Category Archives: HISTORY/HISTORIA

HISTORY / HISTORIA
The history of the Colonial Zone and Dominican Republic.

Category – Basic History

Category – Historical Documents

EDOUARD MONTULE VOYAGE 1817. A voyage to North America, and the West Indies in 1817

HISTORICAL MAPS. Old Antique Maps of Colonial Zone

JAMES LOGAN JOURNEY 1838. Notes of a journey through Canada, USA, and the West Indies.

People in History

Anacaona

Diego Colón (Columbus) 1480 – 1526

Eugenio María de Hostos

Francisco de Bobadilla

Francisco del Rosario Sánchez

Juan Pablo Duarte

Father Bartolomé de Las Casas

Fray Anton de Montesinos

Frey Nicolás Ovando

Las Hermanas Mirables / The Mirabal Sisters (The Hermanas Mirabal Museum, Home, Park and Monuments)

Luisa Ozema Pellerano de Castro

María de Toledo

Maria Trinidad Sanchez

Sir Francis Drake (Pirate Drake, Privater Drake)

Pedro Santana

Marcelo de Villalobos

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina

Juan Pablo Duarte

Juan Pablo Duarte “The Father of the Country” / “Padre de la Patria”

Juan Pablo Duarte y Diez is one of the Founding Fathers of the Dominican Republic. Writer, politician, liberal thinker. He was one of the most important persons who fought for his vision of making the Dominican Republic a free, strong and self-sufficient country.

Who is Duarte? | Died While Banished | First Independence Day | Restoration Day | Some Famous Quotes | Juramento de los Trinitarios / Oath of the Trinitarians | Himno a Juan Pablo Duarte / The Hymn to Juan Pablo Duarte | Interesting Facts |

Juan Pablo Duarte y Diez “The Father of the Country” / “Padre de la patria”. Born 1813 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Died 1876 in Caracas, Venezuela

Parque Duarte in Santo Domingo monument dedicated to Juan Pablo Duarte.
Parque Duarte monument dedicated to Juan Pablo Duarte.

Juan Pablo Duarte

Juan Pablo Duarte y Diez was born in Santo Domingo in the barrio Santa Barbara on the street Isabel la Catolica (this modest home is now the Duarte Museum) on January 26, 1813. He is the son of Juan José Duarte, a Spanish retailer born in Spain, and Manuela Diez y Jiménez, a native of the El Ceibo region of the Dominican Republic.

The Duarte family fled Dominican Republic in 1801 when the Haitian troops, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, took possession of the city. The family went to Puerto Rico, residing there until the Spanish regained control of part of the country in the War of Reconquista in 1809.


 

Duarte excelled in his school work and was taught by one of the best professors of the University of Santo Domingo, Doctor Juan Vicente Troncoso. Here he studied philosophy and Roman Rights. He was an excellent student and loved to study so much so that his family decided, for him to excel, they needed to take him to New York. It is not known how long he spent in New York but it is thought to be some time because of his mastery of languages. He then went to London and Paris and finally to Barcelona Spain where he had relatives. During his time abroad not much is known of his history.

In 1831 or 1832 Duarte returned to Santo Domingo. He started to work in his fathers business. Juan Pablo, having such an outgoing personality, had a great social life. He soon became a well-known personality, attending all the important functions of the time. He was also very patriotic and he strongly disliked the presence of Haitians in the country.

Duarte was very patriotic and began organizing the historical movement as not to accept Haitian domination. His philosophy is between “Dominican and the Haitians a fusion is not possible”. This impossibility did not come from racial differences but the cultural ways that the Dominican society was based on at that time. He based his ideas on the political doctrines of the time learned in Spain. Romanticism, liberalism, nationalism and the idealist socialism.

Duarte helped to organize a secret society, “La Trinitaria” on July 16, 1838, among whose first members were Juan Pablo Duarte, Juan Isidro Perez, Pedro Alexander Pina, Maria Ruiz, Jose Maria Serra, Benito González, Felipe Alfau and Juan Nepomuceno Ravelo, for which he took the responsibility to direct. This was the reformist movement in the city of Santo Domingo, the fighters for independence whose motto was “Dios, Patria y Libertad” / “God, Mother Country and Freedom”.

