US Sends Troops to Dominican Republic - History

US Sends Troops to Dominican Republic - History

L-R: George Ball, Sec. Dean Rusk, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Jack Valenti, Richard Goodwin, unidentified, George Reedy, McGeorge Bundy, unidentified.

President Johnson ordered American troops to intervene in the Dominican Republic to maintain order and ensure that there would be no communist government established. American troops remained less than a year.

The Dominican Republic was ruled for many years by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. He was assasinated in 1961. In December 1962, the Dominicans elected liberal intellectual Juan Bosch as president. Seven months later the military staged a coup, and President Kennedy cut off all aid. Lyndon Johnson, however, resumed some aid when he became president. On April 25th, some army officers attempted a coup that failed, and the Dominican Republic was plunged into civil war.

On April 28th, President Johnson ordered 23,000 American troops to the Dominican Republic, at the urging of the American Ambassador, who claimed that Communist-oriented rebels might win. The American forces succeeded in bringing order, but met with objections both domestic and from the Organization of American States (OAS). The United States convinced the OAS to send an international peacekeeping force to replace the American forces and, within a year, free elections were held in the Dominican Republic, and all American troops were withdrawn.


On November 19, 1911, General Luis Tejera led a group of conspirators in an ambush on the horsedrawn carriage of Dominican President Ramón Cáceres. During the shootout, Cáceres was killed and Tejera wounded in the leg. In the ensuing power vacuum, General Alfredo Victoria, the commander of the army, seized control and forced the Dominican Congress to elect his uncle, Eladio Victoria, as the new president. The general was widely suspected of bribing the Congress, and his uncle, who took office on February 27, 1912, lacked legitimacy. The former president Horacio Vásquez soon returned from exile to lead his followers, the horacistas, in a popular uprising against the new government. [5]

The result was several years of great political instability and civil war. US mediation by the William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson administrations achieved only short respites each time. A political deadlock in 1914 was broken after an ultimatum by Wilson telling Dominicans that unless they chose a president, they would see the United States impose one. A provisional president was chosen, and later that year, relatively-free elections returned the former president (1899–1902) Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra to power. To achieve a government that was more broadly supported, Jimenes named opposition individuals to his cabinet. However, that brought no peace and, with his former Secretary of War Desiderio Arias maneuvering to depose him and despite a US offer of military aid against Arias, Jimenes resigned on May 7, 1916. [6]

Wilson thus ordered the United States occupation of the Dominican Republic. The US Marines landed on May 16, 1916, and controlled the country two months later. The US military government, led by Rear Admiral Harry Shepard Knapp, was widely repudiated by Dominicans, with many factions within the country leading guerrilla campaigns against the US forces. [6] The occupation regime kept most Dominican laws and institutions and largely pacified the general population. The occupying government also revived the Dominican economy, reduced the nation's debt, built a road network that finally connected all regions of the country, and created a professional National Guard to replace the warring partisan units. [6]

Vigorous opposition to the occupation continued, nevertheless, and after World War I, it increased in the US as well, where President Warren G. Harding (1921–23), Wilson's successor, worked to put an end to the occupation, as he had promised during his electoral campaign. The US occupation ended in October 1922, and elections were held in March 1924. [6] The victor was the former president (1902–03) Horacio Vásquez Lajara, who had co-operated with the United States. He was inaugurated on July 13, 1924, and the last US forces left in September. Vásquez gave the country six years of stable governance in which political and civil rights were respected and the economy grew strongly in a relatively-peaceful atmosphere. [6] [7]

A rebellion or coup d'état [8] [9] against him broke out in February 1930 in Santiago. Rafael Trujillo secretly cut a deal with the rebel leader Rafael Estrella Ureña. In return for Trujillo letting Estrella take power, Estrella would allow Trujillo to run for president in new elections. As the rebels marched toward Santo Domingo, Vásquez ordered Trujillo to suppress them. However, feigning "neutrality," Trujillo kept his men in barracks, which allowed Estrella's rebels to take the capital virtually unopposed. On March 3, Estrella was proclaimed acting president, with Trujillo confirmed as the head of the police and of the army. As per their agreement, Trujillo became the presidential nominee of the newly formed Patriotic Coalition of Citizens (Spanish: Coalición patriotica de los ciudadanos), with Estrella as his running mate. [10] The other candidates became targets of harassment by the army and withdrew when it became apparent that Trujillo would be the only person who would be allowed to campaign effectively. Ultimately, the Trujillo-Estrella ticket was proclaimed victorious with an implausible 99% of the vote. According to the US ambassador, Trujillo received more votes than there were actual voters. [11]

On May 30, 1961, Trujillo was shot and killed when his blue 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was ambushed on a road outside the Dominican capital. [12] He was the victim of an ambush plotted by a number of men, such as General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado García Guerrero, and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. [13]

The country came under the rule of a military junta until 1963, when democratic elections were organized with US aid. Juan Emilio Bosch Gaviño emerged victorious in the elections, assuming office. Bosch then tried to implement a number of social democratic reforms, which caused the anger of the clergy, business magnates and members of the army, who initiated a rumor campaign that accused Bosch of being a communist. On September 25, 1963, a group of 25 senior military commanders, led by Elías Wessin y Wessin, expelled Bosch from the country and installed Donald Reid Cabral as the new president. Reid failed to gather popular support, and several factions prepared to launch a coup, such as Constitutionalists under Bosch, a group in the Dominican army under Peña Taveras, supporters of the former Dominican Revolutionary Party leader Nicolás Silfa and plotters siding with Joaquín Balaguer. [14]

April Revolution Edit

On April 24, 1965, three junior officers requested a meeting with President Donald Reid Cabral, who revoked the commission [ clarification needed ] after he had received news of a suspected anti-government plot. When Chief of Staff Riviera Cuesta was instead sent to discuss with the officers at the August 16 military camp, he was immediately detained. A group of military constitutionalists and Dominican Revolutionary Party (DRP) supporters then seized the Radio Santo Domingo building and issued calls of sedition while Constitutionalist officers distributed weapons and Molotov cocktails to their civilian comrades. The transmissions prompted the garrison of the February 27 camp and a unit of the Dominican Navy's frogmen to defect. Large numbers of police officers abandoned their positions and changed into civilian clothing. [15]

The following day, Reid appointed General Wessin y Wessin as the new chief of staff. Wessin rallied the government troops, branded them Loyalists, and announced his plans of suppressing the rebellion. At 10:30 am rebels stormed the presidential palace and arrested Reid. Several hours later, four Loyalist P-51 Mustangs conducted aerial bombings of the National Palace and other Constitutionalist positions, and one plane was shot down during the incident. A single Loyalist vessel, Mella, on the river Ozama, also bombarded the palace. Fearing that a mob, which had gathered at the palace, would lynch Reid, the rebel commander Francisco Caamaño allowed him to escape, as Reid had already lost the support of the Loyalists. The majority of the DRP leadership fled the capital, and Constitutionalists mobilized a total of 5,000 armed civilians and 1,500 members of the military. [14] [15] On April 26, José Rafael Molina Ureña was declared the provisional president, and large crowds gathered in the streets to demand Bosch's return from exile.

