Archive of ‘Puerto Rico’ category

What the heck is happening in Puerto Rico you ask? Let me tell you.

I am absolutely disgusted that #PROMESA has been passed in the Senate.
From the moment I saw this bill mentioned on a main stream media outlet, I knew there was something sinister pushing this bill into being.
A bi-partisan effort championed by the Republican Party to “save” Puerto Rico from it’s debt crisis. If this doesn’t sound fishy to you, IT SHOULD.
This law came to be because of the deep pockets and political string pulling of the vultures funds ready to collect their money.
  1. #PROMESA creates a FISCAL CONTROL BOARD of 7 unelected congress appointed officials who will have full control of the island to settle it’s 70 billion in debt (Much of which has already been deem illegal).
  2. As the law is written (and it was REFUSED to be revised or amended before voting) the control board will have the power to dismiss ANY elected political official not cooperating with the board.
  3. It will give the governor the power to reduce the minimum wage to $4.24.
  4. It will force the Puerto Rican government, already in crisis, to pay the bill for the board to the tune of $370 million dollars.
  5. The board gets to receive gifts freely.
  6. The board gets to decide its own salary.
  7. The board will be free to manage Puerto Rico’s natural resources.
  8. The individuals in the board will be free of all and any consequences and will not be held accountable to ANYONE for their work.

Read the Full Text of the bill HERE.

The people of Puerto Rico are being squeezed and manipulated by a corrupt government flip flopping at every turn to appease the all mighty colonizer. Our very own Governor, after making a plea for other solutions, turned on his people and went to Washington to advocate for the Fiscal Board.
WHO IS LEFT STANDING FOR THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO?
What the hell is happening in Puerto Rico?
Let me enlighten you with this brief description of the American Colonial Experience. An experimental ground zero for war machines and medical experimentation. Video from UN Decolonization Commettee in the UN June 20th. Read the details of the meeting HERE.
VIDEO
Just this week the government is attempting to approve fly over NALED PESTICIDE spraying over the island. A product that has NEVER been used in such a way and is DEADLY to bees, animals and PEOPLE. The use of which was only halted after the agricultural community managed to rally themselves to protest the action which could have started as soon as this past Wednesday.
My husband serves this country with PRIDE and DIGNITY.
He puts his LIFE on the line for our home to be treated like GARBAGE. I can’t believe this our experience as “American Citizens”.
I am SICK AND TIRED of everyone standing around “hoping for the best”.
GO EDUCATE YOURSELF.
THIS SYSTEM IS NOT IN PLACE TO HELP YOU.
THIS IS A COLONY, A TERRITORY BEING EXPLOITED FOR ALL ITS NATURAL RESOURCES AND LABOR FORCE FROM THE MOMENT IT WAS INVADED.
Articles regarding #PROMESA and it’s true nature
What are its powers? It will unilaterally “re-structure the workforce of the Commonwealth government” , freeze public pensions and ensure “the payment of debt obligations.”
NY Daily News

The PROMESA Authority will be the governor, banker, judge, jury, and pawnbroker of Puerto Rico. It will manage the entire Puerto Rican economy, and be accountable to no one on the island. It will tell the Puerto Rican government when to jump, and how high. It will issue debt, spend the money in any manner it sees fit, and leave Puerto Ricans to pay the bill.

This is our ‘Commonwealth’: an island of beggars and billionaires, owned by absentee landlords and clerked by politicians.
It will do nothing about the Jones Act, the loss of pensions, the privatization of public schools, or the hedge funds that will own the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico—its schools, prisons, highways, electrical grid, and water supply.

This is where our Commonwealth relationship to the United States has gotten us: an island of beggars and billionaires, owned by absentee landlords, fought over by lawyers, and clerked by politicians. A dictatorship in the Caribbean, owned and operated from Wall Street, and disguised as a “management assistance authority.”

The Nation

PROMESA proposes the establishment of an Oversight Board with seven members appointed by the United States President, who will be granted totalitarian control over Puerto Rico’s finances in order to restructure the Puerto Rican debt, which equals to: “Fuck you pay me”. Section #4 of the bill says, “The provisions of this Act shall prevail over any general or specific provisions of territory law, State law, or regulation that is inconsistent with this Act.”

Nevertheless, the creation of an apparatus like PROMESA should not be a surprise. The United States Congress had total control over the insular government of Puerto Rico, ever since the Foraker Act was approved in 1900. It wasn’t until the creation of the Free Associated State Constitution (ELA) in 1952, that Puerto Ricans were granted the right to elect their own governor and handle the internal administration of the country. Still when the United States Congress approved this, they sustained the capacity of imposing legislation over Puerto Rico’s Government and retaining ultimate power over all of Puerto Rico’s affairs.

Today is a historical moment: we are seeing how the United States Congress is making use of that supremacy they secured more than half a Century ago. The consequences are still to be seen. Some people talk about an ongoing humanitarian crisis, but the real humanitarian crisis is going to come when seven business men come to Puerto Rico to elaborate an economic plan as they get drunk on Barrilito in the beach of the San Juan Hotel.

Huffington Post

 

That leaves Congress’ solution: a bill called PROMESA that allows an unelected fiscal oversight board with no ties to Puerto Rico to effectively colonize the commonwealth, taking what’s left of its sovereignty and dictating the island’s political and economic future.

