Grief at death of Juan Bosch
SANTO DOMINGO.— Although anticipated due to his
deteriorated state of health, the Dominican people were
grief-stricken at the sad news of the death of their former
president Juan Bosch on November 1.
The most honorable Dominican politician, acknowledged as
such by his adversaries, passed away in the Abel González
clinic, where he was admitted on September 15. An intestinal
hemorrhage led to the death of one of the greatest Dominican
writers and a maestro of the short-story genre.
Without abandoning literature, Bosch was one of the founder
members of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), which
emerged in Havana in 1939.
Nominated by the PRD he was elected president in February
1963 but a military conspiracy, sponsored by the Catholic
church and the most powerful economic groups, deposed him
on September 25 of that year.
Bosch went into exile for the second time — the first being in
1938 during the Rafael Leonidas Trujillo dictatorship — and
lived in Europe.
In 1965 he traveled to Puerto Rico, where he was in contact
with officers from the Dominican army which, in April of that
year, tried to reinstate him in office through an armed
movement that had wide popular support.
The intervention of 42,000 U.S. naval troops put an end to
the triumph of the Dominican forces led by Colonel Francisco
He traveled again to Europe after losing the 1996 elections in
a country occupied by invading forces, returning in 1970, and
in 1973 founded the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), to
which he devoted all his energies.
For 23 years he worked on consolidating the PLD and was at
the point of returning to the presidency in 1990, but an
electoral fraud in favor of Joaquín Balaguer, then president,
His final attempt came four years later, but he was relegated
to a trailing third place. That event marked his withdrawal
from political life.
From that time he remained the symbol of a party which,
overlooking the events of 1990, accepted Balaguer’s backing
in order to instate Leonel Fernández, the author of a book
exposing the fraud, as president in 1996.
Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and subsequently other
health problems, Bosch’s admissions to hospital was frequent
in recent years.
Over the last few days, the Dominican press and television
news channels have devoted their coverage to the merits of
the writer and politician. Dozens of television viewers have
called in to express their grief at Bosch’s death.
His remains were interred in La Vega city, 120 kilometers
northeast of this capital, where Bosch was born on June 30,
1909. With his death comes the loss of a leader who
advocated integrity as a politician’s principal virtue. (PL)