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The Galíndez Case in the Dominican Republic

Summary and Keywords

On March 12, 1956, Basque National and Columbia University lecturer Jesús María de Galíndez Suarez disappeared from New York City never to be seen again. While no conclusive evidence was ever uncovered, it has been widely accepted that he was taken by functionaries of the regime of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, flown to the island, tortured, and killed. Galíndez, who had worked for the Trujillo regime after fleeing Spain in 1939 and subsequently immigrated to the United States in 1946, had just completed a dissertation on the Trujillato at Columbia. The regime did not look kindly on his chosen perspective and set in motion a plan to have him disappeared. Following his abduction, many U.S. solidarity activists joined forces with Dominican exile groups to push for greater attention to the atrocities of the Trujillo regime as well as for a closer investigation into Galíndez’s disappearance. While Trujillo had similarly disappeared a number of individuals in the United States and other Latin American countries, the Galíndez case is unique for several reasons. First, Galíndez’s life offers a prime example of a transnational identity, of someone who juggled multiple identities and causes, crossed physical and ideological borders, and operated daily with conflicting alliances and allegiances. Second, the murder of the Basque national mobilized a significant collective of solidarity activists in the United States, garnered considerable national press, and built a foundation for future activism. Moreover, as Galíndez had been working as a U.S. intelligence operative since before his arrival in the United States, his story complicates the traditional nexus of solidarity work. Finally, the case offers a unique window onto the geopolitics of the early Cold War (prior to the Cuban Revolution) and the intricacies of the second half of the Trujillo regime.

Keywords: Jesús de Galíndez, Rafael Trujillo, dictatorship, solidarity, Ernst Report, Gerald Murphy, Octavio de la Maza, Frances Grant, Norman Thomas, Columbia University, FBI, CIA, Basque, Dominican Republic, disappearance

In 1946 Jesús María de Galíndez Suarez departed the Dominican Republic for his second exile—in the United States. Born in the Basque region, he had been working with the government of dictator Rafael Trujillo for six years and left upon realizing that the regime’s tactics were matching or even besting the machinations of the government he had initially fled in Spain. In New York he devoted time to a number of human rights causes, including Basque nationalism, and, in the early 1950s, began working on his doctorate at Columbia University. Having served in the Ministries of Labor and Foreign Relations in the Dominican Republic, he was well-versed in the inner workings of the Trujillato and set out to write his thesis on the Caribbean dictator.1 He also became involved with the growing Dominican exile resistance community in New York, which included the active groups Vanguardia Revolucionaria Dominicana (Dominican Revolutionary Vanguard or VRD) and Asociación Revindicación Dominicana en Exilio (Dominican Exile Defense Association or ARDE), among others, as well as with a number of U.S. solidarity activists and Spanish Republican exiles.2 Finally, he continued to work for the Basque government in exile and served as an informant for U.S. Intelligence Services.

On March 12, 1956, he left a lecture at Columbia and disappeared after heading down to the subway at Columbus Circle. He has not been seen or heard from since and his remains have never been found.3 Despite a note Galíndez had left a number of years earlier regarding the regime’s clear involvement if any such thing should come to pass, as well as the significant number of individuals in New York and elsewhere similarly disappeared, no blame was ever conclusively laid at Trujillo’s feet.4 This was not for a lack of effort by friends and fellow human rights activists and, as with many other crimes, no one doubted the culprits. After his disappearance, U.S. and Latin American press outlets covered the Galíndez case extensively, and his dissertation garnered attention across the region. While the book continues to be utilized in Spanish and English by scholars interested in Dominican dictator Trujillo and the case has received recent attention by U.S. and Spanish culture purveyors, the story of Basque national and human rights activist Jesús Galíndez remains a primarily anecdotal tale of the horrors of Rafael Trujillo’s reign in the Dominican Republic. Galíndez’s life and death, however, deserve a more thorough treatment beyond the voyeuristic tendencies of half-truth and near-fiction that flatten the Trujillato and 1950s Cold War to a story of crazed dictators and paranoid commie fighters, even if they played into that Manichean drama. The network of Galíndez supporters from both the United States and across the Americas that coalesced around his disappearance in 1956 demonstrates the galvanizing power of individual loss, particularly when coupled with the United States’ heretofore dismissal of the denial of basic rights and democratic freedoms in the Dominican Republic under Trujillo. Moreover, the life of Jesús Galíndez encourages scholars to explore the possibilities and pitfalls of transnational activism in the late 1950s, alters the historiography of U.S.–Latin American solidarity, exposes the intricacies of a truly transnational life, and demands continued attention to both the complexities of the second half of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and the general precariousness of daily realities for those engaging with the “American lake” during the pre–Cuban Revolution Cold War.

The Life of Jesús María de Galíndez Suarez

Jesús María de Galíndez Suarez was born in the town of Amurrio in the Basque region of Spain on October 12, 1915.5 He began writing at an early age, earned a law degree in 1936, and commenced working as an assistant professor of law. Around the same time he became an active member of the Basque Student Association and shortly thereafter joined the Basque Nationalist Party. When civil war broke out in 1936 he quit his job and joined the struggle against Francisco Franco and the Falangist nationals. Dominican writer Constancio Cassá argues that it was Galíndez’s work with detained and disappeared citizens during the war that impelled his lifelong work for human rights.6 When Franco and his supporters triumphed in 1939 Galíndez, like many other Loyalists, left Spain for exile in France. Shortly before the Nazi occupation six months later he fled again, this time taking refuge in the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic.7 Arriving on the steamship Boriquen at the newly christened capitol of Ciudad Trujillo in November, Galíndez likely found a place to live in the Gazcue neighborhood, where he would live for the rest of his time in the country, and began looking for work. He wrote that he “wanted a small country where none of my fellows were going, for there alone would there be opportunities for me to blaze a trail in the New World.”8 Within the year he had filed for residency status, and his profession was listed as lawyer (see Figure 1).9 He occupied several positions, using his law degree at the Diplomatic School, the Ministry of Labor, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. For nearly six years he both maintained ties with the Basque government in exile and served the government of dictator Rafael Trujillo.10 Sometime in early 1946, sensing he had angered the regime, potentially through his support of striking workers, he acquired a U.S. visa and fled again to the United States.11 Arriving in New York in February 1946 he continued to work with the Basque government in exile, wrote articles for a Spanish language newspaper, and became involved with a number of human rights groups, including several advocating an end to the Trujillato.

The Galíndez Case in the Dominican RepublicClick to view larger

Figure 1. Request for Renewal of Residency, Jesús Galíndez, 1941.

Image courtesy of the Dominican National Archives.

