Maurice Ferré becomes first Puerto Rican to lead a major U.S. mainland city

Maurice Ferré becomes first Puerto Rican to lead a major U.S. mainland city

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On November 8, 1973, Maurice Ferré is elected Mayor of Miami, Florida. In addition to becoming the first Puerto Rican to lead a major city in the mainland United States and the first Hispanic Mayor of Miami, Ferré is credited from transforming Maimi from a tourist town into an international city.

The Ferré Family was one of the wealthiest in Puerto Rico, and Ferré's relatives included prominent politicians, novelists, and industrialists. Ferré served briefly in the Florida House of Representatives before being elected Mayor in 1973. He would hold the position until 1985, serving six two-year terms. Despite being a "weak mayor"—the Mayor of Miami was just one of five commissioners and did not have the power to unilaterally make appointments—Ferré transformed the city. He immediately set about challenging the "non-group," a cabal of white businessmen who had effectively run the city for the last several decades, and integrating a city that was still largely segregated. With the help of two allies on the city's governing commission—the black civil rights leader Rev. Theodore Gibson and Manolo Reboso, the city's first Cuban-born elected official—Ferré appointed the first black city attorney, the first black city manager, and the first two black police chiefs. He and that attorney, George Knox, convinced the federal government to sue the city for discrimination, forcing the desegregation of the police and fire departments.

Known for his cosmopolitanism, Ferré sought to make Miami a global city rather than merely another East Coast beach town. "I had a clear vision that Miami really needed to look south," he later told the Miami Herald. During his time as mayor, he expanded the city's port, lured domestic and foreign banks to a newly-christened financial center, and welcomed the immigrants who poured in from Cuba. Among numerous other new developments, Ferré secured the site of AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, for the city. His focus on building affordable housing and developing urban areas is credited with revitalizing much of the city and preventing suburban sprawl from consuming the Everglades. In many ways, his dream of an international hub and his infrastructure programs created Miami as it is known today.

Ferré's tenure came to an end due to a trend he helped encourage: Cuban-American participation in city governance. After he was replaced by the city's first Cuban-American mayor, Ferré held a number of posts in the public and private sectors and ran for senate unsuccessfully in 2010. Upon his death in September of 2019, both allies and bitter political rivals acknowledged his contributions to the city. His obituary in the Herald, whose board had once included members of the "non-group" he sought to destroy, referred to him as "the father of modern-day Miami."

5 Hispanic Activists And Leaders Who Paved The Way

Today, we tend to get lost in the hustle and bustle of our own immediate existence. We focus on our families, careers and bank accounts and forget about the individuals and organizations that have given us great opportunities and freedoms.

There have been some truly remarkable Hispanic leaders and activists in our time and times passed. While the number is staggering, requiring more room than we have on this page, we have selected five great Hispanic leaders and activists that you should know and be thankful for.

Hispanic leaders and activists

Joan Baez began to make her mark on the world in the 1960s as she composed, recorded and performed songs of peace and spirituality. She was born in New York City and fell in love with folk songs and political activism. This led her to sing traditional folk ballads, spiritual music and blues across Cambridge, Mass.

She captivated small and large audiences with her soprano voice that spanned three impressive octaves and released the first folk music albums that became best-sellers in the United States. In her youth, she marched and sang for student rights, civil liberties and peace. Baez then devoted her time to supporting humanitarian causes and her California school focused on non-violence. She released an autobiography, “Daybreak,” in 1968 and a memoir, “And a Voice to Sing With,” in 1987.

Maurice Ferre

Maurice Ferre was born in Puerto Rico in 1935 and attended the University of Miami. His dream was the become part of the political system in order to change the nation for the better.

In 1966, he became a Florida State Representative and later served as the Commissioner of Miami. In 1973, Ferre made history when he became the first Hispanic Mayor of a major city in the United States as the Mayor of Miami. He served as mayor for 12 years and was a part of the Democrat party.

Nydia Velazquez

Another political history-maker, Nydia Velazquez was born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico in 1953. She was a young activist in her home country and spent her teenage years fighting for a variety of causes including the increasing the level of health and sanitation in her school.

Her father was also politically active, working toward better wages and working conditions for workers in the sugarcane fields. Velazquez came to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in political science from New York University. In 1992, she became the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to serve the United States Congress. Velazquez, as a Democrat representing New York, was the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus until January of 2011.

Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez is arguably the most well-known Latino civil rights activists in history. A Mexican-American, Chavez was supported by the American labor movement and used a nonviolent, unionized approach in an effort to bring awareness to the struggle of the Hispanic farm workers across the nation but particularly in California and Florida.

Chavez improved the lives of countless Hispanics. He coined the phrase, “Si, se puede.” Cesar Chavez Day is a holiday in California, Colorado and Texas and takes place on his birthday, March 31st, each year. He died on April 23, 1993.

Junipero Serra

The oldest leader on our list is Spanish missionary Junipero Serra. In the mid-1700s, Serra came to California as a Spanish Franciscan Friar and opened 21 Spanish missions from San Diego and San Francisco. His contributions are multi-fold in that the architecture of his buildings continue to influence California structures today.

In addition, he brought to California crops that are now vital for the state’s agricultural contribution to the nation including: lemons, olives, figs, grapes and a variety of vegetables. While there has been controversy surrounding how the native people were treated while present at Serra’s missions, Friar Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

As a culture, we have a wealth of leaders and activists to look up to and emulate. Whether fighting for human rights or developing sustainable farming practices, we have truly left an impact on the world for centuries to come.

We leave you with Joan Baez singing “Oh Freedom”– a song she sang on the day Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech for civil rights at the March on Washington.


The settlement of Puerto Rico began with the establishment of the Ortoiroid culture from the Orinoco region in South America. Some scholars suggest that their settlement dates back 4000 years. [ 1 ] An archeological dig at the island of Vieques in 1990 found the remains of what is believed to be an Ortoiroid man (named Puerto Ferro man) which was dated to around 2000 BC. [ 2 ] The Ortoiroid were displaced by the Saladoid, a culture from the same region that arrived on the island between 430 and 250 BC. [ 1 ]

Between the seventh and eleventh centuries Arawaks are thought to have settled the island. During this time the Taíno culture developed, and by approximately 1000 AD it had become dominant. Taíno culture has been traced to the village of Saladero at the basin of the Orinoco River in Venezuela [ 3 ] the Taínos migrated to Puerto Rico by crossing the Lesser Antilles. [ 1 ]

At the time of Columbus' arrival, an estimated 30 to 60 thousand Taíno Amerindians, led by cacique (chief) Agüeybaná, inhabited the island. They called it Boriken, "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord". [ 4 ] The natives lived in small villages led by a cacique and subsisted on hunting, fishing and gathering of indigenous cassava root and fruit. When the Spaniards arrived in 1493, conflicts with raiding Caribs, who were moving up the Antilles chain, were taking place. The Taíno domination of the island was nearing its end and the Spanish arrival would mark the beginning of their extinction. Their culture, however, remains strongly embedded in that of contemporary Puerto Rico. Musical instruments such as maracas and güiro, the hammock, and words such as Mayagüez, Arecibo, iguana, and huracán (hurricane) are examples of the legacy left by the Taíno.

Former mayor Maurice Ferré, considered the father of modern-day Miami, is dead

Play VideoDuration 2:29Maurice Ferré: “Nobody is a prophet in their own home”In this January 2019 interview, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferré talks about public transportation in Miami. BY JOSE ANTONIO IGLESIAS

Maurice A. Ferré, the politician and businessman from an aristocratic Puerto Rican family who is widely regarded as the father of modern-day Miami, has died. He was 84.

Ferré, who had been undergoing treatment for an aggressive spinal cancer for two years, died peacefully at his longtime home in south Coconut Grove. His wife, Mercedes, was at his side along with their children and grandchildren, the family said.

In 12 often-tumultuous years as Miami mayor, from 1973 to 1985, Ferré set in motion a new vision of Miami — then a southern burg struggling with persisting racial segregation, decimated by suburban flight and on the verge of transformation by an unprecedented influx of Cuban refugees — as an urbanized international center.

That new conception, initially met with resistance by an entrenched civic and business elite, answered to Ferré’s cosmopolitan background and an ultimately urban vision of Miami’s possibilities. It ranged widely, from integrating the city’s police and fire departments to fostering high-rise development along Brickell Avenue and the internationalization of business and trade, while making a place for the inevitable ascendancy of Cuban-American political power that eventually swept him from office.

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“He changed the face of Miami,” said Dario Moreno, an expert on local politics at Florida International University.

Maurice A. Ferré, the politician and businessman from an aristocratic Puerto Rican family who is widely regarded as the father of modern-day Miami, has died. He was 84. Damon Higgins THE PALM BEACH POST

Ferré had remained active until nearly the end, speaking and writing publicly as a relatively recent convert to the value of park space downtown. A longtime transportation wonk, Ferré had earlier this year also registered as a lobbyist, along with his son, for a company that makes magnetic-levitation trains for a bid to expand Miami-Dade’s public-transit system.

After years out of elected office, Ferré found himself again in the public spotlight earlier this year, when the Miami City Commission renamed Museum Park, the former Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami, in his honor. Ferré, the scion of a family that made its fortune on cement and construction, acknowledged with chagrin that as mayor he may have gone overboard in his enthusiasm for development.

Even lifetime political foes came to praise him during the park re-dedication, most notably current Miami Commissioner and former mayor Joe Carollo, who had denounced Ferré at a press conference where he was supposed to endorse his re-election in 1983, with Ferré standing by his side, in one of the most notorious double-crosses in city political history.

Though mayoral elections in Miami are non-partisan, Ferré made no bones about identifying as a lifelong Democrat. But he routinely struck alliances with Republican politicians and courted support from conservative Cuban exiles, at times opening himself up to charges of political opportunism.

But Ferré’s sympathy for and support of Cuban exiles was genuine, said developer Armando Codina, a longtime friend. Codina recalled how Ferré and his parents opened their doors to unaccompanied Cuban children fleeing the Communist regime of Fidel Castro.

“He was mayor when we had the worst of times of Miami, like the drug wars. And he had a vision,” Codina said in an interview earlier this year. “Maurice sees the future even clearer than he sees next week. And that’s a gift. He always saw this as a world center of trade and commerce. It turned out to be true.”

In a statement issued shortly after his passing around midday, Ferré’s family said: “Having played an integral part in policy and politics up until his passing, Mayor Ferré will be remembered for his commitment to the internationalization of Miami, social justice, mobility and transportation, education, and his love of God and humanity.”

Funeral services are pending, the family said.

In an address at the park dedication that reflected his restless and perennially forward-looking intellect, Ferré focused not just on longtime preoccupations, such as inequality and the need for affordable housing, but on some new ones as well, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing, while quoting James Madison, Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset and Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmstead, among others.

Always elegantly turned out, wielding a sparkling wit and with an ever-present glint in his eyes, Ferré was unafraid to show off his cultivated erudition with flair and fluency in English, Spanish or French. His urbanity made him an object of both admiration and resentment. He could effortlessly pour on the charm, and though he was also known to be at times petty and peevishly vindictive as a politician, Ferré inspired loyalty from aides, friends and supporters that he could call on long after leaving office.

“One of the things that characterizes him is a level of charisma that may be exceeded in my experience only by that of Bobby Kennedy,” said Miami-Dade Commission Xavier Suarez, who defeated Ferré in 1985, bringing his term as Miami mayor to an end, in an interview earlier this year. “It’s incomparable.

“And he comes up with the most amazing terminology,” Suarez added, before referring to Ferré’s conversion on green space. “Now he gets religion, and it’s, ‘Don’t monetize beauty.’ “

Ferré’s six terms as Miami mayor, at a time when the term was two years, featured a long list of firsts: Though not the only figure to envision Miami as an international city at the crossroads of Latin America, he was the first to put that vision into action.

He was the first Puerto Rican-born U.S. mayor and the first Hispanic mayor of Miami. He was responsible for the appointment of the first black city attorney, the first two black police chiefs and the first black city manager.

Ferré was also the first Miami mayor to seriously tackle deep-rooted racial discrimination in city hiring and promotion, particularly in its police and fire departments. He and his hand-picked city attorney, George Knox, persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice to sue the city for discrimination, resulting in a consent decree or order requiring equality in hiring and promotion of police officers and firefighters that’s still in place today.

