Repressive measures intensify after the Nationalist uprising. Twenty
Nationalists die, more than 1,000 people are arrested, including those who had no
connection with the Nationalists such as communists and members of other independence
organizations. 119 are imprisoned. The Nationalists associated with the insurrection
were given sentences of 400 years. Another 67 are declared guilty of violating Law
#53, the so-called Gag Law.
The Gag Law was a carbon copy of the Smith Law, used in the United
States to combat communism during the McCarthy period. Pro-independence demonstrations
are prohibited. People who speak out for independence are jailed. Many are arrested
for making comments on the street, applauding Nationalist speakers, collecting signatures
against nuclear arms and, more curiously, for carrying flowers and praying at the
tomb of a dead Nationalist.
The Nationalists bring their struggle to the United States. Oscar
Collazo and Griselio Torresola attack Blair House, in an attempt to assasinate U.S.
President Truman. Torresola dies in the gunfire exchange with guards, Collazo is
condemned to death. His sentence is commuted to life. He is later pardoned by President
Jimmy Carter and released from prison in 1979.