The History of the Puerto Rico GOP

The roots of the Puerto Rican Republican Party go back to July 4, 1899, when it was founded in the best tradition and purest aspirations for progress and equality; a group of men and women decided to give life to a new instrument of political struggle that gave the Puerto Ricans a deserved place of honor in the United States.

A man of extraordinary talents, sharp vision and great virtues, Dr. José Celso Barbosa undertook the task and with a group of followers developed a manifesto in March, 1899, which contained the basic tenets of the new organization. The Party supported the female vote,  entrepreneurship, universal access to education, and health for the entire population as well as the highest ideological aspiration: statehood.  During his studies at Michigan, Barbosa had witnessed the advantages of life on the mainland, and he wanted to provide those benefits to all the people of Puerto Rico.

The first Party meeting held in San Juan decided to participate in the elections of that year, 1899, to elect mayors and assembly members, gaining a GOP election victory that year and subsequently during the early twentieth century. In those early days, elections were held every two years.

In 1903, the Puerto Rican Republican Party joined the (GOP) National Republican Party, becoming one of the major parties of twentieth century Puerto Rico. For both the modernizing vision of the rural society of the time, and the hopes for equality that have been reborn in new generations over the years, we thank Dr. Barbosa, Martínez Nadal, Don Luis A. Ferré and the men and women who had the vision to establish and defend the ideal, even in difficult time. We recognize this story of triumph, honor and perseverance in this noble and gallant institution that is the Republican Party of Puerto Rico.

Note: We thank Luis Felipe for these historical notes.

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