No end to political dilemmas on the world stage - and somehow we're always stuck in the middle of them. In November of 1961 the Military dictatorship of Rafael "Ramfis" Trujillo Jr., who assumed power when his father was assassinated in May of 1961(via the CIA), came to a swift end with the younger Trujillo boarding a plane with family for parts unknown, carrying most of the Dominican Republic's wealth with him. A similar situation was on slow boil in South Vietnam with the Diem regime coming under the watchful gaze of our foreign policy. We at least had tacit support of the OAS as far as the Caribbean was concerned. Not so with Vietnam. That particular overthrow wouldn't happen for another two years.
And as NBC Nightly News Anchor Chet Huntley pointed out during his daily radio commentary show Emphasis:
Chet Huntley: “With any kind of luck at all, the Caribbean area may see the end of a particularly vile dictatorship and the beginnings of free government on the island where the Dominican Republic and Haiti exist side by side. The Trujillo dictatorship is gone and apparently for good. Now it remains to be seen what takes its place.”
Our age-old problem - great at waging war, lousy at waging peace. The situation in the Dominican Republic would go on for a few more years while Vietnam would take on new and more horrifying dimensions. It's just what we do.
Newstalgia Reference Room - an interview with General J. Lawton Collins on his return from South Vietnam and the importance of Vietnam in the scheme of things in Southeast Asia and the then-current situation between Taiwan and mainland China. February 6, 1955 Read more...