Balaguer and the Dominican Military

Presidential Control of the Factional Officer Corps in the 1960s and 1970s


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About the Book

Following the 1961 assassination of dictator Rafael Trujillo, the Dominican Republic descended into a period of national turmoil and political instability, culminating in 1965 when a catastrophic civil war engulfed the capital city of Santo Domingo. The intervention of foreign troops, particularly U.S. troops, played a critical role in the multinational effort to allow presidential elections to take place in June 1966. The result was the installation of Joaquin Balaguer in the presidency. Subsequently, this skillful civilian leader defeated both a right wing coup and a Cuban–based guerrilla expedition, and successfully gained control of the chaotic Dominican officer corps by the mid–1970s.
In this comprehensive study of the Dominican Republic’s Balaguer era, the author draws upon declassified U.S. State Department and military documents and his own experiences as an army attaché in the U.S. Embassy, Santo Domingo, during the early 1970s. The result is a unique, inside look at Balaguer’s presidency, his skillful manipulation of rival officers and cliques, and American involvement in the political history of the Dominican Republic.

About the Author(s)

Brian J. Bosch, Colonel, United States Army, retired, spent most of his service in military intelligence. Before El Salvador, in 1970–1974 he was the U.S. Embassy’s Defense Attaché in the Dominican Republic. He held a Latin American position in the Pentagon, and was military attaché operations chief for Latin America. Now living in Chevy Chase, Maryland, he has written for professional and academic journals on political and military affairs.

Bibliographic Details

Brian J. Bosch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 333
Bibliographic Info: 7 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3072-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8026-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
I. The Foundations of the Officer Corps      5
II. The Officer Corps and Factionalism      8
III. The Officer Corps and Balaguer      30
IV. A Military View of the Armed Forces      44
V. Officer Corps Attitudes During Balaguer’s Second Term      64
VI. Nivar Versus Pérez y Pérez: A Politico-Military Rivalry      77
VII. The Rivalry Continues      102
VIII. The Wessin y Wessin Question      112
IX. La Banda and Showdown      133
X. Nivar in the National Police      149
XI. Pérez y Pérez Dominates the Ground Forces      174
XII. The Caamaño Dossier      183
XIII. The Critical First 12 Days of the Caamaño Expedition      198
XIV. The Death of Caamaño and the Aftermath      221
XV. The End of the Campaign      245
XVI. The Last Years of the Rivalry Between Nivar and Pérez y Pérez      267
XVII. A Final View      281

Chapter Notes      291
Bibliography      311
Index      319