Subversive Historian 10/03/08

{US Secretary of State Cordell Hull *Allegedly* Called Trujillo “Our Son of a Bitch”}

The “El Corte” Massacre

Seventy-one years ago on this day in people’s history, the first killings of the “El Corte” massacre occurred. In the early morning hours of October 3rd, 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians living within the border of the Dominican Republic were massacred on the orders of Dictator Rafael Trujillo. Driven by a racist ideology, Trujillo alluded to the impending bloodletting at a party thrown in his honor the night before. With instances of violence occurring, the dictator framed the situation as a response to the Dominican people living along the border who he claimed complained of Haitian thievery. Over the next several days Trujillo’s troops sought to create a façade by killing Haitians with machetes instead of guns so as to make it appear as if the violence was the result of a Dominican peasant uprising. They approached those they suspected of being Haitian with a sprig of parsley. If the accused could not identify the parsley in correct sounding Spanish, then they were killed.

Unfortunately, Trujillo’s hatin’ on Haitians ideology still permeates some notions of Dominican nationalism to this very day.

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2 responses to “Subversive Historian 10/03/08

  1. The “he’s our son of a bitch” comment is aprophical and was supposedly said about Nicaragua’s Somoza. Otherwise, great series!

  2. Gracias for the comment!

    The quote by Hull is cited in two Trujillo biographies, Robert Crassweller’s Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator and Bernard Diederich’s The Death of the Goat, but it is indeed still a bit murky about who said what about whom!

    For both Somoza and Trujillo, though, the essence of the quote accurately reflects US policy historically towards dictators in Central America and the Caribbean!

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