Created: 1/17/1964

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Instability and the Insurgency Threat in the Dominican Republic


ConcurIn by 'fit UNITED STATES INTEUIGENCE BOARD A* indTtoicd overltol4




Instability and the Insurgency Threat in the Dominican Republic



We believe that the security forces of the Dominican Republic can control any subversive activities likely to occur during the next few months. Nevertheless, leftist leaders probably canhit-and-run terrorism in urban areas and, over time, may be able to resume guerrilla activity In the mountains. If they show ability to sustain such operations, Castro will probablythem clandestinely with small amounts of material aid, and theyttract the support of other Dominican elements,erstwhile moderates. Thus, over the longer run, thedanger could irxreasc. perhaps sharply. Thiswould be facilitated if the regime failed to show progress in meeting demands for restoration of political freedoms and for social and economic reform*.


The Dominicans one oftln American countries least prepared for representative govern ment. Its past haauccession of foreign occupations, coups, and despotic administrations. In particular, the thirty years of Trujillo'sended only by his assassinationarped the political and economic framework of the country. Over the years, many Dominicans have come to doubt that they can accomplish anything by themselves; there are few who have the experience, honesty, and backbone to play effective roles ns government leaders.

Along with this unfortunate political legacy, TruJIUo left anJumble of major proportions. Ills economic policies wereprimarily to funnel funds Into the cotters of tlie TruJIUo family,esult, most of the enterprises now operating InDominican Republic are unsound, having inefficient administrative structures and swollen payrolls. The Haina sugar complex, the Dominican Republic's most important producer for export.ase In point. Moreover, some of the country's bestIs still tying fallow.

None or the governments which have ruled since Trujillo's death including the Bosch administration whkh held power from February to laic September ofappreciable progress toward solution of the country's political and economic difficulties. Although Dosch begantrong popular mandate, he did not consMldale Ids electoral victory by decisive and constructive action. On the one hand, he failed to attract the cooperation of Influential opposition elements In the business community, among the large property owners, ln the military and church hierarchies; on the other hand, he failed tohis mass popular following into an effective supporting political force Bosch reacted vigorously against Communists and Castrolsts only when he thought they posed direct challenges to his own position. His refusal totrong anti-Communist posture left himto rightist pressure for his removal. For many of thosefor his overthrow, the Communist Issue was tho excuse; their own self-interest was the motive.

'The Dominican Republic, with0 square milw, has about the area of New Hampshire and Vermont combined. Aboutercent of the land Is arable and the raUo of population toavorable. The population at about JS inUllon Is IS percent white,ercent inoUUo, andercentercent ot the adultiterate. Trie economy remains underde. retoped <ONP:illion,er capita) and heavily dependent upon export* of wear, toffee, and cocoa.

extreme leftist* waited (or the dust to .settle afterbefoteampaign of violent November and has consistedumber ofthe cities and the ratabtt&liincnt,rief Huk. of severalunlU In the mountains.


The military coup ofeptember was Incited by antl-Boscliand carried out by the top-level of the Dominican officer corps. The key military leaders' were strongly and Inclined to believe that rcfoinieis and moderate leftists were actually Communists. Hie coup provoked surprisingly lime popular renelion.

Upon assuming control, the military leaden called in the heads of six minority parlies, only one of whichignificant popularn consultation with ihese party chiefs, the military leadersriumvirate of respected, basically apolitical men torovisionalhe military leaders then Invited each of the six participating political partiesme one or more of the members of the new cabinet-rocess whichery mixed bag o) ministers In terms of competence, honesty, and political Judgment. The other parties, including Uosch's Dominican Hevolullonary Parlyhad polled some GO percent of Ihe votes in the2 elections have been given no role or representation In the present government. Bosch himself, and sotno other leaders of the moderate left, as wellumber of extreme Icfllsla. have been deported and his party has been the object of official harassment

The present regime has developed no clearly defined program to ease the country's bask economicwidespread poverty, low productivity, and growing unemployment The triumvirate has, how-

'Secretarylate for armed victor Tinas Roman: chief of iUB of the army, Hiig. Ocn Renato Hungrta Morell; thief of start of the navy. Commodore J. A. Rib flantatuaria; chief of star! or the air force, Brig. Ocn.ona; chief of itsfl ofarmed forces training center. Brig. Ocn. Ellascssln. and chief of the national police, Btlg. Ocn. ftrllsarto Peguero.

*Hre ot lite Us ponies arc to the right of center; the conservative National Crtle Union (UONl. the only cat with much popular support, obtained someercent of the vol* In the December IBM elections

* Dr. Emilto De lo*earoid lawyer and termer Presldert ot the Central Elections Uoard waa named presiding officer til the triumvirate. Manuel kr.ric.ue Tavarett rear-old US-cducaUd engineer and former Dt. rector of Use Doulnkan ibdwrtrUl lnulfjinnl Corporation, la noted for hi* pro-VS altitude; be Is Use member of the triumvirate tontetned particularly with economic matters Ramon TapU EspinalT yrwr-oid barer who served a* sccrttary of the PreUdenry of the Council of Stat* government and at one Ume assisted in the organization of the UCNhe reputation of bring highly enrottOnal Utougli fairly InUuigtiil.


improvement In competence The other four of Ihe original six "In" paitles. seeing their position and influence undermined, hare shifted into opposition.

