CaamaƱo in London: the Exile of a Latin American Revolutionary

Fred Halliday
Institute of Latin American Studies
Subject Areas
History, Politics


In January 1966 Colonel Francisco Caamaño Deñó, President of the Dominican Republic during the ‘Constitutionalist’ uprising of April-May 1965 and the subsequent US invasion, was exiled to London. Spending twenty months in the British capital as military attaché at the Dominican Embassy, Caamaño remained intensely involved in the affairs of his home country, seeking to rally opposition to the US presence and preparing for his own return before secretly flying, in October 1967, to Cuba. Six years later, in February 1973, he was to lose his life in a failed attempt to launch a guerrilla war in the mountains west of Santo Domingo. Hitherto little has been known about Caamaño’s London sojourn, the most important by any Latin American radical leader in the British capital since the visits of Bolivar and San Martín in 1809. This book, using material from people who met Caamaño in Britain, and a chapter on the London period by his Dominican biographer, Hamlet Hermann also presents, for the first time, extensive documents from official archives on Caamaño’s conversations with British and American diplomats. The result is a complex and informative study, at once a missing chapter in the history of the Dominican Republic and, more broadly, a contribution to the oft forgotten history of the Cold War in the Caribbean.

Sadly, Fred Halliday died in April 2010 when his book was in the final stages of production. He was Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and author of books on the Cold War, Middle East politics and International Relations. At the age of 19 he was president of the Oxford University Labour Club and organised a meeting held in the University of Oxford in March 1966, addressed by Colonel Caamaño. This was to be the last time that the former Dominican President ever spoke, or appeared, in public.


Acknowledgements v

Foreword: Caamaño and his circumstances: a personal and political portrait in parts

James Dunkerley vii


Fred Halliday xxi

Introduction: The United States, the Dominican Intervention and the Cold War

O A Westad xv


1. A Latin American Revolutionary in Oxford 1

2. Statements made by President Caamaño: Santo Domingo and London 17

3. Caamaño in Exile: Hamlet Hermann 33


Official Documents, UK and USA

(i) British Foreign Office Documents 55

(ii) Official Documents, USA 117

(iii) Press Reports from the US Archives 181

Photographs 209

Chronology 213

Bibliographical notes 217