Dominican Republic and Haiti

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Title:
Dominican Republic and Haiti country studies
Series Title:
DA pam ;
Uniform Title:
Area handbook for Dominican Republic
Area handbook for Haiti
Physical Description:
1 online resource (xxxii, 456 p.) : ill., maps. ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Haggerty, Richard A., 1954-
Library of Congress -- Federal Research Division
Publisher:
Federal Research Division
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:
Edition:
2nd ed.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Politica (America Latina)   ( larpcal )
Historia Latino-Americana   ( larpcal )
Historia Da America - Economia   ( larpcal )
Historia Da America - Politica E Sociedade   ( larpcal )
Dominican Republic   ( lcsh )
Haiti   ( lcsh )
République dominicaine   ( rvm )
Haïti   ( rvm )
République dominicaine   ( ram )
Haïti   ( ram )
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 401-131) and index.
System Details:
Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Statement of Responsibility:
Federal Research Division, Library of Congress ; edited by Richard A. Haggerty.
General Note:
"Research completed December 1989."
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: Area handbook for Dominican Republic and Area handbook for Haiti / coauthors, Thomas E. Weil ... et al.. 1976.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Hawaii Law Library
Holding Location:
University of Hawaii Law Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 551417689
Classification:
lcc - F1934 .D64 1991
ddc - 972.93
System ID:
AA00001341:00001


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University of Hawaii Law Library


Dominican Republic
and Haiti
country studies
Federal Research Division Library of Congress Edited by Richard A. Haggerty Research Completed December 1 989


On the cover: View of mountains, Hispaniola
Second Edition, First Printing, 1991.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dominican Republic and Haiti : country studies / Federal Research Division, Library of Congress ; edited by Richard A. Haggerty. 2d ed.
p. cm. (Area handbook series, ISSN 1057-5294) (DA Pam ; 550-36)
"Research completed December 1989."
Rev. ed. of : Area handbook for Dominican Republic and Area handbook for Haiti / coauthors, Thomas E. Well [et al.]. 1976.
Includes bibliographical references (pp. 401-431) and index. ISBN 0-8444-0728-3
1. Dominican Republic. 2. Haiti. I. Haggerty, Richard A., 1954- II. Library of Congress. Federal Research Division. III. Area handbook for Dominican Republic. IV. Area handbook for Haiti. V. Series. VI. Series : DA Pam ; 550-36. F1934.D64 1991 91-9495 972.93dc20 CIP
Headquarters, Department of the Army DA Pam 550-36
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402


Foreword
This volume is one in a continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country StudiesArea Handbook Program sponsored by the Department of the Army. The last page of this book lists the other published studies.
Most books in the series deal with a particular foreign country, describing and analyzing its political, economic, social, and national security systems and institutions, and examining the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors. Each study is written by a multidisciplinary team of social scientists. The authors seek to provide a basic understanding of the observed society, striving for a dynamic rather than a static portrayal. Particular attention is devoted to the people who make up the society, their origins, dominant beliefs and values, their common interests and the issues on which they are divided, the nature and extent of their involvement with national institutions, and their attitudes toward each other and toward their social system and political order.
The books represent the analysis of the authors and should not be construed as an expression of an official United States government position, policy, or decision. The authors have sought to adhere to accepted standards of scholarly objectivity. Corrections, additions, and suggestions for changes from readers will be welcomed for use in future editions.
Louis R. Mortimer Chief
Federal Research Division Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 20540
iii




Acknowledgments
The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Jan Knip-pers Black, Howard I. Blutstein, Kathryn T. Johnston, David S. McMorris, Frederick P. Munson, and Thomas E. Weil, who wrote the 1973 editions of Dominican Republic: A Country Study and Haiti: A Country Study. Their work lent perspective to several chapters of the present volume. The authors also are grateful to individuals in various agencies of the United States government and international and private institutions who gave their time, research materials, and special knowledge to provide information and perspective. These individuals include Ralph K. Benesch, who oversees the Country Studies-Area Handbook Program for the Department of the Army.
The authors also wish to thank those who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These include Richard F. Nyrop, who reviewed all drafts and served as liaison with the sponsoring agency; Sandra W. Meditz, who reviewed drafts and provided valuable advice at all stages of production; Dennis M. Hanratty, who contributed useful and substantive comments on several chapter drafts; Vincent Ercolano, who edited the Dominican Republic chapters; Richard Kollodge, who edited the Haiti chapters; Martha E. Hopkins, who edited portions of the manuscript and managed editing; Marilyn Majeska, who also edited portions of the manuscript and managed production; Barbara Edg-erton, Janie L. Gilchrist, and Izella Watson, who did the word processing; Alice Craig Harvey, who compiled the index; and Diann J. Johnson and Linda Peterson, of the Printing and Processing Section, Library of Congress, who prepared the camera-ready copy under the supervision of Peggy Pixley.
David P. Cabitto, Sandra K. Ferrell, and Kimberly A. Lord provided invaluable graphics support. David P. Cabitto designed the cover illustration, and Kimberly A. Lord prepared the illustrations for the title page of the chapters on Haiti. Map drafts were prepared by Harriett R. Blood, David P. Cabitto, and Kimberly A. Lord. Various individuals, libraries, and public agencies provided photographs.
Finally, the authors would like to thank several individuals who provided research support. Arvies J. Staton supplied information on ranks and insignia, and Karen Sturges-Vera wrote the geography sections in chapters 2 and 7.




Contents
Page
Foreword ........................................ iii
Acknowledgments ................................ v
Preface .......................................... xv
Introduction ..................................... xvii
Dominican Republic: Country Profile........ ...... xxvii
Chapter 1. Dominican Republic: Historical
Setting............................. 1
Richard A. Haggerty
THE FIRST COLONY .............................. 3
HAITI AND SANTO DOMINGO ..................... 8
SANTANA AND BAEZ: THE CAUDILLOS TAKE
CHARGE ....................................... 12
The Infant Republic .......................... 12
Annexation by Spain, 1861-65 .................. 16
The Contest for Power, 1865-82 ................. 18
ULISES HEUREAUX, 1882-99 ........................ 18
RENEWED CONFLICT, 1899-1916 .................... 21
OCCUPATION BY THE UNITED STATES, 1916-24 ..... 24
THE ERA OF TRUJILLO ........................... 27
THE POST-TRUJILLO ERA ......................... 31
Transition to Elected Government ............... 31
Civil War and United States Intervention, 1965 ..... 32
Joaquin Balaguer, 1966-78 ..................... 33
Antonio Guzman, 1978-82 ..................... 34
Chapter 2. Dominican Republic: The Society and
Its Environment.................... 37
Patricia Kluck
GEOGRAPHY ..................................... 40
Natural Regions ............................. 40
Drainage ................................... 41
Climate .................................... 43
POPULATION..................................... 44
Size and Growth ............................. 44
vii


Migration.................................. 45
Urbanization ................................ 47
RACIAL AND ETHNIC GROUPS..................... 49
Ethnic Heritage.............................. 49
Modern Immigration.......................... 50
Haitians.................................... 52
URBAN SOCIETY.................................. 52
The Elite ................................... 52
The Middle Sector ........................... 55
The Urban Poor ............................. 56
RURAL SOCIETY.................................. 58
Sugar Plantations ............................ 60
Mixed Farming .............................. 62
FAMILY AND KIN ................................. 64
RELIGION ........................................ 67
SOCIAL WELFARE................................. 68
Education .................................. 68
Health and Social Security ..................... 70
Chapter 3. Dominican Republic: The Economy .. 75
Daniel J. Seyler
GROWTH AND STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY..... 77
ECONOMIC POLICY ............................... 82
Fiscal Policy ................................ 82
Monetary and Exchange-Rate Policies ............ 85
LABOR ........................................... 87
Formal Sector ............................... 87
Informal Sector .............................. 89
AGRICULTURE ................................... 89
Land Tenure and Land Policy .................. 90
Land Use .................................. 92
Farming Technology .......................... 92
Crops...................................... 94
Livestock ................................... 100
Forestry and Fishing .......................... 101
INDUSTRY ....................................... 101
Manufacturing............................... 101
Mining .................................... 106
Construction ................................ 108
Energy..................................... 109
SERVICES ........................................ Ill
Tourism.................................... Ill
Banking and Financial Services.................. 113
Transportation............................... 115
Communications............................. 118
viii


FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS .............. 119
Foreign Trade ............................... 119
Balance of Payments .......................... 122
Foreign Debt................................ 122
Foreign Assistance............................ 124
Chapter 4. Dominican Republic: Government and
Politics............................. 127
Howard J. Wiarda
THE SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT ................... 130
Constitutional Development .................... 130
The Executive ............................... 132
The Legislature .............................. 133
The Judiciary............................... 136
Public Administration ......................... 137
Local Government............................ 139
The Electoral System.......................... 139
POLITICAL DYNAMICS ............................ 141
The System of Dominican Politics................ 141
Political Developments since 1978 ................ 142
Interest Groups .............................. 144
Political Parties .............................. 151
The Mass Media............................. 154
FOREIGN RELATIONS ............................. 156
Chapter 5. Dominican Republic: National
Security............................ 161
Melinda Wheeler Cooke
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARMED
FORCES ........................................ 164
THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN PUBLIC LIFE ...... 169
Missions ................................... 170
Manpower.................................. 172
Defense Spending ............................ 172
ARMED FORCES ORGANIZATION, TRAINING, AND
EQUIPMENT .................................... 174
The Army .................................. 175
The Navy .................................. 179
The Air Force ............................... 180
Ranks, Uniforms, and Insignia.................. 181
INTERNAL SECURITY AND PUBLIC ORDER ......... 181
Crime ..................................... 186
The National Police........................... 187
The Criminal Justice System.................... 189
IX


Haiti: Country Profile ............................ 195
Chapter 6. Haiti: Historical Setting .............. 201
Richard A. Haggerty
SPANISH DISCOVERY AND COLONIZATION ......... 203
FRENCH COLONIALISM ........................... 205
French Settlement and Sovereignty ............... 205
Colonial Society: The Conflicts of Color and Class 206
THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION....................... 207
The Slave Rebellion of 1791 .................... 207
Toussaint Louverture ......................... 209
INDEPENDENT HAITI ............................. 213
Christophe's Kingdom and Petion's Republic....... 215
Boyer: Expansion and Decline .................. 218
DECADES OF INSTABILITY, 1843-1915 ............... 219
THE UNITED STATES OCCUPATION, 1915-34 ........ 224
POLITICS AND THE MILITARY, 1934-57 ............. 227
FRANCOIS DUVALIER, 1957-71 ..................... 232
JEAN-CLAUDE DUVALIER, 1971-86 .................. 235
Chapter 7. Haiti: The Society and Its
Environment ....................... 239
Frederick J. Conway
GEOGRAPHY ..................................... 243
POPULATION ..................................... 245
Demographic Profile .......................... 245
Migration .................................. 246
Fertility and Family Planning ................... 248
SOCIAL STRUCTURE .............................. 248
The Upper Class ............................. 250
The Middle Class ............................ 251
Peasants.................................... 252
Urban Lower Class ........................... 254
GENDER ROLES AND FAMILY LIFE ................. 254
THE LANGUAGE QUESTION ....................... 257
French and Creole............................ 257
Changes in Language Use...................... 260
Creole, Literacy, and Education ................. 261
RELIGIOUS LIFE .................................. 265
Voodoo .................................... 265
Roman Catholicism........................... 267
Protestantism................................ 268
EDUCATION ...................................... 269
Primary Schools ............................. 270
x


Secondary Education.......................... 273
Higher Education ............................ 273
HEALTH ......................................... 274
Nutrition and Disease ......................... 274
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ........... 274
Health Services.............................. 275
Welfare .................................... 276
Chapter 8. Haiti: The Economy .................. 279
Daniel J. Seyler
GROWTH AND STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY ..... 282
ECONOMIC POLICY ............................... 286
Fiscal Policy ................................ 286
Monetary and Exchange-Rate Policies ............ 287
LABOR........................................... 288
AGRICULTURE ................................... 290
Land Tenure and Land Policy .................. 291
Land Use and Farming Technology .............. 293
Crops...................................... 295
Forestry.................................... 300
Livestock and Fishing ......................... 301
INDUSTRY ....................................... 302
Manufacturing............................... 302
Construction ................................ 307
Mining .................................... 307
Energy..................................... 308
SERVICES........................................ 309
Banking and Financial Services.................. 309
Transportation and Communications ............. 311
Tourism.................................... 314
FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS.................. 314
Foreign Trade ............................... 314
Balance of Payments .......................... 317
Foreign Debt ................................ 318
Foreign Assistance............................ 318
Chapter 9. Haiti: Government and Politics.......323
Glenn R. Smucker
BACKGROUND: FROM DUVALIER TO AVRIL,
1957-89 ......................................... 326
THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK.............. 330
THE GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM .................... 332
Governmental Institutions ...................... 333


The Functions of the State ..................... 334
Urban Dominance, Rural Stagnation ............. 335
POLITICAL DYNAMICS ............................ 337
Power Maintenance........................... 337
Army Politics: Force and Counterforce ............ 337
The President as Strongman .................... 339
Perceptions of Democracy ...................... 340
The Mass Media............................. 341
INTEREST GROUPS ............................... 342
The Tonton Makout Network .................... 342
Political Parties .............................. 342
The Upper and the Middle Classes............... 344
Other Groups ............................... 345
FOREIGN RELATIONS ............................. 346
Chapter 10. Haiti: National Security .............351
Georges A. Fauriol
THE MILITARY IN HAITIAN HISTORY .............. 354
ARMY POLITICS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY ____ 355
Francois Duvalier, 1957-71 ..................... 356
Jean-Claude Duvalier, 1971-86 .................. 357
The Post-Duvalier Period ...................... 359
THE ROLE OF THE ARMED FORCES................ 361
MILITARY SPENDING AND FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ... 364 ARMED FORCES ORGANIZATION AND
STRUCTURE.................................... 365
THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM AND PUBLIC ORDER........ 372
The Legal Framework ......................... 372
Public Order ................................ 374
Appendix A. Tables.............................. 379
Appendix B. Caribbean Basin Initiative .......... 393
Bibliography ..................................... 401
Glossary ......................................... 433
Index ............................................ 437
List of Figures
1 Dominican Republic: Administrative Divisions, 1989 ......xxvi
2 Dominican Republic: Topography and Drainage.......... 42
3 Dominican Republic: Estimated Population Distribution
by Age and Sex, 1990 ............................ 44
4 Dominican Republic: Transportation System, 1989 ........ 116
5 Dominican Republic: Structure of the Government, 1989 ... 134
xii


6 Dominican Republic: Organization of the Armed Forces,
1989 ......................................... 177
7 Dominican Republic: Officer Ranks and Insignia, 1989 182
8 Dominican Republic: Enlisted Ranks and Insignia, 1989 183
9 Dominican Republic: Organization of the National Police,
1989 ......................................... 188
10 Haiti: Administrative Divisions, 1989 ................. 194
11 Haiti: Topography and Drainage..................... 242
12 Haiti: Population Distribution by Age and Sex, 1982 ..... 246
13 Haiti: Employment by Sector, 1983 ................... 290
14 Haiti: Estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by Sector,
Fiscal Year (FY) 1987 ........................... 292
15 Haiti: Transportation System, 1989 ................... 312
16 Haiti: Civil Jurisdictions and Governmental Institutions,
1989 ......................................... 332
17 Haiti: Organization of the Armed Forces, 1989 .......... 368
18 Haiti: Officer Ranks and Insignia, 1989 ............... 370
19 Haiti: Enlisted Ranks and Insignia, 1989 ............... 371
xiii




Preface
Like their predecessors, these studies represent an attempt to treat in a compact and objective manner the dominant contemporary social, political, economic, and military aspects of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, monographs; official reports of governments and international organizations; numerous periodicals; the authors' previous research and observations; and interviews with individuals who have special competence in Dominican, Haitian, and Latin American affairs. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book; brief comments on sources recommended for further reading appear at the end of each chapter. To the extent possible, place-names conform with the system used by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Measurements are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist readers unfamiliar with metric measurements (see table 1, Appendix A). A glossary is also included.
Although there are numerous variations, Spanish surnames generally consist of two parts: the patrilineal name followed by the matrilineal one. In the instance of Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo, for example, Balaguer is his father's surname and Ricardo, his mother's maiden name. In nonformal use, the matrilineal name is often dropped. Thus, after the first mention, just Balaguer is used. A minority of individuals use only the patrilineal name.
Creole words used in the text may be presented in forms that are unfamiliar to readers who have done previous research on Haiti. The Creole orthography employed in this volume is that developed by the National Pedagogic Institute (Institut Pedagogique NationalIPN), which has been the standard in Haiti since 1978.
xv




Introduction
SINCE THE SIGNING of the Treaty of Ryswick between the kingdoms of Spain and France in 1697, the island of Hispaniola (La Isla Espafiola) has played host to two separate and distinct societies that we now know as the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. At first encounter, and without the benefit of historical background and context, most students or observers find it incongruous that two such disparate nationsone speaking French and Creole, the other Spanishshould coexist within such limited confines. When viewed in light of the bitter struggle among European colonial powers for wealth and influence both on the continent and in the New World, however, the phenomenon becomes less puzzling. By the late seventeenth century, Spain was a declining power. Although that country would maintain its vast holdings in mainland North America and South America, Spain found itself hard pressed by British, Dutch, and French forces in the Caribbean. The Treaty of Ryswick was but one result of this competition, as the British eventually took Jamaica and established a foothold in Central America. The French eventually proved the value of Caribbean colonization, in an economic as well as a maritime and strategic sense, by developing modern-day Haiti, then known as Saint-Domingue, into the most productive colony in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world.
Although the other European powers envied the French their island jewel, Saint-Domingue eventually was lost not to a colonial rival, but to an idea. That idea, inspired by the American Revolution and the French Revolution, was freedom; its power was such as to convince a bitterly oppressed population of African slaves that anythingreprisal, repression, even deathwas preferable to its denial. This positive impulse, liberally leavened with hatred for the white men who had seized them, shipped them like cargo across the ocean, tortured and abused them, and forced women into concubinage and men into arduous labor, impelled the black population of Saint-Domingue to an achievement still unmatched in history: the overthrow of a slaveholding colonial power and the establishment of a revolutionary black republic.
The saga of the Haitian Revolution is so dramatic that it is surprising that it has never served as the scenario for a Hollywood production. Its images are varied and intense: the voodoo ceremony and pact sealed in the Bois Cayman (Alligator Woods) in anticipation of the slave revolt of 1791; the blazing, bloody revolt itself;
xvn


foreign intervention by British and Spanish forces; the charismatic figure of Francois-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, his rise and fateful decision to switch his allegiance from Spain to France, his surprisingly effective command of troops in the field, the relative restraint with which he treated white survivors and prisoners, the competence of his brief stint as ruler; the French expedition of 1802, of which Toussaint exclaimed, 'All France has come to invade us"; Toussaint's betrayal and seizure by the French; and the ensuing revolution led by Jean-Jacque Dessalines, Henri (Henry) Chris-tophe, and Alexandre Petion.
Given the distinctive and auspicious origins of the Haitian republic, there is some irony in that the Dominicans commemorate as their independence day the date of their overthrow of Haitian rule. The Dominican revolt, however, came as a response to annexation by a Haitian state that had passed from the promise of orderly administration under Toussaint to the hard-handed despotism of Dessalines and had then experienced division, both racial and political, between the forces of Christophe and Petion. By the time of its conquest of Santo Domingo (later to become the Dominican Republic), Haiti had come under the comparatively stable, but uninspired, stewardship of Jean-Pierre Boyer. Although viewed, both at the time and today, by most Dominicans as a crude and oppressive state dominated by the military, the Haiti that occupied both eastern and western Hispaniola from 1822 to 1844 can itself be seen as a victim of international political and economic isolation. Because they either resented the existence of a black republic or feared a similar uprising in their own slave-owning regions, the European colonial powers and the United States shunned relations with Haiti; in the process, they contributed to the establishment of an impoverished society, ruled by the military, guided by the gun rather than the ballot, and controlled by a small, mostly mulatto, ruling group that lived well, while their countrymen either struggled to eke out a subsistence-level existence on small plots of land or flocked to the banners of regional strongmen in the seemingly never-ending contest for power. To be sure, the French colonial experience had left the Haitians completely unprepared for orderly democratic self-government, but the isolation of the post-independence period assured the exclusion of liberalizing influences that might have guided Haiti along a somewhat different path of political and economic development. By the same token, however, it may be that Western governments of the time, and even those of the early twentieth century, were incapable of dealing with a black republic on an equal basis. The United States occupation of Haiti (1915-34) certainly brought little of lasting value to the
xvm


country's political culture or institutions, in part because the Americans saw the Haitians as uncivilized lackeys and treated them as such.
Both nations of Hispaniola sharealong with much of the developing worldthe strong tendency toward political organization built upon the personalistic followings of strongmen, or caudillos, rather than on more legalistic bases, such as constitutionalism. This similarity in political culture helps to explain the chronologicallystaggered parallels between the brutal regimes of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (1930-61) in the Dominican Republic and that of the Duva-liersFrancois Duvalier (1957-71) and his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier (1971-86)in Haiti. Both regimes lasted for approximately thirty years; both were headed by nonideological despots; both regimes sustained themselves in power by employing terror and ruthlessly suppressing dissent; both drew the ire of an international community that ultimately proved incapable of directly forcing them from power; and both left their countries mired in political chaos and internal conflict upon their demise. One may only hope that the unstable situation in Haiti after the fall of the Duvalier regime will resolve itself without further analogy to Dominican historythat is, without a civil war. As of late 1990, however, the outcome of the situation remained extremely unpredictable.
Lieutenant General Prosper Avril took power in Haiti in September 1988, ousting the highly unpopular military regime led by Lieutenant General Henri Namphy. Avril, a product of the Haitian military tradition and the Duvalierist system, initially gave assurances that he would serve only as a transitional figure on the road to representative democracy. Whatever his personal feelings or motivations, however, Avril by his actions proved himself to be simply another corrupt Haitian military strongman. Having scheduled elections for 1990, he arrested and expelled leading political figures and declared a state of siege in January of that year. These actions triggered demonstrations, protests, and rioting among a population weary of exploitation and insincere promises of reform. Despite his public rhetoric, Avril presided over a military institution that perpetuated the Duvalierist traditions of extortion, graft, and price-gouging through state-owned enterprises. At the same time, the military made no substantive effort to address the problem of political violence. By early 1990, Haitians had had enough of promises; many decided to take action on their own, much as they had during the uprising of 1985 that swept Jean-Claude Duvalier from power.
xix


