Monday, December 27, 2010

Ignorance becomes YOU!

As I usually do, I was recently reading the various posts at several other blogs around the blogosphere. What caught my attention the most was something written, in reference to the failure of Congress to pass the Dream Act, by Joe Vilson at, he wrote:

"They can cook up your favorite soup or prepare your sushi, but their children can’t sit in the same seats that your children can in school. They can make the parts of your favorite electronics and slice up your cured meats, but they can’t serve next to your brethren in war. They can build the penthouse in that trendy neighborhood you’re about to move into and clean up the chambers of the Congress you’ve been selected / elected to serve in for the next few years of your life, but they can’t have the same opportunity for uplift in their community as in your community. Because their intellect is different than yours; it’s more … foreign."

Of course, given the content within this blog, I began to think about Puerto Ricans in the same light. The ignorance of many and how they lump Latinos as all the same is, unfortunately, something shared by far too many within Congressional chambers.

Earlier this year, during a debate, republican candidate Vaughn Ward (R-Idaho) was answering a question in reference to support of Puerto Rico statehood, "The problem with extending statehood to some, to any other country, is that then, the infrastructure requirements ...."  at which, his opponent, Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), corrected him with, " Puerto Rico's not a country. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. It's about time that we take some civics lesson and we learned what Puerto Rico is." Bravo! Now, the response by Ward did not surprise me. If you clicked on his name then you know that Ward didn't win. That does leave me to many like him have made it to Congress?
His response, "I really don’t care what it is. It doesn't matter."

If it's all just the same, then when referring to Latinos, it would be, " I really don't care what they are. It doesn't matter."

Then came the news that NYC council member Dan Halloran, in an email exchange begun by council member Melissa Mark-Viverito ((D-East Harlem)to her colleagues, had stated, "This terrorist, like all terrorists, should rot in jail forever...I guess the 9-11 bombers could make the same argument. They were merely responding to the 'evils' of the U.S. Will you be asking for them to be pardoned too?"  The email exchange was in reference to Mark-Viverito's support of Oscar Lopez-Rivera's upcoming parole hearing. Lopez-Rivera, whom has spent 29 years in federal prison for seditious conspiracy, was never charged with causing harm or the taking of a life.  A comparison to the 9-11 terrorists?...c'mon, we all know, too well, the atrocious acts committed by them. In this day and age, when convicted murderers and rapists can serve much lesser terms, we find a man, who has paid the price for loving a 'nation' which he feels has been wronged, serving a sentence of 70 plus years.

Personally, I don't condone violence but neither do I agree with the sentence imposed on Lopez-Rivera. Halloran's statement therefore borders on an ignorance and lack of understanding in regards to the Puerto Rico colonial dilemma. History speaks for itself when those who choose to learn about it listen carefully. Maybe, Halloran needs to begin here, with George Washington. Hoorah!!

Republicano denuncia esfuerzos pro liberación de Oscar López

Friday, December 24, 2010

Solidarity and 102 Words

There are many things that strike me as funny (or rather deceitful and odd) when reading about the events surrounding the student strike in Puerto Rico. One thing stands out more then others and that is the statement, "there is really no support for the students." I beg to differ....the solidarity is far and wide. From as far as London, Germany and Spain to here in the U.S., there is plenty of support for the students of the University of Puerto Rico. The real problem is the lack of mainstream media coverage, as always...shame on them and shame on the naysayers.

Letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder from Puerto Rican Academics

Cuban National Assembly Expressed its Solidarity with Puerto Rican Students

Organización de Solidaridad de los Pueblos de África, Asia y América Latina (OSPAAAL)

You can also read some stories on how the tuition hikes will affect the various students. These stories are written by students themselves in a maximum of 102 Words.

**Solidarity Update**

UPR supporters swell the ranks of fee protest

Masivo apoyo a la Huelga en la UPR

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


PARTIDO NACIONALISTA DE PUERTO RICO MOVIMIENTO LIBERTADOR: MENSAJE AL PUEBLO DE PUERTO RICO DE JÓVENES EN LUC...: "Querido pueblo de Puerto Rico: En los pasados meses hemos escuchado estridente e insistentemente al señor Luis Fortuño y a algunos de los ..."

Petición al Representante Antonio (Toñito) Silva

Friday, December 17, 2010

Puerto Rico Student Strike Intensifies, Public Education and Civil Rights at Stake

BY Maritza Stanchich, Ph.D.

