Joaquin Balaguer was an avid horseman probably the most beguiling of his attributes. A poet or better yet, a literary man of letters, he recited long epic poems publically from an early age. My problem with the guy. He kept quiet for too long about the abuses taking place in my homeland. An apologist for the Trujillo Regime, el mariconcito as Trujillo purportedly referred to his brilliant speechwriter and executive du jour. Balaguer performed all the duties assigned and frankly in my purview he was just as guilty as Trujillo, Wessin y Wessin and countless others.
For more than fifty years Balaguer wielded power, at times from behind the underbrush and other times front and center. An adviser to strong Men All over the world. Anytime Latin America was on the table Balaguer was consulted. Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon All asked him what he knew about the Caribbean and the world. An enigma even today we don’t really know the guy. Back home people are split about his legacy. Secretive and paranoid he left a blank page in his autobiography. Who killed Orlando? We will never know.