US intervention Edit

In the meantime, US diplomats in Santo Domingo initiated preparations for evacuating 3,500 U.S citizens. In the early morning of April 27, 1,176 foreign civilians who had assembled in Hotel Embajador were airlifted to the Bajos de Haina naval facility, where they boarded USS Ruchamkin and USS Wood County, as well as the helicopters of HMM-264, which evacuated them from the island to USS Boxer and USS Raleigh. Later that day, 1,500 Loyalist troops, supported by armored cars and tanks, marched from the San Isidro Air Base, captured Duarte Bridge, and took position on the west bank of the Ozama River. A second force, consisting of 700 soldiers, left San Cristóbal and attacked the western suburbs of Santo Domingo. Rebels overran the Fortaleza Ozama police headquarters and took 700 prisoners. On April 28, armed civilians attacked the Villa Consuelo police station and executed all of the police officers who survived the initial skirmish. One US Marine battalion landed in Haina and later moved to Hotel Embajador, where it provided assistance in the upcoming airlifts. During the night, 684 civilians were airlifted to USS Boxer. One US Marine was killed by a rebel sniper during the operation. [15]

On April 29, the US ambassador to the Dominican Republic, William Tapley Bennett, who had sent numerous reports to US President Lyndon Johnson, reported that the situation had reached life-threatening proportions for US citizens and that the rebels received foreign support. Bennett stressed that the US had to act immediately, as the creation of an international coalition would be time-consuming. Contrary to the suggestions of his advisers, Johnson authorized the transformation of evacuation operations into a large-scale military intervention through Operation Power Pack, which was aimed to prevent the development of what he saw as a second Cuban Revolution. [14] [15] [16] It was the first U.S. military intervention in Latin America in more than 30 years. [17]

At 2:16 a.m. on April 30, 1965, the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division landed at the San Isidro Air Base and started the US military intervention in the conflict. During the next couple of hours, two brigade combat teams and heavy equipment were also dispatched. At sunrise the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment moved up the San Isidoro highway, securing a position east of the Duarte bridge. The 1st Battalion 505th Infantry Regiment remained at the airbase and sent out patrols to the perimeter. A force of 1,700 Marines of the 6th Marine Expeditionary Unit occupied an area containing a number of foreign embassies. The locale was proclaimed an International Security Zone by the Organization of American States (OAS). Earlier in the day, the OAS also issued a resolution calling the combatants to end all hostilities. At 4:30 p.m., representatives of the loyalists, the rebels, and the US military signed a ceasefire that was to take effect at 11:45 p.m. That timing favored the demoralized Loyalists, who had lost control of Ciudad Colonial. [15] [18]

On 5 May, the OAS Peace Committee arrived in Santo Domingo, and a second definite ceasefire agreement was signed, which ended the main phase of the civil war. Under the Act of Santo Domingo, the OAS was tasked with overseeing the implementation of the peace deal as well as distributing food and medication through the capital. The treaties failed to prevent some violations such as small-scale firefights and sniper fire. A day later, OAS members established the Inter-American Peace Force (IAPF) with the goal of serving as a peacekeeping formation in the Dominican Republic. The IAPF had 1,748 Brazilian, Paraguayan, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Salvadoran and Honduran troops and was headed by Brazilian General Hugo Panasco Alvim, with US Army General Bruce Palmer serving as his deputy commander. [1] [18]

US withdrawal Edit

On 26 May, US forces began gradually withdrawing from the island. On June 15, the Constitutionalists launched a second and final attempt to expand the boundaries of their stronghold. In the bloodiest battle of the intervention, the rebels began their attack on US outposts. Using the greatest firepower yet, they used tear gas grenades, .50-caliber machine guns, 20 mm guns, mortars, rocket launchers, and tank fire. The 1st battalions of the 505th and 508th Infantry quickly went on the offensive. Two days of fighting cost the US five KIA and 31 WIA. The OAS forces, consisting of a large number of Brazilians and whose orders were to remain at their defenses, counted five wounded. The Constitutionalists claimed 67 dead and 165 injured.

The first postwar elections were held on July 1, 1966, and pit the conservative Reformist Party candidate, Joaquín Balaguer, against the former president Juan Emilio Bosch Gaviño. Balaguer, with the support of the US, emerged victorious in the elections after he built his campaign on promises of reconciliation. On September 21, 1966, the last OAS peacekeepers withdrew from the island, which ended the foreign intervention in the conflict. [1] [14]


Five bibliographies cover the 1961–1966 period. Although Grabendorff 1973, Hitt and Wilson 1968, and Wiarda 1968 are dated, they include comprehensive surveys of the literature published in the immediate aftermath of the crisis. Cordero Michel 1991–2000 and Cordero Michel 2002 cover more recent literature.

Cordero Michel, Emilio. “Últimas publicaciones de historia dominicana.” Ecos (1991–2000).

The Instituto de Historia of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo published eight issues of Ecos in 1991–2000. Each included a bibliography by Cordero Michel listing new books and articles on all periods of Dominican history. Not annotated.

Cordero Michel, Emilio. “Últimas publicaciones de historia dominicana.” Clío 164 (July–December 2002): 207–322.

Beginning in this issue, Clío, the biannual organ of the Academia Dominicana de la Historia, started publishing Cordero Michel’s bibliographies. They list new books and articles on all periods of Dominican history and are not annotated.

Grabendorff, Wolf. Bibliographie zu Politik und Gesellschaft der Dominikanischen Republik. Neuere Studien 1961–1971. Munich: Weltforum Verlag, 1973.

Includes European sources not listed in other bibliographies. Not annotated.

Hitt, Deborah, and Larman Wilson. A Selected Bibliography of the Dominican Republic: A Century after the Restoration of Independence. Washington, DC: Center for Research in Social Systems, American University, 1968.

Fully and competently annotated.

Wiarda, Howard. Materials for the Study of Politics and Government in the Dominican Republic: 1930–1966. Santiago, Dominican Republic: Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, 1968.

Comprehensive, briefly annotated, bilingual (English and Spanish).

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40 years later, U.S. invasion still haunts Dominican Republic

It's been 40 years since the United States invaded the Dominican Republic, and my native country is still suffering the effects of that misguided intervention.

On April 28, 1965, 42,000 American troops invaded the Dominican Republic. By the end of the invasion, more than 3,000 Dominicans and 31 American servicemen had lost their lives. And democracy suffered another setback.

The invasion was not an aberration since the United States had been interfering in the affairs of my homeland since the turn of the century.

The people of the Dominican Republic were trying to restore Juan Bosch to the presidency. Two years before, in 1963, Bosch, the head of the Dominican Revolutionary Party and a leading writer and intellectual, had won the first free presidential election in 30 years. But his pro-Castro sentiments and the uneasiness he inspired in business sectors fueled a military coup seven months later that installed a three-man military junta.

President Lyndon Johnson sent U.S. Marines to the island to support the junta and to place Joaquin Balaguer back in power. Balaguer had succeeded Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, the brutal dictator who ruled the country with Washington's blessing for 31 years.

Trujillo used the U.S.-trained National Guard to banish, torture or kill his opponents.

As President Franklin Roosevelt's secretary of state, Cordell Hull famously said of Trujillo: "He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he is our son-of-a-bitch."

The United States has been meddling in my country for 90 years now. It started in 1916 when American Marines first arrived for an 8-year occupation.

It continued through the Trujillo dictatorship and Balaguer's 28-year reign. And it continues today, with U.S. support for authoritarian and corrupt leaders who still rule on behalf of a privileged social class and foreign powers.

Forty years ago, the Marines deprived the people of the Dominican Republic of self-determination.

For many in my country, that invasion cast the United States not as liberator but as oppressor.

The 40th anniversary is no cause for celebration.

Juleyka Lantigua is a freelance writer who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She immigrated with her family to New York 19 years ago. She can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (23)

US invasion of Dominican Republic

LBJ send part of the 101th Airborne and 82nd Airborne there along with the Marines. I was at Ft Campbell in April 1965 when we were alerted to go put down the revolution there, but at the last moment the Army decided to use mostly the 82nd Airborne from Ft Bragg, NC and my part of cancelled. But some specialized troops from the 101th AB were sent to Ft Bragg to go in with the 82nd AB. I was not too disappointed since I had already spend 18 months over seas, and was due to be discharged in May 1965.

CB Mays more than 1 year ago


Well the US may have been meddling in "your Country" but your people have been meddling in my country for years by by your unwanted immigration.

Nick Casper more than 1 year ago


Nick you need to reevaluate society and step out of your bubble. No one is meddling in "your" country. Tu ta en cien, bajalo cincuenta.

Espinal Dominguez more than 1 year ago


No one meddled in your country, take a look around there are many from every walk of life. Maybe you should stop your ignorance about the world you live in, the president of this country did MEDDLE in Dominican Republic, the government in D.R. didn't meddle in your country's political BS.

Michelle Guillen 275 days ago

We don't live in Disneyland. Power is the only justifiable end of all political action. Read George Kennan.

Barney Quark more than 1 year ago

The Dominican Crisis

The communist threat was over blown. Washington was not thrilled with Bosch-which the rebellion favored. The Dominican was never going to fall into communist hands. The rebellion was built by people who did not want to return to the Trujillo regime which the elites favored.

