Sweet Diamond Dust

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Chapter IV focuses on the presence of the Americans in Puerto Rico during the early part of the twentieth century and their subsequent development of the sugarcane industry there. During this time, the United States military occupied Puerto Rico. Due to this occupation, the native islanders were affected in numerous ways and were looked down upon by the Americans.

The Americans viewed the natives as incompetent and unable to be trusted. Many new American banks were popping up in Guamani that were reluctant to finance island run mills, but were giving money to the American run mills: "A number of powerful banks from the north had recently opened branches in Guamani…These banks, however, found no difficulty in financing the new sugar corporations that had recently arrived in town, but mistrusted island initiative" (26).

The opening and inauguration of the Snow White Mills, "…the ultramodern refining complex the newcomers (Americans) had been building from months on the valley," (28) was of major significance in this chapter. Don Julio was strong-willed and vowed that he would not sell any of his land and "share the same fate" as the other local sugar mills. It was rumored that the Americans had declared a cessation of hostilities in the sugar mills war, and were now willing to aid the criollo hacienda workers. This was his opportunity to mingle and discuss his plans with the owners of Snow White Mills.

When Don Julio arrived at the fair grounds, he made his way over to Mr. Durham and Mr. Irving, the president of the mills and the president of the sponsoring bank National City Bank, respectively. These two Americans saw the US victory as a major step towards modernizing for the US and for Puerto Rico: "'Twenty years ago it brought you freedom and order; this times it's bringing you our nation's progress. Thanks to that army out there your island is being inaugurated today in to the modern age," (32) said Mr. Durham...
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