The Dominican Civil War , also known as the April War , the Revolution of ’65 , or simply as the April Revolution , took place between April 24 and September 3, 1965, in Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic . It started when civil and military followers of the constitutionally elected president Juan Bosch overthrew President Donald Reid Cabral . The coup d’état led to General Elías Wessin and Wessinto organize military loyal to President Reid and for his interests since they had a mafia of arms in conjunction with the United States and with the return of Juan Bosch that arms trafficking was endangered, initiating a campaign against the so-called constitutionalist rebels. Allegations of foreign support for the rebels led to a US intervention in the conflict, which later turned into an occupation by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the country. Later in the same year, international troops withdrew from the country. Elections were held in 1966, in which Joaquín Balaguer was elected president.
The Juan Bosch government was largely a rarity in Dominican history at the time: Free elections legitimized a liberal democratic government, which expressed concern for the well-being of all Dominicans, especially those in modest circumstances, those whose voices never before they had actually been heard at the National Palace. [ appointment required ]
In April of that year, a new constitution guaranteed civil and individual rights and supported civilian control of the military. The new document granted freedoms that had never been known in the country; Some labor rights were declared, as well as unions, pregnant women, the homeless, the family, children and youth, farmers and legitimate children were also taken into account. These and other changes, such as land ownership reform, hit conservative and military landowners, especially when exposed to three decades of sleepy authoritarianism under the Rafael Leónidas Trujillo regime.. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church also reproached the secular nature of the new Constitution, in particular the provision for the legalization of divorce. The hierarchy, along with the military leadership and the economic elite, also feared communist influence in the country, and warned of the possibility of “another Cuba .” The result of this concern and the opposition was to carry out a military coup on September 25 , 1963 .
The coup d’état effectively denied the 1962 elections by installing a civilian junta, known as the “Triumvirate,” dominated by the remnants of Trujillo. The initial leader of the Triumvirate was Donald Reid Cabral . The Triumvirate failed to establish its authority over conservative factions, either within or outside the military, nor did it convince the majority of the population of its legitimacy.
Widespread dissatisfaction with Reid and his government, along with loyalties to President Bosch, produced a revolution on May 16 .
Direct consequences (socio-political)
Trujillo was dead; But he had strong and dangerous followers who conspired since he came to power and another ingredient was the payment of the foreign debt that brought much sovereignty and independence to the country and this event caused suspicion by the United States and they allied themselves with the Trujillistas of the the country and led to the overthrow of the Juan Bosch government that lasted just seven months. This event divided Dominican society, a de facto government was elected, and popular protests and the sector that demanded a return to constitutionality increased, and that Juan Bosch occupied the presidency again, something that was impossible due to unconditional support. that the USA gave the trujillista sector that had taken political and military control of the country. [ appointment required]
Although the military victory was decisively for the legitimist and interventionist troops, the armed conflict served Dominican society to verify its ability to demonstrate in its own defense, thus giving a partially patriotic legacy to the constitutionalist side.
Caamaño’s political life after the civil war
Although a considerable part of the population entered the legitimist side in defense of their own nation, the popular military leader Francisco Caamano considered that the conflict had a “social victory” in the country. After the civil war ended and in the following years, Francisco Caamano held certain diplomatic positions representing the country in the United States and Europe; However, his guerrilla spirit led him to settle in Cuba under the protection of the Fidel Castro government . From there, he created an insurgent military plan with the objective of formalizing a guerrilla focus in the Dominican Republic , to start a revolution and definitively overthrow President Joaquín Balaguer. (reformist-conservative), but in this case the population would rebel in defense of the government, and the Dominican Armed Forces would act loyally under government order, thus crushing the 1973 insurgency and assassinating Francisco Caamano (it is not yet clear what he wanted really achieve that insurgency).