By Nelson Santana
September 4, 2018 [Leer en español]
The 31st Annual Dominican Parade and Festival of Rhode Island brought fun and excitement to the Providence community. Popular Dominican characters such as La Roba Gallina (Hen/Chicken Thief) attended with bachata and merengue giving the parade its Dominican flavor. Similar to the National Dominican Day Parade in New York, Providence honors the second Dominican Independence by hosting its parade in August. Akin to its New York counterpart, politics from the island were on full display as members of the Marcha Verde movement also marched.
However, it was not the Marcha Verde group that caused the greatest controversy, but the ghost of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. One group of degenerates paraded on a float with the words: Santiago de los Caballeros: “Dios en el Cielo – Trujillo en la Tierra” (God in Heaven – Trujillo on earth). This phrase was a mantra during the bloody dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.
Luis Camacho, the man who recorded the video provides commentary in Spanish:
What a shame this is. In a Dominican parade look at what we have a here, a float. This is a shame and mistreatment of us Dominicans. That float should not be here in the parade. This is a shame.
One of women in the video attempts to hide while the man shames the group. As noted by ESENDOM:
Trujillo ruled with an iron fist from the moment he took the presidency on August 16, 1930, eliminating any and all opposition…Within the first few years of his “presidency,” Trujillo demonstrated his undemocratic and repulsive nature. In his first year as president, he forced all adults to register under the newly formed political party, Partido Dominicano; imprisoning anyone who opposed joining. That same year (1930), from late August to early September, Hurricane San Zenón battered the City of Santo Domingo, causing structural damage. Renamed Ciudad Trujillo in 1936, the city became one of several towns, monuments, etc. named or renamed after the dictator; such as Monumento de la Paz de Trujillo (Monumento a Los Heroés de La Restauración and Provincia de Trujillo (Provincia San Cristóbal). Among the many atrocities committed against humanity, Trujillo’s regime raped many girls, teenagers, and women; and murdered countless Dominicans and immigrants, including many people of Haitian ancestry (different sources list the numbers from 10,000 to more than 100,000).
This past May 30, marked the 57th anniversary of the dictator’s assassination or ajusticiamento at the hands of Dominican martyrs. The float is problematic for many reasons. However, it is possible that it made an appearance at the parade as a means to desensitize the community from the Trujillo regime’s crimes against humanity, or in other words, normalize the dictatorship. Trujillo’s grandson, Luis José Ramfis Trujillo, is campaigning and attempting to run for president of the Dominican Republic. However, it is highly unlikely that his name will appear on the Dominican ballot since he was born in Washington Heights, New York, and not on Dominican soil. Nonetheless, it is less likely that the appearance of the Trujillo float in Providence and Ramfis Trujillo’s campaign are nonrelated matters, thus proving that the Trujillo camp continues to infiltrate any unit today just as they did during the 31-year reign of Rafael Trujillo decades ago.
Ramfis' campaign serves as a distraction to divide and conquer the Dominican population in the United States and abroad.
Political forces from the left (Marcha Verde) to the right (trujillistas) are competing for space not only in New York but in other Dominican communities across the United States. For those wondering: the politicization of Dominican parades is not new!