Friday, July 30, 2010

From History to a Statue

History is usually one-sided. Written by those (the victors) who claim it as their own. Prior to 1492, before Christopher Columbus sailed the vast oceans, the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Caribbeans were making their own history. Unfortunate for them, that history went undocumented (written by them). They were inhabitants of lands that were supposedly then discovered and written about. Thus, the victors told their story and made it history.

How ironic is it that we celebrate a man who historically supported the enslavement of natives for economic reasons, was accused of governing tyrannically and used barbaric acts of torture to govern Hispaniola. His discoveries, which were preceded by the various cultures and civilizations of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, make all the negatives disappear.

It is apparent that Columbus' voyages set a chain reaction. His voyages opened the door to the Atlantic slave trade and to the near genocide of indigenous peoples.

A recent report states that a statue of Columbus might be erected in Puerto Rico. One of the many islands where his voyages took him and where the indigenous population was enslaved, brutalized and brought to near extinction. It is not enough to constantly remind the people that without an outside support structure they cannot survive that they now want to display the early colonizer.

Puerto Rico's government estimates it would cost more than $20 million to erect the statue. Another obvious attempt to show the extent to which the administration there will go in their attempt to kiss ***.

It's also obvious that dependence has become the norm.... Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi asking feds for help.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vergonzoso celebrar el ELA a estas alturas/ Embarrassing to celebrate the Commonwealth at this point

Comunicado de prensa
San Juan, Puerto Rico - 24 de julio de 2010

El secretario general del Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP), Juan Dalmau Ramírez, señaló hoy que cualquier celebración o conmemoración del Estado Libre Asociado a esta altura de nuestra historia debe provocar vergüenza y bochorno entre los puertorriqueños que aspiran realmente a erradicar el colonialismo en nuestro país.

“Constituye un monumental acto de cinismo derrochar tiempo dinero y esfuerzo en la celebración de un sistema político colonial que manifiesta cada día más su descrédito y la bancarrota económica, política y social en la que ha sumido al país”, puntualizó Dalmau. cont...


Press release
San Juan, Puerto Rico - July 24, 2010

The secretary general of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), Juan Dalmau Ramírez, said today that any celebration or commemoration of the Commonwealth (Free Associated State) at this point in its history should cause shame and embarrassment among Puerto Ricans who really aspire to the eradication of colonialism in our country .

"It is a monumental act of cynicism, wasting time, money and effort in celebrating a colonial political system that daily manifests its discredited and bankrupt economic and social policy which has plunged the country," said Dalmau. cont...

Enter on the Shores of Guánica

When General Nelson A. Miles, in 1898, set foot on the shores of Guánica, Puerto Rico, the promise of change from 400 years of Spanish colonialism seemed hopeful. An opportunity for freedom, prosperity and protection; with time, an opportunity to become a part of the U.S. or an independent nation.

What is General Miles importance to Puerto Rican history? A little background on this General reveals that he defeated Geronimo, Sitting Bull, and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe. How fitting that a General who played a leading role in many campaigns against American Indians (Indigenous peoples) and who believed that the US should have authority over the Indians, would come in peace to Puerto Rico. Not the case, for prior to the invasion spies were already in place and plans for an invasion had been drawn, resistance to the invasion there would be but the promise for em-betterment seemed greater. Some would welcome the coming troops with open arms and would be afforded positions in the invaded town. Such is the case of one, Agustín Barrenechea, who was appointed mayor of Guánica shortly after the first skirmish. Another campaign under the belt for General Miles and another opportunity at more authority. Now the case here is not to belittle General Miles for as one looks over his military career it is clear that from a military point of view he was an outstanding soldier.

