Dr. Leonel Fernandez Reyna, President of the Dominican Republic

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Leonel Antonio Fernández was born in Santo Domingo on December 26th, 1953, to José Antonio Fernández Collado and Yolanda Reyna Romero.

Dr. Fernández went to public schools in New York City for the primary schooling of what would later on bloom into a brilliant professional career

Upon his return to the country, he entered the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), establishing his domicile in the residential sector of Villa Juana, where he spent the first years of his youth. At the time, Dr. Fernández felt attracted to the more advanced ideas emerging in the political debate of the time, and which would soon lead him to study the works of whom would become his mentor and guide, Professor Juan Bosch, and whom he would accompany, along with a host of other Dominicans that together founded the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) in 1973.

During his initial years at the university, he formed part of a vigorous student movement in the 1970's, and concurrently, he became General Secretary to the Student Association of the Law and Political Science Faculties of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, having actively participated in the protest activities of the time.

In 1978, Dr. Fernández was bestowed a postgraduate honors degree in Law (Magna Cum Laude), entitling him to the "J. Humberto Doucudray" award, as the most outstanding student of his class.

His thesis, "The Crime of Public Opinion", which later would become one of the most requested books by Law scholars and the mass media, enriched the national bibliography regarding such a complex and novel subject for the nation.

Other books authored by Dr. Fernandez were "The United States in the Caribbean: From the Cold War to the Reagan Plan" and "Roots of an Usurped Power" –an analysis on the Dominican elections of 1990. In addition, he is the author of an infinite amount of articles on the subjects of Communication, Culture, History and Law which have been published locally and abroad.

His increasing repercussion within the intellectual circles by means of conferences, press articles and debates, has been coupled by a progressive scaling in prominence within his party, which has lead him to uphold positions of great political responsibilities, starting as an apprentice of the party’s doctrines, going on to the post of intermediate leader, until achieving membership within the Central Committee in 1983, and in the Political Committee as of 1990. In the PLD, he has held the positions of Secretary of International Affairs and Secretary of the Press, and was director of the news magazine, Politics, Theory and Action.

Dr. Fernandez, an incessant reader, is renowned as one of the most brilliant academic and professional individuals of his generation, with a well-deserved prestige, thanks to a solid formation and prized qualities such as those of an excellent exponent, in addition to his acute skills as lawyer, totally fluent in the English and French languages.

He was coordinator to the Cultural Promotion Center and was also involved in the organization of the Spanish Language Rescue Campaign, which was sponsored by the Latin Union International Organization, in 1984. He has taken various courses, among which are: Social Transformation in Latin America, lectured by Professor Howard J. Wiarda of Amherst University in February 1979; during that same year, he attended the seminar on "Sugar Cane: Origins and Perspectives", with Professor Manuel Moreno Fringinals, from the University of Las Villas de Cuba and in April 1980, he participated in a course "Updating Teaching Techniques", sponsored by the Department of Pedagogy of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.

Likewise, Dr. Fernández took part in the courses "Contemporary Political Procedures in Latin America," offered in May 1980 by professors of the Central University of Venezuela, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (NAUM) and the Mexican College; in October of that same year, he...
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