The 1916-1924 occupation of the Dominican Republic by the United States resulted eventually in the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who dominated Dominican politics from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. Trujillo maintained his political power by force, using the Dominican National Guard—a counter-insurgency force created and trained by the U.S. Army in 1917—to defend his regime and control an unstable nation. The anarchy of the early twentieth century was replaced by an authoritarian stability favorable to foreign investment and by policies that facilitated an imperial influence that benefitted few Dominicans. “The root causes of migration were firmly established during the Trujillo era,” because the Dominican Republic’s induction into the global economy was designed for the benefit of foreigners and their partners in the Dominican oligarchy. Trujillo himself was shameless in profiting from the poverty of others, and he used the Dominican Republic as a personal empire to increase his family fortune. At the time of his death, he was one of the ten richest men in the world.[1]

Dictators like Trujillo were regarded as convenient to U.S. interests and—after the second World War—to anti-communism, but the Cuban Revolution in 1959 fostered a shift in perception. Dictatorship then came to be viewed as an impediment to progress and a catalyst of radical movements. In April, 1960, as Trujillo’s power was faltering, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a contingency plan to remove Trujillo from office. In subsequent months there was active communication regarding Dominican dissidents’ request for firearms to use in the assassination of Trujillo. Initially the United States covertly supported the assassination, and in July, 1960 the Assistant Secretary of State approved the delivery of twelve untraceable rifles with telescopic sights. The U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic had previously introduced his Deputy Chief-of-Mission, Henry Dearborn, to the dissident leaders, and in August, 1960, when the U.S. interrupted diplomatic relations and recalled most of its personnel from the Dominican Republic, Dearborn stayed behind as Consul General and de facto CIA Chief of Station.  In October, 1960, a State Department-CIA liaison requested an update on the situation, and Dearborn’s response included the following: “One further point which I should probably not even make.… If I were a Dominican, which thank heaven I am not, I would favor destroying Trujillo as being the first necessary step in the salvation of my country and I would regard this, in fact, as my Christian duty.”[2]

This preference for assassination was counterbalanced by the concern that the “mere disposal of Trujillo may create more problems than solutions.” The CIA feared that the post-assassination chaos and the lack of a recognized cohering authority could lead to a Castro-like takeover in the Dominican Republic. Consequently, “attempts were made by State and CIA representatives in the Dominican Republic to dissuade the dissidents from a precipitous assassination attempt. These efforts to halt the assassination of Trujillo were the result of instructions from CIA Headquarters and were prompted by concern over filling the power vacuum which would result from Trujillo’s death.” Machine guns requested by the dissidents had arrived in the Dominican Republic on April 19, 1961, but permission to deliver them was withheld.[3]

The fear of a Castro-type takeover thus contributed first to the plan to eliminate Trujillo and then to abandonment of that plan. Trujillo’s presence was conducive to communism, but so was his absence. Trujillo’s dictatorship was supported for anti-communist reasons; his assassination was facilitated for anti-communist reasons; and his assassination was then discouraged for anti-communist reasons. There was also concern—particularly after the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba on April 17, 1961—of an international scandal for U.S. complicity in the assassination plot.

Trujillo was assassinated on the night of May 30, 1961. “Immediately following the assassination, all CIA personnel in the Dominican Republic were removed from the country and within a few days Consul General Dearborn was back in Washington.” The State Department instructed the CIA station in the Dominican Republic to destroy all records concerning contacts with the dissidents and any related matters. One document excepted from the destruction, as a misdirecting paper trail, was a May 29, 1961 cable to Dearborn stating that the U.S. should not be involved in assassinations. If anything were to happen, it added, it would be an independent Dominican operation.[4]

In 1962 Juan Bosch was elected president of the Dominican Republic by a strong majority, and in September, 1963, seven months after taking office, he was deposed by a military coup. Like any Latin American reformist president, Bosch faced formidable domestic opposition from the elite, the military, and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. His nationalism, his independence, and his tolerance of communist political activity in the Dominican Republic were also conducive to antagonism from the United States. Bosch, as described in a June, 14, 1963 CIA memorandum, “rightly considers that he has a popular mandate to bring about a radical transformation of political, economic, and social conditions in the Dominican Republic. He hopes to accomplish this purpose by such measures as agrarian and tax reform, economic development primarily through private foreign investment, and a more equitable distribution of earnings than has been the case hitherto.” At the same time, the memorandum explains, Bosch “is nationalistic, egotistic, and aware of the political inexpediency of appearing to be a US puppet. Consequently, he is not readily amenable to US advice regarding his policy with respect to Communist activities.”Ambassador John Bartlow Martin made some of these same points about Bosch, noting in particular the concerns regarding communism and that Bosch was resistant to domination by the United States. Martin felt that the coup was unjustified, however, because “it overthrew not merely Bosch. It overthrew the principle: Constitutional government, representative democracy, the right of the people to elect their own rulers.” Many Dominicans today believe that the overthrow of Bosch undermined the opportunity for advancement and true representative democracy.[5]