Craig Rush more than 2 years ago


Half of information in this piece is incorrect. First off as a write doing a journal artical you dont have to refere to the country as "your homeland" because its not nessasery. Second the numbers and the turn of events are incorrect and not in order. Do more research on my native land please.

Alba more than 3 years ago

Right on point

Right on point . later for the brainwashed puppets of the [email protected]

Paul Navarro more than 3 years ago

So is DR imitating USA

so is DR imitating USA because of a successful nation? or because USA has had heavy presence in the DR?

ayyyy more than 4 years ago

Me rio de los personajes

Me rio de los personajes estos, que juran que RD copia a los USA, y los nombre de esas calles son por la invasion de los yanquis. Otra cosa es que en USA hay calles con nombre de Dominicanos. La ignorancia
de estas persona es universal!


Lo más probable votas en contra de tus mejores intereses como la mayoría de los estadounidenses. Estados Unidos prefiere a un electorado bruto e ignorante. Individuos que solo ven los medios "liberales" que están llenos de propaganda. Muchos se dejan adoctrinar por la fuerte propaganda nazista. El canal favorito de la mayoría de los inmigrantes es Univisión. Uno de sus dueños es Haim Saban, un personaje rico y también bastante dañino. Los elitistas del partido Demócrata que reciben dinero de los multi-millonarios como Saban no quieren que el partido adopte una plataforma progresista porque sus amos benefician de las compañías de seguro de salud y también de las farmacéuticas (parecen republicanos). Haim Sabán y el resto del 1% de gente más rica de EEUU benefician de esa industria.

Estados Unidos es el pais más corrupto del mundo y con su propaganda nazista le hace creer a una gran parte de la población y a muchos extranjeros de que aquí se respetan los derechos humanos (un país que tiene gente en campos de concentración en la frontera), de que hay oportunidades para todos sin importar la raza o etnicidad (siendo un país racista y xenófobo). Se pinta como un país con "moral"–aunque apoya genocidios en paises como Yemen y bombardea y mata inocentes en países como Libya, Siria, Irak y Afghanistan. Es un país que interfiere en elecciones en todo el mundo, incluyendo Haití. Te dejaste adoctrinar como la mayoría de las ovejas. Por cierto, nací en Estados Unidos, he vivido aquí la mayor parte de mi vida y me interesa mucho la política. El amor no quita conocimiento.

Mary Jane Sanders more than 1 year ago

I'm sorry but this is just

I'm sorry but this is just factually wrong. Red flags on each line. Most of the "invasion" force was made up of the US ARMY's 82nd Airborne with the support of less than a couple thousand Marines PLUS forces from other Latin-American nations. Don't virtue signal yourself and generalize. The purpose of the intervention BY the OEA LEAD by the US was to prevent the war from ending and falling into a possible communist regime. where would democracy be then? The Dominican public was trapped in a power struggle between fascists and communists. NEVER did we have a libertarian government.

Calling BS more than 5 years ago

Joaquin Balaguer wasn't

Joaquin Balaguer wasn't "placed" into power by the United States. The citizens VOTED him in. That's a big difference, and your narrative is far from honest. The United States helped form a ceasefire between the two sides almost immediately after arriving, let an election happen, and then left a couple months later. And where are you getting this 42,000 troops number from?? It was only 1,700 marines. Besides, do you really think the D.R. would be better off today if it were like Cuba? Eso seria malisimo!

Daniel more than 5 years ago

This information is almost right

Was 40 thousand trops that information is almost true

Winston more than 2 years ago

The proof is in the pudding.

The proof is in the pudding. Despite my love for America, it continues making foreign policy disasters. Today is the anniversary of my uncle's death. Looking back you can only surmise that the actions of May 30, 1961, were a complete disaster. Revolution death of American Servicemen, Dominicans and so forth. It continues today just look at Iraq. Had May 30, 1961, not happen today The DR would be a much more advanced country with democracy, and would be an exemplary institution with health and educational benefits for its citizens. Trujillo would have died and democracy would have been its replacement. No revolution, no destruction, no deaths. I really do not know if America will ever learn.

Dany Lynen Trujillo more than 5 years ago

When i see people crying over

when i see people crying over things like 9/11 i wonder if they know how many thousands of innocent people the american military have killed over the years. When it happens to them they cry but when they do it to others they dont give a fuck.

p.s- usaf left my 2 year old mom a nice bomb in the backyard as a present. Thank god what ever redneck made it was dumb enough to fuck it up

no name more than 5 years ago

I have been to the DR six

I have been to the DR six times and have asked several people about what they thought about the relationship between the US and the DR. Everyone I talked to loved the United States. No one and I mean no one I talked to even knew that the United States ever invaded the DR. The Dominicans especially in Santo Domingo are trying to imitate the US as much as possible. The Agora and Blue malls, Burger King ,McDonalds and Poyo Tropical resturants are all evidence of that. Let's not forget the major Boulevard in Santo Domingo are named after George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and John F Kennedy. Maybe the author of this article should go to Santo Domingo and talk to avarage people and not listen to liberals in the US if she wants to know the truth.

Paul Eppler more than 5 years ago

I agree with you completely

I agree with you completely
Being born there i can say for sure the dominicans try very hard to imitate the US
But you yourself hinted at a grave problem.
You claimed no one knew about the invasion which i wouldn't doubt, i myself found out recently.
But that in itself is a problem, why haven't they been taught this? Its like a child who loves his parents very much and as the years past. That love grew strong but little did he know that those are his kidnappers. Get what I'm saying?

Javier more than 5 years ago

Totally agree with you that

Totally agree with you that Dominican Republic copy the USA behavior. But I do believe that everybody knows that USA invaded DR in 1965. If they did not know, you spoke to ignorant people. Now, DR is in a different stage. I am 57 years old and I have memories of the revolution. There was a time that Americans were not welcome. Currently DR is a very stable and it has a democracy.

Yvette Cruz more than 4 years ago

We don't blame an entire

We don't blame an entire nation for the actions of one of your ex-presidents.

JKER more than 4 years ago

Also the correct troop

Also the correct troop strength of the US invasion in 1965 was give or take 24000 not 42000.

Paul Eppler more than 5 years ago

"The United States has been

"The United States has been interfering in the affairs of my homeland since the turn of the century." So I think I'll move to this "oppressive" country. Nice!

Kim more than 5 years ago

That makes more sense than it

That makes more sense than it would appear. Would you like to live in Iraq? I won't say life under Hussein was idealic, but it wasn't like life under the USA.

US Sends Troops to Dominican Republic - History

The US Invasion of the Dominican Republic: 1965

Salvador E. Gomez, University of Pittsburgh

On 28 April 1965, U.S. military forces found themselves in the Dominican Republic protecting U.S. interests for the fourth time in 58 years. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and the actions of three U.S. administrations (Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson respectively) resulted in the eruption of hostilities in the Dominican Republic in April 1965.

The Johnson Administration's unilateral decision to invade the Dominican Republic was based on erroneous information and the President's own concerns over the possibility of "another Cuba" in the hemisphere and the residual effect that it would have on U.S. efforts in Vietnam.

U.S. military forces deployed to the Dominican Republic under the false pretense of "protecting American lives." Eventually the true reason for this invasion, fear of Communism was uncovered. The consequences of this deceit were a rift between the Administration, the American media as well as the American people. Furthermore, the Johnson Administration managed to agitate Latin American leaders and reinforce the notion of U.S. imperialism by disregarding the Good Neighbor Policy and reverting to the Roosevelt Corollary.

Despite the costs, the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic did produce some benefits. The Organization of American States (OAS) illustrated its ability to function as a multi-national body and democratic rule was eventually attained.

Since the end of the Spanish - American War at the turn of the century, the U.S. has expressed interest in the Caribbean and its islands.

Local political stability in order to exclude possible opportunities for the introduction or extracontinental power- has been the keystone of U.S. policy in the Dominican Republic and the rest of the Caribbean throughout this century.

However, until the end of the Spanish - American War, the U.S. really did not possess the stature or wherewithal to pursue its interests.

