Remember the March 21,1937 Ponce Massacre!

Featured

By Carlito Rovira 

 

The colonization of Puerto Rico began as a consequence of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico were deemed as “spoils of war” — the result of Spain’s surrender to the United States. Puerto Rico was then colonized by a new tyrant. The island nation soon after became a staging ground for U.S. military ventures throughout the Caribbean and all of Latin America; a practice that continues to this day.

 

It was V.I. Lenin, leader of the 1917 Russian Socialist Revolution, who rightfully characterized the Spanish-American conflict as the first war among imperialist powers. They aimed to battle each other in order to obtain new colonial possessions.

 

Throughout the history of the U.S. colonial presence in Puerto Rico outspoken advocates for independence have been the targets of Draconian measures. Members of the Nationalist Party lived under the constant threat of being blacklisted from employment, their homes being firebombed, imprisonment, torture and being killed by the various repressive agencies.

 

U.S. colonial policy in Puerto Rico has always been administered with brutality and complete disregard for the wishes of the Puerto Rican people. It was precisely this disposition by the colonial rulers which brought about one of the most horrifying events in Puerto Rico’s history.

 

The Ponce Massacre

 

In the city of Ponce, a peaceful protest was planned for March 21, 1937. The demonstration was intended to raise the demand for independence and the release from prison of Nationalist leader Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos.

 

albizu_joven.jpg
Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos

 

Although permits were unnecessary, the organizers requested permission to have the event out of respect for the sympathetic mayor of Ponce. The organizers were granted a legal permit to proceed with their plans.

 

The notorious U.S. Army Gen. Blanton Winship was appointed colonial governor by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Despite the “liberal” projections made by bourgeois historians and apologists Roosevelt was just as brutal as any colonizing head of state acting with imperial arrogance. Boricuas suffered tremendously under the FDR administration and Winship’s racist implementation of colonial policy.

 

massacre4winship.jpg

 

Outright military rule was the form of colonial government, pronouncing an occupation by a foreign power. Winship tried everything possible to stop the nationalist protest, including using outright gangster tactics aimed to intimidate.

 

In this period of intense repression, the U.S. government, through Winship, sought to stamp out all nationalist sentiment of self-identity — especially the quest for independence and self-determination.

 

On that Palm Sunday morning, hundreds of people–women, children and men — gathered at the town plaza, in defiance of the colonial government’s wishes. Among those who assembled were women dressed in all white who gathered as Nurses of the Republic. The youth organization of the Nationalist Party, the Cadets of the Republic, who were present in uniform, black shirts and white pants. Church congregations and others also formed their contingents.

 

 

partido_nacionalista.jpg
The Cadets of the Republic was the youth organization of the Nationalist Party.

 

A Nationalist color guard in military formation unveiled the outlawed Puerto Rican flag. With clenched fists in the air, the crowd began to proudly sing “La Borinqueña” — the original (revolutionary) national anthem of the colonized people.

 

At this point, the police had completely sealed off the area where the nationalist protest was gathering. With grenades, tear-gas bombs, carbine rifles and machine guns, under the directions of Winship and the central colonial government, the police prepared the bloody onslaught.

 

Once the crowd began to march, and with full knowledge that the mostly young participants were unarmed, the police did the unimaginable — they opened fire.

 

Ponce_Massacre.jpg
Photo taken as the colonial police begin their attack.

 

The barrage lasted about 5 minutes. The participants which included elderly and children helplessly attempted to escape the horror. The entire gathering began to desperately run to save their lives from whistling bullets everywhere. People screamed in horror as they witnessed the chaos and blood splattering from the bodies of their compatriots who fell to the ground from gunshots wounds.

 

When the shooting ended, 19 people had been killed and over 200 lay wounded. The event brought sadness and shock throughout Puerto Rico. The funeral procession for the martyrs was one of the largest in Puerto Rican history — about 200,000 people attended.

 

The cruelty of the Ponce Massacre sheds light on the many hideous crimes committed by the U.S. government against the Puerto Rican people. Destruction, death, plunder and rape are the trademarks of this system. Puerto Ricans are expendable to the U.S. colonizers; let us never forget how the U.S. government allowed 4,743 Puerto Ricans to die from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

 

“It was love for the freedom of our homeland — Puerto Rico,” Nationalist iconic figure Doña Isabel Rosado once said, “that gave strength to the martyrs of Ponce. Nothing in this world is more powerful than this emotion — not even the guns of the colonial assassins.”

