Monday, April 24, 2006
Remembering the 1965 Revolution in the D.R.
The popular insurrection that aimed to restore President Bosch to power came to be known as the Revolution of 1965, and was led by Colonel Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deño. Four days after the initial uprising, the United States intervened and occupied the country militarily (tens of thousands of troops were stationed on the island for the duration of the occupation which lasted about a year and a half – during this period, thousands of Dominicans reportedly died fighting for constitutionalism).
Howard Wiarda, in his book The Dominican Republic: Nation in Transition, notes that restoration of the revolutionary Constitutiton of 1963, as drafted by Bosch's PRD, rapidly became the focus of the Revolution: “Later, it became clear, ...that the issue of 'constitutionalism' and the principles for which this term served as a symbol were among the most important of the revolution – perhaps even more important than any of the personalities or groups involved in the conflict.” He added further on that “The revolutionary Constitutiton of 1963... did not differ substantially from the previous constitution insofar as the mechanics of government were concerned – the powers of the executive, legislature and judiciary were virtually unchanged. Where it did differ radically from all previous constitutions in Dominican history was in its emphasis on the state as a positive force in promoting social justice. In keeping with the Bosch administration's orientation, the 1963 Constitution committed the government to far-reaching social reforms ... .”