90 years ago: US occupation force lands on Dominican soil
New York.- One hundred years ago, the Dominican Republic was occupied by U.S. military forces. The U.S. Occupation brought pain, anguish, and loss of sovereignty to the Dominican people, and shame to Americans. Since then, the Dominican people have remembered the 1916-1924 U.S. Occupation of their soil. The legacy of the Occupation continues to be studied by school children in the Dominican Republic and in every country that has been occupied by a military force seeking to impose a new way of seeing the world and a different way of life among the invaded community.
In 1924, on a day like today, December 27th, the U.S. military troops withdrew and returned to their homeland. They left behind a transformed country: from the physical infrastructure, a new sugar industrial complex that rested on the cheapest, most accessible labor, to the psychological selfhood of the Dominican people, now accustomed to new tastes and ruled by a new regime that enjoyed unconditional support from the U.S. government.
The withdrawal came as a result of a tireless resistance effort in the Dominican Republic by people who fought to the teeth with palos y machetes. They confronted the colossus of the North, who had come with modern weapons designed to kill many at once, in order to recuperate their sovereignty as a people. That resistance was also present right here, in our own New York City backyard, where men and women courageously demanded an end to the abominable Occupation.
This resistance is the subject of our forthcoming 2017 exhibit; one that captures the activism and involvement of Dominicans in the U.S., particularly in New York, who vigorously resisted the imposed Occupation. A team composed of Jhensen Ortiz, librarian specializing in U.S.-Dominican history, Ruth Lizardi, curator, specializing in Museum Studies, and Norma Guzman, an Art Historian, have been working on putting the exhibit together.
The exhibit will commemorate the 100th anniversary of an act that should never have taken place; will remember men and women who risked all to fight against injustice and for a people’s right to self-determination on their own terms; and will remind children of all walks of life that oppression always, always, unfailingly breeds resistance.
It is the mission of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute to preserve the legacy of people of Dominican descent, in all their struggles and successes. The exhibit aims to keep that legacy alive in the hearts and minds of everyone, particularly younger generations, both now and in perpetuity.
Dec 27, 2016
Category: DR News |