Joaquin Balguer was born on September 1, 1906, in Villa Bisonó, located in the northwestern part of the Dominican Republic. Balaguer was elected the 41st president of the Dominican Republic in 1960. He served three nonconsecutive terms. As a youngster, Balaguer was attracted to literature. Balaguer was the only son of Joaquín Balaguer Lespier and his wife, Carmen Celia Ricardo Heureaux. He had several sisters. President Balaguer served in the military from 1916 to 1924 and was inspired to have a political career.
Life Before Being President
In his youth, Balaguer enjoyed writing literature. His beautiful verses were published in the local Villa Bisonó publications. After doing military service for eight years, Joaquin Balaguer decided to make politics his life’s work. The future Dominican Republic president earned a law degree and then entered politics. In 1930, Balaguer became Attorney in the Court of Properties. In two short years, he was serving Secretary of the Dominican Legation in Madrid (1932–1935). In 1936, Balaguer was appointed Undersecretary of the Presidency,and in 1937 Undersecretary of Foreign Relations. From 1940 until 1947 he served as Extraordinary Ambassador to Colombia and Ecuador. Balaguer was Ambassador to Mexico from 1947 to 1949. In 1949, he was appointed Secretary of Education. It was a position he held until 1955. While serving as Secretary of Education, he was also Secretary of, State of Foreign Relations, a position he held from 1953 to 1956.
Life as President
Joaquin Balaguer served three nonconsecutive terms as President of the Dominican Republic. He was originally Vice President to Héctor Trujillo who was running for reelection. Three years later when Trujillo was forced to resign his position, Balquer took over as president. Together, dictator Ramfis Trujillo and Joaquin Balguer granted some civil liberties and lessened the censorship policies of the press. After a military riot, Balguer resigned the presidency, only to return for a second term in 1966 when he would serve 12 years. Balquer felt uneasy about the ignorance of democracy and human rights demonstrated by the current administration. There was little piece time between wars. During his second term, Balaguer restored finances, had more hospitals, schools, and other important building constructed. For his third term, Balaguer led infrastructure projects, including more highways, housing, schools, and more. Learning his lesson from the second term, he returned to the Trujillo government style.
Life After being President
Balaguer published his memoirs about the Trujillo era in 1996. He returned in 2000 to run for a fourth term but was defeated and decided to retire. After leaving office for the final time, Balaguer spent much of his time with his sisters. Ex-President Joaquin Antonio Balaguer returned to his hobbies that included raising collies, and his car collection. Unfortunately, he became blind from glaucoma, and he became frail during the last two years of his life. He also suffered from phlebitis. On July 12, 2002, he died in his sleep of heart failure at 95 years of age. He was survived by his daughter and one sister.
Joaquin Antonio Balaguer was a close friend to President Ronald Reagan and a strong United States allied. Balaguer had one daughter named Ariadna whom he protected from the public and thus kept her name and existence very secretive only known to a very few. It is also said that she attended undergraduate and graduate school in Europe as well as in the United States, and now currently resides in Florida. After his passing, through the years it has been known that she resides in the United States somewhere in Florida and that her initials are the same as her father’s, Joaquin Antonio Balaguer. Though today, her last name is said to not be that of her father’s, due to marriage.