The Dominican Intervention

The Dominican Intervention

The Dominican Intervention

The Dominican Intervention

Excerpt

On April 28, 1965, over five hundred U.S. Marines landed at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Armed and authorized to return fire, they were the first combat-ready U.S. forces to enter a Latin American country in almost forty years. Within a week, a rapid buildup had put nearly twenty-three thousand U.S. soldiers ashore. Almost ten thousand additional troops stood ready just off the Dominican coast and thousands more were on alert at bases in the United States.

The massive U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic surprised, even shocked, most students of U.S. policy in Latin America. After almost a century of repeated American military interventions in the Western hemisphere and particularly in the Caribbean area, the United States government had in the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt forsworn this practice in Latin America. In 1947, under President Harry S. Truman, the United States had agreed to join with the other members of the Organization of American States in formalizing the proscription against unilateral intervention. Despite repeated involvements in Latin American politics--in Argentina, in Guatemala, and particularly in Cuba--the United States had, since 1928, always kept its actions short of overt military intervention. Yet U.S. forces were now sent into Santo Domingo . . .

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