According to Don Bernardo, what is Trujillo's hidden agenda in "In the Time of the Butterflies"?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Don Beranardo, the elderly neighbor of the Mirabals, may suspect that Trujillo is trying to separate the family members so that he might quash their political dissent, and even more, he may fear for their safety. He tries in his quiet way to keep the girls safe.

However, much of this is inference, since there really is not much information in the text about Don Bernardo. In Chapter 9, Dede 1994 and 1960, Dede recalls:

"She (Dede) arranged for a ride that Friday with Mama's new neighbors, Don Bernando and his wife Dona Belen, old Spaniards who had been living down in San Cristobol for years."

Dede was headed for the city; the old man needed to take his frail and mentally-disabled wife in for some tests, but he seems reluctant to leave the girls alone and even more wary of allowing Dede to be dropped off at the church all day long, waiting for his wife's testing to be completed.

"I hope that won't inconvenience you very much?" he apologized..."You Mirabal girls are so civic-minded."

Jamitio, Dede's husband, tries to prevent Dede from going but is unsuccessful. Perhaps Don Bernardo's brief entry into the text is yet another of Dede's regrets. Had she refused the old man, might the whole course of events have turned out differently?

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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