Puerto Rico’s Summer of ‘19 Island Revolution: Remembered

PROLOGUE

100 years of American Citizenship, and still no ring?

On March 2, 2017, I took a moment to revisit the spirit of the law that relegated Puerto Ricans to second class citizenship status. Who are denied equal footing with our mainland USA counterparts due to the color of our skin and criollo/mixed-race — la mancha del plátano, as the colloquial saying goes.

Seems to me, the statehood debate is the never-ending story of unrequited love between Puerto Rican assimilationists and Anglo-American separatists that dates back 100 years.

After the 1898 US invasion, the 1917 Jones Act, passed by the President Woodrow Wilson Republican-controlled Congress, that stakes legal claim to the Spanish Caribbean territory, simultaneously imposes (mind you, not awards, grants, confers or extends) American citizenship on the “natives” of Puerto Rico against the majority will of islanders. The ‘inferior and dependent masses’ incapable of the civilized self-governance of the ‘master race’ as write the rebel historians when countering the historical fiction written by the ‘benevolent’ conqueror.

During the 1914 Senate floor debates, then-Resident Commissioner Luis Muñoz Rivera — father of Luis Muñoz Marín, future architect of the 1952 Commonwealth Accord — states for the US Congressional Record:

“A bill declaring [Porto Ricans] collectively citizens of the United States, is now before Congress…While rendering just and sincere homage to your citizenship, we firmly and loyally maintain our opposition to being declared, in defiance of our express wish or without our express consent, citizens of any country whatsoever other than our own beloved soil that God has given us as an inalienable gift and incoercible right.”

Naturally, White Supremacists hated the idea too, as testified the Southern Sen. James Kimble Vardaman (Democrat-MS) on the Senate floor:

“I really had rather that [Porto Ricans] would not become citizens of the United States. I think that we have enough of that element in the body politic already to menace the nation with MONGRELIZATION…”

(Now, tell me this isn’t enough to resort to a few choice words!?)

And, unlike the smaller incorporated territories of Alaska State #49 (population 800,000) and Hawaii State #50 (population 1.5 million at the time of annexation) the US never intended for the more populous and prolific un-incorporated territory of Puerto Rico (population peaked at 3.8 million, Census 2000, pre-Exodus) to become a state. That could potentially rock the WASPM (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male) Congressional electoral vote.

After more groveling for acceptance by disgruntled annexationists of the time, “the Republican-dominated US Supreme Court ruled in 1922 that citizenship did not imply incorporation of Puerto Rico as a territory…therefore “it was not one step closer to statehood.”

(Sound familiar?)

Bestselling author of War Against All Puerto Ricans, Nelson Denis, sums up our “token” American Citizenship in his centennial retrospective for [The Nation], “After 100 Years of American Citizenship, Puerto Ricans Have Little to Show for It.” (Not a pretty picture.)

Lastly, this commemorative edition echoes the tried-and-true Dissident Writer’s Guiding Principles I’ve developed over the years, including:

Your DiaspoRican viewpoint does matter here (so stop feeling like an outsider). Amid the protracted “War Against All Puerto Ricans” being waged since time immemorial, for all intents and purposes, on the split-screen of my colonial life — here and there — I am a messenger of solidarity on a rescue mission — ‘behind enemy lines.’

That said...

The Summer of ’19 Revolution

“Revolution Day” Mon. July 22, 2019

Many a news headline captured the Faces, the Scenes, the Sounds, and Voices of island upheaval and indignation unleashed by full disclosure of the “Ricky Leaks” by the Center for Investigative Journalism (or CPI in Spanish). The corruption scandal triggering 15 days of massive island protests, the Summer of ’19, building up to the final overthrow of the manipulative and morally depraved New Progressive Party (PNP) Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on July 25, 2019.

