Curious, very curious ….


The American Mercury, Vol. XVI, N° 62, February 1929

The American Mercury, Vol. XVI, N° 62, February 1929

With all this Puerto-Rico-becoming-the-51st-state-of the-Union floating around the political sphere, I found curious what Luis Muñoz Marín, Governor from 1948 through 1964, wrote back in February 1929 in The American Mercury, when he was a thirty-year-old journalist:

       “[…] Whether the island is to be semi-independent, like Cuba, or autonomous under some special dispensation of Congress, is a question to be determined by the interplay of political and economic interest. But it is certain that it will never be incorporated into the Union as a State save through the operation of cultural forces: that is, not unless, and until, our manner of life and thought has been respectably Americanized.
Will this ever come about? Will the island retain its historical personality? An unqualified answer to either of these questions would necessarily fall short of the possibilities. Perhaps a more absurd fate is in store for us. Perhaps we are destined to be neuter Porto Ricans nor Americans, but merely puppets of a mongrel state of mind, susceptible to American thinking and prod of Latin thought, subservient to American living and worshipful for the ancestral way of life. Perhaps we are to discuss Cervantes and eat pork and beans in the Child’s restaurant that must be opened sooner or later. Perhaps we will try not to let mother catch us reading the picaresque verses of Quevedo. Perhaps we are going to a singularly fantastic and pails hell in our own sweet way. Perhaps all this is nothing but a foretaste of Pan-Americanism.” —  Cf. Muñoz Marín, Luis. “The Sad Case of Porto Rico.” The American Mercury, February 1929. 

As of today,  four plebiscites have been held in Puerto Rico in order to resolve the political status (i.e. 1967, 1993, 1997, 2012), but no changes have been attained. Needless to say that, while nothing too drastic is expected in the immediate future, Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States remains uncertain (once again!).

Muñoz Marín, L. (1929, February). The sad case of Porto Rico. The American Mercury, XVI(62), 136–141.

Muñoz Marín, L. (1929, February). The sad case of Porto Rico. The American Mercury, XVI(62), 136–141.

Muñoz Marín, L. (1929, February). The sad case of Porto Rico. The American Mercury, XVI(62), 136–141.

Muñoz Marín, L. (1929, February). The sad case of Porto Rico. The American Mercury, XVI(62), 136–141.

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2 Responses to Curious, very curious ….

  1. Ratonet says:

    “Puerto Rico will at first be governed by a military regime; then it will be declared an American territory, and later it will achieve the category of sovereign state within the Union. The duration of these periods will depend more or less upon the merits of the country” General Wilson

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  2. Ratonet says:

    Luis Muñoz Marín lived among writers and artists in NY and Washington. He betfriended the famed piet Edward Markham, some of whose works he translated into Spanish. His by-line appeared regularly in the Baltimore Sun, the New York Herald Tribune, Smart Set, The New Republic, The Nation, and H.L. Mencken’s American Mercury. In these journals, he wrote of Puerto Rico’s colonial plight and, with disdain and wit, described some “Porto Ricans” (the American way of spelling the island’s name at the time) as Americanized.

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