puerto rican nationalist leader

Listen to a rare English translation of a 1950 speech by Pedro Albizu Campos, popularly known as Don Pedro, the former head of the Nationalist Party and leader of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Today marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Visit democracynow.org for more coverage.

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Father of the Puerto Rican Independence movement, Pedro Albizu Campos was the leader of the Puerto Rican nationalist party that fought to free the island of its colonial status. Facing prejudice through out his life from segregation in the Army in World War I to delays for receiving his degree in law from Harvard, Campos -for his so-called radical beliefs-was imprisoned for a long portion of his life as well a tortured with radiation while imprisoned. His legacy lives on! His sacrifices as leader and nationalist fervor as pertinent historical leader still inspires Puerto Ricans today to fight for the Independence movement.

Oscar López Rivera is a Puerto Rican nationalist and one of the leaders of the FALN. In 1981, López Rivera was convicted and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property. In 1988 he was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for conspiring to escape from prison.

Happy Birthday, José Ferrer Canales!

Dr. José Ferrer Canales (September 18, 1913 – July 20, 2005) was an educator, writer and a pro-independence political activist.

Ferrer Canales was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico into a poor working-class family. Despite the economic hardships his family faced, he was able to attend school. He received his elementary education at the Pedro G. Goyco Elementary School and his secondary instruction at Román Baldorioty de Castro School in San Juan. He attended and graduated from the Central Superior High School. It was very difficult for him because after school he had to work in order to help support his family.[1]

In 1934, Ferrer Canales enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico. During his university years he met and befriended Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. This led to his active participation in the pro-independence movement. In 1937, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Arts, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In 1944, Canales earned his Master’s degree in Arts with his thesis: “Enrique José Varona”. He felt influenced by the philosophic ideas of Varona, Eugenio María de Hostos and José Martí.[1]

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