234. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable1

TDFIR DB–315/08317–78


  • Dominican Republic


  • 1) Intent of military faction to force President from office
  • 2) Dominican President loses control of military (DOI: [number not declassified] June 1978)


  • [3 lines not declassified]

1. On [less than 1 line not declassified] Vice Admiral Ramon Emilio Jimenez, Secretary of State of Foreign Relations, and Major General Salvador Lluberes Montas, Director of the state-owned flour mills, stated [less than 1 line not declassified] that they intend to try and execute a plan of restriction to quarters of the First Brigade and Combat Support Command of the Dominican Army. The plan is to take effect 16 June 1978 for the purpose of demanding that President Joaquin Balaguer Ricardo respect the election results of 16 May 1978 and allow Silvestre Antonio Guzman Fernandez to assume the Presidency. If Balaguer refuses they will force him from office and send him into exile leaving Vice-President Carlos Goico Morales to complete what remains of Balaguer’s term of office. According to Jimenez, he and Lluberes intend to seek the cooperation on 15 June of Major General Enrique Perez y Perez, Commander of the First Brigade, and Brigadier General Manuel Cuervo Gomez, Commander of the Combat Support Command, to execute the plan and together inform Balaguer that he should instruct the Central Electoral Board (JCE) to officially declare Guzman the winner of the national elections or they will force Balaguer from office. Jimenez said that such a move is imperative in order to prevent Major General Neit Rafael Nivar Seijas, Chief of the National Police, and other recalcitrant Reformista Party leaders from any further attempts to nullify the elections. Also, that any attempts by Nivar of taking over the government would plunge the country into a state of civil war. Jimenez added that he remains staunchly loyal to Balaguer but that in his view close advisors of the President have so confused him that he has ceased to make rational decisions. Jimenez is also concerned that [Page 548] further delay in finalizing the electoral process which began on 16 May would cause irreparable damage. (Source Comment: Jimenez is uncertain if Perez and Cuervo would accept their plan.)

2. On 13 June Cuervo said that Balaguer has lost control of his command, particularly of the armed forces. Many senior ranking officers have lost respect for the President for not taking a firm stand on the election results and for permitting some military leaders to exploit the results for their own personal means thus causing a high state of nervous tension within the armed forces and decreasing the chances for a solid military institution. Cuervo said that he was detained for several hours on 12 June on orders of Major General Marcos Jorge Moreno, Army Chief of Staff, in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to support the Nivar group in its plans for nullifying the election results. Jorge then attempted unsuccessfully to convince the President to relieve Cuervo of his command. (Embassy Comment: The foregoing report is of particular interest in light of remarks made by Foreign Secretary Jimenez during a meeting with the Ambassador today, which implied that he was out of sympathy with the machinations of Nivar and his Reformista associates and that he and others would oppose their efforts to upset the electoral outcome.)2

3. Acquired: [1½ lines not declassified]

4. Field Dissem: [2½ lines not declassified]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Support Services (DI), Job 97S00360R: Intelligence Document Collection (1977–1981), Box 34, 3150802378–3150979978. Secret; Immediate; Wnintel; Noforn; Nocontract; Orcon.
  2. Yost reported on his meeting with Jimenez in telegram 3292 from Santo Domingo, June 15. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780251–0196)