 

And it is precisely this emotion that worries U.S. colonialism even to this day — an emotion that will prove fatal to them when the Puerto Rican masses rise up eventually to avenge the Ponce Massacre.

 

Colonial policy changes only in form.

 

The nationalist movement that rose up in the first half of the 20th Century compelled the U.S. colonizers to change their methods of subjugating the people of Puerto Rico. Long after the Ponce Massacre, decades later into the present day, the U.S. colonizers became more sophisticated in their methods of domination.

 

By 1952, Washington, DC allowed some semblances of democracy, in order to attempt fooling the people with illusions of inclusiveness and to disguise the exploitative nature of the colonial relationship before the eyes of the world.

 

The U.S. colonizers developed such a confidence in their new tactics of colonizing that they were now willing to allow individuals of Puerto Rican origin in public offices of the colonizing state apparatus, even at the highest level of the U.S. government — as in the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court today.

 

The rulers have no problem granting Puerto Ricans visibility; it’s in granting the right to independence, that is, real political power, where they feverishly have a problem. And because freedom is never granted from the “goodness” of an oppressor, it will require a revolutionary mass movement to wage a relentless battle in order to achieve it.

 

The U.S. empire is more vulnerable than what most people realize; it has brought on itself enemies in all parts of the globe. One can feel certain that the Puerto Rican people are destined to win their historical struggle for the independence of their homeland. That inevitable glorious future moment will be the Puerto Rican contribution to the worldwide defeat of U.S. imperialism.

 

 

800px-Flag_of_Puerto_Rico_(Light_Blue).svg.png

QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg January 24, 1874 – June 8, 1938

 

Salute to the memory of

ARTURO ALFONSO SCHOMBURG

on the anniversary of his birth

 

 

By Carlito Rovira

 

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was an Afro-Boricua scholar who devoted his entire life to compiling vast collections of writings and art documenting significant events in Black history. When Shcomburg was just 8 years old he was told by a school teacher that Black people had no history. This assertion naturally bothered him for a long time.

But as he gradually grew older, Schomburg found the teacher’s claim to make absolutely no sense. That encounter became Schomburg’s motivation which led him to set out and prove wrong such racist notions.

African chattel slavery also touched upon Puerto Rico, which became the consequence of Spanish colonialism in both Africa and Latin America.

Before moving to New York City, Schomburg was a member of the clandestine Revolutionary Committees of Puerto Rico. Years before Schomberg’s birth it organized an anti-slavery & pro-independence uprising in 1868 known as El Grito De Lares. Although that attempt to rid Puerto Rico of Spanish colonialism failed, the movement for independence continued to exist. Throughout his life Schomburg remained a firm advocate for Puerto Rico’s independence.

 

Untitled.png

 

As the persecution of Black people in the United States intensified, with lynching and white racist riots presenting a dangerous and menacing setting, coupled by Schomburg’s childhood memory of a demeaning comment made to him by a school teacher, raised his commitment to the idea of affirming the validity and truth of Black history.

Ridiculing the racist fables about the origins and history of Black people became Schomburg’s central focus. His noble quest eventually proved indisputably the extent of white supremacy’s corruption and baseless reasoning for existing.

Once in New York City, and for the remainder of his life, Schomburg collected large amounts of materials relevant to the history of Africa and the African diaspora. His work unavoidably brought to light the falsehood of white historians who interpreted the history of human social development strictly from a European perspective, thus concealing what are the African people’s pivotal role in that process.

Schomburg’s scholarly work was indeed revolutionary; it was part of a historical countering trend in academic and scientific fields that exposed the hypocrisy of racist and anti-working class apologists for capitalism — such were adherents of Social-Darwinism, Eugenics, etc.

 

Arturo_Alfonso_Schomburg.jpg
Arturo Alfonso Schomberg

 

Schomburg became a prominent figure during the Harlem Renaissance. Along with famous figures like Langston Hughes this movement succeeded in challenging the ideological facets of white supremacy through the literary, visual and performing arts.

The collection of literature and art materials he compiled are permanently housed at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located in Harlem. Arturo Alfonso Schomberg shall forever be remembered as a hero of the oppressed, by those who fight for Puerto Rico’s independence and by those engaged in the historical struggle for Black liberation.

 

Arturo Alfonso Schomberg — PRESENTE!

QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE!

 

 

 

Cuba and Puerto Rico: Two wings of the same bird

By Carlito Rovira

 

Since the earliest human societies, people have used animal images to express their beliefs. Painting animals on pottery, garments and cave walls arose from ritual notions about the power of this imagery.

