Just so you know: Freddy Beras Goico and his participation in Guerra de Abril along with other Dominican artists

Santo Domingo DR .- Many Creole artists participated in the constitutionalist revolution, promoting the return to power of the democratic government of Professor Juan Bosch, who had been overthrown by a coup on September 25, 1963; being part, for the most part, of the Cultural Front, which had an important solidarity performance in the constitutional zone under the direction of the painter Silvano Lora and the writers Antonio Lockward Artiles, René del Risco Bermúdez, Juan José Ayuso and a Dominican-Haitian poet named Jacques Viau, who was killed by a mortar in the fierce fighting on June 15, 1965 against foreign troops, after playing a leading military role as a member of the B-3 Command, organized by June 14 on Vicente Noble Street with Mexico, in Villa Francisca.

A large number of poets, storytellers, theater artists, musicians and singers participated in this cultural front who accompanied the combatants in the defense of the nation outraged by the occupation troops led by the United States. And they were also there, even in a somewhat wild way, recognized members of the Creole show business who from the first hour of the insurrection were in the line of fire, becoming enthusiastic champions of the country that motivated the fierce soldiers of the town, so that their fighting spirit would not decline and they would remain clinging to the Duartian teaching that “Living without a Homeland is the same as living without honor.”

Among them was the comedian, actor and television program host, Freddy Reinaldo Antonio Beras Goico, who stood out on April 26, 1965 as an animator for the constitutionalist soldiers from Radio Santo Domingo Televisión, presenting his military bearing and a belt of bullets. 50 caliber hanging from his neck.

That day, he denounced the excesses that troops from the Armed Forces Training Center (CEFA) and the aviators from San Isidro were committing against the civilian population, who were constantly bombing the National Palace and other parts of the city. His voice resounded stridently in these terms: “They are machine-gunning the people on Avenida Teniente Amado García Guerrero with Concepción Bona; and they inform us that from the bridge (Duarte) they are also machine-gunning”.

Many people felt happy to see him enthusiastically integrated into the information work of the revolutionaries, perhaps because it was unknown that he rejected the dictatorship and that together with his brother Máximo he had suffered torture and imprisonment at the end of the Trujillo tyranny, for alleged conspiratorial activities. against the regime, deployed at the old University of Santo Domingo, where they were studying Law and Medicine.

Due to this situation, his family had to take refuge in 1959 at the Colombian embassy, ​​and go to reside in Barranquilla, where his father Máximo Ramón Beras Rojas, brother of Cardinal Octavio Beras Rojas, got a job that allowed him some economic stability.

The Beras Goicos lived in that Colombian city until the assassination of May 30, 1961, and they decided to return to the country, taking advantage of the guarantees offered by President Joaquín Balaguer, which made it possible for all exiled Dominicans to return, including Professor Juan Bosch, who was able to do so on October 20, after 25 years in exile.

Freddy Beras put his life at risk during the April revolution because of his democratic conviction, since he was not a member of any political party, although he could have some gratitude to the constitutional government of 1963, led by Professor Bosch, for having granted him a scholarship to study television, within the framework of a school subsidy program that favored 11,950 young Dominicans sent abroad; among them the talented and creative chef de cuisine, Mike Mercedes.

It should not be forgotten that our great comedian and TV producer believed in the free play of ideas and used his humorous work to criticize the Bosch government from state television, through a television cartoon show where very funny parodies were improvised. , extremely incisive against the officials of the Bosch government.

His criticisms then generated much laughter and also the irritation of the Minister of Justice, Dr. Luis Lembert Peguero, who, alarmed and startled by a scathing invective from the famous comedian, asked Dr. Manuel Ramón Morel Cerda, then District Attorney, to proceed to arrest him. and submit it to the courts of Justice.

But he, being a highly correct legal professional, chose to act differently from the retaliatory politician.
Even through a third person, linked to left-wing groups, Minister Lembert Peguero, sued Beras Goico, alleging that comedies had been staged on his television program where the figure of President Bosch was imitated. , which constituted an offense against his investiture as head of state.

The aforementioned minister forgot that with a certain frequency, hilarious parodies were also made on that television space that touched both the President of the Republic and his enemies. That was the case of Dr. Juan Isidro Jimenes-Grullón, whose figure was the continuous object of jokes and mockery of his political acts.

The presence of Freddy Beras together with the constitutionalists -at the beginning of the April war- particularly pleased Bosch’s followers who admired his dynamic and dramatic style in front of the microphone, praised during the war in each orientation, in each call to combat and in every exhortation addressed to the citizens, so that they would support and commit themselves to the democratic cause, joining the rebel action.

This is how the great comedian and TV producer remained until he was arrested and taken to the office of General Antonio Imbert Barrera, head of the National Reconstruction government, who prevented him from being shot by the military chiefs of San Isidro and handed him over to his uncle. , Cardinal Octavio Antonio Beras Rojas, who proceeded with his help to get him out of the country, convinced that it was impossible to guarantee his life, due to the fury of his comrades in arms, who did not forgive him for the offensive attacks he launched on television.

Without a doubt, the role of Beras Goico in the homeland war was an outstanding role, but it was not the only one. There were other artists who were motivated by his example and joined the constitutionalist movement, despite all the dangers and risks of loss of life and property.

It was thus that we saw Fernando Casado, Violeta Stephen Elena Santos, Aníbal de Peña, Armando Recio as part of the Constitutionalist Artistic Command; Tony Echavarría (Cambumbo) and Almanzor González Canahuate, who participated in various artistic activities, such as those that took place at the Atenas cinema-theater, next to Enriquillo park, on Duarte avenue in the Capital, where collections were made to assist him financial aid to the relatives of the fallen of the Pedro Cadena Command.

Among the artists of the Revolution, it is also necessary to mention the name of that great sonero and merenguero called Cuco Valoy, who was the composer of “Las páginas gloriosas”, which he recorded with the duo Los ahijados when the war was at its most critical moment in the combats against the foreign invader, and contributed with his lyrics full of patriotism to raise the morale of the soldier, playing his music in the constitutional zone after each battle.

An artist who is fondly remembered in this activity is Aníbal de Peña, who contributed the anthem of the Revolution, which he composed to exalt the democratic Constitution of 1963, and for this reason he has recently received a series of recognitions from the Constitutional Court. and other public institutions, such as the municipal council of Barahona.

Aníbal de Peña achieved great popularity in the 1960s, due to his incomparable lyrical voice and for being the author of true musical gems, such as “Mi Debilidad”, “Enriquillo”, “I’ll wait for you in the trench”, “Maybe tomorrow ”, “Muchachita de mi pueblo”, which deeply penetrated the national sentiment and were musical hits at the time.

Just so you know: Freddy Beras Goico and his participation in Guerra de Abril along with other Dominican artists