War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony Paperback – March 29, 2016
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"The writing is terrific...I found the footnotes and notes to be as fascinating and riveting as the narrative...Denis spent many years researching, reading, studying and analyzing, then has distilled a complicated history into a narrative that a general reader can understand and he's skillful in getting readers emotionally involved in the story." Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I was Puerto Rican
"In addition to a ton of data, the book presents photographs of the key events. Denis reviews the relationship between the US and the island, focusing on how the US government used all of its powers to suppress any attempt at independence or Nationalism on the island." Hermes Ayala, Diálogo UPR, University of Puerto Rico
"This book is important...Our history has been stripped from us...There is a war against all Puerto Ricans!" Howard Jordan, WBAI Radio
"A pointed, relentless chronicle of a despicable part of past American foreign policy." Kirkus Reviews
"A must-read...fascinating...This is not a novel, not a Hollywood script. This is actual history." Gerson Borrero, City & State TV
Reveals the true face of American imperialism in its own backyard Denis's meticulous research reveals an often overlooked element of American history and provides context to the current status of Puerto Rico as a U.S. territory.” Publishers Weekly
"In searing and well-researched prose, former New York assemblyman and El Diario editorial director Denis covers a much-neglected side of U.S. imperialist and colonial practice in Puerto Rico...The historical account he adeptly weaves unabashedly reveals the government's racist and often predatory actions toward its Caribbean colony...This timely, eye-opening title is as much a must-read as Juan Gonzalez's Harvest of Empire." Shelley Diaz, Library Journal
"An enlightening and engaging read...a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about Puerto Rico. Denis provides a more detailed account, thanks to exclusive interviews conducted over a span of decades, as well as thousands of public records, including recently de-classified FBI documents." Andre Lee Muñiz, La Respuesta
"War Against All Puerto Ricans is a fascinating read...mind-blowing...women were sterilized, people were tortured, cities were bombed by US planes...A lot of Americans will learn a great deal from reading it. I know I did." Jerome McDonald, WBEZ Worldview
"With War Against All Puerto Ricans, Nelson Denis doesn't just give us history. He gives us history on fire. This is a thoroughly researched indictment of over a century of U.S. policy toward one small island. Here we have a full-throated eulogy of brave heroes, men and women of conviction, who devoted every drop of their blood to a people and a principle...Denis packs 258 pages (plus another 71 pages of notes) with detailed accounts of government corruption, police abuse, Wall Street greed, scientific experimentation, politicking, graft, racism, wholesale slaughter, surveillance, assassinations, eugenics, propaganda, espionage, forgery and falsification all within the span of half a century, and on an island no bigger than Connecticut." Hector Luis Alamo, Gozamos
A patient, calibrated, fully-researched study of the mendacious, hypocritical way the United States treats its Caribbean colony, castrating its leadership, bombarding its villages, experimenting biologically with its population. Puerto Rico is, in a word, el calabozo. Denis knows the truth first-hand and refuses to sugarcoat it.” Ilan Stavans, author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language
Sometime in the not-too distant future, we will resolve the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. To understand where we are going, we must know our pastboth good and bad. War Against All Puerto Ricans fills an important gap in that historical understanding. It is a book that every student of the USPuerto Rico relationship should read.” Congressman José Serrano
As more than a half century of failed US policy toward Cuba comes to a slow end, Nelson Denis's fascinating new book is a timely reminder of that other island in the Caribbean that the United States took possession of in 1898: Puerto Rico. War Against All Puerto Ricans is a remarkable history of a forgotten national liberation movement and Washington's brutal pacification campaign.” Greg Grandin, professor of history at New York University and author of The Empire of Necessity
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There were photos of Albizu Campos on the wall and a blurb about the building's history in the menu. "It's that guy again," we said. We'd been to Ponce the previous week and learned about the massacre (but never did get inside the Massacre Museum -- it was always closed despite advertised hours saying it was open) and our Ponce AirBnB host had told us we should learn about Albizu. The Ponce historical museum mentioned him frequently, but the signage was in Spanish so we didn't quite catch the significance of the story.
So there we were, sitting in Albizu's apartment, looking out of his balcony. I was inspired to order this book, which arrived as we returned home from our trip. It was chilling to read that he looked down from the same balcony to see an arsenal of US guns pointed at him. That same intersection was blocked off for the seige of his apartment ... READ THIS BOOK. And if you can, go visit the apartment.