Violent demonstrations began in earnest in early March 1990, ostensibly in response to the army's fatal shooting of an eleven-year-old girl in Petit Goave. Streets blazed across Haiti as demonstrators ignited tires and automobiles, chanted anti-Avril slogans, and fought with army troops. Avril soon recognized the untenable nature of his position; the United States ambassador reportedly influenced the general's decision to step down in a private meeting held on March 12. Avril's flight from Haiti on a United States Air Force transport added his name to a long list of failed Haitian strongmen, and it left the country under the guidance of yet another military officer, Major General (subsequently promoted to Lieutenant General) Herard Abraham.
Consultations among civilian political figures produced a provisional government headed by a judge of the Court of Cassation (supreme court), Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, a woman little-known outside legal circles. Judge Pascal-Trouillot reportedly accepted the post of provisional president after three other supreme court judges declined; she was sworn in on March 13. Appointed along with her was a nineteen-member Council of State, made up of prominent civic and political leaders. Although the new government announced no clear definitions of the powers of the council vis-a-vis the provisional president, some reports indicated that the president could exercise independent authority in some areas. The most compelling reality, however, was that all powers of the provisional government had been granted by the Haitian Armed Forces (Forces Armees d'HaitiFAd'H), which would provide the government's only mandateand perhaps its major political constituencyuntil valid popular elections could be held.
The Permanent Electoral Council (Conseil Electoral Permanent CEP) scheduled local, legislative, and presidential elections for sometime between November 4 and November 29, 1990. The prospects for their successful implementation, however, appeared highly problematical at best. Seemingly unchecked political violence, which conjured up for many the horrible images of the bloody election day of November 1987, presented the major obstacle to free and fair balloting. Negotiations between the FAd'H and the CEP sought to establish security mechanisms that would prevent a recurrence of the 1987 tragedy. Popular confidence in these efforts, however, did not appear to be very great.
In a larger sense, the utter absence of any democratic tradition, or framework, in Haiti stacked the odds heavily against a smooth governmental transition. Economist Mats Lundahl has referred to Haiti as a hysteretic state, "not simply one where the past has shaped the present, but also one where history constitutes one of
xx


the strongest obstacles to change." Several conditions prevailing in Haiti gave substance to this definition. Among the wide array of personalistic political parties, only threeMarc Bazin's Movement for the Installation of Democracy in Haiti (Mouvement pour lTnstauration de la Democratic en HaitiMIDH), Serge Gilles's National Progressive Revolutionary Haitian Party (Parti National Progressiste Revolutionnaire HardenPanpra), and Sylvio C. Claude's Christian Democrat Party of Haiti (Parti Democrate Chretien d'HaitiPDCH)displayed any semblance of coherent programs or disciplined party apparatus. The odyssey of the Haitian military, from dominant power before the Duvaliers to subordinate status under the dynastic dictatorship, left uncertain the intentions of the FAd'H under Abraham's leadership. The return of such infamous Duvalierist cronies as former interior minister Roger LaFontant and persistent rumors that Jean-Claude himself was contemplating a return to the nation he had bled dry for fifteen years provoked outrage among a population that wanted nothing so much as to rid itself of the remaining vestiges of that predatory regime. According to some observers, internal conditions had approached, by the late summer of 1990, a sort of critical mass, which, if not defused by way of fair and free elections, could explode into generalized and ultimately futile violence.
In July one of the more responsible political leaders, Sylvio Claude, exhorted Haitians to block the return of undesirables by seizing the international airport outside Port-au-Prince. In a speech on Radio Nationale, he declared, "Instead of letting [the army] go kill you later, make them kill you now." Among the figures targeted by Claude for such action was former president Leslie F. Manigat, not previously considered a controversial figure by most observers. Perhaps in response to such rabble-rousing, the provisional government announced on August 1 that Manigat would be barred from returning to his native Haiti.
In late July, the Council of State issued a communique, laying down four conditions that it deemed necessary for holding successful elections. First, effective legal action had to be initiated against those who had participated in the November 1987 attacks and other political murders; second, a general climate of public security needed to be established in order to encourage voters to go to the polls; third, the public administration should be purged of entrenched, corrupt bureaucrats; and fourth, some checks had to be established over the powers of the rural section chiefs {chefs de section), so that the rural population could vote in an atmosphere free of coercion and intimidation. It was not clear what action the Council would take if these conditions had not been met by November.
xxi


In the Dominican Republic, events unfolded along a much more predictable path. Although Dominican politics were boisterous, and physical clashesoccasionally punctuated by gunfirebetween the members of contending political parties were not unusual, the democratic system established after the 1965 civil war and the United States intervention continued to function with comparative efficiency (especially when compared with that of Haiti). The elections of May 16, 1990, however, demonstrated the manifold weaknesses of this system. The most glaring example of the lack of institutionalization in Dominican politics was that the major contenders for the presidency were the same two men who had opposed each other in the elections of 1966, namely, Juan Bosch Gavino and incumbent Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo. Despite almost a quarter of a century of relatively free political organization and competition, the two modern-day caudillos, both octogenarians, still sallied into the arena flying their own personalistic banners rather than those of truly established parties. The one party that had displayed some level of institutionalization, the Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario DominicanoPRD), had split into antagonistic factionseach with its own caudilloand never presented a serious challenge to the two elder statesmen.
The elections themselves, like most during the post-civil war era, were lively, controversial, and bitterly contested. Despite debilitating national problems, such as a chronic shortage of electricity, rising inflation, and persistent poverty, President Balaguer retained enough support in a presidential race contested by sixteen political parties (some running in coalition) to eke out a narrow victory over Bosch. The final tally showed Balaguer with 678,268 votes against Bosch's 653,423. Like most Dominican politicians before him, Bosch did not accept defeat with magnanimity; he lashed out at Balaguer and the Central Electoral Board, accusing both of fraud during balloting that impartial observers had judged to be fair and orderly. Bosch's early public statements exhorted his followers to stage public protests against the alleged electoral fraud. Early fears of widespread street violence initiated by disgruntled Bosch supporters proved unfounded, however, and Balaguer's reelection was confirmed by the Board on June 12, 1990.
Although it traditionally bends a little around election time, the Dominican democratic system showed few signs of breaking completely. Economic developments, however, will exercise a decisive impact on the nation's future stability. In that regard, Balaguer's reelection could prove to be a storm warning for the republic. At eighty-one years of age, Balaguer reportedly retained his enthusiasm for hands-on administration of government policy. The major
xxn


economic aspects of that policy, however, did not promise a significant degree of improvement in the short term. Balaguer, since his days as a protege of Trujillo, has believed in the liberal application of funds to public works projectsthe construction of schools, housing, public buildingsin order to boost employment and purchase political support. Such gratuitous expenditures, however, largely served to exacerbate the government's fiscal problems, while masking to only a limited degree the consistently high levels of unemployment prevailing in the republic. Another tenet of Balaguer's economic creed was a refusal to submit to an economic adjustment program dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMFsee Glossary). By ruling out an IMF-mandated program, Balaguer avoided further short-term austerity measures, such as devaluation and price increases on subsidized items; this enabled him to stand on a platform of economic nationalism and to proclaim his opposition to economic hardship imposed from abroad (that is, from the United States, which is strongly identified with the IMF throughout Latin America). In the long run, however, his obstinacy diminished Dominican standing with foreign creditors, and it limited any new infusions of capital needed to sustain the impressive growth of nontraditional exports achieved during the latter 1980s. This, in turn, would hinder the accumulation of foreign exchange needed to finance the imports required to sustain industrial development. Moreover, although an austerity program undoubtedly would pinch still further an already hard-pressed population, it might also help to balance the budget, to stabilize domestic prices, and to boost exports, all highly desirable potential results.
If the Dominican situation demonstrated anything to Haitians, it was that democracy is not a panacea for domestic turmoil. As Winston Churchill observed, it is the worst political system "except for all the others." Since Trujillo's death, Dominicans have struggled to adjust to an imperfect system, under less than ideal conditions; the final outcome of this process is still in doubt. For Haitians, the small step represented by valid elections could be their first lurch along a much longer road to peace and stability.
August 21, 1990
* *
In the months following completion of research and writing of this book, significant political developments occurred in Haiti. On December 16, 1990, over 60 percent of registered voters turned
xxm


out to elect political neophyte Jean-Bertrand Aristide president of Haiti. Aristide, a Roman Catholic priest and an advocate of liberation theology (see Glossary), registered an overwhelming first-round victory against a number of opponents. His popular identification as an outspoken opponent of the regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier apparently moved some 67 percent of voters to select Aristide as their leader. More traditional politicians such as Marc Bazin, Louis Dejoie, and Sylvio Claude trailed badly, reflecting their lack of appeal beyond the upper and middle classes. Aristide's victory came as a result of what was arguably the first free and fair election in Haitian history.
Right-wing backlash against the election of the radical leftist Aristide expressed itself in a coup attempt led by Duvalierist Roger Lafontant on January 6, 1991. Assisted by a small contingent of army personnel, Lafontant seized the National Palace, took prisoner Provisional President Pascal-Trouillot, and announced over the state-run television station his control of the government. Lafontant's pronouncement turned out to be decidedly premature, however, as loyalist army forces stormed the palace twelve hours later on the orders of FAd'H commander Abraham. Lafontant and those of his fellow conspirators who survived the fighting were captured and incarcerated. The coup also ignited violent street demonstrations in which mobs lynched at least seven people they accused of Duvalierist ties or sympathies. Violence continued in the interim between the elections and the presidential inauguration on February 7, 1991. Particularly intense anti-Duvalierist demonstrations took place on the night of January 26, leaving more than a dozen dead. On the night of February 1, 1991, suspected Duvalierists set fire to an orphanage in Port-au-Prince administered by Aristide.
Aristide's inauguration on February 7, 1991, was a gala event, befitting its historic nature. As expected, the new president delivered a spellbinding inaugural address. In it, he renounced his US$10,000 a month salary as a "scandal in a country where people cannot eat." Although the address was short on specifics of policy, its tone was one of gratitude and support for the poverty-afflicted constituency that had provided such a striking electoral mandate. The address was also conciliatory with regard to the military. Aristide described a "wedding between the army and the people, '' and hinted that the army would henceforth function as a public security force in order to lessen the threat emanating from right-wing forces such as those directed by Lafontant.
Beyond his rhetorical outreach to the rank and file, Aristide moved quickly to shore up his rule in the face of possible opposition from within the officer corps of the FAd'H. In his inaugural
xxiv


address, he called on General Abraham to retire six of the eight highest-ranking generals as well as the colonel who commanded the Presidential Guard. The appeal reflected Aristide's surprisingly powerful position, based on his overwhelming electoral victory and his demonstrated popular support, which extended even to the ranks of the military. The fact that Abraham complied with the request confirmed the already rather obvious disarray of the FAd'H and the general unwillingness of the institution to reassume political power in Haiti.
On February 9, Aristide proposed Rene Preval as Haiti's prime minister. Preval, a Belgian-trained agronomist and close associate of the president, was subsequently approved by the National Assembly. Although Aristide won a smashing personal victory in his presidential race, no one party or movement achieved a majority in the assembly. This fact promised a certain degree of stalemate and inertia in the legislative process under the Aristide administration. Such a situation did not seem conducive to the development of programs to deal effectively with the country's many severe problems. At the same time, however, an assembly based on coalition and compromise should serve to check any temptation by the new government toward heavy-handed or even authoritarian rule. In any case, the assembly was a new institution in a new government in what many hoped would be a new and democratic Haiti.
March 14, 1991 Richard A. Haggerty
xxv


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Dominican Republic: Administrative Divisions
- PROVINCES -
La Altagracia (11) Azua (20) Baoruco (27) Barahona (29) Dajabon (12) Duarte (6) Elias Piha (18) Espaillat (4) Hato Mayor (9) Independencia (28)
Maria Trinidad Sanchez (7) Monsehor Nouel Monte Cristi (1) Monte Plata (17) National District (24) Pedernales (30) Peravia (21) Puerto Plata (3) La Romana (26) Salcedo (5)
Samana (8) San Cristobal (23) Sanchez Ramirez (16) San Juan (19) San Pedro de Macoris (25) Santiago (14) Santiago Rodriguez (13) ElSeibo (10) Valverde (2) La Vega (15)
Figure 1. Dominican Republic: Administrative Divisions, 1989
xxvi


Country Profile
Country.
Formal Name: Dominican Republic. Short Form: Dominican Republic. Term for Citizens: Dominicans. Capital: Santo Domingo.
Geography.
Size: Approximately 48,442 square kilometers.
xxvii


Topography: Mountain ranges divide country into three regions: northern, central, and southwestern. Seven major drainage basins, most important that of Yaque del Norte River. Largest body of water Lago Enriquillo (Lake Enriquillo), in southwest. Highest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, rises in Cordillera Central (Central Range) to height of 3,087 meters.
Climate: Primarily tropical, with temperatures varying according to altitude. Seasons defined more by rainfall than by temperature. For most of country, rainy season runs roughly from May through November; dry season, from November through April. Rainfall not uniform throughout country because of mountain ranges. Tropical cyclones strike country on average of once every two years and usually have greatest impact along southern coast.
Society
Population: Annual rate of increase thought to be approximately 2.5 percent in mid-1980s. Projected total population to be just over 7 million by mid-1990.
Language: Spanish.
Ethnic Groups: Majority of mid-1980s population (approximately 73 percent) mulatto, a legacy of black slavery during colonial period. Approximately 16 percent of Dominicans white; 11 percent black.
Education and Literacy: An estimated 74 percent of population literate in 1986. Education system included six years of compulsory primary education, an additional six years of secondary education, and higher education at one of more than twenty-six postsecond-ary institutions. Major university and sole public institution was Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (Universidad Autonoma de Santo DomingoUASD).
Health: State-funded health programs reached 78 to 89 percent of population. Facilities concentrated in Santo Domingo and Santiago de los Caballeros (Santiago); service in rural areas suffered accordingly. Main causes of death pulmonary circulatory diseases and intestinal diseases. Average life expectancy 62.6 years for 1980-84 period.
Religion: More than 90 percent Roman Catholic. Protestant groups also active; Evangelicals most successful in attracting converts.
Economy
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Approximately US$5.6 billion in 1987, roughly US$800 per capita.
XXVlll


Agriculture: Accounted for about 15 percent of GDP, employed some 35 percent of labor force, and generated approximately half of all exports in 1988. Sugar traditionally the major crop, although its importance declined steadily during 1970s and 1980s. Coffee, cocoa, and tobacco also produced for export. Exports of nontradi-tional agricultural products, particularly pineapple and citrus fruit, expanded in 1980s.
Industry: Manufacturing, mining, and construction combined to contribute over 31 percent of GDP in 1988. These industries also employed almost 10 percent of labor force and accounted for two-thirds of country's exports. Assembly manufacturing subsector achieved fastest growth in 1980s as a result of government expansion of Industrial Free Zones throughout country. Major mineral exports gold, silver, bauxite, and nickel, all of which had low prices on world markets during 1980s. Construction benefited gready from government public works projects and expansion of tourist industry.
Services: Tourism leading service industry; replaced sugar as country's leading foreign-exchange earner in 1984. Government supported development of tourist industry, but economic shortcomings such as inadequate water and energy supply and shortages of construction materials slowed expansion of facilities and adversely affected service to visitors. Financial services contributed 7 percent to GDP in 1988; transportation and communications accounted for additional 6 percent.
Currency: Dominican Republic peso (RD$), consisting of 100 cen-tavos. Peso maintained on a par with United States dollar until 1985, when it was allowed to float against dollar. Value of peso plunged, reaching a low of US$1 = RD$8 in mid-1988, but had rebounded slightly to US$1 =RD$6.35 by 1989.
Imports: Approximately US$1.5 million in 1987, highest level ever recorded. Oil imports declined on a percentage basis from 1980 to 1987, but imports of intermediate goods, consumer goods, and capital goods increased over same period, contributing to negative trade balance.
Exports: Approximately US$718 million in 1987, a ten-year low. Decline in export value mainly attributable to low sugar prices on world market from 1984-87.
Balance of Payments: Overall deficit reached US$593 million in 1987, roughly 11 percent of GDP. Effect of deficit cushioned somewhat by cash remittances from Dominicans living abroad, tourism,
xxix


a draw down of reserves, and rescheduling of country's foreign debt.
Fiscal year (FY): Calendar year, except in case of State Sugar Council (Consejo Estatal de AzucarCEA), which runs on cycle October 1 to September 30.
Fiscal Policy: Fiscal deficits mounted in 1980s, mainly as result of dwindling revenues. Revenues fell from 16 percent of GDP in 1970 to 10 percent in 1982, as Dominican governments provided tax incentives to business without securing sufficient alternate sources of revenue. Although not exorbitant relative to GDP, expenditures continued to rise throughout 1980s as government maintained subsidies on imported foodstuffs, gasoline, public utilities, and transportation in order to keep prices artificially low for low-income consumers. Debt service accounted for 22 percent of total expenditures in 1988 budget. Under President Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo, expanded public works programs boosted capital expenditures from 30 percent to over 40 percent of budget.
Transportation and Communications
Roads: Most common means of travel; in 1989 road network approxiately 17,000 kilometers, 70 percent of it paved.
Ports: As result of improvements to facilities during 1980s, Haina replaced Santo Domingo and Boca Chica as country's leading port. Other major shipping ports included Cabo Rojo and Barahona. Cruise ships stopped either at Santo Domingo or Puerto Plata.
Railroads: Rail system existed mainly to transport sugarcane. Its 1,725 kilometers of rail made it one of longest in Caribbean.
Airports: Four international airports. Major facilities Las Americas, near capital, and La Union, near Puerto Plata. Smaller airports at La Romana and Santiago.
Telecommunications: Country boasted one of the most technologically advanced telecommunications industries in Latin America and Caribbean, offering wide range of services to consumers. Service concentrated in urban areas, however.
Government and Politics
Government: Republic with elected representative governmental system. Executive was dominant branch. Presidents served four-year terms and could be reelected. Legislature, known formally as Congress of the Republic, consisted of Senate and Chamber of Deputies. Judicial power exercised by Supreme Court of Justice
xxx


and by other courts created by 1966 Constitution and by law. All judges chosen by Senate, not by president. Provincial (state) governors appointed by president; municipalities (counties) governed by elected mayors and municipal councils.
Politics: Following independence from Haiti in 1844, country characterized by political instability for almost a century. Dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina took power in 1930 and ruled in repressive authoritarian fashion until his assassination in 1961. Brief civil war broke out in 1965 between liberal Constitutionalistssupporters of 1963 constitution promulgated during shortlived presidency of Juan Bosch Gavifioand conservative Loyalist military factions. Conflict aborted by direct military intervention by United States. Subsequent elections brought Trujillo protege Balaguer to presidency, an office he held for twelve years. Balaguer's attempt to nullify 1978 elections thwarted by pressure from Washington, allowing Silvestre Antonio Guzman Fernandez of social democratic Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolu-cionario DominicanoPRD) to assume nation's leadership. PRD also won 1982 elections with lawyer Salvador Jorge Blanco as its standard bearer. Both PRD governments plagued by economic difficulties that forced them to institute austerity measures instead of social reforms they initially advocated. Declining popularity of Jorge government contributed to Balaguer's election for a fourth term beginning in 1986.
International Relations: Diplomatic activities concentrated on Caribbean, Latin America, United States, and Western Europe. Relations with neighboring Haiti traditionally strained, owing to numerous cultural divergences and long history of Dominicans and Haitians meddling in each other's affairs. Most important international relationship with United States, on which Dominican Republic has political, economic, and strategic dependence.
International Agreements and Membership: Signatory of Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) and all major inter-American conventions. Member of United Nations and its specialized agencies, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund (see Glossary), Inter-American Development Bank, and other multilateral financial institutions. Also adhered to General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
National Security
Armed Forces: Dominican armed forces consisted of army, navy, and air force. Total personnel in 1989 about 20,800.
xxxi


