Munoz led a movement and created a party, which consolidated the latent power of the stricken Puerto Rican mass and used it to force into being a disciplined program for rejuvenation. This effort has significance beyond itself. It soon became a wonder of a world looking for the means to lift backward peoples from the stew of poverty and demagoguism, which has become so characteristic of all the old colonial area.
He was the creator, as much as one man could be, of a new status for a whole people and a new relationship among political entities. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was a brilliant invention and its bringing into being a remarkable achievement. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. San Juan , Puerto Rico  2. Esteban Rivera b. Barranquitas, Puerto Rico  5. Monserrate Rivera Vazquez b. Barranquitas, Puerto Rico  1.
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Arecibo, Puerto Rico  6. Juan Castilla b. Puerto Rico  7. Maria Amalia Castilla y Padilla b. Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico   Maria de Jesus Beiro b. Puerto Rico . Puerto Rico portal Biography portal Literature portal. The New York Times. March 26, Retrieved April 30, The World of Puerto Rican Politics. Retrieved October 1, Ponce, Editorial de la Univ. Archived from the original on November 18, University of Wisconsin Press.
Archived from the original on September 23, The Lewiston Journal. October 8, Retrieved January 3, Elections Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican Politics and the New Deal. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Archived from the original on October 16, Retrieved October 2, Retrieved August 8, January 13, Retrieved November 20, NYU Press. Retrieved March 16, NBC News.
July 30, Retrieved August 25, Washington D. Retrieved September 9, Retrieved August 10, June 23, Retrieved January 2, Retrieved 5 December Governors of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
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In this way, ordinary usage overshadowed a specific meaning and slowly eroded subtle but significant distinctions. What was once considered a bold experiment in federalism became associated with a reactionary political sense. In other words, it is necessary to recu- perate the occluded knowledge that ever since , Puerto Rico has institutionalized a borderland state in the Americas. He found a confluence of both interests not only in poetry but also in painting. Whenever the hookworm permits they are more active physically and mentally than the people of the coast.
And yet their ideals are of leisure while the ideals of the coast not necessarily the practice are becoming those of activity and go getting. Here the shade of the guava tree still suggests the hammock; the moon calls out the singers and his tipple. If economically Puerto Rico would benefit from maintaining its free trade agreement with the US, what remained to be solved was how to secure economic association without full political inte- gration or complete separation. He imagined this Free Associated State as a dynamic and pro- gressive entity unparalleled by any in the Americas.
Behind the creation of the new state, in , lies the vision of a local politician who appropriated the global design of free associa- tion. As political scientist Sherrie L. Colonialism commonwealth for local giving way to an autonomous association would counteract purposes and by strategi- assimilation.
Colonialism giving way to an autono- political nationalism. Rivera explains that counteract assimilation. III, 5. In his global design, Puerto Rico would rep- resent the first step in the creation of hemispheric borderlands. If the Harvard Club lecture in served to promote a hemi- spheric vision of the Americas, the Godkin Lectures at Harvard three years later provided a cogent theoretical formulation for a postnational philosophical understanding of modern nationhood and its ruling category of nation-state sovereignty.
Rearticulating the position of the Puerto Rican migrant in scholarship and in pro-independent circles, he expounded on postnationalism as that which the migrant Puerto Rican worker spreads to the US mainland and abroad. Postnationalism entailed cultural affiliation beyond nation- state identification, that is, a matter of identifying with a dynamic cultural make-up rather than with a conventional political form.
Puerto Rican migrants represent a larger hemispheric belong- ing that at some points seems counterintuitive to nationalist under- standings of subjectivity. This difficulty alerts us to a failure in the interpretive economic-oriented models for reading Puerto Rican migration, because they usually fall short of capturing the radical dimension of this nonnationalist logic. Although most scholarship on Puerto Rican migration follows the general topics of poverty, employment, and education, these foci are too limited for grasping the radical underpinnings of the Puerto Rican migration project: the postnational migrant secures association without assimilation.
It is this meaning that emerges more strongly in Esmeralda Santiago than in most Puerto Rican writers. That is to say, the Puerto Rican migrant, unlike other migrants to the US or else- where, represents a postnational distinctiveness that stems from the local and the historical formation of a nonnationalist state.
In this way, the migrant brings with him or her a distinctive cultural sense of nationhood—a distinctiveness of behaviors that are rooted locally but structured within a hemispheric logic. Her memoir revisits this period of high optimism in Puerto Rican history. The foundations of Puerto Rican subjectivity are more radical in their implications than contemporary politics can grasp, as ethnic differences continue to be understood through a nationalist framework. In a sense, the foundations of the border state remain illegible to current apprehensions of national identity; like- wise, the scholarship on contemporary Puerto Rican literature remains at odds with this understanding of postnational culture.
