April 24, 1965 sparked the Dominican Revolution

Juan Bosch

Dominican Today reminds its readers that today marks the date of the Dominican Republic’s 1965 Revolution, fifty-five years ago:

On Saturday, April 24, 1965, members of the Armed Forces loyal to Juan Bosch, who had been ousted in 1962, revolted against the de facto government led by Donald Reid Cabral. That event gave rise to a civic-military confrontation, which culminated on September 3, 1965, seeking to replace the 1963 Constitution. It also led to the military intervention of the Inter-American Peace Force (FIP), headed by the United States and rubber-stamped by the Organization of American States (OEA).

Here is more on the 1965 Revolution by CUSLAR:

On April 24, 1965, Dominicans poured into the streets of Santo Domingo to overthrow the military triumvirate that had ousted the democratic administration of Juan Bosch 19 months before. Fighting ensued that brought to light schisms among the country’s institutions and armed forces. Generals still loyal to the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship of 1930-61 fought the popular Constitutionalist rebellion, led by Bosch’s Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD), the Maoist Movimiento Popular Dominicano (MPD), the urban poor and the lower ranks of the military, led by colonel-turned-revolutionary Francisco Caamaño.

The Constitutionalists, so named because of their aim to reinstate Bosch and the populist 1963 constitution, took over the National Palace and Armory and dug in against the tank and aerial barrage of the conservative wing of the Dominican Armed Forces.

After four days, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson chose to intervene. On April 28, the first of 42,000 U.S. soldiers came ashore in the Dominican Republic under the pretext of saving lives and protecting U.S. interests, but with a covert motive of “preventing the emergence of a second Cuba in Latin America.” Though hardly unprecedented in U.S. foreign policy, this massive military presence on the agrarian Caribbean island dwarfed the U.S. force in Vietnam at the time.

U.S. Marines joined the Trujilloist forces, slowing Constitutionalist momentum and forcing negotiations that would lead to the bloodstained election of Joaquin Balaguer in June 1966. In the first half of that year, Balaguer’s Partido Reformista and Trujilloist army officers had led a terror campaign that assassinated over 350 leaders from the PRD, MPD and other left parties in order to secure victory. Bosch himself could not even leave his house to campaign, for fear of being killed by a military patrol. [. . .]

Source: https://cuslar.org/2015/04/24/revolution-of-1965-shaped-resistance-in-dominican-republic-us/

[Photo of Juan Bosch above by Hugo van Gelderen / Anefo. Accessed via https://www.nationaalarchief.nl/onderzoeken/fotocollectie/aa29b4b0-d0b4-102d-bcf8-003048976d84.]

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