Dominican Republic 1966

O. E. Moscoso, Dominican Patriot, Dies in New York

Written: by Harry Ring in 1966;
First published: December 26, 1966;
Source: The Militant, Vol. 30, No. 47, 1966, p. 5;
Transcribed: Amaury Rodriguez, 2014.

NEW YORK — Dr. Octavio E. Moscoso, long-time fighter for Dominican independence, died here Dec. 13 after a protracted illness. He was 77.

For nearly two years, as the result of glaucoma, he was blind. Yet, with the aid of several friends, he continued to live in his own apartment and maintained his deep interest in political affairs.

Dr. Moscoso was from a leading Dominican family. His father, Juan Elias Moscoso, had been a Dominican Supreme Court justice and, later, secretary of state.

Dr. Moscoso came here in his youth to complete his education at Columbia University. He first obtained a medical degree and then went on to a Ph.D in Spanish literature. He was an unusually cultured man, with a particular deep and extensive appreciation of music.

Politics Primary

For many years, Dr. Moscoso was editor of a Spanish-language edition of Vogue magazine. But his primary interest and activity was always politics.

Prior to the advent of Trujillo to power, Dr. Moscoso served the Dominican government in various capacities. He was nominated by the Dominican union movement as its representative to the early International Labor Organization, then an agency of the League of Nations.

From the outset in 1916, Dr. Moscoso opposed the U.S. occupation of his country. Within weeks after Trujillo came to power, he was tried in absentia by the dictator and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, forcing him to live in exile.

Throughout, Dr. Moscoso played a prominent role in the Dominican exile movement and was a militant opponent of the Trujillo dictatorship and its U.S. sponsors.

An early partisan of the Cuban Revolution, Dr. Moscoso’s political thinking evolved apace as the revolution deepened. From a Dominican nationalist he developed, in his 70s, into a revolutionary socialist. He became a sympathizer of the Socialist Workers Party and was a devoted supporter of The Militant.

He was widely known in Latin American political circles and had a special interest in Latin American affairs. One of the particular frustrations of his last months of total confinement was his inability to participate in the recently formed U.S. Committee for Justice for Latin American Political Prisoners. He was encouraged by the formation of the committee and followed its activity with the greatest interest.

Dr. Moscoso was a gracious, dignified gentleman of the old school. But the most striking and attractive things about him was a revolutionary optimism and enthusiasm that is usually associated with youth.