The ‘People’s Impeachment’, as it were. Included among them, the Feminist Collective (Colectiva Feminista en Construcción) the dispassionate governor had scorned, who went on to make revolutionary history: “Meet the Women Who Toppled Puerto Rico’s Governor” spotlighted MTV News, authored by El Nuevo Día (ENDI) columnist Prof. Yarimar Bonilla.

Also, introducing our very own ♪Revolution National Anthem♪ “Afilando Los Cuchillos” (or Sharpening the Knives), written, produced and performed by the sensational and crowd-pleasing Residente, iLe and Bad Bunny, who joined forces with the Astro Boricua Ricky Martin, as international celebrity spokespersons for the young radicals #YoNoMeDejo Millennials Movement.

But there’s one story headline (mine) you’ll never see: “Rosselló Nemesis: Carmen Yulín Cruz Targeted 56 Times in Infamous Chat” (A fact the sharp-witted San Juan Mayor interjected, while sitting in the hot seat of the Jugando Pelota Dura TV host Ferdinand Pérez, the memorable episode popularizing her snappy catchphrase “Diablo Ferdinand”/No you didn’t.)

One can surmise, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) gubernatorial primary frontrunner (at the time) was gaining on Rosselló’s PNP statehood party re-election, and the secret mission of “Rosselló & Bros.” was to ‘Get La Yulín’ (a formidable opponent) by any means at their conniving disposal. (One high official in the governor’s inner circle went so far as to express malicious intent, by texting he was ‘salivando para caerle a tiros’ a la alcaldesa de San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto” (salivating at the mouth to gun down the Mayor of San Juan). To which the crude governor replied, “you would be doing me a favor.” (That’s no joking matter.)

HERE: The vacation-interrupted RR returns from Madrid to answer for his disreputable actions and the spate of FBI arrests discrediting his administration. More sinister ‘Troll Tweets’ and chat messages disparaging the San Juan mayor see the light of day on Friday July 12; including the one insulting Carmen Yulín as una HP (code for “hija de puta” or offspring of a whore).

New chats reveal the miscreants also messed with the feisty Mayra López Mulero, Esq. The defense attorney for the whistleblower that RR summarily dismissed from his cabinet post (she’s none other than the invincible Johnny Cochran of high-profile criminal cases.) More sordid and graphic chat room details spread like wildfire over the Spanish international news wires.

To her credit, the badass Mayor of our nation’s capital city does not buy RR’s phony contrition and lame apology for the obscene “frat boy” chat room exchanges — unbefitting of a statesman — and publicly demanded his resignation.

Dressed for the occasion — the all-black of the “Executioner” — the defender of our downtrodden masses, sponsor of the first LGBQT municipal clinic — cuts RR down to size on national TV.

The litany of words to the effect, pronouncing a death sentence on RR’s political career for denigrating our hard-working, decent and respectable women — more than half of the population — as “putas” (or whores). “Ricardo. You are an “abusador”, “cobarde”, “sexista”, “machista”, “canalla” (scoundrel or bottom feeder, I had to look this one up, and choose the latter).

The mayor then cites from the menacing June 30th email, spewing vicious Christian fundamentalist assaults on her person and sexuality from RR’s right-wing base (too venomous to translate): “Pedazo de puerca y puta lesbiana. Das asco con tus posturas. Te haces la que tienes sentimientos solo cuando te conviene y hay camaras. You are a show off. Puta barata!!!!”. Menacing language that understandably prompts the San Juan Mayor to seek police protection for her only daughter’s sake.

And there was something about the mayor’s commanding presence (on-camera message) that rings like the battle cry to her watchful and growing loyal followers island wide. After all, the one-time adviser to former San Juan Mayor Sila Maria Calderón, is an old hand at galvanizing divested groups: battered women, the LGBQT community, Dominican immigrants, unionized workers, struggling single mothers, their dependent children and neglected fast-aging family members, starving UPR university students, and the like; towards building coalitions (or alianzas) for one common cause (her secret to winning underdog elections, adversarial candidates had been attempting to imitate, as of late).

