Dominican Republic July 4 1965

Statement by the artists

First published: Pueblo, sangre y canto. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Frente Cultural, 1965.
Source: Pueblo, sangre y canto. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editora Universitaria, 1985.
Transcription from the Spanish: by Amaury Rodríguez, with thanks to Angela Peña and Juan José Ayuso.
Translated: for by Amaury Rodríguez.
This edition: Marxist Internet Archives, 2013.

This is a manifesto signed by artists and intellectuals grouped in the Frente Cultural Constitucionalista (Constitutionalist Cultural Front), a cultural action committee created to express solidarity and support with the 1965 popular revolt that opposed the 1963 military coup that overthrew Juan Bosch and the subsequent U.S military intervention that same year. Led by Silvano Lora (1931-2003), a painter and militant of the Partido Socialista Popular (PSP). The Frente Cultural was comprised of the following poets, artists and play-writers: René del Risco y Bermúdez , Abelardo Vicioso, Rafael Astacio Hernández, Pedro Mir, Miguel Alfonseca, Máximo Avilés Blonda, Pedro Caro, Ramón Francisco, Jacques Viau Renaud, Juan José Ayuso, Franklin Domínguez, Iván García, Armando Almánzar, Grey Goiscou Guzmán, Rina Suazo, Porfirio Gallardo, Antonio Lockward Artiles, Arnulfo Soto, Alberto Perdomo, José Ramírez, Carlos Acevedo Gautier, Asdrúbal Domínguez, Ada Balcácer, José Cesteros and Ramón Oviedo.

The document is referring to the Government of the Republic in Arms (May 4th,1965-September 3rd,1965) presided by Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deñó (1932-1973).

Art thrives as a result of a commitment made by artists with the society where they live and the epoch when it is produced. We, Dominican artists constantly aware of this responsibility, have participated heroically in the struggle undertaken by the people of the Dominican Republic; and we contribute to their commitment to keep alive the fundamental principles of this struggle.

Art, built as a collateral activity to the armed struggle, has been a source of momentum to the indomitable spirit that kept alive heroism in the trenches, and made human strength inexhaustible.

This is our society and this is our time. The artists [in this country] have not hesitated to comply with this historical design, and to go even further, we make contributions of inestimable value to the martyrdom of the revolution.

Today, when looking for a real solution to the conflict that led people to take up arms, we consider it an inescapable duty to raise our voices to let the world know that we have been on the side of the people and, as always, we are willing to combat with art as our shield.

Dominican artists have suffered with blood in indignation the unspeakable outrage, that by reason of its strength, a foreign power has committed to the Republic against its National Sovereignty.

Thus, we jump into battle in defense of that Sovereignty.

Over the course of events, Dominican artists have seen with bitter tears the blatant attempt by the foreign troops to commutate the flagrant violation not only to our National Sovereignty but also to our Self-Determination that as a people we have earned.

It is in defense of that Sovereignty – and the inalienable right to self-determination – that we are willing to continue fighting in the honorable trenches of negotiation.

As artists, we have done our duty and will continue to do so. When art is not a true expression of the agonies and hopes of the people through their very existence, it completely abandons its roots which are essentially human and humanist.

We, Dominican artists, conscious of having done our duty, are also aware of the authority and responsibility that we assume at the moment; we do not hesitate to offer the [current] Constitutional Government of the Republic a vote of support and recognition due to its stand in the dramatic hours of war, and in the difficult moments of peaceful negotiations.

We are here as artists in support of this struggle by the people of the Dominican Republic who are fighting for freedom, social justice and democracy.

Santo Domingo
Sunday, July 4
Dominican Republic