When the revolution against Jean-Pierre Boyer, the Haitian president, who controlled the Eastern part of the island, began in 1843 and failed. Duarte and his companions were jailed and then had to go into hiding and finally were forced to leave the country. During these times it is thought that this is when the constitution of the Dominican Republic was penned by Duarte. The Manifiesto de Independencia was later refined by other members of the Trinitarios including Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, Ramón Matías Mella, Tomás Bobadilla.

The following year on 27 February 1844, another attempt was made to take over the country from Haitian rule. This time it was successful. The country declared its independence again and took the name República Dominicana (Dominican Republic). A constitution modeled on that of the United States was put forth in November 1844. Dominicans celebrate February 27 as their independence day. Word was sent to Duarte, who was then staying in Venezuela to return to Santo Domingo to take part in the beginning of the government of the new republic.

The painting “Duarte Regresa Gloriosamente” during Duarte Day celebrations in Parque Pellerano Castro.
The painting “Duarte Regresa Gloriosamente” during Duarte Day celebrations in Parque Pellerano Castro.


 

Died While Banished

On June 12, 1844 Juan Pablo Duarte was nominated by the Liberal party in Cibao to become president. His opponent, military director General Pedro Santana (who served for three terms between 1844 and 1861), was appointed to the same office in Santo Domingo City by the Reactionary party.

Duarte lost and was banished, remaining in exile for many years. He only returned to the island once and this was during the War of Restoration (1864) against Spain. He took part in the struggle that ended in 1865, with the re-establishment of the republic. Duarte was sent on a mission abroad and died in Caracas Venezuela, July 15, 1876 at the age of 63.

In 1883 the board of aldermen of Santo Domingo caused a life-size portrait of Duarte to be placed in the municipal hall. In 1884 Duartes remains were returned to Santo Domingo amidst great public ceremonies.

Duarte is now at rest in the Tomb of the Heroes / Altar de la Patria in Independencia Park.

The National Pantheon Altar de la Patria in Independencia Park dedicated to the national heroes who are buried here. Francisco del Rosario Sanchez, Juan Pablo Duarte and Ramon Matias Mella.
The National Pantheon Altar de la Patria in Independencia Park dedicated to the national heroes who are buried here. Francisco del Rosario Sanchez, Juan Pablo Duarte and Ramon Matias Mella.

*Pictures of Duarte Day 2009 on the Dominican Gringas Blog

First Independence Day

Dominicans celebrate February 27, 1844 as their Día de la Independencia. This the day the country declared its independence again and retook the name República Dominicana (Dominican Republic). A constitution modeled on that of the United States was put forth in November 1844.

SlideShow Independence Day Military Parade 2008

SlideShow Independence Day 2012

The original home of the Duarte family is now a museum on Calle Isabel la Católica in the Colonial Zone.
The original home of the Duarte family is now a museum on Calle Isabel la Católica in the Colonial Zone.

Restoration Day / Día de Restauración

Even though the Dominican Republic has as their Independence Day February 27, 1844 they also celebrate another day when they became free again. This day is called Restoration Day/ Día de Restauración.

Dominican Republic lost its independence once again when Spanish Annexation happened in 1861. The War of Restoration happened to regain the lost Dominican independence. The war ended in 1863 with the Dominican militia gaining victory over Spain’s forced occupation. This victory happened in the area of Santiago, where for the third time the country became free, once again liberating itself from a foreign power.

August 16 the Restoration of the Republic is celebrated here in Dominican Republic. Usually, the celebrations start with a flag raising in the Fort San Luis in Santiago. Here the heroes of the Restoration are recognized. Also, there is a Mass held.

Celebrations also include a second Carnival. This Carnival is similar to the one held in February but is a little more subdued. The parades are held in Santo Domingo, Santiago, La Vega, San Pedro de Macoris, and other provinces. The groups are dressed in the Diablo Cojuelo costumes.

One of the many bust honoring Juan Pablo Duarte in Dominican Republic
One of the many bust honoring Juan Pablo Duarte in Dominican Republic

Some famous quotes made by Duarte

“Sed unidos,
y así apagaréis la tea de la discordia
y venceréis a vuestros enemigos,
y la patria será libre y salva.”
(“Be united, and thus you will extinguish the threat of ​​discord and you will overcome your enemies, and the fatherland will be free and saved.”)

