Created: 1/4/1963

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police andpersonnel ooecember took action to disperse a religious group lo tbeof Palma Sola, nearHaltlea border. Ia theviolence, an army general and at leastembers of the cult were killed, sevenwere wounded, andere taken prisoner. hundred cultlsts and tbelr leader, Pllolo Ventura, were said to have escaped to hills nearby. Latest reports, however, state Ventura vas among the dead. There reportedly are other branches of the cult lo the area. The armed forces appear to be ln control, and are to disband remaining cultlsts with as little violence as possible.

Plinlo Ventura andof his brothers reportedly set themselves up ln Palma Solaear ago aa "prophets" of oneocal leader killed during tho US occupation of the Dominican Republic6 Llborloarge and fanatical following among the illiterate NegroIn the locality-

Last November the Deminlean press reportedgrowingln Palma Sola of 'pilgrims" from all parts of the country. Reports that the cult had been defyingauthority acre accompanied by rumors that some of itswere receiving military training and expecting shipments of arms from Baltl. Some of tbe most notorious benchaea of the former dictatorship were alleged to have taken refuge anong the cultlsts.

Tbe government apparently decided to take action when it learned that the cultlsts had boycotted the general election ofecember.

There Is no proof thatof tho Trujlllo reglne supported by Haitian dictator Duvaller, local pro-Castroor opportunistic members of tbe interim Deminleanattempted to use tbe cultlsts to disrupt tbe country's transition to democratic rule-

There are no indications, however, that tbe Haitian regime has accommodated Itself to the emergence of democratic rule le the neighboring republic. adio Havana broadcastomlolcao exile group onecember lauded tbe memory of Llborlo, stated tbat he was "murdered by USnd called on the Dominican people to unite In "defending, helping, and protecting tbe peasants persecuted ln tbo mountains by antiguerrllla forces trained by Yankee officers."

The US ambassador in Saoto Domingo reported onecember that Aotonloaabl-tlous member of tbe sevan-man ruling Councilppoaed visits to tbe scene of the violence by th* US military attaches because be feared they would report that tbe police killed many cultlsts needlessly. Imbort told th* ambassador that Tru-Jlllists orCoiuiunists or both, based ln Haiti, were training these "poor starving peasants" for rebellion.

Imbert, who has bean trying to build the policeorce personally loyal to hia, could be expected to fear reports critical of police conduct since tbe police actios was ordered byof hie strongest backers, tbe attorney general. that Imbert brought about th* incident to further his own ambitions cannot b* substantiated, although some of his followers reportedlyths ares ln recent *<

Jan 63


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