It was interesting to me that the article submitted just before this
spoke of the "new imperialism". Good article except for the fact
that it did not mention that the US still has several colonies.
Guam , Virgin Islands, Northern Marianas and the largest my own
Puerto Rico. I find it interesting that the US left except for the
old Guaridan newspaper from New York and the Militant shy away from
the mention of the existing US colonies. It seems to be more
confortable mentioning Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia.
Where to begin and keep this short.
Brigada Antonio Maceo...Some prominant members like Marifili Perez
have recanted their support but the vast mayority of the 55 who went
are still firm supporters of the revolution. Many live here in
Puerto Rico and are also supporters of the Independence movement.
Filiberto Ojeda Rios...interesting character. Believed in using all
forms of struggle to liberate our island nation. Yet, during the
Vieques Movement he saw that non violence was working and he let it
run its course. We won. We kicked the largest navy in the world
out. Without firing a shot.
For 15 years he Ojeda-Rios lived in the municipality of
Hormigueros. This is right next to the city of Mayaguez. In his
barrio he was known as don Luis. He would go to the little plaza in
the town of Hormigueros and play dominoes with the groupos that
gathered there during the breezy tropical nights. No one suspected
who he was.
Then on September 23, 2005 at about 2 pm comes the US FBI special
squads with more than 200 agents. They surround his Barrio Jaguitas
sector Plan Bonito home. It is a small one bedroom house up a steep
little mountain road. Flowers and fruit trees carefully planted.
The FBI amplfies its blockade to include the whole barrio with its
more than 600 people. No one in. No one out.
Negociations. Ojeda age 72 is alone with his wife. It is the day on
which Puerto Ricans commorate the Lares Revolt for independence
against Spain in 1868. Filiberto has sent his traditional message.
It is being read at the Plaza of the Revolution in Lares as the FBI
starts to "negociate". Beatriz his wife, is let go. No more
negociations. Shots are fired by FBI and then Ojeda Rios. A sharp
shooter puts a bullet through the window and wounds Ojeda Rios. He
moves against the front door. The FBI can see the blood coming out
from under the door. Does nothing for over 24 hours. Lets him bleed
FBI does not lift the blockade of his barrio for over a day and a
half. Kids are left at home without their parents. People cannot
get back to their homes after work. The barrio hears in English as
FBI agents for over three hours curse Ojeda Rios and Puerto Ricans.
FBI voices are carried over the still country afternoon and night.
At about 5 pm when the folks are coming down the mountains from the
commoration at Lares the radio stations start giving the news of what
is happening in Hormigueros. People flock to the town. Try to get
through the barriers now set up by the island police. No luck.
Doctors, nurses and lawyers are ready to help Ojeda. No one is
Indignation about what is happening is wide spread through out our
island nation. Even those who are pro anexation. The governor
alleges that he and the Secretary of Justice were left out of the
A couple of days later the body of Filiberto is taken to San Juan.
An autopsy and then to the College of Lawyers. The next day he is
taken to the cementary of the barrio where he was born Rio Blanco in
Neguabo. Eastern Puerto Rico just across from the island
municipalities of Vieques and Culebra. All alone the route people
stand with Puerto Rican flags. It takes hours to get to the
cememtary. Thousands are there.
The death of Filiberto confronted each Puerto Rican up close and
personal with the fact that we are a colony. We do not rule in our
own land. The police chief of Hormigueros said that he could have
taken Filiberto in without firing a shot. Yet the big FBI came with
over 200 of its agents to kill one man.
What has followed in western Puerto Rico has been a continous program
of FBI harrastment of pro independence activists. Interesting they
do not harrass the old folks who are more than use to it by now.
They harrass our young.
During the first week of June. Puerto Ricans in New York will have
the now famous Puerto Rican day parade. There will be Puerto Rican
flags everywhere. Please not that it was illegal for us to fly that
flag in Puerto Rico until after 1952. Please note that even then the
flag flown did not have the correct color blue. It was allowed with
navy blue which is the color of the US flag. Our flag is sky blue
the same color of the Cuban flag. They were created by the same
people at the same time in 1895.
Later that week Puerto Ricans will go to present speaches before the
United Nations Decolonization committee. This is done every year.
We have already 25 resolutions from that committe saying that we have
a right to our own self determination. This year even our governor is
going. He will say that the US lied to the UN in 1953 when it said
we had attained self determination.
What do we want from the UN. We want a discussion of our case before
the UN General Assembly. A discussion which confronts the fact that
in an era where there are few colonies, the "greatest" "democracy" in
the world has the mayority of them.
Yesterday Clinton came to Hormigueros. She did not mention
Filiberto. She did not mention the fact that we are a colony. She
came like so many other US politicans have come for the 110 years of
US colonization. Spoke pretty, empty words with glorious proimises
which will not be kept.
The same happened the day before when Obama came to Ponce. No
difference between him and Hilary here.
Obama wants to apply the Monroe doctrine again. There is nothing new
in this. He says everywhere that he is a different politican and
will bring change and hope. No change, much less hope will come here
until US politicans and folks in general acknowledge that they have a
contradiciton here. A so called democracy owns colonies or
possessions as they are sometimes called.
The death of Filiberto. The repercusions within the island justice
system where the FBI has whitewashed its "performance" and will not
let the local justice department investige what happened in
Hormigueros has confronted even the governor with the fact that we
are a colony.
The day of the circus primary we will have a march repudiating it in
San Juan. There are many other ways in which Puerto Rico can use
this money inorder to better our conditions. This whole circus has
little or nothing to do with us.
To all, parden my English. It is my second language.