225. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Dominican Republic1

123668. Exdis for the Ambassador. Subject: Dominican Elections: Contingency Instructions. Ref: (A) State 097375;2 (B) de Santillana/Axelrod telecon.3

1. The Department has noted recent intelligence reports indicating that some elements of the Dominican military may be giving consideration to extra-constitutional action to thwart a possible victory by the opposition PRD party in tomorrow’s Presidential elections.

2. As stated in previous instructions,4 the USG has a strong interest in free and fair elections in the Dominican Republic and in an orderly constitutional transfer of power, if a candidate other than President Balaguer should win.

3. If you should receive evidence or information leading you to conclude that the Dominican military intends to take action to frustrate free elections or PRD victory, you should without waiting for further instructions, seek immediate meetings with President Balaguer and with ranking officers of the Dominican military. In meetings you should:

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—Stress as forcefully as possible the USG’s deep concern at information of intended military action;

—Note President Balaguer’s statement to President Carter in Washington last September the election would be free and open;5

—Emphasize our strong interest in free elections in the Dominican Republic, and that their results be respected;

—Make clear that unconstitutional action to frustrate free elections or PRD victory would provoke a strongly negative reaction by the USG and have seriously adverse consequences for U.S.-Dominican relations; and

—(For Balaguer) urge him to immediately exert his great influence with the Dominican military and in his country to ensure that free elections and constitutional procedures are respected.

4. The Deputy Chief of Mission should make this approach to one or more Dominican military leaders in place of the Ambassador if urgency requires simultaneous meetings.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780205–1106. Secret; Niact Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by de Santillana; cleared by Griffith, Shelton, and in S/S–O; approved by Todman.
  2. See Document 223.
  3. No record of the telephone conversation has been found.
  4. Presumably telegram 97375 to Santo Domingo.
  5. See Document 219.