Histories of the Cold War commonly describe motivations of the purest bigotry and prejudice as though they were just inclinations or personality. US officials that ordered invasions, coups, wars, false flag attacks are said to be "concerned about Communism". In the history of the Dominican Republic and other successful socialist governments that were elected by the will of the people, the, at best reactionary, and at worst fascist, moves to crush these rare emergences of true democracy are described as being reactions to "too much" reform, or reform coming "too soon". Where Communist governments are never given such latitude, the power given the military in right wing dictatorships is given the gunslinging glamour of "free rein". And so on and so on.

Elections and Events 1963-1969. 1963 The Library, UC San Diego

Background: dicatatorship of Rafael Trujillo Edit

Parsley Massacre Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:Parsley Massacre

In 1937, Dominican dictator Wikipedia:Rafael Trujillo ordered the execution of Wikipedia:Haitians living in the Wikipedia:Dominican Republic. The Wikipedia:Parsley Massacre, known in the Dominican Republic as "El Corte" (the Cutting), lasted approximately five days. Trujillo had his soldiers show Wikipedia:parsley to suspected Haitians and ask, "What is this?" Spanish-speaking Dominicans would be able to pronounce the Spanish word for parsley ("perejil") perfectly. In Haitian Creole, the word for parsley is "persil". Those who mispronounced "perejil" were assumed to be Haitian and slaughtered. The program resulted in the deaths of 20,000 to 30,000 people.[1]

Democracy: return of Juan Bosch Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:Juan Bosch

After 23 years in exile, Juan Bosch returned to his homeland months after Trujillo was assassinated on May 30, 1961. His presence in the national political life, as the Wikipedia:Dominican Revolutionary Party presidential candidate, was a fresh change for the Dominicans. His manner of speaking, direct and simple, especially when addressing the lowest classes, appealed to farmers as much as people from the cities. Immediately he was accused by the Church and by conservatives of being a communist. However, in the electoral match of December 20, 1962, Bosch and his running mate, Armando González Tamayo, won a sweeping victory over Viriato Fiallo of the National Civic Union in what is acknowledged to be the first free election in the country's history.

On February 27, 1963, Bosch was sworn in as president in a ceremony that was attended by important democratic leaders and personalities, like Luis Muñoz and José Figueres.

Reforms Edit

Latifundia Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:Latifundus

{{Bosch immediately launched a deep restructuring of the country. On April 29, he promulgated a new liberal constitution. The new document granted the people freedoms they had never known. Among other things, it declared specific labour rights, and mentioned unions, pregnant women, homeless people, the family, rights for the child and the young, for the farmers, and for illegitimate children.

During the modern colonial period, the Portuguese and Spanish monarchs often rewarded military service with extensive land grants known as latifundia. The word was taken directly from that of the old Roman cultivations with which they had many things in common, including being taken from conquered nations, massive size and use as privileged rewards. Across the breadth of the Wikipedia:New World conquests by the Wikipedia:Spanish Empire they lay, particularly in Wikipedia:Brazil, Wikipedia:Bolivia, Wikipedia:Mexico, Wikipedia:Venezuela, Wikipedia:Uruguay, Wikipedia:Cuba, Wikipedia:Chile and Wikipedia:Argentina.

As if their land itself was not enough, the forced recruitment of the indigenous people as laborers allowed by colonial law made these land grants particularly lucrative for their owners. These grants, Wikipedia:fazendas (in Portuguese) or Wikipedia:haciendas (in Spanish), were also known by terms borrowed from the word "latifundia", respectively latifúndios (Portuguese) or latifundios or simply fundos (Spanish).

These large land-holdings continued to exist after these countries gained independence; in time, Wikipedia:agrarian reforms aimed at ending the dominance of the latifundia system was a popular goal of several national governments in the hemisphere.

Bosch's moves to break up latifundia drew the ire of the owners of these vast tracts of land.

= Secularization Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:Secularization

The Church was threatened by Bosch's moves towards secularization for the country. Looking at these moves now, they were not exclusively secularization. After all, Protestant religions had made them themselves, to move away from the Catholic Church.

"The new constitution of April 1963 reflected Bosch's secularism with its provisions for divorce, civil marriage, and government supervision of parochial schools" -Langley 1989: page 224[2]

And more so; the US support for these religious forces undermines the US faith in the very foundations of its own Constitution, when it comes to other countries. They called, alarmed, as an indictment of his purest evil, that Bosch wanted, shock horror, separation of Church and State.[3]

Industrialists did not like the new Constitution's guarantees for the working class. The military, who previously enjoyed free rein, felt Bosch put them on too short a leash.

In addition, the United States was skeptical of even a hint of left-leaning politics in the Caribbean after Wikipedia:Fidel Castro openly declared himself a Wikipedia:Communist.

On September 25, 1963, after only seven months in office, Bosch was overthrown in a coup led by Colonel Wikipedia:Elías Wessin and replaced by a three-man Wikipedia:military junta. Bosch went back to exile in Wikipedia:Puerto Rico.

Less than two years later, growing dissatisfaction generated another military rebellion on April 24, 1965, that demanded Bosch's restoration. The insurgents, commanded by Colonel Wikipedia:Francisco Caamaño, removed the junta from power on April 28

1965 Invasion Edit

This article may contain material from Wikipedia
An article on this subject has been redirected
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United States invasion of the Dominican Republic
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Main article: Wikipedia:Operation Powerpack
"We don't propose to sit here in a rocking chair with our hands folded and let the Communist set up any government in the western hemisphere" - Lyndon Johnson

The United States dispatched 42,000 troops to the island and the so-called civil war began. But of course it would not be neutral to describe 42,000 vs the 7,000 Dominican soldiers an invasion; it was obviously an "occupation", one that just happened to kill 2,000 Dominicans.

In 1965, the Peace Corps was temporarily evacuated.[4] There is some small irony in the US removing an organization ostensibly devoted to peacetime endeavors just long enough to conduct war in a place, and then bring back the other.

External links Edit

  1. "Parsley Massacre: The Genocide That Still Haunts Haiti-Dominican Relations". 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  2. The United States and the Caribbean in the Twentieth Century, Lester D. LangleyUniversity of Georgia Press, Jan 1, 1989
  3. Sanchez 1992: "Bosch's constitution, promulgated in April 1963, alienated the most powerful elites. Bosch himself characterized the constitution as 'revolutionary' and as emphasizing 'social justice and economic democracy.' Those who opposed the constitution feared, or at least played on such fears, that it would eliminate private property, separate church and state, give too much power to the workers, and jeopardize the autonomy of the armed forces" (page 302)
  4. Peace Corps Worldwide

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