I began to visualize the battalion of Barrio Leaders preparing for the showdown and storming the streets in the coming days. Mobilizations reminiscent of the heyday of the Comunidades Especiales war on poverty nationwide initiative of the Gov. Sila Maria Calderón administration.

When our cadre of Community Development Organizers marched into some 600+ marginalized urban and rural communities nationwide, offering them boot camp in the three “Rs” — Resistance, Resilience and Reconstruction — the autogestión (or self-empowerment) leadership and organizational tools for hundreds of enterprising barrio leaders and their communities to rise out of poverty against all the odds.

“You are not fit to occupy the governor’s chair. When the rest of the chat is revealed, be prepared for what’s coming.”

The San Juan Mayor forewarns the delusional RR, who’s still clinging to the Governor’s Chair like he’d done nothing wrong. As was reported of the embattled governor’s hubris and persistence he had won the people’s mandate and would finish out his term, if not seek re-election.

The Shameful Chat

Sure enough, the ENDI 25-page special insert (published July 14) excerpts the most incriminating contents of the “SHAMEFUL CHAT”; unveiling the many wicked ‘Faces of Dorian Gray’ hidden within the walls of the opulent Santa Catalina Palace.

The ‘Ricky Rich’ of the extravagant and decadent lifestyle — fancy-schmancy police escorts, the $250,000+ guagua blindada (customized armored SUV), bankrolled by the government’s bankrupt coffers — had stopped being “Ricardo” long ago. And had not the decency to respect that real Boricuas don’t easily forgive the personal degradation of the P-word. Least of all, from the “vendepatria” (patriotic sellout) reflected in the vainglorious boasting —

“Cogimos de ‘pendejos’ hasta los nuestros”

(We even made dumbasses of our own base, the 40-year-old-MIT scientist wrote.)

THAT, my friends, was the tipping point (in my opinion). The detonator of the suppressed collective indignation, that spawned the defiant #YoNoMeDejo (I Will Not Allow It) generation of patriotic, educated, clever and compassionate Millennial activists, and Generation Z coming-of-age voters who took offense to the RR administration’s misrepresentation of Millennials as crude, insensitive and incompetent reprobates. And, who were waiting for the payback come Elections 2020.

THERE: Mainstream media outlets continued to put the squeeze on the recalcitrant RR to concede to the angry will of the Puerto Rican people. The impervious governor is seen conducting business as usual while Rome is burning on the cobblestone streets of La Calle de la Resistencia (or Resistance Road.)

“‘I know that apologizing is not enough,”’Rosselló said in a Facebook video post, “‘A significant sector of the population has been protesting for days. I’m aware of the dissatisfaction and discomfort they feel. Only my work will help restore the trust of these sectors.’’’ (Seriously?)

On July 16, the insightful journalist Julio Varela explained all the reasons why “Puerto Rico’s Governor Needs to Step Down”:

‘“To those who might sound surprised by this, the signs have always been there. Puerto Rico’s mostly white and male political class has been driving the island into the ground for decades. The debt crisis, as much as Wall Street is at fault, needed its accomplices. Rosselló was part of that political class and culture — the cool kids who thought they were smarter, better and entitled to put their personal interests ahead of Puerto Rico’s. Such attitudes have dominated local politics under several administrations, even when Rosselló’s father, Pedro, was governor in the 1990s’’’.

On July 22, RR gives his first interview since the scandal erupted on (of all places) Fox News. (He must have lost his righteous mind, I thought.) The caustic, yet sympathetic, Shephard Smith slams the irredeemable RR for his callous treatment of his own people: “Can you name one person who still supports you?” (In other words: what part of “Get Out” of the ‘Governor’s Chair’ do you not understand?)

