Dominican Republic: Trials of the Functionary

The U.N. General Assembly hears many violent denunciations and endless bland defenses. Rarely does it hear an abject admission of guilt and plea for forgiveness. Last week Joaquin Balaguer, 54, the fragile, weak-willed intellectual whom Dictator Rafael Trujillo left behind as President of the Dominican Republic, traveled to Manhattan to plead guilty to his leader's crimes. "The barrier of silence has been lifted, said Balaguer. "After the death of the man who personified the Dominican state for 30 years, a new government has gradually been modeling its institutions according to the principles of representative democracy."

In confessional tones, Balaguer went...

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