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July 23, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-07-23

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Seventy-Fifth Year

We Killed Dominican Democracy

here Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
o, the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

A Chance for the U.S.
To Gain Ground ini Africa

erere said Tuesday that relations be-
tween Tanzania and the United States
"must and should improve." This senti-
ment, so, opposed to Nyerere's recent Pe-
king-influenced comments, may indicate
an opportunity for American retrench-
ment in Africa that should not be missed.
The story of the U.S.-Tanzania split is
a story of Chinese activity and American
diplomatic apathy. It began in early June
with the;visit of Chou En-lai, Communist
China's premier, to Tanzania.
Chou, with all prospects of a success-
ful Algiers conference before him, imme-
diately began to capitalize on divisions al-
ready occurring within Tanzania and the
East African Economic Union to which,
along with Kenya and Uganda, it belongs.
He encouraged the argument between
Tanzania and Kenya over the Chinese
arms-shipments incident that occurred
earlier this summer.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, he began nego-
tiations to replace Kenyan imports
with Chinese imports thus driving a
wedge between the early partners. Tan-
zania was more than willing to go along,
as last year alone she had an unfavorable
trade balance with Kenya amounting to
some $25.7 million. Finally, at the end of
Chou's visit, he and Nyerere issued a joint
communique ringing sharply of the stand-
ard Peking lines from disarmament to
Viet Nam.
All this should be viewed against the
large amounts of aid the Chinese have
given Tanzania. Nyerere has reportedly
accepted some 1,025 tons of Chinese arms
since last September; a Chinese military
training camp has been set up on the
Tanzanian island of Zanzibar to go along
with a training mission on the mainland.
"Estimates of the total Chinese aid com-
mitment to Tanzania have run as high as
$45 million.
CHOU'S VISIT was all the more difficult
to counteract because of the diplomat-
ic break that has existed between Tan-
zania and the U.S. since last January.
Both countries recalled their ambassa-
dors after two American officials were
expelled on charges of subversion.
The problem is that Tanzania is a key
African nation. It is centrally located,
with good facilities for the dissemination
of the ideology which its government ad-
heres to. More immediately important, it
is serving as a base in exile for black na-
tionalist movements working for rebel-
lions in Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola
and South Africa; governments in favor
in Tanzania thus have an excellent op-
portunity to urge their particular solu-

tions for the revolutionaries' desires.,
The Tanzanian "takeover" was more an
American default than a Chinese victory.
The U.S. has simply never made a con-
certed effort to provide a realistic ideolog-
ical alternative to Chinese Communism
in Africa. Evidently the Johnson adminis-
tration, so concerned with the spread of
Communism in other parts of the world,
has decided to wait until Nyerere hoists
the Red flag over Dar Es Salaam before
it becomes concerned about Chinese in-
fluence there.
FN TWO SENSES though China's great
influence in Tanzania appears to have
worked against itself. In the first sense,
it seems typical of many underdeveloped
nations looking for aid that they do not
want a preponderance of aid from any
one nation or bloc. To accept such a pre-
ponderance risks the intervention of the
aiding nation in the internal affairs of
the smaller country, while at the same
time ruling out additional aid that may
be-had from opposing nations or blocs.
China's debacle at the Algiers confer-
ence is the second sense in which its in-
fluence in Tanzania may have gone
awry. After Algiers, Nyerere found him-
self closely aligned with a nation that had
just been sharply rebuffed by many of his
underdeveloped compatriots. Chinese in-
fluence must certainly have seemed to
him like some sort of "paper tiger" with
lots of money, but little political sub-
But whatever the reasons behind the
current easing of strains between Nyerere
and the U.S., this country should take
immediate advantage of the opportunity
which his conciliatory attitude provides.
Specifically, this is the chance to re-
establish relations with a key African
state and to use America's influence to
urge the prevention of race war-revolu-
tions based in Tanzania.
More generally it is the chance to be-
gin the long climb toward the establish-
ment of a Western ideological counter-
weight to Peking in Africa. Africa will
certainly have enough troubles of its
own in the near future; reducing the ef-
feets of Peking's militant nationalism is
an essential step towards increasing
chances for peace there.
AMERICA HAS MADE a grave mistake
by not making a much greater com-
mitment to the African ideological strug-
gle than she has up to now. It is certain-
ly seldom that such mistakes give second
chances to be made good, and it would be
shameful if this chance were to be missed.
Nyerere's invitation should be accepted
immediately and his non-alignment
strongly encouraged.

