Rafael Trujillo - Trujillo Government

Trujillo Government

Three weeks after Trujillo's ascension to the Presidency the destructive Hurricane San Zenon hit Santo Domingo and left more than 3,000 dead. With relief money from the American Red Cross, he rebuilt the city. On August 16, 1931, the first anniversary of his inauguration, Trujillo made the Dominican Party the nation's sole legal political party; however, the country had effectively been a one-party state since Trujillo's swearing in. Government employees were required to "donate" 10 percent of their salary to the national treasury, and there was strong pressure on adult citizens to join the party. Party members were required to carry a membership card, the "palmita", and a person could be arrested for vagrancy without one. Those who did not contribute, or join the party, did so at their own risk. Opponents of the regime were mysteriously killed. In 1934, Trujillo, who had promoted himself to generalissimo of the army, was up for re-election. By this time, there was no organized opposition left in the country, and he was elected as the sole candidate on the ballot. In extension to the widely rigged (and regularly uncontested) elections, which never saw a functioning opposition, he instated "civic reviews", with large crowds shouting their loyalty to the government.

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