HERE: The Fox News interview was the talk of the town. Apparently, RR had been hiding out at his father’s home in the ritzy town of Dorado, licking his wounds. The disgraced RR’s political career was dead in the water, his whereabouts unknown. When on the day of La Gran Marcha (National Strike, Monday, July 22) the cadáver político resurrects like Lazarus, clean-shaven and pristine, his bearded ruffian look gone, to make a woeful and living spectacle of himself (adding insult to injury on the proud People of Puerto Rico.)

We could have used a Dr. Lightman of “Lie to Me” right about now, to join our body language experts, ending the farce once and for all. To examine the facial expressions and gestures of the “reformed” governor who’d undergone a period of “introspection” and was bragging about his new “anti-corruption measures” — an executive order he’d signed just that morning.

After having terminated the “whistleblower”, a loyal and capable public servant and elder gent, to quickly cover-up his administration’s misdeeds. In violation of his own anti-corruption executive order (in 2018) forbidding reprisals against “whistleblowers”. And that’s a fact.

At about the same time, a curious Dorado neighbor corners RR’s father in his backyard and she asked him directly “what do you have to say about your son’s actions” (captured on FB live). “My son has done nothing wrong” he responds defensively. (There you have it. Spare the rod and spoil the child.)

True. Our PNP-majority controlled House of Representatives kept dragging its feet on finding legal grounds for impeachment (giving the PNP statehood party plenty of time to put their ducks in a row for Elections 2020, I suspect).

A target of RR’s homophobic attacks, Ricky Martin pushes the legislature to begin the impeachment process pronto. On July 24, the independent panel of lawyers delivered its findings justifying the removal of RR for ethics violations. At long last, our wishy-washy legislature changes its tune with RR:

“Resign or We Impeach”

By now, I’m overcome by this feeling of dé jà vu (and growing irater). As I pondered the short (or selective) memory of the “loyal Rossellista” who can so easily forgive and forget the criminal offenses.

Many of whom today regretted handing over the keys to the kingdom to Ricardo Rosselló, son of Pedro Rosselló — of the same pedigree of plausible deniability. “I had no knowledge of the corruption”, Rosselló father had claimed; and the pat explanation for the millions of federal dollars squandered under RR’s watch, “Si lo dejaron tomar decisiones, ahí está el problema, contestó. (If they — his high-priced consultants — were allowed to make decisions, therein lies the problem”) RR replied, passing the buck to his cabinet chiefs and agency directors. (Así cualquiera/Taking the easy way out.)

Well. I don’t forget. For the things that concern me and the welfare of Mi Gente (My People), I have a memory like a steel trap.

Flashback: Barrio Mosquito, Guayama (1999)

Talking politics is a rather risky business for the uninformed, I was quick to observe of the animated sound-offs around the bar. A newcomer, I listened for the most part, until I got up to speed with the rest of the island population. The political pendulum had swung right when I returned, from the looks of it, some island leaders were lining up for El Pueblo’s “firing squad.”

“Esos penepés son todos unos pillos. Hay que botarlos pa’l carajo.” Those PNP partisans are a bunch of thieves. “What’s this? My ears perked up, I squirmed in my chair, consciously holding back the urge to join the conversation.

“We need to get them the hell out of office” clamored the patrons in our outdoors patio powwow circle and everybody else who trickled into el negocio for the Boricua siesta of la fría, an ice-cold beer. “Se roban hasta los clavos de la cruz!! They would steal the nails off the cross! They cracked (cracking me up, too).

The hottest topic on the island was the political corruption scandal of the “progresistas” in office at the time; massive malfeasance of funds, federal earmarks for education programs and AIDS services, to the tune of millions of dollars were brought to light from the Pandora´s Box cracked opened by island journalists in 1999. One by one, cabinet members and pro-statehood partisans were falling off like flies from their high positions upholding the public trust. Despite some welcome education and health reforms during their 8 years, I later read about, I’d walked into the tail-end of the Gov. Pedro Rosselló Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) statehood party administration. Good or bad for El Pueblo, they’d earned a bad rap among voters, and made a very poor first impression for this “progressive” new islander.

