288. Central Intelligence Agency Information Special Report, CSDB 312/00757–711 2

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  • Dominican Republic


  • 10–11 March 1971


  • Plans of the United Front of Latin American Revolutionaries To Seize Power in the Dominican Republic


  • See paragraphs 2 and 8 below.

Summary: [text not declassified] an organization of Latin American revolutionaries in Paris has been plotting to seize power in the Dominican Republic with the help of elements of the armed forces by assassinating Dominican President Joaquin Balaguer. The plot calls for action prior to July 1971. Dominican revolutionaries now in Europe will return to participate and the cooperation of former General Elias Wessin y Wessin is to be arranged. Although the Government of Cuba has designated former Constitutionalist leader Francisco Caamano Deno to head the regime and the Dominican revolutionaries welcome Cuban support, they desire to maintain a nationalist revolutionary stance in their action and eventually hope to seek U.S. recognition. [text not declassified] the Paris group includes Maximiliano Gomez Horacio, leader of the Dominican Popular Movement, Maximo Lopez Molina, a recently reinstated MPD leader, and Hector Aristy Pereyra, with the latter the prime mover of the front because of his international connections. Lopez stated that Gomez was anxious to take action against Balaguer in April 1971 but that Lopez disagreed with this believing the revolution would be unable to cope with the resulting chaotic situation. End Summary.

1. [text not declassified] on the existence of a clandestine international united [Page 2] front of Latin American revolutionaries called the Frente de Unidad (United Front) in Paris. This Front was dedicated under Cuban guidance, and possibly Cuban administration of funds, to countering United States imperialism through such means as retaliatory acts of violence both abroad and in the United States. Its specific plans included coordinated propaganda attacks against “dictatorships” in Latin America and particularly that of President Joaquin Balaguer of the Dominican Republic.

2. [text not declassified]

3. The United Front of Latin American revolutionaries in Paris has been plotting the revolutionary seizure of power in the Dominican Republic and has been working on this operation for several months. The plan involves the assassination of President Balaguer and the seizure of power with the help of elements of the armed forces. The target date for this action is sometime before July 1971. Chile and Cuba have agreed to extend diplomatic recognition quickly to the revolutionary group that seized power.

4. The plan includes the return to the Dominican Republic of Dominican revolutionaries in Europe to take part in the operation. These include Maximiliano “El Moreno” Gomez Horacio, exiled secretary general of the Dominican Popular Movement (MPD) currently in Paris; Manolo Plata Diaz, also known as Freddy Valdez; Jose Gil Torres; Winston Franklin Vargas Valdez, also known as Andres; and Tacito Leopoldo Perdomo Robles. (Headquarters Comment: All the foregoing except Perdomo were political prisoners released in exchange for United States Air Force Attache Donald J. Crowley who was kidnapped in the Dominican Republic in March 1970. The prisoners travelled to Cuba after their release. Perdomo has been the MPD representative to Cuba since 1956.)

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5. While some of the Dominican leaders of the conspiracy are prominent Communists, most are “nationalist revolutionaries.” (Source Comment: These individuals are disillusioned with the Soviet Union and Communist China, and are good friends of Cuba, although they refuse to take Cuban direction.) If the operation is successful and the group comes to power in the Dominican Republic, the new regime would desire and seek good relations with the United States.

6. Former “Constitutionalist” military men in Europe have been recruited through Maximo Lopez Molina, founder and later dissident of the MPD who has recently rejoined that Party, to attempt to work among the Dominican military establishment and to establish a temporary alliance with former General Elias Wessin y Wessin, leader of the loyalist forces during the 1965 Dominican revolt. The Government of Cuba has chosen Colonel Francisco Caamano Deno as leader of the operation to seize power and to head the new regime. (Field Comment: Caamano, leader of the “Constitutionalist” military or rebel forces supporting Juan Boschy Gavino in the 1965 revolt, disappeared in late 1967 and has been reported to be in Cuba since that time.) This plan was rejected by the MPD leader Gomez Horacio and other Dominicans who will accept Cuban support but not a Cuban decision on who is to be the leader.

