Pedro Albizu Campos

Puerto Rican politician and independence advocate (1891-1965)

Pedro Albizu Campos (September 12, 1891April 21, 1965) was the leader and president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and avid advocate of Puerto Rican independence from the United States by whatever means necessary.

Pedro Albizu Campos greeting a crowd (1936)


  • ...Within international rights Puerto Rico was a sovereign nation on the date in which the Treaty of Paris was drawn up, and Spain could neither give away Puerto Rico nor could the US annex it, nor the entire world disown it. This sovereignty is irrevocable and when the United States, through its cannons, forced the Spanish plenipotentiaries to sign the so-called cession of Puerto Rico it was committing a typical North American stick-up. And this co-action against the Spanish had no part of the Spanish American war, it was never a belligerent against the US or anyone else, and here the Yanquis have been at war for 52 years against the Puerto Rican nation, and have never acquired the right of anything in PR, nor is there any legal government in PR, and this is uncontestable, one would have to knock to pieces all the international rights of the world, all political rights, to validate the invasion of the US in PR and the present military occupation of our national territory.

Puerto Rican Nationalism" Speech (1936)


Translation by Roberto Santiago, in Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings--An Anthology

  • Influential, independent men have made a difference in our society. Men such as musician Morel Campos; intellectuals such as Eugenio Maria de Hostos, and poets like Gautier Benitez were among the great men who built and founded this nation.
  • The founders of our republic in 1868 held that our nation and its people would be sovereign-never belonging to another nation or people. This idea is not original, but is the basis of universal civilization, of international law. It is the basis of the family of free nations.
  • Military intervention is the most brutal and abusive act that can be committed against a nation and a people. We demanded then, as we do today, the retreat of United States armed forces from Puerto Rico in order to embrace the liberty we held all too briefly in 1868.
  • We stand today, docile and defenseless, because, since 1868, our political and economic power has been systematically stripped away by the United States for its own political and economic gain. We stand as a nation forced not only to demand our liberty, but to demand reparations for having our political and economic liberty taken away. We stand as a nation surrounded by industry, but with little of it belonging to our people. The business development in Puerto Rico since the United States intervention should have made the island one of the most prosperous islands in the world, but that is not the case.
  • The United States controls our economy, our commerce. Puerto Rico must determine a price for its products that is acceptable to the United States, while the United States issues their products to Puerto Rico at a rate that is comfortable to its own manufacturers and not the Puerto Rican consumer. The result is exploitation and abuses per petrated at will, resulting in poverty for our people and wealth for the United States.
  • Already United States government agencies, under the guise of Christian virtue and goodwill, are simply controlling our people, destroying its culture. By imposing its own culture and language, the United States destroys our own culture and language. What will we have when we have nothing but dependency on those who destroyed us?
  • This is why I am dismayed by the effort among our own people to defeat the spirit of those who struggle for our liberation. Our own people see Puerto Rican nationalism as nothing but a path of terrorism and murder; but they defeat our spirit in denouncing themselves. They defeat our spirit by ignoring the historical terrorism and murder of the United States. In the end, they help only the United States, its industry, its imperialistic objectives.
  • it stands to reason-it stands to common sense-that we must be a free nation in order to survive as a people. The future of those not yet bom depends on respecting the independence of Puerto Rico. That respect alone-the respecting of Puerto Rico's independence-is what Puerto Rican nationalism is all about.

"Everybody is Quiet but the Nationalist Party" (1950)


