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Tag Archives: Albizu

THE UNSOLVED CASE OF DR. CORNELIUS P. RHOADS: AN INDICTMENT

Foreword

This work began to unfold in 1978 on the very moment that my co-worker J. Ramón Olmo-Olmo gave me what he believed was the manuscript of a letter in which an obscure North American physician nicknamed “Dusty” boasted about killing people in Puerto Rico. I worked then as a journalist in community relations functions for the National Puerto Rican Forum in New York and was contemplating quitting –which I promptly did– on account of having observed what seemed to me to be illegal administrative practices.

Once unemployed, I was free to dedicate myself to finding out what was the story behind “Dusty”. From there on, I had the benefit of the splendid services of the New York City Public Library System as well as those of the Colección Puertorriqueña of the José M. Lázaro Library of the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras; the Puerto Rico National Archives; the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and the Rockefeller Foundation Archive Center.

While still in New York, Brooklyn College professor Antonio Nadal couldn’t help getting involved in my efforts to find out who was “Dusty” and the other persons the physician refers to in his infamous letter and what he had actually done in Puerto Rico. His enthusiasm was an asset to me in this process.

Insofar as Olmo-Olmo had told me that the Puerto Rico Nationalist Party had taken custody of the original document, I wanted to know what had been that party’s role in the matter. Fortunately, I was able to find at his home in Puerto Rico the very person who had brought the letter to Nationalist Party president Pedro Albizu-Campos and had the privilege of listening to his version of the events. Subsequently, his family has been very supportive of my continuous research and, on his death, bestowed upon me the privilege of his eulogy.

The Revista del Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico, a legal journal of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, published in 1982 the findings of what I consider the first stage of my investigation, the one I carried out in the City of New York. Its editor then was University of Puerto Rico law professor and historian Carmelo Delgado Cintrón.

Then, the news media, specially El Vocero, The San Juan Star, and weekly Claridad, complemented the coverage of this historical and tragic episode in Puerto Rican history and thus made it possible for a real cross-section of Puerto Rico’s population and others beyond, to be properly informed during the course of the investigation. I was able to spread my findings also by means of radio and television interviews.

Today, this matter has come to the attention of the scientific community in the United States due to the fact that the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was forced to remove Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads’s name from an award it had established in his honor. Insofar as the AACR has chosen to hide this fact from the rest of the population there by keeping it away from the news media, I have updated this English version, originally written around 1982, for the benefit of those who are not able to read Spanish.

When I thought I had finished gathering all the pertinent data on the subject, I learned of the existence of very important documents through the bibliography contained in an essay by historian Susan Lederer, of Yale University School of Medicine, discussed herein. Through the excellent professional services of Robert S. Cox, curator of the American Philosophical Society Library, I was able to examine not only the documents Lederer cited, but some more I didn’t know about.

Librarian Evangelina Pérez, of the School of Natural Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, diligently sent me a copy of a very important article I requested by mail, but after she went on vacation, acting librarian Julia Vélez refused to send me a second one consisting of a single page. Ms. Vélez told me in no uncertain terms that it was against the prevailing norms to mail copies of documents out to authors who are not employed by that public institution and gave me unsolicited advice on how to improve my working habits. I hope that the University of Puerto Rico some day reviews the policies of its Libraries System and adopts uniform measures that don’t even give the slightest impression of being unfair to independent researchers. This should include giving appropriate attention to the Digitalization Project of the enormous collection of photos it acquired from El Mundo daily after it folded.

Despite the support of the persons I have mentioned and still others in conducting this research and making this book public, I am, of course, absolutely responsible for its conclusions and assertions.

Pedro Aponte-Vázquez

San Juan

 

Cese ya, Rosa Meneses

Rosa Meneses Albizu (El Nuevo Día)

Rosa Meneses Albizu (El Nuevo Día)

Rosa Meneses Albizu debe cesar ya de usufructuar en el plano personal los apellidos y la gesta de su abuelo materno y, sobre todo, de utilizarlos ambos para metódicamente sabotear los intentos de lucha libertaria de esta patria nuestra que no es la suya.

WAR AGAINST WHO?

© 2015 Pedro Aponte-Vázquez

(Translated from Spanish by its author).

It is surprising to realize that the book War Against all Puerto Ricans has been defended “with tooth and nails” by people who haven’t even read it and even by others who are well aware of the fallacies, exaggerations, and half-truths it contains and describes, as well as of the fact that its author defames the Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu-Campos. Perhaps there will be in the Academy students and professors who will study this event as a monumental phenomenon of marketing, public relations, and open and effective manipulation of the mass media.

Were it the plot of a novel based upon a handful of twisted historical facts, we could state that don Pedro Albizu-Campos is the protagonist and the U. S. Government is the antagonist with numerous secondary characters who nonetheless are also important. On the other hand, if it was the purpose of the author to write an authentic historiography about the invasion and military occupation of Puerto Rico and the armed resistance by the Nationalist Party, it is a forced conclusion that it does not meet the indispensable conditions of the rigorous account that he promised.