I sat removed from the line of fire, quietly sipping on my cerveza, slumming it in el arrabal. Perplexed. The only sign of “progress”, since my last 1980’s visit, a downhearted divorcee, was the greater number of dwellings. The haphazard array of squatter’s houses saturated every inch of vacant land the poor could stake their claim to, to build a roof over their heads. A flood-prone zone even FEMA would eventually find unsuitable for disaster reconstruction aid.

And here we were — in 1999.

Whose “progress” are they talking about? I silently wondered, so little island news had reached me those 20 years in the Golden State. The verdict seemed virtually unanimous across all party lines; nobody could turn a blind eye. The pesquisa (dragnet) of corrupt officials was like a tidal wave washing the entrenched corrosive elements of government to the surface — in full view of islanders! Voters were reeling from the shock and ripe for a radical change in leadership.

And Me? Me quedé boca abierta — Speechless.

I had stepped into the Twilight Zone: Free-for-All Third World Government, Step Right Up! In my virgin eyes, a non-profit manager in another life, Puerto Rico was the picture of one mammoth non-profit agency sustained by US federal allocations and grants serving the dire needs of impoverished islanders. Sadly, it was administered by a corrupt board of directors (so to speak). State operations were running top-heavy in payroll and administrative salaries (40% or so of the budget) — a no-no. For lack of job opportunities in a private sector mostly deaf and dumb to the words ‘local hiring and corporate social responsibility’, under our commonwealth status the government had quickly become the island’s top employer!

Puerto Rico boasted no auditing controls at the time, either. No centralized managerial oversight to speak of, keeping government honest. Whose bright idea was that? I questioned. To leave the candy jar wide open for the five-finger pickup of the greedy unscrupulous island leader.

A thought flashed across my mind. What if Puerto Rico was being set up to fail by the very hand that feeds us? Ensuing in a mistrust of leaders (and between leaders) we’ve not been able to recover from since. All politicians finagle public funds, it is assumed, the only difference being which party gets away with more swindling during their turn at bat.

Every federal grant under the sun is at our disposal. Where I came from, government funds are not only dispensed for the public good, they are subject to the scrutiny of audits to ensure the money’s well-spent and meets objectives — every single penny is accounted for. Should you propose to rebuild infrastructure, invigorate depressed communities, reform and renovate decaying schools, boost business and employment, solve crisis-level social diseases like drug abuse and crime, towards improving the overall quality of life for islanders, that you do just that. Or you will be CUT OFF in the next funding cycle; billions of dollars are sent our way year in and year out. I inwardly criticized the egregious oversight on the part of the US.

I guzzled my last Medalla Light and hopscotched my way home energized. Retracing my sandaled footsteps on drier dirt road over the obstacle sludge course left after the morning downpour. Although the primitive outhouses were a thing of the past, my barrio was still stuck in the stone ages of antiquated plumbing and drainage systems.

I dodged the mud puddles across the flimsy bridge over the stagnant waters of la zanja (manmade canal) evidence that the truckload of relleno (gravel) and brea (pavement) used to mitigate the mosquito-denizen environs (a known health hazard) had still to be poured by el Municipio. My curiosity about Isla government and politics was piqued.

How does one get things done around here? No matter my lack of connections, if all else fails, my English language and American savvy may one day be an asset to estadista public servants. I manifested then and there. (Be careful what you wish for. (…)

After two terms of Partido Nuevo Progresista leadership under Gov. Pedro Rosselló, Puerto Rico ‘progress’ was no progress at all for the majority (60%) of the population left to thirst in the dehydrated dust of hardship and despair, as though they were los desechables (or social discards) of our more noble Puerto Rican society.

