There is a very sad tape of Don Pedro Albizu Campos. It was recorded in 1953, while he was imprisoned in La Princesa.
Don Pedro discusses what is being done to him…the radiation torture in his cell.
Some people found it hard to believe.
Others ridiculed him, and called him “The King of the Towels,” because he tried to protect himself from the radiation by wrapping his head and body in cold wet towels.
The saddest thing is the sound of his voice. Don Pedro is so tired, he is suffering so much, but he carries on. He does not give up.
Years later, a woman named Eileen Welsome wrote The Plutonium Files, a book that documented how 16,000 Americans were subjected to undisclosed “TBI” (Total Body Irradiation) experiments by the US government. Many of these people died from radiation poisoning. Ms. Welsome won the Pulitzer Prize for her investigation.
Don Pedro was one of those tragic people, who was subjected to TBI.
Even more tragic is the way Luis Muñoz Marín presented Don Pedro’s case to the American public. He told everyone, on national TV, that Don Pedro was a lunatic.
He spent a full 90 seconds on it, from 7:20 to 8:50 in this video.
As we view these two videos, we might reflect on the way of life that these men pursued. What they left behind, for all humanity.
Don Pedro sacrificed his life for a free, independent island.
Muñoz Marín left that island in chains…and now, 6o years later, the chains are strangling Puerto Rico.