Nelson A. Denis, a New York politician who was a state assemblyman during four years and lost his seat in 2000, is marketing a history book for which he claims having spent forty years just gathering data. Denis, born in New York City on September 10, 1954 of a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother, says that, in addition to reading a a great number of historiographical sources, he examined the file that the FBI kept on Albizu and interviewed many Nationalists and veterans of the 65 Infantry Regiment, a U. S. Army unit known as the Borinqueneers (after Borinquen, Puerto Rico’s Indian name). He says that he became interested in writing this book after meeting in the city of Caguas, Puerto Rico, a relative who told him he had been Albizu’s “bodyguard”.

Those of us who have spent years researching Albizu and the Puerto Rico Nationalist Party-Liberating Movement through the examination of documents, often original ones, in addition to personal interviews, know that the persons who have claimed having been Albizu’s bodyguards, drivers, barbers, and even prison guards without showing any documentary evidence and without their claims having been corroborated by other means have not been scarce. That Denis accepted his relative’s claim without any corroboration, would not be relevant were it not for the fact that such is his way of not only interviewing, but also of reporting the outcome of his interviews.

Of course, oral history is a valuable resource in historical research when there are no documentary sources or the existing ones are not available. This author not only has used it, but also established on his own initiative an Oral History Center at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, where I was a professor and Dean of Students. However, it is a must that those who resort to oral history research ascertain that the persons interviewed are highly credible sources whose vital experiences clearly show that they do deeply know the matter about which they report. In War Against all Puerto Ricans, the author used this resource, but he does not tell us who were the persons he interviewed, why he considers them to be credible, or where or when he conducted the interviews. Granted that it is reasonable to omit a source’s name if the person requires beforehand to remain anonymous as a condition to reveal information, but such was not the case with the many persons Denis claims to have interviewed.

There are other serious deficiencies. Too many bibliographical notes don’t respond to the text with which they are linked in the body of the book or in which the sources mentioned are not the correct ones. It is not prudent to enumerate them in this so limited space, so I will only mention some examples that are not necessarily the most eloquent, but rather the ones readily at hand.

In note # 20, page 333, the author provides as bibliographical source magazine Verdad, February 1953 edition, No. 8, Year I, but if you look that up, you won’t find the quoted article, for the right year is II. Something similar happens regarding note No. 5, page 333, Pedro Aponte Vázquez, Yo acuso y lo que pasó después. (Bayamón, P. R.: Movimiento Ecuménico Nacional de P.R., 1985, 41). Number 41 refers to page 41 of that book, but the edition of the book with that title was not published by the Movimiento Ecuménico Nacional de P.R., for which reason, if you look for page 41 you won’t find the pertinent data. That organization published only the book titled ¡Yo acuso!: Tortura y asesinato de don Pedro Albizu Campos. There have been several editions with the same title and several more with the subtitle Y lo que pasó después, but there is no text whatsoever on page 41 or, if there is any text, it does not correspond to note No. 5.

Moreover, the author provides the FBI file as reference for plenty of data and, although he does mention the section where they are supposed to be, he does not say who originates the document, its date, subject, and to whom it was addressed. Instead of providing those data in order to facilitate the search for the document, Denis provides the section number followed by a figure which readers will interpret as page number. For instance, in note 25 of page 334, the author refers the reader to “Section No. VIII, 66-67”; that is: pages 66 to 67 of that Section. The problem is that that file is not set up that way, as consecutive pages as in a book, but on the basis of individual documents. Indeed, some documents may have several pages (in which case it is advisable to say how many), but the reader needs to know what kind of document is involved, its date, who sends it and to whom and even about what subject in order to be able to find it. This deficiency causes the impression that the person who wrote the book does not know how the quoted file is organized and, still worse, it impedes the reader to verify where the data came from.

Besides those notes not being useful, the author makes surprising statements which trusting readers will accept at face value without knowing whether they are true or not, unless, having researched those specific events or historical figures or for some other reason, they know if the statements are true or not. Let’s see some examples without any pretense of being exhaustive:

  1. In relation to the book’s title itself, the author gives a false quote and refuses to admit it. In the course of his publicity campaign, he started by saying that the title was based on statements by chief of Puerto Rico Police Elisha Francis Riggs to the effect that there would be [war to death against all Puerto Ricans”, which Denis knows is not true. Riggs did say that there would be “war, ceaseless war, not against politicians, but war against criminals” (See: La Democracia, 26 oct 1935). The news item begins on page 1 and continues on page 8. At the end of the column on page 1, reference is made to statements by colonel Riggs, but they begin and end on page 8).
  2. In the Preface to his book, Denis mentions contradictory data about what supposedly happened to his father when he, Denis, was a child. Then, during his publicity campaign, he adopts one of the two, to wit: That “it was 3:00 in the morning of an October day in 1962 when FBI agents knocked at the door in building 600, 161st street where he lived with his family in Washington Heights. His father, an elevator operator who admired the Cuban Revolution, was arrested on alleged spying charges. Without an audience or trial, Antonio Denis Jordán was deported to La Habana”. (El Nuevo Día interview with Nelson Denis, 18 May 2015). This is not true, for Antonio Denis Jordán was neither arrested nor deported, but instead left the country for La Habana spontaneously (See: http://archive.org/…/annu…/annualreportofim1963unit_djvu.txt).
  3. On pages 129-130, besides putting Albizu to crawl on the floor and then accept being the subject of a vulgar joke and take part in it, the author did not care about the known fact that Albizu did not drink alcoholic beverages and says that, when he sat at the Salón Boricua barber shop for a haircut, he would “take a shot of rum”.
  4. Relatives of José (Águila Blanca) Maldonado, including his granddaughter, author Margarita Maldonado Colón, stress that they have no knowledge regarding Denis’s claim that Maldonado was the owner of Salón Boricua barber shop and that he had ceded it to Vidal Santiago. Furthermore, they ascertain that Maldonado did not die there, but at his home (Article by Maldonado Colón in this author’s files).
  5. Some of Denis’s data pertaining to Vidal Santiago do not agree with reality. According to information obtained from reliable sources by a researcher of Albizu and of other Nationalists, “Vidal’s father did not die in a sugar cane field, neither was he a Reader for the workers, nor did he ever go to Ybor City in Florida; Vidal did not graduate from high school; there was no hole or hiding place between the barber shop and his living quarters; Vidal didn’t drink and neither did don Pedro; Águila Blanca did not cede Vidal that property and did not die in Salón Boricua nor did he write a book about the barber shop (Edwin Rosario, quoted in Iris Zavala Martínez, “Observaciones acerca de War Against All Puerto Ricans de Nelson Denis”, sent by electronic mail, July 1, 2015).
  6. On page 164, Denis says that, on September, 1930, doctor Cornelius Rhoads injected Maldonado something that caused the throat cancer of which he in fact died. However, by that date, Rhoads was not in Puerto Rico, having arrived on June, 1931. (Pedro Aponte Vázquez, “Necator Americanus: O sobre la fisiología del caso Rhoads”. Revista del Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico, Vol. 43, Núm. 1, febrero, 1982, pp. 117-142). Apropos of doctor Rhoads, it stimulates curiosity to realize that Denis dedicates only the equivalent of a page to that case and describes Rhoads as “a new physician” at Presbyterian Hospital. He thus omits the fact that the notorious and influential Rockefeller Foundation, with headquarters in the City of New York, sent him with other physicians to San Juan to experiment with women, men, and children and participated in the cover up of the murders he confessed.
  7. In note # 24, chapter 21, “Atomic Lynching”, pages 333-334, the author says that Herminia Rijos, who visited Albizu in his place of residence on the corner of Del Sol and De La Cruz streets, had visited him in La Princesa jail and that she was a friend of Albizu’s family. None of this is true. I interviewed Rijos at her home and she told me that she had gone to see him at his place of residence because, having been married to a Nationalist, she was aware of his allegations [of torture] and felt “curiosity”. It does not follow, from the document Denis quotes and of which Reynolds had given me a copy, that Rijos had visited Albizu at La Princesa nor that she was a friend of his family (See: Testimonio de Herminia Rijos en NY, 1 Feb 54, about her visit to Albizu in 1953 regarding burns on his whole body, Colección Pedro Aponte Vázquez-Judith Ortiz Roldán, Archivo de la Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín (FLMM), Box 1, folder No. 101). Later, I gave TV reporter Sylvia Gómez this information when she visited me for an interview on July 4, 1985 at my home for a television documentary to which Denis refers on that note (audio tape of our conversation in Colección Puertorriqueña, Biblioteca Lázaro, UPR, Río Piedras and in FLMM).
  8. It is curious that, in addition, Denis omits very important data, as is the case pertaining to Braverman vs. United States (317 U. S. 49). Whoever knows the Puerto Rico Nationalist Party-Liberation Movement with reasonable depth and has carefully examined the FBI file on Albizu, can’t miss the significant legal and historical implications of the opinion of Chief Justice Harlan Stone of the U. S. Supreme Court in that historical case ―without having studied Law, contrary to Denis (See: http://pedroapontevazquez.com/opinion-de-un-constitucionalista-sobre-braverman-vs-united-states/). Those implications affected Albizu directly and, indirectly, the subsequent development of our political history, for Stone’s opinion was the reason Albizu was able to walk out of the Atlanta federal penitentiary without accepting any conditions, to stay in New York for as long as he wanted to, and to return to Puerto Rico when he deemed it convenient, all of this without federal Judge Robert Cooper revoking the four-year probation he had imposed upon him in addition to the six years in prison (See: Pedro Aponte Vázquez, Pedro Albizu Campos: Su persecución por el FBI. San Juan: Publicaciones RENÉ, 1991 y Albizu: Su persecución por el FBI. San Juan: Publicaciones RENÉ, 2,000. Augmented edition).

