THE STEADY WORSENING of conditions on the island, going hand in hand with the apparent impossibility, under colonialism, of doing anything about the matter, strengthened Muñoz' belief in independence as essential for Puerto Rico's salvation. That belief, however, differed radically from that of Albizu Campos in that it involved no hostility toward the United States. Indeed, while the Puerto Rican super-patriots regarded Muñoz as being anti-American, he was undoubtedly by far the most American, and the greatest real friend of the United States, among all the island's political figures. He made it clear at all times that he wanted independence "as a matter of mutual convenience to the people of Puerto Rico and the people of the United States," to be achieved by peaceful means and mutual agreement. When heckled about his views by a Congressional committee, he once startled the Congressmen by saying: "Without in the least wanting to belittle the memory of George Washington, I must say that I am unalterably opposed to the use of violence for the achievement of independence."
Moreover, he seems to have regarded the idea of independence, also, as a potential energizing flame to stir the people of Puerto Rico into action on their own behalf. When I saw