The United States supported Bosch while he was in office (Lyndon Johnson, then the vice president, attended Bosch’s inauguration) but after the coup saw other opportunities and found reasons—communist concerns again prominent among them—to oppose Bosch’s return to the presidency. The Johnson administration had ample intelligence to dispel allegations of communism but throughout the crisis chose instead to inflate the communist threat. The mentioned CIA memorandum expressed concern regarding Bosch’s tolerance of communists, but also explained that “There is currently under way a concerted campaign to discredit Bosch by charging that he is himself a crypto-Communist engaged in establishing a Communist dictatorship, or else that his ineptitude will lead to a Communist take over in the Dominican Republic. Manifestly, this campaign represents the reaction of vested interests who see their privileged position threatened by Bosch’s revolutionary purposes.” Bosch himself wrote that accusations of Communism “are catapulted against any politician or intellectual who dares to preach the least reform,” and Senator J. William Fulbright similarly recognized that Latin American oligarchies “habitually use the term ‘Communist’ very loosely, in part out of emotional predilection and in part in a calculated effort to scare the United States into supporting their selfish and discredited aims.”[6]

A communist threat, if there was one, would come not from Bosch himself but rather from his removal through an uprising or coup: “If Bosch should fail to satisfy the expectations of the Dominican masses, or if he should be overthrown by a reactionary coup, the Communists would have an opportunity to seize the leadership of the popular revolutionary movement.” Given these circumstances, in which communism emerges from Bosch’s removal, the logical position for the anti-communist United States would have been to support Bosch’s presidency. The 1963 coup against Bosch is in itself suggestive of U.S. complicity or willful inaction, because—as the CIA memorandum explains—the survival of Bosch’s presidency depended “ultimately upon continued US support, particularly as a restraint upon the Dominican military.”[7]

The 1963 CIA memorandum, when compared to a draft dated a week earlier, also suggests that intelligence was at times modified in a manner unfavorable to Bosch. The draft states that Bosch’s reformist political agenda was “compatible with the Alliance for Progress”; that “there is in fact no evidence that Bosch is himself a Communist”; and that “present communist strength in the Dominican Republic is not formidable.” These observations were not included in the final version that was released for official use, however, and their exclusion contributed to an image of Bosch as uncooperative with the United States and as a prelude to communism. Bosch himself later wrote that “The Alliance for Progress constituted a help, an excellent help” that was “indeed imperative” because the Dominican Republic “had been stripped of all its capital by the Trujillo family.” He also observed that Latin American oligarchies “opposed the Alliance for Progress because it demanded social and economic reforms.” The conservative political interests that were ultimately supported by the United States, in other words, were those most prone to undermine the social and economic development that the United States ostensibly advocated.[8]

The change of U.S. policy from support to adversity toward Bosch was partly a consequence of the transition from the Kennedy to the Johnson administration. Johnson was deeply, personally invested, and he tended to make decisions first and then to backfill with intelligence that was sometimes fabricated for this purpose. As explained by Pat M. Holt, Chief of Staff of the Foreign Relations Committee, “that crisis was really run out of the White House. It was really run by Lyndon Johnson, who in effect acted as the Dominican Republic desk officer for about three months.” Johnson’s telephone conversations recorded from April through December, 1965 document his concern about the political consequences to his presidency if communists were victorious in the Dominican Republic. This concern contributed to an overestimation of a communist threat and to Johnson’s decision to commit troops despite his knowledge that the threat was unsubstantiated. Particularly during the calls on April 30, 1965, one can see the president gradually talking himself into a Castro-led communist insurrection, getting comfortable with the idea, elevating the threat to a historical truth that restricted policy options and demanded action.[9]

The coup against Bosch ignited a period of political instability and violence between factions known as the constitutionalists (who supported Bosch) and the loyalists. The loyalists had the support of the U.S. Embassy and its military attachés, but nevertheless the constitutionalist managed to gain provisional control of Santo Domingo by April 27, 1965. During intense fighting with heavy casualties on both sides, the constitutionalists ceased fire and requested mediation of the U.S. Embassy; the ambassador declined and advocated surrender to the loyalists.

