Friday, June 26, 2009

Puerto Rican Flag

As the days go on and this years National Puerto Rican Day Parade becomes a memory I can still see images of the flags waving so proudly. The Puerto Rican flag..similar to that of the Cuban flag, is beautiful, handsome and gracious.

The Puerto Rican flag was adopted by the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, circa 1895. There are several accounts as to the actual creation of the flag but, nonetheless, it was a beautiful creation. The design of the flag is open for debate; Francisco Gonzalo Marin, Antonio Vélez Alvarado, Manuel Besosa and even Lola Rodríguez de Tió have all been credited with the design depending on the account.

While we see so many flags displayed proudly it is hard to believe that from 1898 until 1952 the same flag could not be displayed and was considered a felony to do so. It was 1952, when the flag was adopted and proclaimed the official flag of Puerto Rico.

Prior to 1952 :

  • The red symbolized the blood of the brave warriors, white for the peace and victory that would be attained after gaining independence, blue (sky blue) for the sky and blue coastal waters and the lone star represented Puerto Rico.

After 1952:

  • The red became to symbolize the blood that nourishes the three branches of government, the white became to symbolize a republican form of government and the blue triangle, which was changed to a darker shade like that of the U.S. flag, represented the three branches of government.

*Note: The blue was changed to the original sky blue tone in 1995.

YouTube video by millie2124


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boricuas: The Forgotten Soldiers

Yes, They are the forgotten soldiers...Boricuas of the Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment (Borinqueneers). On Saturday June 20th they were honored for their service during the Korean War in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The 65th was created in 1899 as an all volunteer battalion in Puerto Rico. From WWI to WWII to Korea, they have fought valiantly. In all, 61,000 Puerto Ricans served, 756 died and 2,318 were wounded in Korea. Read these articles ..... For Puerto Rican veterans and Not Forgotten....

Valerosos: Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment

I salute them for their valor.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Message From

I recently received the following email from in reference to the horrible crime against Brisenia Flores and her father Raul Flores. I absolutely abhor this heinous act and remind everyone that it is an act against ALL, not just one group. It only takes a moment of your time to sign in and take a stand......

Nine-year-old Brisenia Flores was sleeping soundly in her bed in Arivaca, Arizona when she was shot and killed in cold blood.

It was no random act of violence(1). Shawna Forde, the suspected mastermind of the home invasion robbery in which Brisenia and her father Raul were killed, leads the vigilante group Minutemen American Defense and has been tied to the national Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)(2). Both groups have been labeled as "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center and have a long record of dehumanizing immigrants and vilifying Latinos.

The problem is bigger than FAIR or any other group. Some members of Congress have been legitimizing these organizations for years—inviting them to testify as “experts”—while their rhetoric gives rise to violence against Latinos, like the killing of Brisenia and Raul Flores(3) That needs to end now.

Please join us in demanding that Congress renounce FAIR, the Minutemen, and all other anti-immigrant hate groups, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

It's time for Congress to stop legitimizing hate groups

FAIR and the Minutemen groups are regularly quoted in the mainstream media—FAIR more than 500 times in 2008—giving them a megaphone to broadcast their hateful rhetoric: like FAIR executive director Dan Stein’s claim that “illegal aliens are more prone to criminal activity than the rest of the population,” or Minutemen co-founder Jim Gilchrist’s assertion that it is “okay to say ‘rapist,’ ‘robber’ and ‘murderer’” when describing “illegal aliens.(4).

As vile as their words are, even more disturbing is when our elected representatives applaud their efforts and parrot their messages. Take Ranking Republican Congressman on the House Immigration Sub-Committee, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a long-time friend of extremist groups, who wrote that a day without immigrants in America would mean “the lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day.” Those debunked claims were then repeated hundreds of times by FAIR and others, creating an echo chamber of racism and hate(5).

Or take Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has likened immigrants to terrorists and child molesters, and has taken money from a group with white-supremacist ties(6).

Elected leaders like these, together with their allies in extremist anti-immigrant groups, create a climate of hatred that leads to violence – as evidenced by the recent string of hate-motivated killings across the country(7).