Denis went overboard when he affirmed that there was no armed resistance in Puerto Rico to the invasion by the U. S. Army in July, 1898. Finally, for the benefit of all the interested parties, the author ought to closely revise his book and make all the corrections that have been pointed out to him, both publicly and in private, before it is translated into Spanish and before the English version is published as paperback.#

 

¿Guerra contra quién?

© 2015 Pedro Aponte Vázquez

Me sorprende que el libro War Against all Puerto Ricans, haya sido defendido “con uñas y dientes” por personas que ni siquiera lo han leído y hasta por otras que están conscientes de las falacias, exageraciones y verdades a medias que narra y describe, así como del hecho de que el autor difama al líder Nacionalista Pedro Albizu Campos. Tal vez en la Academia habrá estudiantes y profesores que estudiarán este acontecimiento como un monumental fenómeno de mercadeo, de relaciones públicas y de abierta y eficaz manipulación de los medios de comunicación masiva.

Si fuera la trama de una novela basada en un puñado de hechos históricos distorsionados, podríamos afirmar que don Pedro Albizu Campos es el protagonista y el gobierno estadounidense es el antagonista con numerosos personajes secundarios que no por ello dejan de ser importantes. Por otra parte, si el autor intentó escribir una auténtica obra de historiografía sobre la invasión y ocupación militar de Puerto Rico y la resistencia armada del Partido Nacionalista, es forzoso concluir que no reúne las condiciones indispensables de la rigurosa narración histórica que nos anticipó.

Nelson A. Denis, un político de Nueva York que fue asambleísta estatal durante cuatro años y perdió su escaño en el 2000, mercadea un libro de historia para el cual nos dice que estuvo haciendo acopio de datos nada menos que durante 40 años. Nos dice Denis, nacido el 10 de septiembre de 1954 en Nueva York de padre cubano y madre boricua, que además de leer una gran diversidad de fuentes historiográficas, examinó el expediente que el FBI mantuvo sobre Albizu y entrevistó a muchos Nacionalistas y a veteranos del Regimiento 65 de Infantería. Su interés en escribir el libro dice él que surgió luego de conocer en Caguas, Puerto Rico, a un pariente suyo que le dijo haber sido “guardaespaldas” de Albizu.

Quienes hemos dedicado largos años a estudiar a Albizu y el Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico-Movimiento Libertador mediante el examen de documentos, muchas veces originales, además de entrevistas personales, sabemos que no han sido pocas las personas que han alegado ser guardaespaldas, choferes, barberos, y hasta custodios del prócer sin mostrar prueba documental alguna y sin que sus alegaciones hayan podido ser corroboradas por otros medios. El Denis aceptar como un hecho lo que le dijo su pariente sin pedirle ni obtener prueba alguna carecería de importancia si no fuera porque luego vemos que ese es su modo no sólo de entrevistar, sino también, de narrar el producto de sus entrevistas.

Desde luego que la historia oral puede ser un valioso recurso de investigación histórica cuando no existen o no están accesibles genuinas fuentes documentales. Este autor no sólo la ha utilizado, sino que estableció por propia iniciativa un Centro de Historia Oral en la Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico, donde laboró. No obstante, es preciso que quien investiga se asegure de que sus fuentes son personas de alta credibilidad en cuyas vivencias existan indicios fehacientes de que conocen a fondo el asunto sobre el cual informan. En War Against all Puerto Ricans, el autor utiliza ese recurso, pero no nos dice quiénes son las personas que entrevistó, por qué las considera fuentes fidedignas, ni dónde, ni cuándo hizo las entrevistas. Por supuesto, es razonable omitir el nombre de la fuente que uno como autor cita si la persona entrevistada requiere de antemano permanecer en el anonimato como condición para dar la información, pero ese no fue el caso con las muchísimas personas a las que Denis dice haber entrevistado.

Hay otras serias deficiencias. Son numerosas las notas bibliográficas que no responden al texto al cual están vinculadas las llamadas en el cuerpo del libro o en las que la fuente mencionada no es la correcta. No es prudente enumerarlas en este limitadísimo espacio, de modo que mencionaré sólo algunos ejemplos que no son necesariamente los más elocuentes, sino los que de pronto pude corroborar.

En la nota # 20, pág. 333, el autor ofrece como ficha bibliográfica la Revista Verdad, edición de febrero de 1953, Núm. 8, Año I, pero si usted busca ese número de la Revista, no encuentra el reportaje aludido, pues el año correcto es el II. Algo parecido sucedería en relación con la nota Núm. 5, en la pág. 333, Pedro Aponte Vázquez, Yo acuso y lo que pasó después. (Bayamón, P. R.: Movimiento Ecuménico Nacional de P.R., 1985, 41). El 41 se refiere a la página del libro a la cual alude la nota, pero la edición del libro con ese título no la publicó el Movimiento Ecuménico Nacional de P.R., por lo que, si usted busca la página 41 no encontrará la información correspondiente. Esa organización publicó solamente el libro titulado ¡Yo acuso!: Tortura y asesinato de don Pedro Albizu Campos. Luego ha habido varias ediciones con el mismo título y varias más con el subtítulo “Y lo que pasó después”, pero en la página 41 no hay texto o el que hay no corresponde a la mencionada nota Núm. 5.