In Borinquen; an anthology of Puerto Rican literature

  • It is not easy to give a speech when we have our mother lying in bed and an assassin waiting to take her life. Such is the present situation of our country, of our Puerto Rico; the assassin is the power of the United States of North America. One cannot give a speech while the newborn of our country are dying of hunger, while the adolescents of our homeland are being poisoned with the worst virus, slavery. While the adults of our homeland must leave Lares (their hometown) in fear and don't even have exit to foreign countries different from the enemy power that binds us. They must go to the United States to be slaves of the economic powers, of the tyrants of our country, they are the slaves who go to Michigan out of need, to be scorned and outraged and kicked. One cannot give a speech easily while this tyrant has the power to tear the sons right out of the hearts of Puerto Rican mothers to send to Korea, into hell to be killed, to be the murderers of innocent Koreans, to die covering a front for the yanqui enemies of our country, to return insane to their own people... it is not easy. Our blood boils and patience beats at our hearts and tells me that patience must end, must disappear, and that the day of Lares must be the day of Lares, that is, the day of the Puerto Rican Revolution.
  • sovereignty is irrevocable, and when the United States, through its cannons, forced the Spanish plenipotentiaries to sign the so-called cession of Puerto Rico, it was committing just a typical North American stickup.
  • one would have to knock to pieces all the international rights of the world, all the political rights of the world, to validate the invasion of the U.S. in Puerto Rico and the present military occupation of our national territory.
  • these pretended defenders of freedom of every nation of the world except Puerto Rico are mere bandits in the current history of mankind.
  • those who survive this policy of starvation become the cattle the United States needs to pick the crops in Michigan. These are the cattle the U.S. needs to be shipped as cannon fodder to Korea or to any other part of hell existing on this earth.
  • the United States, a badly called state, not that, because in the Senate of the United States, although they claim to represent brown and black peoples, no black can enter nor anyone suspect of having a black grandfather.
  • the mobilization in Puerto Rico for Korea has taken 8,000 men, and it is a vile act of the U.S. government to pretend to mobilize by force the Puerto Rican nation so that it can pick up a front for the U.S. in Korea.
  • if the United States feels obligated to intervene in Korea with all their weapons, let them mobilize themselves. Let them go fight for their interests, instead of taking advantage of Puerto Rico's defenselessness to make it go to defend the sordidness and the iniquity of their policy before the world, that is shamelessness.
  • If registrations were good for Puerto Rico, the yanquis would never have inscriptions and elections here, nor would we ever have them. Registrations in Puerto Rico and elections are the trap to make Puerto Ricans keep turning the millstone.
  • You pay taxes to maintain an educational system in which the Puerto Rican is no longer Puerto Rican, to tear the Puerto Rican heart out.
  • there's no money to bring a loaf of bread to Lares, but for a jail in Lares there will be money. So, lots of money for jails in Lares and all Puerto Rico-for schools, yes, because they are to destroy the heart and mind of the Puerto Rican, denaturalize him, prostitute him, corrupt him for that there will be money. There's money to have the Health Department in Puerto Rico inject the youth of Puerto Rico with any disease that the U.S. government desires, to kill them on a long-term basis, there's yes, money for that but to kill hunger in Lares, Jayuya, Utuado, in Comerío, in the whole nation there's not a penny because hunger is the policy of the United States. The yanqui believes that when a human being is deprived of his loaf of bread, he will surrender and humiliate himself to be kicked by anyone. He will turn in his mother, his wife, his own dignity, so as not to suffer hunger. That's the policy of the United States.
  • He who does not respect the truth does not respect his own mother.
  • The armed forces of the United States have a privilege here. They can't be tried by any judicial authority, not even the so-called Federal Court of the United States. A U.S. Marine can kill anyone in the streets of San Juan and he cannot be tried by the District Court of San Juan or by the Federal Court, no, he has to be tried by a U.S. Navy court-martial...and why this privilege? Because killers need immunity. When one hires somebody else to kill, the first thing is to guarantee to him that he won't lose his skin, in any case. Well, are the armed forces here to defend Puerto Ricans? To kill Puerto Ricans!! That's the only government here, the rest are scoundrels, and all that crowd of bootlickers say that this is a democracy-the yanquis laugh at them.
  • It makes me laugh when the yanquis talk about a police state in other governments. There's no police state like the yanqui system.
  • The Law of the Funnel, the agreement that Puerto Ricans accept that political slavery of the United States, that's the agreement
  • Today PIP members are caught in the trap of the century, their sons mobilized for the draft-the PIP members quiet, the Populares quiet, the Statehooders quiet, everybody is quiet but the Nationalist Party.
  • Why bring the viruses, the microbes of this disease to experiment here in Puerto Rico? Oh, it's because it can spread and if it spreads here, what's the difference-they're Puerto Ricans. Didn't they kill a few thousands in Korea?
  • no army is a charitable institution, armies are established to kill, and this is in the charge of the U.S. Army.
  • The master never trusts the slave.

About Albizu Campos



  • The Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico was the first party to raise Guanica, to protest the invasion of the gringos as should be. In these as in many of the struggles for freedom of our people, the Nationalist Party was at the vanguard of its time. The Young Lords Party follows the example of Don Pedro Albizu Campos and the Nationalist Party and declares that for us Guanica is a day of national protest, and will be a day of national protest until we drive the Puerto Rican lombrices like ferre, the Cuban gusanos, and yankee amerikkkans into the sea.
  • The new slavery arrived with the amerikkkans and the only ones in this century who truly confronted that empire was the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico, and for a time, the Socialist Party. Don Pedro was the defender of our nationality. Don Pedro assured with his struggle that at a later time in the future, men and women, poor and humble, capable of liberating Puerto Rico, would arise.
  • We in the Young Lords Party also follow the teachings of Don Pedro. We know that since the amerikkkan invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, the united states has controlled the press, radio, television. They control the schools. Every day, our people are bombarded with more and more amerikkkan propaganda. More than 25,000 amerikkkan troops occupy our territory. With those forces of repression, it is impossible to talk of free elections. As the National Liberation Front of Vietnam says-first, the amerikkkans should get out, then we will be able to have free elections.
  • We express our solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico and their great leader, Pedro Albizu Campos, who, in another act of hypocrisy, has been set free at the age of seventy-two, almost unable to speak, paralyzed, after spending a lifetime in jail. Albizu Campos is a symbol of the as yet unfree but indomitable Latin America. Years and years of prison, almost unbearable pressures in jail, mental torture, solitude, total isolation from his people and his family, the insolence of the conqueror and its lackeys in the land of his birth--nothing broke his will. The delegation of Cuba, on behalf of its people, pays a tribute of admiration and gratitude to a patriot who confers honor upon our America.
  • The U.S. government's surveillance and repression against the independence movement started with the invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898. For decades after, the government launched jailings and massacres of pro-independence activists, including the Nationalist Party and its leader, Don Pedro Albizu Campos.
    • Iris Morales "¡PALANTE, SIEMPRE PALANTE!: The Young Lords" in The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices from the Diaspora (1998)
  • We must follow the examples of Lolita Lebron, Pedro Albizu Campos, Julio Roldan, C.A.L. and MIRA. We must struggle against the american pigs and Puerto Rican vendepatrias.
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