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As a student at the University of Puerto Rico, Cesar Antonio Santiago believed in political independence for his Caribbean home. He marched, he demonstrated and did everything in his power to break the relationship with United States that had started at the end of the Spanish American War in 1898.
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Ken Herrmann, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the State University of New York at Brockport. He served with the 4th/31st/196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam from May 1968 to May 1969. He is the President and Executive Director of an NGO in Vietnam, the Danang/Quang Nam Fund, Inc. and the Director of the SUNY Brockport Vietnam Program.
Ken has published numerous articles, book reviews, commissioned studies, and book chapters. His first two books I Hope My Daddy Dies, Mister and I’m Nobody’s Child exposed the horrors of child abuse and the inadequacy of foster care in America. Long a social activist, he also has provided services in several countries and for a variety of victimized and exploited populations. He has been a guest on hundreds of television and radio programs around the world and frequently lectures for professional, community, and other organizations.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"Mr. President. May I present Cesar Antonio Santiago of San Juan. He is the reason our country avoided unthinkable disaster. His effort saved lives not only here but in Europe and South America. As a Puerto Rican and as a U.S. citizen, he is a bright example for all of us. He has shown what happens when all parts of our diverse country are focused as one to untangle complicated international challenges."
"Please set down, Senor Santiago."
He watched the president who wore gold-rimmed eye glasses come out from behind a huge oak desk in the Oval office of the White House, who invited him to sit down in one of two leather chairs placed near the presidential seal.
"Thank you sir."
"May I call you Cesar Antonio?" While not large in size, his light blue eyes were penetrating.
Pausing a moment, his strong, sure voice reflected solemn gratitude. "I called you here for a reason...to thank you. If those four atomic bombs had not been found...well I don't think I need say more."
"Thank you Mr. President."
"Gerald Mann and Sam Boyd of the FBI have told me you provided precise information about how to find the bombs and the Claudio LeBlanc family. And my friend, Doctor Charlotte Livingston of Georgetown University here in Washington, has provided me with even more glowing details about you."
"It is very kind of Doctor Livingston to use such...as you say...'glowing' but undeserved compliments."
"She warned me you might react that was if I carried this too far." His voice was firm and radiated confidence.
They both laughed.
Leaning forward, President Clint Woodward looked Cesar Antonio Santiago straight in the eye. "I want to hear your story."
Not knowing what to say, it took him a moment to gather himself and respond. "Mr. President. I'm flattered. I'm sure Gerald, Sam and Charlotte have given you more than enough detail about my small role in this sordid affair."
Waiting a moment, the President said: "First, I know you put your life on the line for all of us. And second, I've been in politics a long time, Cesar Antonio. And if there is one thing I've learned it's better to hear from the primary source. While I gained important insight from what Gerald Mann, Sam Boyd and Charlotte Livingston said, I need to hear your version. I have the felling, without it, I just won't appreciate enough of what's gone on here."
"It's a long story, Mr. President."
"I believe what you have to say is so important, I've blocked out the entire morning to hear it. And if you need more time, it can be arranged."
"I will will one one condition."
"And what is that?"
"That you will consider it a continuation of a conversation held in this very room 100 years ago, between another American president, William McKinley, and another Puerto Rican, Eugenio Maria de Hostos."
Two years after McKinley took office March 4, 1897, they had met after the 113-day Spanish American War fought in the spring and summer of 1898 had ended in Puerto Rico following a Naval shelling of San Juan and a troop landing on the coast coast. At the signing of the Treaty of Paris on Dec. 10, 1898 in France, the United States had concluded its first overseas war with a European power and Spain had left behind Cuba and Puerto Rico, the last pieces of a 400-year-old Latin American colonial Empire.
"Then let's begin."
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Book Description News Center Publications, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M096500533X