Organization: President constitutional commander in chief. Chain of command extended downward to secretary of state for the armed forces, then to deputy secretaries of state for individual branches of service, each of whom administered through a chief of staff and a general staff. Chiefs of staff exercised operational control, except in emergencies. Country divided into three defense zones: Southern Defense Zone, Western Defense Zone, and Northern Defense Zone.
Equipment: Army's equipment, mostly of United States manufacture, largely outmoded or poorly maintained. Dominican Navy in 1989 consisted of only one offshore and seventeen inshore vessels, mostly United States-made craft of World War II vintage. Dominican Air Force assets somewhat more modern and included Cessna A-37B Dragonfly jets and C-47 transports.
Police: National Police only police organization in country. Total manpower in 1989 about 10,000. Commanded by director general, subordinate to secretary of state for interior and police.
xxxn


er 1. Dominican Republic: Historical Setting


Sketch of the landing at Hispaniola, reputedly drawn by Christopher Columbus


THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC EXPERIENCED many setbacks on the road to the democratic system under which it functioned in the late 1980s. The nation did not enjoy full independence until 1844, when it emerged from twenty-two years of occupation by Haiti; this liberation came later than that of most Latin American countries. Reacceptance of Spanish rule from 1861 to 1865 demonstrated the republic's insecurity and dependence on larger powers to protect it and to define its status. Dominican vulnerability to intervention from abroad was also made evident by the United States military occupation of 1916-24 and by a more limited action by United States forces during a brief civil war in 1965.
Politically, Dominican history has been defined by an almost continuous competition for supremacy among caudillos of authoritarian ideological convictions. Political and regional competition overlapped to a great extent because mainly conservative leaders from the south and the east pitted themselves against generally more liberal figures from the northern part of the Valle del Cibao (the Cibao Valley, commonly called the Cibao). Traditions of personal-ism, militarism, and social and economic elitism locked the country into decades of debilitating wars, conspiracies, and despotism that drained its resources and undermined its efforts to establish liberal constitutional rule.
In the late 1980s, the republic was still struggling to emerge from the shadow of the ultimate Dominican caudillo, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (1930-61), who emerged from the military and held nearly absolute power throughout his rule. The apparent establishment of a democratic process in 1978 was a promising development; however, the survival of democracy appeared to be closely linked to the country's economic fortunes, which had declined steadily since the mid-1970s. As it had throughout its history, the republic continued to struggle with the nature of its domestic politics and with the definition of its economic and political role in the wider world.
The First Colony
The island of Hispaniola (La Isla Espafiola) was the first New World colony settled by Spain. As such, it served as the logistical base for the conquest of most of the Western Hemisphere. Christopher Columbus first sighted the island in 1492 toward the end of his first voyage to "the Indies." Columbus and his crew
3


Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
found the island inhabited by a large population of friendly Taino Indians (Arawaks), who made the explorers welcome. The land was fertile, but of greater importance to the Spaniards was the discovery that gold could be obtained either by barter with the natives, who adorned themselves with golden jewelry, or by extraction from alluvial deposits on the island.
After several attempts to plant colonies along the north coast of Hispaniola, Spain's first permanent settlement in the New World was established on the southern coast at the present site of Santo Domingo. Under Spanish sovereignty, the entire island bore the name Santo Domingo. Indications of the presence of goldthe life's blood of the nascent mercantilist systemand a population of tractable natives who could be used as laborers combined to attract many Spanish newcomers during the early years. Most were adventurers who, at least initially, were more interested in acquiring sudden wealth than they were in settiing the land. Their relations with the Taino Indians, whom they ruthlessly maltreated, deteriorated from the beginning. Aroused by continued seizures of their food supplies, other exactions, and abuse of their women, the formerly peaceful Indians rebelledonly to be crushed decisively in 1495.
Columbus, who ruled the colony as royal governor until 1499, attempted to put an end to the more serious abuses to which the Indians were subjected by prohibiting foraging expeditions against them and by regulating the informal taxation imposed by the settlers. Being limited to this milder form of exploitation engendered active opposition among the settlers. To meet their demands, Columbus devised the repartimiento system of land settlement and native labor under which a settler, without assuming any obligation to the authorities, could be granted in perpetuity a large tract of land together with the services of the Indians living on it.
The repartimiento system did nothing to improve the lot of the Indians, and the Spanish crown changed it by instituting the system of encomienda in 1503. Under the encomienda system, all land became in theory the property of the crown, and the Indians thus were considered tenants on royal land. The crown's right to service from the tenants could be transferred in trust to individual Spanish settlers (encomenderos) by formal grant and the regular payment of tribute. The encomenderos were entitled to certain days of labor from the Indians, who became their charges. Encomenderos thus assumed the responsibility of providing for the physical well-being of the Indians and for their instruction in Christianity. An encomienda theoretically did not involve ownership of land; in practice, however, possession was gained through other means.
4


Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
The hard work demanded of the Indians and the privations that they suffered demonstrated the unrealistic nature of the encomienda system, which effectively operated on an honor system as a result of the absence of enforcement efforts by Spanish authorities. The Indian population died off rapidly from exhaustion, starvation, disease, and other causes. By 1548 the Taino population, estimated at 1 million in 1492, had been reduced to approximately 500. The consequences were profound. The need for a new labor force to meet the growing demands of sugarcane cultivation prompted the importation of African slaves beginning in 1503. By 1520, black African labor was used almost exclusively.
The early grants of land without obligation under the repartimiento system resulted in a rapid decentralization of power. Each landowner possessed virtually sovereign authority. Power was diffused because of the tendency of the capital city, Santo Domingo (which also served as the seat of government for the entire Spanish Indies), to orient itself toward the continental Americas, which provided gold for the crown, and toward Spain, which provided administrators, supplies, and immigrants for the colonies. Local government was doomed to ineffectiveness because there was little contact between the capital and the hinterland; for practical purposes, the countryside fell under the sway of the large landowners. Throughout Dominican history, this sociopolitical order was a major factor in the development of some of the distinctive characteristics of the nation's political culture such as paternalism, personalism, and the tendency toward strong, even authoritarian, leadership (see The System of Dominican Politics, ch. 4).
As early as the 1490s, the landowners demonstrated their power by successfully conspiring against Columbus. His successor, Francisco de Bobadilla, was appointed chief justice and royal commissioner by the Spanish crown in 1499. Bobadilla sent Columbus back to Spain in irons, but Queen Isabella soon ordered him released. Bobadilla proved an inept administrator, and he was replaced in 1503 by the more efficient Nicolas de Ovando, who assumed the titles of governor and supreme justice. Because of his success in initiating reforms desired by the crownthe encomienda system among themde Ovando received the title of Founder of Spain's Empire in the Indies.
In 1509 Columbus's son, Diego Columbus, was appointed governor of the colony of Santo Domingo. Diego's ambition and the splendid surroundings he provided for himself aroused the suspicions of the crown. As a result, in 1511 the crown established the audiencia, a new political institution intended to check the power of the governor. The first audiencia was simply a tribunal composed
5


Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
of three judges whose jurisdiction extended over all the West Indies. In this region, it formed the highest court of appeal. Employment of the audiencia eventually spread throughout Spanish America.
The tribunal's influence grew, and in 1524 it was designated the Royal Audiencia of Santo Domingo, with jurisdiction in the Caribbean, the Atlantic coast of Central America and Mexico, and the northern coast of South America, including all of what is now Venezuela and part of present-day Colombia. As a court representing the crown, the audiencia was given expanded powers that encompassed administrative, legislative, and consultative functions; the number of judges increased correspondingly. In criminal cases, the decisions of the audiencia were final, but important civil suits could be appealed to the Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies (Real y Supremo Consejo de las Indias) in Spain.
The Council of the Indies, created by Charles V in 1524, was the Spanish crown's main agency for directing colonial affairs. During most of its existence, the council exercised almost absolute power in making laws, administering justice, controlling finance and trade, supervising the church, and directing armies.
The arm of the Council of the Indies that dealt with all matters concerning commerce between Spain and its colonies in the Americas was the House of Trade (Casa de Contratacion), organized in 1503. Control of commerce in general, and of tax collection in particular, was facilitated by the designation of monopoly seaports on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. During most of the colonial period, overseas trade consisted largely of annual convoys between monopoly ports. Trade between the colonies and countries other than Spain was prohibited. The crown also restricted trade among the colonies. These restrictions hampered economic activity in the New World and encouraged contraband traffic.
The Roman Catholic Church became the primary agent in spreading Spanish culture in the Americas. The ecclesiastical organization developed for Santo Domingo and later extended throughout Spanish America reflected a union of church and state actually closer than that prevailing in Spain itself. The Royal Patronage of the Indies (Real Patronato de las Indias, or, as it was called later, the Patronato Real) served as the organizational agent of this affiliation of the church and the Spanish crown.
Santo Domingo's prestige began to decline in the first part of the sixteenth century with the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortes in 1521 and the discovery there, and later in Peru, of great wealth in gold and silver. These events coincided with the exhaustion of the alluvial deposits of gold and the dying off of the Indian labor force in Santo Domingo. Large numbers of colonists left for Mexico
6


Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
and Peru; new immigrants from Spain largely bypassed Santo Domingo for the greater wealth to be found in lands to the west. The population of Santo Domingo dwindled, agriculture languished, and Spain soon became preoccupied with its richer and vaster mainland colonies.
The stagnation that prevailed in Santo Domingo for the next 250 years was interrupted on several occasions by armed engagements, as the French and the English attempted to weaken Spain's economic and political dominance in the New World. In 1586 the English admiral, Sir Francis Drake, captured the city of Santo Domingo and collected a ransom for its return to Spanish control. In 1655 Oliver Cromwell dispatched an English fleet, commanded by Sir William Perm, to take Santo Domingo. After meeting heavy resistance, the English sailed farther west and took Jamaica instead.
The withdrawal of the colonial government from the northern coastal region opened the way for French buccaneers, who had a base on Tortuga Island (lie de la Tortue), off the northwest coast of present-day Haiti, to settle on Hispaniola in the mid-seventeenth century. Although the Spanish destroyed the buccaneers' settlements several times, the determined French would not be deterred or expelled. The creation of the French West India Company in 1664 signalled France's intention to colonize western Hispaniola. Intermittent warfare went on between French and Spanish settlers over the next three decades; however, Spain, hard-pressed by warfare in Europe, could not maintain a garrison in Santo Domingo sufficient to secure the entire island against encroachment. In 1697, under the Treaty of Ryswick, Spain ceded the western third of the island to France. The exact boundary of this territory (Saint-Dominguenow Haiti) was not established at the time of cession and remained in question until 1929 (see fig. 1).
During the first years of the eighteenth century, landowners in the Spanish colony did little with their huge holdings, and the sugar plantations along the southern coast were abandoned because of harassment by pirates. Foreign trade all but ceased, and almost all domestic commerce took place in the capital city.
The Bourbon dynasty replaced the Habsburgs in Spain in 1700. The new regime introduced innovationsespecially economic reformsthat gradually began to revive trade in Santo Domingo. The crown progressively relaxed the rigid controls and restrictions on commerce between the mother country and the colonies and among the colonies. The last convoys sailed in 1737; the monopoly port system was abolished shortly thereafter. By the middle of the century, both immigration and the importation of slaves had increased.
7


Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
In 1765 the Caribbean islands received authorization for almost unlimited trade with Spanish ports; permission for the Spanish colonies in the Americas to trade among themselves followed in 1774. Duties on many commodities were gready reduced or were removed altogether. By 1790 traders from any port in Spain could buy and sell anywhere in Spanish America, and by 1800 Spain had opened colonial trade to all neutral vessels.
As a result of the stimulus provided by the trade reforms, the population of the colony of Santo Domingo increased from about 6,000 in 1737 to approximately 125,000 in 1790. Of this number, about 40,000 were white landowners, about 25,000 were black or mulatto freedmen, and some 60,000 were slaves. The composition of Santo Domingo's population contrasted sharply with that of the neighboring French colony of Saint-Domingue, where some 30,000 whites and 27,000 freedmen extracted labor from at least 500,000 black slaves. To the Spanish colonists, Saint-Domingue represented a powder keg, the eventual explosion of which would echo throughout the island.
Haiti and Santo Domingo
Although they shared the island of Hispaniola, the colonies of Saint-Domingue and Santo Domingo followed disparate paths. Cultural differences explained the contrast to some extent, but the primary divergence was economic. Saint-Domingue was the most productive agricultural colony in the Western Hemisphere, and its output contributed heavily to the economy of France. By contrast, Santo Domingo was a small colony with little impact on the economy of Spain. Prosperous French plantation owners sought to maximize their gain through increased production for a growing world market. Thus, they imported great numbers of slaves from Africa and drove this captive work force ruthlessly.
Although by the end of the eighteenth century economic conditions were improving, landowners in Santo Domingo did not enjoy the same level of wealth attained by their French counterparts in Saint-Domingue. The absence of market-driven pressure to increase production enabled the domestic labor force to practice subsistence agriculture and to export at low levels. For this reason, Santo Domingo imported far fewer slaves than did Saint-Domingue. Spanish law also allowed a slave to purchase his freedom and that of his family for a relatively small sum. This contributed to the higher proportion of freedmen in the Spanish colony; by the turn of the century, freedmen actually constituted the majority of the population. Also in contrast to conditions in the French colony,
8


Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
this population profile contributed to a somewhat more egalitarian society, plagued much less by the schisms of race.
Stimulated to some degree by a revolution against the monarchy that was well underway in France, the inevitable explosion took place in Saint-Domingue in August 1791 (see The Slave Rebellion of 1791, ch. 6). The initial reaction of many Spanish colonists to news of the slaughter of Frenchmen by armies of rebellious black slaves was to flee Hispaniola entirely. Spain, however, saw in the unrest an opportunity to seize all, or part, of the western third of the island through an alliance of convenience with the British. These intentions, however, did not survive encounters in the field with forces led by the former slave, Francois-Dominique Toussaint Lou-verture (see Toussaint Louverture, ch. 6). In recognition of his leadership against the Spanish (under whose banner he had begun his military career), the British, and rebellious royalists and mulat-toes, Toussaint was named governor general of Saint-Domingue by the French Republic in 1796. By the next year, Spain had surrendered the entire island to his rule. This action reflected not only Spain's growing disengagement from its colony, but also its setbacks in Europe and its relative decline as a world power.
Although France nominally enjoyed sovereignty over the entire island of Hispaniola, it was prevented from establishing an effective presence or administration in the east by continuing conflict between the indigenous forces led by Toussaintand later by Jean-Jacques Dessalinesand an expeditionary force dispatched to Hispaniola by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 in an effort to bring the island more firmly under French control. Upon defeating the French, Dessalines and his followers established the independent nation of Haiti in January 1804. A small French presence, however, remained in the former Spanish colony. Dessalines attempted to take the city of Santo Domingo in March 1805, but he turned back after receiving reports of the approach of a French naval squadron.
By 1808 a number of emigre Spanish landowners had returned to Santo Domingo. These royalists had no intention of living under French rule, however, and they sought foreign assistance for a rebellion that would restore Spanish sovereignty. Help came from the Haitians, who provided arms, and from the British, who occupied Samana and blockaded the port of Santo Domingo. The remaining French representatives fled the island in July 1809.
The 1809 restoration of Spanish rule ushered in an era referred to by some historians as Espana Boba (Foolish Spain). Under the despotic rule of Ferdinand VII, the colony's economy deteriorated severely. Some Dominicans began to wonder if their interests would not best be served by the sort of independence movement
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
that was sweeping the South American colonies. In keeping with this sentiment, Spanish lieutenant governor Jose Nunez de Caceres announced the colony's independence as the state of Spanish Haiti on November 30, 1821. Caceres requested admission to the Republic of Gran Colombia (consisting of what later became Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela), recendy proclaimed established by Simon Bolivar and his followers. While the request was in transit, however, the president of Haiti, Jean-Pierre Boyer, decided to invade Santo Domingo and to reunite the island under the Haitian flag.
The twenty-two years of Haitian occupation witnessed a steady economic decline and a growing resentment of Haiti among Dominicans. The agricultural pattern in the former Spanish colony came to resemble the one prevailing in all of Haiti at the time that is, mainly subsistence cultivation with little or no production of export crops. Boyer attempted to enforce in the new territory the Rural Code (Code Rural) he had decreed in an effort to improve productivity among the Haitian yeomanry, but the Dominicans proved no more willing to adhere to its provisions than the Haitians had been (see Boyer: Expansion and Decline, ch. 6). Increasing numbers of Dominican landowners chose to flee the island rather than to live under Haitian rule; in many cases, Haitian administrators encouraged such emigration, confiscated the holdings of the emigres, and redistributed them to Haitian officials. Aside from such bureaucratic machinations, most of the Dominicans' resentment of Haitian rule developed because Boyer, the ruler of an impoverished country, did not (or could not) provision his army. The occupying Haitian forces lived off the land in Santo Domingo, commandeering or confiscating what they needed to perform their duties or to fill their stomachs. Dominicans saw this as tribute demanded by petty conquerors, or as simple theft. Racial animosities also affected attitudes on both sides; black Haitian troops reacted with reflexive resentment against lighter-skinned Dominicans, while Dominicans came to associate the Haitians' dark skin with the oppression and the abuses of occupation.
Religious and cultural life also suffered under the Haitian occupation. The Haitians, who associated the Roman Catholic Church with the French colonists who had so cruelly exploited and abused them before independence, confiscated all church property in the east, deported all foreign clergy, and severed the ties of the remaining clergy to the Vatican. For Dominicans, who were much more strongly Roman Catholic and less oriented toward folk religion than the Haitians, such actions seemed insulting and nihilistic. In addition, upper-class Haitians considered French culture superior to
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
Spanish culture, while Haitian soldiers and others from the lower class simply disregarded Hispanic mores and customs.
The emigration of upper-class Dominicans served to forestall rebellion and to prolong the period of Haitian occupation because most Dominicans reflexively looked to the upper class for leadership. Scattered unrest and isolated confrontations between Haitians and Dominicans undoubtedly occurred; it was not until 1838, however, that any significant organized movement against Haitian domination began. Crucial to these stirrings was a twenty-year-old Dominican, of a prominent Santo Domingo family, who had returned home five years earlier after seven years of study in Europe. The young student's name was Juan Pablo Duarte.
Dominican history can in many ways be encompassed by a series of biographies. The personality and attributes of Duarte, however, ran counter to those of most of the country's caudillos. Duarte was an idealist, an ascetic, a genuine nationalist, a man of principle, and a romantic in a romantic age. Although he played no significant part in its rule, he is considered the father of his country. He certainly provided the inspiration and impetus for the achievement of independence from Haiti. Shocked, when he returned from Europe, by the deteriorated condition of Santo Domingo, the young student resolved to establish a resistance movement that would eventually throw off the Haitian yoke. He dubbed his movement La Trinitaria (The Trinity) because its original nine members had organized themselves into cells of three; the cells went on to recruit as separate organizations, maintaining strict secrecy, with little or no direct contact among themselves in order to minimize the possibility of detection or betrayal to the Haitian authorities. Young recruits flocked to Duarte's banner (almost literally, for it was Duarte who designed the modern Dominican flag) as a result of the pent-up resentment under Haitian rule. Despite its elaborate codes and clandestine procedures, La Trinitaria was eventually betrayed to the Haitians. It survived largely intact, however, emerging under the new designation, La Filantropica, to continue its work of anti-Haitian agitation.
Despite their numbers and their base of popular support, the Trinitarios (as the rebels still referred to themselves) required a political disruption in Haiti proper to boost their movement toward its ultimate success. The overthrow of Boyer in the Revolution of 1843 provided a catalyst for the Dominican rebels. Charles Riviere-Herard replaced Boyer as president of Haiti. Like most Haitian leaders, he required a transition period in which to deal with competitors and to solidify his rule. Riviere-Herard apparently identified one disaffected Haitian faction in the administration of the
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
eastern territory; his crackdown on this group extended to the Trinitarios as well, because apparently there had been some fruitless contacts between the Dominicans and some liberal Haitians. The increased pressure induced Duarte to leave the country temporarily in search of support in other Latin American states, mainly Colombia and Venezuela. In December 1843, a group of Duarte's followers urged him to return to Santo Domingo. They feared that their plans for an insurrection might be betrayed to the Haitians and had therefore resolved to carry them through quickly. Duarte sailed as far north from Caracas as the island of Curacao, where he fell victim to a violent illness. When he had not arrived home by February 1844, the rebels, under the leadership of Francisco del Rosario Sanchez and Ramon Mella, agreed to launch their uprising without him.
On February 27, 1844thereafter celebrated as Dominican Independence Daythe rebels seized the Ozama fortress in the capital. The Haitian garrison, taken by surprise and apparendy betrayed by at least one of its sentries, retired in disarray. Within two days, all Haitian officials had left Santo Domingo. Mella headed the provisional governing junta of the new Dominican Republic. Duarte, finally recovered, returned to his country on March 14. The following day, he entered the capital amidst great adulation and celebration. As is so often the case in such circumstances, the optimism generated by revolutionary triumph would eventually give way to the disillusion caused by the struggle for power.
Santana and Baez: The Caudillos Take Charge
Two leaders dominated the period between 1844 and 1864: General Pedro Santana Familias and Buenaventura Baez Mendez. Dissimilar in appearance and temperament, the two alternated in power by means of force, factionalism, and repeated efforts to secure their country's protection or annexation by a foreign power. Their unprincipled, self-serving dominance did much to entrench the tradition of caudillo rule in the Dominican Republic.
The Infant Republic
Santana's power base lay in the military forces mustered to defend the infant republic against Haitian retaliation. Duarte, briefly a member of the governing junta, for a time commanded an armed force as well. He was temperamentally unsuited to generalship, however, and the junta eventually replaced him with General Jose Maria Imbert. Duarte assumed the post of governor of the Cibao, the northern farming region administered from the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, commonly known as Santiago (see fig. 1).
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
In July 1844, Mella and a throng of other Duarte supporters in Santiago urged him to take the title of president of the republic. Duarte agreed to do so, but only if free elections could be arranged. Santana, who felt that only the protection of a great power could assure Dominican safety against the Haitian threat, did not share Duarte's enthusiasm for the electoral process. His forces took Santo Domingo on July 12, 1844, and they proclaimed Santana ruler of the Dominican Republic. Mella, who attempted to mediate a compromise government including both Duarte and Santana, found himself imprisoned by the new dictator. Duarte and Sanchez followed Mella into prison and subsequently into exile.
Although in 1844 a constituent assembly drafted a constitution, based on the Haitian and the United States models, which established separation of powers and legislative checks on the executive, Santana proceeded to emasculate the document that same year by demanding the inclusion of Article 210, which granted him un-trammeled power "during the current war" against Haiti.
As it turned out, the Dominicans repelled the Haitian forces, on both land and sea, by December 1845. Santana's dictatorial powers, however, continued throughout his first term (1844-48). He consolidated his power by executing anti-Santana conspirators, by rewarding his close associates with lucrative positions in government, and by printing paper money to cover the expenses of a large standing army, a policy that severely devalued the new nation's currency. Throughout his term, Santana also continued to explore the possibility of an association with a foreign power. The governments of the United States, France, and Spain all declined the offer.
Santana responded to general discontent, prompted mainly by the deteriorating currency and economy, by resigning from the presidency in February 1848 and retiring to his ranch in the province of El Seibo. The Council of Secretaries of State, made up of former cabinet members, selected minister of war Manuel Jimenez to replace Santana in August 1848. Jimenez displayed little enthusiasm and no aptitude as a ruler. His tenure, which would probably have been brief in any case, ended in May 1849. The violent sequence of events that culminated in Jimenez's departure began with a new invasion from Haiti, this time led by self-styled emperor Faustin Soulouque (see Decades of Instability, 1843-1915, ch. 6). Santana returned to prominence at the head of the army that checked the Haitian advance at Las Carreras in April 1849. As the Haitians retired, Santana pressed his advantage against Jimenez. After some brief skirmishes between his forces and those loyal to the president, Santana took control of Santo Domingo and the government on May 30, 1849.
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
Although Santana once again held the reins of power, he declined to formalize the situation by standing for office. Instead, he renounced the temporary mandate granted him by the legislature and called for an electioncarried out under an electoral college system with limited suffrageto select a new president. Santana favored Santiago Espaillat, who won a ballot in the Congress on July 5, 1849; Espaillat declined to accept the presidency, however, knowing that he would have to serve as a puppet so long as Santana controlled the army. This cleared the way for Baez, president of the legislature, to win a second ballot, which was held on August 18, 1849.
Baez made even more vigorous overtures to foreign powers to establish a Dominican protectorate. Both France (Baez's personal preference) and the United States, although still unwilling to annex the entire country, expressed interest in acquiring the bay and peninsula of Samana as a naval or commercial port. Consequently, in order to preserve its lucrative trade with the island nation and to deny a strategic asset to its rivals, Britain became more actively involved in Dominican affairs. In 1850 the British signed a commercial and maritime treaty with the Dominicans. The following year, Britain mediated a peace treaty between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Baez's first term established the personal rivalry with Santana that dominated Dominican politics until the latter's death in 1864. President Baez purged Santana's followers (santanistas) from the government and installed his own sycophants (baecistas) in their place, pardoned a number of Santana's political opponents, reorganized the military in an effort to dilute Santana's power base, and apparently conceived a plan to create a militia that would serve as a counterforce to the army.
Seeing his influence clearly threatened, Santana returned to the political arena in February 1853, when he was elected to succeed Baez. The general moved quickly to deal with Baez, who had once been a colonel under his command. In a public address on July 3, 1853, Santana denounced Baez as a collaborator under the Haitian occupation (which was true) and a paid agent of influence for the Haitians after independence (which may have been true, although not to the extent that Santana declared). Publicly characterizing Baez's presence in the nation a threat to security, Santana exercised his authority under Article 210 of the constitution and expelled the former president from the Dominican Republic.
Although he enjoyed considerable popularity, Santana confronted several crises during his second term. In February 1854, a constituent assembly promulgated a new, liberal constitution that eliminated
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
the dictatorial powers granted by Article 210. With his control over the army restored, however, Santana readily forced the adoption of a new constitution restoring most of the excised prerogatives of the executive. On the international front, renewed annexation talks between the Dominican and the United States governments aroused the concern of Haitian emperor Soulouque. Motivated, at least in part, by a desire to prevent the acquisition of any portion of Hispaniola by the slaveholding United States, Soulouque launched a new invasion in November 1855. However, Dominican forces decisively defeated the Haitians in a number of engagements and forced them back across the border by January 1856.
The final crisis of Santana's second term also originated in the foreign policy sphere. Shortly after the Haitian campaign, the Dominican and the United States governments signed a commercial treaty that provided for the lease of a small tract in Samana for use as a coaling station. Although Santana delayed implementation of the lease, its negotiation provided his opponentsincluding baecistas and the government of Spainwith an opportunity to decry Yankee imperialism and to demand the president's ouster. Pressure built to such an extent that Santana felt compelled to resign on May 26, 1856, in favor of his vice president, Manuel de la Regla Mota.
Regla Mota's rule lasted almost five months. An empty treasury forced the new president to discharge most of the army. Thus deprived of the Dominican rulers' traditional source of power, his government all but invited the return of Baez. With the support of the Spanish, Baez was named vice president by Regla Mota, who then resigned in Baez's favor. Not a forgiving man by nature, Baez lost little time before denouncing ex-president Santana and expelling him from the country. Once again, Baez purged san-tanistas from the government and replaced them with his own men.
Baez had little time in which to savor his triumph over his rival, however. Reverting to the policies of his first term, the government flooded the country with what rapidly became all but worthless paper money. Farmers in the Cibao, who objected strongly to the purchase of their crops with this devalued currency, rose against Baez in what came to be known as the Revolution of 1857. Their standard-bearer, not surprisingly, was Santana.
Pardoned by a provisional government established at Santiago de los Caballeros, Santana returned in August 1857 to join the revolution. He raised his own personal army and soon dominated the movement. A year of bloody conflict between the governments of Santiago and Santo Domingo took a heavy toll in lives and money. Under the terms of a June 1857 armistice, Baez once again fled
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
to Curacao with all the government funds that he could carry. Santana proceeded to betray the aspirations of some of his liberal revolutionary followers by restoring the dictatorial constitution of 1854. Santanismo again replaced baecismo; only a small group of loyalists realized any benefit from the exchange, however. Politically, the country continued to walk a treadmill. Economically, conditions had become almost unbearable for many Dominicans. The general climate of despair ensured the inevitable success of Santana's renewed efforts to secure a protector for his country.
Annexation by Spain, 1861-65
On March 17, 1861, Santana announced the annexation of the Dominican Republic by Spain. A number of conditions had combined to bring about this reversion to colonialism. The Civil War in the United States had lessened the Spanish fear of retaliation from the north. In Spain itself, the ruling Liberal Union of General Leopoldo O'Donnell had been advocating renewed imperial expansion. And in the Dominican Republic, both the ruler and a portion of the ruled were sufficiently concerned about the possibility either of a renewed attack from Haiti or of domestic economic collapse to find the prospect of annexation attractive.
Support for annexation did not run as deep as Santana and his clique had represented to the Spanish, however. The first rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in May 1861, but it was quashed in short order. A better organized revolt, under the leadership of the baecista, General Sanchez, sprang up only a month later. Santana, now bearing the title of captain general of the Province of Santo Domingo, was forced to take to the field against his own countrymen as the representative of a foreign power. The wily Santana lured Sanchez into an ambush, where he was captured and executed. Despite this service, Santana found his personal power and his ability to dole out patronage to his followers greatly restricted under Spanish rule. In a fit of pique, he resigned the captaincy general in January 1862.
Resentment and rebellion continued, fed by racial tension, excessive taxation, the failure to stabilize the currency, the uncompensated requisition of supplies by the Spanish army, heavy-handed reform of local religious customs by an inflexible Spanish archbishop, and the restriction of trade to the benefit of the Spanish empire. The Spaniards quelled more uprisings in 1863, but guerrilla actions continued. In response to the continuing unrest, a state of siege was declared in February 1863.
