Portal:Puerto Rico/Selected biography/16

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Román Baldorioty de Castro (February 23, 1822 – September 30, 1889), distinguished himself as one of Puerto Rico's foremost abolitionists and spokesman for the island's right to self-determination. He received his primary and secondary education in San Juan, Puerto Rico and after completing his elementary education, received a scholarship and moved to Spain, where he continued his studies at the University of Madrid. In 1853, he returned to Puerto Rico and began working as a professor at the island's School of Commerce and the Seminario Concilar. Baldorioty de Castro was selected to represent Puerto Rico at the 1867 Universal Fair, which was organized in Paris, France. In 1870, he was elected as a deputy in the Spanish Parliament where he promoted abolition of slavery. Baldorioty de Castro founded the Partido Autonomista in 1887, but he was only able to work within it for a few months before being imprisoned in Fort San Felipe del Morro, after being accused of publishing propaganda that affected the Spanish government's image. He was released after a brief period in jail, but his time in prison affected his health, which contributed to his death on September 30, 1889. (more...)