How does the Trujillo regime portray itself?
The Trujillo regime is a military dictatorship, and while the novel depicts its stanglehold on the country and the fear by which it rules, it more particularly depicts it as patriarchal--ruled by a man by force, reflecting the sort of cruelty and power relationship also seen in a patriarchal marriage. Trujillo is a womanizer; he uses young women as a way to assert his masculinity and power, which coincides with the way he runs the country. He is vain--he wears make-up for example, and always is over-dressed in his medals and uniform. The novel implicitly compares him to the girls' father, who, like Trujillo, calls Minerva his "national treasure," and who abuses power in his marriage by, in a gentler but still similar way, ruling the girls in the family and having a mistress--just as Trujillo has many mistresses.