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Juan Bosch Gaviño: 1909-2001: Author, Politician

Examined And Spoke Out Against Democracy

Gaviño went to Spain and entered a period of disillusionment and reflection. His years as a productive short-story writer ended. Rejecting representative democracy, Gaviño began writing about the concept of a "popular dictatorship." He was quoted in the Seattle Times as saying, "They [the United States] are insisting that our countries be democratic, and that we celebrate elections every four years. But in the United States they don't know the situations of people without schools, work or hospitals…. We Latin Americans have to search for a political way out that is adequate for us to confront the problems of our people."

Gaviño began examining the workings of capitalism in underdeveloped countries, analyzing class struggle, and calling for political reform. During the 1960s three of his books were translated into English and published in the United States. The Unfinished Experiment: Democracy in the Dominican Republic analyzed the class structure of Dominican society and the difficulty of establishing a democratic government there. In his review of the book for the Journal of Politics, Howard J. Wiarda called Gaviño "a magician with the Spanish language." David: The Biography of a King compared the Dominican Republic to Israel without the biblical King David. In Pentagonism: A Substitute for Imperialism, and in other books and essays, Gaviño criticized American foreign policy. He used the term "pentagonism" to describe the ever-expanding militarization of American society, arguing that American military operations around the world were used to justify the arms race that drove the American economy. Viaje a los antípodas criticized U. S. intervention in Vietnam. De Cristóbal Colón a Fidel Castro and Composición social dominicana were published in 1970 and Breve historia de la oligarquía appeared in 1971.

Gaviño returned to the Dominican Republic in 1970 and founded the socialist Partido de la Liberación Dominicana or Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) in 1973. He ran for president on the party's ticket in 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, and 1994, losing to Balaguer every time. The 1990 election was very close and the 80-year-old Gaviño and 82-year-old Balaguer finally agreed to a recount brokered by former U. S. president Jimmy Carter. A Dominican pollster was quoted in Time Magazine as saying: "It appears that the elder of the dinosaurs has won." Ironically, in addition to their political rivalry, Gaviño and Balaguer competed for the title of the Dominican Republic's most important contemporary writer. Gaviño and Balaguer formed an alliance—the National Patriotic Front—that enabled the PLD candidate, a Gaviño protégé, to win the 1996 election.

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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