In loving memory of the Butterflies

DominicanScotty

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The Butterflies


Anyone that is intersted in learning about these Dominican icons can visit this site.


Last night I was blessed with the company of two American/Dominican oral surgeons. One was the father visiting his homeland for perhaps the last time as he was in his 80s and his health was failing. The son brought him down to remember his lifetime here and they were on their way back to the states. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to both of these very fine men. The father... it turns out is a very good friend to the Mirabal family. He was there the night Minerva spurned the advances of the "Chivo". He witnessed history on that night. He danced with her on that evening and told me a story which I will never forget. He remains in contact with the remaining sister who still resides in Salcedo and has the museum where the remains of these three sisters rest.

Every year I mention these sisters who had so much to do with the changing of Dominican history. Please join me in remembering them.

This is not a thread to discuss your Dominican political views one way or the other. If you wish to debate about this subject I strongly suggest you start your own thread. Please respect this thread as you will these Dominican treasures.

Thanks!
 

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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Very detailed testimony on the butterflies.

I was 10 years old when the Mirabals were killed. I remember vividly the furor generated by the news. many people cried openly and reminisced about 'las tres hermanas'. I was too young to understand fully what was going on or why my paternal side of my family had gathered at my grandma's house.I remember them talking in whispers and occasionally sobbing and hugging each other.
In retrospect, it is crystal-clear why Trujillo was assassinated shortly thereafter.
of all his nefarious, despicable slayings; this one, unquestionably was the most consequential.

"El chivo" met his match. He snuffed three lives, but not their passion and love of country. Que vivan las Mirabales. True patriots of the highest order!

"No hay lluvia que dure cien años, ni hombre que la resista" (anonymous).
 
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DominicanScotty

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Thanks for sharing

I was 10 years old when the Mirabals were killed. I remember vividly the furor generated by the news. many people cried openly and reminisced about 'las tres hermanas'. I was too young to understand fully what was going on or why my paternal side of my family had gathered at my grandma's house.
I remember them talking in whispers and occasionally sobbing and hugging each other. In retrospect, it is crystal-clear why Trujillo was assassinated shortly thereafter.
of all his nefarious, despicable slayings; this one, unquestionably was the most consequential.

"El chivo" met his match. He snuffed three lives, but not their passion and love of country. Que vivan las Mirabales. True patriots of the highest order!

"No hay lluvia que dure cien a?os, ni hombre que la resista" (anonymous).

I welcome these tributes and I thank you for yours. Please stop by the site where they were murdered and say a prayer for them. They are looking down on us and they are smiling.
 

CFA123

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May 29, 2004
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Don Juan,
Thanks for your input from someone who lived through that era.

DominicanScotty,
I wish I'd had the opportunity to listen in on that conversation. I would have loved to hear how he experienced it versus the written accounts.

Everyone else,
If you're truly interested in the Dominican Republic you should take the time to learn a little more about this period in history and the sacrifices made by the Mirabals and others to remove a dictator and improve life for the Dominican people. In addition to being an inspiring story, I think it helps shed some light on the people today and where the government stands in its evolution as a democracy.

Julia Alvarez' "In the Time of the Butterflies" and any of the numerous books on Trujillo are great places to start.
 

CFA123

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May 29, 2004
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DominicanScotty,
If the gentleman you spoke to was willing to have his recollections captured on video, posting such a thing to YouTube for instance would be great.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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I met Do?a Ded? Mirabal last time I visited the Casa Museo, earlier this year.

Visiting the house is always a moving experience. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about the sisters and their role in DR history, or paying tribute to their memory.
 

anitaemma

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I strongly agree with Chirimoya about the visit in the museum. We have been there twice and any time I would be ready to go there again if any our visitors like to see it.
In a nice way it tells a lot of a history of this country and its people and I always recommend a visit for a people looking over dominicans like they were savages and like they would not had any culture and education at all.
 

DominicanScotty

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It would have

DominicanScotty,
If the gentleman you spoke to was willing to have his recollections captured on video, posting such a thing to YouTube for instance would be great.

It was on the flight from Puerto Plata to Miami. The son sat next to me and the father was across the aisle. The father was quite old and shook a lot. Julia Alvarez's book is a good one an I suggest people do buy it. Through her she spoke with the surviving sister at the museo in Salcedo. I was riveted by this man's recollection as his mind was still very sharp. He danced with Minerva that night now so famous when Trujillo made his advances. The slap to his face which was so pronounced in the movie was pure Hollywood and never happened according to him. I wished the flight could have lasted much longer. The son and I became friends and I am sure I will see him again. I pray that I also see the father again. To me personally..it was fate and I left them there at the baggage claim area feeling quite blessed.
 

jrf

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Jan 9, 2005
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Tis a great story of courage. Was really moved by las mariposas.
Thanks for putting this here.
 
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The Infamous Slap

It was on the flight from Puerto Plata to Miami. The son sat next to me and the father was across the aisle. The father was quite old and shook a lot. Julia Alvarez's book is a good one an I suggest people do buy it. Through her she spoke with the surviving sister at the museo in Salcedo. I was riveted by this man's recollection as his mind was still very sharp. He danced with Minerva that night now so famous when Trujillo made his advances. The slap to his face which was so pronounced in the movie was pure Hollywood and never happened according to him. I wished the flight could have lasted much longer. The son and I became friends and I am sure I will see him again. I pray that I also see the father again. To me personally..it was fate and I left them there at the baggage claim area feeling quite blessed.
This is an interesting point. The Slap. Bernard Diederich, in his book on the Trujillo, mentioned the "stinging slap" delievered to Trujillo by one of the sisters. I have also heard from Dominicans sources that Trujillo was never slapped by Minerva.

One version I read was that the family left the party early and El jefe felt that it was a sign of disrespect(no one left a social event before El jefe). The family attempted to apologize, but no apology was good enough. Trujilllo tormented the family on and off for years. Everyone knows how it ended.
 

DominicanScotty

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The slap that never happened

This is an interesting point. The Slap. Bernard Diederich, in his book on the Trujillo, mentioned the "stinging slap" delievered to Trujillo by one of the sisters. I have also heard from Dominicans sources that Trujillo was never slapped by Minerva.

One version I read was that the family left the party early and El jefe felt that it was a sign of disrespect(no one left a social event before El jefe). The family attempted to apologize, but no apology was good enough. Trujilllo tormented the family on and off for years. Everyone knows how it ended.
I mentioned the slap to this gentleman. He shook his head quickly and said no, it never happened. You are right, the abrupt exit was a sign of disrespect.
 

DominicanScotty

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Every year I go

Thank you again for reminding us of this piece of Dominican history.

Gregg
I usually try to get to the site of the murder to sit there a while and think of that time. I didn't do it this year as business kept me from going up that way.

November 25, 1960 on the cumbre..it changed the course of this country's history.
 
Sep 20, 2003
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Antonio De la Maza

I have also read that the host of the party that night was Antonio De la Maza, at that time, the governor of Moca(from memory). He tried to smooth over the situation with Trujillo, to no avail.

Years later, after the murders, Antonio De la Maza commented to General Juan Thomas Diaz(from memory), "Now Trujillo is even murdering women! This madman has to be stopped!" Those two men would form the nucleus of the group that successfully assassinated Trujillo.

De la Maza would also be the one who finished off Trujillo with a bullet fired under his chin.
 

Don Juan

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Get the DVD!

Has anyone seen the movie version of Julia Alvarez's book "In the time of the butterflies", with Salma Hayek and Edward James Olmos?
They both give very powerful performances along with a strong cast of supporting actors.
Buy the movie, you won't be disappointed!
 

chadverizon

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I'm almost finished reading the book(I know the story), just a few pages left. The courage these women showed in such a crazy male dominated country was/is amazing. It is funny to think with so much "machismo" still in this country, it was women who played a enormous role in the recent history of this country. "Viva las Mariposas."
 

kent

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Butterflies (others)

My wife was 16 when the Mirabal sisters were killed. She is from SFM and very much like Minerva in her personality. I meet her in June of 1965, and we?ve been married since 1966. She still has the same passion in her life and politics, Thank god for the Dominican women, they will change the DR.
 

DominicanScotty

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And you were blessed

Dede is a real character. She and her driver stopped to help me once when my truck was stopped alongside the road in Cabrera.

I had no idea who this woman was that was keeping me company while some workers were fixing the truck, until she gave me her card, and that was only when I asked her who her son was, since she was talking up a storm about him.

She certainly is a colorful character!
The amazing way in which she and her sisters have touched so many lives!

Yes, you were blessed!
 

cobraboy

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This is one of the best threads I have ever seen on DR1. Thanks, D Scotty. I have learned a LOT about the DR from this.