On the afternoon of April 28, 1965, the governing junta petitioned “unlimited and immediate military assistance” from the United States in order to defeat what it described as a communist-led rebellion intending to “turn the country into another Cuba.” A telegram from the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo sounded the same theme, encouraging intervention “to prevent another Cuba from arising out of the ashes of this uncontrollable situation.”[10]

The same evening as the junta’s request, under instructions from Washington, the Embassy advised that the junta revise its request for military assistance by stating that the purpose was protection of U.S. lives, rather than prevention of a communist take-over. The junta complied and submitted the revised request shortly after midnight. This provided greater legitimacy and a legal basis for the U.S. military intervention, although the first Marines—about 400—had already landed, before the paperwork to request them had been completed. Eventually there were 23,000 U.S. troops involved. Despite the claim of neutrality as a peace-keeping force with humanitarian purposes, the United States allied with the loyalists from the start to impede the return of Bosch and the 1963 constitution.[11]

Lieutenant General Bruce Palmer, Jr., who was eventually given command of U.S. forces, received his instructions on May 1, 1965 from General Earle Wheeler: “Your announced mission is to save US lives. Your unannounced mission is to prevent the Dominican Republic from going Communist.” Once the pro-Bosch faction had been labeled as communist, however, the unannounced mission implicitly included the defeat of that faction. As Fulbright put it, “The United States intervened forcibly in the Dominican Republic in the last week of April 1965 not primarily to save American lives, as was contended, but to prevent the victory of a revolutionary movement which was judged to be Communist dominated.” Fulbright also asserted that the evidence did not support this judgment.[12]

The decisions around the 1965 military intervention were ponderous affairs settled finally by disinformation and duplicity. During a meeting in the White House Cabinet Room, intervention was desirable but problematical because, as National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy put it, “We have no international cover. We have no real legitimacy.” The hope was for an Organization of American States (OAS) contingent to the Dominican Republic, but the response was slow. An exasperated Johnson remarked, “I am not willing to let this island go to Castro. OAS is a phantom—they are taking a siesta while this is on fire.” Later he added: “I want us to feverishly try to cloak this with legitimacy.” In another meeting, the CIA director reported to Johnson that there were no communists involved in the insurrection, so the displeased president “called in J. Edgar Hoover and said, ‘Find me some Communists in the Dominican Republic.’”  This order led to the dispatch of FBI agents who searched the island and produced a list of fifty-eight names. U.S. journalists later documented that among even these few alleged communists many were dead, abroad, in prison, or not communists at all.[13]

Johnson wanted to publicly implicate the communists for responsibility in the Dominican uprising, but Bundy, Robert McNamara, and Bill Moyers advised against it for lack of evidence. In televised speeches, particularly the one on May 2, Johnson nevertheless made specific allegations in full knowledge that there was little or no evidence to support them: “What began as a popular democratic revolution, committed to democracy and social justice, very shortly moved and was taken over and really seized and placed into the hands of a band of Communist conspirators.” This unsubstantiated version of the events—indeed, a fabrication—was broadcast to win public support for the invasion, and Johnson embellished it with unverified atrocities attributed to “communists.” In an untelevised press conference he told reporters that the intervention was precipitated because “some 1,500 innocent people were murdered and shot and their heads cut off.”[14]

Propaganda initiatives fostered the idea that communists were behind the insurrection, that the U.S. troops were deployed for an impartial humanitarian mission, and that the U.S. goal was to enable “the Dominican people to choose freely a government of social justice and democracy.” A psychological warfare team was sent to the Dominican Republic, because it would be untenable to justify the invasion “simply on the grounds that we are protecting Americans and other foreigners.” The team, from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, disseminated the idea that U.S. “actions are to protect the short-range and long-range well-being of the people of the Dominican Republic and the rest of Latin America.”[15]

In the last analysis, both the allegations of communism and the saving of American lives were pretexts that provided cover for the principal purpose of the invasion: “Johnson did not want Juan Bosch to return to power in the Dominican Republic.” The intervention intended to establish a Dominican government supportive of U.S. economic and strategic interests, and this was done under the pretext of preventing a communist take-over (and preventing the domestic political fallout if such were to occur), which in turn was done under the pretext of saving American lives.[16]

