To learn about the incredible story of two Puerto Rican activists from two very different generations, simply continue reading to discover the fascinating stories of Rafael Cancel Miranda and Nina Droz.
Everything which you need to know about Rafael Cancel Miranda:
Miranda first became interested in political activism at just 7 years old:
When Miranda was just 7 years old he traveled to Ponce with his father in order to take part in a political march which was led by the Puerto Rico Nationalist Party. A party that Miranda went on to support well into his 80s. The protest was organized in order to protest the imprisonment of one of the party’s leaders by the US government.
Miranda chose to go into a self imposed exile to avoid military conscription:
In the 1950s when Miranda was in his twenties, he was afraid that he would be conscripted into the US Army to fight in the Korean War. As Miranda objected to war on moral grounds he decided to flee to Cuba in order to avoid being drafted into the army. As he had already served a prison sentence for avoiding being drafted into the US military when he was a teenager.
He was once imprisoned in Alcatraz:
After Miranda was found guilty of being part of a planned attack on the Puerto Rican House of Representatives Miranda was sentenced to serve six years in Alcatraz. The infamous island prison which was located just off the coast of San Fransisco. During this time Miranda’s family members, including his wife made several trips to Alcatraz in order to visit Miranda.
He was pardoned by US president Jimmy Carter:
In 1979 the US president Jimmy Carter decided to pardon Rafael Cancel Miranda.
Everything which you need to know about Nina Droz:
Droz was arrested on the streets of Puerto Rico:
Nina Droz was arrested on the streets of Puerto Rico in 2017, when she decided to sit on the street in order to block a line of riot cops which had arrived to put an end to a political demonstration.
The US District Attorney for Puerto Rico painted Droz as being a terrorist:
The US District Attorney for Puerto Rico spoke out to the media claiming that Droz was a dangerous terrorist who posed a security threat to the lives of everyday Puerto Ricans. A claim that Droz’ supporters fought to dispel.
The prosecution claimed that Droz’ parents couldn’t control her:
In order to try and paint Droz in a bad light, the prosecution tried to use video footage of Droz having an argument with her parents, to tarnish her reputation and to prove that Droz’ parents couldn’t control her. Which was a low blow and which failed to provide any evidence of Droz’ assumed guilt.
Droz was sentenced to 37 months in prison:
While Droz maintained her innocence after it became clear that she would not be given the right to a fair trial Droz decided to plead guilty to the charges against her and was sentenced to 37 months in prison. As well as 3 extra years on probation. A lengthy sentence considering that she was arrested for sitting on a road and did not take part in any violent protests.
While Nina Droz was brought up in a different generation to Rafael Cancel Miranda there are definitely many similarities in the incredible stories of both Puerto Rican activists.