War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson Denis, 2015, Excerpts
Founded in 1912, the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico quickly developed a clear and elegantly simple political platform: the complete and unconditional independence of Puerto Rico from the United States. Their objective was not outright military victory; rather, the aimed to focus international attention on the colonial status of Puerto Rico.
The Cadet Corps was the official youth branch of the Nationalist Party. By 1936, over 10,000 cadets were marching and training in twenty-one towns. All of them reported to Pedro Albizu Campos, the president of the Nationalist Party. The Cadets of the Republic also had a female component, the Nurse Corps of the Liberating Army, also known as the Daughters of Freedom.
Nearly every cadet and nurse, except for the officers, was between fourteen and twenty-five years old. The cadets posed no danger to the US regime. But they did represent a symbolic threat – and so, until the mid-twentieth century, many were shot and killed in police stations and at Palm Sunday parades, in town squares and dark alleys, in broad daylight and at dawn.