Two presidential candidates ultimately emerged from the hostilities following the 1963 coup: Juan Bosch and Joaquín Balaguer. After stating that Balaguer “would be less difficult in relations with the United States,” the April, 1966 National Security Estimate added: “This is not to say that Bosch would set a policy line antithetical to US interests, but simply that he bears a bitterness which cannot readily be erased and would not be likely to cooperate more enthusiastically than he thought necessary.” This assessment also noted that Bosch “would be likely to follow foreign policy lines acceptable to the US, mainly because of concern that badly-needed US economic aid would not otherwise be continued.” Bosch, by this reckoning, was an acceptable choice and certainly not communist, but Balaguer provided an option more favorable to U.S. interests. Abe Fortas, send by Johnson to negotiate in the Dominican Republic, informally remarked that “this fellow Bosch is a complete Latin poet-hero type and he’s completely devoted to this damn constitution.” That devotion made Bosch’s interests more pro-Dominican than pro-American.[17]

Bosch’s chances for success in the election were also handicapped by a Dominican propaganda campaign, which spread the idea that Bosch’s reelection would be unacceptable to the military, would provoke another coup, and would consequently result either in a dictatorship or a return to civil war. A vote for Bosch was viewed by many as a return to conflict, whereas a vote for Balaguer, for better or worse, would lead to a peaceful status quo, the end of foreign occupation, and some semblance of stability going forward. [18]

Balaguer, who held several high appointments during the dictatorship and assumed the presidency following Trujillo’s assassination, was the candidate favored by the United States despite the many attributes to his discredit. A telegram from the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo to the Department of State dated May 21, 1964, observed, “Balaguer’s proven combination of political charlatanry and economic profligacy, together with his record of close association with the Trujillo dynasty, would scarcely seem to recommend him as in the U.S. interest.” Nevertheless, in a telephone conversation on April 26, 1965, just two day after the beginning of the crisis, Johnson agreed to support Balaguer because “this Bosch is no good.” A memorandum from Acting Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, dated December 29, 1965, reiterates for the record “that the President told the Director and me on more than one occasion between May and mid-July, he expected the Agency to devote the necessary personnel and material resources to the Dominican Republic required to win the presidential election for the candidate favored by the United States Government. The President’s statements were unequivocal. He wants to win the election, and he expects the Agency to arrange for this to happen.” The strategy was “to provide Balaguer with such increased financial assistance as may be needed to enable him to campaign effectively,” and to do so covertly, without Balaguer knowing the source of the funds.[19]

Johnson had a different story for public consumption: “Let me also make clear tonight that we support no single man or any single group of men in the Dominican Republic.” He added that “the form and the nature of the free Dominican government, I assure you, is solely a matter for the Dominican people”; and again, “we hope to see a government freely chosen by the will of all of the people.”[20]

Balaguer held the Dominican presidency from 1966 to 1978 and was later reelected, sometimes through electoral fraud, for a total of six presidencies that ended finally in 1996. During the regime that began in 1966, known informally as “the twelve years,” Balaguer enforced his power through repressive violence directed first at political opposition and then at organized labor. The murder, disappearance, and arbitrary arrest and detention of thousands of Dominicans occurred during these years, many of them at the hands of a paramilitary group known as the Banda Colorá. As was common in Latin America during these decades, authoritarian governments—some dictatorships and others, like Balaguer’s, ostensible democracies that functioned like dictatorships—kept discontent masses repressed violently while pursuing a development course that benefitted a small elite and foreign investors.

From the disillusionment with Trujillo to the support of Balaguer, anti-communist concerns served as rationale and as pretext for U.S. manipulations of Dominican sovereignty. When it tolerated the coup against Bosch and impeded his return to office under the aegis of anti-communism, the United States frustrated the development of representative democracy in the Dominican Republic and supported an inequitable status quo favorable to neocolonial interests. “We cannot successfully advance the cause of popular democracy and at the same time align ourselves with corrupt and reactionary oligarchies,” Fulbright argued in 1965. “The reaction of the United States at the time of acute crisis was to intervene forcibly and illegally against a revolution which, had we sought to influence it instead of suppressing it, might have produced a strong popular government without foreign military intervention.”[21]

The U.S. preemptive intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965-1966 is one of several instances (Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973 are other examples) in which the United States undermined reformist governments and supported repressive regimes favorable to U.S. interests.These interventions have significantly contributed to the perpetuation of poverty that, in turn, motivates migration. When it supports authoritarian regimes, labor exploitation, or the political and economic hegemony of a small elite, U.S. foreign policy is a contributing cause of the same migration that U.S. border enforcement attempts to curtail.[22]


[1] The quoted phrase is from Peggy Levitt, “Transnational Ties and Incorporation: The Case of Dominicans in the United States,” in The Columbia History of Latinos in the United States Since 1960, ed. David G. Gutiérrez (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 233. See Piero Gleijeses, tr. Lawrence Lipson, The Dominican Crisis: The 1965 Constitutionalist Revolt and American Intervention (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), 21-22, 25, and 28; and James Ferguson, The Dominican Republic: Beyond the Lighthouse (London: Latin American Bureau, 1992), 81 and 23.

