231. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable1

TDFIR DB–315/07029–78


  • Dominican Republic


  • 1) President Joaquin Balaguer orders cancellation of election fraud
  • 2) Dominican military reaction to the Presidential order (DOI: [number not declassified] May 1978)


  • [3 lines not declassified]

1. President Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo, Reformist Party Presidential candidate for reelection to a fourth term, has buckled under intense domestic and foreign pressures and has ordered his military supporters [Page 544] to cancel plans to alter through fraudulent means the results of the 16 May national elections. Balaguer has ordered that the ballot counting be permitted to proceed normally, without interference, regardless of the outcome. The President informed his military supporters of his intention to impugn the election results because he has strong evidence that the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) did in fact commit fraud during the electoral process. However, Balaguer said that if the PRD is declared the legitimate victor, and his charges of fraud against them are proven unfounded, he will relinquish power to the PRD on 16 August 1978, inauguration day.

2. The President resisted vigourous arguments by his military supporters to proceed with the election fraud. His order has caught the armed forces leaders by complete surprise and has resulted in complete destruction of the newly established unity of the military. The military has split again into the previous factions led by Major General Neit Rafael Nivar Seijas, Chief of the National Police, and Major General Enrique Perez y Perez, Commander of the First Brigade of the Dominican Army. In order to pacify the agitated state of his military supporters, Balaguer has promised that before the end of May 1978 he will give the armed forces and police a substantial increase in salaries.

3. (Embassy comment: The Embassy is now receiving reports to similar effect from other sources. Have just heard that President Balaguer is due to make announcement over TV very shortly.)2

4. Acquired: [2 lines not declassified]

5. [2 lines not declassified]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 16, Folder: Dominican Republic, 9/77–6/78. Secret; Immediate; Wnintel; Noforn; Nocontract.
  2. Balaguer spoke on television the night of May 19. The Embassy summarized his speech in telegram 2694 from Santo Domingo, May 19. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780210–0705)