Además, para algunos datos el autor provee como referencia el expediente del FBI y, aunque menciona la carpeta donde se supone que están los mismos, no dice quién origina el documento, la fecha, el asunto y a quién o quiénes va dirigido. En lugar de proveer esos datos que facilitarían la localización del documento, Denis provee el número de la carpeta, seguido de un número que el lector interpretará como número de página. Por ejemplo, en la nota 25 de la pág. 334, el autor refiere al lector a la “Carpeta Núm. VIII, 66-67”; es decir, las páginas de la 66 a la 67 de esa Carpeta. El problema es que ese expediente no está organizado a base de páginas consecutivas, como las de un libro, sino a base de documentos individuales. Algunos documentos, sí pueden contener más de una página (en cuyo caso conviene decir cuántas son), pero el lector necesita saber de qué tipo de documento se trata y de qué fecha y quién lo envía y a quién y hasta sobre qué asunto, para poder encontrarlo. La deficiencia señalada causa la impresión de que la persona que redactó el texto no sabe cómo está organizado el citado expediente y, peor aún, le impide al lector verificar la procedencia de la información.

Además de esas notas bibliográficas no ser de utilidad, el autor hace sorprendentes afirmaciones que los lectores confiados aceptarán como hechos constatados sin saber si lo son o no a menos que, por ser estudiosos de los sucesos específicos o de los personajes históricos o por alguna otra razón, sepan si tales afirmaciones son verídicas o si carecen de veracidad. Veamos algunos ejemplos sin pretensión alguna de ser exhaustivo:

