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UNITED STATES: Who is the s.o.b.?
In a message, Stephen Schwartz said the expression "He's an s.o.b., but he's our s.o.b" referred to Trujillo. I corrected him, saying that Roosevelt said it about Somoza, which is the way it is commonly told. Steve retorts:
"No, you're wrong. I researched this, since the comment is always said to have been about Somoza. Somoza was completely absent from the American press in the 1930s. Some people claim Roosevelt made this comment about Somoza's liquidation of Sandino. At the time Sandino was killed there was virtually no attention to it in the U.S. He had been out of the struggle for years, the CP had attacked him, and, by the way Somoza had originally been one of his supporters, as a Liberal. The American press did not even begin paying attention to Somoza until the late 1940s. I don't have the quote here, but it was about Trujillo, who was quite prominent in discussions of Latin dictators in those days."
My reply: I am willing, even happy to be corrected. The expression could be applied to both dictators, whom I had occasion to study first-hand.
Ronald Hilton - 12/02/00