I always thank my lucky stars, I was destined to witness the rise to power of Puerto Rico’s first woman governor Sila Maria Calderón who succeeded Gov. Pedro Rosselló. And often stood in awe at my post, with my crew of Community Development Organizers and our barrio leaders during the conversatorios (town hall meetings) she convened — in essence, the precursors to the participatory Asambleas de Pueblo (People’s Assemblies) taking shape after the Summer of ’19 Revolution.) And, I can still hear her signature battle cry from the dais, bringing down the house:

¡ESTO ES UNA VERGÜENZA PARA EL PUEBLO PUERTORRIQUEÑO!

(This is a national disgrace for the proud people of Puerto Rico!)

As the (then) San Juan Mayor Calderón advanced her campaign platform, to dethrone the eight-year reign of political corruption and neglect; to restore clean government, and to give the poor an even shake in our society.

She was affectionately known as “Sila” by her adoring subjects, but I remember the honorable Sila Maria Calderón as the stately and steadfast ‘Queen of Comunidades Especiales’. Who was unequivocal in her convictions, that the PNP opposition’s notion of ‘Let them Eat Handouts’ was as immoral and shameful as the stealing “for party and profit” that characterized the downfall of Los Rossellistas…

From 2001 to 2005, the Gov. Sila Maria Calderón PPD populares administration ushered in a short-lived period of island renewal and social transformation. The cornerstone of her administration, albeit a gargantuan undertaking, Comunidades Especiales (or Special Communities) sets out to rebuild some 600 marginalized communities from ground zero, on the two pillars of self-empowerment (or autogestión) and central government intervention. That, frankly, was the envy of her enemies.

Comunidades Especiales was to have been a 20-year plan designed to steer the poorest of the poor away from dependence on US Federal aid, that was foiled by her machista political adversaries.

Sadly, after only one term of office, her brilliantly-strategized nationwide initiative — and multi-million-dollar boost to the stagnant economy — was all but wiped out by her successors. Because the hugely popular and ingenious marketing concept of “Comunidades Especiales” wasn’t their ‘brand’.

Today, history repeats itself — but in HIGH definition.

“Revolution Day”

On Monday, July 22, the day of La Gran Marcha (Nationwide Strike) it felt as though a human battering ram of 1 MILLION STRONG — 1/3 of the population according to reliable crowd estimates and aerial views — stormed the doors of the Bastille (La Fortaleza) to put an end to the corrupt and despotic ‘Rosselló Dynasty’ once and for all. (Or so, the revolutionaries thought.) #RickyRenuncia! (or off with his head!)

I sat before my mini-flat-screen TV, soaking my bad foot, fixated on the sea of bodies, unable to contain the paroxysm of tears of joy and thankfulness. The almighty heavens up above had answered my heartfelt post-Maria solidarity prayer (if only for a heartbeat.)

“The Patriot’s Creed”

I BELIEVE that Mi Gente here and there, rich and poor, young and old, progressive and conservative, of mixed Spanish Criollo, African and Indigenous descent, are beholden to one another.

That it is time:
We bridge the political divide for the sake of cultural self-preservation
That we set aside the contentious statehood debate, for once.
That we band together as “One Nation” against the one common enemy.

COLONIAL SUBJUGATION
That we be self-empowered on our own terms.
That we strive to transcend the colonial limits on our hidden potential.
Stand Up and be counted.
So that together we can BRING IT!
Manifesting to the world who we the Puerto Rican people truly are.
SOMOS BORICUAS.
And WE are the change.

Vota Demócrata. Mi Gente.
And there shall be a ♪
Harvest for the World
from the proud seed scattered to the 50 states by Hurricane Maria.
For, there’s one thing I (now) know for certain,
underneath the political discord over status, fundamentally,
los buenos corazones puertorriqueños laten como uno,
the good hearts of ALL Puerto Ricans beat as one
♪Es Hora de Cobrar♪

(Do I hear an Amen?)

