Antonio Imbert Barrera

Major General Antonio Cosme Imbert Barrera (December 3, 1920[1] – May 31, 2016) was a Dominican military general of the Dominican Army and was President of the Dominican Republic from May to August 1965.

Antonio Imbert Barrera
44th President of the Dominican Republic
In office
May 7, 1965 – August 30, 1965
Vice PresidentNone
Preceded byPedro Bartolomé Benoit
Succeeded byHéctor García-Godoy
Minister of Defense of the Dominican Republic
In office
October 8, 1986 – June 17, 1988
PresidentJoaquín Balaguer
Preceded byVíctor M. Barjan Muffdi
Succeeded byElías Wessin y Wessin
Personal details
Born(1920-12-03)December 3, 1920
San Felipe de Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
DiedMay 31, 2016(2016-05-31) (aged 95)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Giralda Busto Sánchez
  • Guarina Mercedes Tessón Hurtado
  • María Sánchez
RelationsCarmen Imbert Brugal (niece)

Segundo Imbert (grandfather)

José María Imbert (great-grandfather)
  • Segundo Manuel Imbert Mesnier (father)
  • María del Consuelo Barrera Steinkopf (mother)
ProfessionArmy Major General

Imbert, who plotted to assassinate dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961, was one of the two rival rulers in the Dominican Republic from May 7, 1965, until August 30, 1965, amid the Dominican Civil War. He had succeeded General Pedro B. Benoit van der Horst who ruled for less than a week. After the civil war ended, both General Imbert and his rival Colonel Francisco Caamaño resigned, and Héctor García-Godoy, a civilian, was sworn as interim president.

According to Imbert, he fired the fatal shot at Trujillo.[2]

Early life edit

Imbert was born into a prominent family[3] of military tradition: his father, Brigadier General Segundo Manuel Imbert Mesnier had a leading role in the northern region of the Dominican Republic; Brigadier General Segundo Francisco Imbert, Imbert Barrera's grandfather, was Vice-President of the Dominican Republic and candidate for president, and fought in the Dominican Restoration War; meanwhile his great-grandfather, Major General José María Imbert, who was a French migrant, achieved important victories against Haiti in the Dominican War of Independence.

Imbert's first significant position was as governor of Puerto Plata in 1940.[3] He was removed from the post by then president Rafael Trujillo for sending him a telegram informing upon the names of the survivors of the failed Luperón invasion [de]. This caused, in a personal manner, the beginning of the assassination plan against Trujillo.

His brother Segundo, an army official too, was imprisoned in 1956 by Trujillo's regime.[3] Segundo was convicted for murder;[4][5] implicated in the murder of Domingo Marión in 1943.[6]

Assassination of Trujillo edit

On May 30, 1961, Trujillo was shot dead when his car was ambushed on a road outside the Dominican capital.[7] Imbert, the driver of the ambushing vehicle, was accompanied by Antonio de la Maza, Salvador Estrella Sadhalá and Amado García Guerrero - the active participants who carried out the plot. Most of those involved in the assassination plot were subsequently captured and executed, with the exception of Imbert and Luis Amiama Tió. Imbert went into hiding until December 2.[8]: 253 

After Joaquín Balaguer, Trujillo's figurehead president, was overthrown in 1962 and the Trujillo family was ousted, Imbert was declared a "National Hero" and was promoted to Major General with the special grant of it being ad vitam or lifelong. In the Civil War in the Dominican Republic of 1965 he led one of the factions in the struggle which faced the constitutionalist government led by Colonel Francisco Caamaño, who tried to bring back Juan Bosch to the country's presidency. Imbert's faction, called the Government of National Reconstruction was endorsed by the U.S. troops inspectors, in addition, he was one of the collaborators with the Americans, finally signing a peace act that put an end to the April war.[citation needed]

Later life edit

On March 21, 1967, he was shot in Santo Domingo while traveling with Marino García,[8]: 256  in an attempted assassination made by the late dictator Trujillo's supporters. He survived by driving himself to a medical clinic. On February 15, 1970, the Dominicana de Aviación flight wherein his sister Aída Imbert Barrera, his wife Guarina Tessón Hurtado, and his daughter, sportswoman Leslie Imbert Tessón, were travelling, crashed into the Caribbean Sea.[9][10]

He was Minister of Defense of the Dominican Republic from 1986 to 1988 (period in which he held the rank of Lieutenant General as incumbent of Defense); earlier that decade, his second-cousin Mario Imbert McGregor was also Minister of Defense. In 1989 he was assigned chairman of the board of directors of Rosario Dominicana. In September 2013, the Constitutionalist Soldiers of 25 April 1965 Foundation asked the National Congress of the Dominican Republic to explore the possibility of stripping Imbert his status of national hero as it considered that he went against constitutional precepts when he supported the coup against Bosch and the U.S. occupation of the country, among other accusations.[11]

