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dark side of lyndon baines johnson by Joachim Joesten

dark side of lyndon baines johnson by Joachim Joesten

Author:Joachim Joesten [Joesten, Joachim]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Iconoclassic Books
Published: 2013-03-19T04:00:00+00:00

CHAPTER 18 - Thank God, The Marines Are Coming!

WHEN the leader of The Great Society decided, on April 25, 1965, on the spur of the moment, to land some 30,000 Marines in the Dominican Republic, he certainly knew what he was doing.

Although democracy was hardly at stake, a fat Baker dossier was. Imagine those secret Dominican archives falling into the hands of the Commies! There would be the devil to pay both at home and abroad. Unthinkable! And so President Johnson made up his mind to tear up another scrap of paper, give the boot to the Alliance for Progress and occupy the Dominican Republic before it was too late. He did so in such haste that he found no time to consult even his closest advisers, let alone the O.A.S.

For years the Dominican Republic, like Cuba before Castro and other Caribbean paradises, had been a haven for American gambling syndicates. It had also been a favorite hunting ground for U.S. gangsters and racketeers of all stripes.

In The New York Times of December 20, 1963 (European Edition), Tad Szulc, the paper's leading expert on Latin American affairs, gave these interesting details about some of the operations involved:

'South Carolina's senior Democratic Senator, Olin D. Johnston, intervened with President Joaquin Balaguer of the Dominican Republic in 1961 in an effort to assist "a very close friend" in protecting a $200,000 investment in gambling concessions there.

'A letter on behalf of his friend's slot-machine and bingo concessions in Santo Domingo was written by Mr. Johnston to President Balaguer on the stationery of the United States Senate in June, 1961.

'The intervention on behalf of Bernard Allen, a professional gambling operator, was apparently successful. Senator Johnston wrote President Balaguer again in September, 1961, to thank him for helping Mr. Allen, a United States citizen...

'Senator Johnston's two letters were obtained by The New York Times from secret archives in the Dominican capital. Both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Department of Justice have been aware of these letters for nearly a year.

'Senator Johnston, interviewed at his office, said he clearly remembered writing the letter on Mr. Allen's behalf.

"Just like I would for any American, I wrote a letter for him," he said. "He didn't want his property confiscated and I interceded..."

In the Dominican files were copies of President Balaguer's replies to Senator Johnston assuring him that there was no desire to cause "undue damage" to Mr. Allen, whose corporation had signed a contract for gambling concessions with the Dominican Government while Generalissimo Trujillo was still alive in 1960.

'In his first letter Senator Johnston reminded President Balaguer that "the operation of this business was through the personal orders of your beloved late chief, Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina"...'

Let's stop here for a moment to savor the contents and tone of this exchange of letters. The bloodiest tyrant in all the Americas, 'Generalissimo' Trujillo, has 'through personal orders' granted a gambling concession to an American professional gambler, in consideration of a 40 per cent cut in the operation (as Tad Szulc reports in a subsequent paragraph).


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