In 1904, Teddy Roosevelt began to flex the United States' newfound muscle. He "asserted that the [Monroe] doctrine carried 'the exercise of an international police power' in the Western Hemisphere." This assertion was quickly recognized as the Roosevelt Corollary and was often cited to exonerate intervention throughout the Caribbean. The Caribbean Basin would become known as "an American lake." If the Caribbean was an American lake, the Dominican Republic was beachfront property.

Concern over European intervention stemming from debt to a number of countries resulted in the U.S.' first intervention in the Dominican Republic. Eventually "a 50-year treaty with the United States in 1906, turning over to the United States the administration and control of its customs department" was negotiated. To many Dominicans this agreement was offensive and smacked of American imperialism. "Imposing order provoked nationalist resentment from Dominicans who, as one naval officer reported in 1906, 'are quieting their children the threat 'There comes an American. Quite or he will kill you.'"

Dominican opposition to intervention did not sway the U.S. In 1912, internal conflict in the Dominican Republic captured President Taft's attention when customs houses were forced to close. In order to resolve the crisis, a U.S. "commission backed by 750 marines…redefined the Haitian - Dominican border forced the corrupt Dominican president to resign and avoided interference in a new election." Unfortunately, this effort failed to provide the long-term stability that the U.S. desired leaving the possibility for future interventions.

Four years after President Taft's attempt to establish stability in the Dominican Republic, it was President Woodrow Wilson's turn. Instability and conflict again enticed the U.S. to intervene in the Dominican Republic. President Wilson's decision to deploy the U.S. Navy in 1916 was based on his personal principles and growing uncertainty in world affairs.

President Wilson strongly advocated the notion of a nation's right to self-determination. However, he also believed that although "all people might want freedom…whether they could gain and preserve it depended on race." This racist view undoubtedly extended to Latin America resulting in Wilson's "moralistic concern for teaching Latin Americans how to govern themselves."

The Wilson Administration's decision to intervene was also spurred by the growing concern over Germany and the "Great War' being fought in Europe. Stability in the Caribbean was contingent upon the absence of extracontinental influence. The political future in the Dominican Republic greatly concerned the Administration particularly when it appeared that "Desiderio Arias, a caudillo reported by American officials to have pro-German sympathies," was emerging as a national leader.

President Wilson's concern for democracy and fear of German influence yielded an eight year occupation and rule of the Dominican Republic by the U.S. Navy. Once again, the Dominican people expressed their opposition to U.S. intervention. "The peasants and caudillos in the mountainous eastern regions waged an increasingly bloody guerilla war." Marines engaged in these hostilities harshly retaliated against the Dominicans causing greater animosity towards the Americans.

Despite the hostilities during this period, the U.S. made various efforts at improving the Dominican Republic's infrastructure, agricultural production, as well as it education and legal system including "a nonpartisan constabulary responsible to the national civil government." The U.S. invested in many of these projects believing that they would foster political stability. Ironically, the constabulary responsible to the civil government was the vehicle used by Rafael Trujillo to establish control of the country.

Opposition to the occupation of the Dominican Republic grew in the United States, and it quickly became a political issue. As criticism mounted, the decision to withdraw became inevitable. Furthermore, the war was over and the U.S. no longer feared German influence in the Caribbean.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt embraced a new approach toward U.S. - Latin American relations by implementing the notion of the Good Neighbor Policy. Through this policy, "American statesmen formally renounced the 'right' to intervene militarily in the affairs of Latin American countries." This policy did not imply the absence of a U.S. role in the future of Latin America simply that other means of influence would be exploited. "The Good Neighbor Policy meant new tactics, not new goals."

Although President Roosevelt shared many of President Wilson's philosophy regarding democracy, it is safe to suggest that aside from personal principles, various international and domestic circumstances allowed for this new approach. It is important to recognize that at this point in history, U.S. hegemony in the hemisphere was unquestionable. "The dominant position the United States had built up in the Caribbean region enabled the president to eschew gunboat diplomacy and inaugurate the Good Neighbor Policy." U.S. decision-makers could now afford to explore non-military means of sustaining security in the Caribbean.

Pressure from the U.S. Government leaders and diplomats also contributed to this policy. After years of witnessing opposition and its ensuing bloodshed, the U.S. diplomatic corps came to the realization that intervention was counter-productive to the U.S. goal of political stability in the region. Furthermore, government officials found it harder to criticize countries like Japan for its policies in China while U.S. forces roamed throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Anti-imperialist wing of American society was also becoming more vocal. Senators George Norris and William Borah, both Anti-imperialists "citing the Wilsonian ideal of self-determination, demanded it for Latin Americans." Other members of Congress also started questioning U.S. policy in the region and "increasingly resented the cost of military interventions as well as the president's usurpation of their powers to declare war."

Business and economics also played a crucial role in the implementation of the Good Neighbor Policy. Executives of multi-national corporations with operations throughout the region echoed the sentiments of the diplomatic corps. They claimed that intervention fostered an environment of resentment towards the U.S. increasing the possibility of hostile action against their properties and investments.

Although hegemony in the region significantly contributed to the Good Neighbor Policy, it is also important to acknowledge the impact of the Great Depression. President Roosevelt understood the fiscal limitations of the U.S. during this period of international economic crisis. Embracing this new approach towards Latin America allowed him to focus on domestic concerns. "Roosevelt decided that the United States had to devote its resources to combating the effects of the Great Depression rather than financing interventions as had previous administrations."

The United States explored and executed various means to sustain its control over the Caribbean while maintaining this non-military interventionist philosophy. The list of tools available to the U.S. ranged from export quotas and economic dependency to supporting caudillos and dictators.

The security apparatus organized and implemented by the United States in countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean quickly became instruments of authoritarian rule. The U.S.' new found non-interventionist philosophy tended to condone or disregard the behavior of such individuals as Rafael Trujillo.

Trujillo, a known criminal involved in a variety of illegal activities ranging from prostitution to theft received a commission in the Dominican Republic constabulary in 1919. Through the years, U.S. officials observed Trujillo rise through the ranks and eventually expressed concern over his ambition to rule the country.

When Trujillo decided to seek political office, U.S. officials in Santo Domingo requested that Washington publicly state its opposition to a Trujillo government. Unfortunately, "Washington did not wish to involve itself in Dominican affairs to the extent necessary to prevent the accession of the admittedly distasteful General Trujillo." Shortly thereafter, General Trujillo won the 1930 elections the results of which were highly suspect. Despite early ambivalence and distrust towards Trujillo, the U.S. soon accepted his authoritarian style appreciating his ability to enforce stability and preclude U.S. intervention.

Trujillo's reign over the Dominican Republic had all the trappings of a Third World dictator. Historians describe his thirty-one year rule as one full of "political corruption, military muscle, torture, murder, nepotism, commercial monopolies and raids on the national treasury." Despite these attributes Washington fostered a relationship with the Trujillo Regime at times providing him with military and economic aid. President Roosevelt once stated "Trujillo is an SOB, but at least he's our SOB."

As the world quickly moved towards bi-polarity at the conclusion of World War Two, Latin America and the rest of the Third World became a battleground of ideology. The United States placed their confidence in men like Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic and Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua to keep the Soviet influence out of the Western Hemisphere. Trujillo proved to be a good investment in the U.S'. effort to contain Communism. Eventually however, he became a political nightmare and lost favor with both Democratic and Republican leaders in the U.S.

Trujillo falls from grace did not occur overnight. The U.S.' divorce from Trujillo was slow and came at the behest of various staffers and embassy personnel. James Brynes, President Truman's Secretary of State, claimed that Trujillo was the "most ruthless unprincipled, and efficient dictator in the hemisphere" adding that Trujillo was "the head of 'completely unsavory' regime." Secretary Brynes recommend that President Truman "avoid even the appearance of lending him any support."

The 1952 elections ushered in American war hero and professional soldier Dwight D. Eisenhower. Trujillo's stock continued to fall and the perception was that his days were now numbered. The Eisenhower received a report from the embassy in Santo Domingo urging the President to make "greater efforts to prevent the identification of the United States with Trujillo." Trujillo continued participating in nefarious activities furthering his alienation from the United States.

