WITH EL JEFE
October 12, 1949, Trujillo held a party in his mansion in San Cristóbal.
It was to commemorate Columbus' discovery of the Americas and honor the
people of the Espaillat province. The Mirabals' invitation was taken to
them personally by Antonio de la Maza, the governor of Moca, and Juan Rojas,
the senator of the Espaillat Province. The celebration was attended by Don
Enrique Mirabal, Patria, Patria's husband Pedro Gonzalez, Minerva, Dedé,
and Dedé's husband Jaime Fernandez. The outdoor party was soon interrupted
by a storm. Amidst the chaos of the downpour, the Mirabals took the opportunity
to make their exit.
was angered by this "lack of respect" (nobody was supposed to
leave a party of Trujillo's before El Jefe himself) and he had one of his
men call a military post and order that the Mirabals' vehicle be stopped.
It was too late, however; Don Enrique's party of six had already passed
Rojas, the aforementioned governor of the Espaillat province, suggested
that Enrique send a letter of apology to the dictator. Don Enrique obliged,
but this didn't appease Trujillo. The next day, Don Enrique was jailed in
the capital Santo Domingo (renamed Ciudad Trujillo during his regime). Minerva
and Doña Chea were both arrested a day after Don Enrique. They were
held in the Hotel Nacional. Minerva was taken to the Fortaleza Ozama every
day to be interrogated about her political activities while Doña
Chea remained in the hotel. The interrogations were conducted by two of
Trujillo's men, Fausto Caamaño Medina and Manuel de Moya. Minerva
was accused of being a communist and told to write a letter of apology to
Trujillo. She refused.
friends of Minerva's Violeta Martinez and Emma Rodriguez were
detained a few days later. Being a well-to-do family, the Mirabals had their
connections. Friends and family appealed to Trujillo's brother to talk to
him and soon Don Enrique, Doña Chea and Minerva were all released.