1965: U.S. invades Dominican Republic

Jersey City, N.J., April 24 — The community group NJ Action 21 held a meeting today in Jersey City to remember and learn from the revolutionary events that took place in the Dominican Republic in April 1965. Members of the Dominican community, Anakbayan NJ, the Jersey City Peace Movement and Veterans For Peace took part.

Dominican people mobilize to resist U.S. invasion and occupation.

Dominican people mobilize to resist U.S. invasion and occupation.

Organizers showed a 90-minute documentary produced in the Dominican Republic, “La Trinchera del Honor” (“The Trench of Honor”). After that, the audience held a discussion that included eyewitnesses of the April 1965 events.

In 1965 a group of anti-imperialist military officers in the Dominican Republic’s Armed Forces, headed by Col. Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deño, led a broad movement of workers, peasants, youth and progressives to take state power. On April 24, they made their move by seizing a major radio station, distributing weapons to civilian supporters and arresting the pro-U.S. Dominican president the following day.

The U.S. responded with Operation Power Pack: an invasion and occupation of the Dominican Republic by over 40,000 ground, air and navy personnel, including the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Thousands of Dominican civilians were killed. and the Dominican revolution suffered a setback. The U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic did not end until May 1966.

The meeting in Jersey City was no simple exercise in revolutionary nostalgia. Rather, it was a lesson for today about the necessity for all struggles to fight U.S. imperialism and to understand how it operates. Revolutionary enthusiasm was definitely boosted for those at the meeting who witnessed on the screen the historic revolutionary mobilization of the Dominican people during April 1965.