These critical reactions suggest that conventional perspectives on political identity, nationhood, and migration might be revisited alongside histories of colonial politics, imperial history, and developmental economics. When considered as a meeting ground of these bodies of knowledge, the memoir adds a distinct under- standing of cultural belonging with roots in mid-twentieth-century Puerto Rican experience.
When I Was Puerto Rican opens with Negi, the protagonist, reminiscing from an adult perspective about her years growing up in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The skin is thick, firm, and sweet. Its heart is bright pink and almost solid with seeds. The most delicious part of the guava surrounds its tiny seeds. I had my last guava the day we left Puerto Rico. The one in my hand is tempting. It smells faintly of late summer afternoons and hopscotch under the mango tree.
The guava joins its sisters under the harsh fluo- rescent light of the exotic fruit display. I push my cart away, toward the apples and pears of my adulthood, their nearly seedless ripeness predictable and bittersweet. Indeed, as a narrative of childhood in the style of a bildungsro- man, the memoir is structured through a point-counterpoint tech- nique that undermines the assumed connection between individual and national formation. The text circumvents nostalgia by compli- cating its conventional location, because national identification has been fundamentally contested. Negi is confronted with her postnationality when realizing that Puerto Ricanhood in the US mutates into a nationless Hispanic iden- tity.
She elaborates the story of this realization in Almost a Woman , the sequel to When. Puerto Rican, Hispanic. By contrast, in When, Santiago categorizes the different types of Puerto Rican diasporas in the US during the early s as follows: There were two kinds of Puerto Ricans in school: the newly arrived, like myself, and the ones born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican parents. Those of us for whom Puerto Rico was still a recent memory were also split into two groups: the ones who longed for the island and the ones who wanted to forget it as soon as possible. I felt dis- loyal for wanting to learn English.
And I was not accepted by the Brooklyn Puerto Ricans, who held the secret of coolness. If learning English entailed feeling disloyal to a national identification that seemed superfluous in the diaspora context, this is because her mutation mirrors a parallel transformation taking place in the island. In the fragrant shade, I fretted.
As Carmen L. Thus, this passage reveals a fundamental ambiguity in the structure of national belonging, where the ideals advocated in a nationalist logic are undermined by the everyday life of a people.
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In other words, the nation is best understood as a space of divergence between the national identity conveyed in official history and the contingent character of the cultural present. This situation is complicated further when the dislocation of national history becomes integral, that is, when it stems from state political strategy.
Fanon, Kristeva, and Bhabha did not envisage a state that builds its foundation on intractable ambivalence. The boom of this period made the island an economic exemplar for the Americas.
Attracting over two thousand manufacturing industries, Puerto Rico became an active agent of the modernization process. In two decades, Puerto Rico moved from labor-intensive manufacturing, or maquiladoras, to capital-intensive industries. Almost overnight, and with great ingenuity, the Puerto Rican state transformed the island into an expanding borderland.
We could argue that the nationalist stage in Puerto Rican cul- tural history has been exorcised from historical reality and is sym- bolized instead by the figure of a mystifying cultural chimera. This ideological contradiction guarantees the key distinction in Puerto Rican culture between nationhood and nationalism. Nationhood in this sense refers to forms of cultural belonging such as ethnicity, whereas nationality entails belonging to a sovereign state.
It explains the economic and political transformation that took place in the island during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Although the government did not publicly acknowledge this policy, official data show that eco- nomic development shifted congruent with emigration patterns. Eminent historian Loida Figueroa contends, in her Brief His- tory of Puerto Rico , that diversification of agricultural pro- duction was such that by the island had not seen yet the great landholder monopolies or latifundio that had infested other Latin American republics and Cuba As a result, a large segment of the rural population was displaced from its land and began forming poor communities or slums in the cities.
Economic historian James L. By the s, the growing nationalist movement presented a threat to stability in the island, and for this reason, nationalists were persecuted, incar- cerated, and assassinated. The systematic crushing of the nationalist movement and the legacy of mismanagement in the agricultural sec- tor by absentee US corporations set the groundwork for a massive migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland. Historian Elba M. Confronted with colonial policies that enforced Americaniza- tion and economic monopolies, displaced rural workers looked for passage to the mainland to ensure economic survival.
Their struggle in the US is recorded in the early memoirs composed by Puerto Ricans working in the cigar-making industries in New York City. The first extensive chronicle of migration to the mainland may be found in The Memoirs of Bernardo Vega, which covers the period between and Moving to New York in the s, at the beginning of the Puerto Rican nationalist movement, Labarthe allows us to perceive the con- currence of migration and nationalism. Let that pastoral picture belong to the past, to be remembered as part of our old civilization. New life is what we need.
