Forgotten world (47): Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic – once a Spanish colony – occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola. It has a population of 9M.
While the country remains one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean, there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor, with the richest being the white descendants of Spanish settlers, who own most of the land, and the poorest comprising people of African descent. The mixed race majority controls much of the commerce.
Mutual distrust has soured relations between the Dominican Republic and its troubled neighbour, Haiti. Up to one million Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, many of them illegally. The government has carried out mass deportations.
Once dependent on the export of sugar and other agricultural products, the country has become the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. Tourism, and the DR’s free-trade zones, have become major employers and key sources of revenue.