Trujillo orders to kidnap and murder a writer in the U.S. in addition to his support for Fulgencio Batista in Cuba greatly upset the Eisenhower Administration. However, "Trujillo's intrigues against the Betancourt government including an attempt to assassinate the Venezuelan president" outraged President Eisenhower and the Organization of American States. Trujillo allegedly even repulsed the assassin he hired to kill Betancourt. When the assassin offered to demonstrate with mannequins how an explosion would kill President Betancourt, Trujillo objected and ordered the use of live prisoners instead of the mannequins.

Trujillo "had become too much of an international embarrassment for Washington to tolerate." Our SOB needed to be neutralized. The U.S. formally ended all economic aid. To insure that Trujillo would cease being a problem for the U.S. and the rest of region, President Eisenhower "turned to the CIA…authorizing it to assist Dominican opposition groups conspiring to overthrow the Trujillo dictatorship."

Latin America and the Caribbean region felt the full brunt of the Cold War as the U.S. and Soviets maneuvered for position. The U.S. found itself responding to the threat of Communist-Castro like revolutions throughout the hemisphere. Resentment resulting from "indirect" U.S. intervention was mounting throughout the region, particularly after the CIA sponsored coup in Guatemala. President Eisenhower recognized that there must have been deeper reasons for such resentment and sent his brother Milton on a fact-finding mission to the region. The President charged his brother to provide "specific recommendations for improvement in Latin American-United States relations."

An outcome of Milton Eisenhower’s trip to Latin America was the establishment of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB went into operation in 1959 with $1 billion available for development projects. Perhaps without intent, Milton Eisenhower contributed not only to development efforts in Latin America but to new policy towards the region. "United States foreign policy thus took on a more complex character with concern for development issues now begging to compete with containment as the official response to revolutionary change in Latin America."

President John F. Kennedy also expressed concern over Communist expansion and took no comfort in Nikita Khrushchev's claim that the Soviet's advocated "'wars of national liberation' in Asia, Africa and Latin America. President Kennedy quickly acknowledged the potential development policies in the fight against Communism and understood that Latin America was ripe for Castro like revolutions.

The Kennedy Administration was perhaps the first administration to establish a two tracked approach to containment. Economic and social development, The Alliance for Progress traveled on the first track while military assistance and counterinsurgency training traveled on the second track. The "Alliance" was based on the simple philosophy that if the quality of life was better and life itself more enjoyable, there would be no need for revolutions. This initiative was intended to assist Latin American countries to develop economically and thereby eliminate the need for revolutions. The Dominican Republic was a top priority.

While speaking about the Dominican Republic President Kennedy noted,

"There are three possibilities in descending order of preference, a decent democratic regime, a continuation of the Trujillo regime or a Castro regime. We ought to aim at the first, but we really can't renounce the second until we are sure that we can avoid the third."

Sometime later President Kennedy expressed confidence in the prospects of turning the Dominican Republic into a 'showcase of democracy' under the Alliance for Progress.

The assassination of President Kennedy brought Vice-president Johnson, who was not sympathetic to Latin Americans, to the Oval Office. This was evident by his decision to turn over management of the Alliance for Progress to Thomas Mann. Mann strongly advocated U.S. business interests in Latin America and did not hold Latin Americans in high esteem. He stated "I know my Latinos. They understand only two things, a buck in the pocket and a kick in the ass."

Under the Johnson Administration the Alliance for Progress soon withered away. Johnson was consumed with the Vietnam War and did not want to concentrate on Latin America. The Johnson Administration "never fully shared this idealism with respect to Latin America, and U.S. officials ceased to press for it during his administration." President Johnson went beyond simply bridling the United States’ commitment to the "Alliance" he increased the use of military forces in suppressing "communist" revolutions and would shortly nullify the Good Neighbor Policy.


General Trujillo was assassinated in May of 1961. Over the next four years the Dominican Republic would have three leaders, only one, Juan Bosch being democratically elected. The Dominican Republic's revolving door of national leaders began with Joaquin Balaguer.

Concerned over the possibility of conflict and instability, President Kennedy pressured Balaguer and other elements of the Dominican Republic's society including the Trujillo family to pursue elections. President Kennedy deployed U.S. military forces off the coast of the Dominican Republic expressing his determination to see reforms implemented. Tension between the two administrations rose significantly when the Trujillo family attempted to re-take control of the country. Again the U.S. Navy sailed into Dominican waters showing the U.S. resolve. The Trujillo family shortly thereafter departed the country.

Balaguer did not last much longer either. The Kennedy Administration quickly tired of his unwillingness to embrace democratic values and implement reform. "Washington helped to force his resignation and then blocked a military attempt to restore him to power." Balaguer's removal opened the way for elections in 1962.

U.S. officials quickly realized that General Trujillo had all but extinguished any semblance of the political opposition. Eight organizations emerged to participate in the electoral process but not one had any significant history. "The parties spanned the political spectrum from conservative to Communist." The left of center Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) and its candidate Juan Bosch were able to garner considerable support.

In December of 1962, the Organization of American States (OAS) monitored the Dominican Republic's elections. To the surprise of many and particularly the United States, Juan Bosch was the undisputed winner. Despite his left of center leanings and the U.S.' growing concern over Communism, the Kennedy Administration supported the Bosch Government.

Juan Bosch's tenure and democracy in the Dominican Republic was very short. Bosch, a poet, failed to develop the political skills needed to survive in post-Trujillo country. He "alienated one Dominican group after another by his statements and actions." Perhaps one of Bosch's greatest mistakes was miscalculating the U.S.' concern over Communism. When Bosch legalized the Communist party, he went too far for the conservative wing of the Dominican Republic's military establishment.

In September of 1963, the military overthrew Bosch. He went into exile in Puerto Rico. When news of the coup reached Washington, President Kennedy was highly disturbed. The President "stopped all U.S. aid and withdrew his ambassador." After several months of U.S. pressure, military leaders in the Dominican Republic decided to establish a civilian Triumvirate. Kennedy "disillusioned with the prospects for democracy and the progress of the Alliance. decided to recognize the new government." Unfortunately, the President was assassinated before he followed through on his decision.

Sometime passed before the Johnson Administration recognized the Triumvirate. "The decision to recognize the latest Dominican regime might have been Kennedy's but whereas JFK had acted out of disillusionment, LBJ acted more out of indifference." President Johnson was obsessed with three issues: domestically, the Great Society, and internationally avoiding a "second Cuba" and the U.S. growing involvement in Vietnam. The two latter issues significantly contributed the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965.

American educated businessman, Donald Reid Cabral emerged as the head of the Triumvirate. Reid faced many of the same challenges that Bosch encountered and would eventually suffer a similar fate. "With the military holding power behind the scenes, the new triumvirate found itself trapped between the political extremes."

Hostility erupted when the Communist party and other left wing organizations were outlawed. Reid also faced controversy when he attempted to restrain corruption in the military. Senior officers who had profited under Trujillo felt that they were being threatened while junior officers welcomed the reforms believing that they meant promotions. The Dominican Republic quickly began to fragment. Some senior military officers support the return of Balaguer, others within the military and leftist groups sought the return of Bosch, other military leaders and the U.S. supported Reid, while others in the military desired the establishment of a military junta.

It would only be a matter of time for war to broke-out. On April 24, a coup to overthrow Reid was discovered. While attempting to arrest those officers plotting the coup, General Rivera, the Army Chief of Staff, was arrested and the coup went into full swing.

Elements supporting the return of Juan Bosch and his constitutional government labeled themselves "Constitutionalists." This group was a mix of political leftist, military members and civilians. Those supporting Reid referred to themselves as "Loyalist." This group consisted of those military members supporting Reid.

The situation on the ground was difficult to assess. Adding to the confusion and diminishing the reliability of reports being generated from the U.S. Embassy back to Washington was the fact that most of the staff was out of town. The Embassy quickly labeled the coup a left-wing attack. "The Embassy raised the ideological issue that would dominate the deliberations of the U.S. policymakers in the days to come and the public controversy over American intervention for years thereafter."

