Puerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu Campos

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The flags of Cuba and Puerto Rico are here presented together, as are the faces of Pedro Albizu Camp...

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Puerto Rican Nationalism

The republic was founded sixty-eight years ago. When on September 23, 1868, our ancestors proclaimed our independence from Spain, they solemnly affirmed that the revolution was founded on no complaint against our motherland.

Puerto Rico was rich in name and in reality. Our Christian heritage had created a model family and a solid society. The nation was in the vanguard of modern civilizations.

Great men in all fields of human conquest brought honor to the land of their birth. Privileged intellects like Stahl and Tanguis in the natural sciences; Morel Campos, the musical genius; Oller and Campeches, masters of painting; great thinkers like Hostos; poets inspired by pure spirituality like Gautier Benitez; great seamen like Admiral Ramon Power; fighters for the freedom of the new world like Marshal Valero and General Rius Rivera; noble statesmen and patriots like Betances; and spiritual leaders of a generous, hospitable and peaceful nation like Bishop Arizmendi.

It was these prestigious figures from among the legions of great men and women of a nation who, for three centuries, served as a foundation for the expansion of Christian civilization in the Americas.

It must not be forgotten that an expedition from Puerto Rico under the command of Ponce de León planted the cross on the North American continent in 1531, a hundred years before the founding of Jamestown, Virginia.

The founders of the republic in 1868 fought only for the principle that no nation shall be master over the destiny of another nation.

This principle is the basis of international law and universal civilization and cannot be violated under any pretext.

It is the principle of human dignity formulated so that it applies to the family of nations.

Spain, the motherland, the founding hidalgo of modern universal civilization, recognized this fundamental principle of international relations as our forefathers of 1868 explained it, and conceded to Puerto Rico the Autonomous Magna Carta by virtue of which relations between Spain and Puerto Rico were to be regulated through treaties, thus recognizing our country as a sovereign, free, and independent nation.

This recognition of our place in the family of free nations was irrevocable and binding on all powers and could never be placed at the mercy of the vicissitudes of our motherland’s or any other wars.

The Treaty of Paris, imposed by force on Spain by the United States on April 11, 1899, is null and void as pertains to Puerto Rico. For this reason, the military intervention of the United States in our fatherland is simply one of the most brutal and abusive acts perpetrated in contemporary history.

We demand the withdrawal of the armed forces of the Untied States from our soil as the natural and legitimate defense of Puerto Rican independence.

We are not as fortunate as our forefathers of 1868. They fought for the pure principle of national sovereignty. They had no complaint against the motherland, Spain.

We must make demands against the United States of North America, such as indemnification for the enormous damages systematically and cold-blooded perpetrated against a peaceful and defenseless nation.

Puerto Rico’s favorable commercial balance during the thirty-five years of North American military intervention is approximately $400,000,000. According to this imposing figure Puerto Rico should be one of the planet’s richest and prosperous countries. In fact, poverty is our patrimony. This money is in the power of the citizens of continental North America.

If we calculate conservatively the financial value of the commercial monopoly forcibly imposed on us by the United States by virtue of which we are forced to sell our merchandise to the North Americans at the price they set, and add what we must pay for North American merchandise at whatever price the North Americans want to impose on us, we arrive at a figure of no less than $50,000,000.

The result of this pitiless exploitation and the abuses perpetrated against our nation are made evident through the universal poverty, the illnesses and the elevated mortality rates of our population, the highest in the Americas.

Seventy-six per cent of our national wealth is in the hands of a few North American corporations for whose benefit alone the present military government is maintained.

A stupid assault has been made on our Christian social order in a brutal effort to dissolve our family structure and destroy the morality of a noble race, imposing via governmental agencies the spread of prostitution under the deceitful banner of birth control; the ridiculous effort to destroy our Hispanic civilization with a system of public education used in the United States to enslave the masses; the mad arrogance of claiming to spiritually guide a nation whose soul was forged in the purest Christianity: these are our most serious complaints.

In Puerto Rico the United States of America is confronting face to face the spirit of Lexington, of Zaragoza, of Ayacucho.

The present imperial policies by which they want to dissolve nationalism through terror and assassination is a provocation and an act of imperialist foolishness aimed at satisfying a handful of North American corporations.

The people of the United States, if they have not become totally insensitive to the principles that allowed them to be a free nation, must show common sense, must be guided solely by their national interests.

This national interest is guaranteed to respect Puerto Rico’s independence.

These are the aspirations of Puerto Rican nationalism.

Puerto Rican Nationalism. Marxists.org.

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Published in 28/06/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Life of Pedro Albizu Campos:


Invalid DateBirthBirth
Invalid DateScholarship to University of VermontScholarship to University of Vermont
Invalid DateTransferred to HarvardTransferred to Harvard
Invalid DateElected vice-president of the Cosmopolitan ClubElected vice-president of the Cosmopolitan Club
Invalid DateElected president of the Cosmopolitan Club
Invalid DateAlbizu Called House Attack "Heroism"
Invalid DateBrass Tacks
Invalid DateCommunication: Porto Rico and the WarCommunication: Porto Rico and the War
Invalid DateJoins the ArmyJoins the Army
Invalid DateFirst arrestFirst arrest
Invalid DateAttempt to raise money to send him to Paris
Invalid DateJourney to the mainlandJourney to the mainland
Invalid DateDeath
Invalid DateA recording of Pedro Albizu Campos is released
Invalid DateSpeech at the Municipal Meeting in Lares
Invalid DateCrossfire at Albizu's home
Invalid DateOur Political Status, by Pedro Albizu Campos
Invalid DatePuerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu CamposPuerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu Campos
Invalid DateBecomes president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist PartyBecomes president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Invalid DateMarried Dr. Laura MenesesMarried Dr. Laura Meneses
Invalid DateJoins the Puerto Rican Nationalist PartyJoins the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Invalid DateRío Piedras Massacre
Invalid DateAssassination of Colonel RiggsAssassination of Colonel Riggs
Invalid DatePonce MassacrePonce Massacre
Invalid DateHospitalization at Columbus Hospital, New York
Invalid DatePuerto Rican Nationalist Party RevoltsPuerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts
Invalid DateSecond arrest
Invalid DatePardoned by Luis Muñoz MarínPardoned by Luis Muñoz Marín
Invalid DateAttack on the United States House of RepresentativesAttack on the United States House of Representatives
Invalid DateThird arrestThird arrest
Invalid DateAttempt to assassinate president Harry TrumanAttempt to assassinate president Harry Truman
Invalid DateSuffered a stroke
Invalid DatePuerto Rican flags were illegalPuerto Rican flags were illegal
Invalid DateAdmitted to Harvard Law School
Invalid DateReturns to Harvard Law School
Invalid DateGraduates from Harvard and returns to Puerto Rico
Invalid DateTravels around Latin America
Invalid DateDefends the nationalist Luis Velasquez
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Invalid DateSugar cane strikes
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Invalid Date1,200 workers from Central Coloso join the strike
Invalid Date8,000 workers join the Coloso strike
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Invalid DateTrial
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Invalid DateReleased on probation
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Invalid DateThe Nationalist Party is targeted by the FBIThe Nationalist Party is targeted by the FBI
Invalid DatePublic Law 53 or "Gag Law"