The chief reason for the downfall of Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic last month was that "he falled to develop a dialogue with the military." Peter H. Darrow '64, who spent six weeks in the Caribbean republic this summer, told the Latin American Seminar last night.
The turning point in Bosch's popularity, Darrow said, came when he attempted to expropriate the property of former dictator Rafael Trujillo without recourse to the courts, which were controlled by the opposition party. It was inevitable from the time of an attempted coup in July that Bosch would fall, claimed Darrow.
Jose Figueres, visiting professor of Government, who directs the seminars, explained that the problem of the military has been worse in the Dominican Republic than elsewhere in the hemisphere. "The Trujillo armed forces were personal butchers. They helped lapse the Dominican Republic into a state of mental sickness," Figueres said.
"There was an undisciplined reaction to the ending of a repressive regime," explained Abraham F. Lowenthal '61, a student in the Graduate School of Public Administration, who was in the Dominican Republic in early September.
He pointed out that even the positive achievements of the Trujillo dictatorship were attacked by the rioting which followed his death. 'It was hard to start anything after 31 years of Trujillo," he observed.