According to Patria, what will be the Dominicans' challenge when Trujillo is no longer president?Chapter 10

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According to Patria, when Trujillo is no longer president, the challenge to Dominicans will be "forgiving each other for what (they) had all let come to pass".

Patria makes this observation after Captain Victor Alcinio Pena, the head of Trujillo's security force, secures the release of her son Nelson from prison.  Nelson is young, and Trujillo is pardoning most minors at this time.  At Patria's behest, Pena has arranged for Nelson to be included in the next group to be set free.

In her own mother's eyes, Patria's gratitude to Pena for arranging for her son's release is beyond what she thinks is proper.  Pena is a degenerate man who uses his power to prey on his fellow Dominicans, and Mama despises him.  When Patria, in her euphoria at the thought of having her son returned to her unharmed says of Pena, "The man isn't all that bad", Mama retorts, "The man is smart is what he is.  Helping with Nelson's release...Soon the Gonzalez clan will have him baptizing their babies!" 

Patria knows that, in a way, her mother is right.  She realizes that Pena is still the unsavory, opportunistic, unscrupulous character she has always known him to be, and that her own feelings of magnaminity at this moment are simply based on the fact that he is arranging to have Nelson freed.  Still, she acknowledges that she wants "to start believing in (her) fellow Dominicans again".  Once Trujillo is "a bad memory from the past", she knows that "forgiving each other" will be "the real revolution" the people of her homeland will have to fight (Chapter 10).

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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