With the development of class society, animal symbols took on new meaning. Animal characteristics have been interpreted in folklore to explain the miserable reality of the poor or to justify social privileges for wealthy rulers.

Leading capitalists like J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie promoted Herbert Spencer’s “social Darwinism” during the rise of imperialism. This “theory” described the exploited and oppressed as “weaker species”, etc.

On the other hand, the predatory bald eagle was chosen to glorify a government that sanctioned genocide and chattel slavery.

But the oppressed have also used symbols-in this case to express their resistance. One famous example is “the two wings of the same bird” concept. This metaphor was created by the legendary Puerto Rican revolutionary poet Lola Rodriguez De Tio and later on was put into musical rendition by Cuban poet and revolutionary leader Jose Marti. It was used to describe the historical relationship of solidarity between Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Since some of the most beautiful birds in the world inhabit the Caribbean, it was easy for Lola Rodriguez De Tio and Jose Marti to use this life form as poetic symbolism. The “bird” they described is made up of the island countries of the Greater Antilles-the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica, with Cuba and Puerto Rico on opposite ends in the region functioning as wings.

Both Lola Rodriguez De Tio and Jose Marti were internationalists. They identified with all anti-colonial struggles. They both had a special affection for each other’s country, which shared a common suffering under brutal Spanish tyranny.

De Tio and Marti expressed a revolutionary tradition in poetic form. In the early 1860s revolutionaries from both countries secretly met in a hotel on Broome Street in New York City to form the Society for the Independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Members of this group helped facilitate the 1868 “El Grito De Lares” uprising. Under the leadership of Ramon Emeterio Betances, African slaves, workers and peasants fought this battle. When their attempt at independence failed, hundreds of Puerto Rican rebels went to Cuba to continue the fight against Spanish colonialism.

 

Caribbean people fight for Cuba’s and Puerto Rico’s freedom

 

Haitians, Dominicans, Jamaicans and Puerto Ricans were among the insurgents who fought in El Grito De Lares and Cuba’s El Grito De Yara, both in 1868. This inspired Jose Marti to preserve the use of the “two wings” metaphor.

Marti recognized the threat a rising U.S. imperialist power would pose to the Caribbean peoples. His wish for a united Caribbean federation was based on a calculated necessity. Familiar with the atrocities the U.S. rulers committed against the oppressed at home, Marti knew he could expect no better treatment from the United States than from Spain.

In 1895 Cuban revolutionaries launched a war for independence. They were gaining the upper hand in the war against Spain. But in 1898 their efforts were interrupted when the United States invaded Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

Two years later on March 24, 1897 Puerto Ricans attempted once again to use force in their quest for freedom at the uprising known as “Intentona de Yauco.”

Jose Marti died in 1895. He never saw his wish for a free Cuba in a Caribbean federation come true.

But thanks to the 1959 Cuban Revolution, his ideals remain alive today. Although Puerto Rico and Cuba live under opposite social systems, there is still solidarity between the peoples of the “two wings.”

Cuba’s revolutionary government has officially recognized Puerto Rico’s independence struggle. It even established an “Office of Puerto Rico.”

Cuba has also given political asylum to Puerto Rican anti-colonial fighters sought by the U.S. government. At the United Nations, Cuba has fought for world recognition of Puerto Rico’s right to independence and self-determination.

Many Puerto Ricans return this solidarity by continuing to break the criminal U.S. blockade against Cuba, traveling there from Puerto Rico itself. For decades these anti-colonialists travel back and forth to Cuba.

In 1997 renowned Puerto Rican Salsa musician Andy Montanez invited Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez to perform in Puerto Rico. When right-wing Cuban exile singer Celia Cruz objected, many in Puerto Rico, including radio disk jockeys, prepared to launch a boycott of Cruz’s music.

Those people in San Juan who proudly acknowledge the “two wings” tradition greeted Silvio Rodriguez’s performance with cheers.

The oppressed peoples’ drive to unite and maintain such traditions in their common struggle is a vital weapon to end U.S. imperialism’s rule. No country in the world has remained committed and firm in their solidarity to Puerto Rico’s struggle for national liberation than Cuba.

 

LONG LIVE THE TWO WINGS OF THE SAME BIRD!

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the 1978 CERRO MARAVILLA murders!

By Carlito Rovira

 

Forty years ago, on July 25, 1978, Puerto Rican police assassinated two young pro-independence activists. This brutal and blatant murder, known as the Cerro Maravilla murders, exposed for the world to see the violence with which U.S. imperialism keeps Puerto Rico in chains to this day.