Throughout the late 1940s, Dominican exile groups in New York had been working actively to cultivate opposition to the Trujillo regime, and Galíndez became a member of their collective with a very particular skill set. Although the various groups had been sending their bulletins to a number of human rights organizations in New York and publicizing the many labor and rights violations regularly being committed by the regime, none of the U.S. groups considered the Trujillato a worthy cause until 1947.12 Likely, Galíndez’s arrival in New York in 1946 shifted the position of the exile community both intellectually and personally. While Galíndez continued serving as a member of the Basque delegation in exile in the United States, he also became friendly with a number of prominent Dominican exile activists, including Nicolás Silfa and Angel Morales. As he noted in a 1955 article, during his six years in the Dominican Republic he had come “to identify … with the Dominican people as a brother.”13 By the early 1950s he was working on his dissertation at Columbia and developing a reputation as a well-loved lecturer and as an advocate for the end of the Trujillato. Around the same time he started attending meetings at activist Frances Grant’s Pan American Women’s Association (PAWA) while also continuing to advocate for the freedoms of Spanish labor activists.14 At some point in 1948 or 1949 he also began attending meetings of the Latin American section of the International League of the Rights of Man (ILRM) with Grant and helped organize a 1950 conference in Havana that would lead to the formation of the Inter-American Association of Democracy and Freedom (IADF), an official affiliate of ILRM. He continued as a key member of IADF and in 1952 became a member of the board of its parent organization, ILRM. By the mid-1950s he was nearly finished with his dissertation and had clearly developed a personal relationship with Grant, as he relied on her as the main editor of his writings.15 In a note to her in 1955, he indicated his fear of possible retribution for the denunciations of the regime in his dissertation (see Figure 2). He told Grant to “Please use the facts, but avoid as much as possible the style of University dissertation with footnotes, etc. I do not want them yet to know what kind of book is mine; it seems to me that they are misled and do not expect this documentary bomb.”16 His “documentary bomb,” as well as the alliances he had created with anti-Trujillo activists, was likely to upend the regime in an intense way, and he knew the reaction he might receive. Still, he continued his efforts against the Trujillato and other fascist regimes around the world.

The Galíndez Case in the Dominican RepublicClick to view larger

Figure 2. Letter from Jesús Galíndez to Frances Grant, September 1955.

Image courtesy of Rutgers University Library Special Collections.

Galíndez, however, appeared to have been working a number of angles. In addition to his collaboration with the Basque government in exile, Dominican activists, and various human rights groups, he was also providing information to the United States’ FBI and CIA. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which contacted Galíndez initially while he was in the Dominican Republic, developed informant “DR-10” (alternately #508-85 and Rojas) as an important source of intelligence on Spanish Falangists and Communist Party activity.17 Once Galíndez was in New York his code name was changed to NY-507 and his salary gradually increased from $75 to $125 per month plus up to $30 for various expenses. Through written reports—approximately 18 per month according to one memo, 137 in a five-month period in another—Galíndez provided information primarily on Spanish Communists, Puerto Rican Nationalists, and the Dominican colony in New York.18 The events he provided reports on varied widely. One memorandum noted “some of the more pertinent” activities in a five-month period included a meeting of the Puerto Rican Independence Party; a meeting of the Labor Youth League; a pro-Trujillo rally (and its resultant anti-Trujillo picket); another anti-Trujillo picket in front of the United Nations; a Puerto Rican commemoration of the Ponce Massacre; a meeting of the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions protesting the Rosenberg judgement; a meeting of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee; and a gathering of the Soldiers of Regiment 65 in Brooklyn.19 According to political scientist Alan Block, Galíndez held “nothing back from the FBI,” and Bureau officials regularly referred to him as an “accurate and dependable informant.”20 Nonetheless, he seemed eager to defend “tried and true anti-Communist[s]” when they were mislabeled by other intelligence officers, particularly if they were part of the Basque diaspora. Ironically, when the Trujillo regime received word of Galíndez’s dissertation, one consular office described him as a “true Russian” and “friend of the Kremlin.”21

In all this Galíndez appears somewhat naive, possibly believing that revealing the truth about fascist dictators to whomever would listen would serve to topple them. Or perhaps he understood communism and revolution to be synonymous with anarchy while what he advocated—labor rights and basic democratic governance—served as the desire goal. His multiple conflicting alliances betray a sense of pre–Cold War earnestness; of a world view that saw good and evil with a clear distinction not yet fully occluded by the dangerous bipolarity of the communism-capitalism divide or the stakes of the new world order. He held faithfully to his Basque identity, declaring himself “Christian and Basque” and requesting that, “as such, I want to be buried in the faith and in the land of my ancestors when it is possible.”22 Seemingly to that end, he provided information to U.S. intelligence officers about dangerous communist or revolutionary activity and information undermining Spanish dictator Franco. This work held a double-edged sword as Galíndez worked both with Dominican exile groups and through his dissertation to end the regime of Rafael Trujillo, a regime that the United States had supported for over two decades. Moreover, he supported labor rights, a position that under U.S. intelligence looked nearly identical to communism. In some ways his life seems contradictory, perhaps because he had so many identities: writer, scholar, activist, poet, lawyer, Basque, Dominican, exile, teacher. Yet he also operated through a unified lens of basic human rights and Christianity, particularly for the working class, and an end to fascist regimes. Scholars often discuss transnational lives, but Galíndez serves as the epitome of that term. Not only did he regularly cross borders in his migrations and his solidarity travel, but he identified himself with the region (not country) of his birth and as a separatist while also claiming Dominican brotherhood. Moreover, he created networks of support in the United States and Latin America across multiple national identities to advocate for particular causes, be they labor rights, Basque nationalism, or anti-fascism. Sadly, the sum total of his life has, up to now, revolved around how his railing against the now quite notorious Trujillo ultimately proved fatal.

The Disappearance

On March 12, 1956, Jesús de Galíndez disappeared after teaching his evening classes. His friends from the Dominican Republic, the United States, and the Basque region were shocked but not surprised. The danger of speaking out against fascist dictators was already apparent, and it seemed not to matter whether one was in Spain, Havana, the Dominican Republic, or even the United States. Years earlier, Dominican activist Sergio Bencosme had been shot to death in New York by Trujillo functionaries, and numerous other individuals had been assassinated in various locales with no repercussions for the regime. Despite several attempts to investigate and a number of revelations in the case, the story of the end of Galíndez’s life will never be clear. The most plausible scenario is that he was kidnapped from the apartment he returned to after teaching and taken by Trujillo functionaries to an airport on Long Island. Gerald Murphy, a U.S. pilot with ties to the regime, likely flew him, via Florida, to the Dominican Republic, where he was undoubtedly tortured, perhaps even by Trujillo himself. Then, like many regime dissenters, he would have been assassinated, loaded into an airplane piloted by Octavio de la Maza, and dumped into the Caribbean. The investigation became more complicated when both Murphy and de la Maza were found dead. The regime’s cover story was that Murphy had made advances at de la Maza, who, to cover up his homosexuality, had shot him. Murphy’s car was found near cliffs frequented by the regime’s sicarios. Then, apparently ashamed of his own homosexuality, de la Maza hanged himself while in jail for the Murphy murder. Not even the U.S. government which, up to that point was fully complicit with Trujillo’s outright lies, believed the farce.

