Dominican Republic 1965

Johnson Finds 1,500 Heads

Written: 1965;
Source: The Militant, Vol. 29, No. 26, 1965, p.1;
Transcribed by: Amaury Rodriguez, 2014.

Transcriber’s note: This text appeared in The Militant, organ of the US Socialist Workers Party (SWP) which sympathized with the Fourth International. In addition to this brief piece, the paper published an editorial on page 4 (“Time Bomb in Santo Domingo”) calling for an end of the U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic.

On May 3 President Johnson declared: “Today there are between 1,000 and 1,500 dead people whose bodies are in the streets of Santo Domingo...”

On May 8, reporting from Santo Domingo, New York Herald Tribune correspondent Barnard Collier expressed shock at the use of such a false figure and said: “Reporters, including myself...have seen no more than six to ten bodies in the streets.”

That didn’t stop Johnson from reusing and even adding an imaginative touch to the fake atrocity story. On June 17 he declared: “A fact that has been emphasized all too little, I think, [is that] some 1,500 people were murdered and shot and their heads cut off.”