President Johnson ordered U.S. troops into the Dominican Republic under the pretext of protecting American lives. Limited events in Santo Domingo offered credence to this premise of protection. "Rebel paramilitary groups entered the grounds of the Hotel Embajador and harassed U.S. Citizens gathering there in anticipation of being evacuated."

However, there is no doubt that the real reason for the invasion was prevent another Cuba. "Having seen Eisenhower criticized for 'losing' Cuba and Kennedy humiliated by the Bay of Pigs failure, Johnson was determined that no similar disaster would befall him: there would be no 'second Cuba.'" Johnson also confronted managing the growing U.S. intervention in Vietnam, another battleground of the Cold War. Johnson realized that American credibility was on the line. If he could not demonstrate U.S. resolve to curtail Communist expansion of "the American Lake," how would be the result in Vietnam?

President Johnson was convinced that Fidel Castro was behind this revolt in the Dominican Republic. Johnson once stated "'Castro had his eye on the Dominican Republic' and in Cuba, was training Dominican Leftist in guerrilla warfare and sabotage." Embassy officials in Santo Domingo exploited Johnson's fear of another Cuba. One of the many telegrams sent from the Embassy illustrates this point. The telegram stated the need for "'unlimited and immediate military assistance' from the United States to keep the Dominican Republic from becoming another Cuba."

President Johnson's assertions about Cuba however were incorrect. Although there were Communist involved in the revolt, it is important to note that they were only one faction in a large group of organizations determined to reinstate Jaun Bosch. It is also important to recognize that of the three Communist groups in the Dominican Republic only the 14 June (1J4) movement was Castro oriented.

The Johnson Administration allowed Castro's history to inappropriately influence its perception of the situation and invasion. It is true that as a law student, Castro did volunteer for "an invasion of the Dominican Republic to oust the Trujillo dictatorship…organized by a group of Dominican exiles led by Juan Rodriguez Garcia…and Juan Bosch." Years later, Castro executed what might be labeled a pre-emptive strike against Trujillo when he sponsored an invasion of the Dominican Republic on 14 June 1959. The attack failed miserably.

U.S. policymakers were so determined to substantiate their interpretation of events that they failed to recognize other possibilities. It appears that culprits other than Communist were not taken into account. "The leaders and most of the participants in the Dominican Revolt were anti-Communist or non-Communist. The Johnson Administration never proved that Communists actually took control, and the extent to which they posed a threat of doing so is a matter of judgment."

Johnson's decision to invade the Dominican Republic to stop Communism cost him significantly domestically and internationally. Perhaps the biggest winner in all this was Fidel Castro.

President Lyndon Johnson had ordered the invasion to stem what he claimed to be a Communist threat, probably inspired from Cuba, but in this instance it was Castro who derived most political profit. He had nothing to do with the civil war…yet the spectacle of American troops fighting the Dominican had superb propaganda value for Fidel's 'anti-imperialist' strategies at home and abroad.

In an effort to minimize controversy over the invasion, the President's staff determined that it was best to omit from public statements that the casus belli was a Communist threat. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson argued that the President should not go beyond the need to protect American lives in explaining his decision. To present it as an "…intervention 'to restore order' and prevent a Communist victory" would most likely be condemned throughout the hemisphere as a return to gunboat diplomacy.

The word went forward that the U.S. was simply conducting operations to protect Americans. However, as reporters started to cover the story, they became aware of the real reason behind the conflict. "When the reporters went aboard the [USS] Boxer to be briefed by Dare, the commodore told them that marines would stay ashore as long as necessary to 'keep this a non-Communist government.'" The decision to cover-up the truth resulted in the media's distrust of the administration for the rest of the crisis. There has also been speculation that it was this breaking of trust that caused the media to report on Vietnam so aggressively.

Ambassador Stevenson accurately predicted that Latin Americans tired of U.S. interventions would oppose this intervention. "At this time, in early May 1965, large anti-American crowds in many Latin American capitals were demonstrating against the intervention." Ironically, when the truth was uncovered, the OAS decided to participate in the peacekeeping force officially known as the Inter-American Peace Force (IAPF).

Although some members of the OAS strongly objected to the intervention and chose not to participate in IAPF, six countries volunteered. The IAPF consisted of Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Paraguay and Costa Rica. The significance of these countries participating and the official participation of the OAS were critical. Although skeptics would argue that the OAS was simply responding to the U.S. and legitimizing the invasion, it should be interpreted differently.

The OAS appropriately stepped forward and asserted itself as the multi-national hemispheric body responsible for pursuing democracy and settling disputes peacefully when possible. If the OAS had not chosen to participate, the U.S. would surely have had a freer hand at molding the future of the Dominican Republic. The OAS made its presence's known and proved to many skeptics that it could function as an international body.

The most important outcome that clearly falls in the winner column is the return of democracy to the Dominican Republic. Perhaps it was democracy through default but nonetheless the Dominican people were able to elect their leader on 1June 1966. Balaguer and Bosch both returned home and faced each other off at the ballot box. It seems that exile adversely affect Bosch in that "confined himself to his home, where he spent most of the campaign, earning the epithet Juan de la cueva." Balaguer was the undisputed winner with 57% of the vote.

The 1965 U.S. intervention of the Dominican Republic was more than just one more intervention in the Caribbean. President Johnson repudiated the Good Neighbor Policy and overreacted to a threat that did not exist. The Johnson Administration paid a price for this unilateral decision to invade a sovereign country.

The administration lost the faith of the American media which dogged it throughout the war in Vietnam and raised the suspicion of the American people. President Johnson made it clear to the people of Latin America that he was not concerned with their welfare or interests if they infringed his goals and interests.

Live 10.6 years longer

In Dominican Republic, the average life expectancy is 72 years (70 years for men, 74 years for women) as of 2020. In South Korea, that number is 83 years (79 years for men, 86 years for women) as of 2020.

Be 83.0% less likely to be obese

In Dominican Republic, 27.6% of adults are obese as of 2016. In South Korea, that number is 4.7% of people as of 2016.

Make 2.3 times more money

Dominican Republic has a GDP per capita of $17,000 as of 2017, while in South Korea, the GDP per capita is $39,500 as of 2017.

Be 27.5% less likely to be unemployed

In Dominican Republic, 5.1% of adults are unemployed as of 2017. In South Korea, that number is 3.7% as of 2017.

Be 52.8% less likely to be live below the poverty line

In Dominican Republic, 30.5% live below the poverty line as of 2016. In South Korea, however, that number is 14.4% as of 2016.

Pay a 52.0% higher top tax rate

Dominican Republic has a top tax rate of 25.0% as of 2016. In South Korea, the top tax rate is 38.0% as of 2016.

Be 88.4% less likely to die during childbirth

In Dominican Republic, approximately 95.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor as of 2017. In South Korea, 11.0 women do as of 2017.

Be 85.6% less likely to die during infancy

In Dominican Republic, approximately 20.9 children die before they reach the age of one as of 2020. In South Korea, on the other hand, 3.0 children do as of 2020.

Have 55.7% fewer children

In Dominican Republic, there are approximately 18.5 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020. In South Korea, there are 8.2 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020.

Be 28.2% more likely to have internet access

In Dominican Republic, approximately 74.8% of the population has internet access as of 2018. In South Korea, about 95.9% do as of 2018.

See 87.3% more coastline

Dominican Republic has a total of 1,288 km of coastline. In South Korea, that number is 2,413 km.

South Korea: At a glance

South Korea (sometimes abbreviated ROK) is a sovereign country in East/Southeast Asia, with a total land area of approximately 96,920 sq km. An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. In 1910, Tokyo formally annexed the entire Peninsula. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a democratic-based government (Republic of Korea, ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a communist-style government was installed in the north (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside ROK soldiers to defend South Korea from a DPRK invasion supported by China and the Soviet Union. A 1953 armistice split the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. PARK Chung-hee took over leadership of the country in a 1961 coup. During his regime, from 1961 to 1979, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to roughly 17 times the level of North Korea. South Korea held its first free presidential election under a revised democratic constitution in 1987, with former ROK Army general ROH Tae-woo winning a close race. In 1993, KIM Young-sam (1993-98) became the first civilian president of South Korea's new democratic era. President KIM Dae-jung (1998-2003) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his contributions to South Korean democracy and his "Sunshine" policy of engagement with North Korea. President PARK Geun-hye, daughter of former ROK President PARK Chung-hee, took office in February 2013 and is South Korea's first female leader. South Korea holds a non-permanent seat (2013-14) on the UN Security Council and will host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Serious tensions with North Korea have punctuated inter-Korean relations in recent years, including the North's attacks on a South Korean ship and island in 2010, nuclear and missile tests, and its temporary closure of the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2013.