Solidarity Activism against Trujillo and the U.S. Response

During the last years of the 1940s, solidarity groups in New York City had begun to pay more attention to the political conditions in the Dominican Republic. In 1947 the Dominican resistance group Asociación Revindicación Dominicana en Exilio (Dominican Exile Defense Association or ARDE) sent a scathing letter to the International League of the Rights of Man (ILRM) chastising them for critiquing the Argentinean situation and ignoring the same problem in the Dominican Republic.23 As the secretary of the ILRM, Frances Grant responded to their requests and began organizing events relative to the Dominican Republic.24 The first was a meeting to discuss the “death of Dominican independence” in February 1947. It appears as though the U.S. human rights groups had been, up to this point, not terribly concerned with or at least unaware of the Dominican situation. Clearly, Galíndez’s presence served as a galvanizing force and the collective began to mobilize against Trujillo. By that spring, Grant and presumably other members of the collective had placed Trujillo in a camp that included Perón in Argentina. Individuals and press outlets known to support such tyrants were sternly counseled to stop blithely following the propaganda paid for by the Dominican dictator. As Grant noted, Dominican exile groups could provide a much clearer picture and should be utilized as a resource because “much of their hope for justice becom[es] fainter and fainter in these long years and in the light of American apathy and ignorance.”25

Attempts to remedy U.S. “apathy and ignorance” in the period after Galíndez’s arrival but prior to his disappearance centered on meetings and publicity campaigns and were organized primarily by Grant. As ARDE and other groups implored Grant (through the Pan American Women’s Association [PAWA] and her position at the ILRM) to serve as an “example of solidarity of women of the continent,” she rallied others to publicize the abuses of the Dominican dictator and provide counterbalance to the propaganda campaign waged by Trujillo.26 With her letter to Dorothy Thackrey at the New York Post, Grant sought to convince the media that “perhaps nowhere in the world does so vicious and bloody a dictatorship prevail” as in the Dominican Republic.27 She aimed to create more print space for “such an authority as [investigative journalist] Albert Hicks” or Dominican exile Angel Morales to provide more accurate coverage of the dictatorship and “call attention to the dictatorship at our doorstep.”28 She also worked to assist Dominican exiles, spread information of abuses to other rights groups, and disseminate a more accurate version of the regime in the pages of her magazine, Hemispherica.

In early 1950, Grant organized a conference in Havana to address the threat to Latin American democracy and attempt to draw more individuals into the circle of anti-Trujillo activism. The event was sponsored by the ILRM’s Latin American section, and organizers included notable figures like Pearl Buck, Charles La Follette, Archibald MacLeish, and Walter White. The group counted Romulo Betancourt, Dominican resistance leader Juan Bosch, Arthur Schlesinger, Norman Thomas, Salvador Allende, Robert Alexander, John Dos Passos, and Eleanor Roosevelt among its extensive group of sponsors.29 In her letter to potential attendees, Grant noted the need to immediately make “an expression of hemispheric solidarity in support of democratic ideals.”30 Galíndez attended the conference and represented Dominican, Basque, and Spanish exiles seeking an end to tyrannical leadership. The outcome of the meeting was the formation of the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom (IADF); Galíndez became a member of the executive board.

In large part due to Grant’s work, by the mid-1950s, New York solidarity groups including ILRM, PAWA, IADF, and Norman Thomas’s Post War World Council (PWWC) had aligned solidly against the Trujillo dictatorship. Their activities included awareness campaigns, disseminating news on human rights and labor violations in the Dominican Republic, particularly through the pages of IADF’s Hemispherica, and some picketing and organization of meetings. Frances Grant, Norman Thomas, and ILRM president Roger Baldwin, all of whom received copies of exile groups’ bulletins, created a substantial network of support. Baldwin corresponded with several of the exile groups, including the Frente Unido Democratico Dominicano, and he relayed messages back to Grant and Norman Thomas at the Post War World Council. In addition to the pressure from Dominican exile groups and shifting global relations, the involvement of Galíndez in the group in the first half of the decade clearly aided in the groups’ exploration of the Dominican case, and letters among the activists indicate an evident camaraderie and affection for the Basque exile. By 1952 Roger Baldwin asked Galíndez to be on the board of ILRM, given his obvious and “wide interest in human rights.” Galíndez worked closely with IADF, providing information for the organization’s magazine on the Trujillo regime and speaking at rallies to protest global injustices. Moreover, he continued to develop close personal ties with Grant and other members of the solidarity networks that would become even more apparent in the days and months after his disappearance.

In the period following the March 12 disappearance, the details of the case were reiterated for their salacious content, fought over by the liberal and conservative press, and picked at by activists for semblances of truth. Individuals who knew the nature of the regime and the lengths to which Trujillo had gone in the past to cover his crimes realized that no real truths would ever be revealed, and yet they pressed the U.S. attorney general to pursue the case. Fearing the worst (or perhaps the inevitable), the New York solidarity collective sprang into action. The reach of Galíndez’s friendships and activism was evident in these efforts. While Columbia students organized a rally and promised a $250 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of involved parties, Norman Thomas gathered forces of the various groups Galíndez had been involved in to offer $10,000 for the same information.31 The New York and liberal press exploded with articles about the teacher and scholar’s disappearance, and the collective of his friends began a long letter-writing campaign.32 At one point, Grant wrote to a colleague who had pledged money for the reward, noting that she realized that “none of us will probably have to make our contributions to this $10,000 reward, although I know that each of us would feel it a privilege to be called upon to do so.”33 Of course, she was ultimately right, and, in the same letter, she presaged what would be the most compelling impact of the Galíndez tragedy. As she noted, if the event had “a single beneficent effect, it is that it has brought together again those of us who have been deeply concerned with the cause of civil and political liberties in Latin America.”34 More to the point, it had brought together a group of activists across a number of national boundaries to focus specifically on the denial of rights in the Dominican Republic.

For at least five anniversaries following the not-so-mysterious kidnapping, various friends and colleagues gathered to pay homage to Galíndez’s activism. In the process they garnered significant attention to the continued abuses of the Trujillo regime and solidified a foundational solidarity collective. The three-month memorial on June 12, 1956, established a clear indication of the alliances that would build around his death and the patterns they would follow in their activism. The event, planned at the Community Church at 35th and Park (mere blocks from where his apartment still stood as a crime scene) and organized by the “Inter-Organizational Committee to Honor Jesus Galindez” was to recognize the “valiant champion of liberty” and “victim of bloody tyrant Trujillo” (see Figure 3).35 Organizers made clear that, in their minds, he had been killed by the regime, as the flier noted he was “martyred” on March 12, 1956. They invited participants to join the “indignation meeting,” to “hear the record of Trujillo’s extra-territorial pursuit of his opponents,” and, most important, to understand the Caribbean leader as being the “blood brother to Communist dictators.” The speaker list was a mirror of the solidarity alliances Galíndez had built in his own life: Antonio de Yrola and Gen. Jose Asensio represented the Basque and Spanish governments in exile, respectively; Nicolas Silfa spoke for the Dominican exile community; Frances Grant and Norman Thomas offered the voices of the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom and the Post War World Council; Sabi Nehama of Local 22 ILGWU stood in for labor rights; and Victoria Kent, as editor of Ibérica magazine, honored Galíndez in his literary aspirations and through her U.S. solidarity with the Spanish exiles.

The Galíndez Case in the Dominican RepublicClick to view larger

Figure 3. Galíndez memorial program poster, June 1956.

Image courtesy of Rutgers University Library Special Collections.

Through the end of the regime, these particular alliances would remain strong and present a powerful and transnational voice in opposition to the standard apathy toward Trujillo and the megalomaniacal regime he had created in the Dominican Republic. First, individuals like Frances Grant (directing both the IADF and the PAWA) and Norman Thomas (PWWC) rallied others within their New York circles like Roger Baldwin of the ILRM and Rutgers professor Robert Alexander. Second, the Basque and Spanish exiles, similarly outraged by the loss of their colleague, saw little difference between the dictator they were fighting in Spain and the one in the Caribbean. Like the U.S. group, they supported the efforts of Dominican exiles and sought to advance their cause as much as possible. Finally, the movement received additional support from labor rights activists because of Galíndez’s deep connection with worker concerns and U.S. activists mobilized against Franco in Spain. Overall, they maintained a collective that exerted pressure on the Dominican dictator via governmental and nongovernmental channels for the next five years and created the networks and channels essential to solidarity work through the 1960s.