There are always at least two sides to any story, such is the same in history. In the case of Puerto Rico, there were at least three battles fought prior to the invasion on the island but it was the capture of a Spanish freighter that set precedence. The capture of this freighter on May 8, 1898 set off a campaign which would lead to the invasion and many battles fought in Puerto Rico until the end of all military actions on August 13, 1898.
Simply believing that liberators were setting foot on the shores of Guánica and that the U.S was going to grant the island its independence made the campaign all that much easier. Unlike the battles fought against the indigenous peoples of the Americas for American expansion, Puerto Rico was not intended to be a part of this expansion. Unfortunately for Puerto Rico, the era of manifest destiny had come to a point which would not include it.
Change was to come, not in the form of independence but rather in the form of the "Americanization" process. From the establishment of a military government headed by General Miles to a change in currency the process had begun. The military government changed the name of Puerto Rico to Porto Rico and it remained that way until 1932 when the U.S. Congress changed it back. Schools became the tool of Americanization with classes, initially, being taught entirely in English.
The shores of Guánica opened the door to what has become a state of dependence that continues to cripple Puerto Rico. Four hundred years under Spanish rule plus 112 more under U.S. control has amounted to nothing more than a colonial mentality by far too many.

Uncle Sam watches as the "Goddess of Liberty" heralds freedom for Cuba,
Puerto Rico and the Philippines

"uneducated, simple-minded and harmless people who are only interested in wine, women, music and dancing" - U.S. Senator George Frisbie Hoar describing Puerto Ricans c. 1899¹

1. See New York Times article, published on 2/22/1899, Americanizing Puerto Rico & Puerto Rican Campaign, pg.11

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not just with your morning café...

A few tid bits from El Diario- La Prensa that I received today via e-mail which I would like to share.

El Diario- La Prensa responded to a Wall Street Journal article which consisted of many inaccuracies related to an article about Peruvian-born journalist Vicky Pelaez whom was one of 10 people who pleaded guilty of spying for Russia.

Several weeks ago, news that the personal data of 1,300 people, mostly Latinos, was leaked to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by Utah state employees, quietly made some headline. What I find interesting here is that a group calling themselves 'Concerned Citizens of the United States' is responsible for leaking information such as social security numbers, home addresses, workplaces and private health information. Let's reverse this scenario and see how these "concerned citizens" feel if the same were to happen to them.

This was a blatant disregard for the privacy of others sacrificed by committing an act that is clearly a security issue. Does this leave the door open for other information to be leaked? Where will this anti-immigrant sentiment take a country which was clearly built on the backs of immigrants?
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...allow me to provide them with those jobs that we, Americans, feel are below us or no longer feel like paying high prices for...then at the end of the day we'll just kick 'em out"!

Note: This was meant to be read with your morning café but a real coffee drinker can do that any time of the day. Enjoy!

Where is your pride now?

And so we have moved away from all the events that culminated into the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Although there may be other smaller parades, the flags disappear, the clothing become a permanent fixture in the closet and/or an old garb to be disposed of. Does your pride take a place within your bureau, closet or a shelf? Waiting for the next opportunity to be displayed?

The answer to the questions here are not those that need be displayed in a way that requires an individual to display a flag, sport a piece of clothing with cultural identity nor display pride like one would at a parade. It is though one that should be displayed through soul searching and seeking knowledge of culture and history. Walking with your head up knowing the accomplishments, sacrifices and courage in everyday life that many have and continue to display, should be more than enough to make one proud.

There is so much beauty and history in culture that needs to be passed on to younger generations in order to preserve the same. It is not a matter of raising younger generations with a particular view but rather one which would allow for them to develop their own views. To develop a connection with cultural identity and how that identity relates to the American way of life.

The answer here lies within oneself and ones desire to truly dig deep and walk the talk that is celebrated during the parade (NPRDP). Are you prepared to do so?

Spreading the Sunshine Award

First and foremost, I would like to thank those that have followed this blog since its early beginnings. While it is still in its infancy, there is still so much left to convey. I thank Clarisel Gonzalez of Bronx Latino/Puerto Rico Sun and Alexandra Roman of Alexandra Roman's Mink for being supportive of this blog and for both bestowing upon me the Sunshine Award.

One may not agree with all that is within the posts of this blog but I hope that some information is gained and/or that it incites others to want to learn about our Latino cultures.