Coincident with massive, at times explosive, student protests in Rome and London, University of Puerto Rico has again become a flash point with a student strike beginning Tuesday that turned the main campus into a militarized zone of police, riot squads, and SWAT teams, complete with low-flying helicopters and snipers. What began as a conflict over a steep student fee hike is now seen as a larger struggle to preserve public education against privatization.

Read the full article here.

The above excerpt is from an article which was first published in the Huffington Post on 15 December 2010 by Maritza Stanchich, Ph.D. , an Associate Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The un-STATE-ly Behavior of the P.R. Government continues....

Back in April of this year, students at the University of Puerto Rico went on strike. The strike was over proposals by the University to cut back on its deficit by eliminating vital programs, limiting scholarships and increasing tuition fees. The universities history is one not without its political struggles, such as in a 1970 protest in which students were beat down by SWAT teams. The present has proven to be entirely different in that the protesting students have displayed a discipline, unyielding and mature approach to the issues.

Unlike the students, the Universities administration and the current Government administration have shown a somewhat rancid demeanor. A rally on May 20 at the San Juan mall, Plaza de las Americas, ended with injuries, arrests and pepper spray. Another at a Sheraton Hotel, where the Governor, Luis Fortuño, was attending a conference, ended with the same results.  Many contested the strike as more of an unnecessary stoppage by the students but what it really reflected was the social crisis facing the island. A high unemployment rate, a financial crisis and you add in increases to tuition and decreases to services and an education becomes an even more unattainable goal.  Throughout it all, the Governor seems out of touch, sending in the police force is like the easiest of responses.

Let's fast forward to the now and we have, yet, another student strike. With tuition hikes still looming, as Ed Morales reported, a private contracted security firms operatives were threatening students. This smelled of an administration which was hoping for a confrontation which never occurred but rather turned on them. And so, after a more than 30 year absence (a non-confrontational policy) from the Universities campuses, the Puerto Rico police force has entered onto campus grounds. Based on protesting student demeanor, this is an unnecessary move, one that equates to want of provocation by both University and Government administrations. It is they, whom clearly overreact.  The un-State-ly behavior of the current fascist-leaning Government continues as the student struggle continues.

PIP exige destitución del Presidente de la UPR

Lunes, 13 de Diciembre de 2010 16:01

San Juan, Puerto Rico. 13 de diciembre de 2010. – El Secretario General del Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP), Juan Dalmau Ramírez, exigió hoy la destitución o renuncia del presidente de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), José Ramón De la Torre, ante la imposibilidad de este poder brindar una respuesta a los reclamos de la comunidad universitaria y la prensa del país del porqué se debe imponer la cuota de $800.

“Quién no puede explicar claramente la razón de una cuota que mantiene en crisis y al borde de una huelga al principal centro docente y universitario del país, merece ser destituido fulminantemente. Si la Junta de Síndicos no toma las acciones necesarias para destituirlo son tan responsable como este de la ineptitud administrativa y deberían también renunciar a sus posiciones” puntualizó Dalmau.

Hoy el Presidente de la UPR compareció a distintos medios de comunicación y a la pregunta de si había evidencia o documentos en el que explícitamente se requiriera la imposición de una cuota de $800 para solucionar los problemas fiscales del sistema y asegurar la acreditación de la universidad, este no tuvo respuesta.

“Hay que recordar que la Middle State mantiene en probatoria a 10 de los 11 recintos, entre otras causas por falta de gobernanza, liderazgo y mal manejo presupuestario. Todos estos señalamientos están dirigidos a la mala administración universitaria, por lo tanto la amenaza de acreditación que actualmente enfrenta la UPR no es por las acciones estudiantiles sino por la incompetencia administrativa de sus dirigentes. El paso a seguir es destituir a quienes la Middle State señala como los responsables de la crisis, la administración universitaria”, concluyó el también Comisionado Electoral del PIP y ex alumno de la UPR

Courtesy/Cortesía -

Sunday, December 12, 2010

WikiLeaks everywhere...the walls eventually talk.

 I've been a spectator of sorts. Silently watching and reading the news and various other social and media platforms. From it all, I've gathered that from the evil that men do, or rather governments, came the birth of WikiLeaks. Is evil a bit harsh? What goes on behind closed doors within governments? Doors which WikiLeaks is trying to keep open. WikiLeaks seems to have unveiled what many have been saying for years. And so, no religious reference intended, in who do we trust?