In terms of approach, the group was both aggressive and savvy from the outset. Particularly from the offices of the IADF, Frances Grant and others wrote letter after letter to congressmen, U.N. and Organization of American States (OAS) representatives, luminaries, philanthropists, and writers, calling the attention of all to the Galíndez case. The collective sought publicity for the crime wherever they could, held anniversary events to showcase their networks of solidarity, and worked to expand involvement in both the investigation and general outrage against Trujillo (see Figure 4). In an early letter from IADF, Grant exhorted readers to “awaken the consciousness of public opinion, to publish declarations of indignation about the event in their magazines and through their press releases.” She hoped that they would also “put pressure on their governments to protest the Organization of American States [so that] they investigate the crimes and assassinations committed by Trujillo not just in the U.S. but also in Cuba and other parts of the hemisphere.”36 The press release following the initial memorial meeting in March noted the resolutions the group had passed “urging government officials to continue their investigation into the case.”37 The resolutions called for a plan of action that demanded the U.S. government continue the investigation unabated, intensify their identification and prosecution of “unregistered agents of the Dominican government” operating in the United States, and pursue accredited Dominican officials who continued to “abuse their political immunity.” They also noted their clear condemnation of both U.S. officials who accepted awards from Trujillo and U.S. citizens and corporations that entered into business relations with the regime. Finally, they called on the OAS to investigate the “violation of human rights in the Dominican Republic” that had come to be a matter of “common knowledge.”

The Galíndez Case in the Dominican RepublicClick to view larger

Figure 4. Galíndez memorial program poster, first anniversary, March 12, 1957.

Image courtesy of Rutgers University Library Special Collections.

Various members of the collective also solicited particular U.S. officials for a more thorough investigation and publicly shamed prominent individuals for their cooperation with the dictator. They urged John Foster Dulles to “initiate measures for the greater security of democratic political exiles here in the United States and in other member nations” of the OAS.38 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. became a target for Norman Thomas’s scorn once it was discovered that he was receiving a $600,000 annual retainer to serve as lawyer-lobbyist for Trujillo.39 Col. William Gordon Moore, the brother-in-law of Mrs. Eisenhower, was also singled out for his lack of scruples in going into business with the dictator on the building of a Dominican shipyard, as was Lock Joint Pipe of East Orange, New Jersey for paying the regime bribes for contracts on the island.40 Members of the collective wrote regularly to the Department of Justice to demand knowledge of whether corporations or individuals were registered foreign agents for the Dominican Republic and, if so, what they were being compensated for their work. They in turn used this information to publicly shame said individuals and companies. While little concrete information was culled from the demands for a closer look at the Galíndez story, the collective efforts brought significant attention to the Dominican case. Oregon representative Charles O. Porter led a congressional charge to investigate and generally end the policy of supporting a “friendly” dictator, and William Fitts Ryan (D, New York) joined the cause several years later to support the IADF’s work to “build a democratic fraternity united in its determination to resist tyranny.”41 He promised to urge President Kennedy to “cut Trujillo out of ‘windfall’ profits from extra sugar quotas resulting from cutting Cuba out of the sugar picture.”

While the collective was unable to force the U.S. government to impose immediate sanctions on Trujillo, they did instigate a series of investigations surrounding unregistered Dominican agents and the disappearance of pilot Gerald Murphy. Initial investigations into the Galíndez case began with New York City Police Department and District Attorney’s Office, which classified it initially as a missing person case. No convictions in the disappearance were ever achieved, but the collective did manage to pressure the U.S. government to prosecute several unregistered foreign agents, including John Joseph Frank, who had received fiscal support from the regime and was suspected to have helped agents locate and kidnap Galíndez. Porter, the U.S. representative from Murphy’s home state of Oregon, picked up the case shortly after Murphy disappeared in December 1956, making several impassioned speeches before Congress and pressuring his peers to make a thorough investigation into the case. The only full investigation, other than those informal ones made by Galíndez’s friends and colleagues, was the work of lawyer Morris Ernst.42 Ernst, who had been hired by Sydney S. Baron & Company and under the payroll of Rafael Trujillo, unsurprisingly fully cleared the regime of any wrongdoing.

Despite minimal returns, Grant and other members of the collective maintained a high level of engagement with the Dominican case in the final years of the regime. A letter to Grant from a public relations firm in 1960 indicates that the New York activist may have been developing a specific campaign to support potential revolutionaries in the Dominican Republic, and she wrote to the editor of the New York Times to insist that they redirect their coverage of Trujillo to avoid true but trivial issues and focus on “the mounting and uncompromising opposition that, at long last, is building up everywhere in the Hemisphere.”43 As a number of scholars have pointed out, the solidarity with Galíndez and outrage over his disappearance served as a lightning rod for anger over U.S. treatment of “friendly” yet vicious dictators like Trujillo. Indeed, following several years of outcry and indignation, a much more aggressive policy against the Dominican dictator was developing, including the investigation into Dominican human rights violations headed by the U.S. ambassador to the OAS and undertaken by the Inter-American Peace Committee, an OAS boycott, and a reduction in the nation’s sugar quota.

In the years following Galíndez’s disappearance, an international collective of activists worked to call attention to the atrocities being committed by the Trujillo regime—particularly the case of their missing friend and colleague—and vastly expanded the cause for democratic governance in the Dominican Republic. In the process, they galvanized opinion against the dictator, drew the ire of his long-time supporters in the United States who accused the group of “Liberal agitators” of being pro-Communists, and impassioned the fight against dictatorship across the region more broadly. Their deeply personal fight would be both beneficial to the cause of representative governance in the Dominican Republic in the short term for ending the Trujillato and potentially problematic in terms of the bigger picture, as it aggravated the already extremely polarized fight over stability versus democracy in the Caribbean basin. While their efforts bore fruit in some ways, they were also hindered by constant allegations and counter allegations of communism. One of the strongest arguments for supporting the Trujillato—in the logic of U.S. foreign policy—was the allegation that Trujillo served as a strong bulwark against the communist threat. In seeking to whitewash the Galíndez disappearance, many Congressmen stood by the old adage that Trujillo might have been a “son of a bitch” but he was friendly to the United States and, more important, avidly anti-communist. Moreover, as part of the regime’s efforts to change the narrative of the disappearance, Dominican officials argued that Galíndez had been a known communist and perhaps even a spy for the Soviets. They constructed a story about him funneling money out of the U.S. to make it more believable. As a result, activists supporting Galíndez and the Dominican case needed to defend their friend as a “Catholic and Christian-Democrat” but also to rebrand the image of any dictator—whether fascist or communist—as never a safe insurance against red infiltration. As one call to action noted, that “there is no difference between dictatorship; in its manifestations of communism, neo-fascism, ultra-militarism, it is one and the same ugly monster throttling the forces of freedom of the world.”44 Influenced by the Trujillo propaganda machine, a number of media outlets argued that the activist communities’ leftist allegiances were nothing more than a smokescreen against their own communist leanings. The overall result was a struggle to remain focused on the issues of human rights and democratic freedoms while the constant albatross of communism seemed to plague the collective as they continued to agitate for change after the fall of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic.