“Pues cuando en la tempestad
se ve perder la esperanza,
estrellase en la mudanza
la nave de la amistad.”

“La política no es una especulación;
es la ciencia más pura y la más digna,
después de la filosofía, de ocupar
las inteligencias nobles”
(“Politics is not speculation; it is the purest and most worthy science,
after philosophy, to occupy intelligent and nobel minds “)

Casa de los Trinitarios - The House of Doña Josefa Pérez where the Secret Society La Trinitaria was founded.
Casa de los Trinitarios – The House of Doña Josefa Pérez where the Secret Society La Trinitaria was founded.


 

Juramento de los Trinitarios / Oath of the Trinitarians

En el nombre de la santísima, augustísima e indivisible Trinidad de Dios Omnipotente, en manos de nuestro presidente Juan Pablo Duarte, cooperar con mi persona, vida y bienes a la Separación definitiva del gobierno haitiano, y a implantar una República libre, soberana e independiente de toda dominación extranjera, que se denominará República Dominicana, la cual tendrá su pabellón tricolor, en cuartos encarnados y azules, atravesados con una cruz blanca. Mientras tanto, seremos reconocidos los Trinitarios con las palabras sacramentales: “Dios”, “Patria” y “Libertad”. Así lo prometo ante Dios y el mundo: si lo hago, Dios me proteja, y de no, me lo tome en cuenta, y mis consocios me castiguen el perjurio y la traición, si los vendo.

(This is my not so good interpretation of the oath. As I find a better interpretation I will post it)
In the name of Santísima, Augustísima and indivisible Trinity of the Omnipotent God, into the hands of our new president Juan Pablo Duarte, to cooperate with my person, life and goods to the definitive Separation of the Haitian government, and to implant a free, sovereign Republic independent of all foreign domination, that will denominate the Dominican Republic, which will have its pavilion tricolor, in incarnated and blue quarters, crossed with a white cross. Meanwhile, we will recognize the Trinitarians with the sacramental words: “God”, “Mother Country” and “Freedom”. So I promise before God and the world: if I do it, God protect me, and if not, I take it into account, and my fellow members will punish me for perjury and treason, if I sell them.

More information about the Dominican Republic flag.

Statue of Juan Pablo Duarte at the entrance to Puerta Don Diego.
Statue of Juan Pablo Duarte at the entrance to Puerta Don Diego.

Himno a Juan Pablo Duarte / The Hymn to Juan Pablo Duarte

En la fragua de la escuela nuestra patria fue forjada, y al calor de tu enseñanza le infundió vida sagrada.

La gloriosa trinitaria que fundara tu heroísmo fue la cátedra primera de moral y de civismo.

Fuerza era que un maestro preparara la conciencia donde habría de nacer la soñada independencia

Y es así como cantamos tus virtudes allá el estro, junto al padre de la patria la figura del maestro

En la escuela se te honra por tus hechos sacrosantos en las letras y las notas encendidas de sus cantos

Y al honrarte recordamos tu patriótico heroísmo, es el prócer y el maestro que los dos son uno mismo

La Bandera dice Patria y al decirlo se revela que el alma del maestro señalándonos la escuela

*NOTE- this is a crude interpretation of the Hymn to Juan Pablo Duarte. My Spanish is not that good. This is as far as I got before frustration stepped in. At least you have the general idea of what it says for now*

In the forge of the new style our birth was forged, and to the heat of your education was instilled sacred life to him.

The glorious trinity that formed your heroism in the pulpit of patriotism.

The fights that taught and prepared our consciousness that would be born our dream of independence.

And thus we sang your virtues and were inspired; together we figure headed the Patria.

In this style we give honor for their deeds and sacrificial acts in the notes and words of this song.

And to commemorate and remember their patriotic heroism is to exalt the leader who both is one in the same.

The Flag says patriotism and it is the stamp on the soul of the leader.

