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Lieutenant Carmelo Delgado Delgado[note 1] (April 20, 1913 – April 29, 1937) was a leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party (presided by Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos). Delgado joined the Abraham Lincoln International Brigade and fought against General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. The Republic's hero, Delgado Delgado, a Puerto Rican by birth and national origin, is thought to be the first U.S. citizen to die in Spain's civil war.

Carmelo Delgado Delgado
Born April 20, 1913
Guayama, Puerto Rico
Died April 29, 1937(1937-04-29) (aged 24)
vicinity of Valladolid, Spain
Allegiance Puerto Rico / Ideal of democracy and Republicanism in Spain
Service/branch Abraham Lincoln International Brigade
Years of service Spain: 1936–1937 / Puerto Rico Nationalist Party liberation armed forces: 1932-
Rank Lieutenant
Battles/wars Spanish Civil War
*Battle of Madrid
Awards Hero of the Republic: Spanish Civil War Medal of the International Brigades

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Delgado was one of three siblings born to Eladio Delgado Berrios and Flora Delgado Gonzalez in the town of Guayama, Puerto Rico. He spent his early childhood on his parents' farm located in the Guamani sector of the town and later moved with his family to the Calle (Street) Concordia esquina (Corner) Hostos in the town of Guayama. There he received his primary and secondary education.[1]

Puerto Rican NationalistEdit

Delgado enrolled and was accepted in the University of Puerto Rico, where he befriended Puerto Rican poet and Nationalist Juan Antonio Corretjer. Delgado became a pro-independence political activist and follower of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos. He was a member of the "Cadets of the Republic" (Cadets of the Republic), the youth organization of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. After earning his bachelor's degree, he moved to Spain in pursuit of a law degree.[1]

Spanish Civil WarEdit

On September 22, 1935, Delgado left for Spain and upon his arrival enrolled in the Central University of Madrid. He arrived in a Spain which was about to be confronted with a civil war between the government of the Second Spanish Republic and the pro-fascist Nationalists led by the Nationalist General Francisco Franco. Delgado became politically active as a supporter of the Spanish Republic and upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, joined the Abraham Lincoln International Brigade. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was made up mostly of volunteers from the United States, which included Puerto Ricans and Cubans who served in the Spanish Civil War in the International Brigades.[2] Delgado wrote to his friend, Puerto Rican Nationalist leader Carlos Carrera Benítez, the following letter:

"Everyday I have more faith in our country (Puerto Rico) and I see the day coming when our people, like the people of Spain will take arms to squash the tyrants (the United States) with the same valor and resolution that the people of Spain have taken against their military and political traitors." "How I wish that you were in Spain!. I know that you would not stand with your arms crossed and that together we would write a page that would be considered an honor in our land and a motive of pride for the land of our grandfathers" "No one in Puerto Rico should know that I have joined the revolution"[1]

Delgado was involved in the Battle of Madrid, when he became unaware that his troops were ordered to retreat. He was captured and sent to Valladolid, where he faced a military war tribune. The United States Embassy offered to help, however Delgado refused their offer. According to Corretjer: "Carmelo Delgado preferred to die before a firing squad than to beg for his live to the "Yankee" (in reference to the United States) who had invaded his country".[3]

AftermathEdit

Carmelo Delgado Delgado was executed on April 29, 1937 by firing squad, becoming one of the first United States citizens that died in that conflict.[4] The news of his execution reached Puerto Rico and was posted on the front page of El Mundo newspaper on July 25, 1937 as "Se confirma la ejecución del joven Carmelo Delgado" (The execution of Carmelo Delgado, a young man, has been confirmed).[5] Delgado's story has been narrated in the book Galería de héroes de Puerto Rico (Gallery of Heroes from Puerto Rico) by: José Morales Dorta.

Military decorationEdit

Carmelo Delgado Delgado was awarded the following:

  •    Spanish Civil War Medal of the International Brigades


See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Delgado and the second or maternal family name is Delgado.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Carmelo Delgado, Retrieved November 12, 2007
  2. ^ List of volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, Retrieved November 12, 2007
  3. ^ Prisoners of the Good Fight, The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939; by Carl Geiser; Westport, Lawrence Hill & Company, 1986, p. 11.
  4. ^ US citizens that fought against fascism, Retrieved November 12, 2007
  5. ^ El Mundo, 25 de Julio de 1937; by José Enrique Ayoroa Santaliz, "Carmelo Delgado Delgado", Claridad, 16-22 July 1993 (BibliograffIa y fotos), p. 24–25.

Further readingEdit

  • Delgado Cintrón, Carmelo (Dr.); "Carmelo Delgado Delgado" - Article by Carmelo Delgado Cintrón, Social History historian and legal historian of Puerto Rico
  • "Galeria de heroes de Puerto Rico" (Spanish); by Jose Morales-Dorta (Author); Publisher: Editorial Plaza Mayor (1997); ISBN 978-1563280887