Dominican Republic 1967

Dominican PRD Switches its Line

Published: October 6, 1967;
Source: World Outlook, Vol. 5, No. 32, p. 811;
Transcribed: by Amaury Rodriguez, 2016;

Transcriber’s note: During the 1965 revolution, the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (Dominican Revolutionary Party-PRD) was instrumental in launching a military revolt to restore Juan Bosch to power after being overthrown in a right wing coup in 1963. One of the leaders of that revolt – defeated by a U.S military invasion that same year – was the young PRD organizer José Francisco Peña Gómez, an afro-Dominican of Haitian descent. By 1966, an authoritarian right wing regime had come to power. From 1966 to 1978, Joaquín Balaguer instituted a reign of terror, imposing censorship, freezing wages and persecuting trade unionists, left wingers and anyone who defy the dictatorial regime. As a result, thousands of ordinary people, including trade unionists and leftists, died at the hands of the U.S.-trained armed forces and paramilitary units. Peña Gómez and others organized a nationwide and international resistance against state terror. The fight for democratic freedoms, coupled with a rise in labor struggles, served as a backdrop to the PRD’s move to more radical positions during this particular period of the Cold War. I corrected grammar for clarity.

This article appeared in World Outlook published by Pierre Frank, Joseph Hansen and Reba Hansen, sympathizers of the United Secretarial of the Fourth International. Grammar corrected for clarity.

Santo Domingo. – To proclaim the possibility of a peaceful revolution in Latin America is a lie, Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez,[1] general secretary of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano,[2] has finally admitted.

Dr. Peña Gómez himself has thus affirmed that only a government representing the workers can solve the problems afflicting the people. He used this language at a meeting at the party headquarters here September 23.

His statements represent a turn of 180 degrees in the political line of the PRD, a party that participated in the national elections June 1, 1966, during the occupation by American troops.

Dr. Peña Gómez was profuse in his explanations as to why the PRD was giving up the position of “creative opposition” and taking up revolutionary nationalism, “a dictatorship with popular support.”

He said that recent events had demonstrated that a “peaceful revolution in Latin America is a lie” due to the fact that the United States will not permit the structural changes which the nations of this continent are demanding today.

“We are located in the Caribbean where the United States does not permit peaceful revolutions,” he said.

A group of PRD workers at the meeting decided to back the thesis of a dictatorship with popular support. This thesis was advanced by Juan Bosch [3] from Madrid where he is living at present.


1. José Francisco Peña Gómez (1937-1998) was one of the leaders of the 1965 revolution. A radio host at a time, he used the airwaves to call on the population to revolt against the right wing coup plotters.

2. “Partido Revolucionario Dominicano” appears as “Partido Revolucionario Dominican” in the original text.

3. Juan Bosch (1909-2001) was one of the founders of the Dominican Revolutionary Party in 1939. Bosch and others left the PRD in 1973, founding a new party called the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). Bosch’s political program or tesis “Dictadura con respaldo popular” [Dictatorship with popular support] is available at: