General Trujillo In The 1930's

1873 Words8 Pages In 1930, a group of rebels under the leadership of Rafael Estrella Urena planned to overthrow Dominican President Horacio Vasquez for disregarding the constitution by extending his presidential term. General Trujillo, with whom Urena had previously made an arrangement, held his troops back as the revolution unfolded, maintaining his neutrality. With Vasquez in exile and the power of government up for grabs, Trujillo eliminated his political rivals through intimidation or force and won the next presidential election unchallenged, ushering in the “Era of Trujillo.” Within months of taking over the presidency, the capital city of Santo Domingo was virtually destroyed and 2,000 people were killed by…show more content…
He held the office of president from 1930 to 1938 and from 1942 to 1952. During the interim periods, he exercised absolute power, while leaving the ceremonial affairs of state to puppet presidents such as his brother, Héctor Bienvenido Trujillo Molina, who occupied the National Palace from 1952 to 1960, and Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo, an intellectual and scholar who served from 1960 to 1961. Although cast in the mold of old-time caudillos such as Santana and Heureaux, Trujillo surpassed them in efficiency, rapacity, and utter ruthlessness. Like Heureaux, he maintained a highly effective secret police force that monitored (and eliminated, in some instances) opponents both at home and abroad. Like Santana, he relied on the military as his primary support. Armed forces personnel received generous pay and perquisites under his rule, and their ranks and equipment inventories expanded. Trujillo maintained control over the officer corps through fear, patronage, and the frequent rotation of assignments, which inhibited the development of strong personal followings. The other leading beneficiaries of the dictatorship--aside from Trujillo himself and his family--were those who associated themselves with the regime both politically and economically. The establishment of state monopolies over all major enterprises in the country brought riches to the Trujillos and their cronies through the manipulation of prices and inventories as well as the outright embezzlement of
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