This year is the 168th anniversary of the Battle of Santiago.
The Battle of 30 March was won by Dominican troops under General Jose Maria Imbert, against the larger contingent of better-equipped Haitian troops, under General Jean Louis Pierrot to confirm national independence from Haiti in 1844.
President Leonel Fernandez issued a statement, describing the event as one which displayed the character of a determined, fighting and visionary nation. He also said that the country should remember the heroes of that day, and their sacrifice, bravery and dignity that had contributed to the progress of the Dominican Republic today, in a climate of stability and harmony.
He went on to say that Santiago remembers with deep gratitude its unsung heroes Jose Maria Imbert, Francisco Antonio Salcedo, Fernando Valerio, Ramon Matias Mella and other officers and citizens who showed bravery and determination to defend freedom and rights. The battle took place 31 days after the proclamation of independence by Duarte and the Trinitario movement, at what is today Independence Park in Santo Domingo.