2. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Special Assistant (Dungan) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)1

Attached is a memorandum which I received from a businessman who has been a close observer of the Dominican scene since before the Bosch election.2 I have found him to be a reliable reporter in the past, although he has relatively few contacts and is therefore weak on student labor and popular democratic parties. He did not get out in the countryside during his recent trip.

This report plus the traffic which I have seen in recent weeks suggests to me that it is time we sat down to map out a program for the Dominican Republic which is geared to developments that are occurring there since the coup. I would suggest that a draft plan of action be prepared by the Desk which could be reviewed here in Washington [Page 8] before Bennett goes down to Santo Domingo.3 Bennett might take this plan down and test it against his own appraisal of the situation as he observes it.

My concern about Santo Domingo is as follows:

Obviously, the situation is extremely fluid and could go in a number of different directions. One of these is a deterioration in political and economic conditions which could lead to a Castro-type takeover. In short, I believe that we must develop a plan which has a positive objective and not simply react to the situation as it develops. I recognize that the formulation of a plan and development of a program to implement it is not a guarantee against deterioration.4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL DOM REP. Confidential.
  2. Not found.
  3. Bennett was appointed Ambassador to the Dominican Republic on March 4 and presented his credentials on March 23.
  4. Mann responded to Dungan in a February 12 memorandum in which he agreed that a plan of action for the Dominican Republic should be readied for discussion with Ambassador Bennett and stated that “one is now being developed.” This plan of action, however, has not been identified. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL DOM REP)