The controversy and the cover-up that followed were like none other in Puerto Rico’s political history. It involved government officials at the highest level, top police brass as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department.

Arnaldo Darío Rosado, 24, and Carlos Soto Arriví, 18, had been involved in pro-independence groups before. Inspired by the heroes of independence who championed the liberation of the homeland from U.S. rule by any means necessary, they joined the Armed Revolutionary Movement (MRA). The MRA had no experience in such matters, it never carried out any military actions in the past.

 

untitled33.jpg
Arnaldo Darío Rosado and Carlos Soto Arriví 

 

A police agent, Alejandro González Malavé, infiltrated the group. He recruited Darío and Soto to set fire to a communications tower on the mountain named Cerro Maravilla. The act was supposed to protest the imprisonment of Oscar Collazo (imprisoned for the 1950 armed attack on U.S. President Harry Truman) and Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores, and Andres Figueroa Cordero (imprisoned for a 1954 armed attack on the U.S. Congress).

By 1978, the freedom of these political prisoners was a campaign of paramount importance, both to the pro-independence movement in Puerto Rico and to human rights advocates around the world. In fact, it was a frequently mentioned issue in news outlets throughout the world and at United Nations Organization discussions on decolonization.

It was a clever manipulative tactic by the Puerto Rico Police. First and foremost, July 25th is the date of the U.S. military invasion in 1898. And because Arnaldo and Carlos were highly devoted to the cause for Puerto Rico’s independence but were too inexperienced to detect how they were being lured into a trap, it was easy for the police to lead them to their deaths.

 

COLONIAL POLICE MURDER ARNALDO & CARLOS

 

On the evening of July 25, 1978, the three forced taxi driver Julio Ortiz Molina to drive them to the communications tower at the top of the mountain in Cerro Maravilla.

Once the vehicle arrived at the location, heavily armed police opened fire on the cab. Darío and Soto shouted, “Don’t shoot, we surrender,” according to well-documented testimony. The two were dragged out of the car, savagely beaten then forced to kneel. They were then shot, execution style.

 

1538615522341681042393592232177233782426
A sketched depiction of Arnaldo and Carlos being murdered.

 

Cops who testified during the investigation disclosed that several hours before the murders, officers assigned to the sting were ordered by Col. Angel Perez Casillas, commander of the Intelligence Division, that, “These terrorists should not come down (from the mountain) alive.”

Eyewitness accounts confirmed what many in the independence movement had all along asserted. The assassination of the two independence activists was a political statement on the part of the colonial Puerto Rico Police.

Then Governor of Puerto Rico, Carlos Romero Barcelo, of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, immediately hailed the cops as heroes.

Pretentious investigations were conducted by the colonial government, as well as by the FBI and the Justice Department, but only to assist in a systematic cover-up motivated by the already existing colonial setting in Puerto Rico.

In the aftermath of the killings, every agency involved in the investigation was quick to exonerate the killer cops and demonize the two victims, and for clear-cut and well-defined reasons. The Puerto Rico Police exists as the principle enforcer of U.S. colonial policy.

Historically, every political repressive act by the U.S. rulers involved the complicity of the Puerto Rico Police. It has served as the pit bull of U.S. agencies, most especially the FBI; dating back to the attacks on Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, the Nationalist Party and the brutal Rio Piedras and the Ponce Massacres.

This specially trained armed attachment of U.S. colonialism is perhaps one of the most sophisticated apparatuses of law enforcement in all 50 states and occupied territories. It is defined by colonial law as a “quasi-military” organization which is granted assistance by the National Guard, in everything involved to the work of a “civilian” police force.

 

TYRANTS ARE NOT INVINCIBLE. POLITICAL ADVANTAGE CAN SHIFT

 

Regardless of differences in political beliefs, widespread indignation to these murders came from all sectors of the population. A momentum grew to such a degree of pressure that it caused a political crisis for the U.S. colonizers in Puerto Rico.

On April 29, 1986, undercover cop/provocateur Alejandro González Malavé was assassinated in front of his mother’s house in Bayamón. He was shot three times by a group identifying itself as the “Volunteer Organization for the Revolution.” Boricuas in Puerto Rico and the diaspora applauded his death and viewed it as a well deserved act of justice.

The FBI considered this group “one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the United States.” On December 3, 1979 the V.O.R. claimed responsibility for an attack on a U.S. Navy bus in Puerto Rico in which two Navy personnel were killed and 10 injured, and the destruction of 6 jet fighters at a National Guard base on January 12, 1981.

