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Juan Bosch Gaviño: 1909-2001: Author, Politician

Became Politically Active

In Cuba in 1939 Gaviño helped found the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD), the leftist Dominican Revolutionary Party. It became the most influential of the exiled anti-Trujillo organizations. Gaviño served as PRD president until 1966. He spent several months during 1942 doing party organizing in New York. In 1947 Gaviño helped organize the Dominican-Cuban Cayo Confites expedition, a failed attempt to overthrow the Trujillo dictatorship.

Between 1944 and 1952 Gaviño held various positions within the Cuban government, including secretary and advisor to President Carlos Prío Socarrás. However in 1952, threatened with deportation to the Dominican Republic by the new Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, Gaviño fled to Costa Rica, where he became a professor at the Institute of Political Education in San Isidro del Coronado, on the outskirts of San José. He also traveled throughout Latin America and Europe during the 1950s. Returning to Cuba in 1958, he was jailed by the dictatorship. After his release he moved to Venezuela. When Fidel Castro overthrew Batista in 1959, Gaviño returned to Cuba. However, he left again in disgust over the policies of the new communist government.

Following Trujillo's assassination in 1961, Gaviño returned to the Dominican Republic and built up his PRD party with peasants and laborers. Appearing on television weekly and with frequent radio broadcasts, his good looks and eloquent but plain speech won him wide popularity. Gaviño was a social democrat at a time when many political factions branded any type of socialism as communism. When a Spanish Jesuit called him a communist during the presidential election campaign, Gaviño withdrew from the race. However, after a four-hour nationally-televised debate, the priest retracted his charges and, two days before the vote, Gaviño re-entered the race. In December of 1962, in a landslide election, Gaviño became the first freely-elected president of the Dominican Republic in 38 years.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyJuan Bosch Gaviño: 1909-2001: Author, Politician Biography - Wrote Early Stories About Rural Peasants, Exiled For 24 Years, Became Politically Active, Short Presidency Impeded By International Factions