2 Duartes sitting and talking at La Catedral Castrense Santa Bárbara
2 Duartes sitting and talking at La Catedral Castrense Santa Bárbara
6- 2 Duartes sitting and talking at La Catedral Castrense Santa Bárbara


 

Trivia

Every year there is a celebration of Durate Day on the day he was born. The celebration usually starts at the flag at the capital then the celebration proceeds to Parque Duarte in the Colonial Zone to lay a wreath at the Duarte Monument. They then move on to the Cathedral of Santo Domingo for the church ceremony. The procession then moves on to the Altar de la Patria where Duarte is interred.

Juan Pablo Duarte was baptized on February 14, 1813 at Iglesia de Santa Bárbara now known as La Catedral Castrense Santa Bárbara.

There is even a Juan Pablo Duarte school in New York, USA.

There is a statue of Juan Pablo Duarte on Sixth Avenue near Canal Street in New York, USA.

The dungeon in Fortaleza Ozama where Duarte was held
The dungeon in Fortaleza Ozama where Duarte was held

In the courtyard of Fortaleza de Ozama there is a dungeon where Juan Pablo Duarte was imprisoned during the Haitian occupation until his release in 1836. There is an opening (it was not there in the days of Duarte) where you can look down into the dungeon.

Altar de la Patria in Independencia Park is a national pantheon dedicated to the national heroes who are buried here. Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sanchez y Ramon Matias Mella.

Pico Duarte Summit
Pico Duarte Summit
8- Pico Duarte Summit

The highest mountain in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, is named after Duarte.

Warning to Travelers 1837

Sir Andrew Halliday’s book “The West Indies” (published in 1837)

It is interesting to learn that drinking has been a pastime here in the Dominican Republic since forever. I came across this sign in a business in Zona Colonial and did a little research as to where it came from. It is part of the writings of Sir Andrew Halliday.


 

Warning To Travelers - Sir Andrew Halliday 1837
Warning To Travelers – Sir Andrew Halliday 1837

Warning To Travelers

“The temptations that surround the traveler on his arrival in these islands are great. And the incitements to indulgence almost overpowering, yet they must be resisted….”

“..On first landing, the craving desire for liquids is almost incessant, and most distressing; and the more the traveler drinks the more his desire for drink increases, and by indulging his depraved appetite, there arises that vicious habit of tippling in the morning which too often ends in confirmed drunkenness…

“The climate of the West Indies is neither favorable to mental energy, nor conductive to moral habits; and more especially, if the monotony of the same pursuits and indulgences be superadded.”

“The West Indies” – Sir Andrew Halliday


 

The Book- The Man

The West Indies book is about “the natural and physical history of the Windward and Leeward colonies; with some account of the moral, social, and political condition of their inhabitants, immediately before and after the abolition of Negro slavery” by Sir Andrew Halliday. The West India Committee Library Catalogue
This quote came from his 1837 book Account of the West India Islands.

Sir Andrew Halliday (March 17, 1782 - September 7, 1839)
Sir Andrew Halliday (March 17, 1782 – September 7, 1839)

Sir Andrew Halliday (also spelled Hallidie) was a Scottish physician, reformer, and writer. (March 17, 1782 – September 7, 1839). He was from Dumfries, Scotland. Halliday came to the West Indies Colonies because he had severe gout and was told that the warmer climate would help ease the pain. During his travels he wrote his observations in the book “The West Indies”.


 

References

Image thanks to Wellcome Library, London – https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31186166

More about Hallady and the book https://cambridgelibrarycollection.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/sir-andrew-halliday/

Trujillo

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina

General Rafael Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic as both president and an oppressive tyrant behind the standing presidents from 1930 until his assassination in May 1961. “El Jefe” or “El Benefactor” built much of the modern infrastructure of the country while holding the title of one of the cruelest dictators in the world.

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.

History | “El Benefactor” and “El Jefe” | Controversies & Scandals | Trujillos Murder | Interesting facts | Trujillo: El Poder del Jefe II / The Power of the Chief video | Book of Trujillos Time | More pictures of Trujillo included in the Old Pictures of Dominican Republic slide show (new page)

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina

Born October 24, 1891 – Died May 30, 1961

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina was born October 24, 1891 in the city of San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic. His parents, very poor, were Jose Trujillo Valdez, into retail sales, and Altagracia Julia Molina, was a housewife considered to be a kindhearted and dear woman. His family was of Spanish, Haitian and Dominican descent.