IS. It now appears that the tilumvirate. with the support of certain her military figures, is moving to displace the chiefs of star] of the three military services. Commodore Krdirlco Betanees Pierrel has already replaced Commodore Rib as eldef of start of the navy. The primary target, however, is the air force chief of stafT, Brigadier General Luna, who may try to resist. There is some danger that thesemay precipitate an open power struggle within the military leadersliip.


The Hth of June Political Group (AI'CJ) Is the most potent of the organizations of the extremets members and supporters probably number several thousand; this contrasts with the Communist-Castrolst Dominican Popular Movement (MPD) and the regularCommunist Party, which command the support of no moreew hundred, live APCJ benefits from its role as aunderground group which fought against TruJUio. Ever since the extreme leftists gained control of the groupfter Trujillos death. Il has planned for eventual subversive and guerrilla action. Since its resort to active Insurgency. It has been outlawed by the

The APCJ has been the dominant force behind the guerrilla effort in the countryside as well as the frequent but ineffective bombings In theew mcmbcis of the MPD have also been directly Involved and others mayltled in procuring weapons. Some of the captured insurgents have denied any Communist allegiance and Insisted they were fighting simplyeturn to constitutional government.

The total number or active guerrilla fighters wasnto six small gTOOpi in various mountainous areas of thehe groups were not well prepared for any serious fighting and did not lake any offensive action. They apparently hoped they could quickly attract significant support from other disaffected civilian and military elements. This was not the case. The government's

othert the taurine Uft sic the otthodox Cooimunbt Parlido SortitiKa foptlar Dominica**the heteiodox Coeoaiunlit fd'rtfo Na-ckxxiut* Xrroiirclonartond Ihe Communlat^Jomlnited. pro Castro Hortmlento Popular OomixkaioOther. cow pica Uitly moderate, ItfUil parses are Bcneb'tnd the Utttil* anUBoxh raiUto XetotkCtonarlo Social CrutUxos In Cuba, thearouM* for funnUi vaifsre. See map



security forces have managed lo mop up almost all of Ihem and lo scatter the others. Manuel Tatarc* JUsto, the principal APCJ leader, and several oilier key APCJ figures have been killed

guerrilla effort followed Ihe Castroewhad earlier received guerrilla warfare training Inpress and radio were quick to provide propaganda support"irisurrecllon" and to quote the AI'CJ's claims about Ushave no firm evidence that the Castro regime has. as lo the Dominican Insurgents, but Castrosupply litem clandestinely with small amounts of suchthey appeared capable ofrogram of violentshort distance Involved lessiles from easternthe western pari of the Dominican HcpuWic would facilitatesupply operations by small boat or by aiierafi.


The Dominican Republic's security forces are considerably more able and belter equippedypically the easemall Latin American country. Total strength of the miiltatj and security forces0 in then the armed forces training center (which has then the airn the navy,n the national police. The auny has three countcrlnsurgency-tralned battalions, and the air force has two oounlerguerrllla security squadrons. Dominican personnel have received specialised counter-insurgency training from US instructors, and the national police has expanded its program of training for ilot control Key weaknesses affecting the overall capability of the Dominican military are Lnsufneicnt field training and madequate communications and transportation

The amount of subversion and Insurgency the Dominican security forces have had to deal with lo date has notajor lest of their capabilities, but they have been effective in such lighting as has occurred. We believe that they will bo able to cope with any Insurgency likely to arise, unless It should be extensively supported from outside or combined with widespread civil disturbances.


the Immediate future al leasl, the leftists pose noloontrol. The present regime. In one form orbe able to hold on to power for an indefinite period, tf thisprove to be the case, the most likely alternative would be angovernment establishedirect mllitatymight lake place if Ihe triumvirate resigned under pressure;come aboutilitary response to charges by ultrarightists

that the present administration Is sod on communism. It might occur through an Increase In friction among the leading mllllary menecision by one or mote to take full control. The resulting new gov-eminent would be even less likely than the present one to fulfill domestic demands for reform.

In any case, the extreme leftists will probably concentrate for the time being on trying to increase terrorism in urban areas, hoping gradually toew capability for gueirilla actionsater date. Much of their support comes from the youth in the cities. They could almost certainly ntcp up their bombing program; they might alsooccasional shooting affrays, acts of arson, and other destructive measures. They may be able to attiact additional Dominicanbyartyrdom Issue; the belief has becomethat the military, in one of its mop-up operations, murderedwho had surrendered.

Perhaps the leftists' strongest card is the Instability of the piesent regime and the magnitude of the problems that face it. These Include the difficultyegime is likely to have in convincing the populace that lt intends to undertake constructive social and economic programs and to provide for an eventual rettun to representative government. Some friction is probable among top-level military officers, alongradual Increase In resllveness on the pait of middle-ranking and junior officers. If ofhelal harassment of the PHD and other opposition parties continues, there will almost certainlyendency for some of the moderate civilian opponents of the regime to shiftharper opposition role. The extreme leftists' program of violent resistance might attract such erstwhile moderates. Thus, over the longer run, the present limited threat of insurgency could increase sharply.

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