[2] The quoted passage is from a letter from Henry Dearborn dated October 27, 1960, in Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders (“Church Committee Report”) (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975), 195. Regarding the shift in perception, see Gleijeses, 26 and Jerome N. Slater, “The Dominican Republic, 1961-66,” in Force Without War: U.S. Armed Forces as a Political Instrument, Barry M. Blechman and Stephen S. Kaplan, et al. (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1978), 290. Regarding the assassination, see the April 14, 1960 memorandum from the Secretary of State to the President and a July 1, 1960 CIA memorandum, both in Senate Select Committee, 192 and 193, respectively. For discussion of arms-request approvals and covert plans, see 196-201. See also Gleijeses, 303-307.

[3] The two quoted passages are from Senate Select Committee, 201 and 205, respectively (the first is froma March 24, 1961 cable). See 205-209. Regarding concerns of a communist takeover in the event of Trujillo’s fall, see Gleijeses, 305 and U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, “Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy,” Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume 12, American Republics, Document 302 (February 15, 1961).

[4] Senate Select Committee, 213-214.

[5] The first two quoted passages are from U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, Central Intelligence Agency, “President Bosch and Internal Security in the Dominican Republic,” Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume 12, American Republics, Document 356 (June 14, 1963). A State Department report dated July 17, 1961 captured the ambivalence: The public position of Bosch’s party “is one of peaceful rather than revolutionary action and it has taken an open stand against Communism and Castroism,” but “an FBI report has cited him as a Communist and the Department is urgently attempting to secure an evaluation from the intelligence community to clarify this point.” Department of State, “Courses of Action in the Dominican Republic,” Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume 12, American Republics, Document 315 (July 17, 1961).

The last quoted passages is from John Bartlow Martin, Overtaken by Events: The Dominican Crisis from the Fall of Trujillo to the Civil War (New York: Doubleday, 1966), 583; see 347 and 594. See also the documents by Martin and the January 4, 1962 letter to Ralph A. Dungan, Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy, in the JFK Library digital files entitled “Dominican Republic: Security, February 1961-September 1963.” For U.S. concerns of communists around Bosch, see Abraham F. Lowenthal, The Dominican Intervention (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972), 78-79. For an example of Dominican perceptions regarding the consequences of the coup against Bosch, see Milagros Iturrondo, Voces quisqueyanas en Borinquen (San Juan: Ediciones Camila, 2000), 54.

[6] The first quoted passage is from Central Intelligence Agency, “President Bosch and Internal Security,” npn. The second quoted passage is from Juan Bosch, The Unfinished Experiment: Democracy in the Dominican Republic (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1965), 141. The last quoted passage is from Senator J. William Fulbright, “Appraisal of U.S. Policy in the Dominican Crisis,” September 15, 1965, from Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the Eighty-Ninth Congress, First Session, Volume 3, No. 170, Daily Edition (September 15, 1965): pgs 22998-23005.

[7] Both quoted passages are from Central Intelligence Agency, “President Bosch and Internal Security,” npn.

[8] The first three quoted passages are from Central Intelligence Agency Memorandum; Coordination Draft, “President Bosch and Internal Security in the Dominican Republic,” (June 7, 1963); pages 1, 8, and 9, respectively. The draft and the final version both express concern with Bosch’s tolerance of Communists and with the possibility of a communist rise to power if Bosch’s government were to fail.

The other quoted passages are from Bosch, 148 and 151. See Slater, 336. A premise of the Alliance was that the elite and its allies in the military and church, although resistant to change, would recognize democratic reform as an alternative preferable to revolution.

