On September 19, Gov. Garcia Padilla shocked all of Puerto Rico with the announcement that he was “leasing” 34,500 acres of public land to the owners of Don Q Rum. The governor claimed this would “reduce up… Read More
Charles Herbert Allen was the first U.S. civilian governor of Puerto Rico (1900-1901). He was also the greatest robber baron to ever hit the island. In only 17 months as governor, he wired the entire economy and built… Read More
Cutting sugar cane was exhausting work. By the 1940s, the cane workers were making $10 dollars per week in Puerto Rico, for a 50-hour work week. Twenty cents an hour. They could not take a long lunch,… Read More
This photo was taken near Ponce in 1938. The sugar cane centrales owned the entire railroad system of Puerto Rico, which encircled the island’s coastline. Sometimes, the sugar cane trains seemed to stretch into eternity.
By 1935, US banking syndicates owned 80% of the cultivated land in Puerto Rico. Most of this land was concentrated into sugar cane centrales. All by themselves, the four largest centrales – Guánica, Aquirre, Fajardo, South Porto… Read More