Trujillo was a typical kid and was exceptionally involved in his studies at school. When he was 16 he got a job as a telegrapher (thanks to his Uncle) and worked in offices near Bani and also in Santo Domingo.

The young Trujillo started changing by getting into trouble. He even spent time in jail. Around 1910 he became interested in politics and joined the National Party of Horacio Vasquez. He partook in many protests of the then president, Don Isidro Jiménez and his government.

During the United States occupation (1916-1924), Trujillo enlisted in the National Guard, trained by the United States Marines, to maintain order after the occupation. Quickly rising to a high rank by 1927, Trujillo became Brigadier General and Commander in Chief of the Dominican Republic’s army.

Rafael Trujillo
Rafael Trujillo

During the Revolution in Santiago in 1930 he and his followers overthrew the government causing the president, Horacio Vásquez, to resign. Since Trujillo was in the military he had to run his takeover concealed from sight so as not to be charged with treason. On May 16, 1930 Trujillo was chosen to be president without opposition.

* During this time in history there are so many conflicting stories about what really happened. Trujillo rewrote so much of his own history that much of the original documentation was lost. How was he elected? Who killed whom? Who was behind the takeover? If you want more in depth information, I urge you to study more on your own; it is way too political and involved for me to cover here.

“El Benefactor” and “El Jefe”

General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina - El Jefe
General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina – El Jefe

Trujillo organized the Partido Dominicano (Dominican Party) the year after his election to president. This party controlled Dominican politics for the next three decades. During that time Trujillo was an unconditional dictator. He was called “El Benefactor” and “El Jefe”. He was General of the Army and president from 1930 to 1938 and from 1942 to 1952 and foreign minister from 1953 to 1961. The Trujillo era gave economic soundness to the country yet it did not sanction the people’s freedom.

Parque Colón after Ciclon Zenon ravished the city
Parque Colón after Ciclon Zenon ravished the city

The ravaging hurricane, Ciclon Zenon, destroyed much of Santo Domingo in 1934. Trujillo concocted a rebuilding plan to revamp the city. His new promotional slogan was “el culto al jefe”. He renamed Santo Domingo Ciudad Trujillo (Trujillo City). He also changed the name of the highest mountain of the country, Pico Duarte to Pico Trujillo (Trujillo Peak) after himself. He renamed towns and streets, had statues of himself erected throughout the country and held many celebrations, parades and holidays, all commemorating himself. In 1955 he claimed January 11 to be “The Day of the Benefactor” (“Año del Benefactor de la Patria”), Trujillo used his political control to gain great personal wealth. He received much support from the United States by becoming one of Latin America’s leading anti-Communists.

The way Trujillo presented himself generated indignation. It started conspiracies in many parts of the country by those who did not agree with Trujillo and his policies. To stop this from happening the government formed a strong Military Intelligence Service called Servicio de Inteligencia Militar (SIM) to watch for these people. Once found, they were nabbed and fated to torture or death. In this way, he kept control of his people.

Controversies & Scandals

In October 1937 Trujillo had made agreements with the Haitian president, Stenio Vincent. He stated that he would permit Haitians to cross the border. Then he changed his mind and again wanted control of the border. It was decided that if a person could not pronounce the letter r in “perejil”, the Spanish word for parsley (the R is difficult for Haitians to pronounce), they would be killed. Thus entailed a great slaughter of the Haitians in Dominican Republic.

The number of people massacred during his tyranny was never confirmed. It is said that from 12,000 to 25,000 Haitian men, women and children were annihilated. To make it look like it was not his fault Trujillo jailed some of the people that committed this atrocity, using them as scapegoats. Trujillo paid $750.000 to the Haitian government.

Trujillo began a program, “Dominicanización de la Fronterá” / Dominicanization of the Border. He favored European immigration. He had an open-door policy admitting Jewish immigrants in the 1930s when most countries were turning away the Jewish people. After the Spanish Civil War he promoted the immigration of the exiles. It is said that he did this to “whiten” the population but it has not been proved. Trujillo was of mixed descent and it is said he wore make-up to lighten his skin.

Trujillo used prisoners to help rebuild Ciudad Trujillo.
Trujillo used prisoners to help rebuild Ciudad Trujillo.

