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By 1501, Columbus's cousin Giovanni Columbus, had also discovered gold near Buenaventura, the deposits were later known as Minas Nuevas.
Two major mining areas resulted, one along San Cristóbal-Buenaventura, and another in Cibao within the La Vega-Cotuy-Bonao triangle, while Santiago de los Caballeros, Concepcion, and Bonao became mining towns. Ferdinand II of Aragon "ordered gold from the richest mines reserved for the Crown." Thus, Ovando expropriated the gold mines of Miguel Diaz and Francisco de Garay in 1504, as pit mines became royal mines, though placers were open to private prospectors.
The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to both the Caribbean's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, and the Caribbean's largest lake and point of lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo.
The "Dominican" word comes from the Latin Dominicus, meaning Sunday.
The Dominicans established a house of high studies in the island of Santo Domingo that today is known as the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and dedicated themselves to the protection of the native taínos of the island, who were subjected to slavery, and to the education of the inhabitants of the island.
A civil war in 1965, the country's last, was ended by U. military occupation and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer (1966–1978 & 1986–1996), the rules of Antonio Guzmán (1972–1978) & Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982–1986).
Since 1996, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time since 1996.
The colony of Santo Domingo became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the oldest continuously inhabited city, and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World.
After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821.