  1. En relación con el título mismo del libro el autor provee un dato falso y rehúsa admitirlo. Durante sus entrevistas comenzó a decir que el título se basa en declaraciones del coronel E. Francis Riggs, a los efectos de que habría “guerra a muerte contra todos los puertorriqueños”, lo cual sabe que es falso. Riggs dijo que habría “guerra, guerra sin cesar, no contra políticos, sino guerra contra criminales”. (Vea: La Democracia, 26 oct 1935). La noticia comienza en la página de portada y termina en la página 8. Al final de la información en la página 1, se alude a las declaraciones del coronel y jefe de la Policía de Puerto Rico Elisha Francis Riggs, pero las mismas comienzan y terminan en la página de continuación, la 8).
  2. En el prefacio de su libro Denis ofrece datos contradictorios sobre lo que supuestamente le sucedió a su padre cuando él era niño. Luego, durante la propaganda de su libro, adopta una de las versiones, a saber: Que “eran las 3:00 de la mañana de un día de octubre de 1962 cuando agentes del FBI tocaron a la puerta del edificio 600 de la calle 161 en que vivía con su familia en Washington Heights. Arrestaron a su padre, un operador de elevador admirador de la revolución cubana, por supuesto espionaje político. Sin audiencia o juicio, Antonio Denis Jordán fue deportado a La Habana”. (El Nuevo Día entrevista a Nelson Denis, 18 mayo 2015). Este dato es falso, pues Antonio Denis Jordán no fue arrestado ni deportado, sino que abandonó el país espontáneamente. (Vea http://archive.org/…/annu…/annualreportofim1963unit_djvu.txt).
  3. En las páginas 129-130, además de poner a Albizu a arrastrarse por el piso para luego aceptar ser objeto de una broma vulgar y ser parte de la misma, al autor nada le importó que don Pedro nunca tomaba bebidas alcohólicas y aquí dice que cuando éste se sentaba en la barbería Salón Boricua para recortarse “se daba un palo de ron”.
  4. Familiares de José (Águila Blanca) Maldonado, incluyendo a su nieta, la escritora Margarita Maldonado Colón, afirman desconocer que éste fuera el dueño de la barbería Salón Boricua y que se la hubiera traspasado a Vidal Santiago. Además, aseguran que no murió allí, sino en su hogar. (Artículo de Maldonado Colón en el archivo de este autor).
  5. No concuerdan con la realidad algunas afirmaciones de Denis sobre el patriota Vidal Santiago. Según información que un estudioso de la vida de Albizu y de otros Nacionalistas obtuvo de fuentes bien informadas, “el papá de Vidal no murió en el cañaveral ni fue Lector para los obreros ni fue a Ybor City en la Florida; Vidal no obtuvo un diploma de Escuela Superior; no había ningún hueco o escondite entre la barbería y su casa familiar al lado; Vidal no bebía ni Don Pedro; Águila Blanca no le dejó esa propiedad a Vidal ni murió en el Salón Boricua ni escribió un libro sobre la barbería.”. (Edwin Rosario, citado en Iris Zavala Martínez, “Observaciones acerca de War Against All Puerto Ricans de Nelson Denis”, enviado por correo electrónico, 1ro jul 15).
  6. En la página 164, Denis afirma que en septiembre de 1930 el doctor Cornelius Rhoads le inyectó a Maldonado algo que le causó el cáncer de la garganta del cual en efecto murió. No obstante, para esa fecha Rhoads no estaba en Puerto Rico, pues llegó en junio de 1931. (Pedro Aponte Vázquez, “Necator Americanus: O sobre la fisiología del caso Rhoads”. Revista del Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico, Vol. 43, Núm. 1, febrero, 1982, págs. 117-142). A propósito del doctor Rhoads, estimula la curiosidad el que solamente le dedica una página a ese caso y sobre él dice que era “un nuevo médico” del Hospital Presbiteriano. Omite el hecho de que la notoria e influyente Fundación Rockefeller, con sede en la Ciudad de Nueva York, lo envió a San Juan con otros médicos a experimentar con mujeres, hombres y niños y que tomó parte activamente en el encubrimiento de los asesinatos que Rhoads confesó.
  7. En la Nota # 24 del capítulo 21, “Atomic Lynching”, pág. 333, la que continúa en la pág. 334, el autor dice que la señora Herminia Rijos, quien visitó a Albizu en su lugar de residencia en la esquina de las calles Del Sol y De La Cruz, lo había visitado en la cárcel La Princesa y que era amiga de la familia del prócer. Ni lo uno ni lo otro es correcto. Entrevisté a la señora Rijos en su residencia y me dijo que fue a verlo en su lugar de residencia porque, por haber sido esposa de un Nacionalista, sabía de las quejas de Albizu y “tenía curiosidad”. Del documento al que Denis alude, del cual Reynolds me proveyó copia, no se desprende que Rijos visitara a Albizu en La Princesa ni que fuera amiga de su familia. (Vea: Testimonio de Herminia Rijos en NY, 1 feb 54, sobre su visita a Albizu en 1953 (en inglés) sobre quemaduras en todo el cuerpo, Colección Pedro Aponte Vázquez-Judith Ortiz Roldán, Archivo de la Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín (FLMM), Caja 1, cartapacio Núm. 101) Le di esta información luego a Sylvia Gómez en ocasión de entrevistarme el 4 de julio 1985 en mi residencia para el documental televisivo al cual Denis alude en esa misma nota (grabación audio de nuestra conversación en la Colección Puertorriqueña, Biblioteca Lázaro, UPR, Río Piedras y en FLMM).
  8. Es curioso que, además, Denis omitió importantísimos datos, como lo son los pertinentes a Braverman vs. United States (317 U. S. 49). Nadie que conozca al Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico-Movimiento Libertador con razonable profundidad y haya examinado detenidamente el expediente del FBI sobre Albizu, puede evitar percatarse de las significativas implicaciones legales e históricas de la opinión del juez presidente de la corte suprema de Estados Unidos Harlan Stone en ese histórico caso ―aun sin haber estudiado Derecho, contrario a Denis (http://pedroapontevazquez.com/opinion-de-un-constitucionalista-sobre-braverman-vs-united-states/). Las mismas afectaron directamente a Albizu e indirectamente el subsiguiente desarrollo de nuestra historia política, pues la opinión de Stone fue la causa de que Albizu pudiera salir de la cárcel de Atlanta sin aceptar condiciones, permanecer en Nueva York a su antojo y regresar cuando lo estimó prudente, todo ello sin que el Juez Robert Cooper le revocara la libertad condicional de cuatro años que le impuso sobre los seis de prisión. (Pedro Aponte Vázquez, Pedro Albizu Campos: Su persecución por el FBI. San Juan: Publicaciones RENÉ, 1991 y Albizu: Su persecución por el FBI. San Juan: Publicaciones RENÉ, 2,000. Ed. ampliada).

Colma la copa la afirmación de Denis de que en nuestra patria no hubo resistencia a la invasión del 98. En fin, para bien de todas las partes interesadas, el autor haría bien en revisar minuciosamente este libro y corregir las fallas que se le han señalado públicamente y en privado antes de que se le traduzca al español y de que salga su tirada en inglés en rústica. #

Nota del autor: Esta versión contiene algunas modificaciones de estilo. Artículo publicado originalmente en el semanario Claridad, suplemento “En Rojo”, págs. 14-15, 16-22 julio, 2015.

Sigue en pie profanación de Albizu

Sin el menor sonrojo, el Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP) y “sus Comités de Ponce, Caguas, Mayagüez y San Sebastián junto al Comité Pro Conmemoración Natalicio Don Pedro Albizu Campos” continúan con su insólito empeño de ultrajar a sabiendas la memoria del prócer Pedro Albizu Campos y profanar su monumento en Tenerías, lugar de su nacimiento, con la presentación allí de un libro que lo difama; un libro que distorsiona nuestra Historia y que cataloga de “asesinos” a Oscar Collazo y a Griselio Torresola y, por extensión, a todos aquellos que han defendido a la patria con las armas. ¿Qué diría de esto Filiberto Ojeda Ríos?

