The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Dominican Republic (McGurk)

No. 350

Sir: Reference is made to your despatch no. 98 of June 7th17 concerning the visit of Licenciado José Antonio Bonilla Atiles16 to the Embassy in connection with his desire to ascertain the position of the Embassy and the Government of the United States toward the organization and activities of an opposition movement or movements which may arise as a result of President Trujillo’s recent invitation to former political leaders to reform their parties and participate in the political life of the country.

The Department has also read with interest your despatch no. 116 of June 14th17 reporting on the visit of Mr. Francisco A. Henriquez y Vasquez18 to the Embassy. Your remarks to Licenciado Bonilla Atiles and to Mr. Henriquez y Vasquez, and your exposition to them of the non-interventionist position of this Government in matters pertaining to Dominican internal politics have its complete support. The Department also approves your intention to follow this policy in connection with future developments in the domestic politics of the Dominican Republic.

While the Department has no intention whatever of changing its position that there should be no unilateral intervention by any government in the internal or external affairs of other friendly countries, it also believes that it should be made clear on appropriate occasions that the United States does support democracy and democratic principles and hopes to see them prevail throughout the world. Chiefs of Mission must be the judges of how this best may be accomplished in the countries to which they are accredited. Reference is made in [Page 984] this connection to instruction no. 95 of November 1, 1944,20 setting forth the views of the Department on this subject, as well as to the Department’s secret circular instruction of May 28, 194522 requesting further comment by certain diplomatic missions in the other American Republics on this matter in the light of despatch no. 9103 of April 5, 1945, from the Embassy at Habana.22

Very truly yours,

Joseph C. Grew
  1. Not printed.
  2. Former Vice Rector of the National University and Dean of the University’s School of Law, under surveillance for his known opposition to the Trujillo regime.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Twenty-five-year-old student of the University and scion of one of the most outstanding families in the Dominican Republic, who had recently been imprisoned for 8 days and was now seeking the Embassy’s help in escaping from the country.
  5. Identical with instruction 1391 on the same date to Managua, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 1405. This same instruction was sent on the same date to all American diplomatic representatives in the American Republics.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Not printed.