is the former president of the
Dominican Republic. He was a
central inspirational figure in
this year's rebellion, though he
was not in the country at the
time and took no overt part in
the rebellion.
The New Republic
(N MOST Latin American capi-
tals newsmen writing about the
Dominican crisis are still asking:
"Why didn't Juan Bosch return to
his country?"
Some say that in the first mo-
ments of the Dominican revolu-
tion a rebel plane landed in San
Juan in Puerto Rico to take me
home and I refused to use it.
This is a lie.
THE constitutionalist revolution
began at noon on April 24, in the
city of Santo Domingo; the so-
called government of Reid Cabral
immediately closed the interna-
tional airport at Punta Caucedo.
Because San Isidro, General
Wessin y Wessin's base, lies be-
tween Punta Caucedo and the city
of Santo Domingo, Wessin y Wes-
sin's control over the airport was
complete from the very beginning.
By four in the afternoon Wes-
sin's tanks were blockading en-
trance to the city via Punta Cau-
cedo, which is the same as the
route from San Isidro; and it was
only after four in the afternoon
that I received my first news of
the revolution. I/ received it
through a radio station in San
THUS, from one in the after-
noon of April 24, to this day, Wes-
sin y Wessin's forces, which con-
trol the Dominican air force, have
completely controlled the airways
and the roads to the airport.
Two Dominocan air force. planes
came to Puerto Rico - the first a
Mustang P-51 fighter which land-
ed on Monday, April 26, I be-
lieve, in Mayaguez, and a Doug-
las transport which landed next
day in San Juan.
Both were grounded by U.S.
military authorities and have re-
mained grounded.
I DID TRY to reach my coun-
try. I made such efforts with Abe
Fortas, the well-known American
lawyer, who in the first days was
unofficial liaison between the U.S.
government, and Rector Jaimes
Benites of the University of Puer-
to Rico.
OnmSaturday, May 1, Mr. Fortas
informed me that a battle was
imminent between U.S. Marines
and Dominican constitutionalist
forces. I explained to Mr. Fortas
that all I could do in these cir-
cumstances was to go to my
country and I asked him for a
plane to take me there immedi-
ately. Mr .Fortas did no.t reply.
Early on May 2, in the pres-
ence of Rector Benites, I made
the same request to Ambassador
John Bartlow Martin and he re-
fused even to consider the mat-
ter, saying that if I went to San-
to Domingo I would be killed. Ac-
cording to him, that should not be
allowed to happen as it would
leave my country without leaders.
DURING its initial phase, for
two months, the Dominican rev-
olution was confinedato the capi-
tal of the republic; as it entered
its third month, the movement be-
gan to spread to the interior of
the country.
This was inevitable, since a rev-
olution is not a unified military
operation which can be contained
within set boundary lines by mili-
tary forces.
Washington has remained inex-
plicably unaware of what is really
IN BOTTLING UP the revolu-
tion and keeping it confined to a

portion of the city of Santo Do-
mingo, the United States govern-
nment was appraising the situation
in terms of force: The revolution-
ary element represents a given
number of men with a given num-
ber of weapons; therefore, we can
subdue them and knock them out
with a given number of soldiers
and a given amount of arms.
It is easy to think in terms of
force in this day and age, espe-
cially in the United States, where
a battery of electronic computers
comes up with plausible answers
to problems of this type in a few
minutes, perhaps even in a few
A revolution, however, is an his-
torical development which is ill-
adapted to this type of automated
reasoning. Its force is derived
from the hearts and minds of peo-
ple. Neither of these can be meas-
ured by electronic computers.
ing was-and is--a typical people's
democratic revolution in the his-
toric Latin American manner, gen-
erated by social, economic and po-
litical factors at once Dominican
and Latin American.
It is like the Mexican revolution
of 1910.

A LIMA POLICEMAN, above, hits a student during demonstrations by University students in the Peru-
vian capital against U.S. intervention in the Dominican revolution. Protests such as this occurred
throughout Latin America when the revolution was stopped.