There were many more scandals during Trujillo’s rule. He was involved in an assignation attempt on President Rómulo Betancourt of Venezuelan, which made the United States and other Latin Countries to pose economic sanctions on Dominican Republic. USA tried to make the Trujillo regime volatile by ending diplomatic ties and creating severe sanctions.

Trujillo ordered the murder of the Mirabal Sisters who were political activists and revolutionaries. The sisters were involved with a group trying to overthrow the government. The ladies were driven home after visiting their husbands in prison. They were stopped and led into a sugar cane field. Here they were beaten and strangled to death.

Trujillo was also entangled in another famous scandal regarding the disappearance of Jesús de Galíndez Suárez while working for the government as a CIA agent. Galíndez went to the USA and wrote his thesis “The Trujillo Era: A Case Study of Hispano-American Dictatorship” / “La era de Trujillo: un estudio casuístico de dictadura hispanoamericana”. This thesis gave many astonishing and exposing histories on the way the dictatorship worked. Galíndez was kidnapped in New York a few days before the book was published. He was never heard from again. It is said that he was taken to the Dominican Republic to be tortured and executed.

Here are links to the story of CIA Agent Jesús de Galíndez.
*History in English (wikipedia) – Jesús de Galíndez.
*La trágica historia de Jesús Galíndez in Spanish.

Trujillo His Work and Dominican Republic Calle el Conde after it was rebuilt after the Hurricane 1936
Trujillo His Work and Dominican Republic Calle el Conde after it was rebuilt after the Hurricane 1936

Trujillo did do some good for the country. The quality of life in general improved for the average Dominican. He completely paid off all the foreign debts, which was very substantial, and the currency stayed stable. There was still poverty but the economy grew. There was a new road system built and public works services expanded. The port facilities; airports and public buildings were constructed or improved. While the public education system grew illiteracy declined. He fortified the armies and fighting forces of the country. For all these reasons he was loved by the average Dominican. The United States proclaimed Trujillo the “First anti-Communist of America”, Trujillo encouraged diplomatic and economic ties with the U.S., but his policies caused discord among the other Latin American countries. He even, unbeknown to him, aided in the start of women’s rights. The Day of the Woman is celebrated on the anniversary of the murder of the Mirabal sisters.

In 1960 during the term of President Dwight Eisenhower, all the members of the Organization of American States (O.A.S.) agreed to break diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic. Support of the O.A.S. was lost until Trujillo stopped being a threat. The Dominican Republic was cut off.

Trujillos Murder

The Oldsmobile Ninety Eight that was used by Trujillo’s assassins 1956
The Oldsmobile Ninety Eight that was used by Trujillo’s assassins 1956

Trujillo was murdered by his own armed forces (Antonio de la Maza, Salvador Estrella Sahdalá, Lieutenant Amado García Guerrero, and General Antonio Imbert Barrera) on May 30, 1961 when he was 71 years old. He had just left the home of Doña Angelita Trujillo, located on Ave. Maximum Gomez. He was said to have been there for possibly ten minutes. Then, continuing on to the Bar Restaurante El Pony, he was shot. This ended the “Era of Trujillo”. The “goat” and his 31-year reign ended.

There is suspicion that the CIA of the USA provided the weapons for the assassins hoping to form a fresh, less reactionary government. They feared what happened in Cuba would happen in Dominican Republic and felt it was up to them to take control of another government and stop it before it happened.

The bullet-ridden 1957 Chevrolet. Trujillo was riding inside when he was assassinated.
The bullet-ridden 1957 Chevrolet. Trujillo was riding inside when he was assassinated.

The oldest son of Trujillo, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, Jr., took over after his fathers’ death and headed the country for five months. Ramfis Trujillo, as he was known, went into exile after his term ended and became an international socialite. He died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina is buried in Paris in the Cimetière du Père Lachaise. Many of his friends and family went into exile to Canada, France, and Spain. He died one of the richest men in the world.

The Memorial Museum of Dominican Resistance / El Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana opened May 2011. Here is a collection of more than 160,000 files, photographs, films, objects and books belonging to those who staged the resistance to the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

The memorial on the Malecon (Ave. George Washington) in Santo Domingo marking the place where Trujillo was gunned down setting all free from his tyranny.
The memorial on the Malecon (Ave. George Washington) in Santo Domingo marking the place where Trujillo was gunned down setting all free from his tyranny.

