El Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana opens in Santo Domingo
On the night of May 30, 1961, on a dark stretch of the coastal highway leading to San Cristobal, just west of Ciudad Trujillo, a small group of armed men lay in wait for the approach of a 1957 Chevrolet. The '57 Chevy was well known in the Dominican Republic, for it was a vehicle often used by the country's dictator, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. Those seven men succeeded in their assigned mission: to assassinate, or ajusticiar, as the Dominicans prefer to say, the brutal tyrant who had ruled the Dominican Republic for 31 years.
The conspirators did not succeed in their larger plan to seize control of the government. In the following weeks and months the Trujillistas, led byTrujillo's son Ramfis, hunted down and killed, in many cases after unspeakable tortures, all but two of the men involved in the ajusticiamiento, as well as scores of others, including manyrelatives of the plotters.
With the eventual ouster of the Trujillistas, Santo Domingo de Guzman regained its historic name, the San Cristobal highway was named the Carreterra 30 de Mayo, and a monument, now replaced, overlooking the Mar Caribe, was erected next to the highway where those valiant men carried out the ajusticiamiento.
Other memorials to that heroic gesta del 30 de Mayo, mostly in the form of street names honoring the ajusticiadores, exist in many towns and cities of the Dominican Republic. In Santo Domingo, a small monument on the north side of Avenida Bolivar, just a hundred yards or so from Parque Independencia, marks the spot where two of the ajusticiadoreswere gunned down.
The resistance to Trujillo began early in his reign of terror, but other than these memorials, until now there has been little public exposition in the Dominican Republic of the dictatorship whose horrors held the country hostage for 31years.
When you visit Santo Domingo, visit el Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana, in the Colonial Zone. Its exhibits testify to the heroism of the men and women who fought to overthrow the Trujillo tyranny and struggled to establish democratic government. The Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana is a splendid, and long awaited, gift to the Dominican people.
Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana
Calle Arzobizpo Nouel No. 210, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana
Tel: 809.563.3463 http://museodelaresistencia.org/