Albizu, quemaduras foto Policía de P. R. 2 Albizu, munomento en Tenerías, foto Pedro Aponte Vázquez

Deficiencies regarding the Rhoads case in Nelson Denis’s book WAAPR

Here are my comments about the few lines in which Nelson Denis barely covers the historical Rhoads case, a case which, in my opinion,was one of the events that exerted heavy influence upon the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico’s decision to discard the electoral polls and resort instead to armed struggle. I expressed my views on this matter 30 years ago in “El partido Nacionalista y la lucha armada” (Claridad, 22–28 febrero 85, pp. 16-17).

On page 34 Denis says that […] “Dr. Cornelius Rhoads arrived in Puerto Rico and made a brilliant career move”. Let’s divide this apparently innocuous statement in two parts. The first one, “Dr. Cornelius Rhoads arrived in Puerto Rico” does not say the reason for him coming; when he arrived; with whom; and under what circumstances. Thus, it omits important details. Such details are important because he was sent here with other researchers to conduct experiments with humans by none other than the notorious Rockefeller Foundation (RF), a politically influential entity based in the City of New York.

Those who have read The Unsolved Case of Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads: An Indictment, as Denis himself has, know that there is ample evidence supporting the fact that the RF played a prominent role in the process of whitewashing the murders Rhoads committed. Of course, it is not PC for a politician involved in New York politics to expose the RF’ role in such delicate issue, a matter that even sprinkles Theodore Hesburgh, as the book mentioned above shows.

The date of his arrival is important in reference to ND’s fantastic allegations regarding the cause of the throat cancer that indeed caused Águila Blanca’s death, for at the time when Denis claims that Rhoads injected him with cancer, the serial killer had not been sent to Puerto Rico yet for the purpose of replicating here the anemia research that others had done in California. However, I have known for decades that Nationalist militants long ago strongly suspected that Rhoads had caused Águila Blanca’s cancer and subsequent death, but it has not been possible to responsibly assert that such was the case.

As to the second part of the statement, it must be connected to the one at the end of page 36, where Denis says that “Many Puerto Ricans, to their astonishment, realized that ‘exterminating eight Puerto Ricans and transplanting cancer into several more’ had been an excellent career move for Rhoads in the long run.” Keep in mind that coming to do research in P. R. was not a career move of his choice. So, on the basis of what does this author make this assertion? Is it a figment of his imagination? It seems to derive from the following quote from The Unsolved Case of Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads: An Indictment, p. 19, where I say: “Colonel Cornelius P. Rhoads earned so much prestige in the scientific community through his involvement with the Rockefeller entities and the military establishment after literally getting away with murder, that the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) instituted in 1979 an award on his name with money donated by an entity that, contrary to what is customary, requested and was granted anonymity”.

Furthermore, in my story “Carta de un abuelo” (Pedro Aponte Vázquez, Transición. San Juan: Los libros de la iguana, 2010, pp. 49-56), the protagonist says: “En el curso de mis investigaciones, me refiero a las que hice durante mis años con el FBI, me enteré de que él se entregó de lleno a su nueva encomienda y de que estaba bastante orgulloso cuando al final el Ejército le otorgó la Legión del Mérito por diseñar nuevos medios de matar enemigos por medio de compuestos químicos. A él no le cabía la menor duda de que tan importante reconocimiento le había abierto las puertas a los subsiguientes proyectos altamente secretos de nuestro Gobierno, pues no había duda en su mente calculadora de que el impactante asunto de hecho había aumentado su prestigio ante la comunidad científica”.

Denis goes on to say on page 35 that “On the night of November 10 , 1932, Rhoads got drunk at a party. He emerged to find his car stripped and the tires flat. When he returned to his lab that night, in a foul mood and still drunk, he scrawled a note to a friend named Fred Stewart, who was a medical researcher in Boston”. These data (except for the fact that the letter was addressed to his friend Fred W. Stewart), are false. There is no evidence whatsoever to that effect, but rather to the contrary. (See: The Unsolved Case of Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads: An Indictment, pp. 57-58). Moreover, Rhoads did not “scrawl a note”. He wrote a quite thought out and well written letter. The choice of words can’t have any other intention in this instance than to diminish the significance of the letter’s content, most of which Denis chose to omit.

Also on page 35, Denis quotes a segment of the letter and his source is the worst one available. In The Unsolved Case of Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads: An Indictment, (pp. 132-133, 153-154) I say on pages 153-154: “Let’s turn to Dr. Truman R. Clark, who is among the worse sources ever –perhaps even the worst– on the Rhoads affair and whom Briggs mentions as one of those who ‘read parts’ of her book. He is one of those researchers who have disseminated the convenient version according to which Rhoads’s confession of murder was only a ‘playful composition’ written for his solace and entertainment, and that he ‘discarded’ the note only to be found in a waste basket by one of his ‘servants’. But Clark was not to allow anyone ever to even come close to surpassing his creativity and asserted, in anticipation, that Rhoads ‘wrote fictitious letters expressing the anti-Puerto Rican sentiments of some continental residents he knew, intending to use the material some day in a novel’ — a plot that escaped even Ivy Lee’s fertile imagination.”

