In Puerto Rico, the Students Never Win

We’ve reached the point that every generation before us reached. A point were facts don’t matter and the way you feel about a certain issue holds more value than the sad and dire truth. But then there comes a point where you’re going to have to face a fundamental question that will either destroy your own moral standards or heightened them, depending of course which disparaging view you hold.

The situation in the small island of Puerto Rico has reached crisis levels for well over three years. Throughout those years no actual change had been implemented save for an increase in taxes. However, in 2016, the US government approve a fiscal control board to take command of the decisions made by the government beginning in the year 2017. It’s been almost a two full months since they came to power, and they have already approved several measures to stimulate the economy in the hopes that it may produce positive results.

Recently, it has begun to discuss an array of changes to its public education system, such as cutting down federal funds for its universities, increas the prices per credit, and a possible removal of some systems to make room for budget cuts. Thousands of students from across the island will be left with little to no money to pay for their education, putting them in a state of panic depression. Liberal students holding firm ground on their values, and feeling empowered by the current state of affairs in America thanks in large part to President Trump, have taken their collective voices to the front of the capitol building to unsure they be heard loud and clear.

I would love to go into detail discussing the events that took place in such rally, but I was nowhere to be found. I was in my home, ironically enough reading “A People’s History of the United States” and preparing another manuscript unrelated to politics. I’ve always prided myself in never taking a side concerning political fiascos, choosing instead to present myself as an unbiased source dictating which side has a more valid point. Some see my lack of presence in these activities as giving aid to the enemy, which I find to be utter bullshit. Those who label me such know quite well they’re assuming things out of uncertainty into what my views are. I wish to make them clearer in this statement.

There is no doubt that the government is at fault here. Some of their propositions are viable, but the overall plan reeks of big men joining forces to stomp a population that doesn’t have many resources fight back. They’ve created an $80 billion debt no one has come close to solving for over 10 years, and the public at large continues to suffer hardships. The amount of injustices perpetrated by the same government that has sworn to protect its most valuable asset in the people has been nothing short of fascist-like. The amount of corruption inside the Capitol building could give a third world country a run for its money. Inside those brass knuckles lie scumbags beyond reproach, who paint themselves every re-election as men of the people, and the public is naïve enough to validate their authority by consistently electing those who set out to do harm.

With these truths being said, it is now time to mention even more upsetting truths. There is no one inside that building willing to vouch and defend these students. Not a single one of them. And they will under no circumstances by compelled to act through some savvy demonstration next to the very building where they routinely ensure that the population of 3 million people Puerto Rico currently has continue to get fucked. This will not intimidate them even at the slightest.

With all due respect to the students marching, they themselves fail to see the big picture. Plenty of things are wrong in their moral crusade against a borderline tyrannical government, not because their fundamental viewpoint is wrong, but because they fail to see its inability to produce results.

They paint themselves as these revolutionaries that fight for one common goal, and there are times where they might feel this title is well deserved. However, through the course of the long history of students fighting back against budget cuts or the increase of tuitions, there has not been a single victory by their side. Similar demonstrations with the same intensity and passion these students gave yesterday have been shown, and all have failed, no matter how much they may pretend actual change occurred.

The most logical question to ask now is why? Why has the student body of Puerto Rico fail to obtain any victory when fighting for their deserved rights? The answer is quite simple and quite disturbing: money.

In order to get what you want in a corrupt government, there’s only one viable solution, and that’s to have the unlimited resources money can give you. The students have no politicians by their side because collectively they don’t have enough money to give them. No one is going to fight for them, unless there’s something they can give them in return.

This idea that these students will obtain anything by going on strike or presenting themselves next to the Capitol building is absurd. The real revolutionaries had real power by their side. The students of the University of Puerto Rico have nothing. A vast collection of people are only as good as the money they carry.

I do not personally agree with many of the students’ socialistic views on how to handle inequality, and I certainly don’t believe this is in an overall productive exercise. Instead of focusing on how to fix the problem, choosing instead to protest, they’re not only refusing to give any viable solution, they’re also creating another problem. This behavior is seen out of people who only use their emotions instead of facts to guide them through a conflict. I do, however, understand their frustration, as I myself am a student. What I refuse to do is become what I so vehemently oppose. I don’t fault them for acting emotional, I just chose not to be emotional myself.

In the end, no matter how much they pretend it’s not, it truly is meaningless. A decision is in the process of being made, and the governor, perhaps the biggest of all the swine, with a wrinkly smirky face that would compel even the most peaceful of man to punch him, has already said he will not negotiate any deal with the student body. Nothing, save for a true revolutionary revolt funded by people willing to pay the price, will stop the changes from happening. The situation is only going to get worse in the coming months, and by the time it finally hits them that there’s nothing they can do but accept another crushing defeat in the hands of a corrupt government that has made sure no one on their side even remotely comes close to supporting the student’s cause, their spirits will forever be shackled to a false narrative.

Two things can be true at the same time. The government has acted in a completely unjust way to the students of its public education system, but the students are hopeless in stopping them from doing so. In other instances, this would be check, but when it concerns those with no power or say on the matter other than mere acts of demonstration, which will hold no consequences to those observing, this is a checkmate.

There are still those out there who maintain faith that, despite every obstacle in their way, something special can happen. To those I wish them nothing but luck, but history doesn’t lie. The cycle of oppression will continue.

For those interested in prolonging this discussion, I’m always available to talk on Twitter.