Dominican Republic 1965
Source: Despradel, Fidelio. Historia gráfica de la revolución de abril. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editora Nuevo Rumbo, 1975;
Transcription from the Spanish: Amaury Rodríguez;
Translated: for marxists.org by Amaury Rodríguez, with thanks to Ana María Ramirez;
This edition: Marxist Internet Archives, 2014.
Translators’ note: The Constitutionalist revolution (also known as the April revolution) and Patriotic War (Guerra Patria) began in April 24th, 1965 and ended in September 3rd, 1965.
In 1963, two years after the fall of the Trujillo dictatorship, Juan Bosch, a leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), became the first democratically-elected president. During the years after Trujillo was deposed, social and class conflict deepened. Mass protests flooded the streets and aimed to destroying any remnants of Trujillismo. The newly elected Bosch government felt the pressure and moved to enact a new constitution that guaranteed democratic rights and freedom. From the very beginning, however, the oligarchy mounted a destabilization campaign against Bosch and the new constitution. Just seven months after his election, a right wing military coup put an end to the Bosch government and, ultimately, the 1963 Constitution. In 1965, a group of military officials launched a counter-coup to restore President Bosch and uphold the 1963 Constitution. On April 24, tens of thousands of ordinary people joined the Constitutionalist revolution. On April 28, the U.S invaded the country for the second time in its history. Quoting former President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson justified the invasion of the Dominican Republic on the grounds that it would “prevent another Cuba.”  Another demand of the popular revolt was the immediate withdrawal of U.S troops.
Though marked by occasional outbursts of spontaneity, the April revolution was also well-organized. Immediately after the revolt was launched, the Constitutionalist side organized military-civilian units that carried out all sorts of tasks including political agitation.  Among the organizations that played a key role within the Constitutionalist side were the PRD and the parties of the left which included the Popular Socialist Party (PSP), the 14th of June Movement (1J4) and the Dominican Popular Movement (MPD). Members of the left parties were instrumental in the creation of the Frente Cultural (Cultural Front), an umbrella group that brought together artists and writers. The Frente made propaganda posters and organized art exhibits as well as poetry recitals. Lastly, the Constitutionalists used the airways to propagate their demands.
These political slogans were first used at rallies in the form of banners and cardboard signs as well as graffiti and posters in various locations in the city of Santo Domingo, the epicenter of the revolt.
I replaced italics with bold letters.
Down with the traitors and sell outs
Our demand is a return to the ’63 Constitution
Yankee go home!
The only solution: The ‘63 constitution
Our struggle is for mutual respect
Show yourselves worthy of our country
U.S soldiers are murderers
Reason Good morals
These are the foundations of our country
End U.S aggression!
’63 Constitution: Peace, security, progress
We are artists fighting for sovereignty
Military junta, no!
Victory or death is our battle cry
Yankees get out!
Foreign troops out!
This July 12
We say it again:
Yankee go home!
1. Lyndon B. Johnson: “Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Situation in the Dominican Republic,” May 2, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=26932.
2. These military-civilian units were known as comandos populares.