839.00B/10–2746: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Dominican Republic (Butler) to the Secretary of State


344. Communist Party meeting Saturday night49 dispersed with resulting injuries several participants. At least one death reported. Demonstrations later at US and Mexican Embassies, Cuban Legation and other diplomatic missions.

Crowd several hundred outside residence and chancery about 10:30 last night. I paid no attention for about an hour so as to obviate any charge of sympathy for opposition. I did not attempt to communicate with Dominican authorities since that might have been used as excuse to get rough with demonstrators.

Guard at chancery had telephoned Third Secretary Owen who came to residence about 11:15 to ask if anything to be done. Owen and I went to chancery. Military Attaché50 came in about same time. Group of about 20 demonstrators were inside office. In reply my question what wanted the Communist leader Grullon said they were there to inform me that pro-democratic meeting had been violently broken up by Govt. I answered with substantial show temper that I was in my office every day, that he or anyone else could see me without coming in Embassy at midnight, that the Embassy was not going to be drawn into internal political affairs on one side or the other, that he knew very well the US policy re non-intervention and not granting asylum, and I asked the group to leave. They did so quietly although Grullon made sarcastic remarks along regular Communist line. I told him he could see me Monday if as he claimed he only wanted to inform me about events. He said he would come. Demonstration orderly and limited usual speeches, calls and songs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Situation quiet so far today. McArdle51 and Military Attaché are of opinion in which I concur that present opposition to Trujillo may become most serious he has faced. Rank and file do not know difference between democracy and Communism. Communist leaders do and of course capitalize on hunger and misery of masses. It is not to our national interests to support Trujillo against Communist-led popular opposition nor to encourage latter to overthrow Trujillo. Only practical course action seems absolute non-intervention and constant effort to make it understood that real democracy as understood [Page 832] in US is opposed to extremes of both Eight and Left. Dismal prospect of overthrow of Trujillo is that of only a change in type of dictatorial govt.

  1. October 26.
  2. Maj. Miguel J. Montesinos.
  3. Robert J. McArdle, senior economic analyst.