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It is during the period ranging from to that the issue of mass migration becomes a conventional topos in Puerto Rican writing. Indeed, the literature written during these decades juxta- poses nationalism and migration as narrative indices of an emerging Puerto Rican aesthetics. In this way, the mainland passage not only mirrors a transition from nationality to ethnicity but also establishes a postnational Puerto Ricanhood as a new form of cultural, political, and geographical association. For instance, in Family Install- ments , Edward Rivera narrates, in a picturesque way, how the mainland passage captures the Puerto Rican imagination: Chuito took an oxcart with us to San Juan, then a bus to the air- port where we sat and stood around a long time with hundreds of others who must have stuffed everything they owned into suitcases braced with ropes and belts, and brown paper bags with cardboard handles.
It was as if half the island were leav- ing on the same airplane, and the other, more melancholy half were there to see them off. We felt like red balloons set adrift over the wide sky of this new land. We bore the idea of home on our backs from house to house. Cleaning houses? Being a sucketa for other people? It is also an example of linguistic hybridity forming at the crossing of cultures. The mainland passage not only has served as literary inspira- tion for Puerto Rican writers but also has fostered a new ethnic nar- rative. By narrating the Puerto Rican exodus to the US mainland, the literary expression of the mid-to-late twentieth cen- tury represents one of the most important consequences of state building in Puerto Rico: the creation of a Puerto Rican diaspora community that would become part of a growing US Latino subjec- tivity.
The mainland passage is indeed part of the transformation taking place economically and cul- turally in the Puerto Rico of the s and s; it provides the foundation for implementing a state structure that militates against nationalism. In addition, the exodus marks the fundamental shift from a political nationalism to an ethnic or a cultural Puerto Rican nationhood. Moreover, modernization would secure the ties between Puerto Rico and the US, as the nationalists were to be transformed into associa- tionists not assimilationists when absorbed into his newly formed political party.
In his view, nationalists on the island would be pro- association due to social and economic improvements, while the ones residing on the mainland would secure a permanent tie with the US. The mainland passage provided the hinge that bound histori- cally, culturally, and demographically the permanent association between Puerto Rico and the US.
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Furthermore, it gave shape to an eastern seaboard American borderland. My argument in this essay suggests how mainland Puerto Rican literature of the late twentieth century provides a critical intervention into processes of national identification that challenges the nationalist bias in US, postcolonial, and Puerto Rican studies.
The local state often fades from view in a field where two main viewpoints dominate: the bor- derland as a hyper-militarized zone of constant nation-state surveillance and the borderland as a postnational, stateless, and inassimilable yet culturally innovative area. Suffering heavily from the deeply politicized environment of Puerto Rican society, the theoretical establishment has prioritized the national component to such an extent that the concept of the state has been relegated to a colonial vestige virtually empty of agency and beyond historical redemption.
The overwhelming impact of nationalist studies on Puerto Rican criticism unfortunately has discouraged scholars from tackling institutional paradigms that could provide useful shifts in contemporary thinking. One of the possibilities that continues to be overlooked is the location of the state in the borderlands, especially how the state mutates at the fringes of the nation-state hegemony.
The rearticulation of nation-state into borderland-state detaches the emerging formation from nationalist logic, thus breaking with traditional views of the state as a form bound to national sovereignty. Borderland states are inher- ently postnational in their promoting an understanding of belonging where cultural affiliation functions outside of the nation-state con- struct; a state at the borderlands of American sovereignty is necessarily beyond national logic in its persistent curtailment of the nation-state form.
Postnationality is understood here as an anti-assimilationist and anti-imperialist state strategy for enacting local difference. It maintains association without assimilation and cultural distinction without com- plete separation. Borderland states, in other words, are institutions of relative autonomy that negotiate between modernity and coloniality by subsuming global designs into local histories. As such, their relative agency allows them to rearticulate the hegemonic designs of globaliza- tion from the intractable localities of the borderlands.
Notes I would like to thank Carrie Tirado-Bramen and especially Tim Dean for their sup- port and helpful advice in the writing of this essay. Autonomy, in the nineteenth-century Puerto Rican context, meant the develop- ment of a binding and irrevocable political understanding whereby the province was granted political self-rule compatible with the bounds of the Spanish nation. From the cover of the Vintage paperback edition. It has been analyzed from many angles, ranging from Machiavellian to Foucaldian approaches to power.
Luis A. This model, he explains, was geared to building a society based on new economic strate- gies for social normalization. In this case, normalization was considered contrary to nationalism.