Women, Gender and the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party


Lolita Lebrón led the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party’s March 1, 1954, attack on the US Congress to bring world attention to US colonialism of the island. She recounted, “[Pedro] Albizu Campos [Nationalist Party president] named Lolita Lebrón … leader of the attack. He named me and I was Albizu Campos’ top delegate in the New York chapter. No one was above me. That’s how it was.” She added, “I don’t want to say I was a victim, but I was affected by machismo.” The other members of the commando unit were male Nationalists, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irvin Flores. For Lebrón, being a woman leader was difficult. My compañeros were men and I was the only woman … They fell under so much pressure thinking they were men; they were the ones who gave the orders. on anything. I love these men. They are magnificent … [but] they were from a time when men ruled supreme.” Continue reading below…