I’m scanning the various lone-star flags of the Puerto Rican struggle waving in the crowds on this hot and wet day: the ‘navy-blue’ diamond of the statehood cause, the ‘sky-blue’ diamond of the diehard nationalist, the ‘black & white’ flag of mourning (resistance to La Junta), the brightly colored ‘rainbow pride’ flag. And could not spot the 50 stars & 13 stripes of the lofty American ideal “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all”, to cloud the mind with false promises. The missing USA flag proved a major letdown for pro-statehooders. Hundreds would soon after be staging their own march for statehood equality (curiously) called La Revolución Estadista”.

In one fell swoop, RR’s delinquency had cost the PNP pro-statehood party “hundreds of thousands of voters” bemoaned the WKAQ Radio statehood fanatic, and mouthpiece for the fallen RR administration, who I’ve dubbed the ‘Yulín Hater #1’.) Who despite his longstanding personal vendetta against “La Comandanta Yulín” had to admit, the San Juan Mayor stood to gain more revolutionary supporters at the polls.

Truth be told, the ruling PNP statehood party (as it stands) could be on its last legs. As to the vexing new mantra of the ‘Yulin Hater #1’, decrying the “demonization of statehood” — what goes around, comes around.

And, to the victor go the spoils.

FINALE

The rest (as they say) is history. Our New Borinquen Nation is born on July 25, 2019, a date of tremendous historical significance for “Die Hard Patriots.” That also commemorates the 1898 US Invasion; the implementation of the fraudulent 1952 Commonwealth Accord, and the infamous 1978 Cerro Maravilla government cover-up of two murdered young patriots [60 Minutes], an incident immortalized in the Jonathan Marcantoni play Puerto Rican Nocturne.

During his final two weeks in office (behind the closed doors of La Fortaleza) the deposed Gov. Rosselló signed 66 laws into effect, 200 disaster recovery contracts to the tune of $80 million, and 15 gubernatorial pardons.

Among the mystery laws, he gave “la estocada final” (the final blow) to government transparency by denying his executive veto of PNP majority proposed legislation disguised under the misnomer “Ley de Transparencia” (or ‘Transparency Act’), that limits quick and easy access to public records corroborating the alleged cases of corruption, abuse and/or misuse of public funds.

On July 27, days before Rosselló is due to officially step down on August 2, an additional 100 pages of the notorious chat were leaked.

In no time, Asambleas de Pueblo (or People’s Assemblies) started gearing up, to find common ground in order to wrest our democracy from the hands of “la partidocracia” (bipartisan plutocrats); and place public policymaking where it belongs, in the hands of our inspiring, capable, inventive and industrious people of Puerto Rico.

Thus, one can safely predict, knowing the passionate and fighting spirit of Mi Gente (here and there) the “Culture Wars” are looming in the horizon — all manner of mass protests: NIMBY sit-ins, chain-ins, lockdowns, a hands across the island “human chain” linking the ‘ghost towns’ on every corner of the island, Occupy toxic waste sites — you name it. With an eye towards preserving our cultural patrimony, guarding against further encroachment of our prized beachfront properties, natural reserves, agricultural lands, endangered habitats, wildlife and eco-systems.

In the annals of island ‘colonial’ history, the “Summer of ’19 Revolution” would become a world class model for massive, peaceful, original and effective resistance, sending a clarion call to our mainland USA counterparts. This is how you do it. This is how you take down a totalitarian and toxic leader who does not represent your humanistic values.

All of the events, the intrigues and the players in this House of Cards riveting melodrama were well-documented in English on the Hunter College CENTRO TELEGRAMGATE Timeline (my prestigious alma mater). ###

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Shares the personal vignettes of a DiaspoRican (Nuyorican) returnee to the troubled homeland Puerto Rico.

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Boricua Freedom Writer, PR

Shares the personal vignettes of a DiaspoRican (Nuyorican) returnee to the troubled homeland Puerto Rico.