Nonetheless, the group of individuals who coalesced around the disappearance of Galíndez demonstrated the possibilities of working for change without consideration of national boundaries or entrenched partisan allegiances. Their collective efforts exerted pressure on a number of areas within the United States and across inter-American circles to initially end the Trujillo regime and later bring democratic governance to the Dominican Republic. Their solidarity work highlights several important issues surrounding inter-American activist networks at the dawn of the Cold War. First, the close personal ties they developed with Galíndez galvanized their efforts to focus on the Dominican case and exert pressure. While they certainly could have organized around the same concerns without him, his presence impacted the particular decisions that they made regarding solidarity work and likely drew much more attention to a nation that had escaped scrutiny from inter-American publics. Second, their efforts to defend their friend and colleague forced them to actively resist the charge of communism, which created a polarized political environment in the coming years. That foundation proved challenging in future years both in the Dominican Republic and potentially elsewhere in creating and maintaining alliances with various political groups and parties. In the end, the murder of Jesús Galíndez activated one of the first solidarity movements in the early Cold War, demonstrating the importance of inter-American alliances in shifting public opinion but also the challenges faced by activists in the polarized context of the period.

The life and death of Jesús Galíndez opens up crucial channels for understanding inter-American relations in the early Cold War and for continuing to interrogate the second half of the Trujillato in the Dominican Republic. Often, life-writing focuses on individuals who were extraordinary or larger-than-life; Galíndez certainly defies all “ordinary” characterizations of a life lived in the shadow of the Trujillo regime. Perhaps this slipperiness of identity is what has made it easier for scholars and writers to focus on the mechanics of his disappearance and subsequent investigation. Woven into Galíndez’s life, however, is a larger narrative of a regime losing its grip on both the politics of consent it had created with the Dominican people and the international balancing act it had constructed between communism and fascism. Galíndez, a Basque refugee, stood in for Trujillo’s efforts to demonstrate himself a democrat; in his abduction he became the symbol of the dictator’s international pariah status. As an intellectual and workers’ rights advocate, Galíndez represented the regime’s desire to reflect itself as a government of the people; forced into a second exile, he highlighted Trujillo’s commitment to only the most pliable intellectuals and constituents. Finally, as both an FBI informant and anti-Trujillo activist, Galíndez reflected the conflicted realities of the regime’s willingness to court U.S. allegiance and flaunt its sovereignty in the midst of the mounting Cold War. In this light, Galíndez becomes not extraordinary, but rather exemplary.

Discussion of the Literature

The life of Jesús María de Galíndez Suarez has been the source of significant study inasmuch as it contributes to the narrative of a megalomaniacal Caribbean dictator and his aggressive tactics against opponents at the onset of the Cold War. Yet the life and work of a transnational solidarity activist like Galíndez continues to offer new paths to understanding transnational identity, human rights activism, Basque nationalism, and dictatorship. Scholars and writers have addressed Galíndez’s early life in Spain nominally through basic introductions to his work or investigations into his disappearance. Constancio Cassá’s Jesús de Galíndez: Escritos desde Santo Domingo y artículos contra el regimen de Trujillo en el Exterior provides an extensive biographical sketch but offers minimal citations.45 Similarly, Stuart McKeever’s The Galíndez Case is devoid of source notations and reads like a detective novel.46 While Galíndez’s activities in the Dominican Republic beginning in 1939 are grounded in more concrete archival sources, writers have also treated this period somewhat anecdotally. Miguel A. Vázquez’s Jesús de Galíndez. “El Vasco” que inició la decadencia de Trujillo, although providing a much more thorough accounting of sources on the Basque’s time in Ciudad Trujillo, follows the historiographical trend set by Germán Ornes and Robert Crassweller to peg the beginning of Trujillo’s downfall to the sequester of Galíndez in 1956.47 Ornes called it “the most cause celebre of the present” while former U.S. ambassador John Bartlow Martin argued that “the intricacies of his disappearance may have helped prepare the subsequent assassination of Trujillo himself.”48 Former Dominican ambassador Arturo Espaillat even went as far as to argue that the disappearance “produced a chain reaction which eventually was a factor in permitting the Communist capture of Cuba.”49 Seeking to uncover Galíndez’s ties to the FBI and CIA, a few scholars have pursued that line of questioning, wondering how exactly he was tangled in the Cold War web. Miguel de Dios Unanue and Alan Block have sought to explain the paradox of Galíndez, how he operated both “as a critic of the government of the dictator Leónidas Trujillo and as a collaborator with U.S. intelligence agencies, who were responsible in turn for the bizarre presence of the baroque little general in power.”50 Nevertheless, the source materials on Galíndez’s work with either the FBI or CIA remain elusive; although some records were initially released to political scientist Russell Fitzgibbon’s son and later used by Block and Dios Unanue, recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the FBI and CIA have been denied.

When Galíndez moved to New York he continued to create a historical record of his life and work, yet in the context of the city’s solidarity circles his writing and correspondence were more meticulously preserved through the personal collections and publications of fellow activists. Unfortunately, nearly all of the material that addresses this period in his life frames it from the disappearance looking backward. The focus is on what Galíndez did to anger Trujillo and how the dictator discovered the betrayal. As Azcona Pastor points out in his study of Basque nationals in the diaspora, Galíndez was a member of multiple networks, not least of which was his work for Euzkadi.51 His life in New York particularly presents an opportunity to explore, through the lens of life writing, what transnational identity looks like. Moreover, Galíndez’s writings in his second exile address some of most central questions of dictatorship and U.S.–Latin American relations. The collection gathered by Constancio Cassá begins the work of pulling this material together; Bernardo Vega’s gathered documents on Trujillo dissidents contributes as well.52 Still, scholarship on U.S.–Caribbean relations during the 1950s has predominantly focused on high-level government interactions. Integrating stories like those of Galíndez, Grant, and the Dominican exile community potentially illuminates larger changes in U.S. policy as well as broadens the story of the final ending of the Trujillato.

Complicating the end of the Trujillato is an important addition to a larger recent historiographical trend of moving beyond Trujillo as simply a megalomaniacal, crazed, and violent Caribbean dictator.53 Similarly, scholars should dig beyond the salacious in the story of Galíndez. A number of treatments of the Basque scholar are fiction or near fiction. Both Crassweller and Ornes fictionalized the final hours of his life, potentially based on oral histories or interviews but with no discernable sources.54 Galíndez’s life has been the subject of a number of fictionalized accounts, including a film and a novel. Junot Díaz, in The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, sums up the whole affair in a lengthy footnote, questioning his reader: “Who in his right mind would have imagined something so fucking ghastly? I guess El Jefe wanted to host a little tertulia with that poor doomed nerd. And what a tertulia it was, Dios mio! Anyway, Galíndez’s disappearance caused an uproar in the States, with all fingers pointing to Trujillo, but of course he swore his innocence.”55 The novel Galíndez, subsequently made into a film, is framed by a posthumous investigation into his disappearance by an earnest graduate student.56 These and other fictionalized accounts of Galíndez’s life and (mostly) death tend to narrow in on the most shocking elements of the narrative yet seem to miss the crucial ten years he spent in New York working on his dissertation, informing for the FBI, and building networks of inter-American and inter-Atlantic solidarity.