In the end, eight police officers were convicted and given prison sentences, ranging from 6 to 30 years. But these prison sentences were merely a concession made by the colonial court to ease the mounting outcry for justice. The greatest concern Washington officials have always had about it’s stranglehold on Puerto Rico is the everlasting potential for mass rebellion.

Protest demonstrations occurred everywhere in Puerto Rico and the diaspora, demanding justice for Arnaldo and Carlos. News of the details surrounding this case reached global attention and pointed to the inhumanity of the U.S. presence and domination in Puerto Rico.

 

MARAVILLA 2010-8.jpg
Protest gatherings occur annually on site of the tragic event.

 

The Cerro Maravilla murders were not the first lives to be taken away from brave men and women who fought for independence and loved their homeland. Nor will the threat be gone of future incidents like Cerro Maravilla in 1978, so long as U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico continues to exist. It is the armed agencies of U.S. colonialism who have repeatedly proven to be the real terrorists.

No matter where, when or how the decisive battles for Puerto Rican national liberation may ensue, it shall certainly be a contribution to the worldwide defeat of U.S. imperialism. The murders of Arnaldo Darío Rosado and Carlos Soto Arriví will most definitely serve as reason to condemn and bring about the demise of this vile system.

 

Arnaldo Darío Rosado & Carlos Soto Arriví – PRESENTE!

 

QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE!

 

 

 

THE PUERTO RICAN FLAG: AN INDISPUTABLE SYMBOL OF ANTI-COLONIAL STRUGGLE

By Carlito Rovira

 

This week we will see many Boricuas proudly displaying our solemn symbol, the Puerto Rican Flag, in preparation for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, a spectacular annual celebration that takes place along a 40 block stretch in New York City’s 5th Avenue.

 

To Puerto Ricans the flag represents many things. It is the one aesthetic that compels us to express our aspirations and deepest sentiments as a people, connected to history, culture and heritage.

 

In light of the devastation that occurred in Puerto Rico following the destructive force of Hurricane Maria the flag has also become a symbolism of hope. But the destructiveness of nature can never compare with the outcome of a recent study made that revealed a death toll of 4,645. This report can only serve to accentuate in our minds the intentional neglect by the U.S. Government. The criminality of the Jones Act and the full spectrum of U.S. colonial policy in Puerto Rico affirms the charge of genocide.

 

When we wave the Puerto Rican Flag in the annual events of this week let’s do so without taking the flag for granted, as what we are always encouraged to do by the mainstream in the general culture. The Puerto Rican Flag came about as a result of the sacrifices made by many who fought for the freedom of our people; freedom fighters who struggled against the predatory aims of first the Spanish and then the U.S. colonizers.

 

Puerto Ricans in the Cuban Revolutionary Party, created the Puerto Rican Flag at Chimney Corner Hall in New York City on December 22, 1895. Leading this effort among the Boricuas was Manuel Besosa. They chose to invert the colors of the Cuban Flag following the traditions of the “Two Wings of the Same Bird” – a poetic metaphor of the legendary Lola Rodriguez De Tio and later on used in musical rendition by Cuban revolutionary leader Jose Marti.. Revolutionaries of both countries collaborated with each other for centuries in a mutual struggle against Spanish tyranny.

 

On March 24, 1897, the present-day flag of Puerto Rico was flown for the first time in the municipality of Yauco in an uprising called “Intentona de Yauco.” The aim of this revolt was the independence of Puerto Rico from Spanish colonial rule.

 

62299_497328933683490_371094883_n.jpg
On March 24, 1897 the Puerto Rican Flag was raised for the first time at the uprising known as “Intentona de Yauco.”

 

After the U.S. invasion and colonization of Puerto Rico in 1898 use of the flag was discouraged and stigmatized as something evil by U.S. officials. But it was during the imposition of Law 53 of 1948, better known as the Gag Law, ( in Spanish: Ley de La Mordaza), anyone caught displaying or possessing the flag was immediately arrested by the colonial authorities. Thanks to the nationalist fighting spirit of the Puerto Rican masses the U.S. rulers were forced to withdraw this law.

 

If we are to display the Puerto Rican Flag with meaningfulness know that our right to do so came at a cost that involved the lives and imprisonment of many who loved the homeland, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican Flag is not for displaying in vain, it is a symbol of defiance and the highest representation of a people’s revolutionary traditions.

 

QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE!

 

 

THE IMAGE OF DR. PEDRO ALBIZU CAMPOS MUST BE RESPECTED!

