Doctor Henriquez y Carvajal to the Secretary of State
A military Government enforcing military law was, through the military occupation of the territory of the Dominican Republic by North American forces of marines, set up in Santo Domingo by order of the Government of the United States of America as early as November 29, 1916. The national Government of that country ceased to function and the sovereignty of the Republic has been practically annulled. The Dominican people since that day have been and now continue to be subjected to the rigor of martial law, terrorized by the unbounded, ruthless and arbitrary repressions of the military forces and stripped of the personal liberties which are the attributes of the citizens in all the civilized countries of the world.
As President of the Dominican Republic, called to that office by the Congress which freely exercised the faculty conferred upon it by the Constitution, I protested against the North American military intervention and its consequences, and maintained that protest in its full force.
The situation in which the Dominican people are placed, unjust from every point of view of right, intolerable in practice, unnecessary to every salutary purpose, illogical in all its consequences, and in absolute conflict with all the principles and morals of international policy which are advocated in these days, cannot and must not be prolonged. The interest of the Government of the United States in [Page 138] rectifying that situation must be as great as the desire of the Dominican people.
The conditions in the Republic are excellent and it is time to undertake therein a certain number of institutional reforms that may insure the stability of the national Government and the growing progress of the people.
Its debts are being paid off so rapidly that the country may within a few years find itself free from any pecuniary obligation. Its commerce is greatly increasing. Popular instruction is extending more and more. So that what the country requires is an administrative organization and policy adapted to its needs. All the leading Dominican representatives are agreed on this and it is for them to settle such questions.
The undersigned demands the restoration of the national Government of the Dominican Republic and stands on all the suggestions that he has offered in that respect to the Latin American Division of the Department of State in various memoranda and notes.
Being compelled to return to his present residence in Cuba for family affairs, the undersigned designates as his personal representative during his absence, Señor Tulio M. Cestero, former Minister of Santo Domingo in Cuba and in Spain and Italy, who will act on all the questions laid before the Department of State by the undersigned.
With the greatest consideration, your obedient servant,
- Substituted for file translation.↩