TRUJILLO: The Death of the Goat by Bernard Diederich
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TRUJILLO: The Death of the Goat

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A megalomaniac with an enormous sexual appetite, Generalissimo Trujillo, president/dictator of the Dominican Republic, expected as a matter of course to harvest the virgin daughters of loyal friends, although he might at any moment order a genuinely loyal officer boiled alive and exhibited as a disgraced enemy. He ordered 20,000 black Haitians slaughtered for squatting in his country (a Negrophobe, he had Negro blood in his veins). He owned 60% of his country's land, and the treasury. He revamped the country and cities into his own image, changing Santo Domingo to Ciudad Trujillo, erecting hundreds of statues to himself--even having neon signs in the capital blinking GOD AND TRUJILLO. On his silver anniversary he renamed a major avenue after his buxom 16-year-old daughter Queen Angelita I and outfitted her in an $80,000 white satin gown with a 75-foot train of Russian ermine. He was crazy. And on May 30, 1961 he was assassinated by the de la Maza family. The root of his assassination grew from a murder he'd ordered four years earlier, and in covering up that murder he'd had two more men murdered, including young Tavito de la Maza. This slowly nudged the wild de la Mazas into a conspiracy that is grippingly analyzed here and which reveals the shilly-shallying of the US and the CIA--we backed the dictator but at last supplied (then partly withdrew) weapons with which to kill him. His murder of three highly attractive sisters who refused his advances steeled the conspirators' resolve (""it did something to their machismo""). But after the killing, no coup d'etat followed. Trujillo's son Ramfis took over and the conspirators were massacred. Straightforward and styleless, but a strong pulse throughout.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1978
Publisher: Little, Brown