Balaguer and His Hat

Joaquín Amparo Balaguer Ricardo

Born September 1, 1906 — Died July 14, 2002. Balaguer was the President of the Dominican Republic from 1960 to 1962, from 1966 to 1978, and from 1986 to 1996. It was said that as long as Balaguer had his hat on that there would never be a major hurricane. The story is told that he made a pact with the Virgen de la Altagracia. During all his times being president there was never a natural disaster that he had to deal with. (the hat on could mean a real hat or maybe the proverbial hat meaning he was still in charge).

Interpretation of Balaguer and the mysteries surrounding him by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu
Interpretation of Balaguer and the mysteries surrounding him by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu

Once when Balaguer had a heart attack the island was hit with a small hurricane. The Dominican people believed he had died and they were not told as this is the only way that this hurricane would have hit the island.

I was told by friends of mine that the people were truly afraid when he did die in 2002. Many believed that soon after there would be a giant catastrophic event in Dominican Republic. It is said that he was buried with his hat on so the island will still be protected until it rots in the grave.

There are a few other mysteries surrounding Balaguer. He wrote poetry and many works of literature. One of these books was called Memorias de un Cortesano. Balaguer, in this book stated that he knew the truth about the controversial death of the revolutionary journalist Orlando Martínez. This book had a blank page in the center. He said that when he died the page would be filled.

The page in the book is blank to this day…

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