Santiago Iglesias: Resident Commissioner, 1933-1939

Puerto Rican labor leader Santiago Iglesias personified long-term relationships that linked Latinos and labor, and progressive politics during the New Deal.

Born in Spain, he served as the secretary of the Workingmen Trade Circle in Havana in 1889 before moving to Puerto Rico. There he started several labor papers and became an ally of AFL President Samuel Gompers and then founded the Puerto Rican Socialist Party in 1915.

He served as the secretary of the Pan American Federation of Labor from 1925 to 1933, before moving into government at the start of the New Deal.

Iglesias served as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico to the U.S. Congress from 1933 to 1939, and was responsible for bringing the benefits of New Deal programs to the island.

For more information, see Clarence Senior, Santiago Igleasias: Labor Crusader (Hato Rey, Puerto Rico: Inter American University Press, 1972).

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