A recent FaceBook note ends with these words "Reporters from influential national new media organizations have already begun to receive private warnings that they should be careful not to produce writings that would unleash the government’s fury." The note is in reference to student protests against tuition hikes at University of Puerto Rico campuses.  University administration, which is nothing more than another body of ggovernmental puppets which have their own skeletons in the closet, along with the current Governor, only exacerbate the situation. The message is a stark reminder to what extent some will go to silence others (of which this is only a minor example). In this case, the mouth of media organizations. The government has already unleashed some of its fury...Riot Police Seize the University of Puerto Rico, after 31 years of staying out of those very campuses.

The Government of Puerto Rico is no different than any other. In its push to convince the population of the island that statehood is the only way, it has conducted itself  like many of those that WikiLeaks exposes. The administration, being quite the dutiful subjects and conducting themselves like the masters, may continue to smile and whisper behind closed doors but the walls have ears.....and they eventually talk.

I recently tweeted, "Never bite the hand that feeds you...but then again, depends on what your being fed." Over 112 years of being it really any better? Maybe it's time to use the machete to cut the umbilical cord.

More WikiLeaks welcome......

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Manuel Fernández Juncos

Born in Tresmonte, Spain on December 11, 1846 Manuel Fernandez Juncos was a poet and journalist. He was raised in Puerto Rico from early age , where he remained his entire life.

From an early age, he dedicated himself to journalism. He read and studied languages. He began writing for various newspapers and in 1877 he founded the newspaper ," El Buscapié". The weekly newspaper venture became so pupular, promoting education and well being, that he went on to found "Revista Puertorriqueña". Juncos also founded the Institución de Enseñanza Popular y la Biblioteca Municipal de San Juan (Popular Education and the Municipal Library of San Juan).

Fernandez Juncos joined and then became the secretary for the Autonomist Party, founded by Ramon Baldorioty de Castro. When Puerto Rico gained its short lived autonomy from Spain, Juncos became the first Secretary of State.

As a writer, he studied and wrote extensively about Puerto Rican roots. He wrote the lyrics to the Puerto Rican national anthem that is known today; written because the earlier lyrics were considered unfavorable. While not considered the best, this version was adopted into law by the Puerto Rican Legislature in 1952. In 1977, it was approved as the official lyrics to "La Borinqueña."

Fernandez Juncos died on August 18, 1928 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

La Borinqueña
Palabras por Manuel Fernández Juncos

La tierra de Borinquen
donde he nacido yo
es un jardín florido
de mágico primor.
Un cielo siempre nítido
le sirve de dosel
y dan arrullos plácidos
las olas a sus pies.
Cuando a sus playas llegó Colón
Exclamó lleno de admiración:
"Oh!, oh!, oh!, esta es la linda tierra
que busco yo".
Es Borinquen la hija, la hija
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4th Annual Pa'l Pueblo Charity Event

It's that time of year when a child's smile can make a heart put a smile on a child's face.

George 'Urban Jibaro' Torres and Papo 'Swiggity' bring you....

Capicu Poetry in association with Notice Lounge has partnered together once more to host the 4th Annual"Pa'L Pueblo" Charity Holiday Drive. Toy donations and proceeds from the door will benefit children of Brooklyn's Bushwick United Head Start "Toys For Head Start" program founded by Capicu Poetry.
This event will be hosted by co-founder Papo Swiggity and will feature "Parranda" style music, a delicious Latino holiday buffet, Nuyorican/Urban poetry, conscious hip hop, comedy and community.

Migente, your $10 donation will help our Christmas toy drive survive the current economic recession- we aim to get toys for nearly 100 kids in Bushwick Brooklyn, like we have for the last 3 years!

This year, our Capicu Open Mic & parranda features the music of San Juan Hill- the Afro Latin Soul Band Collective from El Barrio! This live band combines innovative, original material with intense crowd moving performances, poured carefully into a pot of ingredients which include: Funk/ Soul, Latino Caribeno, Jazz, Brazilian, Hip Hop and House. All served with a side dish of Soultry vocals sung in Spanish, English, and Portuguese- Music for Struggle, Love and Life!

San Juan Hill


Proceeds from the door will benefit children of Brooklyn's Bushwick United Head Start school, located at 153 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn NY.

Adonde (Where @?)
Notice Lounge & Cafe
198 Union Ave (between B'way and Montrose)
Williamsburg Brooklyn NY 11211
Doors open at 7 PM- Open Mic list closes at 8pm
**SHOWTIME at 8PM!**
Right across from the 90th Precinct
$10 Cover
21 & Over

Pictures from last years event..