309. Telegram From the Department of State to the Consulate General in the Dominican Republic1

760. Trujillo’s death leaves Joaquin Balaguer in key position as continuing President and head of recognized Dominican State. Anti-US elements such as Abbes-Ramfis clique will probably attempt subject him their exclusive influence. US interests would best be served should he accept support from and represent pro-US dissidents and acceptable military elements. Following paragraph based on absence thus far any realistic prospect that pro-US dissidents can make successful effort take over Government and our understanding that in past they have indicated their possible readiness work with Balaguer in such contingency.

Request your opinion as to advisability and feasibility your obtaining (personal and non-recorded) interview with Balaguer alone in which you would (1) emphasize deep significance his actions at this crucial point in Dominican history may have for Dominican Republic and its relations with Inter-American System; (2) discuss substance above paragraph and attempt ascertain his intended political course; (3) inform him US attitude toward GODR and willingness consider reestablishment diplomatic relations, and any possibility US assistance would depend heavily on degree to which GODR rejects dictatorial regimes and practices [Page 635] whether of Trujillo or Castro origin and degree to which GODR demonstrates determination move toward re-vitalization democratic principles and friendship for Free World; (4) tell him we are confident that Dominican leadership, including leaders of armed forces, would wish prevent domination of Dominican Government by Communists or Castroites or other elements basically hostile to the Inter-American System and that moderate coalition headed by Balaguer might open way to brighter future for Dominican Republic without serious civil strife; (5) assure him USG would consider promptly and favorably written request by GODR to assist, in case of need, in air and sea within limits of GODR jurisdiction to seek out and repel any Castro-Communist attack from abroad. Tell him US forces positioned for such assistance; (6) discuss with Balaguer, if he appears react favorably to above points, possible consideration ways and means arrange good-will visit US naval force which might provide influence in favor of stability.

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  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 739.00/6-161. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Coerr; approved by Rusk; and cleared by Bowles, Goodwin, ARA/CMA, L/ARA, S/S, and S/O. Repeated to Port-au-Prince, Bogota, Caracas, POLADCINCARIB, and Paris (where the Secretary was accompanying President Kennedy on a State visit).