“This is the proudest achievement of my career,” Knox said in an interview earlier this year. “It was early in the process of changing the culture of the city. One of Maurice’s attributes is that he was always in front of an impending crisis. And he was a decent human being. There was to him something wrong being associated with a city that was still in the dark ages.”

“That was a breakthrough that changed everything about public employment. It changed everything about the perception of blacks as capable. Maurice would always be about five years ahead of his contemporaries on his vision of what it takes to make a great community.”

Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferré received the key to the city at a ceremony on January 31, 2019. He is with current Mayor Francis X. Suarez, left, and former Mayor and current city commissioner Joe Carollo. The City of Miami hosted a dedication ceremony at Maurice A. Ferré Park to honor Ferré, who was the country’s first Puerto Rican-born mayor and the first Hispanic mayor of Miami. Jose A. Iglesias [email protected]

As mayor, Ferré engineered the development of Bayside Marketplace on a piece of historic Bayfront Park as a tool, largely successful, to kick-start a revival of a dying downtown Miami. He also directed the taking, by eminent domain, of the FEC property on the downtown bayfront of the site where the AmericanAirlines Area sits today. He drove a project to redesign Bayfront Park under a plan by famed sculptor Isamu Noguchi, though the resulting park has had mixed success.

He was the first to draw up a model of private-public partnerships for major civic projects with a novel approach to building the Knight Center and Hyatt Hotel in downtown Miami. And he pushed effectively for a new way to build affordable housing by using public subsidies for private nonprofit and for-profit developers, the model that today provides most new housing for low-income people in Miami-Dade.

Ferré gave Dodge Island to the county to expand the port of Miami, which then was quite small, and championed the deepening of the shipping channel in Biscayne Bay to accommodate larger vessels. He also backed the construction of the Metrorail system by the county, and pushed unsuccessfully for a tunnel to the port — much later made reality — and a tunnel under the Miami River at Brickell Avenue.

Ferré won a key change in state banking regulations that allowed international banks to operate in Miami, opening the door to making the city one of the top international banking centers in the United States, and creating a financial district south of the Miami River along Brickell.

“I was flying to Brazil and Argentina and Mexico City and getting these banks to realize Miami was the best place to have their central offices,” Ferré recalled in a lengthy interview at his home earlier this year. “That was a major thing.”

He also persuaded U.S. corporations to set up their Latin American headquarters in Miami, and Hong Kong developer Swire, which built Brickell Key and later Brickell City Center, to come to the city.

“My argument was that Miami was going to be America’s Hong Kong,” Ferré said.

Boosting the development of downtown as a commercial center was critical to the city’s future, he said. City homeowners were footing most of the city’s budget at the time, an untenable fiscal position. New downtown development could shift the balance to commercial properties, with the added advantage of bringing residents back to the urban core and providing an alternative to the sprawling development threatening the Everglades.

“We needed an engine. And the engine was the development of downtown and Brickell, increasing density by going vertical,” Ferré said.

Ferré’s achievements were especially remarkable because the so-called “weak mayor” post he occupied was largely ceremonial, conferred no appointment powers, and gave him but one vote on the five-member commission. But Ferré courted sufficient commission support to enact his bold agenda, primarily with the consistent votes of the Rev. Theodore Gibson, a black civil-rights leader, and Manolo Reboso, the first Cuban-born elected official in Miami.

“I was a weak mayor, but so long as I had two other votes, I was not a weak mayor,” he said.

Ferré also helped loosen the political grip of a white “Anglo” elite that had long — and secretively — run Miami, meeting regularly as a “non-group,” as its members referred to it. Made up of the city’s principal business leaders and executives of the Miami Herald’s ownership company, the non-group set the city and county’s political agenda outside of public view or knowledge.

Ferré recalled he rebuffed directives from members of the group in his early days in office, first as a city commissioner and later as mayor, and often ended up locking horns with the Herald’s editorial board, which he felt represented their outdated way of looking at Miami.

“The view of Miami in the 1960s and 1970s is that it was Miami, USA, and Miami was looking north,” Ferré said. “Miami was the competitor of Atlanta. They just didn’t understand the importance of the Cuban-American community. By this time, mind you, Cuban Americans were presidents of banks and were in all the law firms.

“As a commissioner, I had a clear vision that Miami really needed to look south. For a very simple reason: There are 100 million people who are not poor in Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil. My main thing was seeing Miami as an international center, and I helped make that happen.”

“Miami still had a foot in its origins, which had remained constant, which was that this is a tourist town. It opened in November and it closed in March. It was in the midst of changing, and I thought it should become more than just a tourist town.”

Knox, a former assistant Miami city attorney who was teaching in law school in Arkansas when Ferré recruited him as the city’s first black city attorney, said Ferré prevailed, but paid a high personal and political price to buck the establishment.

“His circle was a global circle of wealthy exotic people, if you will. He wanted to spruce up his place, even on his level. And he had to deal with the people that he found, both as his colleagues and his critics,” Knox said. “To advance visionary ideas against critics, both as colleagues and opinion-makers, and ultimately achieve it, is really powerful stuff.

“He planted the seed for the energy Miami now enjoys. And he is responsible ultimately for the boom we are now suffering, as it relates to modern high-rise dense development. All those ideas, regardless of whether they have been properly applied, were his — a bustling skyline and an international business center and being an attraction for all the money in the world.”

To boost his political position, Ferré became an enthusiastic pioneer in the ethnically based electioneering that is today prevalent across the county, but that in the end was his political undoing at the city.

Ferré assiduously cultivated black support and relied on his popularity in the community to win re-election several times, while splitting the Hispanic and non-Hispanic vote, then commonly known as the “Anglo” vote. But his middle-of-the-night firing of that same city manager, Howard Gary, eroded his black backing enough to cost him the mayor’s seat in 1985.

That made him the last city of Miami mayor not of Cuban background. After the Gary firing, he was defeated by Suarez, Miami’s first Cuban-born mayor, as Cuban American voters asserted their numerical superiority and growing political clout.

Ferré, who believed strongly that voters deserved to be represented by elected officials of their ethnic and racial background if they so chose, was also a leading plaintiff in a key lawsuit that dramatically changed the way Miami-Dade County commissioners are elected, and thus the board’s makeup.

Maurice Ferré: “My main thing was seeing Miami as an international center, and I helped make that happen.”

Most of the nine commissioners at the time were elected countywide, resulting in one Hispanic and one black member. After Ferré and others sued, the commission was expanded to the current 13 members and seats went to district elections, radically diversifying the board’s membership. Hispanic commissioners are now the majority, but black commissioners have significant power and influence.

Ferré’s last elected job was as a county commissioner, but he gave up the seat to run for county mayor in 1996. He finished third to Arthur Teele Jr., a black commissioner, and the eventual winner, Cuban-American Alex Penelas. In 2001, Ferré ran again for Miami mayor, but lost to Manny Diaz, who in his eight years in the post built substantially on the base Ferré had laid out 15 years previously.

His story was also one of frustrated higher political dreams. Once touted as potentially the first Hispanic U.S. congressman or senator from Florida, Ferré never fulfilled that ambition. He ran a lackluster and underfunded campaign for Senate in 2010, long after his political career had peaked, and did not make it out of the Democratic primary.

In the February interview at his home, Ferré took only some of the credit for Miami’s transformation. He credited Diaz, mayor from 2001 to 2009, and others for extending the urban vision he first laid out for Miami.

“Nobody’s a prophet, much less in his own home,” Ferré said. “If I said the Miami of today is what I dreamt of 50 years ago, I’d be lying. I don’t do that. The urban world is a changing scene everywhere, and we’re going towards this new urbanism.”

He also reckoned frankly with his mistakes and the unanticipated consequences of that vision. He said the county commission system today is bloated and, because no one is elected countywide, board members have little incentive to work across divisions.

“What it did is, it created 13 fiefdoms. Each one of these commissioners has ministerios (ministries) with fifteen or twenty employees. It’s too much power and too much staffing,” he said.

And he said he did not anticipate how the urbanization and resuscitation of downtown Miami and surrounding neighborhoods would lead to runaway gentrification and housing costs, with a housing industry that caters only to the most affluent.

“The way it’s developed, it’s unaffordable. It’s become a speculation thing. Who can afford them? The rich people. You get a lot of people leaving. Even with two or three roommates, people can’t afford it. Yes, we build, but what do we build? What happens to the working people? They have to move out. It’s self-defeating.

“It’s nobody’s fault. I’m a great admirer of what Manny Diaz did. Did it work? Yes. But it worked too well. I think Miami should be a city where there is more balance. It’s inconceivable to me the working class of Miami has to work two or three jobs to afford it.”

Ferré was born in 1935 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, into a family that’s the closest thing on the island to royalty, with wide-ranging business and cultural interests. His uncle, Luis A. Ferré, was the first statehood proponent elected governor, and founded the island’s leading art museum. An aunt, Sor Isolina Ferré, was a Catholic nun who worked her entire life in poor communities. A first cousin, Rosario Ferré, was a leading novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Another branch of Ferres owns and manages the island’s leading newspaper, El Nuevo Dia.

Ferré carried this family tradition to Miami, where his father, Jose “Joe” Ferré, moved in the 1940s. The elder Ferré took over Maule Industries, a leading producer of concrete products, which he would groom a young Maurice to take over.

Maurice Ferré’s first glimpse of Miami came during a visit with his father in the early 1940s, aboard a Yankee Clipper Pan Am seaplane flight from San Juan through Cuba and Haiti that stopped at Dinner Key, where he would occupy an office as mayor for a dozen years.

After prep school at Lawrenceville in New Jersey, Ferré enrolled at the University of Miami to be close to his family, obtaining an engineering degree and a graduate degree in finance, before going to work with his father at Maule.Play VideoDuration 2:07Maurice R. Ferré, son of former mayor Maurice A. Ferré, reflects on his father’s legacy.

Maurice A. Ferré, the politician and businessman from an aristocratic Puerto Rican family who is widely regarded as the father of modern-day Miami, has died. He was 84.By PEDRO PORTAL

He also married Mercedes Malaussena, the daughter of the Venezuelan couple who lived next door to the Ferres on Brickell, then a boulevard lined with the estates of the wealthy. The couple had six children. One son, Francisco Ferré, died in 1995 along with his wife and son in a plane crash in Colombia.

Ferré, who said he long entertained a dream of being governor of Puerto Rico, soon began the juggling act between politics and business that consumed him for years, and cost him dearly in both areas. He won a state house seat in 1967, serving for only one year before running successfully for a city commission seat.

Meanwhile, Maule’s business was losing money, and Ferré said he managed to bring it to solvency in two years after being handed the reins by his father. His plan was to sell the firm and get into politics full time.

But the firm became mired in charges of price fixing that led to years of litigation and mounting financial troubles that cost the Ferres much of the family fortune at the peak of his political power. Ferré and his wife were forced to sell a grand estate they had built in the north Grove, Hi Oaks, and moved into the smaller though still elegant south Grove house. His critics also accused Ferré of sheltering assets from creditors by putting them in his wife’s name.

Ultimately, the debts were settled and Ferré, once his political career was at an end, regained his financial footing through a number of executive positions and business ventures. A son, Dr. Maurice R. Ferré, one of the couple’s six children, has been especially successful in carrying on the family tradition of entrepreneurship, and sold a venture in 2014 for $1.6 billion.

The years of financial turmoil, Ferré recalled, required his presence in Miami and foreclosed his larger political ambitions. Because the mayor’s job was technically part-time, it enabled him to split his time between government and business. But he could not devote his full attention to politics, and both suffered.

“My father used to tell me, ‘you have to decide what you wanna be… You have to decide if you’re going to be a businessman or a politician.’ And he was right. I think that ambivalence created more problems for me than anything else in my life,” Ferré said.

Ferré gave up his city commission seat after three years and ran for county mayor, losing to Steve Clark, who had been Miami mayor, in 1970. That was the first time, Ferré contended, that the race card was used in a Miami election. It was, he said, a wake-up call.

“That was the first time the race card was used — me being Hispanic. Steve used it,” Ferré recalled. “In that election, 1970, the Hispanic vote was negligible.”

In 1973, Ferré was elected Miami mayor to succeed David Kennedy, who had been indicted on corruption charges and removed form office, though he was later acquitted.