Imbert died on May 31, 2016, the day following the fifty-fifth anniversary of Trujillo's assassination, at the age of 95. Dominican President Danilo Medina declared three days of mourning.[12][13] His niece, Carmen Imbert Brugal, said that cause of his death was complications of pneumonia.[3]

Marriages and family edit

He married Guarina Tessón Hurtado on September 10, 1939, in Puerto Plata. They had three children:[14][15][16]

  • Antonio Segundo Imbert Tessón (born June 9, 1940), army general. He married Victoria Isabel Pellerano Amiama (niece of Luis Amiama Tió) and had 3 children.
  • Leslie Imbert Tessón (1949–February 15, 1970), sportswoman. Died childless in an aircraft accident.
  • Oscar José Antonio Imbert Tessón (born December 30, 1953), architect. He designed the Punta Cana International Airport. He married Margarita Pou Guerra and had 1 child and divorced. He remarried to Solange Juliette Martín-Caro Lithgow, but later divorced with no children from this marriage.

He had a liaison with María Sánchez, from Sosúa, and begat Manuel Antonio Imbert Sánchez (born April 1, 1939), police officer and former diplomat; Imbert Sánchez is a colonel and is married (to Josefina López Henríquez) with 4 children and he is since 2012 the chief of the Special Police Corps for State Banks, he also was consul to the United States in Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands in the 1980s and the 1990s.[14][17][15][16]

His wife died in 1970 in an aircraft accident. After widowing Imbert Barrera remarried to Giralda Busto Sánchez, but had no children from this marriage.[18]

Cultural references edit

Antonio Imbert is a character of Mario Vargas Llosa's novel The Feast of the Goat. In the film adaptation, he was played by Carlos Miranda.

Ancestry edit

References edit

  1. ^ Gunson, Phil; Chamberlain, Greg; Thompson, Andrew (2015-12-22). The Dictionary of Contemporary Politics of Central America and the Caribbean. ISBN 9781317270546.
  2. ^ Semple, Kirk (2016-06-08). "Antonio Imbert Barrera, Who Helped Assassinate Dominican Dictator Trujillo, Dies at 95". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-03-26.
  3. ^ a b c d Semple, Kirk (7 June 2016). "Antonio Imbert Barrera, Who Helped Assassinate Dominican Dictator Trujillo, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Mexico City. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  4. ^ Ornes, Germán E. (1960). Trujillo: pequeño César del Caribe. Caracas: Editorial Las Novedades. p. 189. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  5. ^ "SP: Revista de información mundial". 1967.
  6. ^ Reyes, Francisco (16 June 2016). "Acusan hermanos Imbert Barreras crímen en Puerto Plata en 1943" (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Al Momento. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  7. ^ "I shot the cruellest dictator in the Americas". BBC News. 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  8. ^ a b Diederich, Bernard (1978). Trujillo. The Death of the Goat. Little, Brown, and Co., 1978. p. 253. ISBN 0-316-18440-3.
  9. ^ Herrera, Dalton (1 June 2016). "Adiós al último héroe que ajustició a Trujillo" (aspx). Listín Diario (in Spanish). Santo Domingo. p. 6A. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Editorial: Adiós a un Héroe Nacional". Listín Diario (in Spanish). 1 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  11. ^ Apolinar, Bethania (3 September 2013). "Constitucionalistas piden despojar a Imbert Barrera de condición de Héroe Nacional". Listín Diario (in Spanish). Santo Domingo. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  12. ^ Abiú López, Ezequiel (31 May 2016). "Ex-Dominican president who helped topple dictator dies at 95". The Washington Post. Santo Domingo. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Antonio Imbert Barrera, who toppled Dominican dictator, dies". BBC News. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  14. ^ a b Arthur, Víctor, Descendencia de José María Imbert
  15. ^ a b "El quincuagésimo quinto presidente RD: General Antonio Imbert Barrera".
  16. ^ a b "Cápsulas genealógicas 30 de mayo: SUS HÉROES". Jun 4, 2016. Retrieved Mar 8, 2020.
  17. ^ Foreign Consular Offices in the U.S. Washington, D. C.: United States Department of State. September 1991. p. 18.
  18. ^ Diario, Listin (Jun 2, 2016). "La viuda de Imbert revela mensaje secreto del héroe". Retrieved Mar 8, 2020.
Government offices
Preceded by President of the Dominican Republic
Succeeded by
Preceded by
not available
Governor of Puerto Plata
Succeeded by
not available
Military offices
Preceded by Minister of Defense of the Dominican Republic
Succeeded by