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(La Coruña, Spain, 1872 - Washington, United States, 1939) Puerto Rican politician, leader of the workers and organizer of the first Socialist Party of Puerto Rico. Santiago Iglesias Pantín studied in Spain at a public school and was apprenticed to Carpenter. His desire to see the world led him to embark in 1887, at the age of fifteen. He arrived in Havana (Cuba) where he participated in the Organization of trade union activities. In 1896 he left Cuba to be required by the Spanish authorities because of their adherence to the Cuban revolutionary movement.
Churches embarked again to travel to England; However, it landed in Puerto Rico. In May 1897 he founded Trial workman, a supporter of the Puerto Rican workers organising newspaper. He was imprisoned by the newly instituted separatist regime. After spending seven years in prison, churches, along with other political prisoners, was released at the request of the United States Government after the occupation of the island by American forces.
Immediately after his release from prison, Santiago Iglesias Pantin continued with its activities in favour of workers, which caught the attention of the military Governor of the island, general John R. Brooke, who interceded on his behalf when the Spanish Government requested his extradition. Brooke also allowed him to continue his organizing work. In October 1898, he helped found the Regional Federation of workers and Social future, a newspaper that was published until 1900.
That year went to the United States, where he met and established relations with the President of the American Federation of the workers (AFL), Samuel Gompers, who appointed him general organizer of the AFL for Puerto Rico and Cuba.
He returned to Puerto Rico, where he organized unions throughout the island, and in 1903 founded the newspaper Unión Obrera. Three years later it became one of the founders of the free Federation of Puerto Rican workers, which is affiliated with the American Federation of workers. In 1908 he ran by this Federation for Commissioner resident of the American Congress, but was defeated by Tulio Larrinaga.
Churches believed that the Statute of State of the United States was necessary to improve the conditions of workers in Puerto Rico. According to this assumption, in 1914 he founded the Social Justicenewspaper, which was published until 1925. In 1915, he organized the Socialist Party, which campaigned in favor of the condition of State of United States. Under his leadership, the party grew rapidly. In 1916, as a Socialist leader, he was elected Senator of the island, where he served until 1932. During this time he participated in the international workers movement as Secretary of the Pan American Federation of the workers from 1927 until 1933.
On November 8, 1932 he was elected for a four year term as Resident Commissioner in the United States House of representatives. His victory was the result of a coalition between the Republican Union Party and the Socialist Party. In Congress, it belonged to the Committee on Insular Affairs, of agriculture, workers ' Committee and the Territorial Committee.
Santiago Iglesias Pantín introduced numerous proposals of law to improve the economic, political, industrial, and agricultural life of Puerto Rico, including a measure to amend the law that granted the people of the island the right to elect their own Governor. He also introduced bills that would allow the Puerto Rican people form Constitution and Government, as well as being admitted within the Union with equal opportunities as other States. These proposals not progressed.
As Resident Commissioner, he continued the work of his predecessors to expand social benefits and federal laws. He was successful in including numerous benefits and laws, as the Federal roads, the Bankhead-Jones Act, which funded the development of agricultural experimentation, the law on control of the suburbs, which helped reduce infection of malaria of the neighborhoods poorer, and the exemption from the payment of a tax to Steamboats between Puerto Rico and the Mainland which helped the growth of tourism.