337. Telegram From the Embassy in the Dominican Republic to the Department of State1

1494. Imbert called Shaw2 urgently to Palace at 6 p.m. to inform that as result afternoon’s incidents (Embassy telegram 1490)3 Balaguer had informed entire Council he would resign immediately. Formal commitment will be taken at Palace meeting in session now, of Balaguer, entire Council, Rodriguez Echavarria and other armed forces chiefs. Amiama and Pichardo (who later joined conversation) plus Imbert all agree situation has reached decisive moment: Balaguer would definitely go and Rodriguez Echavarria—who they said [would] either accept or not accept Bonelly as chief of state. Latter case would result in military coup. Asked point-blank whether senior military would support General in takeover, Amiama gave fairly firm negative. Obvious that he and others nervous though self-possessed. They all agree, however, that General plans eventual complete takeover. Net impression was they feel better than even chance exists Bonelly will be accepted for moment at least.

Imbert privately urged that Embassy Service Attaches encourage General to obey constitutional authority, they urged US fleet again be displayed to insure he did so. Amiama, just entering, agreed with latter. Was answered that no country could continue to rely on foreign solutions to its internal problems, to which both agreed. Further indicated that critical factor was lack of confidence by general inability and disposition of Council to maintain order, which all three recognize. They [Page 694] said would attempt guide meeting to create best possible impression on General. Conversation closed as military chiefs arrived with massive bodyguard heavily armed officers and NCOs numbering in dozens.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 739.00/1-1662. Secret; Niact. Passed to the White House, OSD, CIA, CNO, CINCLANTFLT, COMCARIBSEAFRON, Chief of Staff USAF, Chief of Staff USA, COMNAVBASEGTMO, COMSECDELT, and CMC.
  2. David G. Shaw, political officer.
  3. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 739.00/1-1662)
  4. Charles L. Hodge, consular and economic officer.