[9] The first quoted passage is from Pat M. Holt, Chief of Staff, Foreign Relations Committee, Interview 6, “The Dominican Republic and Gulf of Tonkin Affairs,” Interviewed by Donald A. Ritchie (Washington, D.C.: United States Senate Historical Office, Oral History Project, November 10, 1980), 170-171. When Holt had his one opportunity to view a raw CIA report, “I read through this and concluded that sure enough the way the situation had been presented by the Johnson administration really did not jive with the reports that the administration was getting from State and CIA” (172).  See Alan McPherson, “Misled by Himself: What the Johnson Tapes Reveal about the Dominican Intervention of 1965,” Latin American Research Review 38/2 (2003): 129, n. 5, where Johnson “micro-managed” the crisis, and 137: “I think the worst domestic political disaster we could suffer,” Johnson said during a telephone conversation with Abe Fortas on April 30, 1965, “would be for Castro to take over.” See also Martin, 654 and Fulbright, “Appraisal of US Policy,” npn, for “possible effects on the careers of those who might be held responsible.”

[10] The first two quoted passages are in Martin, 656 (translation modified), and the third is from Daniel Lawler and Carolyn Yee, eds. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, volume 32, Dominican Republic; Cuba; Haiti; Guyana (Washington, D.C.: United States Department of State, 2005), 85. See José A. Moreno, Barrios in Arms: Revolution in Santo Domingo (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970), 28-30 and 34; and Ferguson, 28. For a summary of the constitutionalists’ reform agenda, see Moreno, 86-90.

[11] See Martin, 656-657. For the specific objectives of military operations, see Slater, 310-311.

[12] The first quoted passage is in Lawler and Yee, 102. See Lowenthal, 116 and Martin 707 and 713. The second quoted passage is from Fulbright, npn. In a telephone conversation between Secretary of Defense McNamara and President Johnson on May 12, 1965, McNamara said in exasperation: “I just don’t believe the story that Bosch and Camaño are controlled by the Castroites” (in Lawler and Yee, 151).

[13] The first three quoted passages are in Lawler and Yee, 100-101. See Slater, 332. When the matter was brought before the Organization of American States on April 30, there were already 23,000 US troops in the Dominican Republic. See Jan Knippers Black, The Dominican Republic: Politics and Development in an Unsovereign State (Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1986) 38-39; 126-128 describes how the OAS was subsequently manipulated as an instrument of U.S. policy. The last quoted passages is from the Holt interview, 186.

[14] The first quoted passage is in McPherson, 142; see 140-146. See also Lawler and Yee, 109 and Lowenthal, 104-105. The second quoted passage is in Randall Bennett Woods, Fulbright: A Biography (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 381.

[15] The first quoted passage is from a May 2, 1965 memorandum from the Director of the U.S. Information Agency to President Johnson, in Lawler and Yee, 122. See 113. The last two quoted passages are from in Lawler and Yee, 123, n.4. See Slater, 321.

[16] The quoted passage is from the Holt interview, 180. The historical record tends to register the pretexts rather than the actual reasons for invasions. See for example Richard F. Grimmett, “Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2001” (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, February 5, 2002). In the 1965 entry regarding the Dominican Republic, the U.S. “intervened to protect lives and property…and sent more troops as fears grew that the revolutionary forces were coming increasingly under Communist control.”

[17] The first three quoted passages are in Lawler and Yee, 400. The Fortas passage is in McPherson, 133.

[18] Frank Moya Pons, Breve historia contemporánea de la República Dominicana (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1999), 241. The Church hierarchy discouraged Catholics from voting for Bosch.

[19] The first quoted passage is in Lawler and Yee, 15. The second quoted passage is in McPherson, 136. The last quoted passage is from an April 30, 1966 State Department memorandum in Lawler and Yee, 403. See 404 and 458.

[20] All of the quoted passages are from a May 2, 1965 White House press release in Ernesto Sagás and Orlando Inoa, The Dominican People: A Documentary History (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2003), 227.

[21] Fulbright, npn. Seth Tillman, who wrote the speech with Fulbright, later observed that Fulbright decided finally to give the speech on the senate floor because the U.S. intervention was “an outrageous violation of the OAS charter and a major mistake in policy.” Quoted in Woods, 384. For an alternate view, see Lowenthal, 132. See also 14-15, where U.S. support of Bosch’s presidency is summarized, and 153-155, where there was a tendency “to err on the side of magnifying the Communist risk” (154).

[22] See Justin Lewis, Constructing Public Opinion: How Political Elites Do What They Like and Why We Seem to Go Along with It (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), 130, where U.S. foreign policy is motivated by “a fairly simple set of imperatives that involve the protection—and extension—of U.S. corporate interests and a system of corporate capitalism in general,” and yet “the solidity of the notion that U.S. foreign policy is informed by a higher set of principles remains firmly enshrined in media [and political] discourse.”