Minerva Mirabal and Trujillo

MINERVA MIRABALZUMBAAEarlier this month, the Dominican Republic’s Acento published a letter showing how Minerva Mirabal (one of the famous Mirabal sisters) had to beg the then dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo to be allowed to continue her studies in law at the University of Santo Domingo. Here are excerpts with the link to the article (translated from the original Spanish version):

Minerva Mirabal was born in 1926 and twenty years later and she had graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. In 1949, she began to have trouble with the regime and in 1952, she enrolled at the University of Santo Domingo to pursue a law degree, but when it came time to re-register to attend the second year, in 1953, the University authorities refused to accept her as a student, to please the tyrant’s will, because she was accused of being in opposition to his dictatorship and to profess communist ideals.

As seen in the letter published in the newspaper El Caribe, on October 20, 1953, it was not until Minerva Trujillo begged the dictator, made a plea for his “generous protection,” and expressed her decision to “spontaneously” display her “deep Trujillist fervor,” was she allowed to continue her law school career, which she completed in the mid-fifties.

On November 25, 1960, the dreaded Military Intelligence Service, acting under orders from the Generalissimo, murdered her along with two of her sisters and the driver that was taking them to Puerto Plata, where their three husbands were imprisoned. [. . .]

Here is the full text of the letter from Minerva Mirabal to Rafael L. Trujillo; the original can be found in the General Archives of the nation:

[On October 9, 1953, addressing him as Generalísimo Doctor Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, Benefactor de la Patria, a young Mirabal writes:]

Illustrious Chief:

I have the honor of greeting Your Excellency in order to send you explanation and a plea. Last school year, I completed my first year of law at the University.

I had always intended to write to express my gratitude for allowing me to enjoy, under the auspices of our glorious Age, the immense benefit it was for me to begin fulfilling the ideals of my entire life. I did not do this because, with my innate shyness, I thought I would be bothering you. This year, to my pain and surprise, I found out that I was denied entry to college; I entreat your generous protection and I dare to deposit in your omnipotent hand the solution to my problem. I hope that Your Excellency is aware that my conduct has left nothing to be desired, because I have directed all my most sincere efforts to this. The ordeals, battles, and misunderstandings—inseparable companions of my youth—I dare say without boasting, have become experiences, which I lay out at your feet in hopes of succeeding, begging you to welcome them with your characteristic generosity, and considering [myself] now and always at the vanguard of your ranks, sincerely and spontaneously, full of deep Trujillist fervor.

In paying my respect to the new governor of the province, Mr. Luis Guzmán Taveras, I have begged him not to forget that for any event, for any speech, in due course, I am wholeheartedly at your service to contribute with my humble words to the enhancement of your egregious person.

I bid you farewell, Excellence, remembering that in the moral world as well as in the material world nothing is lost; the kernel of thy goodness will not be lost, I swear! It will grow and blossom in the full sincerity and immense gratitude of your humble servant.

Minerva Mirabal

For original article (in Spanish), see http://www.acento.com.do/index.php/news/110896/56/Minerva-Mirabal-tuvo-que-rogar-a-Trujillo-para-que-le-permitiera-estudiar-en-la-Universidad.html

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