BACANA MAGAZINE hotel occidental punta cana
BACANA MAGAZINE hotel occidental punta cana
BACANA MAGAZINE hotel occidental punta cana
BACANA MAGAZINE hotel occidental punta cana
Francisco Alberto Caamaño

Francisco Alberto Caamaño Leader of Dominican people´s self determination

On April 24, 1965, the Dominican Republic awakens plagued by shots. On the one hand, civilian population and the military that supported Juan Bosch, who had been constitutionally elected as president.

On the other hand, the followers of Donald Reid Cabral, who under a strong military organization headed by General Elias Wessin and Wessin wanted him to hold power. It was a complicated situation that leads to US intervention in the conflict.

Between May and September of that year, a key figure breaks out in this national warlike context. His name was Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deñó who was born in Santo Domingo. His father, a member of the National Army, had gained dictator Trujillo’s trust and had occupied the position of Secretary of State for Armed Forces.

Despite his proximity to the "trujillismo", Caamaño, expressing disagreement with his father’s aspirations, joins the Naval Academy and concludes his military studies in the United States and Panama, being able to reach the rank of Major. When he is transferred to the National Police, he suffers a moral crisis due to the gross corruption that provide benefits to several Chiefs of military institutions. For that reason, he organizes a conspiracy to remove from office the chief of police, General Belisario Cedeño and leads the Enriquillo Movement, a secret group of military officers from all armed forces that wanted the return of Juan Bosch’s government.

On April 25, in the midst of heavy bombardments, he undertakes all operations around the Duarte Bridge and gives weapons to civilians to counteract military forces opposed to the revolutionary process. On the afternoon of April 26, President José Rafael Molina Ureña, who came to power the previous afternoon, appoints Caamaño as Minister of the Armed Forces without considering any formal decree-law.

In the middle of the fight to defense Duarte Bridge, Molina Ureña called a meeting at the Embassy of the United States. The Ambassador, William Tapley Bennett, refused the idea to act as a conflict mediator and compelled them to surrender unconditionally. Caamaño was totally disagreed with the position of the United States. On April 28, Caamaño created the Constitutionalist Command in order to complete operations carried out before to finally end the opposition resistance. Considering the scenario, the United States Government orders to invade the country. That is when, on May 3, the National Assembly appointed him President of the Republic but maintaining his military status.

As President of the Constitutional Government, he consolidates itself as the great Latin American figure, a symbol of the struggle for self-determination of peoples. Through the Organization of American States, he accepts to hold a dialogue with the US Government and resigns, giving way to Héctor García Godoy who governed until July 1, 1966. Meanwhile, he is appointed as military attaché at the London embassy. There had been three months of epic resistance to the American invasion.

In the last months of 1965 and early 1966, Caamaño seeks to create a secret organization comprising civilians and military groups to carry out a new revolution. He travels to Cuba but does not reach a formal agreement with political organizations. Nevertheless, he assembles a group of followers and lands at the Caracoles Beach placed in the southern part of the country in Azua, the Dominican Republic, on February 3, 1973. In the Central Mountain range, the group is discovered by a detachment. Two guerrillas, Eberto Lalane José and Alfredo Pérez Vargas, are dead. Caamaño decides not to abandon them and fights against his persecutors until being captured wounded. Hours later, he was killed by firing squad and the disappearance of his remains was the intention of blotting out his legacy. However, today the Dominican people remember him as one of their historical heroes.


Moral crisis
When he is transferred to the National Police, he suffers a moral crisis due to the gross corruption that provide benefits to several Chiefs of military institutions. For that reason, he organizes a conspiracy to remove from office the chief of police, General Belisario Cedeño and leads the Enriquillo Movement, a secret group of military officers from all armed forces that wanted the return of Juan Bosch’s government.

Dialogue
As President of the Constitutional Government, he consolidates itself as the great Latin American figure, a symbol of the struggle for selfdetermination of peoples. Through the Organization of American States, he accepts to hold a dialogue with the US Government and resigns, giving way to Héctor García Godoy who governed until July 1, 1966.

TEXT: Elena Crespo; IMAGES: Suresh

Tags: History

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