While solidarity activism often has been pegged to the flow of information associated with globalization, such extra-national engagement has existed in the Americas since the birth of the Atlantic world. Jesús Galíndez represents an important moment in the development of inter-American solidarity. As Shandhya Shukla and Heidi Tinsman argue for a more historical understanding of global forces, looking to an alternative (transnational) paradigm allows scholars to see a “relationship that on the one hand has been profoundly structured by imperialism and on the other has given rise to the political and cultural formations that may undermine the calcified boundaries between nation-states.”57 Viewing the Galíndez case and the Dominican Republic as more than just (literally and figuratively) under the United States and rather entwined in a more complex web of inter-American engagements highlights the impact nonstate actors have in the drama of foreign relations. In the case of the Galíndez disappearance, this complicated web of engagement becomes ever more crucial in understanding the pressures placed upon the Dominican Republic to transition out of authoritarian leadership as well as the demand for the U.S. government to chart a fairer response to the nation’s crisis in leadership in the subsequent years. Finally, the Galíndez case forces us to look at a truly transnational life—contradictions and all—and see the impact of conflicting and complementary identities on the narrative of Cold War Caribbean geopolitics.

Primary Sources

A wide array of possible primary sources exists for information on Jesús Galíndez, his disappearance, and his collaborations with solidarity activists, Basque nationals, the Trujillo regime, and U.S. intelligence officers. Like his own life, these materials are spread out along the Basque diaspora. His own study, La Era de Trujillo, provides the cornerstone of his amassed writings, which are dispersed among the Dominican National Archives, newspapers and pamphlets in the New York Public Library (NYPL), and correspondence in the collections of Frances R. Grant (Rutgers) and the International League of the Rights of Man (ILRM, NYPL). His original dissertation, directed by Frank Tannenbaum, is available on microfilm at Columbia University Library along with a number of his articles from the 1950s. Constancio Cassá Bernaldo de Quirós collected a significant number of Galíndez’s other writings in Jesús de Galíndez. Escritos desde Santo Domingo y artículos contra el régimen de Trujillo en el exterior, available through the website of the Dominican National Archives. The collections at Rutgers and NYPL, along with the Papers of Norman Thomas (NYPL) also contain materials relative to Galíndez’s solidarity work in the United States and to the efforts that coalesced after his disappearance. Series II, Box 9 of the Frank Tannenbaum Papers at Columbia University contain correspondence between Galíndez and his Ph.D. adviser. Relative to investigations into the case, sources abound. The New York Times covered the disappearance closely for several years while the New York Post, New York Telegram, Sun, Nation, Progressive, New Republic, New Leader, Look, Life, Time, National Guardian, Harper’s, and Mercury all carried pieces of varied perspective on the professor’s disappearance. Materials for the Trujillo-sanctioned investigation, carried out by Morris Ernst, are available through the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland. The final assessment, Report and Opinion in the Matter of Galindez, was published by Sydney S. Baron & Company in 1958 and is available through a number of libraries, including Columbia. Ernst’s own archives, including references to the Galíndez case, are housed at the University of Texas Library. A selection of the investigation documents can also be found in Cándido Gerón’s Informe y documentos del caso de Jesús de Galíndez. The Trujillo regime printed a number of declarations of its innocence, including J. A. Osorio Lizarazo’s A Critique of the Galindez Book, Sixto Espinosa Orozco and José Angel Saviñon’s The Truth about Galíndez, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina’s The Other Side of the Galíndez Case, and a full-page advertisement in the New York Times.58 In contrast to the breadth of material surrounding Galíndez’s disappearance and the subsequent investigations, the documentation on his work with U.S. intelligence and the Basque Government in Exile is sparse. Although Alan Fitzgibbon labored to have the papers on Galíndez’s work with the FBI and CIA released, only a limited number were disclosed, and they seemed to have slipped back into obscurity. Manuel de Dios Unanue preserved a number of these documents in his 1982 edition of El caso Galíndez: Los vascos en los Servicios de Inteligencia de EEUU. Finally, although some of Galíndez’s work with the Basque National group is evident in the collections of Frances R. Grant and the ILRM, much more work must be done to uncover his connections with delegations in Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela, particularly, and his travels to the region for solidarity work.


Many thanks to the members of the Seventh Annual Empire and Solidarity in the Americas Conference, particularly Steve Striffler and Avi Chomsky, who provided insightful commentary on an earlier version of this article; gratitude also to my colleagues at Xavier University who offered feedback when I presented on these materials for our Faculty Colloquium in October 2015.

Collection of Galíndez’s writings: Constancio Cassá Bernaldo de Quirós, ed. Jesús de Galíndez: Escritos desde Santo Domingo y artículos contra el régimen de Trujillo en el exterior. Dominican National Archive.

Archivo General de la Nacíon, Santo Domingo, particularly Documents of Residency.

Further Reading

Azcona Pastor, José Manuel. Possible Paradises: Basque Emigration to Latin America. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2004.Find this resource:

    Block, Alan A. “Violence, Corruption, and Clientelism: The Assassination of Jesús de Galíndez, 1956.” Social Justice 16.2 (July 1, 1989): 64–88.Find this resource:

      Crassweller, Robert D. Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator. New York: Macmillan, 1966.Find this resource:

        Díez, Ana, dir. Galíndez. Donostia-San Sebastián: Filmoteca Vasca, 2002.Find this resource:

          Dios Unanue, Manuel de. El caso Galíndez: Los vascos en los Servicios de Inteligencia de EEUU. Tafalla, Navarra: Txalaparta, 1999.Find this resource:

            Espaillat, Arturo R. Trujillo: The Last Caesar. Chicago: H. Regnery, 1963.Find this resource:

              Espinosa Orozco, Sixto, and José Angel Saviñon. The Truth about Galíndez. Ciudad Trujillo: Dominican Press Society, 1956.Find this resource:

                Galíndez, Jesús de. “Un reportaje sobre Santo Domingo.” Cuadernos Americanos 80 (April 1955): 37–56.Find this resource:

                  Galíndez, Jesús de. La era de Trujillo: Un estudio casuístico de dictadura hispanoamericana. Santiago de Chile: Editorial del Pacífico, 1956.Find this resource:

                    Galíndez, Jesús de. The Era of Trujillo, Dominican Dictator. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1973.Find this resource:

                      Galíndez, Jesús de. Jesús de Galíndez escritos desde Santo Domingo y artículos contra el régimen de Trujillo en el exterior. Edited by Constancio Cassá. Santo Domingo: Comisión Permanente de Efemérides Patrias : Archivo General de la Nación, 2010.Find this resource:

                        Gallego Cuiñas Ana. “Rastros Transatlánticos Del Caso Galíndez En La Narrativa Del Trujillato.” Delaware Review of Latin American Studies 12.1 (June 2011).Find this resource:

                          Gerón, Cándido. Informe y documentos del caso de Jesús de Galíndez. Santo Domingo: Editora Centenario, 2008.Find this resource:

                            Hall, Michael R. Sugar and Power in the Dominican Republic Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Trujillos. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000.Find this resource:

                              Hamill, Hugh M. Caudillos: Dictators in Spanish America. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992.Find this resource:

                                Herrero, Gerardo, dir. El misterio Galíndez. Barcelona: Manga Films, 2003.Find this resource:

                                  Iriarte Angel, José Luis. “La aportación de Jesús de Galíndez al derecho internacional privado.” In Escritos jurídicos en memoria Luís Mateo Rodríguez. Vol. II, Derecho privado. Edited by Jesús Alfaro Águila-Real, Luis Mateo Rodríguez, Universidad de Cantabria, et al., 209–225. Santander: Universidad de Cantabria, 1993.Find this resource:

