Cancel Miranda, Rafael

Puerto Rican nationalist, with 3 colleagues shot 5 Congressmen in the House of Representativs in 1954

Price: $150.00 Special Offer - $125.00



Description:
(b. 1930) Member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, advocate of Puerto Rican independence. On March 1, 1954, he and fellow Nationalists Lolita Lebron, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irving Flores Rodriguez entered the US Capitol building armed with automatic pistols and fired 30 shots. Five Congressmen were hit, all survived, and Cancel Miranda, and the other 3 group members were arrested. His father was president of the Mayagüez chapter of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and his mother a member of the Daughters of Freedom, the women's branch of the Nationalist Party. In March 1937, when he was 7, he and his family traveled to Ponce to participate in a march organized by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party to commemorate the ending of slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873, and to protest the incarceration by the US of Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos on sedition charges. After the Ponce Massacre, Cancel Miranda committed his first political act in his first grade class when he refused to salute the US flag which was mandatory at the time. He joined the Nationalist Party youth organization, and organized Nationalist youth committees in different towns. In 1948, 18 and in high school, he refused to be drafted into the military, was arrested, charged with refusing the draft, and imprisoned in Tallahassee, Florida, 1949-51. On October 30, 1950, after a Nationalist uprising with a call for independence and against creation of the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico”, considered a colonial farce, many Nationalists were arrested, including his father. Cancel Miranda went to Brooklyn, and in 1953, appeared before the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations. In New York he met fellow Nationalists Lolita Lebrón, Irving Flores Rodriguez,and Andrés Figueroa Cordero. They were chosen by Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos to attack locations in Washington. Lebrón led the group, studied the plan, determined possible weaknesses, and concluded that a single attack on the House of Representatives on March 1, 1954 would be more effective. This date was chosen because it coincided with the Interamerican Conference in Caracas; Lebrón intended to call attention to Puerto Rico's independence cause among the Latin American countries participating in the conference. After the shootings, Cancel Miranda and his comrades were charged with attempted murder and other crimes. The trial began on June 4, 1954 under strict security measures. On June 16, the jury declared the 4 guilty and given maximum imprisonment sentences. On July 13, 1954, they were taken to New York, where they pleased not guilty on charges of "trying to overthrow the government of the United States". On October 26, 1954, a judge found them guilty of conspiracy, sentencing them to 6 more years in prison. The four were sent to different prisons. Cancel Miranda, considered the primary shooter, received a sentence of 85 years and was sent to Alcatraz where he served 6 years of his sentence. In 1960, he was sent to Leavenworth for 10 years, then transferred to Marion Penitentiary in Illinois. He was allowed out on a 7-hour furlough in Puerto Rico to attend his father’s 1977 funeral. In 1979, President Carter pardoned Cancel Miranda, Lolita Lebrón and Irving Flores Rodriguez after they had served 25 years in prison; Andrés Figueroa Cordero was released earlier because of ill health. Cancel Miranda and the others received a hero's welcome by different independence groups upon their return. Cancel Miranda authored 7 books and remains active in the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. In 2006, he was awarded the Jose Marti Order by the Cuban government for his work. ISP, 5 x 3 ½ color full-length candid photograph of Cancel Miranda (shortly after his pardon) standing with an African-American man, inscribed “To my friend Reverend Jackson” and signed. Additional inscription and signatures on verso dated May 4 1979. A most uncommon autograph, a rare signed photograph.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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