Luis Muñoz Marín

American politician (1898-1980)

Luis Muñoz Marín (February 18, 1898April 30, 1980) was a Puerto Rican poet, journalist and politician. He was the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico and is considered one of the most important 20th century political figures in the Americas.

Luis Muñoz Marín

Sourced edit

  • If you want to sell your vote, go ahead; it's a free country. But be sure you get something for it... You can't get both justice and the two dollars.
    • Quoted by TIME Magazine on March 31, 1941 when commenting on Puerto Rican jíbaros accepting $2 bribes for their votes.[1]

"On Recent Disturbances in Puerto Rico" (November 1, 1950) edit

In Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings--An Anthology

  • We have a genuine admiration and affection for President Truman, not only because of his leadership in these troubled times of the world, but in a more intimate sense, because of his constant, fair-minded, generous attitude in helping Puerto Rico to help itself.
  • This crime confirms my conviction of the connection of these mad, grotesque, and futile nationalist violence-makers in Puerto Rico with communistic propaganda strategy all over the world.
  • The issue in Puerto Rico is not between colonialism and independence. We are not a colony of the United States. We are citizens of the United States and our Island is associated on a basis of freedom with the United States. We are members of the independence of the United States.
  • The nationalists have no political power. They have no votes and they hate votes. Votes to them are as repugnant as holy water to the devil.

