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In the Time of the Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez

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Which groups, within and beyond the Dominican Republic, support or resist Trujillo in "In the Time of the Butterflies"?

Quick answer:

The book's primary focus is on the resistance movement, the Fourteenth of June Movement. The group was founded by Minerva, Patria and Maria Teresa Mirabal who, along with Felipe Alou were all students at the University of Santo Domingo. Other major members were Juan Bosch and some other students including Eduardo Molina. Bosch and Molina were both killed by Trujillo, as was Miguel Angel Bances, a priest whose murder was perhaps the most significant because it led to the church joining forces with the Movement. When Trujillo's son Ramfis attempted to take over following his father'

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The key group which challenged Trujillo within the Dominican Republic was known as the Fourteenth of June Movement. This is the group with which this book is primarily concerned, as it was organized by the Mirabal sisters, the so-called "butterflies" who were ultimately silenced as a result of their involvement with the campaign. The vast majority of the members of this movement were students, but their tireless campaigning, and the violent response to it, drew support from other arenas—namely the Catholic Church. Having once supported Trujillo's regime, the Church took a political stance against him because of his treatment of the rebels.

Another major external force which switched sides in terms of Trujillo was the United States government, which ceased to recognize Trujillo's government as legitimate. Previously, the US's "Good Neighbor" policy had meant they took a non-interference approach to Trujillo and allowed his dictatorship to rise.

Venezuela also strongly condemned Trujillo's dictatorship and led the Organisation of American States, which included most of the Dominican Republic's South American trading partners, to embargo the country in protest against Trujillo.

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