Eleonore Juliette "Diyeta" Chevallier Moreau — Louise Moreau Rise to power[ edit ] Inthe United States occupied the Dominican Republic due to threats of defaulting on foreign debts. The occupying force soon established a Dominican army constabulary to impose order. Trujillo joined the National Guard in and trained with the U.
An upswing in the price of export commodities, combined with increased government borrowing, buoyed the economy. Public works projects proliferated. Santo Domingo expanded and modernized.
This brief period of progress, however, ended in the resurgent maelstrom of Dominican political instability.
The man who would come to occupy the eye of this political cyclone was Rafael Trujillo. Once the president had demonstrated his willingness to disregard constitutional procedures in the pursuit of power, some ambitious opponents decided that those procedures were no longer binding.
Dominican politics returned to their pre-occupation status; the struggle among competing caudillos resumed. Trujillo occupied a strong position in this contest. He had enlisted in the National Police ina time when the upper-class Dominicans, who had formerly filled the officer corps, largely refused to collaborate with the occupying forces.
Trujillo harbored no such scruples. He rose quickly in the officer corps, while at the same time he built a network of allies and supporters. Unlike the more idealistic North American sponsors of the constabulary, Trujillo saw the armed force not for what it should have been--an apolitical domestic security force--but for what it was: Having established his power base behind the scenes, Trujillo was ready by to assume control of the country.
Having already struck a deal with Trujillo, Estrella marched on the capital; army forces remained in their barracks as Trujillo declared his "neutrality" in the situation.
Estrella assumed the provisional presidency. Part of the arrangement between Estrella and Trujillo apparently involved the army commander's candidacy for president in the May elections. As events unfolded, it became clear that Trujillo would be the only candidate that the army would permit to participate; army personnel harassed and intimidated electoral officials and eliminated potential opponents.
A dazed nation stood by as the new dictator announced his election with 95 percent of the vote. After his inauguration in August, and at his express request, the Congress issued an official proclamation announcing the commencement of "the Era of Trujillo. He held the office of president from to and from to Although cast in the mold of old- time caudillos such as Santana and Heureaux, Trujillo surpassed them in efficiency, rapacity, and utter ruthlessness.
Like Heureaux, he maintained a highly effective secret police force that monitored and eliminated, in some instances opponents both at home and abroad. Like Santana, he relied on the military as his primary support.
Armed forces personnel received generous pay and perquisites under his rule, and their ranks and equipment inventories expanded.
Trujillo maintained control over the officer corps through fear, patronage, and the frequent rotation of assignments, which inhibited the development of strong personal followings. The other leading beneficiaries of the dictatorship--aside from Trujillo himself and his family--were those who associated themselves with the regime both politically and economically.
The establishment of state monopolies over all major enterprises in the country brought riches to the Trujillos and their cronies through the manipulation of prices and inventories as well as the outright embezzlement of funds.Dominican Republic Table of Contents. The Vásquez administration shines in Dominican history like a star amid a gathering storm.
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Dominican Republic Table of Contents. The Vásquez administration shines in Dominican history like a star amid a gathering storm. After the country's eight years of subjugation, Vásquez took care to respect the political and civil rights of the population.