era the use of armed intervention
was abandoned, but the policy of
supporting local power groups was
continued, and in the case of the
Cuban revolution of 1933 North
American warships made their ap-
pearance in Cuban waters as an
ominous reminder.
It was John Fitzgerald Kennedy
who transformed outmoded con-
cepts by putting new policies into
practice; but after his demise the
old idea once more took hold
that power can only be exerted
by means of force. -
YET THIS IDEA has been dis-
proved by history. A revolution is
not a war.
Traditionally, the defeated ones
in revolutions have been those who
were stronger in weaponry.
The 13 American colonies were
weaker than England, yet they
won the War of Independence; the
French masses were weaker than
Louis XVI's monarchy, yet the
people won the French Revolu-
tion; Bolivar was weaker than
Ferdinand VII, yet he won the
South American revolution; Ma-
dero was weaker than Porfirio
Diaz, yet he triumphed in the
Mexican revolution of 1910; Lenin
was weaker than the Russian gov-
ernment, yet he won the revolu-
tion of 1917 in Russia.
WITHOUT a single exeption,.
all the revolutions which have
been victorious throughout the
course of history have been weak-
er than the governments against
which they were rebelling.
It is clear, therefore, that rev-
olutions cannot be measured in
terms of military power.
Other values must serve as their
true revolution and a mere dis-
order or struggle for power among
rival contenders,- one must study
the underlying causes of the up-
rising, and the stand taken by
the various sectors of society as
it developed.
It must also be viewed in its
historical context. The U.S. offi-
cials failed to consider any of
these aspects of the Dominican
revolution. In Washington, word
was received that at noon on Sat-
urday, April 24, there had been
some restlessness in certain quar-
ters of Santo Domingo and among
the people of the city; a little

any regard for the will of the
Dominican people.
The reaction in Washington was,
therefore, the usual one: The
controlling group in the Domini-
can Republic was threatened, and
had to be defended.
pro - United States, without a
doubt; but it was also anti-Do-
minican Republic, and this to an
extreme degree.
During its, 19 months of gov-
ernment, this preferred regime of
Washington had ruined the Do-
minican economy, established a
system of corruption and daily rid-
iculed the hopes of the people for
a dramatic solution to the coun-
try's problems.
THE DOMINICAN revolution of
April 1965, was not an improvi-

waging a life-and-death war.
A tiny, impoverished nation,
making the most heroic effort of
its history to achieve democracy,
was overwhelmed by huge quan-
tities of cannons, planes, warships
and by a propaganda campaign
which presented completely dis-
torted facts to the world.
The revolution did not shoot a
single person; it decapitated no
one, burned down not a single
church, nor raped one woman.
Nevertheless, allegations of these
horrors were proclaimed to the
world at large.
THE DOMINICAN revolution
had nothing to do with Cuba, or
Russia, or China. It would have
ended in April had the United
States not intervened.
Instead, it was bottled up and
consequently began to generate a

democracy with their lives and
with their blood, yet North Amer-
ican democracy represented their
tremendous and heroic struggle to
the world as a work of bandits
and Communists.
Force was used to prevent the
Dominicans from achieving their
Many Americans may not be-
lieve this is true, but I am express-
ing here what the people of the
Dominican Republic feel and will
continue to feel for many years
to come, rather than trying to de-
scribe what the intentions of the
United States were.
obliged to have recourse in San-
to Domingo to an expedient which
would permit it to use force with-
out exposing itself to world op-
probrium. This explains the mili-
tary junta headed by Antonio
This junta was the brainchild
of Ambassador John Bartlow Mar-
tin-of the United States, in oth-
er words. Rarely in modern his-
tory has so costly an error been
committed in tems of U.S. pres-
tige as placing in the hands of
Imbert the power of armed Do-
minican troops, then advancing as
an excuse for his crimes the ar-
gument of fighting Communism in
Santo Domingo.
while North American forces were
in Santo Domingo; moreover, Am-
bassador Martin knew what kind
of man Imbert was before invit-
ing him to lead the junta.
Imbert's tyranny was establish-
ed beyond a doubt, and following
as he did on the heels of Tru-
jillo, there was no pretext strong
enough to justify setting up the
tyranny of Imbert.
Under the revolution,. no one
was shot or decapitated; but Im-
bert's forces shot and decapitated
hundreds of persons.
IT IS A BLOODY irony of his-
tory that the crimes imputed to
the Dominican revolution were ac-
tually committed by Imbert.
The blame will also fall of the
United States and, unfortunately,
upon democracy in general as a
system of government.
If I know my people, when the
day of reckoning comes, it will be
hard for the Dominicans of to-
day and of tomorrow to be indulg-
ent toward the United States and
harsh only in their judgment of
Imbert and his soldiers.
THE DOMINICAN people will
not soon forget that the United
StateĀ§ ;brought into Santo Do-
mingo the Nicaraguan battalion
named for Anastasio Somoza, that
Central American emulator of
Trujillo; that it brought in Stroes-
sner's Paraguayan soldiers, of all
elements those least qualified to
represent democracy in a land
where thousands of men and
women had just died fighting to
establish democracy; that it
brought in the soldiery of Lopez
Arellano who, so far as the Do-
minicans are concerned, is a sort
of Honduran Wessin y Wessin.
A highlight in all future his-
tory tests of the Dominican Re-
public will be the borbardment of
the city of Santo Domingo for 24
hours on June 15 and 16.
ALLTHESE FLOW from the use
of force as an instrument of pow-
er in the handling of political
An intelligent evaluation of the
events in Santo Domingo would
have prevented them.
President Johnson said that his
Marines went into Santo Domingo
to save lives; what they really did
was to destroy the democratic im-
age of the United States through-
out the South American conti-