Now that we know his story, the next time we visit this apartment we'll toast an amazing man who "pulled himself up by his bootstraps" to excel at Harvard and do his shining best for his people.
Update Sept 27 2017: my relatives in San Juan are entreating us on the mainland to send help ... Hurricane Maria has devastated the island full of fellow U.S. citizens ... if you are or know a lineman who can help restore power please help!
The book reminds me of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and Gulag Archipelago...it reads like a police blotter, with the entire island as a crime scene.
A lot of people are going to re-set their moral compass, and re-think their views about "Puerto Rican history" when they read this book.
Bombing two towns in broad daylight...arresting 3,000 Puerto Ricans...jailing and torturing hundreds of them...killing and maiming over 200 of them on Palm Sunday...keeping secret FBI files on over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND Puerto Ricans...arresting anyone who owned a Puerto Rican flag, or sang the national anthem...
This stuff is incredible! Yet it all happened, right under our noses, in broad daylight.
What a strange thing for the USA, the "leader of the free world," to do this to an entire island - with millions of people on it.
I have to salute WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS, for bringing it out into the open.
Buzz Malone, Union Organizer, Labor Historian, Writer
Top international reviews
Written by Nelson A. Denis is 379, pages of verified facts of how the Government of the United States of America, the President, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Military methodically assisted wealthy USA individuals, National USA Banks, USA Corporations and the political and military friends of various USA administrations from 1898 well into the mid to late 1950s to indiscriminately rob, terrorise, torture and murder Puerto Rican Women, Men and Children without justification and without fear of prosecution by any Government.
Mr Denis opens his book with a three page Preface that invites the reader into the October 1962 home of his Mother and Father in New York City, then into his undergraduate years at Harvard, and the University’s library where the forty years of research for War Against All Puerto Ricans, Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony began. The NOTES, starting on page 275 to page 346 are a definite MUST READ; each chapter of the book has its own pages of NOTES.
The Contents of the book are the Facts, divided into nine chapters, eighty pages, the People, divided in to seven chapters, one hundred and three pages, the Events, divided into seven chapters, sixty-seven pages and lastly one hundred and twenty-six pages of detailed Notes, Bibliography, Epilogue, Appendix all in themselves a knowledgeable read, Acknowledgments, Sources and Methodology ending with an Index, a sometimes forgotten item in other factual books.
La Princesa: The fact that the USA’s Federal, State and Local neighbourhood vigilantes, and gangs torture people different from the torturers is neither new news nor is it old news. The Bush administration’s torture chambers can still be found in Europe, the Indian Ocean Islands, Cuba and other torture chamber locations known but to God and to the USA Government. La Princesa, the now defunct prison not far from the Governors quarters, La Fortaleza, thanks to Mr Nelson’s research, has been exposed as the Fortress in which its Princess has committed many hideous crimes all hidden behind the USA’s black veiled very corrupt justice system exposed in four pages, “one, two, three, four,….”
Puerto Rico’s Solitude ended when the Genoa stumble bum, Christopher Columbus stumbled on to the Island in 1493. 405 years later “the US government issued a press release Poto [sic] Rico will be kept….” (Page15 second paragraph). 523 years later, the 114th Congress of the USA Government ended Puerto Rico’s right to manage it own financial affairs with H.R. 4900 PROMESA. This time the stumble bum stumbled down from Washington, DC. The USA has always believed the “Puerto Ricans to be ignorant, uncivilised, morally bankrupt, and utterly incapable of self – rule.” (Page 17, last paragraph). Why not too dumb to manage their finances too, enter PROMESA.
Anyone who can use the English language with fluency and knows the USA well enough will note: English is not taught in the schools within the continental US, neither is any other language; just the same, the song at the bottom of page 20 is worth learning, and don’t miss the piccaninnies in the illustration at the top of page 22. 117 years of the USA’s tightly closed mind has brought little change within the US Government or its white co-conspirators concerning the values of the Puerto Rican people.