How big is South Korea compared to Dominican Republic? See an in-depth size comparison.

More quality of life comparisons

The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, Direccion General de Impuestos Internos, National Tax Service, South Korea.


Join the Elsewhere community and ask a question about South Korea. It's a free, question-and-answer based forum to discuss what life is like in countries and cities around the world.

Dominican Republic 1965

The Good Neighbor policy came to an official end in 1965, in the Dominican Republic . When, as discussed in chapter six of the book, the country's long-time dictator was assassinated with active U.S. support, he was eventually succeeded by a freely elected president, Juan Bosch. Seven months later, Bosch, seen by the military and segments of the U.S. mission as too much on the left, was overthrown, with the new junta soon being granted U.S. recognition. That regime, however, was no more stable, and on 24 April 1965, a revolt broke out in which junior officers, with considerable popular support from Bosch's followers, seized major parts of the capital, Santo Domingo . The U.S. reaction, from top to bottom, was negative. At the embassy, diplomats, CIA officers, and military attachés all worked to encourage rightist elements in the Dominican military to fight against the rebels rather than go along with them in Washington, Johnson told the official he considered an expert, “We are going to have to really set up that government down there, run it and stabilize it some way or another. This Bosch is no good” and the State Department, concerned with the “prevention of [a] possible Communist takeover,” suggested establishing a new military junta. This was pushing on an open door: on 28 April, the country team wrote that “issue here now is fight between Castro-type elements and those who oppose it.” Three hours later, the rightist forces asked for U.S. military intervention, a request agreed to by Johnson on the grounds that U.S. citizens were endangered (this was a gross exaggeration, to put it mildly). The country team, whose members had been bombarding Washington with “memos predicting doom if we did not send in the Marines,” then escalated further, pointing out that with the “situation deteriorating rapidly” and rightist officers “dejected and emotional . weeping . [and] in hysterical mood,” U.S. troops could take on a broader mission, namely, to “go beyond the mere protection of Americans” so as “to prevent another Cuba.” 1

Over the next two days, Johnson issued orders for more marines to land. The rightist forces were incapable of doing anything (“just sat on their bitty box over there and haven't done a darned thing”) and since the U.S. was “not willing to let this island go to Castro,” the U.S. would have to send troops. But although the leftist forces were momentarily on the offensive, they were not remotely “capable of imposing [their] will” outside of Santo Domingo , much less against U.S. forces the Secretary of Defense estimated that “one to two divisions can clean up the island.” On 1 May, the general chosen to command U.S. forces received this order: “Your announced mission is to save US lives. Your unannounced mission is to prevent the Dominican Republic from going Communist. The President has stated that he will not allow another Cuba – you are to take all necessary measures to accomplish this mission. You will be given sufficient forces to do the job.” Eventually, some 23,000 troops would be deployed, taking up positions between the two sides, while covertly aiding the rightist forces. Negotiations ensued, with the U.S. making approaches to Bosch and his supporters, but, because of mistrust by both the leftists and Washington, these never quite succeeded. In the end, the U.S. forces gradually tightened the noose around the rebels, splitting them in half and compelling them to surrender most of their arms to a supposedly neutral government. The next year, the U.S. provided large-scale covert political support to help elect as president one of the late dictator's most trusted officials. 2

1) Draper (1965: 37-41) Johnson in conversation with Mann, 26 April 1965 State to Santo Domingo, 27 April 1965 Bennett to State, 28 April 1965 Bennett to Carter, 28 April 1965 Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, 28 April 1965 Mann in conversation with Johnson, 28 April 1965 Bennett to Carter, 28 April 1965 Bennett to Carter, 28 April 1965 all FRUS 1964-1968 , vol. 32: docs. 22, 24, 27, 29, 31, 38, 32, 36 Draper (1971) Lowenthal (1972: chs. 3-4). It should be noted that the FRUS volume on the Dominican crisis has only spotty coverage of a number of important episodes, particularly in the early days of the revolt for a more rounded story, it is necessary to consult the now voluminous secondary literature based on interviews, congressional hearings, and, most recently, archival materials. This last set of holdings includes tape recordings of some 30 hours of telephone conversations between Johnson and his advisers on the subject of the Dominican Republic it is estimated that Johnson met his advisers around 180 times about the crisis during its first nine days (McPherson 2003: 128n2, 129).

2) Raborn [CIA director] in conversation with Johnson, 29 April 1965 Johnson in White House meeting, 30 April 1965 “Situation and Outlook in the Dominican Republic,” OCI No. 1496/65, 2 May 1965 McNamara in White House meeting, 30 April 1965 Wheeler to Palmer, 1 May 1965 all FRUS 1964-1968 , vol. 32: docs. 39, 42, 50, 42, 43, and, on covert political support, docs. 150, 152, 155, 157.

History of Dominican Republic

The country of Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the Hispaniola Island. It has a population of ten million people and it is one of the nicest countries in Latin America. Dominican Republic was originally settled by the Arawak people, which are Native American Tainos. The country was first found in 1492 by Christopher Columbus` son Diego on their first voyage. Dominican Republic was first named La Espanola or ‘little Spain’. At the time of its founding, Dominican Republic was inhabited by Native Americans, but Taino population declined rapidly in the following years because of the diseases which were brought to them by the European settlers. Dominican Republic`s capital is called Santo Domingo and it is the first European settlement in the New World, established in 1496.

When Dominican Republic became independent in the 1800s, many people feared that they might get invaded by neighboring country of Haiti. In the period between 1861 and 1865 Dominican Republic voluntarily became a Spanish colony, as Spanish would grant them protection from dangers. In the early years of the 20 th century, Dominican Republic feared that European countries will try to intervene and occupy them in order to recover their past debts. That is the time when US forced its rule over the country and US President Woodrow Wilson was the first to send its troops to the country in 1916. The American military ruled Dominican Republic for eight years between 1916 and 1924.

Due to the unstable conditions in which Dominican Republic found themselves in the early years, there were some chaotic times when the country was ruled by dictators. First dictatorship regime was imposed between 1882 and 1899 when Ulises Heureaux ruled the country. The second period when Dominican Republic was under dictatorship of the army officer Rafael Trujillo was between 1930 and 1961 when Trujillo was violently assassinated.

Late Democracy and Development

After Trujillo got assassinated, there were some attempts for establishing democracy in the country, most of them unsuccessful. Several coups, a civil war, and American intervention failed to bring democracy, but those were the first steps towards establishing normal rule. Since 1966 presidential elections in Dominican Republic are held every four years and from year 1978 the elections are open to all parties that want to compete to win the elections. In these late decades of 20 th century, Dominican Republic was ruled by Joaquin Balaguer – historian and a lawyer. He got elected as president of Dominican Republic in 1966 and retained his position until 1978. In 1978 Antonio Guzman became president until 1982 when he got replaced by Salvador Blanco. A bit surprisingly, the following elections in 1986, 1990 and 1994 were all won by Joaquin Balaguer. After 1994 Dominican Republic entered calmer period of development and improvement in all segments.

This was the history of Dominican Republic and developments that led to country become what it is today. The country is constantly going forward and improving and the rich history makes people very proud.

US Sends Troops to Dominican Republic - History

The Rebel insurrection in Santo Domingo against the government of Donald Reid Cabral began on Saturday, April 24, 1965. The Dominican Revolutionary Party ( PRD ) seized control and appointed Rafael Molina Urena as President.

