We are all familiar with the 1937 border conflict between Dominicans and Haitians which resulted in the death of Haitians and several dominicans. What very few are aware of is that just a year prior General Rafael Trujillo, had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Price. Below we have transcribed an article from 1936 by an American Journalist.
“Writer Says Young President of Dominican Republic Has Brought Prosperity and Peace.
By JOHN WINTHROP CARVER
Latin-America, especially the refully expectant that the Nobel publics in the Caribbean, is hope Peace Prize this year will be awarded to the “Bolivar of Peace” General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo President of the Dominican Republic.
Latin-America bases its hopes on the ramarkable record compiled by the youthful leader of the Dominicans since he assumed the Presidency six years ago. In their belief they are backed by many from North America, who have visited the Dominican Republic and noted the remarkable change that has taken place under his guidance.
From Ciudad Trujillo, in the heart of the District of Santo Domingo, to the farthermost hamlet, high in the hills that border on Haiti, there are peace and prosperity that the natives will tell you, are due solely to the efforts of president Trujillo, abetted by the loyal support of the public.
For the masses have been benefitted more by the changed conditions than any class on the island, although the laws have been broadened so that business shares equally with the masses in the changed conditions.
When President Trujillo assumed the Presidency, the conditions in the Dominican Republic were deplorable. The public treasury was nearly empty; the masses were burdened by excessive taxes and industry was pessimistic as to its future.
Overnight President Trujillo effected startling changes, First of all he ushered out of office the drones, who had looked upon their posts as life sinecures. Work or many referred to get out rather than actually do some work. To his side he called the most able men of the republic, regardless of their political affiliations. Youth predominated, with enough of the elder statesmen, to give balance to their progressive plans.
First President Trujillo went to work to cut expenses. He halved the budget, and yet, with only about $7,500,000 to work on, put in new hospitals, schools, bridges and roads. During his first year, the republic was the center of a devastating hurricane that cost hundreds of lives and did damage high in the millions.
It only spurred President Trujillo to greater activities, with the result that the Dominican Republic, today stands out among the nations of the Caribbean, as well as Latin-America as a whole, as an example of what can be done by a progressive, honest government.
The latest achievement credited to the youthful President was the settling of the century-old boundary dispute with Haiti. With a hand shake, President Vincent of Haiti, and Trujillo agreed to the boundary line and wiped out in that friendly clasp whatever suspicion there may have been of trouble between the two nations.
More capital from North America has poured into the Dominican Republic in the past six years than ever before in the history of the country. Guarantees of a square deal, offers that bring in investors and asasurance to industry have developed the trade of the country to its highest peak.
As a result, conditions in the Dominican Republic are better generally than they have been in decades. And the foreign investors, the Dominican plantation owner, the man in the street and the laborer in the field will tell you that President Trujillo is responsible for these betterments.
Hence it is that the masses and educators, the plantation owners, as well as the investors believe that their choice for the Nobel Peace Prize-President Trujillo has done as much as any leader in the past year for his people. They feel that his inspiring leadership, his balanced budget, liberalization of the laws, that mean so much to the masses and at the same time protect the investors, as well as his constant harmony with is neighbors, and his tireless efforts to do right, entitle him to top rank when consideration is given to the one best fitted to get the Nobel Peace Prize”.
The Brooklyn Citizen
Brooklyn, New York · Wednesday, May 27, 1936