RAFAEL TRUJILLO ON ZIPPOS
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina or "El Jefe" (1891 – 1961) ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. He officially served as president from 1930 to 1938 and from 1942 to 1952, ruling for the rest of his tenure as an unelected military dictator. His tyranny, historically known as "La Era de Trujillo" ("The Trujillo Era"), is considered one of the bloodiest of the 20th century, with a secret police force that tortured and murdered the opposition to his rule. Trujillo used his political control to obtain great personal wealth. He achieved support from the United States by becoming Latin America's leading anti-communists. Cordell Hull, US Secretary of State referring to Trujillo said "He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he is our son-of-a-bitch." Rafael Trujillo was ultimately seen as a threat to the United States, became a target for CIA's Black Operations and was assassinated in May 1961.
The lighters below depict members of the Trujillo family on one side, and a graphic of a four-masted sailing ship on the other which at the time was named the "Angelita". The reverse is engraved with an image of "Yate Angelita", a famed four-masted luxury yacht built in 1931 and owned by E. F. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post and which is still sailing today as Sea Cloud. All of the Trujillo family member Zippo lighters are engraved with the same image of Yate Angelita. The Sea Cloud is currently the world's oldest ocean going passenger ship.