Rebellious Dominicans set up a provisional government in Santiago, headed by General Jose Antonio Salcedo Ramirez, on
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
September 14, 1863. Their proclamation of an Act of Independence launched what is known as the War of Restoration. For their part, the Spanish once again turned to Santana, who received command of a force made up largely of mercenaries; however, this campaign was the last for the old caudillo. By this time, his popularity had all but disappeared. Indeed, the provisional government had denounced Santana and had condemned him to death for his actions against his countrymen. On June 14, 1864, a broken and despondent Santana saved the rebels the trouble of carrying out their sentence. The timing of his death lent credence to speculation that he had committed suicide, although this belief was never proven.
Meanwhile, the guerrilla war against the Spanish ground on. The rebels further formalized their provisional rule by replacing Salcedo (who had advocated the return of Baez to rule a restored republic) and by then holding a national convention on February 27, 1865, which enacted a new constitution and elected Pedro Antonio Pimentel Chamorro president.
Circumstances began to favor a Spanish withdrawal. The conclusion of its Civil War promised that the United States would make new efforts to enforce the Monroe Doctrine, which barred European powers from the Western Hemisphere. Spanish military forces, unable to contain the spread of the insurrection, lost even greater numbers of troops to disease than they did to the guerrillas. The O'Donnell government had fallen, taking with it any dreams of a renewed Spanish empire. On March 3, 1865, the Queen of Spain approved a decree repealing the annexation of Santo Domingo.
The Spanish left political chaos in their wake. A power struggle began between the conservative, cacique-dominated south and the more liberal Cibao, where the prevalence of medium-sized land-holdings contributed to a more egalitarian social structure. The two camps eventually coalesced under the banners of separate political parties. The Cibaenos (residents of the Cibao) adhered to the National Liberal Party (Partido Nacional Liberal), which became known as the Blue Party (Partido Azul). The southerners rallied to the Red Party (Partido Rojo).
The conservative Reds effectively employed their numerical superiority in the capital to force the restoration of Baez, who returned triumphantly from exile and assumed the presidency on December 8, 1865. Never again, however, would he exercise the sort of dictatorial control over the republic that he and Santana had once alternately enjoyed. The country's institutions had changed. Regional forces mustered during the War of Restoration had replaced the national army that previously had done battle with
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
the Haitians. Political power had likewise been diffused, particularly between the opposing poles of the Cibao and the south. Under these conditions, it was difficult, if not impossible, for one man to dominate the entire nation.
The Contest for Power, 1865-82
After a successful uprising that forced Baez to flee the country in May 1866, a triumvirate of Cibaeho military leaders, the most prominent of whom was Gregorio Luperon, assumed provisional power. General Jose Maria Cabral Luna, who had served briefly as president in 1865, was reelected to that post on September 29, 1866. The baecistas, however, were still a potent force in the republic; they forced Cabral out and reinstalled Baez on May 2, 1868. Once again, his rule was marked by peculation and efforts to sell or to lease portions of the country to foreign interests. These included an intermittent campaign to have the entire country annexed by the United States. He was once again overthrown by rebellious Blues in January 1874.
After a period of infighting among the Blues, backing from Lu-per6n helped Ulises Francisco Espaillat Quinones to win election as president on March 24, 1876. Espaillat, a political and economic liberal, apparently intended to broaden personal freedoms and to set the nation's economy on a firmer footing. He never had the opportunity to do either, however. Rebellions in the south and the east forced Espaillat to resign on December 20, 1876. Ever the opportunist, Baez returned once more to power. The most effective opposition to his rule came from guerrilla forces led by a politically active priest, Fernando Arturo de Merino Ramirez. In February 1878, the unpopular Baez left his country for the last time; he died in exile in 1882.
Both Santana and Baez had now passed from the scene. They had helped to create a nation where violence prevailed in the quest for power, where economic growth and financial stability fell victim to a seemingly endless political contest, and where foreign interests still perceived parts of the national territory as available to the highest bidder. This divisive, chaotic situation invited the emergence of a Machiavellian figure who would "unite" the republic.
Ulises Heureaux, 1882-99
Ulises Heureaux, Luperon's lieutenant, stood out among his fellow Dominicans both physically and temperamentally. The illegitimate son of a Haitian father and a mother who was originally from the island of St. Thomas, he was distinguished by his blackness
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
from most other contenders for power, with the exception of Luperon. As events were to demonstrate, he also possessed a singular thirst for power and a willingness to take any measures necessary to attain and to hold it.
During the four years between Baez's final withdrawal and Heureaux's ascension to the presidency, seven individuals held or claimed national, regional, or interim leadership. Among them were Ignacio Maria Gonzalez Santin, who held the presidency from June to September 1878; Luperon, who governed from Puerto Plata as provisional president from October 1879 to August 1880; and Merino, who assumed office in September 1880 after apparentiy fraudulent general elections. Heureaux served as interior minister under Merino; his behind-the-scenes influence on the rest of the cabinet apparentiy exceeded that of the president. Although Merino briefly suspended constitutional procedures in response to unrest fomented by some remaining baecistas, he abided by the two-year term established under Luperon and turned the reins of government over to Heureaux on September 1, 1882.
Heureaux's first term as president was not particularly noteworthy. The administrations of Luperon and Merino had achieved some financial stability for the country; political conditions had settled down to the point that Heureaux needed to suppress only one major uprising during his two-year tenure. By 1884, however, no single potential successor, among the various caciques who constituted the republic's ruling group, enjoyed widespread support. Luperon, still the leader of the ruling Blue Party, supported General Segundo Im-bert for the post, while Heureaux backed the candidacy of General Francisco Gregorio Billini. A consummate dissembler, Heureaux assured Luperon that he would support Imbert should he win the election, but Heureaux also had ballot boxes in critical precincts stuffed in order to assure Billini's election.
Inaugurated president on September 1, 1884, Billini resisted Heureaux's efforts to manipulate him. Thus denied de facto rule, Heureaux undermined Billini by spreading rumors to the effect that the president had decreed a political amnesty so that he could conspire with ex-president Cesareo Guillermo Bastardo (February 27-December 6, 1879) against Luperon's leadership of the Blues. This precipitated a governmental crisis that resulted in Billini's resignation on May 16, 1885. Vice President Alejandro Woss y Gil succeeded Billini. Heureaux assumed a more prominent role under the new government; a number of his adherents were included in the cabinet, and the general himself assumed command of the national army in order to stem a rebellion led by Guillermo, whose suicide when he was faced with capture removed another potential
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
rival for power and further endeared Heureaux to Luperon, a longtime enemy of Guillermo.
Luperon accordingly supported Heureaux in the 1886 presidential elections. Opposed by Casimiro de Moya, Heureaux relied on his considerable popularity and his demonstrated skill at electoral manipulation to carry the balloting. The blatancy of the fraud in some areas, particularly the capital, inspired Moya's followers to launch an armed rebellion. Heureaux again benefited from Lupe-ron's support in this struggle; it delayed his inauguration by four months, but it further narrowed the field of political contenders. Having again achieved power, Heureaux maintained his grip on it for the rest of his life.
Several moves served to lay the groundwork for Heureaux's dictatorship. Constitutional amendments requested by the president and effected by the Congress extended the presidential term from two to four years and eliminated direct elections in favor of the formerly employed electoral college system. To expand his informal power base, Heureaux (who became popularly known as General Lilis, thanks to a common mispronunciation of his first name) incorporated both Reds and Blues into his government. The president also established an extensive network of secret police and informants in order to avert incipient rebellions. The press, previously unhampered, came under new restrictions.
In the face of impending dictatorship, concerned Dominican liberals turned to the only remaining figure of stature, Luperon. The elections of 1888 therefore pitted Heureaux against his political mentor. If the dictator felt any respect for his former commander, he did not demonstrate it during the campaign. Heureaux's agents attacked Luperon's campaigners and supporters, arresting and incarcerating considerable numbers of them. Recognizing the impossibility of a free election under such circumstances, Luperon withdrew his candidacy, declined the entreaties of those of his followers who urged armed rebellion, and fled into exile in Puerto Rico.
Although plots, intrigue, and abortive insurrections continued under his rule, Heureaux faced no serious challenges until his assassination in 1899. He continued to govern in mock-constitutional fashion, achieving reelection through institutionalized fraud. Despite his relatively secure position, his repression of dissent became more severe, and the number of political prisoners expanded along with the dictator's paranoia. Like Santana and Baez before him, Heureaux sought the protection of a foreign power, principally the United States. Although annexation was no longer an option, the dictator did offer to lease the Samana Peninsula to the United States.
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
The deal was never consummated, however, because of opposition from the liberal wing of the Blue Party and a number of concerned European powers. In 1891 Washington and Santo Domingo did conclude a reciprocity treaty that allowed twenty-six United States products free entry into the Dominican market in exchange for similar duty-free access for certain Dominican goods. The governments of Germany, Britain, and France all filed official protests over the treaty, which they saw as detrimental to their most-favored-nation trading status.
Under Heureaux, the Dominican government considerably expanded its external debt. Although some improvements to infrastructure resulted, much of the money went to support the dictator's personal extravagances and the financial requirements of his police state. The failure to apply the funds productively exacerbated both domestic budget deficits and shortfalls in the external balance of payments. In an effort to head off complete bankruptcy, the government turned to the familiar expedient of printing paper money. The huge issuance of 1897, however, debased the currency to such an extent that even Dominicans refused to accept it.
Despite the dictator's comprehensive efforts to suppress oppositionhis network of spies and agents extended even to foreign countriesa revolutionary organization eventually emerged. Established in Puerto Rico by Horacio Vasquez Lajara, a young adherent of Luperon, the group called itself the Young Revolutionary Junta (Junta Revolucionaria de Jovenes). Other prominent members of the group included Federico Velasquez and Ramon Caceres Vasquez. The three returned to their plantations in the Cibao and began to lay the groundwork for a coordinated rebellion against the widely detested Heureaux. The impetuous Caceres, however, opted for a revolution at a single stroke when the dictator passed through the town of Moca on July 26, 1899. He shot Heureaux several times and left the longtime ruler fatally wounded amid a startled crowd. Caceres escaped unharmed.
Renewed Conflict, 1899-1916
After a brief period of armed conflict, the revolutionaries prevailed. Vasquez headed a provisional government established in September 1899. Free, direct elections brought to the presidency Juan Isidro Jimenez Pereyra on November 15. The Jimenez administration faced a fiscal crisis when European creditors, led by the French, began to call in loans that had been contracted by Heureaux. Customs fees represented the only significant source of government revenue at that time. When the Jimenez government pledged 40 percent of its customs revenue to repay its foreign
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
debt, it provoked the ire of the San Domingo Improvement Company. A United States-based firm, the Improvement Company had lent large sums to the Heureaux regime. As a result, it had not only received a considerable percentage of customs revenue, but also had been granted the right to administer Dominican customs in order to ensure regular repayment. Stung by the Jimenez government's resumption of control over its customs receipts, the directors of the Improvement Company protested to the United States Department of State. The review of the case prompted a renewed interest in Washington in Dominican affairs.
The death of Heureaux, however, had by no means ushered in an era of political tranquility. Jimenez's various financial negotiations with foreign powers had aroused opposition among nationalists, particularly in the Cibao, who suspected the president of bargaining away Dominican sovereignty in return for financial settlements. Government forces led by Vasquez put down some early uprisings. Eventually, however, personal and political competition between Jimenez and Vasquez brought them into more serious conflict. Vasquez's forces proclaimed a revolution on April 26, 1902; with no real base of support, Jimenez fled his office and his country a few days later. Although highly principled, Vasquez was not a strong leader. Squabbles among his followers and opposition to his government from local caciques grew into general unrest that culminated in the seizure of power by ex-president Woss y Gil in April 1903.
Dominican politics had once again polarized into two largely nonideological camps. Where once the Blues and the Reds had contended for power, now thejimenistas (supporters of Jimenez; sing., jimenista) and the horacistas (supporters of Vasquez and Caceres; sing., horacista) vied for control. Woss y Gil, a jimenista, made the mistake of seeking supporters among the horacista camp and he was overthrown by the jimenista general, Carlos F. Morales Languas-co, in December 1903. Rather than restore the country's leadership to Jimenez, however, Morales set up a provisional government and announced his own candidacy for the presidencywith Caceres as his running mate. The renewed fraternization with the horacistas incited another jimenista rebellion. This uprising proved unsuccessful, and Morales and Caceres were inaugurated on June 19, 1904.
Conflict within the Morales administration between supporters of the president and those of the vice president debilitated the government. By late 1905, it became clear that Morales had lost effective control to Caceres and the cabinet. Morales resolved to lead a coup against his own government; his plan was discovered
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
by the horacistas, however, and he was captured and dispatched into exile. Caceres assumed the presidency on December 29, 1905.
The influence of the United States had increased considerably during the first few years of the twentieth century. United States military forces had intervened in a minor way to ensure the safety of United States citizens and to prevent the deployment of warships by European governments seeking immediate repayment of debt. By 1904 Washington had begun to take a greater interest in the stability of Caribbean nations, particularly thoselike the Dominican Republicsituated along the approaches to the forthcoming Panama Canal. The administration of Theodore Roosevelt took a particular interest in resolving the republic's economic situation. It negotiated an agreement in June 1904 whereby the Dominican government bought out the holdings of the San Domingo Improvement Company. The Morales government also agreed to accept the appointment by the United States government of a financial agent to oversee the repayment of the outstanding debt to the Improvement Company from customs duties. This agreement was subsequently superseded by a financial accord signed between the two governments on February 7, 1905; under the provisions of this accord, the United States government assumed responsibility for all Dominican debt as well as for the collection of customs duties and the allocation of those revenues to the Dominican government and to the repayment of its domestic and foreign debt. Although parts of this agreement were rejected by the United States Senate, it formed the basis for the establishment in April 1905 of the General Customs Receivership, the office through which the United States government administered the finances of the Dominican Republic.
The Caceres government became the financial beneficiary of this arrangement. Freed from the burden of dealing with creditors, Caceres attempted to reform the political system. Constitutional reforms placed local ayuntamientos (town councils) under the power of the central government, extended the presidential term to six years, and eliminated the office of vice president. Caceres also nationalized public utilities and established a bureau of public works to administer them. All of these actions engendered both opposition and support. The curtailment of local authority particularly irked those caciques who preferred to rule through compliant ayuntamientos. The continued financial sovereignty of the Yankees also outweighed the economic benefits of the receivership in the minds of many nationalistic Dominicans. Intrigues fomented in exile by Morales, Jimenez, and others beset Caceres. On November 19,
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
1911, a small group headed by Luis Tejera assassinated Caceres as he took his evening drive through the streets of Santo Domingo.
Occupation by the United States, 1916-24
The assassination of Caceres turned out to be but the first act of a frenzied drama that culminated in the republic's occupation by the United States. The fiscal stability that had resulted from the 1905 receivership eroded under Caceres's successor, Eladio Victoria y Victoria; most of the increased outiays went to support military campaigns against rebellious partisans, mainly in the Cibao. The continued violence and instability prompted the administration of President William H. Taft to dispatch a commission to Santo Domingo on September 24, 1912, to mediate among the warring factions. The presence of a 750-member force of United States marines apparently convinced the Dominicans of the seriousness of Washington's threats to intervene directly in the conflict; Victoria agreed to step down in favor of a neutral figure, Roman Catholic archbishop Adolfo Alejandro Nouel Bobadilla. The archbishop assumed office as provisional president on November 30.
Nouel proved unequal to the burden of national leadership. Unable to mediate successfully between the ambitions of rival horacistas and jimenistas, he stepped down on March 31, 1913. His successor, Jose Bordas Valdez, was equally unable to restrain the renewed outbreak of hostilities. Once again, Washington took a direct hand and mediated a resolution. The rebellious horacistas agreed to a ceasefire based on a pledge of United States oversight of elections for members of local ayuntamientos and a constituent assembly that would draft the procedures for presidential balloting. The process, however, was flagrantly manipulated and resulted in Bordas's reelection on June 15, 1914. Both horacistas and jimenistas took offense at this blatant maneuver and rose up against Bordas.
The United States government, this time under President Wood-row Wilson, again intervened. Where Taft had cajoled the combatants with a clear intimation of military action, Wilson delivered an ultimatum: elect a president or the United States will impose one. The Dominicans accordingly selected Ramon Baez Machado as provisional president on August 27, 1914. Comparatively fair presidential elections held on October 25 returned Jimenez to the presidency. Despite his victory, however, Jimenez felt impelled to appoint leaders and prominent members of the various political factions to positions in his government in an effort to broaden its support. The internecine conflicts that resulted had quite the opposite effect, weakening the government and the president and emboldening Secretary of War Desiderio Arias to take
24


Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina Courtesy Library of Congress
Offices of the General Customs Receivership, Santo Doming'i. I'ltC Courtesy National Archives


Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
control of both the armed forces and the Congress, which he compelled to impeach Jimenez for violation of the constitution and the laws. Although the United States ambassador offered military support to his government, Jimenez opted to step down on May 7, 1916.
Arias never formally assumed the presidency. The United States government had apparently tired of its recurring role as mediator and had decided to take more direct action. United States forces had already occupied Haiti by this time (see The United States Occupation, 1915-34, ch. 6). The initial military administrator of Haiti, Rear Admiral William Caperton, had actually forced Arias to retreat from Santo Domingo by threatening the city with naval bombardment on May 13. The first marines landed three days later. Although they established effective control of the country within two months, the United States forces did not proclaim a military government until November. Most Dominican laws and institutions remained intact under military rule, although the shortage of Dominicans willing to serve in the cabinet forced the military governor, Rear Admiral Harry S. Knapp, to fill a number of portfolios with United States naval officers. The press and radio were censored for most of the occupation, and public speech was limited.
The surface effects of the occupation were largely positive. The marines restored order throughout most of the republic (with the exception of the eastern region); the country's budget was balanced, its debt was diminished, and economic growth resumed; infrastructure projects produced new roads that linked all the country's regions for the first time in its history; a professional military organization, the Dominican Constabulary Guard, replaced the partisan forces that had waged a seemingly endless struggle for power (see History and Development of the Armed Forces, ch. 5). Most Dominicans, however, greatiy resented the loss of their sovereignty to foreigners, few of whom spoke Spanish or displayed much real concern for the welfare of the republic.
The most intense opposition to the occupation arose in the eastern provinces of El Seibo and San Pedro de Macoris. From 1917 to 1921, the United States forces battled a guerrilla movement in that area known as the gavilleros. The guerrillas enjoyed considerable support among the population, and they benefited from a superior knowledge of the terrain. The movement survived the capture and the execution of its leader, Vicente Evangelista, and some initially fierce encounters with the marines. However, the gavilleros eventually yielded to the occupying forces' superior firepower, air power (a squadron of six Curtis Jennies), and determined (often brutal) counterinsurgent methods.
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
After World War I, public opinion in the United States began to run against the occupation. Warren G. Harding, who succeeded Wilson in March 1921, had campaigned against the occupations of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In June 1921, United States representatives presented a withdrawal proposal, known as the Harding Plan, which called for Dominican ratification of all acts of the military government, approval of a loan of US$2.5 million for public works and other expenses, the acceptance of United States officers for the constabularynow known as the National Guard (Guardia Nacional)and the holding of elections under United States supervision. Popular reaction to the plan was overwhelmingly negative. Moderate Dominican leaders, however, used the plan as the basis for further negotiations that resulted in an agreement allowing for the selection of a provisional president to rule until elections could be organized. Under the supervision of High Commissioner Sumner Welles, Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos assumed the provisional presidency on October 21, 1922. In the presidential election of March 15, 1924, Horacio Vasquez Lajara handily defeated Francisco J. Peynado. Vasquez's Alliance Party (Partido Alianza) also won a comfortable majority in both houses of Congress. With his inauguration on July 13, control of the republic returned to Dominican hands.
The Era of Trujillo
The Vasquez administration shines in Dominican history like a star amid a gathering storm. After the country's eight years of subjugation, Vasquez took care to respect the political and civil rights of the population. An upswing in the price of export commodities, combined with increased government borrowing, buoyed the economy. Public works projects proliferated. Santo Domingo expanded and modernized. This brief period of progress, however, ended in the resurgent maelstrom of Dominican political instability. The man who would come to occupy the eye of this political cyclone was Rafael Trujillo.
Although a principled man by Dominican standards, Vasquez was also a product of long years of political infighting. In an effort to undercut his primary rival, Federico Velasquez, and to preserve power for his own followers, the president agreed in 1927 to a prolongation of his term from four to six years. There was some debatable legal basis for the move, which was approved by the Congress, but its enactment effectively invalidated the constitution of 1924 that Vasquez had previously sworn to uphold. Once the president had demonstrated his willingness to disregard constitutional procedures in the pursuit of power, some ambitious opponents
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
decided that those procedures were no longer binding. Dominican politics returned to their pre-occupation status; the struggle among competing caudillos resumed.
Trujillo occupied a strong position in this contest. The commander of the National Army (Ejercito Nacional, the new designation of the armed force created under the occupation), Trujillo came from a humble background. He had enlisted in the National Police in 1918, a time when the upper-class Dominicans, who had formerly filled the officer corps, largely refused to collaborate with the occupying forces. Trujillo harbored no such scruples. He rose quickly in the officer corps, while at the same time he built a network of allies and supporters. Unlike the more idealistic North American sponsors of the constabulary, Trujillo saw the armed force not for what it should have beenan apolitical domestic security forcebut for what it was: the main source of concentrated power in the republic.
Having established his power base behind the scenes, Trujillo was ready by 1930 to assume control of the country. Although elections were scheduled for May, Vasquez's extension in office cast doubt on their potential fairness. (Vasquez had also eliminated from the constitution the prohibition against presidential reelection.) This uncertainty prompted Rafael Estrella Urefia, a political leader from Santiago, to proclaim a revolution in February. Having already struck a deal with Trujillo, Estrella marched on the capital; army forces remained in their barracks as Trujillo declared his "neutrality" in the situation. The ailing Vasquez, a victim of duplicity and betrayal, fled the capital. Estrella assumed the provisional presidency.
Part of the arrangement between Estrella and Trujillo apparently involved the army commander's candidacy for president in the May elections. As events unfolded, it became clear that Trujillo would be the only candidate that the army would permit to participate; army personnel harassed and intimidated electoral officials and eliminated potential opponents. A dazed nation stood by as the new dictator announced his election with 95 percent of the vote. After his inauguration in August, and at his express request, the Congress issued an official proclamation announcing the commencement of "the Era of Trujillo."
The dictator proceeded to rule the country like a feudal lord for thirty-one years. He held the office of president from 1930 to 1938 and from 1942 to 1952. During the interim periods, he exercised absolute power, while leaving the ceremonial affairs of state to puppet presidents such as his brother, Hector Bienvenido Trujillo Molina, who occupied the National Palace from 1952 to 1960, and
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo, an intellectual and scholar who served from 1960 to 1961. Although cast in the mold of old-time caudillos such as Santana and Heureaux, Trujillo surpassed them in efficiency, rapacity, and utter ruthlessness. Like Heureaux, he maintained a highly effective secret police force that monitored (and eliminated, in some instances) opponents both at home and abroad. Like Santana, he relied on the military as his primary support. Armed forces personnel received generous pay and perquisites under his rule, and their ranks and equipment inventories expanded. Trujillo maintained control over the officer corps through fear, patronage, and the frequent rotation of assignments, which inhibited the development of strong personal followings (see History and Development of the Armed Forces, ch. 5). The other leading beneficiaries of the dictatorshipaside from Trujillo himself and his familywere those who associated themselves with the regime both politically and economically. The establishment of state monopolies over all major enterprises in the country brought riches to the Trujillos and their cronies through the manipulation of prices and inventories as well as the outright embezzlement of funds.
Generally speaking, the quality of life improved for the average Dominican under Trujillo. Poverty persisted, but the economy expanded, the foreign debt disappeared, the currency remained stable, and the middle class expanded. Public works projects enhanced the road system and improved port facilities; airports and public buildings were constructed, the public education system grew, and illiteracy declined. These advances might well have been achieved in even greater measure under a responsive democratic government, but to Dominicans, who had no experience with such a government, the results under Trujillo were impressive. Although he never tested his personal popularity in a free election, some observers feel that Trujillo could have won a majority of the popular vote up until the final years of his dictatorship.
Ideologically, Trujillo leaned toward fascism. The trappings of his personality cult (Santo Domingo was renamed Ciudad Trujillo under his rule), the size and architectural mediocrity of his building projects, and the level of repressive control exercised by the state all invited comparison with the style of his contemporaries, Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy. Basically, however, Trujillo was not an ideologue, but a Dominican caudillo expanded to monstrous proportions by his absolute control of the nation's resources. His attitude toward communism tended toward peaceful coexistence until 1947, when the Cold War winds from Washington persuaded him to crack down and to outlaw the Dominican Communist Party (Partido Comunista DominicanoPCD). As
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
always, self-interest and the need to maintain his personal power guided Trujillo's actions.
Although conspiraciesboth real and imaginedagainst his rule preoccupied Trujillo throughout his reign, it was his adventurous foreign policy that drew the ire of other governments and led direcdy to his downfall. Paradoxically, his most heinous action in this arena cost him the least in terms of influence and support. In October 1937, Trujillo ordered the massacre of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic in retaliation for the discovery and execution by the Haitian government of his most valued covert agents in that country. The Dominican army slaughtered as many as 20,000 largely unarmed men, women, and children, mostly in border areas, but also in the western Cibao. News of the atrocity filtered out of the country slowly; when it reached the previously supportive administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States, Secretary of State Cordell Hull demanded internationally mediated negotiations for a setdement and indemnity. Trujillo finally agreed. The negotiations, however, fixed a ludicrously low indemnity of US$750,000, which was later reduced to US$525,000 by agreement between the two governments. Although the affair damaged Trujillo's international image, it did not result in any direct efforts by the United States or by other countries to force him from power.
In later years, the Trujillo regime became increasingly isolated from the governments of other nations. This isolation compounded the dictator's paranoia, prompting him to increase his foreign interventionism. To be sure, Trujillo did have cause to resent the leaders of certain foreign nations, such as Cuba's Fidel Castro Ruz, who aided a small, abortive invasion attempt by dissident Dominicans in 1959. Trujillo, however, expressed greater concern over Venezuela's President Romulo Betancourt (1959-64). An established and outspoken opponent of Trujillo, Betancourt had been associated with some individual Dominicans who had plotted against the dictator. Trujillo developed an obsessive personal hatred of Betancourt and supported numerous plots of Venezuelan exiles to overthrow him. This pattern of intervention led the Venezuelan government to take its case against Trujillo to the Organization of American States (OAS). This development infuriated Trujillo, who ordered his foreign agents to assassinate Betancourt. The attempt, on June 24, 1960, injured, but did not kill, the Venezuelan president. The incident inflamed world opinion against Trujillo. The members of the OAS, expressing this outrage, voted unanimously to sever diplomatic relations and to impose economic sanctions on the Dominican Republic.
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
The firestorm surrounding the Betancourt incident provoked a review of United States policy toward the Dominican Republic by the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The United States had long tolerated Trujillo as a bulwark of stability in the Caribbean; some in Washington still saw him as a desirable counterforce to the Castro regime. Others, however, saw in Trujillo another Fulgencio Batistathe dictator Castro deposed in 1959ripe for overthrow by radical, potentially communist, forces. Public opinion in the United States also began to run strongly against the Dominican dictatorship. In August 1960, the United States embassy in Santo Domingo was downgraded to consular level. According to journalist Bernard Diederich, Eisenhower also asked the National Security Council's Special Group (the organization responsible for approving covert operations) to consider the initiation of operations aimed at Trujillo's ouster. On May 30, 1961, Trujillo was assassinated. According to Diederich, the United States Central Intelligence Agency supplied the weapons used by the assassins.
The Post-Trujillo Era
Transition to Elected Government
At the time of his assassination, Trujillo was seventy years old. He had left no designated successor. It soon became clear that the conspirators had planned his assassination more thoroughly than the subsequent seizure of government, which never took place. Puppet President Balaguer remained in office, allowing the late dictator's son, Rafael Trujillo Lovaton (also called Rafael, Jr., or Ramus), to return from Paris and assume de facto control. Ramfis lacked the dynamism of his father, however, and he eventually fell into a dispute with his two uncles over potential liberalization of the regime. The "wicked uncles"Hector and Jose Arismendi Trujillo Molinareturned to the republic from exile in November 1961. Ramfis, having little enthusiasm for a power struggle, fled the country.
Opposition from Washington, made very plain by the deployment of United States warships off the Dominican coast, blunted the ambitions of the uncles and forced them to resume their exile only days later. Balaguer retained the presidency. As a protege of the fallen dictator, however, he had neither a power base nor a popular following. Popular unrest, punctuated by a general strike, forced Balaguer to share power with a seven-member Council of State, established on January 1, 1962. The council included Balaguer
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
and the two surviving assassins of Trujillo, Antonio Imbert Barrera and Luis Amiama Tio (the others having been slain by Truji-llo's security service). The council lasted only sixteen days, however, before air force general Pedro Rodriguez Echavarria overthrew it in a coup d'etat. Rodriguez's attempt at rule also foundered on the rocks of popular protest and opposition from the United States. Less senior officers seized the general, deported him, and restored the council minus Balaguer, who had also been exiled.
The restored Council of State guided the country until elections could be organized. The leading candidates were Juan Bosch Gaviiio, a scholar and poet, who had organized the opposition Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Domini-canoPRD) in exile, and Viriato Fiallo of the National Civic Union (Union Civica NacionalUCN). In the balloting of December 20, 1962, the conservative image of the UCN and its association with the country's economic elite benefited Bosch, whose support came mainly from the urban lower class. Bosch won the election with 64 percent of the vote; the PRD also captured two-thirds majorities in both houses of the legislature.
The Bosch administration was very much an oddity in Dominican history up to that point: a freely elected, liberal, democratic government that expressed concern for the welfare of all Dominicans, particularly those of modest circumstances, those whose voices had never really been heard before in the National Palace. The 1963 constitution separated church and state, guaranteed civil and individual rights, and endorsed civilian control of the military. These and other changes, such as land reform, struck conservative landholders and military officers as radical and threatening, particularly when juxtaposed against three decades of somnolent authoritarianism under Trujillo. The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church also resented the secular nature of the new constitution, in particular its provision for legalized divorce. The hierarchy, along with the military leadership and the economic elite, also feared communist influence in the republic, and they warned of the potential for "another Cuba." The result of this concern and opposition was a military coup on September 25, 1963.
Civil War and United States Intervention, 1965
The coup effectively negated the 1962 elections by installing a civilian junta, known as the Triumvirate, dominated by the UCN. The initial head of the Triumvirate, Emilio de los Santos, resigned on December 23 and was replaced by Donald Reid Cabral. The Triumvirate never succeeded in establishing its authority over competing conservative factions both inside and outside the military;
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
it also never convinced the majority of the population of its legitimacy. The widespread dissatisfaction with Reid and his government, coupled with lingering loyalties to Bosch, produced a revolution in April 1965.
The vanguard of the 1965 revolution, the perredeistas (members of the PRD) and other supporters of Bosch, called themselves Constitutionalists (a reference to their support for the 1963 constitution). The movement counted some junior military officers among its ranks. A combination of reformist military and aroused civilian combatants took to the streets on April 24, seized the National Palace, and installed Rafael Molina Ureha as provisional president. The revolution took on the dimensions of a civil war when conservative military forces, led by army general Elias Wessin y Wessin, struck back against the Constitutionalists on April 25. These conservative forces called themselves Loyalists. Despite tank assaults and bombing runs by Loyalist forces, however, the Constitutionalists held their positions in the capital; they appeared poised to branch out and to secure control of the entire country.
On April 28, the United States intervened in the civil war. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered in forces that eventually totaled 20,000, to secure Santo Domingo and to restore order. Johnson had acted in the stated belief that the Constitutionalists were dominated by communists and that they therefore could not be allowed to come to power. The intervention was subsequently granted some measure of hemispheric approval by the creation of an OAS-sponsored peace force, which supplemented the United States military presence in the republic. An initial interim government was headed by Trujillo. assassin Imbert; Hector Garcia Godoy assumed a provisional presidency on September 3, 1965. Violent skirmishes between Loyalists and Constitutionalists went on sporadically as, once again, elections were organized.
Joaquin Balaguer, 1966-78
A fractious campaign ensued between the country's two leading political figures: Bosch and Balaguer. Bosch's appeal was tempered by fear; many Dominicans felt that his reelection would rekindle the violence of April 1965. This trepidation aided Balaguer, who also appealed to conservative voting sectors such as peasants, women (considered to be more religious than men), and business-people. Balaguer thus won handily, garnering 57 percent of the vote in balloting held July 1, 1966. His Reformist Party (Partido ReformistaPR) also captured majorities in the Congress.
Balaguer went on to serve as president for twelve years. A relative nonentity under Trujillo, he demonstrated, once in power, the
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
astuteness with which he had studied the techniques of the late dictator. Even though as a conservative he theoretically was more secure against military machinations, he actively sought to head off opposition from the armed forces by rewarding officers loyal to him, purging those he suspected, and rotating everyone's assignments on a regular and frequent basis. He curtailed nonmilitary opposition through selective (compared to the Trujillo years) repression by the National Police. His reelection in 1970 and in 1974 was accomplished largely through intimidation. The PRD, the only viable, broad-based opposition party, boycotted both elections to safeguard the well-being of those who would have been their candidates.
The Dominican economy expanded at a record rate under Balaguer. Favorable international prices for sugar provided the basis for this so-called Dominican miracle. Foreign investment, foreign borrowing, foreign aid, the growth of tourism, and extensive public works programs also contributed to high levels of growth. By the late 1970s, however, the expansion had slowed considerably as sugar prices dipped and oil prices rose. Rising inflation and unemployment diminished Support for the government, particularly among the middle class.
The PRD, feeling the mood of the population and sensing support from the administration of United States president Jimmy Carter, nominated Silvestre Antonio Guzman Fernandez to oppose Balaguer in the elections of May 16, 1978. A relatively heavy 70 percent turnout seemed to favor the PRD; early returns confirmed this as Guzman built a sizable lead. Early in the morning of May 17, however, military units occupied the Central Electoral Board and impounded the ballots. Clearly, Balaguer was attempting to nullify the balloting or to falsify the results in his favor. Only forceful remonstrances by the Carter administration, backed up by a naval deployment, moved Balaguer to allow the resumption of the vote count. Two weeks later, Guzman's victory was officially announced.
Antonio Guzman, 1978-82
Guzman's assumption of office on August 16, 1978, presented many political challenges to both him and the republic. Mindful of the fate of Juan Bosch sixteen years before, Guzman determined to move slowly in the area of social and economic reforms and to deal as directly as possible with the threat of political pressure from the armed forces. He attacked the latter problem first with a program of military depoliticization that included the removal or the reassignment of general officers of questionable loyalty or
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Dominican Republic: Historical Setting
professionalism, the promotion of younger and more apolitical officers than those who had held sway under Balaguer, and the institution of a formal training course for officers and enlisted personnel that stressed the nonpolitical role of the armed forces in a democratic society. This campaign was largely successful, and it constituted the major legacy left by Guzman to his successor, Salvador Jorge Blanco.
Politically, Guzman was restrained to some extent by the unusual outcome of the 1978 elections. Although the Central Electoral Board acknowledged the PRD's victories in the races for the presidency and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), it managed through some creative countingapparently taking the number of ballots not used in some provinces and dividing them among the top two vote-gettersto give Balaguer's PR a sixteen-to-eleven majority in the Senate. This essentially granted the PR a legislative veto over any initiatives Guzman might wish to launch, and it also became a factor in the president's cautious approach to reform.
Some observers felt that Guzman's economic and social backgroundhe was a wealthy cattle rancher from the Santiago areainfluenced his economic policies as well. Despite his nationalization of public transportation and an increase in the minimum wage, more reform-minded politicians, even within his own party, criticized the president for his inadequate response to continued economic decline. Jorge was one of Guzman's leading critics in this area; ironically, he too, would be confronted with the stark realities of the economy and the lack of acceptable options available to the president after his own election in 1982 (see Political Developments since 1978, ch. 4). Faced with the continually rising oil prices and declining sugar prices, Guzman opted for politically unpopular austerity policies, including a steep increase in the retail price of gasoline. Compounding the general woes of a slowed economy was the extensive damage wreaked on the country by Hurricane David in August 1979.
In retrospect, the Guzman administration represented a bridge between lingering post-Trujillo authoritarianism and a more liberal, democratic style of politics and government. Guzman's profession-alization of the military was a significant contribution to this process. Although the Dominican economic situation plagued him, Guzman handled matters with sufficient competence to allow for the election of Jorge on the PRD ticket on May 16, 1982. (Guzman had pledged not to seek reelection.) Jorge's leading opponents had been PR candidate Balaguer and Bosch, who had split from the PRD and had formed his own party, the Dominican Liberation
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
Party (Partido de la Liberacion DominicanaPLD). For reasons never fully explained, Guzman committed suicide in July 1982; he was said to have been depressed by allegations of corruption and nepotism in his administration. His vice president, Jacobo Maj-luta Azar, served out the remainder of the term. Guzman's suicide prevented what would have been a historic eventthe peaceful transfer of power from one freely and fairly elected president to another. Jorge's administration also fell victim to corruption and the effects of economic austerity. With the election and peaceful return to power of Balaguer in 1986, a tradition of fair electoral competition appeared to be developing; democracy seemed to be taking root in the Dominican Republic (see Political Developments since 1978, ch. 4).
* *
Works in English dealing with the Dominican Republic have been produced by political scientists more often than by historians. Consequently, the student of the country's history is limited to works such as Selden Rodman's Quisqueya: A History of the Dominican Republic, which provides good background, but litde detail; Ray-ford Logan's short volume, titled Haiti and the Dominican Republic; or Sumner Welles's voluminous, but dated, Naboth's Vineyard. A sense of the republic's history can also be culled from a number of volumes oriented toward politics or foreign relations. Among these, Howard Wiarda's The Dominican Republic: Nation in Transition provides a good general introduction to the country. The Dominican Republic: A Caribbean Crucible and The Politics of External Influence in the Dominican Republic, by Howard Wiarda and Michael Kryza-nek, chart the republic's further political and economic progress. Bruce J. Calder's The Impact of Intervention is an excellent study of the United States occupation and its effects. Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator, by Robert D. Crassweller, provides a vivid portrait of the dominant figure in the nation's twentieth-century history. A broader perspective can be obtained from G. Pope Atkins and Larman C. Wilson's The United States and the Trujillo Regime. The Dominican Republic: Politics and Development in an Unsover-eign State, by Jan Knippers Black, deals effectively with the 1978 transition to democracy and subsequent developments. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)
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Chapter 2. Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment


A bohio, or rural


DOMINICAN SOCIETY OF THE LATE 1980s reflected the country's Spanish-Caribbean heritage. It manifested significant divisions along the lines of race and class. A small fraction of the populace controlled great wealth, while the vast majority struggled to get by. The middle stratum worked both to maintain and to extend its political and economic gains. Generally speaking, Dominican society offered relatively few avenues of advancement; most of those available allowed families of middling means to enhance or to consolidate their standing.
The majority of the population was mulatto, the offspring of Africans and Europeans. The indigenous Amerindian population had been virtually eliminated within half a century of initial contact. ImmigrantsEuropean, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Caribbean arrived with each cycle of economic growth. In general, skin color followed the social hierarchy: lighter skin was associated with higher social and economic status. European immigrants and their offspring found more ready acceptance at the upper reaches of society than did darker-skinned Dominicans.
The decades following the end of the regime of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (1930-61) were a time of extensive changes as large-scale rural-urban and international migration blurred the gulf between city and countryside. Traditional attitudes persisted: peasants continued to regard urban dwellers with suspicion, and people in cities continued to think of rural Dominicans as unsophisticated and naive. Nonetheless, most families included several members who had migrated to the republic's larger cities or to the United States. Migration served to relieve some of the pressures of population growth. Moreover, cash remittances from abroad permitted families of moderate means to acquire assets and to maintain a standard of living far beyond what they might otherwise have enjoyed.
The alternatives available to poorer Dominicans were far more limited. Emigration required assets beyond the reach of most. Many rural dwellers migrated instead to one of the republic's cities. The financial resources and training of these newcomers, however, were far inferior to those among typical families of moderate means. For the vast majority of the republic's population, the twin constraints of limited land and limited employment opportunities defined the daily struggle for existence.
In the midst of far-reaching changes, the republic continued to be a profoundly family-oriented society. Dominicans of every social
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
stratum relied on family and kin for social identity and for interpersonal relationships of trust and confidence, particularly in the processes of migration and urbanization.
Geography
The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola (La Isla Espanola), which it shares with Haiti to the west. The 388-kilometer border between the two was established in a series of treaties, the most recent of which was the 1936 Protocol of Revision of the Frontier Treaty (Tratado Fronterizo) of 1929. The country is shaped in the form of an irregular triangle. The short side of the triangle is 388 kilometers long, while the two long sides form 1,575 kilometers of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mona Passage. The total area of the country is approximately 48,442 square kilometers. Although it boasts the highest elevations in the Antilles, it also has a saltwater lake below sea level (see fig. 2).
Natural Regions
The mountains and valleys of the Dominican Republic divide the country into the northern, the central, and the southwestern regions. The northern region, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, consists of the Atlantic coastal plain, the Cordillera Septentrional (or Northern Mountain Range), the Valle del Cibao (Cibao Valley), and the Samana Peninsula. The Atlantic coastal plain is a narrow strip that extends from the northwestern coast at Monte Cristi to Nagua, northwest of the Samana Peninsula. The Cordillera Septentrional is south of, and runs parallel to, the coastal plain. Its highest peaks rise to an elevation of over 1,000 meters. The Valle del Cibao lies south of the Cordillera Septentrional. It extends 240 kilometers from the northwest coast to the Bahia de Samana in the east and ranges in width from 15 to 45 kilometers. To the west of the ridge lies the Valle de Santiago and to the east is the Valle de la Vega Real. The Samana Peninsula is an eastward extension of the northern region, separated from the Cordillera Septentrional by an area of swampy lowlands. The peninsula is mountainous; its highest elevations reach 600 meters.
The central region is dominated by the Cordillera Central (Central Range); it runs eastward from the Haitian border and turns southward at the Valle de Constanza to end in the Caribbean Sea. This southward branch is known as the Sierra de Ocoa. The Cordillera Central is 2,000 meters high near the Haitian border and reaches a height of 3,087 meters at Pico Duarte, the highest point in the country. An eastern branch of the Cordillera Central extends
40


Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment
through the Sierra de Yamasa to the Cordillera Oriental (Eastern Range). The main peaks of these two mountain groups are not higher than 880 meters. The Cordillera Oriental is also known as the Sierra de Seibo.
Another significant feature of the central region is the Caribbean coastal plain, which lies south of the foothills of the Sierra de Yamasa and the Cordillera Oriental. It extends 240 kilometers from the mouth of the Ocoa River to the extreme eastern end of the island. The Caribbean coastal plain is 10 to 40 kilometers wide and consists of a series of limestone terraces that gradually rise to a height of 100 to 120 meters at the northern edge of the coastal plains at the foothills of the Cordillera Oriental. Finally, the central region includes the Valle de San Juan in the western part of the country; the valley extends 100 kilometers from the Haitian border to the Bahia de Ocoa.
The southwestern region lies south of the Valle de San Juan. It encompasses the Sierra de Neiba, which extends 100 kilometers from the Haitian border to the Yaque del Sur River. The main peaks are roughly 2,000 meters high, while other peaks range from 1,000 to 1,500 meters. On the eastern side of the Yaque del Sur lies the Sierra de Martin Garcia, which extends twenty-five kilometers from the river to the Llanura de Azua (Plain of Azua).
The Hoya de Enriquillo, a structural basin that lies south of the Sierra de Neiba, is also within the southwestern region. The basin extends ninety-five kilometers from the Haitian border to the Bahia de Neiba and twenty kilometers from the Sierra de Neiba to the Sierra de Baoruco. The Sierra de Baoruco extends seventy kilometers from the Haitian border to the Caribbean Sea. Its three major peaks surpass 2,000 meters in height. The Procurrente de Barahona (Cape of Barahona) extends southward from the Sierra de Baoruco and consists of a series of terraces.
Drainage
The Dominican Republic has seven major drainage basins. Five of these rise in the Cordillera Central and a sixth, in the Sierra de Yamasa. The seventh drainage system flows into the Lago Enriquillo (Lake Enriquillo) from the Sierra de Neiba to the north and from the Sierra de Baoruco to the south. In general, other rivers are either short or intermittent.
The Yaque del Norte is the most significant river in the country. Some 296 kilometers long, with a basin area of 7,044 square kilometers, it rises near Pico Duarte at an altitude of 2,580 meters in the Cordillera Central. It empties into the Bahia de Monte Cristi on the northwest coast, where it forms a delta. The Yaque del Sur
41


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Figure 2. Dominican Republic: Topography and Drainage


Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment
is the most important river on the southern coast. It rises at an altitude of 2,707 meters in the southern slopes of the Cordillera Central. Its upper course through the mountains constitutes 75 percent of its total length of some 183 kilometers. The basin area is 4,972 square kilometers. The river forms a delta near its mouth in the Bahia de Neiba.
The Lago Enriquillo lies in the western part of the Hoya de Enriquillo. Its drainage basin includes ten minor river systems and covers an area of more than 3,000 square kilometers. The northern rivers of the system rise in the Sierra de Neiba and are perennial, while the southern rivers rise in the Sierra de Baoruco and are intermittent, flowing only after heavy rainfall. The Lago Enriquillo itself covers some 265 square kilometers. Its water level varies because of the high evaporation rate, yet on the average it is forty meters below sea level. The water in the lake is saline.
Climate
The Dominican Republic has primarily a tropical climate, with more diurnal and local variations in temperature than seasonal ones, and with seasonal variability in the abundance of rainfall. The average annual temperature is 25C, ranging from 18C at an altitude of over 1,200 meters to 28C at an altitude of 10 meters. Highs of 40C are common in protected valleys, as are lows of zero in mountainous areas. In general, August is the hottest month, and January and February are the coolest ones.
Seasons, however, vary more as a function of rainfall than of temperature. Along the northern coast, the rainy season lasts from November through January. In the rest of the country, it runs from May through November; May is the wettest month. The dry season lasts from November through April; March is the driest month. The average annual rainfall for the country as a whole is 1,500 millimeters. This varies, however, from region to region, and ranges from 350 millimeters in the Valle de Neiba to 2,740 millimeters in the Cordillera Oriental. In general, the western part of the country, including the interior valleys, receives the least rain.
Tropical cyclonessuch as tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanesoccur on the average of once every two years in the Dominican Republic. Over 65 percent of the storms strike the southern part of the country, especially along the Hoya de Enriquillo. The season for cyclones lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November; some cyclones occur in May and December, but most take place in September and October. Hurricanes usually occur from August through October. They may produce
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
AGE-GROUP
600
POPULATION IN THOUSANDS
Source: Based on information from Dominican Republic, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica, La Rspublica Dominicana en Cifras, 1987, 14, Santo Domingo, 1987, 49, 51.
Figure 3. Dominican Republic: Estimated Population Distribution by Age and Sex, 1990
winds greater than 200 kilometers per hour and rainfall greater than 500 millimeters in a twenty-four-hour period.
Population
Size and Growth
It has been estimated that the country's total population in mid-1990 will total slightiy more than 7 million (see fig. 3). Growth had been high since official census taking began in 1920. The rate peaked during the 1950s at 3.6 percent per year. During the 1960s and the 1970s, the population grew at 2.9 percent annually; by the mid-1980s, the rate was thought to be roughly 2.5 percent.
The total fertility rate, although still relatively high, declined substantially in the 1970s. Official estimates indicated that half of all married women used contraceptives. Both the Dominican Republic's continued high population growth rates and field studies belied this figure, however.
The government began supporting family planning in 1967, but clinics were concentrated in the cities and larger towns. Both the Secretariat of State for Public Health and Social Welfare (Secretaria
44


Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment
de Estado de Salud Publica y Asistencia SocialSESPAS) and the National Population and Family Council (Consejo Nacional de Pob-lacion y FamiliaCNPF) offered family planning services. By the 1980s, both organizations were trying to make their programs more responsive to the needs of rural families.
Birth control encountered strong resistance from both sexes, especially in the countryside and the smaller cities. Although women did use a variety of substances believed to be contraceptives or abortifacients, there was considerable misinformation about family planning. Many men believed birth control threatened their masculinity; some women refused to use contraception because some methods produced nausea and other side effects. International migrants were more aware of the available options, and some women migrants did use modern contraceptives.
The traditional (non-administrative) subregions of the country included Valdesia and Yuma in the southeast, Enriquillo and Del Valle in the southwest, and the Central Cibao, the Eastern Cibao, and the Western Cibao in the north. The subregion of densest settlement was Valdesia on the southern coast, which contained the nation's capital and more than 40 percent of the population. Roughly one-third of all Dominicans lived in the National District. The other major area of settlement was the Central Cibao, which accounted for more than 20 percent of total population (see table 2, Appendix A).
Administrations had attempted to control both population growth and its distribution since the 1950s. The Trujillo regime fostered agricultural colonies scattered throughout the countryside and strung along the western frontier with Haiti. Some were coupled with irrigation projects.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the government also set up industrial free zones around the country. Although the desire to increase employment was the government's primary motivation, the establishment of free zones had as a secondary goal the dispersal of industrialization, and thus migration, away from Santo Domingo (see Manufacturing, ch. 3). Intercensal growth rates on the sub-regional and the provincial levels reflected these trends. Puerto Plata grew at more than twice the rate of the nation as a whole in the 1970s. The southeast, especially the National District, expanded much faster than most of the country, as did La Romana.
Migration
The Dominican Republic was a country of migrants in the late 1980s; according to the 1981 census, nearly one-quarter of the population was living in a province other than that in which they had
45


Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
been born. Surveys in the mid-1970s found that nearly two-thirds of city dwellers and half of those in the countryside had migrated at least once. Rural areas in general, especially in the Central Cibao, have experienced significant levels of out-migration. The movement of peasants and the landless into the republic's growing cities accounted for the lion's share of migration. Indeed, Dominicans had even coined a new word, campuno, to describe the rural-urban campesino migrant. The principal destinations for migrants were the National District followed by the provinces of La Romana, In-dependencia, and San Pedro de Macoris (see fig. 1). In the National District, 46 percent of the inhabitants were migrants. The industrial free zones were the other major destinations for migrants in the 1970s.
Women predominated in both rural-urban and urban-rural migration. Men, however, were more likely than women to move from city to city or from one rural area to another. In general, migrants earned more than non-migrants, and they suffered lower rates of unemployment, although underemployment was pervasive. Urban-rural migrants had the highest incomes. This category, however, consisted of a select group of educated and skilled workers, mostly government officials, teachers, and the like, who moved from cities to assume specific jobs in rural areas. They received higher wages as a recompense for the lack of urban amenities in villages.
Migrants spoke of the migration chain (cadena) that tied them to other migrants and to their home communities. Kin served as the links in the chain. They cared for family, lands, and businesses left behind, or, if they had migrated earlier, assisted the new arrivals with employment and housing. The actual degree of support families could, or were willing to, give a migrant varied widely.
The process of rural-urban migration typically involved a series of steps. The migrant gradually abandoned agriculture and sought more non-agricultural sources of income. Migrants rarely arrived in the largest, fastest growing cities "green" from the countryside. They acquired training and experience in intermediate-sized cities and in temporary nonfarm jobs en route.
International migration played a significant role in the livelihood of many Dominicans. Anywhere from 8 to 15 percent of the total population resided abroad. Estimates of those living and working in the United States in the mid-1980s ranged from 300,000 to as high as 800,000. Roughly 200,000 more were in San Juan, Puerto Rico, many of them presumably waiting to get into the United States. Most migrants went to New York; but by the mid-1980s, their destinations also included other cities of the eastern seaboard.
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Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment
A sizable minority (about one-third) emigrated because they were unemployed, but most did so to attain higher income, to continue their educations, or to join other family members. In the early 1980s, most emigrants were relatively better educated and more skilled than the Dominican populace as a whole. Most came from cities, but the middling to large farms of the overpopulated Cibao also sent large numbers. Working in the United States has become almost an expected part of the lives of Dominicans from families of moderate means.
Cash remittances from Dominicans living abroad have become an integral part of the national economy. Migrants' remittances constituted a significant percentage of the country's foreign exchange earnings (see Balance of Payments, ch. 3). Remittances were used to finance businesses, to purchase land, and to bolster the family's standard of living. Most migrants saw sending money as an obligation. Although some refused to provide assistance, they came under severe criticism from both fellow migrants and those who remained behind. The extent to which a migrant's earnings were committed to family and kin was sometimes striking. Anthropologist Patricia Pessar has described a Dominican man in New York who earned less than US$500 per month. He sent US$150 of this to his wife and children and another US$100 to his parents and unmarried siblings.
Money from abroad had a multiplier effect; it spawned a veritable construction boom in migrants' hometowns and neighborhoods in the mid-1970s. Migrants also contributed significant sums for the church back home. Many parish priests made annual fund-raising trips to New York to seek donations for local parish needs.
The impact of out-migration was widely felt; in one Cibao village, for example, 85 percent of the households had at least one member living in New York in the mid-1970s. Where migration was common, it altered a community's age pyramid: eighteen to forty-five-year olds (especially males) were essentially missing. Emigration also eliminated many of the natural choices for leadership roles in the home community.
Urbanization
For most of its history, the Dominican Republic was overwhelmingly rural; in 1920 over 80 percent of its populace lived in the countryside, and by 1950 more than 75 percent still did. Substantial urban expansion began in the 1950s, and it gained tremendous momentum in the 1960s and the 1970s. Urban growth rates far outdistanced those of the country as a whole. The urban population expanded at 6.1 percent annually during the 1950s, 5.7
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
percent annually during the 1960s-70s, and 4.7 percent annually through the mid-1980s.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, the country was not only largely rural, but the urban scene itself was dominated by smaller cities and provincial capitals. In 1920 nearly 80 percent of all city dwellers lived in cities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. Santo Domingo, with barely more than 30,000 residents, accounted for only 20 percent of those in cities. By contrast, in 1981 Santo Domingo alone accounted for nearly half of all city dwellers; it had more than double the total population of all cities of more than 20,000 inhabitants. Cities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitantsnearly 80 percent of the urban population in 1920 constituted less than 20 percent by 1981.
Santo Domingo approximately doubled its population every decade between 1920 and 1970. Its massive physical expansion, however, dated from the 1950s. The growth in industry and urban construction, coupled with Trujillo's expropriations of rural land, fueled rural-urban migration and the city's growth. The republic's second and third largest cities, Santiago de los Caballeros (Santiago) and La Romana, also experienced significant expansion in the 1960s and the 1970s. Santiago, the center of traditional Hispanic culture, drew migrants from the heavily populated Cibao. La Romana, in the southeast, grew as a center of employment in the sugar industry as well as a center of tourism and the site of the country's first industrial free zone (see Manufacturing, ch. 3).
Population growth and rural-urban migration strained cities' capacity to provide housing and amenities. Nevertheless, in 1981 nearly 80 percent of city dwellings had access to potable water; 90 percent had some type of sewage disposal; and roughly 90 percent had electricity. The proportion of homes with piped, or easy access to, potable water, however, actually declined by nearly ten percentage points in the 1970s. By the mid-1980s, there was an estimated housing deficit of some 400,000 units. The need was greatest in the National District. Squatter settlements grew in response to the scarcity of low-cost urban housing. In Santo Domingo these settlements were concentrated along the Ozama River and on the city's periphery.
Public housing initiatives dated from the late 1950s, when Trujillo built some housing for government employees of moderate means. Through the mid-1980s, a number of different government agencies played a role. The Technical Secretariat of the Presidency (Secretaria Tecnica de la Presidencia) designed a variety of projects in Santo Domingo. The Aid and Housing Institute and the National Housing Institute bore primary responsibility for the
48


View of Altos de Chavon, near La Romana Courtesy Mark Salyers
financing and the construction of housing. In general, public efforts had been hampered by extreme decentralization in planning, coupled with equally extreme concentration in decision making. The primary beneficiaries of public projects were usually from lower income groups, although they were not the poorest urban dwellers. Projects targeted those making at least the minimum wage, i.e., the lower middle sector or the more stable segments of the working class.
Racial and Ethnic Groups Ethnic Heritage
The island's indigenous inhabitants were the Taino Indians (Arawaks) and a small settlement of Caribs around the Bahia de Samana. These Indians, estimated to number perhaps 1 million at the time of their initial contact with Europeans, had died off by the 1550s. The importation of African slaves began in 1503. By the nineteenth century, the population was roughly 150,000: 40,000 of Spanish descent, an equal number of black slaves, and the remainder of freed blacks or mulattoes. In the mid-1980s, approximately 16 percent of the population was considered white and 11 percent black; the remainder were mulattoes.
Contemporary Dominican society and culture are overwhelmingly Spanish in origin. Taino influence is limited to cultigens and to a few vocabulary words, such as huracdn (hurricane) and hamaca (hammock). African influence has been largely ignored, although certain religious brotherhoods with significant black membership incorporated some Afro-American elements. Observers also have noted the presence of African influence in popular dance and music.
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
There was a preference in Dominican society for light skin and "white" racial features. Blackness in itself, however, did not restrict a person to a lower status position. Upward mobility was possible for the dark-skinned person who managed to acquire education or wealth. Social characteristics, focusing on family background, education, and economic standing, were in fact more prominent means of identifying and classifying individuals. Darker-skinned persons were concentrated in the east and the south. The population of the Cibao, especially in the countryside, consisted mainly of whites or mulattoes.
Dominicans traditionally preferred to think of themselves as descendants of the island's Indians and the Spanish, ignoring their African heritage. Thus, phenotypical African characteristics were disparaged. Emigrants to the United States brought a new level of racial consciousness to the republic, however, when they returned. Those who came back during the 1960s and the 1970s had experienced both racial prejudice and the black pride movement in North America. Returning migrants brought back Afro hairstyles and a variety of other Afro-North Americanisms.
Modern Immigration
Although almost all migrants were assimilated into Dominican society (often with surprising speed and thoroughness), immigration had a pervasive influence on the ethnic and the racial configurations of the country. Within a generation or two, most immigrants were considered Dominican even though the family might well continue to maintain contact with relatives in the country of origin. Both the elite and the middle segments of society recruited new members with each economic expansion. The main impetus to immigration was the rise of sugar production in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Nonetheless, some groups had earlier antecedents, while others arrived as late as the 1970s.
Nineteenth-century immigrants came from a number of places. Roughly 5,000 to 10,000 North American freedmen, principally Methodists, came in response to an offer of free land made during the period of Haitian domination (1822-44). Most, however, were city dwellers, and they quickly returned to the United States. A few small setdements remained around Santiago, Puerto Plata, and Samana. They eventually were assimilated, although in the late 1980s English was still widely used in the region of Samana. Sephardic Jews arrived from Curacao in the late eighteenth century and, in greater numbers, following independence from Haiti in 1844. They were assimilated rapidly; both their economic assets and their white ancestry made them desirable additions from
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Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment
the point of view of the Dominican criollos. Canary Islanders arrived during the late colonial period as well, in response to the improved economic conditions of the 1880s. Spaniards settled during the period of renewed Spanish occupation (1861-65); many Spanish soldiers stayed after the War of Restoration (see Annexation by Spain, 1861-65, ch. 1). Germans established themselvesprincipally in Puerto Plataprimarily in the tobacco trade.
The expansion of the sugar industry in the late nineteenth century drew migrants from every social stratum. Cubans and Puerto Ricans, who began arriving in the 1870s, aided in the evolution of the sugar industry as well as in the country's intellectual development. In addition, significant numbers of laborers came from the British, the Dutch, and the Danish islands of the Caribbean. They also worked in railroad construction and on the docks. Initial reaction to their presence was negative, but their educational background (which was superior to that of most of the rural populace), their ability to speak English (which gave them an advantage in dealing with North American plantation owners), and their indus-triousness eventually won them a measure of acceptance. They founded Protestant churches, Masonic lodges, mutual aid societies, and a variety of other cultural organizations. Their descendants enjoyed a considerable measure of upward mobility through education and religion. They were well represented in the technical trades (especially those associated with the sugar industry) and on professional baseball teams.
ArabsLebanese and lesser numbers of Palestinians and Syrians first arrived in the late nineteenth century, and they prospered. Their assimilation was slower, however, and many still maintained contacts with relatives in the Middle East. Italians, as well as a few South American immigrants, also arrived during this period and were assimilated rapidly. A few Chinese came from other Caribbean islands and established a reputation for diligence and indus-triousness. More followed with the United States occupation of the island (1916-24). They began as cooks and domestic servants; a number of their descendants were restaurateurs and hotel owners.
The most recent trickle of immigrants entered the country from the 1930s to the 1980s. Many founded agricultural colonies that suffered a high rate of attrition. Among the groups were German Jews (1930s), Japanese (after World War II), and Hungarians and Spaniards (both in the 1950s). More Chinese came from Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1970s; by the 1980s, they were the second fastest growing immigrant group (Haitians being the first). Many had sufficient capital to set up manufacturing firms in the country's industrial free zones.
51


Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies Haitians
Modern Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic dates from the late nineteenth century, when increasing North American capital boosted sugar production. Dominicans have never welcomed these immigrants. Their presence resulted from economic necessity borne of the reluctance of Dominicans to perform the menial task of cane cutting. The 1920 census listed slightly under 28,000 Haitian nationals in the Dominican Republic. Successive governments attempted to control the numbers of Haitians entering the country; the border was periodically closed in the 1910s and the 1920s. By 1935, however, the number had increased to more than 50,000. Trujillo ordered a general roundup of Haitians along the border in 1937, during which an estimated 20,000 Haitians were killed (see The Era of Trujillo, ch. 1).
Since the 1950s, a series of bilateral agreements has regulated legal Haitian immigration. In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, the government contracted for 10,000 to 20,000 temporary Haitian workers annually for the sugarcane harvest. Observers believed that an equal number of Haitians entered illegally. The 1960 census enumerated slightly under 30,000 Haitians. By 1980 estimates suggested the total number of Haitians residing permanently or semi-permanendy was on the order of 200,000, of whom 70,000 were workers.
During the 1970s and the early 1980s, some Haitians rose into higher positions in sugar production and in other areas of the economy. They continued to account for the vast majority of cane cutters, but roughly half of all labor recruiters and field inspectors also were Haitians. In addition, Haitians worked harvesting coffee, rice, and cocoa and in construction in Santo Domingo. By 1980 nearly 30 percent of the paid laborers in the coffee harvest were Haitian; in the border region, the proportion rose to 80 percent. A reasonably skilled coffee picker could nearly double the earnings of the average cane cutter. Overall, however, Haitians' earnings still lagged; their wages averaged less than 60 percent of those of Dominicans.
Urban Society The Elite
The last 200 years transformed the composition and the configuration of the country's elite. Nonetheless, at the end of the 1980s, the Dominican Republic continued to be a country where a relatively small number of families controlled great wealth, while the
52