7. The present Dominican Ambassador to Paris Jose Rafael Molina Urena, is helping the Front in every way possible specifically providing passports and information. Patricio Bosch, son of Juan Boschy Gavino, president of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), is the link between Molina and the Front. (Source Comment: It is believed that Patricio Bosch is working with the Cubans in Paris, probably independently of his father and apart from Front matters. Thus, it appears that the Cubans could trigger PRD mass support through Patricio Bosch and the world-wide prestige of his father, in the event the initial moves of the Front’s plot and the subsequent chain of events are in fact set in motion.)

8. [text not declassified]

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9. According to Lopez, he himself, Gomez and Hector Aristy Pereyra, leader of the 24th of April Revolutionary Movement of the Dominican Republic, are involved in the Latin American Anti-Imperialist Front (Frente Latin Americana Anti-Imperialista). Lopez described the movement as one involving revolutionaries of several Latin American countries whose purpose is to demonstrate Latin American solidarity against “North American imperialism.”

10. Lopez stated that Aristy, despite his low esteem among most Dominicans, is one of the prime movers of the Front because of his international connections. Lopez said that Aristy’s recent trip throughout Latin America concerned this movement and that the trip was successful. (Headquarters Comment: For additional reporting on Aristy’s trip see TDCSBD–315/00931–71 and TDCSBD -315/00938–71. In December 1970 Aristy and Gomez signed an agreement in Paris pledging cooperation of their respective organizations to the unity of all Dominican revolutionary organizations. See CS–311/01384–71.)

11. Lopez stated that although he had rejoined the MPD, he was unalterably opposed to the political line put forth by Gomez. His principal objection was to Gomez’ advocacy of an alliance with any and all revolutionary or oppositionist groups, including even a temporary alliance with Wessin y Wessin. In Lopez’s opinion, Gomez seemed to be becoming more and more an anarchist and soon either his (Lopez) point of view or that of Gomez would have to prevail within the Party. Gomez had recently stated that in his opinion President Balaguer must be removed before April 1971 by whatever means possible. Lopez, however, said he was in complete disagreement with Gomez on this point, primarily because the leftist parties are not prepared to take advantage of the chaotic situation that might ensue.

12. Lopez also stated that Bosch has made a formal pact with the Dominican Communist Party (PCD) and also with a sector of the MPD not under the control of Gomez. Lopez stated that the PCD has much better intellectual leadership but that Bosch knows that the MPD is the only political group with any elements in the armed forces. These are “cards up the sleeve” that Bosch will be tempted to play before April 1971.

13. Field Dissem: None. [text not declassified]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 783, Country Files, Latin America, Dominican Republic, Vol. I. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem; No Dissem Abroad; Background Use Only. On a March 16 covering memorandum from Acting Deputy Director for Plans Cord Meyer to the Director of Central Intelligence, there is a handwritten note that reads: “I checked this out w/Brownie. He doesn’t put much stock in it. We can discuss if you like. R.H.” In telegram 2600 from Santo Domingo, July 2, the Ambassador reported that Balaguer had asked that the United States bar Wessin y Wessin from entering the United States. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30 DOM REP) In telegram 120410 to Santo Domingo, July 2, the Department of State instructed the Embassy to ask the GODR to relieve Wessin of his passport, which contained a U.S. visa. (Ibid.) In telegram 2618 from Santo Domingo, July 5, the Embassy reported that Wessin y Wessin was expelled from the Dominican Republic. (Ibid.)
  2. On March 10 and 11, intelligence sources reported that a group of Paris-based Latin American revolutionaries were plotting to assassinate President Balaguer with the cooperation of former Dominican General Elías Wessin y Wessin and other prominent Dominican exiles.