The process of spreading the sunshine does come with a few adhere..

1. Put the award on your blog and/or within your post.

2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.

3. Link to the nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received the award.

Efrain's Corner would like to bestow the Sunshine Award to the following blogs/bloggers (in no particular order):

For the record, there are more than the twelve that I have listed here that are deserving but for the purpose here I will maintain it at twelve. Thanks again to Clarisel and Alexandra.

Monday, July 5, 2010

La mano dura en Puerto Rico - El Diario La Prensa NY

La mano dura en Puerto Rico - El Diario La Prensa NY por Ed Morales

El gobierno de Puerto Rico, encabezado por el gobernador Luis Fortuño, se ha embarcado en una campaña de decepción y reducción de los derechos democráticos para aplastar una oposición legítima a su programa de reforma neo-conservadora.

seguir leyendo....
La mano dura en Puerto Rico - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Also of interest... Unjustified force in Puerto Rico

Independence Day and Puerto Rico

Independence Day: commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The approval of the Declaration of Independence, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain.

On the other hand, July 1898 marks the invasion by U.S. forces on Puerto Rico. An invasion that has led to a 112 year old relationship mired with much political debate (and then some). From its early military occupancy, Puerto Rican citizenship, commonwealth status to its present colonial state it leaves one to wonder about a celebration in Old San Juan. Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi states "today is the day to celebrate the benefits, the privileges, the rights and liberties our founding fathers fought for with courage that Fourth of July 1776. Today is the day to enjoy those bounties for being Americans,” he said.

This comes after a two month long University of Puerto Rico student strike which garnered wide support. This strike, in which police and riot squads attacked and injured students, their parents and journalists on several occasions, was only the beginning of the PR governments arrogant and shameless attitude. To add insult to injury, the recent protest at the Puerto Rico Capital, further brought to light the total disrespect for human rights and liberties of protesters, by this near fascist government. The continued arrogance of an administration which seems to have a misconstrued meaning of "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

One lash after another continues to be the order within this far right wing Republican government, with a deep desire to be included as a state. The recent events seem to lean towards a more fascist regime, hell-bent on setting it own standards as the oldest colony on earth. This all seems two-faced, along with celebrating independence when, in 1953, the only real factor was the islands removal from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. A move which amounted to nothing more than a status name change. And so, oddly enough, as a colony and without self-determination, they celebrate U.S. independence.

UN Decolonization Committee Urges United States to Expedite Puerto Rico's Self-Determination

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Super marcha de protesta contra Fortuño


La acuerda la Asamblea de Ciudadanos convocada por el Colegio de Abogados, para el 18 de julio, segundo día de los Juegos Centroamericanos.

Super marcha de protesta contra Fortuño:::

Without Shame/ Sin Vergüenzas

Not too long ago Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño and Puerto Rico Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock were making their case for H.R. 2499. On the heels of the passage of the bill (passed in Congress, awaiting passage in Senate) came the strike by University of Puerto Rico (UPR) students, which lasted over 60 days.

During the student strike the apparent disrespect towards the students and their supporters was a shame. Even with the strike ended, the administration responds by increasing members of the UPR Board of Trustees, giving themselves an upper hand, whereupon the Board of Trustees decide to file a law suit against students. This action demonstrates a callousness and demeaning attitude toward the students. The police, during the student strike, demonstrated that they were just mere puppets of a Puerto Rican government administration that seeks to demoralize and brutalize those who do not approve of their decisions. The puppets demonstrated the extent to which they are willing to go by showing their force.

Now with the latest news of clashes between police and protesters at the Puerto Rico capital, the administration suffers another blow with the handling of the situation. The police resorted to the violent use of their batons and tear gas to repress what they called a violent crowd. These actions lead to many questions....How far will this administration go to show their might? Is this how the leadership in Puerto Rico plans to show their further desire to be the 51st state? Can one believe that the administration here is truly in tune with the people they represent? Is this their interpretation of the democratic process? This administration has proven that they are without shame...¡Sin Vergüenzas!