Because the mayoral term was just two years, it required constant politicking, Ferré quickly learned. In 1979, a surge in Hispanic voters, many first-timers, helped him defeat union leader Rose Gordon. But the political ground rapidly shifted as his former commission ally, Reboso, challenged him on an explicit “cubano, vota cubano,” or “Cuban, vote Cuban” platform. That meant he needed more than ever to rely on the black vote — he won 95 percent of it, he recalled — to stave off Reboso and stay in office.

“Politics is like riding a surfboard. You have to distribute your weight differently on the board as the wave changes. If the wave changes, you have to change with the wave or you get wiped out,” he said. “I knew Reboso had taken the Hispanic vote away from me. So from being a strong majority that put me over the top, two years later I’m losing it. So how do you make up for that?

“The only way now you can become mayor of Miami or even Miami-Dade County is you have to build consensus. Here was my problem, I didn’t have a base. I’m a Puerto Rican. The Hispanic community was Cuban. I’m not black. And I’m not an Anglo.”

In 1985, though, came the wipeout.

Ferré contends Suarez then adopted the ethnic-first approach Reboso had pioneered. Weakened by the Gary firing and the loss of black support, it was too much to overcome, he said.

By then, Suarez suggested, voters were also weary of Ferré’s grandiose ideas, his ambitions and ego and his divisive politicking. Neighborhoods were neglected and in need of prosaic attention and services, he said.

“Maurice is an ideal guy in an adjacent office, throwing ideas at you, and nine out of 10 you throw back. He was seen as an internationalist. I was more the pothole mayor,” Suarez said. “He’s not an implementer, not a nuts-and-bolts guy. It’s a different style. He’s a very thoughtful person, confident of his views. He has a great style, great flair personally and verbally. That’s very important in a leader.”

It was during 1985’s mayoral race that the Miami Herald’s editorial board declared, “It is time for a change, a profound change that can only come by ousting Maurice Ferré. The sad fact is that Maurice Ferré has become not one man but two. One is a charming, persuasive, urbane, occasionally visionary believer in and evangelist for Miami’s potential. For all that this Maurice Ferré has achieved as mayor, grant him due credit. The other Maurice Ferré is venal, vindictive, obsessed with remaining in office at all costs. It is this persona, alas, that seeks a seventh term.”

Ferré said he regretted relying on the “ethnic card,” but added Miami’s changing politics left him little alternative.

“I did, unfortunately, and I regret that,” Ferré said. “It’s one of the few things I regret. But it was circumstantial. I wasn’t really able to control it because I’m not the one who started it. Reboso started it and Suarez took it up with a vengeance, quoting [Cuban independence hero Jose] Marti all over the place. And remember the establishment left me. So I didn’t have the chamber of commerce or the Miami Herald.”

But Knox says Ferrés courting of black voters was sincere and a reflection of his values, not a play for political advantage.

“Maurice Ferré was the kind of politician who did not exclude anybody from his constituency. Maurice is a Puerto Rican who spoke to blacks, who had genuine friends in the black community, who called attention to their existence and would not allow them to be ignored,” Knox said. “He was revered in the black community, because he would not allow them to be ignored and he immersed himself in their concerns.

Ultimately, Knox said, there was no place for Ferré in the new terrain of Miami politics.

“The cultural fiber of Miami changed, the demographics changed, the politics changed,” Knox said. “Maurice refused to be corrupt or corrosive or needlessly ruthless, and he started getting beat. Maurice was not equipped spiritually to deal with betrayal and greed and ruthlessness.”

In the end, Ferré said, his legacy was the small part he played in the creation of a new kind of American city, forged through the full integration of a group of refugees and immigrants from another culture.

“I believe that Miami is still Miami, USA,” Ferré said, in Spanish. “And it’s true that Miami has been Latino-ized. But what is even more true, and to me more important, is that the Latino world of Miami has been Americanized. So that this is a great center, a great city, of Americans of Hispanic ascendancy, something that does not exist in the same proportion or with this same dynamic in any other city in the United States, or, for that matter, the world.

Puerto Rico's History

On April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the island's total population increased 18.3%, from 1,869,255 in 1940 to 2,210,703.

On July 4, President Harry S. Truman signed what is known as Public Act 600, which allowed Puerto Ricans to draft their own constitution establishing the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Congress had conferred commonwealth status on Puerto Rico and upgraded Puerto Rico's political status from protectorate to commonwealth.

The first Health Center is founded in Adjuntas.

The first Social Security cards were issued.

On October, Nationalists attempt to assassinate the governor. Guards resisted the attack, killing four of the five Nationalists. (Raimundo Diaz Pacheco, Domingo Hiraldo, Roberto Acevedo and Manuel Torres. Gregorio Hernandez was badly wounded.)

On November 1, two Puerto Ricans nationalist from New York, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, attempt to kill President Harry S. Truman at Blair House in Washington in hopes of bringing their country closer to independence. One of the assailants and one White House policeman died.

On July 4, the 600 Law is passed, giving Puerto Rico the right to establish a government with proper constitution.

On March 3, the flag of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is officially adopted - based on a flag designed by a group of patriots in the year 1895.

On July 25, the New Constitution is approved by voters in a referendum in March, and Puerto Rico is proclaimed as Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, although remained a territory of the United States. As a United States commonwealth, it is still treated by Congress as one of the last remaining colonies in the world. With the institution of Commonwealth status, US administrations were freed from the obligation of reporting on Puerto Rico's status to the UN Decolonization Committee.

On November 4, Luis Muñoz Marín is re-elected governor to his second 4-year term, with 64.9% of the vote.

The largest migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States mainland occurred, with 69,124 emigrating (mostly to New York, New Jersey and Florida).

On November 27, the United Nations stopped listing Puerto Rico as a colony or "Non-Self-Governing Territory".

First experimental transmissions of television occurred.

On March 1, Puerto Rican nationalists (Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores and Andres Figueroa) opened fire in the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five Congressmen. They are sentenced to 50 years imprisonment.

On June 21, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture is founded.

The first Pueblo supermarket is established (located in Puerto Nuevo, San Juan).

On August 12, Hurricane Saint Clare strikes the island.

On November 6, Luis Muñoz Marín is re-elected governor to his third 4-year term, with 62.5% of the vote.

El Comandante horse race track is inaugurated.

On April 22, the first Pablo Casals Music Festival took place in University of Puerto Rico Theater, Río Piedras.

In 1958, Laurance Rockefeller built the Dorado Beach Resort, the first Caribbean luxury eco-resort.

Bacardi y Compañía is moved to Cataño.

Ponce Art Museum is inaugurated.

The San Juan Star newspaper is founded.

Pablo Casals founded the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.

On November 8, Luis Muñoz Marín is re-elected to his fourth 4-year term with 58.2% of the vote.

President John F. Kennedy visited the island.

Rita Moreno wins an Oscar for her acting performance in the motion picture West Side Story.

The newspaper San Juan Star wins the Pulitzer prize under the category of Journalism and Editorial Writing. William J. Dorvillier obtained the prize for his editorials on clerical interference in the 1960 gubernatorial election in Puerto Rico.

Roberto Sanchéz Vilella is elected governor.

Observatory of Arecibo is inaugurated (the world largest radio telescope of its type).

On November 3, Roberto Sanchez Vilella is elected governor, with 59.2% of the vote.

Pedro Albizu Campos leader of the Nationalist Party dies.

On July 23, first plebiscite on the political status of Puerto Rico is held. Voters overwhelmingly affirm continuation of Commonwealth status.

Commonwealth 60%
Statehood 39%
Independence 1%

On August 27, Partido Estadistas Unidos (United Statehooders Party) is founded by Luis A. Ferré, to campaign for statehood for Puerto Rico to become the fifty-first state in the Union in the 1967 plebiscite.

On November 5, Luis A. Ferré, leader of a pro-statehood party, is elected governor, with 43.6% of the vote, becoming the first time a pro-statehood governor has received a majority. Ferré is elected governor under the slogan "Esto tiene que cambiar" ("This must change".)

Formal research efforts to save the endangered Puerto Rican parrot began in the Forest with collaboration of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the PR Department of Natural Resources and the World Wildlife Fund.

On September 12, the shopping mall Plaza Las Americas is inaugurated. It is the largest shopping center in Puerto Rico, the largest in Latin America and the 13th largest in the US with 2,173,000 square feet (201,900 m2). The project is inaugurated with a total of 79 establishments, a twin cinema and parking for 4,000 vehicles.

On March 16, José Feliciano wins a Grammy.

On May 18, El Nuevo Día newspaper is founded.

Marisol Malaret wins the Miss Universe Pageant.

The resident commissioner gains the right to vote in committee via an amendment to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970

United States army takes possession of almost all of Culebra Island.

President Richard Nixon declared Christopher Columbus day a federal public holiday on the 2nd Monday in October.

The Puerto Rican Socialist Party is founded.

On November 7, Rafael Hernández Colón is elected governor, with 50.7% of the vote, becoming the youngest elected governor, at age 36.

On September 30, Roberto Clemente became the first Hispanic to reach 3,000 hits and the first Puerto Rican to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

On December 31, Roberto Clemente a baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who is declared the league's Most Valuable Player, died at age 38 in a plane accident.

On March 5, Luis Aponte Martínez became the first Puerto Rican Cardinal .

Roberto Clemente is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

For the sake of controlling the costs of the marine transport in the island, the administration of Rafael Hernandez Colón decided to buy by $176 million the operations of the marine company Is Land to form Navieras de Puerto Rico (npr).

On January 24, a bomb set off in historical Fraunces Tavern, New York City, killed four and injured more than 50 persons. Puerto Rican nationalist group (FALN) claimed responsibility and police tied 13 other bombings to it.

Igneri and pre-Taíno ruins found at Tibes, north of Ponce.

On November 2, Carlos Romero Barceló is elected governor, with 48.3% of the vote.

The 936 section of the United States Internal Revenue Tax Code is implemented. This new code allowed American companies to make profit in the island without paying taxes. Banks on the island experienced an unprecedented growth. About 100,000 Puerto Ricans were directly dependent on employment generated by Section 936 companies.

The Ateneo Puertorriqueño is founded.

After numerous investigations and amendments to that statute, the coat of arms final version is approved and signed into law.

On March 22, Karl Wallenda died while crossing a wire between two hotels in San Juan, he is knocked off balance by a gust of wind and fell to his death ten stories below.

On July 25, the Cerro Maravilla incident took place. Police officers were responsible for the death in execution manner of two pro-independence men.

Pan-American Games are held in San Juan.

On September 6, President Jimmy Carter as part of an agreement with Fidel Castro to secure the release of American CIA agents imprisoned in Cuba, he grants executive clemency to the four Puerto Rican nationalists who opened fire on the U.S. House of Representatives back in 1954. Lolita Lebrón, Andrés Figueroa Cordero, Rafael Cancel Miranda and Irving Flores were freed from prison. who were in prison since 1954.

On April 30, Luis Muñoz Marín founder of the Popular Democratic Party and first elected governor of Puerto Rico dies.

On November 4, Carlos Romero Barceló is re-elected governor, to his second 4-year term with 47.2% of the vote, securing his election by only 0.2% over Rafael Hernández Colón.

The U.S. Congress recommends the Navy leave Vieques.

On January 11, the "Macheteros" blow up 11 jet fighters of Puerto Rico's National Guard near San Juan.

The San Juan National Historic Site (El Morro) is declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

The Partido Renovación Puertorriqueña is founded.

On October, The Pope, Juan Pablo II visited the island.

On November 6, Rafael Hernández Colón is elected governor, with 47.8% of the vote.

Deborah Carthy Deu wins the Miss Universe Pageant.

On February 18, the Puerto Rico International Airport was renamed Luis Muñoz Maríln International Airport.

Destileria Serrallés acquired the right to manufacture and distribute the Ronico and Captain Morgan brands in Puerto Rico.

On October, Ponce suffered a great tragedy, when at least 129 people lost their lives to an avalanche in an area known as Mameyes.

On December 31, a tragic fire took place at the Dupont Plaza Hotel, in San Juan, 97 persons died.

On October 1st, Ileana Colón Carlo became first woman controller in Puerto Rican politics.

On November 8, Rafael Hernández Colón is re-elected governor to his second 4-year term with 48.7% of the vote.

On September 18, Hurricane Hugo strikes the island as it cuts a path of destruction across the Caribbean.

President Bush appointed Antonia Novello, a native of Puerto Rico, to be Surgeon General of the United States.

The U.S. Postal Service issued an commemorative stamp portraying Luis Muñoz Marín.

In an island wide vote, Puerto Ricans reject an amendment that would have "reviewed" their commonwealth status.

Puerto Rico declares Spanish the only official language of the island.

Puerto Rico receives the Asturias Award from Spain for declaring Spanish the official language.

In 1991, Isla Grande Airport was renamed in honor of United States Air Force Major Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci, an F-111 pilot who was killed in action during Operation El Dorado Canyon the 1986 air strike of Libya (a country in North Africa).

The government sold 80% of the stock in "Telefónica Larga Distancia de Puerto Rico" to "Telefónica Internacional de España" for more than $140 million dollars.

Pedro Roselló is elected governor.

Tall ships from all over the world come to celebrate the Christopher Columbus Grand Regatta in old San Juan as part of the festivities of the Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of the New World.

Kumagai Gumi Company, a Japanese firm, backed by the Mitsubishi Bank, joined in a 50% share of the $225 million development of the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo.

Law Number 1 of 1993 declares English and Spanish as the official languages of Puerto Rico.

On April 6, Act Number 5, known as Executive Reorganization Act of 1993 is approved. The act established reorganization plans for the following sectors: Security, Correctional procedures, Natural resources, Agricultural activities, Industrial activities, Human resources, Public finance and Family and community services.

The government began an experimental project to provide basic health care services to the poor. The plan, known as "La Tarjeta de Salud".

Dayanara Torres wins the Miss Universe Pageant.

XVII Centro American and Caribbean Games are held in the island.

Major League Baseball player Orlando Cepeda is inducted into the Puerto Rico Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Statehood. 788,296 (46.3%)
  • Commonwealth. 826,326 (48.6%)
  • Independence. 75,620 ( 4.4%)
  • Nulls. 10,748 ( 0.7%)

The U.S. Postal Service issued an stamp to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus's landing on Puerto Rico.

On March 5, Navieras de Puerto Rico is sold, due to considerable amount of company generated losses (around $375 million). The public corporation is acquired by the organization Bankers Trust Investment Partners by $29,5 million in cash and $102,9 million that assumed in current liabilities.

Hurricane Marilyn strikes the island.

On July 8, Hurricane Bertha strikes the island.

On August 20, the U.S. Congress repealed Section 936 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, with a clause that retains its benefit for ten years of existing corporations. Section 30A is created to substitute Section 936. It essentially retains the wage credit component of Section 936.

On July 25, the U.S. government recognized Puerto Rican citizenship. In, 1994, Juan Mari Bras renounced his U.S. citizenship before a consular agent in the US Embassy of Venezuela for Puerto Rican citizenship. Puerto Rican citizenship was granted to Puerto Ricans by the US Congress in the 1900 Foraker Act, but later revoked by the Jones Act in 1917, Puerto Ricans are granted U.S. citizenship at birth.
Puerto Rican citizenship exists only as an equivalent to residency: Puerto Rican citizens are those US citizens who reside in Puerto Rico. Any US citizen can gain Puerto Rican citizenship after a year of residence on the island (Santini 1).
Juan Mari Bras the world's only Puerto Rican citizen.

On November 4, Pedro Roselló is re-elected to his second 4-year term with 51.8% of the vote, the largest margin of any pro-statehood governor in Puerto Rico history.

On September 9, Hurricane Hortense strikes the island, killing five people and knocking out electricity to 85 percent of the island.

U.S. Congress introduced Project Young, to provide a process leading to full self-government for Puerto Rico. (introduced Feb. 27 by Rep. Don Young, H.R.856)

The Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) is sold to GTE and a group of local investors for $2,250 million.

Caribe Hilton, located in San Juan, has been sold by the government to Hilton International.

Fort Buchanan became home to U.S. Army South.

On September 21, Hurricane George with 120 mph winds strikes the island, killing seven people and leaving more than 24,000 in shelters. Virtually the entire island was left without electricity (99.5%), most without water service (77%) and without phone services (25%). President Clinton on Monday declared Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands disaster areas, authorizing immediate release of federal recovery aid. Damage estimated at $2 billion.

On September 29, in a show of commitment to help the victims of hurricane Georges, U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton travels on Tuesday to typhoon-ravaged Puerto Rico.


On April 19, two US Marine jets in training dropped bombs over the island of Vieques and missed their targets. David Sanes Rodriguez, a civilian was killed and 4 people were injured. Days after, protesters began occupying the US Navy range at Vieques.

On June 27, the first heart transplant is accomplished .

On August 8, President Bill Clinton offers clemency to 16 Puerto Rican independence activists.

On September 11, eleven Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) members responsible for a wave of bombings across the United States (New York and Chicago) in the 1970s and 1980s have been released from Federal prisons after accepting a controversial clemency offer from President Bill Clinton.
On September 18, Felix Trinidad defeats Mexican-American Oscar De La Hoya on a 12 round majority decision to win the WBC Welterweight Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.-->

On November 17, Hurricane Lenny strikes the island.

On June 25, the US Navy bombing resumes in Vieques, using nonexplosive dummy bombs.

    Sila M. Calderon (PPD)812,27748.8%
    Carlos I. Pesquera (PNP)758,99845.6%
    Ruben Berrios Martinez (PIP)86,3985.3%

Presient Clinton issues E.O. 13183l established the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status.

On March 1, the Pentagon suspended Navy bombing on Vieques.

On April 27, the US Navy resumed bombing exercises on Vieques Island.

On May 11, Denise Quiñones wins the Miss Universe Pageant, held in Bayamõn.

On June 14, President George W. Bush ordered a stop to the Navy bombing exercises on Puerto Rico's Vieques Island. Cleanup is estimated to cost hundreds of millions and take decades. Bombing practice is set to stop by May, 2003.

On April 12, Telemundo was purchased by NBC for $2.7 billion.

    Aníbal Acevedo Vilá (PPD)953,45948.4%
    Pedro Rosselló (PNP)949,57948.2%
    Rubén Berríos Martínez (PIP)52,6602.7%

On June 6, the Tren Urbano (urban train) was inaugurated. The Tren Urbano is a 10.7 mile (17.2 km) metro system which links the municipalities of San Juan, Bayamón, and Guaynabo.

On May, schools and government offices across the island shut down after an estimated $740m deficit in public funds near the end of the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The financial crisis left only essential services such as police and hospitals in operation. The shut down lasted for two weeks (from May 1 through May 14), leaving nearly 100,000 public employees without pay and closing more than 1,600 public schools. The major cause of the crisis lies on the inability of the legislature and the governor to agree on a spending plan since 2004.

On July 23, Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza was crowned Miss Universe.

On October 25, Juan Mari Brás became the first person to receive a Puerto Rican citizen certificate from the Puerto Rico State Department.

  • 5.5% to the central government, effective on November 15, 2006,
  • 1.5% to the municipalities, effective immediately,
  • an additional 1% to the central government, available in the event that the governor determines an insufficiency in collections for the general fund.

On January 23, Americans are required to carry passports when traveling to Mexico, Bermuda, and most of the Caribbean islands. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it is exempt from the new regulation.

On May 5, Concerns are raised that the newly implemented Sales and Use Tax and the reduction in budgeted expenditures will not be enough to reduce the Puerto Rico Government's fiscal deficit for the 2006-2007 year.

On May 20, former Governor and current Senator Pedro Rosselló officially announced his intentions to seek the New Progressive Party's nomination for Governor in the 2008 general elections.

On October 12, communities and activists protest the apparent mass killing of pet animals by a government contractor by throwing them of a 50 ft high bridge in Barceloneta.

On January 5, over 100 cockfights in Puerto Rico are canceled due to the prohibition of various birds from the Dominican Republic, after discovery of various animals with the avian flu. The loss from such canceled activities is estimated in the millions.

On March 8, Luis Fortuño obtains 59% of the primary votes and wins the New Progressive Party gubernatorial candidacy over opponent and former Gov. Pedro Rossello.

On November 4, Luis Fortuño is elected governor.

    Luis Fortuño (PNP)1,025,96552.77%
    Aníbal Acevedo Vilá (PPD)801,07141.29%
    Rogelio Figueroa (PPR)53,6932.76%
    Edwin Irizarry Mora (PIP)39,5902.04%
    Pedro Rossello (Write-In)13,2150.64%

On May 26, US President Barack Obama has chosen Sonia Sotomayor, a United States Court of Appeals judge, as his first nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the Court's 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice. Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City and is of Puerto Rican descent.

On May 16, an earthquake occurred, the epicenter was in Moca.

On July 15, the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games are being held in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, from July 17 to August 1.

On September 10, Juan Mari Brás, Founder of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party and the first Puerto Rican to formally renounce U.S. citizenship, died of complications from lung cancer.

As of October 30, 2010 the United States Department of State does not accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010 as primary proof of citizenship for a U.S. passport.

On June 14, President Obama traveled to San Juan for the first official visit by a sitting U.S. President to the island since President Kennedy visited in 1961. The visit follows a comprehensive report of the President’s Task Force on Pu erto Rico's Status, which provides a meaningful way forward on the question of status while making significant recommendations important to Puerto Rico's economic development.

On August 11, tropical storm Irene passes through Puerto Rico and its surrounding islands while becoming a hurricane just north of San Juan, the first of the 2011 Atlantic season.

On August, the number of Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland reached a record - 4.9 million.

On November 6, Alejandro García Padilla is elected governor.

    Alejandro García Padilla (PPD)896,06047.73%
    Luis Fortunõ (PNP)884,77547.13%
    Juan Dalmau Ramirez (PIP)47,3312.52%
    Rafael Bernabe (PPT)18,3120.98%
    Arturo Hernandez (MUS)10,5230.56%
    Rogelio Figueroa (PPR)6,6680.36%

On November 8, for the first time Puerto Rican voters support US statehood in a non-binding referendum with a 54%. Puerto Ricans voted on their political status in 1967, 1993, and 1998.

On March 27, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the island's total population fell from about 3.7 million in 2010 to 3.6 million in 2013.

On August 3, Puerto Rico defaults on its monthly debt for the first time in its history, paying only $628,000 toward a $58 million debt.

On January 4, Puerto Rico defaults on its debt for the second time.

On April 13, 2016, the 65th Infantry, the first body of native troops in Puerto Rico was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

On June 30, President Barack Obama signs the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), a bill that establishes a seven-member board to oversee the commonwealth's finances. The following day Puerto Rico defaults on its debt payment.

On July 1, Puerto Rico general sales and use rate increased from 7% to 10.5% with an effective total tax rate of 11.5 percent on many transactions when combined with the municipal sales and use tax of 1 percent (as of July 1, 2015). Puerto Rico now has the highest sales tax in America.

    Ricky Rosello (PNP)655,62641.76
    David Bernier (PPD)610,95638.92%
    Alexandra Lugaro (Independent)174,52911.12%
    Manuel Cidre (Independent)89,8905.73%
    Maria de Lourdes Santiago (PIP)33,4522.13%
    Rafael Bernabe Riefkohl (WPP)5,3740.34%
    Invalid/blank votes9,797

On May 3, Puerto Rico files for bankruptcy. It is the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

On June 11, a non-biding referendum on the political status of Puerto Rico was held, which offered Puerto Rican voters with three choices: (1) becoming a state of the United States, (2) independence/free association, or (3) maintaining the current territorial status. Although 97% of the ballots cast were in favor of statehood, turnout for the Puerto Rico referendum was really low, only 23%, where voter participation often averages around 80%.

No Congressionally-mandated plebiscite has ever been held in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans have voted on their political status in 1967, 1993, and 1998 and 2012. Since these votes were nonbinding, no action had to be taken, and none was. Ultimately, however, Congress must pass a law admitting them to the union.

On September 7, Hurricane Irma's eye passes just north of Puerto Rico at 16 mph as a Category 5 storm with 185 mph winds. About a million people were without power and nearly 50,000 also were without water.

On September 20, Hurricane Maria makes landfall near Yabucoa in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. It is the strongest storm to hit the island in 85 years. The energy grid is heavily damaged, with an island-wide power outage.

On September 22, The National Weather Service recommends the evacuation of about 70,000 people living near the Guajataca River in northwest Puerto Rico because a dam is in danger of failing.

On May 29, a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that roughly 4,600 of deaths were caused by last year's devastating Hurricane Maria, many of them from delayed medical care.

On July, population estimates reveals a sharp population decline, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. With a -3.9%, the decline marks a 40-year low after hurricanes Maria and Irma hit the island (largest year-to-year drop since 1950).

By August 13, due to the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, a shrinking population, deteriorating infrastructure, and the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis, 283 schools have been closed.

On December 20, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Act) was signed. The Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement (PACE) Act was passed as part of the bill and amends the Animal Welfare Act to extend the existing federal ban on dogfighting and cockfighting to U.S. territories.

Cockfighting is a centuries-old tradition, dating back to the Spanish colonial period. Today, the Government of Puerto Rico regulates about 80 cockfighting clubs, and it has been regulating the industry of cockfighting since 1933. Opponents of the measure stated that the act will have a devastating effect on the islands' economy, noting that in Puerto Rico's cockfighting industry represents more than $18 million a year and employs some 27,000 direct and indirect jobs (2018).

On July 13, demonstration protests against Governor Ricardo Rossello, starts and continues for several days in Old San Juan. Following a leak of hundreds of pages of misogynistic and homophobic texts between the governor and his main advisers. In addition, several of his officials have been under investigation on corruption charges.

On July 25, Governor Ricardo Rossello resigns after 12 days of protests, announcing he would step down on August 2. Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez will take Rossello place until the elections in 2020. Although the secretary of state is traditionally next in line to succeed a governor, the position is currently vacant after Luis Rivera Marin resigned over his participation in Rossello's vulgar group chats.

The protests have made history: Not only were they the largest ever seen on the island, but it's also the first time a governor has been pushed out of office without an election.

On August 7, Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez is sworn in as Puerto Rico's governor, hours after the island's Supreme Court overturned the swearing in of Pedro Pierluisi as governor. The unanimous ruling said Pierluisi must step aside immediately.

On January 6, a 5.8-magnitude quake hits the island, causing power outages and severaly cracking several homes and structures.

On January 7, a 6.4-magnitude quake hits the island, the strongest in a series of earthquakes over the past week (December 28) and the most powerful to strike the island in 102 years.

Puerto Rico's governor, Wanda Vazquez, declared a state of emergency and activated the national guard.

The quake killed one person and caused an island-wide power outage as well as structural damage to homes, schools, roads and bridges, especially in the southwestern part of the island.

The island is still recovering from the devastation of 2017's Hurricane Maria, which killed about 3,000 people and destroyed a significant amount of infrastructure.


This is an oral history of the life of Florida U.S. Senate hopeful Maurice Ferre. I did cut some of it, but this is his recollection during an unrehearsed interview. I would say the guy is brilliant and we pretty much know more about him then any other candidate now:

Maurice Ferre Oral History - Conducted by Professor Gregory Bush - 30 November 1999

Maurice Ferre: I don’t believe in secrets. I first came to Florida during the war in 1943. My father and his family had owned a sugar property between Palm Beach and Vero Beach. I used to come here. During the war, my family was living in Puerto Rico, and every time the machinery would be put on a ship to be shipped to Puerto Rice some German U-boat would sink it. My dad decided that the only way we could ever finish this task was for him to move up to New York and work out of New York, which is what he did. Therefore, I used to come to see this sugar property that my family owned in 1943. I used to also come in 1948 and visit my cousins who lived here. One of my uncles, Al Roig, married to my father’s sister, had purchased a substantial amount of land in the Everglades--sugar land. He had also purchased some very significant properties in Miami. He bought a house in the 1940’s, and now it’s owned by Madonna [on] Brickell Avenue. -- Plenty more:

I used to come to Florida during the 40’s on a regular basis because of my family here.

My wife finished high school in 󈧹 or 󈧺, and in those days, in the early fifties, Brickell Avenue was like a status symbol. All these wealthy Puerto Rican families, bought these mansions on Brickell Avenue. I guess the first one was P. J. Serralles, who owned a big sugar [ranch] in Puerto Rico. In 1940, he came up and bought a house on Brickell Avenue.

My father bought Dr. Jackson’s home. Jackson of Jackson Memorial Hospital lived on Brickell Avenue in an old colonial house, straight out of World War I. My dad bought that house. My father-in-law bought the house next door [to] Santa Maria. Ultimately, I was able to convince Olympia York, who wanted to tear it down, not to tear it down. When Hugo Colombo bought the property, he--thank God--saved the house. That was a house built by the Deveaux family in the 1920’s. When Miami was in its boom stage, the Deveaux family, from Pittsburgh, [was] the owner of Deveaux paint.

I have fine memories. I remember when we started school and my grandfather, my dad used to stay in the Towers Hotel, which is now where the Hyatt Regency is. I used to walk to school too. We used to spend months there. Anyway, I got [back to] Florida back in the 40s.

I was born in 󈦃 the first time I came to Florida was 1939. I was a young, four-year-old boy flying into Miami in a Yankee clipper that made stops in Haiti and Cuba. It was an amphibious Pan-American airplane, right before the war. I remember very clear, I was four-years-old, but I remember Brickell key. That’s all I remember at age four. At ages seven and eight, I remember a lot more. I remember the cousins of mine, and the house that they had on the bay. Then in 1952 my father bought the house on Brickell.

My mother was born in New York and grew up in New York and then went to Puerto Rico as a young girl and met and married my father. She was always in New York as young woman. She hardly spoke Spanish then. As a matter of fact, throughout her life she spoke Spanish with a New York accent. To her the center of the world was New York, and she lived to go back to New York.

My dad during this whole process bought an apartment in a place called Tudor City, which is right in front of where the United Nations is now. Of course the United Nations did not exist then. That was a very nice residential part of New York. I remember that very, very well. Believe it or not, I was off to prep schools when I was eight years old. Then I went back to Puerto Rico. I graduated in 󈧹, I went five years. I was in for five years, from 󈧴 to 󈧹.

I was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania, where I wanted to go to school. By that time, my father had bought Dr. Jackson’s house. [My mother] asked me to come [to] Miami and go to the University of Miami for a year. Then I would transfer up to Penn.

I was born in my culture. My mother was a total American--her perspective, and what she saw and even though she lived in Puerto Rico. Her lifestyle and the things that she valued were really very American. My father I remember very clearly. My father was a democrat and was very active.

Getting back to the Florida picture, I come to Miami on a full time basis in the summer of 1953. My dad insisted that I go to summer school as he always did. For me vacations were always studying, I studied all my life. My dad, he didn’t believe in vacations. He thought that they were just a waste of time and you needed to get down to the nitty-gritty.

I have one sister. My mother then died in 1960. My father remarried, and from the two marriages after that I have five brothers and sisters. In 1953 when I got to Miami, my focus was just the University of Miami. My whole life was going to school. The University of Miami and I had great fun. It was a wonderful place. Miami was an interesting community. I lived at home. I lived on Brickell Avenue and it took me fifteen minutes to drive.

I had friends in Cuba and I’d stay in their homes. Those were just unbelievable years.

[Cuba’s] countryside, the parties, the outings in people’s farms, horses, the nightlife, the trucks, the whole ambiance. Cuba in 1955, 56, 57, was unbelievable. I had never seen a place like that island ever—anywhere--not Buenos Aires, not Rio, not Paris, not London.

In those years, Havana was absolutely pure [pleasure]. My father was a member of the Havana Yacht Club. That was for business reasons, and during all this time, my father’s business interests had grown beyond Puerto Rico and Florida. It had grown to Cuba. He owned 50 percent of a major cement plant in Santiago, Cuba. I used to go with my dad to Santiago, which is wonderful. It was a wonderful time.

I studied architecture. I had been admitted to University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, and I wanted to be an architect. Miami did not have an architecture curriculum, so I got into architectural engineering, which is what they had in those days. As it turned out, I eventually didn’t go to Pennsylvania. [I] stayed in Miami and went to architecture school. I was not a good student. I was a mediocre student, but then I got serious. I got into finance.

When I graduated from the University of Miami, I started with one of my professors who worked for a company. I started building houses. I didn’t like it. It was not what I wanted to do. By that time, my family’s company is in Miami. I graduated in 󈧾. By 1959, I was already married.

I met my wife here in Miami she was my next door neighbor. Her father, as I said, owns Santa Maria. My father bought the Jackson Homestead on Brickell, and we were neighbors. I met her when I was 18 and she was 17. We got married when I was 20 and she was 19 in Venezuela.

In 1958, I graduated, and my mother--I’ll never forget--she pulled me off to the side one day and said, “We have to have a serious talk.” She said, “Your father needs your help. I think you ought to work with your dad for a while.” I wanted to go finish my architectural degree and then go work with some good architectural school, get a real architectural degree, which is a five-year degree. I think I needed to do two years and I then would have an architectural degree or I could do a Masters in architecture.

I continued my father’s tradition of making all my kids study every summer. All my children, when we had economic wherewithal every summer they went to a different camp, different summer school.

My wife’s father was one of South Florida’s great architects. [He] studied at the Ecole des Beaux Artes and worked at the Corbusier for several years. His father was a Frenchman and was inducted into the French army and had to serve two years in the army then came back to Venezuela. His father was an architect and his father before him was an architect. So you have three generations of architects. My wife broke with this tradition and so she’s a highly skilled artist, great in colors and decoration and gardening and her [inclination] toward the arts is really very impressive.

Anyway, getting back to Miami issues, because otherwise we’re going to be here forever.

I started working with my father. Then I went to the University of Miami. I took a Master’s degree in finance. My father was a graduate of BU in 1924, and my uncle, all three of them, went to Boston and were graduates of MIT. My whole family was very Boston oriented and educated in MIT. My dad, when he came to Miami things were going very well, he had become a very successful entrepreneur industrialist and financier. [He] had decided that he wanted to go back and get a Masters degree at the University of Miami, so he got a Masters degree at the University of Miami.

I decided that I was going to get a Masters degree in finance, so I then became a good student for some strange reason. I was married. But all of a sudden from being a bad student, I was a straight A student in graduate school.

I started the process of integrating myself into business. By the 1960’s, some of these companies were beginning to have problems. I ended up almost by default taking over the presidency of a cement company here.

There were six in the Ferre family in that generation, and Luis was the second. My father was the oldest, Luis was the second. Luis had the founder of the Republican Party in Puerto Rico and had run for governor in the Puerto Rican Republican party since 1952 on--every four years, 󈦔, 󈦘, 󈦜, 󈦠, and in 󈨈 he won. I was involved with all those later campaigns.

I’d spend two, three months campaigning with him, working with him. I almost moved back to Puerto Rico to become involved in this whole movement except that I could never except this Republican view of life. In [these] days, the Republican party and my uncle was a Jacob [was a] Rockefeller type of Republican, I guess first time Bush type of Republican. I guess president Bush himself in the beginning was that kind of Republican, then ended up being swayed by the Reagan Republican movement.

I could never see myself as a Republican. I didn’t register when I was 21, I registered when I was 22. I registered as a Democrat. My father was a Democrat. I decided that until I made up my mind, whether I wanted to go back to Puerto Rico or stay in Miami, I would run for public office and just learn.

I ran in 1966 for Florida Senate, which was a presumptuous thing for me to do. [I] shouldn’t have done it. [I] went against all my friends and advisors, and I said, “I can do it.” Well, I didn’t do it. But then I decided, there was an opening right after in the Florida House and I ran, won, served in the House, which was a wonderful learning experience. Those were the good old days of Florida politics.

I actually loved it because I learned the inner workings of politics, as to how Tallahassee and southern politics were really won. Though we live in different times today, the vestiges of Dempsy Baron, and old pork-chop days, are still very much a part of politics in Florida. It’s a lesson that isn’t easily learned. It was a great experience for me.

Ed Ball was a very interesting man I had many dealings with Mr. Ed Ball over the years--politically and business, but mostly business. When I got elected I said, “I’ve got to go up and see Ed Ball” because he was such an important factor in the life of Miami. I just had to meet him. I arrived there and I sat down, and met him. I’d known him, I’d met him before in Tallahassee. He had wonderful springs next to Tallahassee I forget the name of the place.

He was a very interesting man Ed Ball. I went up to see Mr. Ball and we were in a lawsuit of some sort and I remember Mr. Ball when I first walked in was very cordial. He said, “So you’re taking over Bob Hyde’s seat.” I said, “Yes I am Mr. Ball.” He said, “Well, he’s down there shoveling coal right now. Bob Hyde had died in 󈨇, and Ed Ball hated Bob Hyde. He’s the guy that I guess started this lawsuit.

I really wanted to settle things down in the city of Miami because I thought there were so many problems and we needed to have one battle. I did meet Ed Ball about city business in 󈨍. Then this was this whole taking of the FPC property, which was my idea, and was my doing. While I was there, we got Bill Fredes to represent the city in that. Everybody was very [unintelligible] to me because I decided to do a quick take, which means that you put up the money and then you come back and buy it, but it freezes it at that moment. As it turned out, it was one of the best decisions I made as mayor.

Getting back to the late sixties, I ran for the Florida legislature, won, and served and also there were several things that I learned. One, Southern politics in Tallahassee, Florida politics, pork choppers in particular. Two, it was the constitutional revision. I went through that whole process, and it was a great. I’m not a lawyer, and this was a great educational process for me. Three because I made a lot of friends. That was the legislature session where Ruben Askew was in the Senate, Bob Graham was in the House of [Florida] and the Senate. Claude Kirk was governor then, and Claude Kirk was a good friend of mine through my appeal days.

I was the president of a company he was president. We both were young men. I knew Claude from appeal meetings and we were friends. Claude went to Puerto Rico with me--he and his then wife. It was a great educational process for me. When Bob Hyde dies in 󈨇, I was called, and asked if I was interested in serving on the City of Miami commission. I really thought that that was even a better opportunity because what I was really interested in was local government. I really wasn’t interested, even then, I really didn’t have an interest in pursuing Tallahassee or Washington.

I thought that I eventually was going to go back to Puerto Rico, and I didn’t want to get too far away. I also thought that the issues that I was interested in were local--urbanization, infrastructure, the blossoming of Miami as an international city. I saw all those things. A lot of things that have been attributed to me were really my father’s ideas. My father was the one who back in the early fifties, said Miami was going to be the capital of the America’s. Miami’s going to be a very important, Spanish-speaking country. “Country” in quotes advisably, but

I was more interested in what was going to happen in Miami, in the future of Miami. There are several ideas that coincided in all this. One of them had to do with [unintelligible]. Munoz was the George Washington of Puerto Rico. His father had been resident commissioner and been a strong advocate for independence during the Spanish days. After an astonishing record in war, [he] became a representative in Washington of Puerto Rico. Munoz Jr. grew up as a young man with his father in Washington and then eventually went to Georgetown and stayed in New York. [He didn’t] go back to Puerto Rico to live until he was in his mid-thirties. My father was a role model, and my uncle, but Munoz was also a role model. Munoz comes back in his 30s and he founded the Popular Democratic Party. The rest was in the history of Puerto Rico.

One of Munoz’s dreams was that Puerto Rico was going to be the meeting point and the marriage point between the Spanish-speaking world and the English-speaking world, in the hemisphere. In other words, these are two European-based countries. One basically Anglo-Saxon, the other one Spanish, who went in very different directions and grew very differently but had a lot in common. Somewhere along the line there had to be a cultural union. Munoz thought that that place was Puerto Rico.

When the Cubans started coming here in 󈨀, that’s what changed everything. I realized that what was going to happen was that more and more and more Cubans would come here. Since they were well educated and middle-class professional Cubans, they would be bankers and chemists and sales people. They’d work for Chemical Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank, and that that would be a human mine that would then bring the multi-nationals to Miami for geographic reasons and because of language. We’re all Spanish-speaking. It’s obvious that, in the middle of Michigan, Dow Chemical [would realize] that they could better run Dow Chemical Latin America from Miami than from the middle of Michigan.

What occurred is all these Cubans that were around here--lawyers, and professional, and technical people--joined these companies. All of them got to be chairman of the board of Coca Cola. Many of them became vice-presidents of important banks in New York, who were then transferred to Caracas and Buenos Aires. But five, ten years later, they all [came] back to Miami. That is the basis for a very, very important human entity, in mind, and knowledge, and technology, and skill, and experience. From there what occurred was Latin Americans then started coming into Miami, because Miami really became the Mecca for them to go shopping, for them to do deals, for them to borrow money. As Miami developed, the importance of New York diminished for Latin Americans. I saw the potential of that back in the 󈦦s

I saw professional growth because I lived in this. You’ve got to remember when I came to Miami, the population of the greater Miami area was 150,000 people. The Cubans are always saying that they made Miami that’s bullshit. Miami was almost a million people when they got here. It was a major city, but it was tourist-oriented [and] not very important. It was the most important city in Florida.

It was [culturally] backward. It was a place where people came for vacations to be on the beach, to go to Hialeah racetrack. It wasn’t defined. It was very amorphous. It was in one of its many transformations. Miami is like a butterfly or a caterpillar, goes from one form to another. It’s transformed many times. It’s and ongoing transformation that occurs every quarter century almost. The Miami of 1900 is very different from the Miami of 1925, and that’s very different from the Miami of 1950. It’s totally different from the Miami of 1975, and it’s totally different from the Miami of 2000. I have lived in Miami.

That’s a very important point by the way because it deals with the definition of America and what it is to be an American. That is being defined here in Miami, or will be defined, and deals with the constitution. Basically it’s a major constitutional issue. In other words, we’re really digressing now.

I’ll just digress for five minutes. The concept is this. The concept deals with the definition. The basis for the definition is Jacques Mauritane’s book Madame State, where Mauritane very clearly defines some very basic concepts about nationality, citizenship, and so on. Basically it all goes back in the western world to Rome. Rome was able to distinguish unbelievably between citizenship and nationality. In other words, there was clear distinction in Roman law.

The classic case, for people who don’t understand this very well, is Saint Paul. When Saint Paul was apprehended in Antioch and he was going to be executed he said, “You can’t do that because I am a citizen of Rome.” The soldier said, “Well here it says you’re a Jew.” He said, “Well, I’m a Jew nationally, but I’m a citizen of Rome, and as a citizen of Rome I have rights.” That goes back to Seneca and all the issues that were established in the distinction between citizenship and nationality.

The question in American 2000 years later is, is there a difference between citizenship and nationality. Now in most American’s viewpoint, there is not. That’s the republican view of life. It’s very simplistic. More and more, as America grows and evolves and develops, it accepts the premise that people who were not Americans 100 years ago--the Irish who were animals and drunks, and couldn’t be trusted, and they were all thieves, and no Irish allowed here and all this kind of stuff--all of a sudden after second or third generation became Americans. But that’s alright because they’re Catholic, but at least they’re English-speaking people? They’re light-skinned, and they’re mostly married. They really become American through the immigration process, but not so for the Jews.

The Jews are different. Also, these Polish Jews and all these Russian Jews, they’re not Americans and they’ll never be Americans because not only are they darker skinned, they’re different and they got big ears, and big whatever. They don’t do this and they don’t do that. They speak Yiddish. Well, all of a sudden, you have Jacob [unintelligible], you have many people, who fit into the pattern and they are Americans.

The same thing happened with the Italians. Mario Pomo is just as American as John F. Kennedy, just as American as Justice Goldberg and so on. We have a tradition in America of grudgingly accepting. The premise is this. And there’s a question and this is why it’s relevant to Miami. If there is a distinction between nationality and citizenship, then what really determines Americanism and to be an American is citizenship. Citizenship means the rule of law, it means and interest in the constitution, it means due process and procedure. Whether you’re white or black is not important. Whether you’re a Christian or a Jew is not important. The last battlefront.

We’re still fighting these battles as to old people, [whether] they’re really people under the law. Well, how about homosexuals? Well, we’re fighting that battle now, about equality. How about culture? Can a person whose culture is different from the Anglo-Saxon culture be an American citizen? The Puerto Ricans say, “Yes we can.” Then comes the issue of language. Language in my opinion is the last frontier that we as Americans have a battle on with this whole question of a definition of an American. That’s a battle that is nowhere near won. We’re a long way from it.

It’s being fought, and I think where that battle is going to be fought long is in Miami. You’re already beginning to see it. I see it with young Carlos Lacasa, with Mario Diaz-Balart. Perfect English speakers, grew up here, went to school, are as American, but they haven’t given up on their strong Cuban roots. Their children will probably be as American as Mario Pomo’s grandchildren.

The whole process of integration aside, I think there’s a much more important issue here. That is the definition of what an American is. I think that is an evolving process, which in my opinion, has not yet reached out, and is still reaching out. We haven’t really won the racial battle. There’s still discrimination against dark-skinned people, black and otherwise. We really have done a real hoopla on the Indians, but we really haven’t overcome that issue yet. We really haven’t solved that problem.

The issue of homosexuals and the gay and the lesbian community is still a battlefield. This whole culture thing is just the beginning. Most Americans are nowhere near accepting. I use the argument all the time on that subject that you go back to Brown vs. School Board of Topeka, and put it on a battle in 1953. They’re lost. It’s thanks to the constitution and the existence of separation of powers in the Supreme Court that Brown vs. School Board was a major step in deconstructing segregation and apartheid, especially in the South. It was a major breakthrough. It was a major stepping-stone for all of us--white, black, and otherwise. I guess the point I’m trying to make is all these ideas really came into line as I moved from the legislature to the floor to the Miami City Commission.

I’ve evolved we all evolve and change. I was born in 󈧧, so by 1970 I was 35 years old. My mother died in 1960. She died in Boston, in her operation that didn’t succeed. The day before her operation, and this is very vivid in my mind obviously, I flew up and instead of going to Boston, I went to New York and I went to Fordham University where I had a very good friend of mine who is a professor there. [He] gave me Manner of the State. He said, “Here, you’re confused about this read this.” He became a guru on education.

He was a big, big, bite. He and I used to spend a lot of time together. He was then monsignor in the Catholic Church. He was then fighting the battle because the Catholic Church formed a political party in Puerto Rico. He was totally opposed to it. That battle was going on, and I used to go Puerto Rico. In those days I was thinking very seriously of going back to Puerto Rico.

In those days, he was in his early thirties. He was the youngest monsignor in the Catholic Church in America. He was a monsignor at age 32. He had two Ph D’s--one in history from the University of Heidelberg. He was a Croatian Jew. His mother was Jewish. His father was a Croatian. [He] survived the war, ended up getting all these doctoral degrees, decided to become a priest. [He] went to Rome to the Burgoyne College [then] went back to New York convinced at age 28 or 29 that he could solve Speldman’s problems. Speldman was a typical Irishman, had this real serious problem, who did not understand the Puerto Ricans and it was a major problem in New York. What did he know about those Puerto Ricans?

[I met him in the] late 50s. I must have been 24 years old then. I was 24, so that was around 󈧿. I met him in 󈧾 or 󈧿. I remember the impact because I always had remorse about that. At age 24, I was never expecting my mother to die. I go to Boston, and the operation was the next day it was a routine operation. Dr. White was the famous surgeon in Boston who did these aortic operations. It was the beginning of all this. He had only lost two patients out of 1,000 operations he made. She didn’t make it. It’s always bothered me, my conscience, that instead of being with my mother I had gone to see [unintelligible] at Fordham University, in early December of 1960. That place is a big breakthrough in my mind.

I begin the process in the city of Miami. I think what happened was I had done my apprenticeship in Tallahassee. I wanted to learn what the city of Miami was all about. I wanted to run for either mayor of Miami or mayor of Dade County. I started in 󈨇 and sure enough in 1970, I ran for mayor of Dade County. Steve Clark was my opponent. I lost, not by much. It was a very tight race. In the primary, I won or I was ahead, by 30, 40 thousand votes. In the run off, I lost. It didn’t make any sense, but that’s the way it was. In 1970, I was 35-years-old.

Steve pulled and ethnic cord on me. You’ve got to remember in 1970 the population, the Hispanic population was very, very little. In 󈨍, the candidate, who was then mayor of Miami, ends up getting indicted. Dave calls me up and asks me if I would serve as interim mayor. I accepted, and that was in April. In August, the charges were dismissed. There was a famous market connection with the city of Miami. He decided not to run for election. He subsequently got very angry and he said that I really double-crossed him. I had stepped in and just stayed on. The fact is he had very clearly told me that he was not going to run. When he decided not to run, then I [ran] for the mayorship and had seven opponents. [Unintelligible] backed my candidacy for mayor of Dade county in 1970, and now are opposed to me for whatever reason.

[The Knights] controlled but they didn’t get involved in local things. No that was when the powers in the Miami area really tried to dominate the city of Miami and did. The Miami News backed them up to.

Let me tell you a little bit about the history of these parks, as I remember. I become mayor in 1973. Let me jump and move forward now. I’ve made reference to it before, but let me talk about the Bayfront park area. When I run now, one of my big projects is going to be the Miami River.

My first curiosity involved in all of this starts as I recall it, when Mitchell Wilson calls me and says, “I want you to come with Hank Meyer and me to a presentation at the Dupont Plaza Hotel by Constantinus Daciatus.” I was fascinated by it. It was a wonderful study. It was crazy. Daciatus had this obsession--I think rightly so--that what completely destroyed American cities was the automobile. The automobile was the culprit and there was no way you can get around it. He was a wonderful showman he’d draw these circles and he said.

In ancient Greece in the times of Pericles, a man would walk [unintelligible], and then he’d superimpose a map of Ahtens and then imperial Rome. The whole question of how long can a man go on horseback. Then there’d be the carriage, and all kinds of carriage, and what kind of a carriage, and then what happens when the automobile comes in. Basically his conclusion was that there was an inherent conflict that had no solution.

Listen to what he came up with, which in my view is unreal. He said we have to now have a two level system--the cars underneath and people up on top. What he really wanted was for all the construction of Miami to be done where the pedestrian level to be twelve feet above the ground. He wanted that throughout Miami and he wanted everything connected, so the pedestrians can walk and then roam into one destination then another. He wanted to, in effect, tunnel Biscayne Boulevard. He said Biscayne Boulevard was an obstacle course.

He was the one who came up with a famous phrase, which became a pretty historical phrase here. “The marriage of the park and the bay.” He wanted for the people of Miami to have access to the water. Seeing that Biscayne Boulevard existed and you couldn’t dig underneath because of the water tables, the only way you could do this was to elevate the platform of Miami where it could connect and then cross over Biscayne Boulevard pedestrian and then into the park and into the water. He envisioned a city that was connected pedestrian up on top and automobiles on the bottom. He was dreaming obviously.

I was fascinated by the man, so I ended up making friends with him and he invited he to Greece. I didn’t take him up on it. I later took up Maguchi and later went to Japan with Maguchi, which is another story I’ll tell you about later. But that first turned me on, fascinated me. I remember Mitch Wolfson looks into this very carefully. Mitch stands up and he says, “Dr. Daciatus, who’s gonna pay for all of this?” A typical Mitch Wolfson question. Daciatus says, “Mr. Wilson, you paid me to tell what to do not to tell you how to pay for it. That’s your problem.”

Mitch says, “Let’s just forget it that’s never gonna happen because this community doesn’t have that kind of togetherness.” Mitch was a very practical guy. I remember he was a political mentor of mine. If I were to choose four or five people who were my guide he was one of them. I was very close to Hank [Meyer], and Hank was very close to my dad. [He] represented Mobil industries for many, many years, in the hey days. He was a different kind of a guy. Mitch was a very pragmatic visionary. He was a visionary, but he was very down to earth. .I have two relative stories about Mitch. One had to do with Guzman Hall the other I think had to do with parking garages.

He was the author of all that and he ran it. He was the absolute czar. Once in a while, I had you know, a confrontation with him about it. We always worked it out. He was very, very reasonable, and very supportive, but he was very firm about things. One of the things he was absolutely adamant about was that we not put any commercial activity stores in the ground floor parking garages. I was very strongly for that because I had a very strong opinion, as did Lloyd Kinsey, who was one of the most important people in the history of downtown Miami. He was the director of the downtown development authority. I had a very strong idea that the only way you could humanize Miami was to have human activity at ground level. The opposite of what Daciatus concluded. I don’t think that we could separate the automobile and the [pedestrians] unfortunately. The only other alternative was to bring people to the streets and let them compete with automobiles. But the more people you have on the street, then the more people feel safe.

I was very strongly in favor of putting stores because that would bring [more people]. [I] loved the concept of the rambas, which was done in the mid-nineteenth century. By the way, Ponce, the city where I was born and grew up, is the only example of a nineteenth-century designed city in Latin America. Professor Le Jeune, Francois Le Jeune of the University of Miami, and a Puerto Rican architect, a very good Puerto Rican architect and historian by the name of Rigau, did some wonderful studies on the [success] of Ponce as a nineteenth-century design. It really talked a lot about rambas. One of the concepts about rambas was that people needed to work and live in the same place. The shops were on the bottom and people had apartments and houses on the upper floors.

Getting back to Mitch Wilson, I lost that battle. He absolutely refused to yield. His theory was typical entrepreneurial theory. He said we borrow money at tax-free rates because my main interest is to have the cheapest parking available because that will induce development in downtown Miami--good logic. Therefore, my interest is in developing Downtown Miami, and that’s my contribution to it. We need a lot and good cheap parking.

If we take that as a basis and then put shops there, in effect what you are doing is you’re competing with the private sector unfairly because you have an advantage. You’re really then going against the main purpose of what you are doing. The purpose of garages is to park cars, not to have stores on the street. I thought that he was wrong because I thought that what you gave up was a lot more than what you gained. He was very strict in that principle but by doing that he, in effect, continued the problem of dehumanizing the Downtown.

The second story that Mitch dealt with [was] Gusman. Maurice Guzman calls me one day and he says, “Look, I know you’re the mayor of Miami, but I think Miami’s a real Micky Mouse place and all these politicians are crooks and they’re bad. You have too many problems. I’m going to take Gusman Hall and give it to the University of Miami.” I called Mitch Wolfson, I said, “Mitch, we’ve got to go talk to Maurice Gusman.” He bought the Olympia Theater because he wanted to make a philharmonic call, and he wanted a Frenchman, who’s a very good musician or conductor with the philharmonic.

I said, “We need to turn this thing around. I think this is a great contribution if it’s done properly, but it’s not going to make money. At least it might be able to break even, but I think we should have it on the city.” That’s how it ended up, according to the off street parking authority because the only way Gusman would agree to give it to the city is if it were given to the off street parking authority. Of course he and Mitch Wolfson were both old men, and he didn’t accept the fact the they were soon to die.

That’s another story, getting back to Daciatus [in] 󈨇, 󈨈. I may have been on the commission, I don’t remember. I don’t think so. I think it was before that. Bob Hyde was alive. Bob Hyde was the guy that brought Daciatus to Miami. I remember in those days it cost him something like $60,000 and that was an outrage. It’s unbelievable. That was in 1960. Anyway, getting back to the three parks. . .

Greg Bush said.

I did the oral history of Ferre back in 1999. We live in such a fast paced condensed world that its important to appreciate that an oral history is not a TV news clip. It is meant to allow subjects time and space to ruminate, bring up past associations and follow various trends of thought. Oral histories need to be edited, to be sure, but what I understand was included here had limited edits and from my perspective should be appreciated in those terms.

I have conducted dozens of oral histories and think that Maurice Ferre is one of the sharpest politicians in recent Miami history, respected and approachable by many. He can still do fine work for our community. Maurice is Maurice.

Citation Information

After 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House is dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II. The $80 million structure, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and funded by the profits of the Opera House Lotteries, was built on Bennelong Point, in Sydney, Australia. Famous for its geometric roof shells, the structure contains several large auditoriums and presents an average of 3,000 events a year to an estimated two million people. The first performance in the complex was the Australian Opera’s production of Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace, which was held in the 1,547-seat Opera Theatre. Today, the Opera House remains Sydney’s best-known landmark.

East Greenwich High School - Shaw: Activists / Civil Rights

After studying how the American government works and American history, it is clear that progress happens when citizens engage in the democratic process and in our culture to shape a more just and equitable society. Currently, America is in crisis as we seek to keep our nation healthy and well in the midst of a pandemic. Yet in the midst of this challenge, Americans are making sacrifices to help others and themselves. From medical workers on the front lines to each of you who are engaging in social distancing, people are taking action to improve the world they live in and to offer a better future. Throughout history, people have faced challenges, worked hard, and made progress. Progress is never guaranteed though and the struggle for Americans is to take on the challenge to keep striving for a more just society. This assignment is intended to give you a chance to explore this activism and bring it to life.

Honoring An Activist

Create a tribute to the life and legacy of a civil rights activist.
Be sure to include answers to the following FIVE QUESTIONS:


Foundation Edit

The party traces its beginnings to an August, 1967 assembly in a sports complex (which is now known as el Estadio Country Club) in the sector of Country Club, San Juan, Puerto Rico. On January 5, 1968, the party was belatedly certified as an official political group by the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico. The party had roots in a prior pro-statehood party led by Miguel Angel García Méndez. The incipient party campaigned unsuccessfully in favor of statehood in the Puerto Rico status referendum of 1967, even though the historical pro-statehood Puerto Rican Republican Party decided to boycott that plebiscite. Main party founder, president, and former statehood Republican Party standard-bearer Luis A. Ferré categorized the New Progressive Party as one which would not be aligned to any of the two major U.S. national parties. Co-founders of the NPP alongside Luis A. Ferre were Manuel F. Alsina Capo, attorney Nelson Escalona, and Benny Frankie Cerezo. [ citation needed ]

Under Luis A. Ferré, the NPP came to power in January 1969, after defeating Luis Negrón López, the gubernatorial candidate from the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 1968 elections. Smaller vote totals were obtained by the Partido del Pueblo led by Governor Roberto Sánchez Vilella and the candidate from the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), Antonio González. The governing party was saddled by Sánchez Vilella's break-away candidacy, who had feuded with the PPD founder and former Governor Luis Muñoz Marín.

1970s Edit

Four years later, in 1972, Ferré lost to the reunified PDP's candidate, Senate President Rafael Hernández Colón, by the biggest percentual margin since the NPP's founding (7.3%), but in 1976, under the leadership of San Juan Mayor Carlos Romero Barceló, the NPP returned to power. Romero Barceló would face Hernández Colón three times for the governorship.

1980s Edit

In 1980, Carlos A. Romero Barceló won reelection by a narrow margin of approximately 3,000 votes. A prominent event during Romero Barceló's term, the Cerro Maravilla incident, would end up overshadowing Romero Barceló's governorship. The incident involved the killing of two young men who had gone to Cerro Maravilla, site of a major communications facility for the island, with the intention of attacking the facilities. Upon arriving at their Cerro Maravilla destination, the two men were ambushed and killed by the state police (see also Alejandro González Malavé). Initially, it was reported that the two young men had been shot because they resisted arrest, but as the investigation progressed it became clear the men had been shot, execution style, while under police custody. The opposition party, the PDP, which at the time was in control of the legislature, orchestrated televised hearings in which they attempted to prove the whole incident was planned by the administration of Gov. Romero Barceló itself. Further scandals erupted when it became known that an undercover police agent who was with the two men had actually engineered the whole plan. This, combined with the fact that the then-mayor of San Juan, Hernán Padilla, left the party to form his own party (Partido Renovación Puertorriqueña, PRP), helped Hernández Colón get elected to a second non-consecutive term in 1984. In 1988, San Juan Mayor and former Resident Commissioner Baltasar Corrada del Río ran as the NPP candidate for governor but lost the race to Hernández Colón, who won a third term.

1990s Edit

The NPP came back to power in 1993 when Pedro Rosselló, a pediatric surgeon who had been its unsuccessful congressional candidate in 1988, became governor by defeating Luis Muñoz Marín's daughter, Senator Victoria Muñoz Mendoza, the PDP candidate for governor.

Rosselló launched an anti-crime campaign known as "Mano dura contra el crimen" ("Strong hand against crime") in which the Puerto Rico National Guard was used to assist the Island police force. During Pedro J. Rosselló's term, a number of large-scale infrastructure projects were undertaken, including the "Tren Urbano" (Metro Rail System), the "Superaqueduct", the construction of the Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Puerto Rico Coliseum. His policies also included a push toward privatization of public entities and free health care for the poor.

He led the NPP in a campaign for Puerto Rican statehood in 1993 in which locally enacted plebiscites were held to consult the Puerto Rican public on their position regarding the political status of the island with the United States. He supported the proposal for a referendum in Puerto Rico to define the political status of the island. However, the bill died in committee in the U.S. Senate. Nevertheless, Rosselló carried out another plebiscite in 1998 which gave electors four options plus a fifth one, "None of the Above". The opposing Popular Democratic Party led a campaign to boycott the plebiscite, charging it was structured to favor the ruling NPP party's statehood goals, and called the electorate to vote for the "None of the Above" option. The boycott was successful, as the None of the Above column garnered more votes than all of the other options. Rosselló, however, argued before Congress that statehood had obtained more votes than any of the other political status options in the plebiscite as he claimed that the fifth option ("None of the Above") was an undefined vote in terms of status.

In the 1996 elections, the NPP candidate, Rosselló, defeated opponent Héctor Luis Acevedo (PDP), the mayor of San Juan at the time, and Representative David Noriega (PIP), for a second term, after obtaining more than one million votes and the largest landslide of any gubernatorial candidate since 1964.

In 1998, the sale of the state-owned Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) to GTE for $1.9 billion led to a general strike organized by labor unions and backed by opposition forces. Rosselló's popularity along with the NPP's took a hit due to the backlash, as well as to several major corruption cases.

2000s Edit

Rosselló stepped down as governor after eight years in power in 2001. His period as governor was marked by the Vieques protests and major economic growth due to the coincidence of the emerging Internet. In 2000, Carlos I. Pesquera, Secretary of Transportation under Rosselló, ran for governor. Pre-election polls had him at a considerable advantage over his PDP opponent, San Juan mayor Sila María Calderón. As the election grew closer, Calderón closed the gap as Pesquera's image was harmed by a PDP campaign focusing on corruption under Rosselló's tenure.

It also did not help Pesquera that the Acting US District Attorney Guillermo Gil said in June 2000 (three months before the November 2000 election) "corruption has a name and it is called the New Progressive Party" while announcing a grand jury indictment. The grand jury had accused 18 people — including two mayors from Rosselló's NPP — of running an extortion scheme that skimmed $800,000 in kickbacks from a $56 million government contract. During a news conference, Gil told journalists that the extorted money had ended up in the coffers of the NPP. This and other actions by Gil were object of many ethics complaints to the US Department of Justice by NPP leaders.

In this environment, the NPP lost the 2000 election, losing the Governor's seat, the Resident Commissioner, and the state legislature. This was the first election since its creation that the NPP suffered a vote reduction. Leo Díaz assumed the NPP Presidency, but it was short-lived as Pesquera returned to occupy the position after defeating Díaz.

Turmoil consumed the NPP during the first two years of the 2001-2005 term. The Secretary of Education, under the Rossello's administration, Víctor Fajardo, was charged and convicted by federal agencies of appropriating millions of federal funds directed to the Education Department. [6] The former House Speaker and Republican National Committee Man, Edison Misla Aldarondo was also charged with extortion by the US Attorney's Office, and was forced to resign. [7] In an ironic turn of events, NPP figures charged with federal corruption crimes were also charged with corruption by the Puerto Rico Justice Department using new anti-corruption state laws that the NPP had enacted. In 2001, Calderon named a Blue Ribbon Committee that was dedicated to investigate government transactions under Rossello's two terms.

2003 NPP primaries for Governor Edit

In July 2002, several of the party's leaders were involved in an incident at the Office of Women's Affairs. Pesquera led a phalanx of pro-statehood advocates and the press into the government office whose administrator had refused to display the American Flag alongside the flag of Puerto Rico, as required by law. A jury acquitted Pesquera and other followers of any wrongdoing.

In March 2003, Rosselló, who had been living in the Commonwealth of Virginia, returned to the island, responding to the many calls and visits he received from prominent citizens and politicians. Rosselló subsequently defeated Pesquera in the NPP primary for the gubernatorial nomination.

2004 General Elections Edit

The fall 2004 campaign was lively and controversial. Rosselló's prior administration was repeatedly painted as corrupt, while his PDP opponent (Calderón chose not to run for re-election), Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo Vilá (PDP) was initially behind in the polls. After his performance in televised debates, Acevedo's campaign gained momentum, aided in part by the favorable press he received from the island media outlets. In pre-election polls, Rosselló led by double digits, but ultimately Rosselló lost by some 3,000 votes (1,200 votes went as write-in for Carlos Pesquera) proving that once again that corruption matters to Puerto Rican voters. Rosselló challenged the electoral results alleging that split ticket votes, which had always been counted before, were now illegal. After a lengthy court battle decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (located in Boston, MA), Acevedo Vila was certified as governor.

Senate conflict Edit

As 2005 began, Rosselló became a Senator for the Arecibo district after Senator Víctor Loubriel resigned from the seat to which he'd been elected, effectively gaining a seat for which he did not run. Thus started a struggle between Senate President Kenneth McClintock and Rosselló for control of the Senate Presidency. The dispute ended in a stalemate as McClintock refused to leave the position, a stance respected by the PDP minority senators and five other NPP senators. This led to the expulsion from the party of McClintock as well as two of the NPP senators who backed him, a matter which led McClintock to file suit in San Juan Superior Court, winning the case, which was confirmed by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court in a 5-1 ruling. The infighting ended when Rosselló was defeated in the 2008 primary and when McClintock co-chaired Sen. Hillary Clinton's successful Democratic primary campaign and helped lead her to a record-setting 68-32% victory in the waning days of her bid for the Democratic nomination.

2008 NPP primaries for Governor Edit

On March 7, 2007, Rosselló stated that he was no longer interested in the Senate Presidency and then focused his attention in preventing Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño from winning the March 2008 gubernatorial primary, and allowed his name to be placed in nomination for the party's gubernatorial primary. McClintock and four other senators won in San Juan Superior Court a suit to nullify the sanctions and expulsions that the party leadership has levied against them. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court confirmed the lower court decision by a 5-to-1 vote. As a result, McClintock and his supporters were recognized as NPP members and free to run under the party banner. Shortly after the primary polls closed on March 9, 2008, Pedro Rosselló conceded the victory to Luis Fortuño after a large margin of votes in favor of his opponent in the NPP party primaries for the presidency of the party and gubernatorial nomination. Rosselló admitted defeat even before the votes were completely tallied claiming Fortuño as the next candidate of the PNP party. In Rosselló's conceding speech he said "Luis Fortuño has been selected by the people to be the new president of this party and the candidate for governor. I always say the people speak and I obey, Fortuño here is your party and here is your office (signaling the party's official headquarters). Now it's up to you, the loyal members of this party, to make sure that this new leadership works for statehood for Puerto Rico". [8] After this conceding speech it was rumored and even announced at Fortuño's headquarters that the former Governor would arrive there along with his loyal supporter and mayor of the capital city of San Juan, Jorge Santini, but after Fortuño's followers waited for hours to see their leaders united neither Rosselló or Santini arrived. After the primary was over it was heavily rumored by many that Rosselló would not be campaigning for Fortuño and that he'd resign as senator to go back to his home in Virginia. On March 10, 2008, Rosselló sent the media a written statement regarding his future in which he confirmed he will be retiring from active politics and will not be campaigning for any candidate, however he would finish his term as senator for the Arecibo District, which he did.

Primary backlash Edit

Most of Rosselló's supporters were elected in the primary and endorsed Fortuño as their candidate for governor. However, several prominent NPP members demonstrated strong opposition to Fortuño's candidacy and victory.

As soon as the results of the March 9, 2008 primaries were announced, NPP's Second Vice President, Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer, announced her immediate resignation, saying "Effectively right now I am no longer the Second Vice President of this party. You will not see me ever again involved in active politics, party reunions or party meetings, as I now plan to become a private citizen. There's a lot of things I haven't done I want to do, and I'll also do some things I have to do to help the statehood cause". [ citation needed ] Ramírez was a candidate for Resident Commissioner in the primaries and was openly supporting Rosselló. She lost to Fortuño's candidate, Pedro Pierluisi, and to another Rosselló supporter who was also defeated, former Senate President, Charlie Rodríguez. When Ramírez was asked by the media if she will vote for Fortuño, she replied "My vote is secret".

Another strong voice against Fortuño was NPP former President Leo Díaz. Díaz accused Fortuño and his wife of having ties to PDP law firms and to colonialist interests. At a November 4, 2007, rally called "Con Fuerza para Vencer" (With the Strength to Win), Díaz said, "In this primary the life of this party is in jeopardy. The other candidate, Fortuño, isn't a real statehood defender! He should explain why he has ties with PDP's law firms and why the colonialist special interests are financing his campaign[. ]". [9] He has since rejoined party activities and chairs Santini's 2012 reelection efforts.

San Juan mayor Jorge Santini also made strong statements against Fortuño during the primary campaign, as he supported Rosselló. He said that Fortuño wasn't a "full-time leader" and that he "made arrangements with other causes". [10] He subsequently campaigned for Fortuño, both in 2008 as well as 2012.

2008 elections Edit

On November 4, 2008, the NPP retained and expanded super-majorities in the Legislative Assembly, and won both the Resident Commissioner and Governor race by a landslide. Towns that were previously strongholds of the PDP, like Ponce, Lajas, Guayama, Aibonito and Naranjito (the last four which had never before won an NPP mayor) elected NPP mayors as the results were completely counted, Luis Fortuño had won the governorship in 72 of 78 towns. Given the size of the majorities in the legislature, the minorities law has to be applied to prevent the party from having a two-thirds majority. Meaning that the New Progressive Party received at least 34 of the 51 seats in the House of Representatives and it captured all district seats of the Senate plus the 6 at-large candidates. Luis Fortuno received 1,025,945 votes defeating the incumbent Aníbal Acevedo Vilá by 220,635 votes or 11.5%. This is the second time a candidate for governor from the New Progressive Party has received over one million votes, the first time being Pedro Rossello in 1996. [ citation needed ] This is the largest victory the NPP has ever had and the largest defeat the PDP has ever suffered in election history.

2010s Edit

2012 election and plebiscite Edit

While Gov. Fortuño failed to win reelection on Nov. 6, 2012, his running mate Pedro R. Pierluisi Urrutia became Puerto Rico's top vote-getter and the NPP won by wide margins the two questions posed in a separate political status plebiscite ballot. Fifty-four percent rejected the continuation of the current territorial political relationship with the United States while 61% of those choosing another political status voted for statehood.

2016 election Edit

On November 8, 2016, the NPP's gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló beat the PDP's candidate, former Secretary of State David Bernier, to become the Governor of Puerto Rico. In the same election, Jenniffer González became the new, and first female, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. [11] The New Progressive Party became the majority in the Legislative Assembly by winning 21 seats of the Senate and 34 seats of the House of Representatives. However, the PDP retained a majority of the mayoralty races in the island, with a total of 45 out of 78 municipalities. The New Progressive Party (PNP) won a total of 33.

2020s Edit

2020 election Edit

In January 2021, the new delegation of 21 PNP elected officials pledged to not increase taxes citing an unemployment rate of 14% in Puerto Rico. [12]

Sources for Additional Study

Alvarez, Maria D. Puerto Rican Children on the Mainland: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New York: Garland Pub., 1992.

Dietz, James L. Economic History of Puerto Rico: Institutional Change and Capitalist Development. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Falcón, Angelo. Puerto Rican Political Participation: New York City and Puerto Rico. Institute for Puerto Rican Policy, 1980.

Fitzpatrick, Joseph P. Puerto Rican Americans: The Meaning of Migration to the Mainland. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1987.

——. The Stranger Is Our Own: Reflections on the Journey of Puerto Rican Migrants. Kansas City, Missouri: Sheed & Ward, 1996.

Growing up Puerto Rican: An Anthology, edited by Joy L. DeJesus. New York: Morrow, 1997.

Hauberg, Clifford A. Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans. New York: Twayne, 1975.

Perez y Mena, Andres Isidoro. Speaking with the Dead: Development of Afro-Latin Religion Among Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Study into Inter-penetration of Civilizations in the New World. New York: AMS Press, 1991.

Puerto Rico: A Political and Cultural History, edited by Arturo Morales Carrion. New York: Norton, 1984.

Urciuoli, Bonnie. Exposing Prejudice: Puerto Rican Experiences of Language, Race, and Class. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.

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