On that same page 35 Denis says that “copies [of the letter] were sent to…” but he does not say by whom. It was the Nationalist Party who sent them.

Then Denis says on that very page, without mentioning his source: “Rhoads called his letter ‘a fantastic and playful composition written entirely for my own diversion’. His peers laughed along with him.” This last statement, that “his peers laughed along with him”, is Denis’s pure invention. It may have originated in my story, “Carta de un abuelo” mentioned above, in which the abuelo says: “Los agentes que vimos la carta estábamos sorprendidos por el hecho de que a él ni siquiera lo interrogaron y mucho menos lo acusaron, luego de la genial coartada que le envió por cable desde Nueva York al Gobernador alegando que la carta en realidad no era una carta, sino meramente una parodia que había escrito para su propio y personal entretenimiento. Ese ardid permaneció por años como motivo de incontrolables risas en El Negociado”.

 

Pobre de Albizu

El Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño, con la colaboración ―según se ha anunciado― del Comité Pro Conmemoración del Natalicio don Pedro Albizu Campos, se propone presentar el controvertido libro War Against all Puerto Ricans nada menos que en Tenerías, ante la estatua del prócer Pedro Albizu Campos, y sostener allí un conversatorio con su ya desprestigiado autor: un ambicioso político de Nueva York.

Celebrar semejante acto constituiría un ultraje de la memoria de Albizu por tratarse de la presentación de un libro henchido de fantasías que disimuladamente lo presenta a sus lectores como un vulgar charlatán que se arrastraba por el piso, que no se recortaba a menos que se tomara antes un palo de ron y que salía de la barbería conduciendo un Chrysler dizque de su propiedad.

Exhorto a las compañeras y compañeros del Comité Pro Conmemoración del Natalicio de don Pedro Albizu Campos a evitar esa vil profanación de la memoria de don Pedro por parte del Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño y de ese modo evitar causar aún más divisiones dentro del fragmentado campo independentista.

BRAVERMAN v. UNITED STATES

The opinion of the U. S. Supreme Court in Braverman v. United States (317 U. S. 49) had legal and historical significance as well as direct impact on the life of revolutionary leader Pedro Albizu-Campos and his life-long struggle for independence.

It is repeatedly mentioned in official correspondence by J. Edgar Hoover and many of his agents in Albizu’s FBI file, which Nelson Denis, author of a notorious book about Puerto Rico’s recent political history, insists is one of his main sources.

However, even though he is a graduate of Yale Law School and is known as a New York politician, Denis apparently failed to realize its important legal, political, and historical implications, for he does not mention it at all in his book or during his media tours.

See my discussion of this case and its significant implications in Albizu: Su persecución por el FBI.

……

This book is available at Librería Norberto González and from <http://www.lulu.com/shop/pedro-aponte-v%C3%A1zquez/albizu-su-persecuci%C3%B3n-por-el-fbi/ebook/product-17536539.html>.

Here is Braverman vs. U.S

Vea aquí, además: Opinión de un constitucionalista sobre Braverman vs. United States.

Me pregunto, 1

¿Qué propósito habrá animado al autor de War Against all Puerto Ricans a decir en ese libro que don Pedro Albizu Campos bebía ron?

Braverman vs. United States

Me parece muy extraño el hecho de que, a pesar de su condición de abogado, Nelson Denis ni siquiera mencione en War Against All Puerto Ricans el caso de Braverman vs. United States (317 U. S. 49).

Nadie que conozca al Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico-Movimiento Libertador con razonable profundidad y haya examinado detenidamente el expediente del FBI sobre Albizu puede evitar percatarse de las significativas implicaciones legales e históricas de la opinión del juez presidente de la corte suprema de Estados Unidos Harlan Stone en ese histórico caso ―aun sin haber estudiado Derecho. Las mismas afectaron directamente a Albizu e indirectamente el subsiguiente desarrollo de nuestra historia política, pues la opinión de Stone fue la causa de que Albizu pudiera salir de la cárcel de Atlanta sin aceptar condiciones, permanecer en Nueva York a su antojo y regresar cuando lo estimó prudente, todo ello sin que el Juez Robert Cooper le revocara la libertad condicional de cuatro años que le impuso además de los seis de prisión.

Por si fuera poco, el hecho de que el presidente Franklin Roosevelt evitara la publicación de la opinión, cosa que rutinariamente hacen periódicos como The New York Times además de la propia Corte, propició el que acá en la colonia encarcelaran a Albizu por doce distintas conspiraciones bajo la infame ley de “La Mordaza” cuando, en armonía con esa opinión, sólo se le podía condenar por una. El hecho de ocultar dicha opinión causó que Albizu permaneciera en Estados Unidos y se instalara en Nueva York en lugar de regresar a Puerto Rico cuando se suponía que lo hiciera, en junio de 1943. Para entonces no había comenzado el fortalecimiento del Partido Popular ni había surgido el Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño.