|Claudio: Killed by US intelligence? Proceso|
The Dominican media is reporting that Claudio Caamaño -- a renowned anti-American guerrilla who fought against US soldiers to a bloody standstill during the US invasion of 1965 and who also would later take part in a 1973 beach landing to topple the government of US-backed strongman Joaquin Balaguer -- suffered a mysterious car accident which resulted in multiple cracked ribs.
Mr. Caamaño's injuries were survivable, but it seems that there was a clear order to prevent the former counter-intelligence chief from being treated at four different hospitals. Mr. Caamaño's family drove him desperately from hospital to hospital, but he died from his injuries before they managed to find a place not afraid to treat him.
From 1957 until the assassination of dictator Rafael Trujillo, Mr. Caamaño was a political prisoner. A fighter to the core of his being, Mr. Caamaño was often overshadowed by his more famous uncle, Francisco Caamaño, who led the Constitutionalist government that faced off US soldiers on the streets of Santo Domingo.
Francisco Caamaño's government had ties to Fidel Castro, links which provoked fear in Washington that the Dominican Republic, like Cuba, would fall to communism and thereby prompting an invasion to restore the government of Joaquin Balaguer, who had been vice-president to US-backed dictator Rafael Trujillo.
After US forces overthrew the government of Francisco Caamaño, repression once again reigned in the Dominican Republic. During the 1973 invasion to restore democratic government, Francisco was captured and executed with assistance from US intelligence, leaving Claudio as the most prominent guerrilla in the family.
If anyone in the Dominican Republic could have successfully argued against the current US agreement which will allow US troops to conduct operations on Dominican soil with full immunity from any actions that may potentially harm Dominican nationals, it would have been Claudio Caamaño.
Pelegrin Castillo, leader of the National Progressive Force, told the large-circulation daily Hoy that "Dominican sovereignty had been handed on a platter to Washington," arguing that it was intolerable that US troops would run around Dominican soil with "immunity and impunity" to commit any act.
With Claudio Caamaño's death, his son could have perhaps been the most prominent member of a guerrilla family to oppose this new US military agreement, but sadly he was shot in the head by an unidentified gunman.