MANY U.S. TROOPS HAVE returned from the Dominican Re-
public (above, the commander of the 2nd Marine division welcomes
back 900 returning troops)--but hatred of U.S. intervention

Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor MichEONARD PRATT
$Pubiishedsdaliy Tuesday through Saturday morning. --LO A DPAT



sation. It was an historical event,
the origin of which was clear to
see. It had been developing since
the end of 1959, through the death
of Trujillo in May 1961, the elec-
tions of December 1962; and fin-
ally the strike of May 1964. The
coup d'etat of September 1963 was
unable to stamp out this revolu-
tion. It has a delusion of so-
ciological and political ignoram-
uses that when the government
over which I was presiding had
been overthrown, the revolution
would be vanquished.
Iti was a delusion to believe, as
did those responsible for formulat-
ing Dominican policy in Washing-
ton, that a man of "good" social
and business background was the
kind of person to handle the Do-
minican situation.
FROM THE TIME of the 1963
coup d'etat, the country was re-
turned to the same lack of free=
dom and contempt toward the
mass of people which prevailed
in the days of Trujillo.
Corruption of the Trujillo type
became more widespread and more
shameless than under the tyrant
himself. The Cabral regime sought
a return to Trujilloism without
Trujillo, an historical absurdity
which could not be continued.
The middle classes and the
masses came together as allies,
united in a common cause, to re-
store the country to a regime of
IN APRIL 1965, a second Cuba
could not have been in the mak-
ing in Santo Domingo. What
erupted was-and is-a democrat-
ic and nationalistic revolution.
No Latin American nation to-
day can accept a democracy which
does not also offer social equality
and economic justice.
It was a costly political blunder
to look on it as a revolution which
was in danger of drifting toward

The Marx Brothers-
Fairly Boring
At the Pinema Guild
CINEMA GUILD offers one long yawn this week, unless you're an
indestructible fan of either the Marx Brothers or Woody Wood-
"Horsefeathers" (I must have sneezed during the gag that ex-
plained the title) features Groucho as a college president, Harpo as
the dogcatcher, and one of the other two as the iceman-bootlegger.
The last Marx must have been fairly well disguised.
The plot satirizes college life, with all the old saws; the president's
speech, the fixed football game, and the sexy (?) college widow. Avid
football fans will probably find the Marx version of the game hilarious.
Non-fans may still enjoy Harpo's antics as he outwits policemen, hits
the jackpot on pay television, and saws himself through the floor.
THROWN IN for good measure you get one Gilbert and Sullivan
parody, one very dated love song, and enough Groucho puns to make
anyone gag.
Apparently they couldn't decide whether to make a good old Marx
brothers comedy or to hit the audience with a little straight mush,
so there's also a blonde lovely wooed by a combination crooner and

force of its own, alien to its na-
ture, and including hatred of the
United States. It will be a long
time before this anti-U.S. feeling
When democratic nationalism is
thwarted or strangled, it becomes
a breeding ground for Commu-
nism. I am certain that the use of
force by the United States in
the Dominican Republic will pro-
duce more Communists in Santo
Domingo and in Latin America
than all the propaganda of Rus-
sia, China and Cuba combined.
IT WILL BE difficult to con-
vince the Dominicans that de-
mocracy is the best system of gov-
ernment. They are paying for their


later it was learned that the com-
mander-in-chief of the Army had
been taken prisoner by his subal-
Immediately, plans to land U.S,
armed forces in the little Carib-
bean country were contemplated.
President Johnson himself so stat-
ed when, at a press conference on
June X7, he affirmed that ". . . as
a matter of fact, we landed our
people in less than one hour from
the time the decision was made.
It was a decision we considered
from Saturday until Wednesday,


. I - mlop "WINI'loo U-

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