Transformation: The Story of Modern Puerto Rico

By Earl Parker Hanson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
1940

REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES, it was probably inevitable that Muñoz should eventually be ousted by any party which had taken him in--no matter how brilliant his record. Political parties need money to survive; in Puerto Rico such money came largely in the form of donations from the sugar industry and its associated business activities; sugar didn't mind giving money to a party which advocated the enforcement of the Five-Hundred-Acre Law, to be followed eventually by independence--as long as it confined its efforts to advocating and didn't do anything real about the matter. But Muñoz was no lip-service politician. He stated his political theses and then set out to implement them. He regarded politics, not as a career or a means for personal enrichment or advantage, but as a convenient means for carrying out the ideas which he, as a poet and a patriot, had formulated.

I remember talking to his chauffeur in 1936, when Muñoz was still a senator. "Señor," said the latter, "I have driven for nearly all of the big political figures on the island, but I never again want to drive for anybody except Muñoz Marin. He is the only politician here who always says exactly the same things to people who ride in his car with him that he does in his public speeches."

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