A. Invitation from the Provisional Government
On September 3, 1965, Dr. Héctor García Godoy assumed the presidency of the Provisional Government of the Dominican Republic. That government, established in accordance with the Act of Dominican Reconciliation and the Institutional Act, limited itself principally, as President García Godoy himself stated, mainly to creating the climate of tranquility essential for the holding of free and honest elections that would give the Dominican people a constitutional government, a government that would be the expression of the will of the people and that would deserve the confidence and respect of all Dominicans.*
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was to play an important function during this new stage of the life of the Dominican people, since, in accordance with the Institutional Act, the cooperation to be extended by the Organization of American States in election preparations and the electoral process was to include the presence of the Commission in the Dominican Republic until the elected government took office. Article 51 of the Act reads as follows:
The elections shall be free in order to reflect the will of the Dominican people. The Provisional Government will request the cooperation of the Organization of American States in election preparations and the electoral process. This cooperation will include the presence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the Dominican Republic, from the time of the entry into force of the Institutional Act until the elected government takes office.
The Provisional Government will undertake to cooperate with the Commission to enable it to observe compliance with the provisions contained in Part Two of this Institutional Act.
In accordance with this provision, the Provisional Government addressed a note to the Commission, dated September 27, 1965, inviting it to remain in the Dominican Republic. The text of that note is as follows:
Santo Domingo, N.D.
September 27, 1965
I have the honor to address you, under instructions from my government, to request, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Institutional Act, that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights remain in the Dominican Republic until the installation of the government that will emanate from the next elections.
My government wishes to inform you hereby that the Commission may count upon our full cooperation for the purpose of permitting the faithful observance of the provisions contained in Part Two of the Institutional Act, regarding human rights and fundamental liberties.
I shall await news from you regarding the request contained in the present note.
Accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.
(s) Rafael Mencía Lister
Vice Minister of Foreign
Mr. Manuel Bianchi
Chairman of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights
B. Twelfth Session
During the course of the Twelfth Session, held in October 1965, the Commission, upon considering the situation regarding human rights in the Dominican Republic, took cognizance of the invitation extended by the Provisional Government and decided to accept and express its appreciation for it. To this end, at its meeting on October 15, it adopted the following resolution:
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In view of the invitation that has been extended to it by the Provisional Government of the Dominican Republic, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Institutional Act,
1. To accept and to express its appreciation for the invitation because of the reiterated confidence thereby expressed by the Dominican Government in the work of the Commission.
2. To maintain its office in Santo Domingo, and to go to Dominican territory, if the circumstances make this advisable, as a complete group or through the sending of a subcommittee, or its Chairman, or members of the Commission individually, representing it.
3. To continue, in the Dominican Republic, in accordance with the competence established in its Statute, its Regulations, and the practice already observed in that country by the Commission, the defense of the human rights set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and particularly those envisaged in Part Two of the Institutional Act, insofar as they coincide with those set forth in the said Declaration, maintaining, in the performance of its functions, the respect due to the personality, sovereignty, and independence of that American state.
In accordance with the preceding resolution, the Chairman of the Commission sent the following note to the Dominican Government:
October 19, 1965
Mister Vice Minister:
With reference to your kind note of September 27, in which you requested that, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Institutional Act, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights remain in the Dominican Republic until the installation of the government that will emanate from the next elections, I wish to make known to you that the Commission accepts, and is thankful for, this significant honor, which shows the reiterated confidence placed in the work it has been doing in that noble nation.
The Commission will continue, in accordance with its competence, to defend human rights in general, and particularly those envisaged in Part Two of the Institutional Act, thus maintaining, in the fulfillment of its duties, the respect due to the personality, sovereignty, and independence of the Dominican Republic.
Accept, Sir, the renewed assurance of my highest consideration.
Dr. Rafael Mencía Lister
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
* Address delivered by Dr. Héctor García Godoy upon assuming the presidency of the Provisional Government, on September 3, 1965.