Dominican Dilemma

April 13, 1966

Report Outline
Struggle to Stabilize Dominican Republic
Island Dictatorships and American Policy
Dominican Economic and Social Conditions

Struggle to Stabilize Dominican Republic

Uncertainty Over Scheduled June Elections

The continued presence of foreign troops in the Dominican Republic a year after the outbreak of civil war provides a solemn backdrop for elections scheduled to be held in the Caribbean nation on the first day of June. Even as the election campaign grows in intensity, some observers doubt that the internal situation is stable enough to assure that the polling will, in fact, take place. Others believe the presence of an Inter-American Peace Force of 8,000 men —including 6,800 U.S. troops —guarantees orderly balloting for a president, legislators, mayors and local officials.

Meanwhile, the situation remains tense in Santo Domingo, the capital, where 400,000 of the nation's 3.5 million people reside. Early last January, Provisional President Hector Garcia-Godoy ordered 34 military officers to take up diplomatic posts in foreign countries to ease frictions at home, but only 11 of the officers complied. The uneasy truce among the opposing political factions has been disturbed from time to time by strikes, student demonstrations, and attempted mutinies. The task of policing the country during the past 12 months has cost the Inter-American Peace Force the lives of 24 soldiers and injuries to 174 others. Except for 13 Latin Americans, all casualties were suffered by U.S. soldiers.

Leading Candidates for Presidency of Republic

An index to the turmoil inside the Dominican Republic was seen in the confusion over who would run for chief of state in the June elections. One announced candidate for president was Joaquin Balaguer, a jurist who had been nominal president at the time of the assassination of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in 1961. Balaguer is backed by the Dominican Reform Party, one of the largest political forces in the country.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Feb. 18, 2005  Haiti's Dilemma
Feb. 01, 1985  Caribbean Basin Revisited
Jan. 13, 1984  Caribbean Basin Policy
Jan. 11, 1980  Caribbean Security
Jul. 08, 1977  Puerto Rican Status Debate
Oct. 24, 1969  West Indies: Power Vacuum
Apr. 13, 1966  Dominican Dilemma
Nov. 21, 1962  Security in the Caribbean
Jul. 22, 1959  Invasion and Intervention in the Caribbean Area
Nov. 06, 1957  Caribbean Problems and Prospects
Jun. 14, 1943  Problems of the Caribbean Area
Jun. 10, 1940  Foreign Possessions in the Caribbean Area
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean