Thursday, March 31, 2011

People for the Ethical Treatment of Puerto Ricans: Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the world

People for the Ethical Treatment of Puerto Ricans: Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the world: "Odilia Rivera Santos Yeah, let's talk about it. The conversation will remain civil because I will delete uninformed or incoherent comments..."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Puerto Ricans: Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the world: "Fellow Puerto Rican, residing in Puerto Rico, Miguel C. Adrover Lausell adds his voice to the discussion."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Disastrous Job Well Done

There are some things which are difficult to explain. Of those things are the disastrous Puerto Rican status issue and the debates about it. This is an issue that never seems to end on common ground. We could go on longer than any energizer bunny and it always comes to a point of no resolve. The chains that bind continue to do so.

When I am asked why I call the colonial issue a dilemma, I respond frankly with a simple, it is what it is. It is an issue that ends without an ending. It is an issue which has surpassed generations. It is an issue as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

As I read a report entitled, "Only one in four Puerto Ricans working", I thought of another report detailing several polls on the latest go at another plebiscite. The report ends with poll results on the status question. As always is the case, Statehood takes the lead. Statehood (43%), Commonwealth (39%), Independence (7%), no vote (4%), unknown(3%) and no opinion (4%).  Of course, there are always margins in polls. What I would really like to know is the sentiment of the unemployed and those who are barely making it. It's obviuos that this can be broken down into many economic and social situations and the polls will reflect that.

What am I getting at? Well, thanks to Fortuño and his lousy administration there is no need for  terror from forces outside of Puerto Rico. The U.S. has no reason to even hold on to Puerto Rico as it holds no real importance in this day and age. If you think Cuba is reason enough, then you are sorely mistaken. We've seen how easy it is to drop bombs on foreign lands that are thousands of miles away, no threat there. Puerto Rico is merely the bastard child that was invaded over 100 years ago and has become the child that never leaves home. Seems like Fortuño is doing a hell of a job at destroying it as well. From abusing students, academics and lawyers to laying off thousands of workers,  Fortuño has amassed an exceptional record at screwing up. About the only thing he has done for Puerto Rico is push the statehood idea. Outside of that, he has done an excellent job (on his knees, of course) at shining the shoes of those within the Republican and Tea party crowds.

The illness is embedded in the psyche of so many that it is nearly impossible to pull away from the best of both worlds mentality. That illness is dependency.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Divide and Conquer

Football, a national pastime in America. The status/colonial dilemma, a national pastime in Puerto Rico. When speaking about Puerto Rico, my mother would sometimes ask, " Ay Dios, ¿qué le va a pasar a mi Puerto Rico? And that is the pastime.

World events, most specifically all the unrests in the Middle East and Africa, may have had some asking if such a thing could happen in Puerto Rico. The truth is that there may be more division, even within political parties, than cohesiveness to arrive at such a point. To even begin to approach the status dilemma in an honestly fair and resolute manner, great strides must be made. Understanding, from mainland U.S. to the island, among Puerto Ricans in every community, must be greatly fortified.

I question myself, how can we even begin to make strides when we have bickering such as was recently witnessed when Chicago Congressman, Luis Guitterez, made an honest speech about the UPR crisis before Congress. His speech was met with remarks that displayed the very divisive nature (nothing new) which requires understanding. The backlash that followed from the Puerto Rico politicos was a clear and concise message, that we are not equals. Oddly the same argument that comes from their very mouths when speaking about the second-class U.S. citizenship they so dearly cherish [sarcasm]. Or is it? I must admit...I am not a fan of Congressman Luis Guitterez but his speech before Congress was absolutely phenomenal.  So, when they question Guitterez's right to speak about them and the events on the island they need to look deeply into the many Puerto Rican enclaves, not only in the U.S. but every where there is a Puerto Rican. There they will find many who share a love for Puerto Rico, care about it and cherish the culture and their connection to the island proudly. They need to clearly understand the simple words by Juan Antonio Corretjer, "yo sería borincano, aunque naciera en la luna".

While the current Puerto Rico Administration cronies focus their sights on Washington and their political gains, the crime rate and unemployment rate continue to climb ever so high. A few musicians denounced the crime wave recently (I question their motives), a crime wave which seems more and more like a brewing civil war. It seems more imporatant, to the government administration, to brand protesting UPR students as criminals and to send full cavalries of police to the UPR campuses than finding solutions to the dire problems facing the island. 
Go get a job to pay for that extra tuition. What job? The latest numbers have the unemployment rate at  15.7%. Can it get any worse? Well, let the scams begin. I see a greater need for social service programs and aid from Uncle Sam. How then can you expect a society that is increasingly at a greater point of dependency to make a decision on its future? Come on. Are we really that naive that we can't read between the lines? For the most part, I think not!

It can't be said enough..... ¡Despierta, borinqueño!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

En el Día Mundial de Solidaridad con la UPR

Via RedAcción /Puerto Rico

Deseo expresar mi solidaridad con amor y respeto a todos y todas los estudiantes de la Universidad de Puerto Rico que están en pie de lucha. La Universidad de Puerto Rico es de ustedes y del pueblo, y no de politiqueros y burócratas engreídos que la tratan como si fuera propiedad suya. Ello les da el derecho a ustedes a luchar para convertirla en la mejor institución académica, que responda a sus intereses y a los de nuestro pueblo. Es la justa lucha que libran la que en gran medida determinara el futuro de ustedes y el de las generaciones de estudiantes que sucederán a ustedes y al de nuestro pueblo.

Si se pretende lograr un Puerto Rico mejor y más justo ello requiere ello requiere el mejor sistema de educación pública y la UPR tiene que ser la piedra angular de ese sistema. Pero los elementos que hoy pretenden controlarla usaran todo su poder para la lucha que ustedes libran. Hemos visto como han tratado de detenerlos utilizando la fuerza bruta de la policía y proscribiendo y criminalizando sus actos. A esas envestidas ustedes han respondido con mucha creatividad y sagacidad haciéndoles ver que no los pueden arredrar, ni parar. Ya ustedes cuentan con el apoyo de nuestro pueblo tanto en Puerto Rico como en la diáspora boricua y también con el de muchos sectores progresistas en este País y através del mundo.

Desde este gula los/las exhorto a no olvidar que la organización es fuerza que todo esfuerzo a favor de una lucha justa siempre es fructífero. Si queremos un Puerto Rico y un mundo mejor y más justo hay que lucharlo. Así que pa’lante con muchas esperanzas y valor.

Fuertes y cariñosos abrazos,

En resistencia y lucha,
Oscar López Rivera

Puesto cortesía/Post courtesy RedAcción / Puerto Rico

Photo Courtesy La Яevuelta

Sunday, March 6, 2011



February 16, 2011 – Networks of sympathizers with the ongoing student strike at the University of Puerto Rico announced today that thy will stage simultaneous demonstrations in solidarity with the UPR in cities around the world on Friday, March 11, 2011, and invited all supporters to join them, coordinating their own activities in their respective towns. Those interested in self-organizing demonstrations can email redaccion@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to sign the Declaration, or visit for information on already scheduled activities. Event organizers urged people to send in videos, and/or statements of support, from their demos. The full text of the Declaration follows.


“Antonia, Peoples never forgive.“  -Antonio Cabán Vale "El Topo"

March 11, 1971 was one of the bloodiest single days in the history of the University of Puerto Rico. The main campus at Río Piedras was occupied by the Puerto Rico Police, unleashing violent confrontations that ended the lives of two police officers, including the then chief of the notorious Tactical Operations Unit, and one student.

Barely one year before, on March 4, 1970, during a student demonstration, student Antonia Martínez Lagares was shot dead by police. These tragedies influenced a series of decisions that helped reduce the intensity of on-campus conflicts during the following decades, including the removal of the United States' Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), and an institutional commitment to resolving conflicts without police intervention.

Forty years later, the UPR community, led by the students, still struggles for a democratic and accessible institution, against the abusive and exclusionary policies of the latest colonial government. Among these, aside from its clear intention to privatize higher education as much as it can, said government has laid off over 25,000 public employees, and intends to build a gasoduct across the island that will displace entire communities and impact areas of high ecological and archeological value.

In this context, the Río Piedras Campus once again lived several months of police occupation, with the open support of the government and university administrators, in reaction to the strike democratically declared by the Río Piedras General Student Assembly, rejecting an unjust and arbitrary $800 hike in the cost of studying. The eyes of the world watched as Puerto Rico Police officers tortured peaceful civil disobedients with impunity, sexually accosted and attacked women students, discriminatorily harassed student leaders, and savagely beat people, even under custody, all before the television cameras.

There can be no doubt that the recent decision by Governor Luis Fortuño to withdraw the bulk of the police force from the Río Piedras Campus is a partial victory for the students, who with their bravery and determination have raised the political cost of sustaining that level of repression way to high for the government to afford. However, now is not the time to lower the guard. It wouldn't be the first time that the Fortuño administration temporarily curtails its use of brute force, only to return even more violently under any pretext. We are convinced that if the Puerto Rico Police is not removed immediately, completely, and permanently from all UPR campuses, it will only be a matter of time before another March 11.

In addition, we are united by the firm conviction that the demands of the UPR community are just. The strike is still in effect, and the struggle (its current phase) will continue until the $800 hike is eliminated. In the longer term, we support a real democratization of the decision-making process in the UPR, so that it is the community that determines the best way to handle the institution's financial and administrative problems.

For all of these reasons, Friday, March 11, 2011, fortieth anniversary of that fateful March 11, will be World Day of Solidarity with the UPR. On that day we will hold, in our respective cities, simultaneous demonstrations together with individuals and organizations that support just causes. At a time when the powerful voice of the brave Egyptian people and all arab nations is still ringing around the the globe, we are confident that the people of consciousness of the world will welcome this initiative and organize their own activities of solidarity on that day.

We enthusiastically urge you to sign on to this Declaration, and send us video, images, and statements of support from your World Day of Solidarity with the UPR demonstrations.





Amsterdam – Antonio Carmona Báez, +31 634 492 261,
Barcelona – Josean Laguarta Ramírez, +34 653 841 946,
Madrid – Laura Rodríguez; +34 671 461 356,
Manchester – Félix Aponte-González; +44 755 474 7801,
New York – Ángel González, +1 (917) 842 0381,
Chicago – Elías Carmona, +1 (773) 885 1967,
Boston – Stanley Rosario, +1 (617) 755 1457,
Philadelphia – Alicia Rivera, +1 (267) 978 3096,
Hartford – Papo Castillo, 787-662-7202,