War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony
Nelson A. Denis tells this powerful story through the controversial life of Pedro Albizu Campos, who served as the president of the Nationalist Party. A lawyer, chemical engineer, and the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard Law School, Albizu Campos was imprisoned for twenty-five years and died under mysterious circumstances. By tracing his life and death, Denis shows how the journey of Albizu Campos is part of a larger story of Puerto Rico and US colonialism.
Through oral histories, personal interviews, eyewitness accounts, congressional testimony, and recently declassified FBI files, War Against All Puerto Ricans tells the story of a forgotten revolution and its context in Puerto Rico’s history, from the US invasion in 1898 to the modern-day struggle for self-determination. Denis provides an unflinching account of the gunfights, prison riots, political intrigue, FBI and CIA covert activity, and mass hysteria that accompanied this tumultuous period in Puerto Rican history.
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colonial status lies with the Partido Independentista de Puerto Rico (PIP). Led by Oxford- and Yale Law School-educated Ruben Barrios, the PIP has acquired strength in numbers and respectability. Numbering four former Puerto Rican Bar Association presidents and other comparable situated members of the Puerto Rican establishment among its membership, the movement is centered around the intellectual community of the University of Puerto Rico, and its growing “segundo nivel” (second level)
tuberculosis, they find traitors to rule over us, parasites who live by robbing their own people . . . hiding in castles where they drug themselves with morphine and drink rum continuously.19 A hail of bullets split a wall as a cloud of concrete dust engulfed the shop. Empires are devils disguised as guardian angels. The American flag is a skull and crossbones over two bunches of bananas. Democracy is a lady who presents herself with a machine gun between her legs, tear gas at her breast and
brush, or underwear (par. 12, 28). The court found that “the quality of incarceration at La Princesa is punishment of such a nature and degree that it cannot be justified by the Commonwealth’s interest in holding defendants for trial, and therefore it violates the due process clause of the Fifth or the Fourteenth Amendment” (par. 7). The conditions faced by Albizu Campos and the Nationalist prisoners had been much worse. La Princesa operated twice as many dungeons in 1950. It conducted medical