Stealing has always been the USA’s major theme, not just the Federal and State Governments, the major theme is hotly pursued by corporate and private Industry too; however, all of the aforementioned and the USA public call it Progress. The Green Pope starts on page 25, but the fourth paragraph on page 29 is red, white and blue stealing bless by the USA’s Supreme Court. On page 30, the USA’s Supreme Court robs the pockets of the Puerto Rican people; 94 years later one can only wonder: Who were the people stuffing money into the deep pockets of the black robed USA Supreme Court Justices. See pages 281 to 284 too.
A Good Career Move is four pages explaining how the US Government secretly sterilised one-third of the young Puerto Rican women. This incidence of secret female sterilisation, the highest in the world, was exclusively preformed on women who were considered to be part of an inferior race. A note written by Dr Cornelius Rhods in 1931 reprinted on page 35 shows clearly the intent of the US to exterminate the Puerto Rican people.
My only comment on chapter 6, Cadets of the Republic, is many of the young boy Cadets were murdered by the US Government whilst still in their childhood.
Chapter 7, The Ponce Massacre, I shall leave no comment. The murderous horror of the massacre is told within the pages of chapter 11.
The civil and criminal atrocities committed against the people of Puerto Rico by the collection of crackpots appointed by US Presidents from 1900 to 1948 is indeed a cloak and dagger spy documentation written in detail on the 22 pages in chapters 8 and 9 and on the 11 pages of NOTES found from page 289 to page 299. Many nouns have been converted into verbs; one however, may still be secretively alive in the cloak and dagger rooms of the CIA, the FBI and the NAS: Carpetas.
There is one major aerodrome – airport serving Puerto Rico: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The airport was named after the first elected governor of Puerto Rico, an Opium addicted freelance tramp dragged up in up-town Manhattan, New York City, USA, where he acquired his love for opium and freelanced delights. If ever the corrupted PDP is voted out of PR’s legislation, its replacement should immediately rename Puerto Rico’s one major aerodrome – airport to Aeropuerto Pedro Albizu Compos. Chapter 10 is more than an eye opener.
Under the supervision of J Edger Hoover, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was the most efficiently run extortion racket in USA history. Hoover held a crushing iron blanket of fear over all from the politically elected powerful to Joe the street cleaner, and the first elected Governor of Puerto Rico, the Opium Addicted Luis Muñoz Marín who with one FBI report became the USA’s opium addicted pet mongrel whose tongue cleaned the Jack Boots of the US Military and the street shoes of the US Congress from 1949 to 1965, chapter 11 sweeps it out into the open.
Chapters 12 falls back to 1898 and walks the reader through the years that follow; the birth of Pedro Albizu Compos, his early education in PR, his graduate education at Harvard University, his law degree, his commission as an officer in the US Army, his realisation of the true colours of the USA – All White, his efforts of seek a living wage for the workers of Puerto Rico, the bribes the US offered to Mr Albizu, his refusal of them, the Nationalist Party, The FBI’s unrelenting harassment of Pedro Albizu Compos, which prove in the end “The Yankees won”.
Chapters 13 and 14 are the arts and bar games played between the US and Puerto Rico for the control of Puerto Rico. The only gentlemanly deed the USA ever did that concerned Puerto Rico was it did not water down the booze.
Chapter 15 through chapter 23 tells the final story of the Nationalist Party, its Supporters, and its creator, Pedro Albizu Compos who along with a multitude of innocent Men, Women and Children suffered and died at the hands of the USA’s Doctor Jekylls, Dr Mengeles and the rest of the collection of civilian and military doctors who laughingly conducted hideous operations on their captured victims, who gleefully tortured, who sadistically experimented with chemical, radioactive drugs and cancerous growths on these captured victims, finally ending in the murdering of the never counted multitude of Puerto Rican Men, Women and Children, all in barely the maturation time of one human being.
In one of the paragraphs above, I suggested changing the name of San Juan’s major aerodrome – airport. I suggest now to change the name of Ponce’s Mercedita Airport to Aeropuerto Vidal Santiago Diaz in honour of the Barber.
War Against All Puerto Ricans, Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony is a must read book that should be read by every Puerto Rican, by every person living in the Western Hemisphere, by every person living in the Eastern Hemisphere and by every person living on the islands within all the earth’s oceans. If you think you do not live under the crushing Jackboot of the US Government, Think Again!
Richard Francis McDonald