Albizu Called House Attack "Heroism"

06/03/1954View on timeline

Albizu Called House Attack "Heroism"

Reports' from San Juan since then have reported Albizu "quite ill." James H. Howe '29, now a Washington attorney who lead the group that revised the Puerto Rican government five years ago, believes that most Puerto Ricans consider him pretty much on his last legs. There have even been reports that Albizu is at the stage where he is advocating that Puerto Rico build a big secret navy and drive American from the seas.

The facts remain that Albizu is once again free to deal with his Nationalist aides. He was re-elected President of the legally unrecognized Nationalist Party in 1948. To shrug off his power and infllence because of near-insanity is to overlook his increased menace because of this very condition.

It would take a near mad-man to issue the statement that Albizu did in reference to the House shooting. He called it an act of "sublime heroism," and added that Lolita Lebron and two nationalist "gentlemen of the race who accompanied her... have served notice on the United States engorged with its atomic bombs, that duty obliges it to respect independance of all nations; to respect the independance of Puerto Rico."

Albizu lives today a quarter of a mile from La Fortaleza, suspiciously forcing his sides to transact their business with him through a peephole in his apartment door. His name is still the rally word for Island and mainland nationalist fanatics. Lolita Lebron went to great pains to include the following note in her purse which was made public when she was arrested in the gallery of the House:

"I take responsibility for all . . . I state forever that the United States of America are betraying their sacred principles of mankind in their continuous subjugation of my people, violating their rights to be a free nation in their barbarous torture of our apostle of independence, Don Pedro Albizu y Campos."

There is no doubt that Albizu has long been exposed to Communist thought and sympathy. Mrs. Lebron has been under recent close surveillance by the FBI because of her activities as a suspected Communist, according to statements from her last employer who said the FBI had just paid him a visit about her last week.

In New York, police reported that they had found quantities of Communist literature in the Brooklyn apartment of Rafael Miranda, one of the four would-be assasins.

Even if the special investigator assigned to Puerto Rico by the House Un-American Activities Committee does not turn up evidence that the recent shooting was part of an organized subversive plot, he will no doubt term Pedro Albizu Campos a Communist sympathizer and advocate of the idea.

Albizu can never be absolved of the blame for the attack. Had it not been for his executive direction of the Nationalist Party since 1932 and constant endorsement of violence, the type of fanatics who carried out the attempt would most likely never have been spawned.

It is understandable that the door is locked and the peephole opened cautiously by this man. He has taught his followers the tactics of violence and the methods of taking justice into their own hands. His great worry must be that someone opposed to his ideas may have learned his methods too well... and that could mean the end of Don Pedro Albizu y Campos.

Gov. Luiz Munoz Marin, with the backing of two-thirds of the Legislature, on Jan. 5, rejected an independance Party move to consider President Eisenhower's five-year old offer of Independence for Puerto Rico.

The Independance Party seeks separation from the U.S. by constitutional means.

Albizu Called House Attack "Heroism". The Harvard Crimson.



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Published in 20/06/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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