Ex-Dominican president who helped topple dictator dies at 95

AP News
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Posted: May 31, 2016 3:14 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A former Dominican president and general who was the last survivor of a group that toppled a brutal dictator died on Tuesday. Antonio Imbert Barrera was 95.

Imbert's family said in a statement that he died from various health problems. They did not provide further details.

Imbert was a top government official during the reign of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, but he and 10 other men plotted his assassination in 1961 and helped end 31 years of bloody dictatorship. Only Imbert and one other person, Luis Amiama Tio, survived the persecution that ensued. Amiama died in 1980.

Imbert was declared a national hero after Trujillo was killed, and in 1963, he participated in a U.S.-backed coup against President Juan Bosch. He formed part of a military junta established after the coup and helped fight off a 1965 insurrection to re-establish Bosch that sparked a U.S. invasion.

"Imbert Barrera was a living symbol of the courage of Dominicans in their fight for freedom," said Culture Minister Jose Antonio Rodriguez.

Imbert was shot in 1967 by Trujillo supporters but recovered from the attempted assassination.

Officials have moved his body to the cathedral in the capital of Santo Domingo before his burial scheduled on Wednesday.

Dominican President Danilo Medina has declared three days of mourning.