By Carlito Rovira

 

Latin America has produced many revolutionary figures who have left imprints in history with their outstanding examples of courage and selfless deeds. Whether or not these freedom fighters were conscious of it what they demonstrated in their actions would serve for future generations to emulate to complete the task of eliminating the reign of oppressors forever.

These exemplary men and women, like Anacaona, Simon Bolivar, Petra Herrera-Ruiz, Celia Sanchez, Augusto César Sandino, Lolita Lebron, Fidel Castro and Valentina Vazquez, just to mention a few, came about as a consequence of the determination of oppressed people who seek whatever means to achieve their freedom.

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, the once leader of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico and present-day icon of the Puerto Rican liberation struggle, has secured an important place in the history of struggle of all oppressed people.

The imagery of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, like the photographic or artistic depiction of other renown revolutionary figures, ceases to be the visual property of the individual once it becomes a representation of a people with a cause. In actuality, such depictions are the visual expression of a people in a historical endeavor for emancipation.

And because it is an artistic rendition symbolizing a historical revolutionary quest it must therefore be treated with the utmost respect, as if it were a people’s national flag.

The recent defamation of a well known photographic pose of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos has to be viewed critically and the motives behind its creation must be questioned because of the context of who Don Pedro Albizu Campos was and precisely what would have been his disposition of the devastating events now occurring in Puerto Rico, which have exacerbated the impact of U.S. colonialism there.

Some will argue that this is an “art challenge”, elevating LGBTQ themes and so on. However, there is good art and there is bad art, no equilibrium among the two. There is art that serves the oppressors and art that serves the oppressed, that is, the liberation struggle. A quick view of the defamed image would tend to make the revolutionary appear as a clown or charlatan.

I know quite well that the once transgender leader of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and eventual member of the Young Lords Silvia Rivera, would have been appalled by this.

To superimpose color shading on the facial features of this revolutionary is to diminish the dignity and seriousness of the memory of someone who the U.S. colonizers continue to despise and dread.

Placing lipstick and eyeshadow on an imagery many revolutionary nationalists view as unassailable is equal to placing shades over his eyes, a baseball cap over his head and a blunt in his mouth. That would naturally be offensive at the highest degree to anyone who embraces the meaning of Don Pedro.

Needless to mention, that the creation of such images can only entertain the wishes of those who are hostile to the cause for Puerto Rico’s independence.

Shame on those who endorse this display of self-hatred, whether implicitly or explicitly, especially as we approach the 53rd anniversary of Pedro Albizu Campos’ death, April 21, 1965.

The colonizers also understand that art is political and that it can be used as a weapon. The question automatically then becomes — who do you want art to serve, the aims of the colonizers or the aims of the colonized?

 

 

—————————————————————

With this article is a rendition of the same pose ( featured photo ) which I painted 3 years ago. Dimensions: 24″ X 34″, acrylic on canvas. It was created with my love for Puerto Rico, our people and our historical national liberation struggle.

 

 QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE!

 

 

THE SO-CALLED “GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN” IS A FARCE

By Carlito Rovira

 

There is no such thing as a “shutdown” of the capitalist state while the capitalist class is in power. The rulers are not that stupid to “shutdown” the apparatus that keeps them in power.

The police and the military will continue to function, maintaining this racist and criminal system of inequality. It is really a deception to make us believe that there is something fundamentally different between Democrats and Republicans, two political entities of the wealthy.

In actuality, what this debate among the different sectors of the ruling class is really about is to test how far they can go and get away with their political and economic subjugation of poor & working class people.

Trickery is a characteristic of those in this society who have made their fortunes at the expense of the many. In this case Republicans are attempting to demonize children of mostly Mexican origins as a way to sway the public to support the defunding and eliminate the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

But feverish and self-contradictory policies also existed under the Democratic Obama administration which contributed towards the anti-immigrant posture that exist today.

So-called “non essential” government workers will not be paid; recipients of social security and other desperately needed programs will not receive their checks. The military brass will continue to receive their payment and retain their privileges while the rank & file and their families will be left to float in the wind.

What is most ironic in all this is that the privileged men and women members of the U.S. Congress will continue to get paid, while millions of families throughout the country suffer.

Political crisis amongst the rulers such as what is now taking place, in which poor people are placed in a situation as pawns, is basically a fight among thieves. And as long as capitalism exist these farcical conflicts will continue to flourish as symptom of capitalist oppression. It is a reminder that WE NEED A FUNDAMENTALLY NEW SOCIETY.