                                    McKeever, Stuart A. The Galindez Case. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2013.Find this resource:

                                      Ornes, Germán E. Trujillo: Little Caesar of the Caribbean. New York: Thomas Nelson, 1958.Find this resource:

                                        Osorio Lizarazo, J. A. A Critique of the Galindez Book. Newark, NJ: The Truth About Galindez Committee, 1956.Find this resource:

                                          Rabe, Stephen G. Eisenhower and Latin America: The Foreign Policy of Anticommunism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.Find this resource:

                                            Vázquez, Miguel Ángel. Jesús de Galíndez: “El vasco” que inició la decadencia de Trujillo. Santo Domingo: Taller, 1975.Find this resource:

                                              Vazquez Montalban, Manuel. Galindez. Barcelona: Editorial Seix Barral, 1990.Find this resource:

                                                Vega, Bernardo. Unos desafectos y otros en desgracia: Sufrimientos bajo la dictadura de Trujillo. Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 1986.Find this resource:

                                                  Vega, Bernardo. Almoina, Galíndez y otros crímenes de Trujillo en el extranjero. Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 2001.Find this resource:


                                                    (1.) It is rumored that he initially worked for Trujillo as his children’s tutor, giving him an even closer look at the man and his tactics, but FBI sources indicate his first job was actually as a high school instructor at the Instituto Cristobal Colón.

                                                    (2.) ARDE, which plays on “defense” and “assertion of rights” was run by exile J. A. Bonilla Atiles, and VRD was led by Ricardo Roques Martínez. There was also the Movimiento de la Liberación Dominicana, Democracia en Acción, and the Comite de Ayuda Agrupación Política 14 de Junio in New York alone.

                                                    (3.) For examples of early reports on his disappearance and growing concern about the regime see “The Americas: A Critic Vanishes,” Time, April 2, 1956; “The Galíndez Mystery and the Trujillo Horror,” National Guardian, June 18, 1956, 2. More recently several films have been produced that are loosely based either on Galíndez or the effort to uncover what happened to him. Ana Díez, dir., Galíndez (Donostia-San Sebastián: Filmoteca Vasca, 2002); and Gerardo Herrero, dir., The Galíndez File (Barcelona: Manga Films, 2003) (also known as El misterio Galíndez).

                                                    (4.) Just from New York alone, Sergio Bencosme was shot to death in his apartment in 1935 and Andrés Requena in front of an apartment building in 1952. Both shootings were believed to be the work of Trujillo’s henchmen abroad, most notably Felix Bernardino.

                                                    (5.) This is somewhat disputed, likely due to the fact that the principal source appears to be FBI notations and Galíndez’s own association with his Basque homeland.

                                                    (6.) Jesús de Galíndez, Jesús de Galíndez escritos desde Santo Domingo y artículos contra el régimen de Trujillo en el exterior, ed. Constancio Cassá (Santo Domingo: Comisión Permanente de Efemérides Patrias: Archivo General de la Nación, 2010), 18.

                                                    (7.) José Manuel Azcona Pastor, Possible Paradises: Basque Emigration to Latin America (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2004), 403. Azcona Pastor notes that Galíndez arrived with approximately 5,000 other Basque exiles, but that many departed shortly thereafter due to the “bad political climate, adverse weather, lack of health care, and miserable infrastructure.” The majority of Basques fled initially or eventually to Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina.

                                                    (8.) Jesús de Galíndez, “Un reportaje sobre Santo Domingo,” Cuadernos Americanos 80 (April 1955): 37–56. Cited in Hugh M Hamill, Caudillos: Dictators in Spanish America (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 235.

                                                    (9.) Solicitud para la Renovación de Permiso de Residencia, 1941, Secretaría de Estado de lo Interior y Policía, Archivo General de La Nación, Santo Domingo. The renewal form indicates that his initial application was in 1939.

                                                    (10.) Azcona Pastor, Possible Paradises, 403. Azcona Pastor indicates that the Basque delegation in the Dominican Republic was formally organized on March 14, 1940, and that Galíndez served as its secretary. The group supported the Allies and planned “diverse cultural activities, such as conferences, chats, and the recovery of folklore and tradition.” In addition, between 1943 and 1944 they published a Basque-themed newspaper called Eri to which Galíndez undoubtedly contributed.

                                                    (11.) The sentiment likely had been percolating for some time. An April 4, 1945, confidential FBI memo described Galíndez as “somewhat anti-Trujillo in sympathy.” Manuel de Dios Unanue, El caso Galíndez: Los vascos en los servicios de inteligencia de EEUU. (New York: Editorial Cupre, 1982), 138.

                                                    (12.) Both the Papers of Frances R. Grant, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, and the International League for Human Rights Records, New York Public Library (as well as the NYPL’s general holdings) demonstrate the connections via subscriptions to the various bulletins. The majority of the missives come from the 1950s.

                                                    (13.) Galíndez, “Un reportaje sobre Santo Domingo.” Cited in Hamill, Caudillos, 235.

                                                    (14.) Frances R. Grant began her Latin American activism while working at the Roerich Museum in New York. Her first trip to the region was in 1929 and in 1930 she founded the Pan American Women’s Association, dedicated to the “advancement and understanding of the peoples of this hemisphere.” She remained actively engaged in Latin American issues nearly to the end of her life in 1993 at age ninety-six. Her extensive papers are located at the Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University.

                                                    (15.) Apparently he had sent the dissertation to Spain before his disappearance, and it was published in Buenos Aires that same year. While it was eventually translated into English (as Jesús de Galíndez, The Era of Trujillo, Dominican Dictator [Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1973]), it took some time because of copyright issues. Grant was active in the charge to get it published and created a dedicated fund for the purpose. In response, the regime entrusted a number of its sycophantic ideologues to defame Galíndez in print in any way possible (as was their tactic). See, for example, Sixto Espinosa Orozco and José Angel Saviñon, The Truth about Galíndez. (Ciudad Trujillo: Dominican Press Society, 1956); J. A. Osorio Lizarazo, A Critique of the Galindez Book (Newark, NJ: The Truth About Galindez Committee, 1956); and Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, The Other Side of the Galindez Case (New York: Dominican Republic Cultural Society of New York, 1956).

                                                    (16.) Letter from Jesús Galíndez to Frances Grant, September 28, 1955, PFRG, Rutgers Box 29, Folder 24.

                                                    (17.) Letters to FBI director from Arthur P. Duggan Jr. and Clement J. Driscoll, June 10, 1944, and April 6, 1945, in Dios Unanue, El caso Galíndez, 137–139.

                                                    (18.) Cited in Ibid., 140–141.

                                                    (19.) Cited in Ibid., 141.

                                                    (20.) Alan A. Block, “Violence, Corruption, and Clientelism: The Assassination of Jesús de Galíndez, 1956,” Social Justice 16.2 (July 1, 1989): 81; and Dios Unanue, El caso Galíndez, 140. According to Block, who analyzed what he refers to as the “Galindez Files” at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Federal Bureau of Investigation, one particular letter re-admitting Galíndez to the United States in 1950 through the efforts of the CIA indicates that Galíndez was working for them as well. While CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick admitted to journalists in 1960 that Galíndez was a CIA informant, the Agency has steadfastly refused all FOIA requests.

                                                    (21.) Letter from Minerva Bernardino to Rafael Trujillo (“Estimado Jefe”), February 21, 1955, transcribed in Department of State Memo 1789 in Dios Unanue, El caso Galíndez, 156.

