1839: Five Patriotes Canadiens, leaders of the Lower Canada Rebellion 2004: Cameron Willingham, for an accidental fire?

1973: Francisco Caamaño, the Dominican Republic’s would-be Fidel

February 16th, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 1973, Col. Francisco Caamano was (perhaps*) captured by forces of the Dominican dictatorship and summarily executed while trying to organize a guerrilla resistance.

Caamano was heir to a long family military tradition; his father had been a Defense Minister for the dictator Rafael Trujillo.

Unsteady governments followed Trujillo’s 1961 assassination. Caamano came to prominence by mounting a 1965 coup against a military junta and in favor of the constitutional regime it had overthrown two years earlier. The coup was an initial success — Caamano was temporarily the de facto head of state — but also triggered an American intervention against the distrusted leftist government.

Caamano licked his wounds in Cuba for a few years before mounting a small landing in early February 1973 with a handful of followers, looking to foment a peasant revolution — a play right out of the Cuban Revolution, but considerably less successful. Harried by the military, the operation was crushed within weeks with only three survivors.

A Spanish-language tribute to Caamano is here. Another more general educational page (also in Spanish) is here.

* This is the guerrillas’ version. The government’s version was that Caamano was killed in battle.

Note: Title corrected.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Borderline "Executions",Cuba,Dominican Republic,Famous,Heads of State,Martyrs,No Formal Charge,Power,Revolutionaries,Shot,Soldiers,Summary Executions,Wartime Executions

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2 thoughts on “1973: Francisco Caamaño, the Dominican Republic’s would-be Fidel”

  1. Headsman says:

    Headline fail! Thanks for that catch.

  2. Juancho says:

    Nitpick. He wasn’t Dominica’s would-be Castro, he was the Dominican Republic’s. They’re two rather different places.

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