Enough is enough. Together, we can hold members of Congress accountable by demanding they stop legitimizing FAIR and the Minutemen. Please join us in doing so. It takes only a moment:

Thank you and Adelante

- The Team


1. “Home invasion suspects tied to border group,” News4, 6-15-2009

2. "Minuteman 'tactical' leader/murder suspect Shawna Forde was part of the 'respectable' nativist Right too," Crooks and Liars, 6-16-2008

3. “The Nativist Lobby,” Southern Poverty Law Center, February 2009

4. “Immigration: Getting the Facts Straight,” Southern Poverty Law Center, 5-08-2007

5. “Rep. Steve King: Carrying the banner for anti-immigrant extremists,” America’s Voice Online, 2008

6. “Sessions Called Incendiary On Immigration, Linked To White Nationalist: Report,” Huffington Post, 5-07-2009

7. “The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers,” New York Times, 6-13-2009

Please take a moment to let your voice be heard and spread the word.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Casa Ana Charity For Orphans Int'l Dominican Republic

George "Urban Jibaro" Torres and Papo "Swiggity" Santiago of Capicu Poetry and Cultural Showcase are two highly motivated Latinos who are always into new endeavors. I have had the pleasure of meeting them both and enjoy their energetic and enthusiastic attitude towards everything they do. For their latest endeavor, Capicu Poetry and Cultural Showcase along with Orphans International Dominican Republic (OIDR) present a charity event to benefit Casa Ana Charity For Orphans Int'l Dominican Republic.

The event, being held at La Pregunta Arts Cafe on June 25th and hosted by Papo Swiggity and Divino DeNegro , will be an evening full of spoken word, music and comedy. As of this writing, special invited guests include Cindy SugaRush, Jessie Rose, Dr. Loco and Blaze-A-Page. It is sure to be an enjoyable evening and all for a good cause...que los disfruten!

La Pregunta Arts Cafe
1528 Amsterdam Ave
between 135th St & 136th St
New York, NY 10031
(347) 591-6387
Thursday June 25th @ 7PM
Cover: $10.00

100% of the proceeds will go to the OIDR project.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Millions of People Around the World Are Not U.S. Citizens by Manuel Rodríguez Orellana

Manuel Rodríguez Orellana is Secretary for North American Relations for the PIP. He has also held the positions of Senator and Electoral Commissioner for the PIP. The following is an excerpt from a statement presented at the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida Seminar held on Saturday, June 13th.

"I have decided to resist the temptation to indulge in entertaining—but useless—debating jabs as to who is more, or less colonialist; or go into interesting but ultimately peripheral explanations of why a political party or movement would get more, or fewer votes in one electoral event or another.

I have also decided not to lecture on the economic feasibility of independence. As I assume we would all agree, Puerto Ricans are inferior to no one. Since many nations, smaller than Puerto Rico are doing better without federal funds or U.S. citizenship, while many of the more powerful or wealthy nations are currently in deep financial trouble, the economics of an independent Puerto Rico are collateral matters of public policy or fiscal administration, not a core issue of status politics. Therefore, I have decided to talk about the essence of Puerto Rico’s status problem: a nation’s inalienable right to self determination denied."

To read the full statement click........And yes, Puerto Ricans are inferior to no one!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Decolonization: Is This The Same Old Song?

The Special Committee on Decolonization, on 15 June 2009, approved a draft resolution calling on the U.S. to expedite a process that would allow Puerto Ricans the right to self determination and independence. The Committee also requested the release of all Puerto Rican political prisoners, expressed serious concern about actions carried out against independistas and encourages investigations into these actions...if you want to read the full text click here. I urge all to read the full text to get an understanding of what is stated.

This is nothing new as this is the tenth consecutive year that the text has been approved. Will anything ever really come out of this? Will the U.S. really allow for Puerto Ricans to determine their future arguing that it is not a U.N. problem but merely one between its territory and U.S. citizens in that territory. The list of arguments are very long and the relationship (albeit, a poor relationship) between the U.S. and Puerto Rico is even final question for now ...will there ever come a time for Puerto Ricans to honestly have the full right to self determination with no "intervention"?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nuestra Cultura

So now that the festivities and the parade are over do you stop being Puerto Rican? Do you stop showing the pride? Do you fold that pride like a shirt and put it away for next year?

I was at the parade myself and the colors, as always, were everywhere. I wore a pair of shorts with a short sleeve shirt and a pair of sneakers and none had a anything Puerto Rican on it. Not because I didn't want to show my pride but because my pride comes from within me and I carry it everyday....Boricua todo los dias....mira mi cara....
I challenge all to learn nuestra cultura, share nuestra cultura, teach nuestra cultura, support nuestra cultura....

Youtube video courtesy lopz33

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I am....Yo Soy....

It was about 11 or 12 years ago, during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, that a young man approached me and handed me a flyer. I quickly glanced at the flyer, folded it and put into my pocket. Little did I know that the flyer in my pocket was going to send me into a cultural identity search.
As a young boy, I had visited Puerto Rico numerous times. My visits were always an escape from the concrete jungle that was New York. I recall running deep into the heavy brush that was behind my grandmother's casita and getting lost for hours at a time. Memories of playing with the boy from across the road even when my spanish was limited are still with me. There was no language barrier when it came to playing. But as I grew older, the trips lessened until finally they were no more. By that time though, the feeling of being Puerto Rican had already been instilled in me.
Back in New York there was always the typical Puerto Rican dish that my mother cooked. There was always a small Puerto Rican flag hanging by the door. If it wasn't a flag then it was a figurine, dish or some other type of souvenir from Puerto Rico that would unconsciously remind me of being Puerto Rican. It was something I had never given much thought to. I had never questioned what a Puerto Rican was, what a Boricua was, what I was. It was that which I had always been around and accepted as the norm.
The Puerto Rican Day Parade, like family parties I attended, was just another social norm which I never gave much thought to other than for music, food and fun. Another opportunity to shout "Boricua" and "Puerto Rico" as loud as you could. That's what it was all about, at least that was the assumption.
It wasn't until the day after the parade that I finally unfolded that flyer and the image of a clenched fist with a Puerto Rican flag behind it capture my attention. As I read the flyer I became a bit confused as it mentioned colonialism, prisoners of colonialism and freedom. That flyer was the one single piece of paper that aroused my curiosity so much so that it sent me into a whirlwind identity search. Of course, finding material on the history and culture of Puerto Rico was no easy task at the time. Nevertheless, I was determined to find what ever information I could. To get an answer to my question, "what am I, really?".
Since then, I have amassed a small collection of books, have learned a great amount and still continue to learn more as there is so much history and culture to absorb. On the identity question, there is no longer a question nor doubt. In the book, Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings- An Anthology, edited by Roberto Santiago he writes in the introduction of his experience while talking to a Jewish boy. The Jewish boy spoke about his culture and history but when he asked Roberto about his, Roberto really didn't have the answer. All I could think, as I read that, was how similar my reaction would have been. Hence, I say " you are what you want to be, you are what you define yourself as, you are that which you associate with the most....", yes, I am a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, I am a Boricua hasta la muerte, not just once a year but every day.

" I am new, history made me. My first language was spanglish.
I was born at the crossroads
and I am whole"
-From Child of the Americas by Aurora Levins Morales

Santiago, Roberto "Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings - An Anthology". One World/Ballantine, 1995. 77

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mi Gente!! It's Viva Viernes

For those Latinos who are loving the Twitter experience and can't get enough of it, here is something new. If you are familiar with #followfriday (which you should be) then you need to know about #vivaviernes , an idea brought on by Julio Varela . Stop in at Julio's blog and get all the info:

So, let's show some Latino love and make this bigger than #followfriday. See you on Twitter....

Viva Viernes

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Exhibit: Visions of Puerto Rican Pride

If your in the New York area and looking to support some Latino/a artist then here is an event you can support..the following is a reprint of an invite I received..Que los disfruten!

Exhibition: Visions of Puerto Rican Pride
June 12th – 28th 2009 – Opening Show on June 12th 7:00 PM –10:00PM
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center, Inc.
107 Suffolk Street
New York , NY 10002
Contact: Mia Roman Hernandez - / 646-361-6448
Free Admission

About the show:
“Visions of Puerto Rico & Puerto Rican Pride” Celebrates Puerto Rican culture through Photography. The show will include more than fifty works by emerging and established artists from Puerto Rico, Miami Fl. and New York City . Each artist brings a unique style and vision. These artists have discovered the beauty, tales and the history to their culture in which has been incorporated into their craft of photography. Some of the pieces will depict Community, Urban settings, Music, Nature, Family, Politics and Spirituality. The photos will embrace the cultural empowerment of the Puerto Ricans and their pride. The photos will evoke emotion, feeling and discussion. We have bridged a gap between the Puerto Ricans on the Island and the Puerto Ricans out side of the island and this exhibit is the result of that connection.

Art is an expression of the unconscious and is dedicated to the free expression of

Artists include:
Clarisel Gonzalez, Mia Roman Hernandez, Elena Marrero, Vivien Perez, Carissa Hernandez, Christopher Lopez, Susan Alvarez, Marcelino Pagan, Luis Cordero, Pepper Negron, Marie Paola Martinez, Gamalier Martinez, Gerardo Javier Melendez Silvagnoli, Marielly Martinez, Ismael Nunez, Pablo Colon, Eluid
Martinez, Sebastian Perez, David Cabrera-Villafanas

Poetry By: Gloria Fontanez & Tony Camacho

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bizzare Foods: Puerto Rico

I received this email earlier today and thought it would be worth a check. According to the email, Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern series is taking place in Puerto Rico. The following are the details as emailed...

Episode Details for this Week: Puerto Rico
On tomorrow night's episode of Bizarre Foods, Andrew takes a tour of Puerto Rico where the flavors of the food tell the history of the island. From the deep-fried treats brought in by Africans, to the roasted pork made popular by the Spanish, Andrew tries a variety of traditional foods.

Andrew's culinary tour kicks off with stops not usually seen by the average tourist. First is a local bakery in San Juan where he tries Mallorcas (a Spanish pastry) and Cocas (similar to pizza, but with vegetables and sardines). Next, he visits Plaza del Mercado de Rio Piedras to find some unique local products including: Algarobba, Mavi (a drink made from sugar and tree bark), Corazon, and Caimitos (a star shaped pulpy fruit).

What would a trip to Puerto Rico be without pork? On Sundays, Puerto Rican families like to hop into their cars and take a trip up into the mountains of the Guavate Region, where they pig out on roasted pork. There are a dozen of lechonaras that serve pork along the so called “Pork Highway”, but the original is El Rancho Original. In Andrew's own words, "That little bite that I had there is the best pork I've ever eaten in my life!".

This is just the beginning! Be sure to tune-in tomorrow, June 9th, at 10pm E/P.

Que los disfruten!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dr. Edwin Irizarry Mora on P.R. Economic Policies

Economist and Puerto Rican Independence Party leader Dr. Edwin Irizarry Mora joined the march to protest Puerto Rico's government economic policies on Friday. Read what he had to say....At protest, Irizarry Mora criticizes economic policies

Photo by jrbaspr @ Picasa Web Albums

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stupidity and Ignorance

Who is Tom Tancredo? For the purpose of this post I googled the name; you can click on it if you like but after his ridiculous statement in reference to the National Council on La Raza and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor I think he can..... OK, I'll refrain from going there. Now let's see..on his ridiculous statement about the NCLR and Sotomayor's membership...stupidity and ignorance. I don't know about you but when I hear the kkk it conjures up images of lynchings, beatings, cross burnings and many other violent acts. I would like to know when was the last time the NCLR committed violent acts to promote La Raza... I'm waiting....that's right you can't think of any because they never have...

At Tom Tacredo Says NCLR=KKK=Sotomayor is Racist

At NCLR: We can stop the nonsense

Monday, June 1, 2009

June: It's Time for a Puerto Rican Day Parade

You know it's June when you start to see Puerto Rican flags displayed on cars, windows,clothing and anything else you can think of. While there is Boricua pride all year long, June is the month that you will see it the most with all the festivities abound before and after the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Events are a plentiful so if you can't make it to one there is always another.
At, you can check out an article entitled " June is Puerto Rican party time in NYC " by Clarisel Gonzalez for some good info.

Another parade of note is the annual Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade held in Brentwood, Long Island. The parade held by Adelante of Suffolk County, Inc since 1967 is in its 43rd year. This years theme is “Celebrating Latino Pride in a Changing America-Yes We Can!”. To complement the parade, this year they are having a festival in hopes of making it an annual event.

No matter what you do, enjoy it mi gente! Palante con orgullo Boricua!

Sounds of salsa to fill 5th Ave. with National Puerto Rican Day Parade
For a more in depth listing of parades visit

Yerbabuena - Boricua, Boricua