                                                    (22.) Jesús de Galíndez, La era de Trujillo: Un estudio casuístico de dictadura hispanoamericana (Santiago de Chile: Editorial del Pacífico, 1956), 9.

                                                    (23.) Letter to Roger Baldwin (ILRM) from J. A. Bonilla Atiles (ARDE), January 7, 1947, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 43, Folder 26.

                                                    (24.) In one of the letters from ARDE, Bonilla Atiles included a speech he had given regarding Gabriela Mistral standing up to Trujillo. As Grant had met Mistral on her first visit to South America and developed a friendship with her, it is likely that this bit of information was yet another compelling factor in her decision to devote attention to the Dominican Republic. PFRG, Rutgers, Box 43, Folder 19.

                                                    (25.) Letter from Frances Grant to Dorothy R. Thackrey, New York Post, April 7, 1947, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 43, Folder 26.

                                                    (26.) The Dominican dictator paid vast sums to many individuals, lawmakers, and publicity companies to rally on his behalf. For example, in the investigation of the Galíndez disappearance activists learned that Trujillo had been paying Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. a $600,000 annual retainer.

                                                    (27.) Letter from Frances Grant to Dorothy R. Thackrey, New York Post, April 7, 1947, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 43, Folder 26.

                                                    (28.) Letter from Frances Grant to John Dos Passos, February 13, 1947, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 43, Folder 26.

                                                    (29.) Draft of Invitation to Havana Conference, 1950, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 55, Folder 52.

                                                    (31.) Included in the collective were ILRM, IADF, Ibérica Publishing, Post War World Council, Dominican Revolutionary Party, Workers Defense League, Council of Spanish American Societies, and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. See Hemisferica 5.2 (March-April 1956).

                                                    (32.) In addition to articles in the New York Times, the New York Post, and the New York Telegram and Sun, lengthier pieces appeared in the Nation, Progressive, New Republic, New Leader, Harper’s, Look, and Life.

                                                    (33.) Letter from Frances R. Grant to James Loeb Jr., April 10, 1956, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 29, Folder 32.

                                                    (35.) Invitation flier for three-month anniversary event, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 29, Folder 32.

                                                    (36.) Letter from Frances R. Grant, IADF to “Estimado Amigo,” not dated, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 28, Folder 24. Grant likely sent the letter very soon after Galíndez’s disappearance because his name was still on the masthead, and she opened the letter noting that with it came “la dolorosa noticia de la desaparición de nuestro distinguido colega y amigo, Dr. Jesus de Galindez.”

                                                    (37.) Press release, “2nd Anniversary Galindez Memorial Meeting,” PFRG, Rutgers, Box 55, Folder 52.

                                                    (38.) Letter from Frances R. Grant, ILRM, to John Foster Dulles, secretary of state, January 29, 1957, ILRMR, NYPL, Series I, Box 6.

                                                    (39.) Letter from Frances R. Grant to the editor, New York Times, June 10, 1960, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 61, Folder 4. See also manifesto from Vanguardia Revolucionaria Dominicana, Section of New York, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 55, Folder 52.

                                                    (40.) Letter from Frances R. Grant to Department of Justice, Bureau of Registration, December 18, 1958, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 54, Folder 58. She also received a response from J. Edgar Hoover regarding her inquiry into the FBI’s jurisdiction over possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

                                                    (41.) Speech of Charles O. Porter, March 12, 1957; and Press release, Office of William Fitts Ryan, March 19, 1961, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 61, Folder 8.

                                                    (42.) Ironically, Ernst had assisted founding the ACLU, along with Norman Thomas, and was a strong supporter of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.

                                                    (43.) Letter to Frances Grant from William L. Bourke, Mary Omen and Associates, December 18, 1960, FRGP, Rutgers, Box 61, Folder 2; and Letter from Frances Grant to editor, New York Times, June 10, 1960, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 61, Folder 4.

                                                    (44.) Remarks of Frances R. Grant, June 12, 1956, PFRG, Rutgers, Box 29, Folder 25.

                                                    (45.) Galíndez, Jesús de Galíndez escritos desde Santo Domingo.

                                                    (46.) Stuart A. McKeever, The Galindez Case (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2013).

                                                    (47.) Miguel Ángel Vázquez, Jesús de Galíndez: “El Vasco” que inició la decadencia de Trujillo (Santo Domingo: Taller, 1975); Germán E. Ornes, Trujillo: Little Caesar of the Caribbean (New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1958); and Robert D. Crassweller, Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator (New York: Macmillan, 1966).

                                                    (48.) Ornes, Trujillo, 309; and Crassweller, Trujillo, ix.

                                                    (49.) Espaillat had a very particular agenda of clearing his name as a former Dominican consul and a prime suspect in the case (with diplomatic immunity), yet he argues that such was not his aim. He simply resented “having been used as a fall guy for other people’s stupidity and mistakes.” Arturo R. Espaillat, Trujillo: The Last Caesar (Chicago: H. Regnery, 1963), 166, 169.

                                                    (50.) Block, “Violence, Corruption, and Clientelism”; and Manuel de Dios Unanue, El caso Galíndez, 10.

                                                    (51.) Azcona Pastor, Possible Paradises.

                                                    (52.) Bernardo Vega, Almoina, Galíndez y otros crímenes de Trujillo en el extranjero (Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 2001); and Bernardo Vega, Unos desafectos y otros en desgracia: sufrimientos bajo la dictadura de Trujillo (Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 1986).

                                                    (53.) Walter Cordero and Neici M. Zeller, “El desfile trujillista: despotismo y complicidad,” in Homenaje a Emilio Cordero Michel, eds. Emilio Cordero Michel, Jose Miguel Abreu Cardet, Academia Dominicana de la Historia, et al. (Santo Domingo: Academia Dominicana de la Historia, 2004), 113–174; Lauren Derby, The Dictator’s Seduction: Politics and the Popular Imagination in the Era of Trujillo (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009); Richard Lee Turits, Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003); and Neici Zeller, Discursos y espacios femeninos en República Dominicana, 1880–1961 (Santo Domingo: Editorial Letra Gráfica, 2012).

                                                    (54.) Crassweller, Trujillo; and Ornes, Trujillo.

                                                    (55.) Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (New York: Riverhead Books, 2007), 97.

                                                    (56.) Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Galíndez (Barcelona: Debolsillo, 2004); and Herrero, The Galíndez File.

                                                    (57.) Sandhya Rajendra Shukla and Heidi Tinsman, Imagining Our Americas: Toward a Transnational Frame (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 5. See, for example, James N. Green, We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010); and Van Gosse, “Unpacking the Vietnam Syndrome: The Coup in Chile and the Rise of Popular Anti-Interventionism,” in The World the Sixties Made: Politics and Culture in Recent America, eds. Richard R Moser and Van Gosse (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003), 100–113.

                                                    (58.) J. A. Osorio Lizarazo, A Critique of the Galindez Book (Newark, NJ: The Truth About Galindez Committee, 1956); Sixto Espinosa Orozco and José Angel Saviñon, The Truth about Galíndez. (Ciudad Trujillo: Dominican Press Society, 1956); Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, The Other Side of the Galindez Case (New York: Dominican Republic Cultural Society of New York, 1956); and “The Other Side of the Galíndez Case,” New York Times, September 20, 1956, in ILRMR, NYPL, Series III, Box 12.