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Trujillo & D.R. Background

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Stella Onochie

on 25 August 2016

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Transcript of Trujillo & D.R. Background

Benefactor of the Fatherland

Rebuilder of the Financial Independence of the Republic

First Journalist

Chief Protector of the Dominican Working Class

Genius of the Peace

Generalissimo Doctor Trujillo
Trujillo!
Born in 1891, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo was the son of a mixed Spanish, Creole, and Haitian family from the lower class in a town outside of Santo Domingo. However, many sources, particularly biographic accounts written during his regime, report that his heritage was primarily European.
Trujillo & Haiti
Unit 1: In the Time of Butterflies
The History of Trujillo & the D.R.--In a Nutshell
In an area notorious for its dictators, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ranks among the most infamous. Extravagant, tyrannical, and vain [...] Trujillo was military dictator and ultimate ruler of the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. Trujillo's regime stands out as one of the longest in the history of Latin America. By the time of his death, "the Dominican Republic was not only ruled by Trujillo, it was his property," a Newsweek writer commented.
Despite Trujillo's personal crusade for wealth, power and self-aggrandizement, some observers have claimed that his regime did accrue material benefits to the Dominican people. To this extent his rule has been described as "enlightened" [.]
[...] Trujillo himself denied his partially Black heritage; during his rule it was an act of treason to make such a declaration.
Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Nov. 6th, 1996
International opinion of Trujillo was mixed.
Below are headlines from actual newspaper articles written about Trujillo, circa 1960.
Journal moment: Identify a common theme shared by three of the headlines below. Use complete sentences.
He built a clean, handsome, and efficient nation, yet one that was a prison.
--Author name
Trujillo's defenders--and there
are still many here--point to
material gains, especially in construction
works, and the cleanliness that seem
to give his country a more progressive
air than other small nations in the
area.
--Newsweek

-Both countries reside on the island of Hispanola.

-Official Language (D.R.):
Spanish
Geography of the D.R.
(p.1)
“Between 1916 and 1924 the United States became involved with the politically unstable Dominican Republic with an armed occupation, in other words, establishing a military government in the country. The initial purpose was to calm political chaos; later projects involved improving infrastructure, education, health and the local military, not to mention a generalized mission to spread ‘American ideals and standards of personal honor and morals."
Source: N.M. Zeller, The Appearance of All the Reality of Nothing: Politics and Gender in the Dominican Republic,2010, page 48).
U.S. Occupation of the D.R.
In 1930, most economies worldwide were dealing with the Great Depression. The Dominican Republic was especially hard hit, not only by economic woes, but by major hurricane San Zenon in September 1930.
The Hurricane destroyed the city of Santo Domingo in 1930. [Trujillo] used the hurricane as an excuse to enact policies that violated human rights without being subject to criticism. For example, he ordered the torture and death of political prisoners in malaria infested swamps, and forced slum dwellers to relocate far outside the city after the hurricane destroyed their shelter. He burned thousands of bodies of alleged hurricane victims in the center of the city, claiming he was preventing a public health problem (Hicks, 43-45).

Destruction of Santo Domingo, Sept. 1930
Geography of the D.R.
(p.1)
Geography of the D.R.
(p.1)
NOT TRUE!
Trujillo & Haiti, p. 2
Describe Trujillo's campaign against Haitians. What makes his actions tragically ironic?
Trujillo & Haiti, p. 2
Trujillo's Rise to Power, p. 2
Watch from 18:08-21:25mins
Though Trujillo was a dictator, he greatly improved the standard of living in the D.R.
POD Reading; Notes
Full transcript