"A Good Civilization" (1960) edit

In Borinquen; an anthology of Puerto Rican literature

  • We devoted the decade that started in 1940 to beginning the struggle to abolish poverty. To do that we set aside political status as an issue. During the decade that started in 1950 we directed our energy especially toward the creation of a new political status vitally adapted to the economic needs of Puerto Rico. During the decade that is now starting I propose that we devote special attention to what kind of civilization, what kind of culture, what deep and good manner of living the people of Puerto Rico want to make for themselves on the basis of their increasing economic prosperity.
  • If a good civilization is the final goal, and if we are to devote to it the larger part of this new decade, we must set above all other duties the duty of education education in the school and out of the school: the improvement of all means of communication, such as schools, universities, radio, television, and the press.
  • Our society, in its endeavor to improve spiritually, to enlighten its understanding, to understand itself better, must restore to the teacher his legitimate position.
  • a man we can regard as a spiritual fellow countryman, a man eminent in music, eminent in human virtues, eminent in liberty. Of all his qualities the least is music-and he is one of the great musicians of the world: Maestro Pablo Casals!
  • Progress in technology is necessary for the economic development of our country in the direction of higher and higher levels that will benefit all Puerto Ricans. But to find relief for the human suffering temporarily caused by this very progress is a necessary duty.
  • But it is repulsive to observe that democracy, precisely because of its principles of human freedom, frequently finds itself in the position of jailing poor people who are not morally perverse, while letting go free the big corruptors, the big racketeers, the big criminals of the numbers racket. Democracy should assiduously search for a way to prevent this. Its great respect for human freedom must not be used as a tool to guarantee impunity to these racketeers and criminals.
  • The history of Puerto Rico in the past decades has been that of two drives seeking to merge into one: the drive to abolish poverty and the drive of the people toward the ideal image of themselves.
  • The objective is, I repeat, a good civilization based on the abolition of poverty. A political status that puts obstacles in the path of that ideal cannot be, so long as it creates obstacles, the status that gives real freedom to the people of Puerto Rico.
  • Commonwealth status provides us with a means adapted to the high end of creating an excellent civilization here in Puerto Rico. There is talk as to whether the Commonwealth status is or is not permanent. Strictly speaking, nothing in the world is permanent; but, accepting this as a relative term, I will say that the Commonwealth status shall be as permanent as the people of Puerto Rico may desire. It is fruit of our people's freedom of thought, and its permanence or impermanence should be the fruit of our people's continuing freedom to make decisions.
  • When the economic development of Puerto Rico reaches a point where any other political status may be consistent with a prosperous life and a good civilization, the people of Puerto Rico may then take up the question of political status. For they will then be free, truly free, of the coercion of destructive and inexorable economic realities, to decide whether they wish to continue using Commonwealth as a means toward the ideal of the good life, or whether they prefer to use any other status as a means to this end. What I am saying is that a political status should not be a straitjacket, a fetish, an unreasoned prejudice, but a great means toward much deeper and more significant ends.
  • A government is not an end in itself. It is a means for the appropriate organization of a political community. Neither is a political status for the same reason-an end in itself.
  • the best political status for a country has the consent of its people and helps, or at least does not greatly hinder, the growth of its economy. It participates in the development of what is good in its culture-the culture that the people desire for themselves on the basis of this economy.
  • I believe that if Puerto Rico had been a federated state of the Union in, say, 1945, at the end of World War II, it would never have been able to attain the economic development, with its consequent social progress, which has been observed and admired by the whole world all these years
  • The distribution of this great wealth-the way in which it is apportioned to profits, wages, and professional salaries, education, health, continuing economic development, social security, recreation, housing, communications is extremely important...I propose that economic justice be maintained or improved as part of the agenda of the future.
  • Political liberty-under any political status-is in itself only one of the many expressions of human liberty.
  • The man who knows something today that he did not know yesterday is today, in that degree, a freer man than he was yesterday, because ignorance is servitude and knowledge is freedom. Parents who know today that they can provide their children with an adequate education are much freer than they were yesterday, if yesterday they lived in uncertainty as to whether or not they could educate their children. If a family knows it can move from a slum to a public housing development and later, as its economic condition improves, to a home of its own, it has greater freedom of spirit than one that despairs of ever being able to improve its lot... In a rapidly growing economic system such as Puerto Rico has and should continue to have, with increasing opportunities for greater economic well-being, all who now have hope, rather than despair, are freer because of this hope.
  • a good civilization, our true final goal.
  • A good civilization, it seems to me, is one which continues to work energetically to create more wealth, but directs this wealth toward the fulfillment of deeper values. Once certain basic needs are satisfied and certain basic comforts are available to all, it turns its attention to the attainment of more meaningful and lasting satisfactions than the mere possession and consumption of merchandise.
  • once the basic needs and comforts are provided for, this growing economic energy should be used to create more personal freedom in all its multiple aspects. We have already pointed out what these are: more universities, more museums, more laboratories and libraries, more opportunities for adults to continue their education beyond the mere attainments of techniques for earning a living, more individuality in decisions, better neighborly feeling, better neighborhoods, greater appreciation of, rather than imitation of, the neighbor-in short, more serenity.
  • The public philosophy of our people should be much more than their political status; much more than their technology and their economy. It is or should be the deepest expression of their unity and their soul.
  • let us dedicate this new decade to the grand enterprise of a great education for Puerto Rico.

Quotes about Luis Muñoz Marín edit

  • At present, the Board of Education is eager to help the bilingual reader and to encourage the entire student body. It has transplanted "Operation Understanding," one of the slogans of Puerto Rico's former governor, Luis Muñoz Marín, to the mainland.
    • Pura Belpré “The Reluctant Reader: What Makes Him?” in The Stories I Read to the Children: The Life and Writing of Pura Belpré by Lisa Sánchez González (2013)
  • The biggest traitor in Puerto Rican history is this lackey, Luis Munoz Marin, who shipped our people by the hundreds of thousands to New York because he could not provide jobs for them; who taught our people to be white middle class americanos, when they were poor, oppressed boricuas; who destroyed the jibaro with operation bootstrap, moving thousands off the land into the slums of San Juan, and Ponce, and let all our money go to u.s. capitalists. He was the apostle of non-violence for profit.
  • Our people have experience with crooked politicians full of empty promises. In the 1940's, luis munoz marin and the slogan "Bread, Land, and Liberty." Where is the bread? Where is the land? Where is the liberty? munoz marin was for independence, until he got into office. Then he became a traitor, and a rich man.

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