Dominican Republic 1965

“Johnson Assassin!” Shout 20,000 in Mexico City

Author: Joseph Hansen;
Published: May 21, 1965;
Source: World Outlook, Vol. 3, No.20 p.6-8;
Transcribed: by Amaury Rodriguez, 2016.

Transcriber’s note: This article appeared in World Outlook published by Pierre Frank, Joseph Hansen and Reba Hansen, sympathizers of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International. Grammar corrected for clarity.

Mexico City saw its biggest demonstration in years when 20,000 demonstrators, mostly students accompanied by faculties and secondary-school teachers, poured through the center of the city in a bitter protest against the U.S. occupation of Santo Domingo and

U.S. aggression in Vietnam. [1]

They ended their march with a rally in front of the Juarez monument in Alameda Park where they burned a ten-foot effigy of Uncle Sam and a large American flag.

The American embassy was protected by hundreds of police throughout the demonstration and during the night. As an extra precaution, in view of the recent bombing of the American consulate in Montreal, the building was emptied at.5:30 p.m., an early hour in Mexico City.

The government granted a permit for the march on condition that the demonstrators stay away from the area of the American embassy. The condition was observed by the leaders and they headed off several surges among parts of the huge throng toward the forbidden area where steel-helmeted police stood four deep on the embassy lawn backed by two fire trucks and busloads of reinforcements armed with tear-gas – guns.

“If we were to take our people to the embassy, we would be taking them to suicide,” one student leader said.

The march was very well organized. Along a 35-block route into the heart of the downtown area, contingents poured in at preselected points, massing in Avenida Juarez at the climax. At the head of the parade a single man marched carrying a Dominican flag, Sample slogans among the sea of placards and banners following him read: “Johnson: History Will Call You Assassin!” “Today in Vietnam and Santo Domingo, Tomorrow Mexico! “Remember the Alamo!” “Yankees, Tomorrow!” “Let Us Be Active Today, Not Radioactive The slogan “Yankee, Go Home!” could be seen everywhere. A huge banner carried but two eloquent words, “Yankee Murderers”

The chief theme of the march was: “Mexico, Get Out of the O.A.S!” But stress was also put on Vietnam.

It was a boisterous, shouting march that began at six p,m. and lasted all evening to the light of burning torches. One of the chants called the Organization of American States, “The Ministry of Colonies.”

A verse, well known in Latin America, brought in the Cuban note: “Fidel, Fidel, Qué tiene Fidel, qué los americanos no pueden con él?” ["Fidel, Fidel, What Has He Got, that the Americans Can’t Cope with Him?"] the students varied this by changing the subject’s name from Fidel to “Caamaño,” the leader of’ the Dominican Constitutionalists who are seeking to end the Trujillo dynasty once and for all,

Occasionally there was a massed shout of “!Paredón!” This was the cry of the Cuban people when they caught the butchers of the Batista regime and demanded that they be stood up to the wall before a firing squad.

A contingent of Mexico’s Communist Youth organization carried a tall banner with the face of Lincoln painted on it and draped in black crepe. The legend read: “Lincoln is Dead, Johnson Killed him in the Dominican Republic.”

The crowd was so huge and noisy that the voices of the speakers could scarcely be heard beyond the front ranks even with the help of bullhorns. Every phrase of their savage denunciations of American imperialism nevertheless drew immense applause. The students improvised by hooking up the battery of an automobile. The speakers were still drowned out. The crowd was more interested in voicing its own disapproval of the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic and bombing of Vietnam than in listening to speakers who they knew would only echo their own sentiments. Finally a battery of loudspeakers was wheeled in and the main speakers roasted U.S. imperialist


The last speaker was José Natividad Rosales, [2] one of the leading writers of the left-wing magazine Siempre! [3] He called the U.S. “a second Rome” and the Mexican people “its vassals.”

It was his job to bring the demonstration to a close. He had some trouble in this, for although the crowd declined in size as night drew on, the enthusiasm rose if anything. Twice the speaker called for the singing of the Mexican National Anthem and twice the crowd drowned him out with bellowing “Noes.” Rosales went on speaking rather frantically for a time and then tried again.

At last the crowd acquiesced and the chorus of the song swelled up over the flickering torches carried by the demonstrators.

American tourists who witnessed the demonstration were deeply impressed.

A Mr. R. H. Sawyer from San Francisco told an American reporter, “But this whole Dominican affair looks more serious than we thought it was.”

A Miss Caroline Stacy from New York said, “We've never seen anything like this before.”

The march was also something for the White House to consider. In recent years, Mexico has been regarded by U.S. imperialism as one of the safer bastions of capitalism in Latin America.


1. Mobilizations, rallies and statements in support of the Dominican people took place in other Latin American capitals, Europe, North America and Asia. See U.S. Invasion of Dominican Republic Stirs World-Wide Anger, World Outlook, Vol. 3, No. 19, p.1-6 and New York March Backs Dominican Revolution, The Militant, Vol. 30, No. 18, 1966, p. 2. See also China Condemns U.S. Aggression Against Dominican Republic, Peking Review, No. 19, 1965, p. 12-13.

2. José Natividad Rosales was born in 1919 in the state of Coahuila and passed away in the city of Mexico in 1976. I thank Bertha Hernández for providing these biographical facts. For more on Rosales and his journalistic career see:

3. Revista Siempre! appears as Siempre in the original text.