadership was initially very hopeful, however, this assumption turned out to be slightly inaccurate.

Life as President

Horacio Vasquez was democratically and officially elected President of the Dominican Republic in 1924-though some sources say 1927. He enjoyed almost six years in Office before General Trujillo betrayed and ousted him. During Vasquez’s time as President, he promoted Trujillo to General, he did add to the Dominican Republic’s national debt but ensured that schools and roads were established. Generally, his presidential term was considered to be one of the most peaceful in the midst of much unrest. However, he committed a serious breach on the presidential constitution by trying to extend the term by four to six years. Almost immediately, groups of insurgents under the leadership of Rafael Urena rose to overthrow Vasquez. In spite of direct orders to do otherwise, Trujillo instead allowed the rebels to get out from under to unseat Vasquez. Upon Vasquez’s exile, Trujillo took a 30-year dictatorship over the Dominican Republic by coercion and intimidation.

Life After President

The way that Vasquez was ousted in 1930 was arguably peaceful but very coerced. Trujillo and his Army pretended to remain “neutral” while Vasquez forcefully resigned to a retired private life. Within just a few months, the Trujillo dictatorship was fully established. During the rest of his life, Vasquez refused to participate in anything politically-related and resisted every attempt to endorse the dictatorship. After the way that Trujillo had so thoroughly betrayed him, one would probably expect just as much, too! Also, Vasquez could hardly be blamed for not wanting to be easily seen in the public realm after such an unfair humiliation.