THE OUTLOOK FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Created: 4/26/1960

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THE OUTLOOK FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

THE PROBLEM

To eslimate poliiical prospects in the Dominican Republic in the light of recent developments.

THE ESTIMATE

Trujillo Regime

Ln our last estimate dealing with the Dominican Republic,aragraphs) we stated thatyear Trujillowas in trouble, but concluded that it probably would remain in powerince then anti-Trujillo sentiment has gathered momentum and the regime's prospects have materiallyWe cannot predict the time or the circumstances in which the regime would be likely to come to an end, but this could happen before the end of the year.

A notable change in the country'satmosphere has developed since the wholesale arrests in January, in which members of almost everyDominican family were seized, in many cases with great brutality, and subjected to heavy fines and jail sentences. Drastic action may in fact have been necessary to break what appears to have been an extensive revolutionaryprecise information as to how far plotting to overthrow Trujillo hadis still lacking. However, theand severity of thegovernment's crackdown revealed the regime'smade it more Intolerable to leading elements in Dominican society, andthe Catholic Church. The latter is now Trujillo's most outspoken opponent inside the country.

Continuing arrests and new trials cf alleged plotters suggest that publicis spreading. Within the armed services, which remain the mainstay of theew new signs of rivalry and dissension have appeared; six army officers have been Imprisoned and an air force officer is the latesteries ofThe arrest of close relatives of high-ranking officers and some terrorist activities directed against individuals in theserobably also having an adverse effect on their loyalty to Trujillo.

Since our previous estimate, thesituation has deteriorated further. Business is stagnant, and an increasing number of people are suffering economic hardship In addition to some flight of private capital, members of the Trujillo family are reported to have made sub-

stantial withdrawals from the national reservedevelopment which might seriously weaken the government's financial position. Even if these reports prove unfounded or exaggerated, the spread of rumors that such withdrawals were taking place wouldecline in public confidence in the regime.

n the other hand, Trujillo himself shows no signs of relinquishing control, and there is no information to indicate that discontent in the military isThe plans of the internalprobably have been set back by the regime's repressive measures. Theexile groups lack cohesion and effectiveness, despite the encouragement and support given them, not only by Castro, but also by moderate leaders such as Venezuelan President Retancourt. There are deep divisions between pro-Communist and anti-Communistwithin these groups.

The Succession

G. The character of the regime which will eventually succeed Trujillo will depend upon the time and circumstances of Tru-jillo's departure. In presentwe think it unlikely that Trujillo will be overthrownastro-typeor revolution. It is more likely that Trujillo will eventually be forced to leave by the military acting with the encouragement and support of the upper and middle classes and the Church. The longer his departure is delayed, the more explosive the situation is likely to become.

astro has already failed in an attempt lo overthrow the Trujillo regime through an invasion by Dominican exiles with

Cuban support. His agrarian reformhas had no appreciable impact on the Dominican peasantry, who remain generally unaware of it. They generally still regard Trujillo as the Benefactor. The upper and middle classes, though increasingly disaffected toward Trujillo. are repelled by the excesses of the Castro regime in Cuba. The military also are repelled by what they have seenIn Cuba. Thus there is now in the Dominican Republic no importantlikely toastro-typeor revolution.

Nevertheless, tension is rising in the Dominican Republic and the eventual fall of the Trujillo regime will beanticipated. In suchpersons of property and military officers, apart fromersonalwill become increasingly anxious tohange of regime beforedisorder develops. At the psychological moment in this progression, it would be in accord with Latin American custom for the military to call upon the dictator to depart before the situation got out of hand. In such matters,timing is of the essence. Amove could be fatal. On the other hand, to hesitate too long would permit an uncontrollable situation to develop

If its timing wereunta with military, upper and middle class, and Church participation could probably take over the Dominican Republic withoutresistance.unta would probably also take over in the event of Trujillo's flight, natural death, orOnce in power, however,egime would face serious difficulties. The fall of the dictatorship would entail

a considerable amount of disorder and confusion. Although its fall would mean liberation to the upper and middle classes, the new regime would not automatically command the support of the urbanand the peasants. Returningwho are generally radical in their political views, would probably seek to incite these elementsoderate government. Within the governmentthere mighttruggle for power between military and civilian elements. Finally, the Trujillo family has sothe Dominican economy that the confusion attendant upon their sudden departure would probably worsen anbad economic situation.

Castro is probablyof overthrowing the Trujillothe political turmoil whichthe fall of that dictatorshiphim opportunities for politicalin the Dominicanwould certainly do all in hisincite the masses against aand to calladicalthe Cuban model. Unless agovernment receivedfrom sympathetican undoubtedly liberal characterforastroas the ultimate victor.

US-Dominican Relations

fall of the Trujillo regimenew problems inEven among moderateelements, there is considerableof past US support for andto intervene against the TrujilloFurthermore, almost any new-regime wouldeed to demonstrate to the Dominican people and to other Caribbean peoples that it was not under US domination.oderate government would also be in desperate need of US assistance. If the US were to render essential aid discreetly, whileoccasional demonstrations ofsovereignty,overnment would probably cooperate in fundamental matters. If, on the otherastro-type government were eventually to come to power, the US would inevitably be presented with problems similar to those it has with Cuba.

he Trujillo government has declared that it will not renew its missile tracking station agreement with the US athis may be an attempt to extort US support for the regime in its present difficulties. If Trujillo should fall before the expiration of the agreement, the attitudeuccessor regime would depend on the contingencies set forth in paragraphsndoderate government would probably feel obliged to demonstrate Dominican sovereignty, but would also be influenced by its need for USastro-type government would probably denounce the tracking station agreement.

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