Dominican Republic: Nobody's Yes Man

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Hearing that the visitor to her sunbaked village was the top man in the Dominican Republic, an old woman instinctively shouted, "Viva el generalisimo!" Donald Reid Cabral, 41, chief of the country's governing junta, turned and smiled wryly. "Madam," he replied, "I am not even a private."

On Donny Reid's troubled Caribbean island, that is saying something. Soldiers with machine guns ruled the Dominican Republic for 31 years under Dictator Rafael Trujillo. Even after his assassination in 1961, the military held the real power—partly out of habit, partly because there was no civilian strong enough to run the country. In...

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