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Context of 'After May 30, 1961: US Diplomat: Brutal Caribbean Dictator ‘Fine’ with America'

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For three decades, the US Marine-trained Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina rules the Dominican Republic as a brutal dictator. His regime, backed by the US during most of its reign, is responsible for many atrocities, including the assassinations and kidnappings of political adversaries. In 1937, inspired by the racist philosophies of his era, Trujillo sends troops to the Haitian border where they massacre 19,000-20,000 Haitian squatters who he believes represent a threat to the Dominican race because of their slightly darker skin. He is assassinated in 1961. [Blum, 1995; BBC, 12/9/2005; Encyclopedia Britannica, 1/2/2006]

Entity Tags: Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina

Timeline Tags: US-Dominican Republic (1959-2005)

US Consul Henry Dearborn, the senior American diplomat to the Dominican Republic, says about that nation’s brutal dictator Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo shortly after his assassination (see February 1930-May 30, 1961): “He had his torture chambers, he had his political assassinations. But he kept law and order, cleaned the place up, made it sanitary, built public works, and he didn’t bother the United States. So that didn’t bother us.” [Hunt, 9/1/2009, pp. 6]

Entity Tags: Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, Henry Dearborn

Timeline Tags: US International Relations, US-Dominican Republic (1959-2005)

Juan Bosch, a leftist reformer, is elected president in the Dominican Republic’s first democratic elections in nearly four decades defeating the heir of former President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, Joaquin Balaguer. [Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth edition, 2005; BBC, 12/9/2005]

Entity Tags: Juan Emilio Bosch Gaviño

Timeline Tags: US-Dominican Republic (1959-2005)

CIA Director Richard Helms, in a classified memorandum entitled “The Political Role of the Military in Latin America,” writes: “Latin American military juntas were good for the United States (see After May 30, 1961). They were the only force capable of controlling military crises. Law and order were better than the messy struggle for democracy and freedom.” [Hunt, 9/1/2009, pp. 7]

Entity Tags: Richard Helms

Timeline Tags: US International Relations

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