Why Did the Dominican Government Name a Subway Station After this Man?

Cold as ice. Batlle
The Dominican Republic, whose economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world, has the largest subway system in Central America, one which is growing at a geometric rate. That geometric progress is so quickly overtaking the country that it is almost unrecognizable compared to just a decade ago.

In face of those lightning advances, however, the Dominican people have held on strongly to their roots, and to their heroes. One of those heroes is Manuel Arturo Peña Batlle, a man who loyally and fiercely served and defended Rafael Trujillo Molina, one of the most brutal dictators that Latin America saw in the 20th century.

In 1937, President Trujillo ordered a shibboleth, a massacre of more than 30,000 people of Haitian descent. One of the men who defended that massacre was Batlle.

The Dominican government on its education website describes Batlle as an "educator, essayist, historian, and politician." The Dominican government's website details how Batlle and Trujillo had a feud because Batlle was offered a non-diplomatic post, giving the impression that the loyal hatchet-man had a falling out with the dictator before his death.

What the Dominican government fails to mention, however, is that Batlle was also a skilled orator who delivered speeches that so impressed the Dictator that it was this reason that elevated the "educator" to the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies, the island nation's House of Representatives. And what did Batlle say in his speeches that so impressed a genocidal dictator?

Batlle, described by Dominican experts as "Trujillo's brain," argued that "Negroes" in the Dominican Republic came from the African coast, while Haitians came from Africa's "cannibal interior."

Ernesto Sagas in his book Racial problems in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, describes Batlle as one of the foremost anti-Haitian intellectuals of the 20th century. Even before Trujillo's rise to power, Batlle was already preaching what would become the ideology of the Trujillo regime.

In 1928, Batlle delivered speeches arguing that Haitians were "racially and intellectually inferior." Battle described Haitians as "disease-ridden, physiologically deficient addicts."

Frankin J. Franco in Problemas Dominico-Haitianos y del Caribe argues that Trujillo was "barely" an educated man, and that it was Batlle who turned his ideas into "persuasive intellectual works."

Batlle's 1954 book, Origenes del Estado Haitiano, is one that the Dominican government chooses not to mention, and one that it wishes wouldn't exist, but one which still guides the political ideology of a large segment of the Dominican population today, and it has been compared in its ferocity to German Chancellor Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf

In his seminal 1954 work, Batlle argues that Haiti is a country in "anarchy," and one which had "no culture before the Slave Rebellion." Batlle explains in his book that Haiti exists at an "infra-cultural level." He believed that voodoo was a "racial psychoneurosis." He identified the African-influenced religion as a "nervous racial habit, common among paranoiacs of the highest order."

To Batlle, voodoo was a "cult of death" whose practitioners partook in "incredible ceremonies with human cadavers," and that it was an inheritable "mental delirium passed from family to family."

To deal with this "teomaniacal possession which breaks the personality of its victim," Batlle believed that the government needed to be "cold as ice." Batlle argued that the 1937 genocide against Haitians was a mere "indiscretion," and the Dominican Republic needed to prevent the Haitian population from "degrading its racial purity."

To Batlle, Haiti was not worth being labeled a state, and in his other 1954 work, Politica de Trujillo, he blames Spain for "plaguing" the Dominican Republic with the curse of living side-by-side with with its impoverished neighbor. 

In response to Batlle's speeches, Trujillo's puppet Congress signed Law 391 on September 20, 1943, imposing fines on anyone found to be practicing voodoo.

On its education website today, the Dominican government writes that this man, Manuel Arturo Peña Batlle, was gifted with "scientific vigor" and that he "consecrated" his entire life to solving the "border conflict." Mr. Battle's two most important works, however, have been completely erased from history by the Dominican government.

In naming a subway station after a genocidal megalomaniac, the Dominican government has lent credence to reports that it has developed an extensive bioweapons program, armaments which will be deployed after a false-flag attack blamed on a Haitian voodoo cult, thereby inflaming nationalist tension to instigate a pogrom, "culling the herd" of the country's densely-populated neighbor.

Like Mr. Batlle's two 1954 works, the Dominican government will deny that it possesses the most extensive bioweapons program outside of Israel.