20 December 2016

Albizu Imprisonment – 1937 to1943

War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson Denis, 2015, Excerpts

Albizu was flown to the US penitentiary in Atlanta on June 7, 1937.

He worked in the prison library. One day in the library he encountered an unusual book, published by General Smedley Butler in 1935 – War is a Racket. Butler had been a marine for thirty-three years and was the most decorated marine in US history. He had received sixteen medals, five for heroism, and was one of only nineteen men to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor twice. He retired as major general and, for a brief period, was the highest-ranking commander in the US Marine Corps. Butler’s father had been a US congressman for thirty-one years and had chaired the House of Naval Affairs Committee.
 “I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys. I helped in the raping of a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interest in 1916. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

War is a Racket confirmed everything Albizu had seen in Puerto Rico. On June 3, 1943, Albizu was released on probation in New York City. He had been in prison for over seven years. 

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