View of National Highway One (Duarte Highway) north of Santo Domingo
Courtesy Inter'American Development Bank
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
majority of the population lived in poverty. The middle stratum struggled (at its lower end) to maintain economic standing and to expand its political participation and (at its upper reaches) to gain greater social acceptance and economic prosperity. Hispanic-Mediterranean ideals about the proper mode of life and livelihood continued to be significant. The primary social division was between two polar groups: the elite (la gente buena or la gente culta) and the masses.
The first half of the nineteenth century saw the elimination of many of the noteworthy families of the colonial era. During the period of Haitian domination, many prominent landowners liquidated their holdings and left. The War of Restoration against Spain permitted some social and economic upward mobility to members of the lower classes who had enjoyed military success. An increase in sugarcane production brought immigrants of European extraction, who were assimilated rapidly. Poorer elite families saw a chance to improve their financial status through marriage to recently arrived and financially successful immigrants. Even more well-to-do families recognized the advantages of wedding their lineage and lands to the monied merchant-immigrant clans. Although the Chinese were generally excluded from this process, and the Arabs encountered resistance, virtually everyone else found ready acceptance.
This pattern has repeated itself over the years. Each political or economic wave has brought new families into the elite as it imperilled the economic standing of others. By the end of the 1980s, this privileged segment of society was hardly monolithic. The interests of the older elite families, whose wealth was based mostly on land (and whose prosperity diminished during the Trujillo years), did not always match those of families who had amassed their fortunes under Trujillo, or the interests of those whose money came from the expansion in industry during the 1960s and the 1970s. The 1965 civil war further polarized and fragmented many segments of the middle and the upper classes (see Civil War and United States Intervention, 1965, ch. 1).
Although rural elite families were relatively monolithic", in Santo Domingo and Santiago there was a further distinction between families of the first and the second ranks (la gente de primera and la gente de segunda). Those of the first rank could claim to be a part of the 100 families referred to locally as the tutumpote (totem pole implying family worship and excessive concern with ancestry). Those of the second rank had less illustrious antecedents; they included the descendants of successful immigrants and the nou-veaux riches who had managed to intermarry with more established families.
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Dominican Republic: The Society and Its Environment
Family loyalties were paramount, and the family represented the primary source of social identity. Elite families relied on an extensive network of kin to maintain their assets. In difficult times, the family offered a haven; as the situation improved, it provided the vehicle whereby one secured political position and economic assets. Siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and in-laws comprised the pool from which one selected trusted business partners and loyal political allies. This process of networking pervaded every level of society. The elite, however, profited to a much greater degree from kinship-based networking than did members of the lower classes.
The number of potential kin grew as an individual's net worth increased. The successful were obliged, as a matter of course, to bestow favors on a widely extended group of kin and confreres. Individual success in the political arena brought with it a host of hangers-on whose fortunes rose and fell with those of their patron. The well-to-do tried to limit the demands of less illustrious kin and to secure alliances with families of equal or greater status. These ties permitted the extended family to diversify its social and economic capital.
The Middle Sector
The middle sector in the late 1980s represented roughly 30 to 35 percent of the population, concentrated in the ranks of salaried professionals in government and the private sector. Members of this group had virtually no independent sources of wealth, and so they were responsive to changes in the buying power of wages and to contractions in employment that accompanied economic cycles. The middle level followed the racial stratification of the society as a whole: generally lighter-skinned as one proceeded up the social scale. As a group, the middle sector differed in lifestyle, in marital stability, and in occupations from the poor urban masses. Those belonging to this sector firmly adhered to the Hispanic ideals of leisure and lifestyle espoused by the elite, and they considered themselves, at least in spirit, a part of la gente buena. As with the elite, economic expansion, based on the growth of sugar production in the late nineteenth century, broadened the middle reaches of the social ladder as well. Those of this new middle segment, however, were limited in their upward mobility by dark skin and/or limited finances. They were a diverse group, including small shopown-ers, teachers, clerical employees, and professionals. They lacked a class identity based on any sense of common social or economic interests; moreover, any sense of mutual interest was undermined by the pervasiveness of the patron-client system. Individuals
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
improved their status by linking up with a more privileged protector, not by joint political action for a shared goal.
The life strategy of middle-class families was similar to that of the elite. Their goals were to diversify their economic assets and to extend their network of political and social influence. As with the elite, the middle-level family solidified its position through patronage. An influential family could offer jobs to loyal followers and supporters. People expected that those with power would use it for their own ends and for the advancement of their own and their family's interests. Ties to government were particularly important because the government was the source of many coveted jobs (see Public Administration, ch. 4).
The Urban Poor
The limited availability of adequately paid and steady employment defined life for most urban Dominicans. Unemployment in the 1980s ranged between 20 and 25 percent of the economically active population. In addition, another 25 percent of the work force was considered underemployed. In Santo Domingo and Santiago, the two largest cities, roughly 48 percent of the self-employed, more than half of those paid piece rates, and 85 percent of temporary workers were underemployed. A late 1970s survey of five working-class neighborhoods in Santo Domingo found that 60 percent of household heads had no regular employment (see Labor, ch. 3). Under such conditions, those workers having regular employment constituted a relatively privileged segment of the urban populace.
Rural-urban migration made the situation of the urban poor even more desperate; however, the chances of earning a living were slightly better in cities than in rural areas, although the advantages of an urban job had to be weighed against the higher cost of foodstuffs. Landless, or nearly landless, agricultural laborers might find it difficult to work even a garden plot, but the rural family could generally get by on its own food production. For the urban poor, however, the struggle to eat was relentless.
Under conditions of chronically high unemployment, workers enjoyed little power or leverage. Protective labor laws were typically limited in their coverage to workers in private companies with more than ten employees. Organized labor made significant gains in the early 1960s, but by the late 1980s only a scant 12 to 15 percent of the labor force was unionized (see Labor, ch. 3). The legal code prohibited nearly half of all workers (public employees and utility workers) from strikes and job actions (see Interest Groups, ch. 4).
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Residents fetching water from a broken pipe, Barrio San Juan Bosco, Santo Domingo Courtesy Inter-American Development Bank
Roughly one-quarter of urban households surveyed in the mid-1970s were headed by women. Even in families with a male breadwinner, a woman was frequently the more consistent income earner among poorer city dwellers. Women's economic activities were diverseif poorly remunerated. They took in washing and ironing, and they did domestic work. The more prosperous sewed. Some bought cheap or used items and raffled them off. A few who could muster the necessary capital ran stalls selling groceries, cigarettes, and candy, but their trade was minimal. In smaller towns, women also performed a variety of agricultural processing tasks: grinding coffee, husking garlic, winnowing beans, and washing pig intestines.
Like more well-to-do city families, the poor tried, wherever possible, to maintain ties with their kin in the countryside. Aid and assistance flowed both ways. Farmers with relatives in the city stayed with them on trips to town and repaid this hospitality with foodstuffs from their fields. New rural-urban migrants were assisted by kin who had already made the transition. The poor were handicapped in these exchanges because they typically had fewer kin in a position to help. Nonetheless, the obligation to help was deeply felt. Women who migrated to cities returned to their families
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in the countryside as economic conditions and family needs dictated.
The small urban neighborhood functioned as the center of social life. Most sharing, mutual aid, and cooperative activity took place within the confines of a narrow circle of neighbors and kin. Most Dominicans shared a general belief that neighbors should assist each other in times of need.
Rural Society
Most small rural neighborhoods and villages were setded originally by one or two families. Extensive ties of kinship, intermarriage, and compadrazgo (coparenthood) developed among the descendants of the original settlers (see Family and Kin, this ch.). Most villagers married their near neighbors. First cousins frequently married, despite the formal legal prohibitions against this practice. The social life of the countryside likewise focused on near neighbors, who were frequently direct blood relations. The bonds of trust and cooperation among these relatives formed at an early age. Children wandered among the households of extended kin at will. Peasants distrusted those from beyond their own neighborhoods, and they were therefore leery of economic relations with outsiders. The development of community-wide activities and organizations was handicapped by this widespread distrust. People commonly assumed deceit in others, in the absence of strong, incontrovertible proof to the contrary.
Until the latter twentieth century, most joint activities were kin-based: a few related extended families joined together for whatever needed attention. The junta was the traditional cooperative work group. Friends, neighbors, and relatives gathered at a farmer's house for a day's work. There was no strict accounting of days given and received. As wage labor became more common, the junta gave way to smaller cooperative work groups, or it fell into disuse entirely.
In small towns, social life focused on the central park, or the plaza; in rural neighborhoods most social interaction among non-kin took place in the stores, the bars, and the pool rooms where men gathered to gossip. Six-day workweeks left litde time for recreation or socializing. Many farm families came to town on Sundays to shop and to attend Mass. The women and children generally returned home earlier than the men to prepare Sunday dinner; the men stayed to visit, or to enjoy an afternoon cockfight or an important baseball or volleyball game.
Landholding in the late 1980s was both concentrated among large holders and fragmented at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale.
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All but the largest producers faced some constraints in terms of land and money. Indeed, a national survey conducted in 1985 found extensive rural poverty. More than 40 percent of the households surveyed owned no land; another 25 percent had less than half a hectare. Roughly 70 percent of all families relied on wage labor.
Land reform legislation had had little overall impact on land-holding both because the reforms contained few provisions for land redistribution and because they were poorly enforced. Redistribution began in the 1960s with land accumulated by Trujillo and acquired by the state after his death. By the early 1980s, irrigated rice farms, which had been left intact and had been farmed collectively, were slated for division into small, privately owned plots. All told, by 1980 the Dominican Agrarian Institute (Instituto Agrario DominicanoIAD) had distributed state land to approximately 67,000 familiesless than 15 percent of the rural population.
Population growth over the past century had virtually eliminated the land reserves. Parents usually gave children plots of land as they reached maturity, so that they could marry and begin their own families. Over the generations, the process had led to extreme land fragmentation. Contemporary practices adapted to these constraints. Educating children, setting them up in business, or bankrolling their emigration limited the number of heirs competing for the family holdings and assured that the next generation would be able to maintain its standard of living. One or two siblings (usually the oldest and the youngest) remained with the parents and inherited the farm. In other cases, siblings and their spouses stayed on the parental lands; each couple farmed its own plot of land, but they pooled their labor for many agricultural and domestic tasks.
Migration served as a safety valve (see Migration, this ch.). Migrants' remittances represented an essential component in many household budgets. These timely infusions of cash permitted medium-sized landholders to meet expenses during the months before harvest; they also allowed families to purchase more land. In communities with a history of fifteen to twenty years of high levels of emigration, such emigration had an inflationary impact on the local land market. For those relying on wage labor to earn a living, the impact was more ambiguous. In some communities, the increase in migration meant more casual work was available as more family members migrated. In other instances, migrants' families switched to livestock raising to limit labor requirements, or they hired an overseer to handle the agricultural work. Both these practices limited the overall demand for casual labor.
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The vast majority (84 percent) of farm women contributed to the family's earnings. Women devised means of earning income that meshed with their domestic tasks: they cultivated garden plots, raised small livestock, and/or helped to tend the family's fields. In addition, many rural women worked at diverse cottage industries and vending. They sold everything from lottery tickets to homemade sweets.
In the mid-1980s, approximately 20 percent of rural households were headed by women. The lack of services in rural areas in creased women's working days with physically demanding and time-consuming domestic tasks. Single women were further handicapped by the traditional exclusion of women from mechanized or skilled agricultural work. Women worked during the labor-intensive phases of harvesting and processed crops like cotton, coffee, tobacco, and tomatoes. They usually earned piece rates rather than daily wages, and their earnings lagged behind those of male agricultural laborers.
Sugar Plantations
Most sugar mills and cane fields were concentrated in the southeast coastal plains. Three large groups owned 75 percent of the land: the State Sugar Council (Consejo Estatal del Azucar CEA), Casa Vicini (a family operation), and Central Romana (formerly owned by Gulf and Western Corporation). The government created CEA in 1966, largely from lands and facilities formerly held by the Trujillo family.
In the mid-1980s, there were roughly 4,500 colonos (sugar planters) who owned some 62,500 hectares. These small to middle-sized landholders were independent growers who sold their harvested cane to the sugar mills. Although the level of prosperity of the colonos varied significantly, some were prosperous enough to hire laborers to cut their cane and to buy cane from smaller producers. Their actual number fluctuated widely in response to the market for cane. There were only 3,200 in 1970; this number had more than doubled by 1980, but it had then declined by mid-decade.
Some colonos were descendants of former small mill owners driven out of business during the expansion of sugar production in the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The parents, or grandparents, of others were either subsistence farmers, who had switched to cane cultivation in response to rising demand for sugar, or successful field workers. Like virtually all Dominican farmers, colonos faced land fragmentation that increased geometrically with each generation.
Sugar mills continued to be a major source of work for rural Dominicans, although direct employment peaked at a high of
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Vendors selling ice and oranges Courtesy Mark Salvers
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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies
roughly 100,000 workers in the early 1970s. By the mid-1980s, the mills employed approximately 65,000 workers. The sugar industry generated considerable indirect employment as well; some observers estimated that as much as 30 percent of the population was direcdy or indirecdy affected by sugar production (see Crops, ch. 3). The 40,000 to 50,000 cane cutters constituted the bulk of the work force. Most were immigrant Haitians or their descendants (see Haitians, this ch.). In the sugar industry's highly stratified work force, there were clear divisions among cane cutters, more skilled workers (largely Dominicans), clerical staff, and managers. Workers' setdements (bateyes) dotted the mill and the surrounding fields; they usually included stores, schools, and a number of other facilities.
Mixed Farming
Landholding was less concentrated in the north and the west; mixed crop and livestock raising dominated agricultural production. Much production was geared to subsistence, but growers also produced a number of cash crops such as cocoa, tobacco, coffee, and vegetables. The twin constraints of land and money affected the various strata of rural society differently, depending on the precise configuration of resources a family could command, but hardship was widespread.
Those without land were the most hard pressed. Agricultural laborers rarely enjoyed opportunities for permanent employment. Most worked only sporadically throughout the year. During periods of high demand for labor, contractors formed semipermanent work groups that contracted their services out to farmers. As in much of social life, the individual stood a better chance if he could couch his request for work in terms of a personal link of kinship with the prospective employer.
Families that depended on wage labor had very limited resources at their disposal. Their diet lacked greens and protein; eggs and meat were luxury items. Such fare as boiled plantains, noodles, and broth often substituted for the staple beans and rice. Keeping children in school was difficult because their labor was needed to supplement the family's earnings.
Those with very littie land (less than one hectare) also faced very severe constraints. Although members of this group had enough land to meet some of their families' subsistence needs and even sold crops occasionally, they also needed to resort to wage labor to make ends meet. Like wage laborers, smallholders had trouble leaving children in school. The children's prospects were extremely limited, moreover, because their parents could neither give them
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land nor educate them. The daily need for food also limited farmers' ability to work their own land. Those who were both land-poor and cash-poor faced a dilemma: they could not work their lands effectively because to do so meant foregoing wage labor needed to feed their families. A variety of sharecropping arrangements supplemented wage labor for those smallholders able to muster some cash or credit. These were of little use to the landless; only those who had land or money to finance a crop entered into these schemes. Smallholders and the landless lived enmeshed in a web of dependent relationships: they depended on their neighbors and kin for help and assistance, on store owners for credit, and on larger landholders for employment.
Families with middle-sized holdings (from one to three hectares) faced slightly different problems. They often had enough land and financial resources to meet most of their families' food needs and to earn cash from the sale of crops or livestock. They did not usually need to work for hire, and sometimes they could hire laborers themselves. They usually ate better than smallholders, and their children stayed in school longer. However, although middle holders earned more, they also had greater needs for cash during the year, particularly if they hired laborers before harvest.
Even relatively large holders faced seasonal shortages of cash. Their production costsespecially for hired laborwere typically higher. Their standard of living was notably higher than that of people with less land. They generally ate better and could afford meat or fish more frequently. Although their holdings supported their generation adequately, subdivision among the family's offspring would typically leave no heir with more than a hectare or two. Faced with this prospect, these farmers often encouraged their children to pursue nonagricultural careers and helped support them financially during their student years.
Almost all farmers depended to varying degrees on credit from local storekeepers. The landless and the land-poor needed credit simply to feed their families. Middling landholders used it to tide them over the lean months before harvest. Prevailing interest rates varied considerably, but the poorest farmersthose who could not offer a harvest as collateral and who usually needed short-term creditgenerally paid the highest rates.
Farmers often depended on storekeepers to market their crops because they were usually unable to accumulate sufficient produce to make direct marketing a viable option. Most farmers committed their crops to their merchant-creditor long before harvest. Store owners could not legally require that someone who owed them money sell his or her crops to them. Nonetheless, for the farm
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family, the possibility of being denied necessary credit at a time of future need acted as a powerful incentive. The cycle of debt, repayment, and renewed debt was constant for most.
Traditionally, the local storekeeper aided farmers in ways beyond the extension of credit. He often established a paternalistic relationship with his customers; farmers consulted him on matters ranging from land purchases to conflicts with neighbors. Such patronage carried a hefty price tag, however; farmers found it difficult to haggle about terms with a storekeeper who was also a friend or a relative. Studies of coffee growers in the mid-1970s found that the cost of credit could easily take one-third to one-half of a middling landholder's profits.
Cooperatives sometimes offered an alternative. The most successful drew their membership from groups of kin and neighbors already linked by ties of trust. Cooperatives provided a solution for farmers vexed by the problem of cash shortfalls. Consumer and savings and loan cooperatives thus expanded the options for some rural families. Cooperatives have not ameliorated appreciably the plight of the poorest rural dwellers, however. Cooperative loans were predicated on a family's ability to pay, which effectively excluded the landless and the land-poor.
Family and Kin
The family was the fundamental social unit. It provided a bulwark in the midst of political upheavals and economic reversals. People emphasized the trust, the assistance, and the solidarity that kin owed to one another. Family loyalty was an ingrained and unquestioned virtue; from early childhood, individuals learned that relatives were to be trusted and relied on, while those outside the family were, implicitly at least, suspect. In all areas of life and at every level of society, a person looked to family and kin for both social identity and succor.
Formal organizations succeeded best where they were able to mesh with pre-existing ties of kinship. Indeed, until the 1960s and the 1970s, most community activities were kin-based: a few related extended families joined together for joint endeavors. In the countryside, the core of extensively related families remained pivotal, despite large-scale migration and urbanization. If anything, the ties among kin extended more widely in contemporary society because modern transportation and communications allowed families to maintain ties over long distances and during lengthy absences.
In general, the extent to which families interacted, and the people with whom they interacted, depended on their degree of prosperity. Families with relatively equal resources shared and
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Rural family
Courtesy Inter-American Development Bank
cooperated. Where there was marked disparity in families' wealth, the more prosperous branches tried to limit the demands made by the poorer ones. On the one hand, generosity was held in high esteem, and failure to care for kin in need was disparaged; but on the other hand, families wished to help their immediate relatives and to give favors to those who could reciprocate.
A needy relative might receive the loan of a piece of land, some wage labor, or occasional gifts of food. Another type of assistance was a form of adoption, by which poorer families gave a child to more affluent relatives to raise. The adopting family was expected to care for the child and to see that he or she received a proper upbringing. The children were frequently little better than unpaid domestic help. Implicit in the arrangement was the understanding that the child's biological family, too, would receive assistance from the adopting family.
Kinship served as a metaphor for relations of trust in general. Where a kin tie was lacking, or where individuals wished to reinforce one, a relationship of compadrazgo would often be established. Those so linked are compadres (co-parents or godparents). In common with much of Latin America, strong emotional bonds linked compadres. Compadres used the formal usted instead of tu in addressing one another, even if they were kinsmen. Sexual relations between
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compadres were regarded as incestuous. Compadres were commonly chosen at baptism and marriage, but the relationship extended to the two sets of parents. The tie between the two sets of parents was expected to be strong and enduring. Any breach of trust merited the strongest community censure.
There were three accepted forms of marriage: civil, religious, and free unions. Both serial monogamy and polygamous unions were socially accepted. Annulment was difficult to obtain through the Roman Catholic Church; this fact, in addition to the expense involved, made couples reluctant to undertake a religious marriage. Civil marriage was relatively common. Divorce in this case was relatively easy and uncomplicated. Marriage forms also reflected the individual's life cycle. Most opted for free unions when they were younger, then setded into more formal marriages as they grew older and enjoyed more economic security. Class also played a role: religious marriage was favored by middle-class and upper-class groups, and it thus indicated higher socioeconomic status. The ideal marriage involved a formal engagement and a religious wedding followed by an elaborate fiesta.
No shame accrued to the man who fathered many children and maintained several women as concubines. Public disapproval followed only if the man failed to assume the role of "head of the family" and to support his children. When a free union dissolved, a woman typically received only the house she and her mate inhabited. The children received support only if they had been legally recognized by their father.
Families were usually more stable in the countryside. Since the partners were usually residing in the midst of their kin, a man could not desert his wife without disrupting his work relationship with her family. A woman enjoyed greater leverage when she could rely on her family to assist if a union failed or when she owned her own land and thus had a measure of financial independence.
In keeping with the doctrine of machismo, males usually played a dominant role within the family, and they received the deference due to the head of the household. There was wide variation in practice, however. Where a man was absent, had limited economic assets, or was simply unassertive, a woman would assume the role of head of the family.
Sex role differentiation began early: boys were allowed to run about unclothed, while girls were much more carefully groomed and dressed. Bands of boys played unwatched; girls were carefully chaperoned. Girls were expected to be quiet and helpful; boys enjoyed much greater freedom, and they were given considerable latitude in their behavior. Boys and men were expected to have
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Dominican Republic; The Society and Its Environment
premarital and extramarital sexual adventures. Men expected, however, that their brides would be virgins. Parents went to considerable lengths to shelter their daughters in order to protect their chances of making a favorable marriage.
Parent-child relationships were markedly different depending on the sex of the parent. Mothers openly displayed affection for their children; the mother-child tie was virtually inviolate. Informal polls of money changers in the 1970s indicated that remittances sent from the United States for Mother's Day exceeded even those sent at Christmas. Father-child relationships covered a broader spectrum. Ideally, the father was an authority figure to be obeyed and respected; however, fathers were typically more removed from daily family affairs than mothers.
Religion
More than 90 percent of Dominicans were professed Roman Catholics. In the late 1980s, the church organization included 1 archdiocese, 8 dioceses, and 250 parishes. There were over 500 clergy, more than 70 percent of whom belonged to religious orders. This number yielded a ratio of nominal Roman Catholics to priests of more than 10,000 to 1. Among Latin American countries only Cuba, Honduras, and El Salvador had higher ratios in the late 1980s.
Roman Catholicism is the official religion of the Dominican Republic, established by a Concordat with the Vatican. For most of the populace, however, religious practice was limited and for-malistic. Few actually attended Mass regularly. Popular religious practices were frequently far removed from Roman Catholic orthodoxy. What little religious instruction most Dominicans traditionally received came in the form of rote memorization of the catechism. Many people felt that they could best approach God through intermediariesthe clergy, the saints, witches (brujos), and curers (curanderos). The saints played an important role in popular devotion. Curanderos consulted the saints to ascertain which herbs, roots, and various home cures to employ. Brujos also cured by driving out possessive spirits that sometimes seized an individual.
Many Dominicans viewed the Roman Catholic clergy with ambivalence. People respected the advice of their local priest, or their bishop, with regard to religious matters; however, they often rejected the advice of clergy on other matters on the assumption that priests had little understanding of secular affairs. Activist priests committed to social reform were not always well-received because their direct involvement with parishioners ran counter to the traditional reserve usually displayed by the Roman Catholic clergy.
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