Did you know? – Some interesting facts

*Trujillo had 3 wives. He married Aminta Ledesma, a nice hometown girl from San Cristóbal on August 13, 1913. They had two daughters (one died early). They divorced in 1925. Then Trujillo married Bienvenida Ricardo on March 30, 1927 and divorced in 1935. Trujillo and María de los Angeles Martínez Alba, who he had an affair with, got married after his divorce from Aminta Ledesma in 1935. He had a daughter with Bienvenida one year after their divorce. Trujillo had three children with María Martínez. In 1937 Trujillo met Lina Lovatón Pittaluga and had two children with her.

*There is much controversy happening in the Dominican Republic at this time (2008) on the 47-year anniversary of his death. There was talk of trying to return the remains of Trujillo to DR and place his body along with the national heroes in the Panteón Nacional. Most of the people are strongly opposed to this idea.

*Trujillo was such a baseball lover he invited many black players from the US where they could not play because the teams were segregated. Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige, a Negro League player, went to the Caribbean and Latin America, where the teams were all integrated. He pitched for a team organized by Trujillo. He was trying to gain popularity so he created the “Ciudad Trujillo Team.” He paid Paige $30,000 for winning the Dominican championship. Paige fled the Dominican Republic with his teammates directly after being paid for fear of reprisals by Trujillo’s enemies.

*Zsa Zsa Gabor, David Selznik, Robert Mitchum, Rhonda Fleming, Shirley MacLaine, Maureen O’Hara, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Taylor, Natalie Wood, Joan Collins, were among the many famous friends of the Trujillo family.
The web site The Glamour Girls has some interesting information about Ramfis Trujillo his timeline and his life with the stars.
He also had a very hot romance going on with Kim Novak.
Another friendPorfirio Rubirosa, had dan interesting life.

The Angelita, now called The Sea Cloud, entering Port Santo Domingo.
The Angelita, now called The Sea Cloud, entering Port Santo Domingo.

*Angelita, Trujillos yacht, was the world’s largest, most luxurious and most expensive private yacht of the time. (1957). History of the yacht.

*There are some pictures of Trujillo and his yachts in the Old Pictures of Dominican Republic slide show.

*The very interesting story of General Imbert interviewed. He is the man who shot the final bullet that killed Trujillo.

*I have posted some interesting documents you can download or read online located on the Dominican News Blog. President Trujillo: His Work and the Dominican Republic 1936 and the video Interview with General Rafael Trujillo 1961.

*Becoming The Butterflies “The Political Participation of the Mirabal Sisters” This is the account of Minerva Mirabal who was the first of the sisters to become involved in the underground movements to overthrow the government.

*United States Government correspondence with the Dominican Republic Government from 1961 to 1963. Dominican Republic: Security, February 1961-September 1963 https://www.jfklibrary.org/asset-viewer/archives/JFKPOF/115a/JFKPOF-115a-008

A large propaganda mural of El Jefe, Rafael Trujillo, inside of the offices of the Partido Dominicano.
A large propaganda mural of El Jefe, Rafael Trujillo, inside of the offices of the Partido Dominicano.

TRUJILLO: El Poder del Jefe II / The Power of the Chief (General, Boss)

This documentary shows the important political and social events that occurred in the Dominican Republic between 1938-1952. Included: The invasions of Cayo Confites and Luperón, the PSP, the Juventud Democrática, the sugar industry strike of 1946, the different conspiracies, as well as Trujillo´s relations with the United States before the beginning of the “Cold War.”

To view the other movies of the series on YouTube
TRUJILLO: El Poder del Jefe

TRUJILLO: El Poder del Jefe III.

La Violencia del Poder / The Violence of the Chief.

The movie The Feast of the Goat / La Fiesta del Chivo was out in theaters as of 4/2006.

Book of Trujillos Time

The book about the reign of Trujillo The Feast of the Goats – English(at Amazon)

The story about The Mirabal Sisters, Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, is called In the Time of the Butterflies – English (at Amazon). It is excellent reading and gives much insight into the turbulent and interesting past of the Dominican Republic.