During the next days, the situation became increasingly chaotic. On April 26, Loyalist forces bombed the Rebel-held areas in Santo Domingo. The Rebel government head, Molina, took refuge in the Colombian Embassy. Although the bombing lasted only one day, the situation continued to deteriorate rapidly. Other early leaders of the Rebels began to seek refuge in foreign embassies. Extremist groups moved quickly to the ranks of the Rebels. Leaders of the communist and pro-communist parties became involved with the Rebels and assisted in collecting arms, organizing forces, and setting up strong points in Santo Domingo. As the Rebels gained control of more arms and ammunition, thousands of irresponsible civilians were given weapons.

The U.S. build-up paralleled these events. On April 24, the Caribbean Ready Amphibious Squadron, with its 1,830 Marines, was directed to move to and stand off the Dominican coast. On April 26, two Army battalions of the 82d Airborne Division were alerted. On April 27, the amphibious squadron was ordered to begin the evacuation. On that day 1,176 Americans and other foreign nationals were evacuated out of the port of Haina. On April 28, the situation was so chaotic that Ambassador Bennett requested the landing of Marines to protect the evacuation operations and reinforce the Embassy guard. 2 In response, 400 Marines were sent ashore. On April 29, the Ambassador requested that the remainder of the Marine units and the two Army battalions be moved to the Dominican Republic to protect American lives. 3 On April 30, 1,500 Marines landed and established [Page 248] positions around the Ambassador Hotel (the assembly point for evacuees) and secured the road to the port of Haina. On the same day, 1,800 Army troops landed at the San Isidro airfield.

Despite the signing of a cease-fire agreement at 5:30 p.m. on April 30, sporadic but frequent sniping continued from the Rebel side and in less than 36 hours, 3 soldiers and Marines had been killed and 15 had been wounded. As a Rebel shortwave transmitter broadcast instructions to the civilian mobs to shoot Americans on sight and Radio Havana exhorted the Rebels to “fight on,” the remaining seven battalions of the 82d Airborne Division were placed in an increased readiness status. The danger to American lives continued and with the Rebels in control of Radio Santo Domingo—the only effective communication with the rest of the island—the danger of chaos and anarchy throughout the island increased, with its accompanying danger to American and other lives and property.

Accordingly, 400 Army troops landed late on May 1 at San Isidro, about 10 miles east of Santo Domingo. 1,600 more Army troops arrived early on May 2. They secured the San Isidro airfield, the Duarte Bridge at the east entrance of Santo Domingo, and part of the east bank of the Ozama River on the eastern side of Santo Domingo. On May 1, an International Safety Zone was established within Santo Domingo with U.S. troops to protect it. By the end of May 2, about 1,700 more Army troops and 1,000 Marines were landed at San Isidro and Haina to secure the Duarte Bridge and the road to the airport, and to reinforce and hold the International Safety Zone. By this time, over 3,000 persons had been evacuated from Santo Domingo. The build-up continued on May 3, 4, and 5, with supporting elements arriving until May 14. By May 14, there were approximately 21,000 U.S. Armed Forces personnel on the island 5,945 Marines, 14,200 Army, and 958 Air Force.

To appreciate the need for 21,000 men ashore, three major factors must be considered: the missions of the U.S. forces, the geographical location and population density of the areas in which they were required to perform those missions, and the explosive political situation.

The initial mission of the U.S. forces on April 28 was to evacuate U.S. nationals whose lives were in danger. By April 29, the mission was expanded to include the evacuation of other foreign nationals and the reinforcement of the U.S. Embassy guard which was under attack by Rebel snipers. Marines were required to insure the safety of the evacuees from the assembly point at the Ambassador Hotel on the western edge of Santo Domingo to the port of Haina 7 miles away. On April 29, additional troops were needed—and requested by the American Ambassador—to protect American lives in Santo Domingo and the surrounding area. On May 1, an International Safety Zone was established [Page 249] in densely populated, downtown Santo Domingo to provide a secure area for OAS and other peacekeeping authorities, to protect various foreign embassies (some of which had been violated by Rebel forces), and to protect Dominicans and Americans and other foreign nationals. Establishment and maintenance of this zone (identified on the attached map), 4 together with the need to assure the safe movement of people and supplies over the 7 miles of road from Santo Domingo to the landing, supply, and evacuation point at the port of Haina, required approximately 6,000 Marines, with an additional force of 2,000 Marines off the shore of the International Safety Zone to meet unexpected contingencies.

The missions of the Army airborne troops have been to protect American lives throughout the island, to assist (with the Marines) in the restoration of law and order, to separate opposing Rebel and Loyalist forces, and to protect the lifeline of medicine, food, and other essential supplies from San Isidro to Santo Domingo.

The airborne units landed at San Isidro airfield, which is 10 miles east of Santo Domingo. The initial increments of these forces first secured the airfield for future landings of troops, supplies, food, and medicine, then moved to secure the vital Duarte Bridge and the east bank of the Ozama River on the eastern side of Santo Domingo. Subsequent increments of Army forces were needed to protect and keep open the 10-mile road from the San Isidro airfield to Santo Domingo so that men and essential supplies could move swiftly and safely.

Three airborne battalions, totaling 4,416 men, have been required to secure the eastern bank of the Ozama River, including the Duarte Bridge, and the 10-mile road from San Isidro airfield to Santo Domingo on a 24-hour basis. Three other airborne battalions, another 4,416 men, have been required to secure the airfield at Santo Domingo, to be available to protect American lives and property, and to assist in restoring law and order on behalf of the OAS throughout the remainder of the country in the event the rebellion should spread. An additional 1,809 Army and Air Force personnel have been required to support the intensive air operations at San Isidro airfield and to provide the other services needed to maintain our forces in the Dominican Republic.

Originally, it was hoped that Loyalist Dominican forces would be able to maintain order in a corridor between the U.S. Marines on the eastern boundary of the International Safety Zone and the U.S. Army forces 2 miles away on the east bank of the Ozama River. It became apparent, however, that the Loyalist forces would not be able to do so. Accordingly, additional Army troops were required to establish and [Page 250] hold a corridor approximately 4 blocks wide and almost 2 miles long in a densely populated section of the city of Santo Domingo. Initially, this corridor was established by house-to-house fighting through Rebel-held portions of Santo Domingo. Eventually the corridor became (as it now is) the line separating the opposing Rebel and Loyalist forces, and the key to the maintenance of the cease-fire.

U.S. Army troops in the corridor not only perform the mission of separating the opposing Dominican forces, but also search all traffic crossing the corridor to prevent the passage of arms and ammunition from one side to the other. The corridor serves as a route for the transport of food, supplies, and medicine to the International Safety Zone and the rest of Santo Domingo. Three airborne battalions, totaling 4,416 men, have been required to accomplish these missions in the corridor on a 24-hour basis.

During the entire period U.S. forces, in conjunction with interested U.S. agencies, have furnished increasing levels of humanitarian support to the suffering Dominican people and their ravaged economy. Military vehicles, helicopters, and personnel have been used unsparingly in the distribution of more than 8 million pounds of food. Military technicians have directly contributed to the initiation of public works projects which, in the process of revitalizing the Republicʼs economy, have provided employment for over 4,000 Dominican nationals. Another 15,000 Dominicans have been treated in U.S. military medical facilities.

Throughout the performance of their missions, our forces have been, and still are, subjected to sporadic but frequent sniper fire. From April 30, the date of the cease-fire, to May 25, 18 U.S. military personnel have been killed and 100 have been wounded.

In summary, the missions our troops have been required to perform have been complex and have increased from the first landing of Marines on April 28 to the present. The initial mission of evacuating American citizens was expanded within a day to include the evacuation of other foreign nationals. Subsequently, our forces established an International Safety Zone in the heart of Santo Domingo and provided food and medicine for thousands of Dominicans, and Americans and other foreign nationals, as well as themselves. These missions have been performed over an area stretching from Haina, 7 miles west of Santo Domingo, through the heart of the densely populated city, to the San Isidro airfield, 10 miles east of Santo Domingo. Humanitarian missions such as the supply of food, medical care, and other essentials, have been performed throughout the Republic. Finally, and perhaps most important, these functions have been performed in an unusually explosive political situation involving continuous sniping, bitter Dominican factions, and communists and other extremists—a situation [Page 251] in which our men may be called on at any time for peace-keeping activities and the protection of life and property throughout the entire country.

Watch the video: American Invasions of the Dominican Republic