Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PIP Repudiates Vandalism against Antonia Martinez Commerative Mural

In what is an apparent disrespect for the independence movement and its patriots, a mural of Antonia Martinez Lagares, located in Ponce, P.R., was defaced. The actions may have been those of some callous individual/s with complete disrespect for what the mural stands for or of an ignorant one devoid of the murals significance. Whichever the case, respect is mutual and should be earned but by commiting this act the culprit/s have no respect and think otherwise.

A press release condeming the defacing of the mural has been issued by the the PIP (Partido Independista Puertorriqueño). It condemns the action as a clear example of intolerance against the independence movement.

Photo courtesy jrbaspr

Repudia el PIP vandalismo en mural conmemorativo a Antonia Martínez

Comunicado de prensa
San Juan, Puerto Rico - 30 de marzo de 2010

El Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP) expresó su más enérgico repudio al ataque recibido por enemigos de la independencia que vandalizaron en Ponce el mural conmemorativo de los cuarenta años del asesinato de la mártir de las luchas estudiantiles, Antonia Martínez Lagares. Para colectividad la acción representa un claro ejemplo de la intolerancia contra el independentismo y una de las múltiples maneras en que se manifiesta la represión contra el PIP y otras organizaciones patrióticas.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Repealing Birthright Citizenship?

The following article appears on the site Hispanics Tips, therefore only a portion of its content is provided. The article, very interesting, offers some insight into birthright citizenship in reference to immigration. My first though, of course, was that of the idea of stripping those born in the U.S. of their citizenship and its relation to Puerto Rico. While the article does state that the idea has been "relegated to the domain of immigration restrictionists and select politicians," the idea in practice would have negative implications, not only on American society but, on the colonial Puerto Rican society as well. Think!

The Folly of Repealing Birthright Citizenship

This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a piece penned by journalist George Will on the topic of birthright citizenship. Will highlights a scholar who argues against giving those born in the United States birthright citizenship and characterizes the repeal of a 150 year-old constitutional tenet as “a simple reform.” Normally, the idea of stripping those born in America of their right to citizenship has been relegated to the domain of immigration restrictionists and select politicians who try to exploit it for electoral gains. In endorsing this argument, Mr. Will has looked past a whole body of research which examines the dramatic and far- reaching consequences this would have on American society. Continue reading--->

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's only a joke from the Puerto Rico Senate Majority Leader

How low can you go? Seems like some will stoop to levels that are too expletive. The latest drastic move by a member of the Puerto Rican Congress really doesn't surpise me.
Puerto Rico Senate Majority Leader Roberto Arango writes a letter to the U.S. House asking for statehood and in it are many grammatical errors. Seems like in Arango's desperation to make his request he failed to at least get a proofreader. This brings me to the question, "How prepared is Puerto Rico to become a state when only 20% of the island's population speaks english fluently?" I would not argue this fact if it were only a few years ago that Puerto Rico became a U.S. possession (I use the term loosely). Need I remind that the official languages are both english and spanish in Puerto Rico? I would think that if one seeks inclusion then at least have a better written command of the language. Instead, Angora takes it upon himself to write a personal letter and becomes the laughing stock of many while being a representative of the people. Now, as stereotypes go, we know what Washington may be thinking. What a shame!

Read the letter...

Note: The language argument is only but one that leads into a myriad of other problems from political to economic. Regardless of Roberto Angora's position and intention, he is still in a position of leadership which makes him a representative of the people. In reading the letter's content I would, therefore, have to say that at a minimum an attempt to write a more professionally written letter would have added plausibleness.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CAPICU [scratch/cut], CAPICU [cut/scratch]

If I sound repetitive, then so be it! Think of me as the DJ behind the two turntables scratching and cutting, bringing it back to the word.....CAPICU[scratch/cut], CAPICU[cut/scratch], CAPICU[scratch/cut]..... and as the DJ says "How y'all feel out there?" Well, I for one feel good, for Capicu Poetry and Cultural Showcase put on a 3rd anniversary show to put many others to shame. Understand that when you enter the realm of a Capicu show you enter the realm of familia. That feeling of being surrounded by good people is in the air. No matter the performance, whether a newbie or a veteran, there was something for everyone. To the Capicu Cartels, Papo 'Swiggity' and George 'Urban Jibaro', and the entire Capicu Familia...
"Happy 3rd Anniversary"
CAPICU [scratch/cut], CAPICU [cut/scratch]...... and Capicu goes on.....

Willie Perdomo

Marthalicia Matarrita

Marthalicias' painting of TATU, President and founder of the XMEN crew

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marcelo Lucero Case and Steve Levy

While health care reform and immigration reform take center stage in news reports an important case is taking place on Long Island,NY.

The Marcelo Lucero trial....Marcelo Lucero, who was 37, was murdered on Nov. 8, 2008 in Patchogue, N.Y. by a group of teenagers. A senseless killing based on sheer ignorance. Ignorance in that these teenagers were out to look for "some Mexicans." Marcelo was Ecuadorian, not Mexican but to those who seek to to destroy the dreams of those looking for a better life, we are all the same. Yes, Puerto Ricans included. Marcelo's accused murderer even went as far as having a tattoo of a swastika on his arm. One has to wonder where such hate comes from. These teenagers didn't just wake up one day and decide to be so hateful. This hatred is slowly ingrained. Proceed....

I am sure that those who champion the anti-immigration view in New York Sate are happy to know that the Suffolk County executive, whose record on anti-immigration is well-known, is planning to run for Governor of New York. This executive, Steve Levy, was quoted a few years ago stating that a flood of illegal immigrants’ babies was swamping the Southampton Hospital maternity ward. It is also on record that he stated that the Marcelo Lucero murder was a "one day story." Levy makes the claim that he is not anti-immigrant but rather anti-illegal immigration. Some go as far as calling him a racist, clearly, with such statements, he is a man that is insensitive and unsympathetic. Can New York, the state with the second highest immigration population (as of 2007) afford to have a governor with such a record? I think not!

Now from whom can we pick up a little anti-immigrant sentiment? Remember this....to these hate mongers we are all the same. If you are Latino then you must be illegal (or have some sort of papers! absurd!) or if you are dark skin then you must be black.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Latinos/Census: Black or White?

A fellow blogger's post really got me thinking about race and how it applies to Latinos. It always amazes me how there is always so much racial breakdown in this great society of ours. Simply put, race in America is as American as apple pie.

The census will prove to be interesting to say the least, especially when Latinos get to question #9. How to answer a question that forces Latinos to think black and white when being Latino?

While Latinos continue to assimilate into American culture the census leaves many embracing the answer "some other race." Yet, in the end, that which allegedly divides America, forces many Latinos to choose between black or white.

Breaking the Myths of Independence

The myths are many and some even go as far as making independence seem ludicrous. Just as the voices of those who seek entry into the union are heard, so must the voices of those who seek independence. In either case, the truths are the only words that must be spoken for far too often only the myths of independence are heard. These myths only serve to incite fear and dislike of the same.

On Friday, March 19, economist, professor and former candidate for governor of Puerto Rico, Dr. Edwin Irizarry Mora, held a conference entitled "Lo que debes saber sobre la Independencia: Rompiendo Mitos" (what you should know about independence: Deconstructing the myths). The educational conference, which was organized by the PIP (Partido Independista Puertorriqueño), was held for those eager to learn about independence as a final and definitive solution to the problem of the status of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Irizarry Mora spoke about Puerto Rico's failed economy and its comparison to other small countries and their economic growth while Puerto Rico's suffers.

Listen to the conference here.>>>> (in spanish)

El PIP rompe mitos sobre la independencia

Friday, March 19, 2010

Meet and Greet with Former Political Prisoners

Meet and Greet with Former Political Prisoners
on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 5pm.
176 East 106th Street New York in Manhattan (next to the Fonda Boricua Lounge)

The National Boricua Human Rights Network will be hosting a meet and greet with three of the former Puerto Rican political prisoners: Ricardo Jimenez, Adolfo Matos and Alicia Rodriguez on Saturday, March 20th 2010 at 5pm. This event will give the press and the local community a chance to ask questions and meet them in person. The event will be taking place at 176 East 106th Street, NYC. Visitors will also have a chance to view our art installation project, 30 Days for 30 Years: “The Experience of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner, Carlos Alberto Torres”.

April 4, 2010 will mark the 30th year of Carlos Alberto’s incarceration. In response, the NBHRN has recreated the isolation of prison. A different participant each day has volunteered to spend 12 hours in a makeshift prison cell, with only a notepad, pencil and book for comfort. The installation began on March 4th and will run consecutively until April 3rd. This project is also taking place simultaneously in four locations: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and San Juan, Puerto Rico. People can stop by and view the cell and participants 12 hours a day and learn more about Carlos Alberto Torres and the other remaining Puerto Rican political prisoner, Oscar Lopez Rivera and Avelino Gonzalez Claudio.

Carlos Alberto Torres was arrested in 1980, accused of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to 78 years in federal prison.

The National Boricua Human Rights Network is an organization composed of Puerto Ricans in the US with 3 main concerns: (1) The decontamination of the island of Vieques to its people; (2) The release of the remaining Puerto Rican political prisoners; (3) An end to the continuing political repression and criminalization of the Puerto Rican community.

Log on at http://boricuahumanrights.org/ for more information. Family and loved ones, as well lawyers and activists familiar with the campaign for their excarceration are available for interviews. Please contact Melissa Montero at melissam@boricuahumanrights.org for more information and a list of possible interviewees.

Melissa Montero
(718) 404-7174

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Women, Our Struggle Trailer

Our Women, Our Struggle Trailer

A documentary by Melissa Montero Padilla

Our Wom­en, Our Strug­gle (work­ing ti­tle) is a com­pelling hour-​long doc­u­men­tary that chron­i­cles the lives of three Puer­to Ri­can rev­o­lu­tion­ary wom­en – Is­abel Rosa­do, Loli­ta Le­bron, and Dyl­cia Pa­gan -​-​ who ded­i­cat­ed their lives to the Puer­to Ri­can In­de­pen­dence move­ment and as a re­sult were sub­ject­ed to FBI surveil­lance and each spent many years in prison.....cont.--->

Thanks to Luis Cordero Santoni and Marina Ortiz for providing info guidance to this video.(Via Virtual Boricua)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Truth is: La Verdad es____

Someone once told me a story about a prestigious law school graduate and a local university law graduate. After graduation they would both go on to work at the same law firm. The local university graduate would go on to exceed all expectations and become a superb attorney through hard work and dedication. The prestigious law school graduate would also move up within the same law firm but, "it's who you know" would be the reason for his advancement.

Now this is not a story to belittle one or the other but rather a point that sometimes you should get up off your knees and work hard. To work with what you have to make it better and grow independently and not with handouts. I would really like to hold back but, as time proves again, how much respect can I give to someone who is continuously on his knees. Always sniffing the butts of congress and repeatedly looking to convince the people that statehood is the only way. Allow me to step back and explain that Luis G. Fortuño, a graduate of Marist College in Guaynabo, with a B.S from Georgetown University and holds a Doctorate (J.D.) from degree from the University of Virginia School of Law has an interesting resume. He has spent a considerable amount of time in public service and practiced law (corporate finance and real estate law) as a partner in a law firm. For all this, Fortuño has proven that he is educated but not wise enough or simply close-minded.

In a recent visit to Cornell University he states, "this shining star of ours … is coming along on the road to statehood," and that is because he insist on it being the case. Fortuño has failed the most basic of tests, he is attempting to put a star in a circle. The path to economic reform and the myriad of challenges that face the island is a difficult one. The difficulty in this path is made all the more difficult due to the dependency and reliance on the U.S. dollar. On bended knees, Fortuño continues looking for Washington bailouts, while promoting statehood as the only viable option to climbing out of the current stagnant state.

One hundred and twelve years and the changes have been illusive to say the least. What the people of Puerto Rico need is the truth. Given his position and stature one would think otherwise.

¿me entiendes, Fortuño?

Statehood will give Puerto Rico economic, social parity with the U.S.
What was that, again?..Puerto Rican coalition asks Congress for health equality
'20 percent of the island's residents speak English fluently'
To be directed to Congress.. ¿Podemos mantener el español como idioma oficial y el Inglés como segundo idioma? ... or can they co-exist?

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-George Orwell

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sticks and Stones.......Still a Slur

As the old saying goes, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," well, that would depend on the word or words. In this case, the word is "spic." A word which has been used to negatively identify Latinos. While one should not dwell on it, the words negative reference should not be forgotten. To accept it in everyday language, is to accept its negative connotations.

Ed Morales writes about a panel discussion held at El Museo del Barrio, which drew a considerable crowd, in reference to the words use in a poetry series, held several months ago, entitled “Spic Up/Speak Out.”

S*** Panel Incites Controversy by Ed Morales

A few months ago a poetry series at El Museo del Barrio (peripherally located on 5th Avenue in El Barrio/Spanish Harlem) called “Spic Up/Speak Out” got so many folks riled up that El Museo caved just a week later and changed the name of the series. Apparently, the s-word has not lost its temporary currency as a revived slur, since last night, Taller Boricua, which might now be considered the “authentic” museo del barrio, held a panel discussion called “(Dis)empowerment: Addressing Controversial Subjects in Contemporary Latino Art,” to address a controversial work (“Round the Way Girl: Cultural Osmosis for a Native Gringa”) that foregrounds the word “spic” in what some considered offensive fashion.
Read the rest --->


In attendance and part of the panel was Nuyorican poet, educator and activist Jesus 'Papoleto' Melendez. The following letter was written by Melendez as a result of the the panel disussion....

Dear Self Respecting Puerto Ricans,

I am writing to comment on two or three points remaining yet salient, discussed or not, as a result of the panel discussion which was conducted at Taller Boricua on Thursday, March 4th, entitled “(Dis)empowerment: Addressing Controversial Subjects in Contemporary Latino Art,” on the topic of the use of the racial epithet “spic” in “Round the Way Girl,” a sculpture piece by Melissa A. Calderon.

Read the entire letter provided via Virtual Boricua.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A comment on ... An Independent Puerto Rico: For Better or Worse?

Note: The President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status was established in 2000 to provide options for Puerto Rico’s future status and relationship with the U.S.

In a recent public hearing held in San Juan, Puerto Rico the task force stated it was the first step in resolving the status issue and seeking more equitable treatment in federal programs. In regards to resolving the status issue one has to consider what status the U.S. is willing to grant Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is an "unincorporated" territory, meaning that it was never intended to become a state. It is then no surprise that during this latest hearing, when the Task Force was asked whether Congress would be willing to grant statehood to the island, Task Force officials sidestepped the question.

Far too often we hear about Puerto Rico's ability to self-govern and survive independently as a nation due to the many problems afflicting the island. The idea of it becoming a third world country, communist and invaded by Cuba are just a few. Never is the idea of an independent flourishing nation mentioned. This way of thinking is in part the fault of the ever darkening cloud that covers the island. The relationship with the U.S. and the dependency on it is only enhanced by the idea that statehood will offer more funding, employment and growth. Obviously, these are promises which steer the people to believe that the only possible way to flourish is to become a state (that is the colonial mentality).

While the people of Puerto Rico have a right to self determination, the process does not entirely begin with them, the process must also begin with the U.S. Congress facing its responsibility under the Territorial Clause. It must begin by offering Puerto Rico a serious and responsible offer without the colonial option.

To believe that Puerto Rico cannot survive on its own at the moment is, again, in part the belief that the people are less than and incapable of self-governing themselves. The truth is that economic development is directly affected by its current status and until that status issue is resolved the island will continue in its current economic and social malaise. Let's face it, the doubts to survive as an independent nation will always exist so long as the negative balance of survival exists.

Read-->An Independent Puerto Rico: For Better or Worse?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Antonia Martínez Lagares: An Assasination

On March 4, 1970, 21-year old, Antonia Martínez Lagares stood on a second floor balcony and watched as police officers from the Fuerza de Choque (similar to SWAT team) beat down fellow students. The students were protesting the presence of military recruiters in the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras) and its front known as ROTC. Seeing the actions of the police, Antonia would shout out against the brutality she was witnessing. As told by a student that was present and wounded at the same time, a police officer looked up , drew his gun and shot Antonia. The bullet piercing her head.

The events of that day would leave 100 injured and 1 dead, Antonia Martínez Lagares. Although a police officer was accussed, the accussed was pronounced free of guilt. The real murderer has never been tried before a court for this crime.

The following song was written/performed by Antonio Cabán Vale (El Topo) in her memory:


¨Antonia, tu nombre
suena a historia
de un pueblo que se busca
y se ha encontrado en ti.

Antonia, tu nombre
es como el alba;
los pájaros desatan
la luz del porvenir.

Antonia, los pueblos no perdonan…
Un día esta ley se ha de cumplir.

Aquellos que un día derramaron
tus pétalos de sangre
no sabían que así
echaban las semillas en el aire
y, a la vista del pueblo,
habían de surgir.

Tu muerte
la juventud la canta.
Es bandera en sus labios
y es bala de fusil.

aquí estamos presentes
para mostrarle al mundo
la luz que nace en ti.

Antonia, los pueblos no perdonan…
Un día esta ley se ha de cumplir.

Asesinato de Antonia Martínez

Monday, March 1, 2010

Puerto Rico Birthers by Ed Morales

You may or may not agree with my recent op ed (which has spread like wildfire from the Bellingham (Washington) Herald to the Cleveland Plain Dealer) that argues that Puerto Ricans are being saddled with an unfair burden by having their birth certificates invalidated en masse by the U.S. State Department and the so-called government of Puerto Rico.
But consider the reporting on the issue offered in today’s Newsday on the subject. You have to wonder, why is the government of Puerto Rico spreading misinformation as justification for this new law?

Read the rest at