This Date in History: Cuba Invades the Dominican Republic – Part II 1

June 20, 1959:  Following the failure of the initial two invasion forces on June 14th, Havana landed a third group near Estero Hondo.  Led by Antonio Campos, exiles forces claimed the column established operations in the mountainous areas of central and northern parts of the Dominican Republic.  However, the failure of the mission’s major components led Havana to cease direct efforts to overthrow the government.  In response to Castro’s aggression, the Dominica Republic severed diplomatic ties.  The following month, Fidel Castro told American journalists that Cuba had provided “the best men available” for this carefully planned and well-armed mission.  In tribute to the failed mission, Dominican leftists created a Castroite political effort known as the 14th of June Movement.

Judicial Watch’s Backstory on Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte 1

NCLR Official With Ties To Spy Confirmed As U.S. Ambassador

After years of bulldozing, President Obama finally got Senate confirmation for a scandal-plagued diplomat forced out of a U.S. ambassadorship for her close ties to a terrorist-sponsoring foreign government.

That means a leftist open borders activist (Mari Carmen Aponte) with a controversial past officially represents the administration abroad. In a 62-37 vote last week, the U.S. Senate approved the confirmation of Aponte, a former board member of the National Council of la Raza (NCLR) and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), as the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador.

Obama originally nominated Aponte in December 2009 and made her a recess appointee about a year later in order to bypass Republican opposition. As her temporary, one-year tenure expired, Aponte’s confirmation hearing inevitably came up before the Senate. Incredibly, the attorney and independent consultant was approved to represent the State Department in the civil war-ravaged Central American country.

The highlight of Aponte’s career dates back to the late 1990s when Bill Clinton nominated the Puerto Rican activist as ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Aponte had worked as a volunteer in the White House personnel office and helped raise campaign money for Clinton. But she had a rather large skeleton in her closet, a decade-long romantic relationship with a reported Cuban intelligence spy named Roberto Tamayo. Aponte and Tamayo lived together and the couple met frequently with Cuban intelligence agents, according to various news reports.

Since 1982 Cuba has appeared on the State Department’s list of countries that have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. That means restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales and other financial restrictions. Iran, Sudan and Syria also appear on the list alongside the communist island.

Aponte’s relationship with the Cuban spy came out when the FBI vetted her for the Dominican ambassadorship years ago and inevitably resurfaced when Obama first nominated her to serve in El Salvador. To avoid discussing her relationship with Tamayo at Senate confirmation hearings, Aponte withdrew Clinton’s nomination to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

Years later, the nation’s commander-in-chief acts as if none of it ever happened. In a statement celebrating the value of his “perseverance,” Obama praises Aponte as an “honest broker” who has helped advance programs and policies to enhance citizen security in El Salvador while weakening transnational crime that affects our own national security. The president goes on to call Aponte a “highly effective advocate for the United States in El Salvador” who has earned “respect from across the political spectrum.”

This Date in History: Cuba Attacked the Dominican Republic 1

June 14, 1959:   Cuba provided the first serious threat to the long reign of Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo.  In a mission personally approved by Fidel Castro, Cuban-trained guerillas under the leadership of Captain Enrique Jimenez Moya attempted to infiltrate onto the north coast of the Dominican Republic in the vicinity of Samana Bay.  Having departed from Nipe Bay in Oriente Province, three Cuban Navy frigates escorted Moya’s two fast motor launches to a point off the coast.  However, Dominican military forces detected the mission and air and naval forces sank both launches.  Moya and all of his followers who made it to shore were killed.

Concurrently, 56 guerrillas boarded a Cuban Air Force plane in Oriente Province, Cuba.  Falsely painted with Dominican markings, the plane departed an airfield near Manzanillo.  Comandante Delio Gomez Ochoa, who commanded the Rebel Army’s Fourth Front (Oriente Province) during the war against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, led the expedition.  The guerrillas boldly landed at Costanza airport and quickly overpowered the stunned Dominican guards.  However, the guerrilla force was overloaded with ammunition and lacked ground transportation.  As a result, it failed in its goal of reaching the mountains.  Additionally, the guerrillas were easily recognized as they wore olive-green uniforms adorned with blue and white patches identifying them as members of the Patriotic Dominican Union.  Like their sea-borne counterparts, all the members of Gomez Ochoa’s column were quickly killed or captured.  In total, roughly 200 Dominican exiles and 10 Cubans were killed or captured.