Business Insider

It will do nothing about Jones Act reform, Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief, privatization of the island’s public schools, or the hedge funds that will own the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico — its schools, prisons, highways, electrical grid, and water authority. It will issue debt, spend the funds as it sees fit, and leave Puerto Rico to pay the bill.

This is where our “Commonwealth” relationship has gotten us: a dictatorship in the Caribbean, created in Washington, operated from Wall Street, all disguised as a “management assistance authority.”

Latino Rebels

Suggested Reading

War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson A Denis

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Despierta Boricua

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Ya no me importa. Ya no me puedo callar mas la boca. Voy a escribir sobre mi apollo de la INDEPENDECIA y SOBERANIA de BORIKEN, PUERTO RICO
Aqui mis emociones reaccionan a la #PROMESA ley que destrulle el concepto de Estado Libre Asociado y nuevamente impone el estatus colonial a la isla.
GRITO YO!
Es que no se como se lo agunantan.
No les da rabia?
No les da verguenza?
Que carajos es esta mierda?
Para que una constitucion?!
Para que votar?!
Para que carajos ser cuidadanos y morir por un gobierno que no le importamos un bledo?
 
DESPIERTA BORICUA.
 
Te fumigan las tierras y envenenan la comida.
Te tiran bombas.
Te mantan los lideres.
Te encarcelan los patriotas y le ponen carpetas.
Te gobiernan con corruptos y policos vendidos.
 
No te da rabia?!
Como te aguntas este bochorno?
 
Ya basta de colonias de los 1500s
 
Desde las rebeliones indigenas.
Al gritO de Ladres.
Al Maestro y su revulucion en los 50’s.
Y hoy que?!
Se dieron por vencidos ya?
Te vendieron lo suficiente?
Ya te lo quiraon todo?
 
Mierda es!
DESPIERTA BORICUA!
 
Aqui todavia hay pratia.
 
Donde esta el GRITO?
Done esta!?
 
Yo lo busco!
 
GRITO YO!
 
DESPIERTA BORICUA!

Colonialism and Racisim are at the Heart of the Puerto Rico Dept Crisis

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Perhaps you enjoyed reading my most recent post about John Oliver and the Puerto Rico Dept Crisis… As much as I love Oliver, it was one of those moments where you still feel the sting of colonialism. When even the more liberal wings of the media, the so called “fake” news that appeal to the younger generation… Even they… are promoting a colonial rule over the territories of Puerto Rico.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been crying out for Puerto Rico for weeks, trying to compel as many eye balls as humanly possible to the island “100 Miles Across”, but what he knows, what we all know, is that CONGRESS WILL NOT ACT.

Let’s be real here, this is an election year… and the front runner of the Republican Party is Donald Trump. His disregard, disrespect, and blatant racist comments about the inhabitants of the Southern American Continent, blacks, women, the disabled, you name it, are what have propelled him to his front runner position. What does this tell you about the American psyche at this point in time?

Are we living in a post-racial America?

Hardly.

Racial push back movements like #BlackLivesMatter have been sweeping the nation over the last few years and now we have Donald Trump doubling down on hate politics, stiring up racial tensions. Bernie Sanders has been the underground counter force running a campaign of love and mutual understanding, but you can guess how much media time he’s been getting… Then you have Hillary… She’s just sitting there and watching us burn to the ground while her way into the White House is handed to her on the backs of the democratic “Anything but Trump” voters.

Amidst this turmoil, here is Puerto Rico. A “Common Weath” tearritory of the USA that many Americans don’t know, don’t understand, and is in the middle of an unprecedented economic, health, and soon to be political crisis. The territory is waiting for congress to show its face.

Political crisis you ask?

The Governor of Puerto Rico knows well what is coming, we all know what is coming. Puerto Rico cannot pay back it’s creditors. Puerto Rico WILL NOT pay back it’s creditors if that means leaving people without basic human services. Puerto Rico has done everything, EVERYTHING it can currently do to remedy the crisis, it is now time for the USA to act. But how can it? Election year, racial tensions, divided congress, and Puerto Rico has no voting rights. Puerto Ricans on the island literally have ZERO REPRESENTATION in the only governmental entity that can act on its behalf. No Senator or Representative is going to put out their neck for Puerto Rico in election year. Not one. Bills being drafted by those who care enough to put them forth will NEVER come to pass. NEVER. Why? Because there are no votes to win, no points to gain, nothing.

Puerto Ricans are literally waiting on a MIRACLE for some compassion to sweep through the Congress and magically address the issue.

And if by some act of god they did address the issue, what is the media putting forth? HR4900. The local government and Puerto Rico is STRONGLY against such a measure because it would be a literal manifestation of the island’s colonial reality. A reminder of the sham that is our elected government. A reminder of lie that is the “Common Wealth” of Puerto Rico.

USA, your colony is showing.

The Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico took this moment to remind us of the bond Puerto Ricans have made in blood with the United States of America when its local population was made citizens and then promptly summoned to serve in American wars. What unites the USA and PR is a common citizenship and a belief in democracy. A belief of a government by the people, for the people…

Lets be clear, the local Puerto Rican government has made many mistakes, many horrible financial decisions, and irreparable damage to the local economy and governmental system. But let us not forget what that system was built on, COLONIAL RULE.

The only governmental system that has been in place on the island the ONLY form of government this land has ever known, aside form the pre-Colombian days, was that of a COLONIAL RULER over the island. A system built on racism, on slavery, on CORRUPTION. Governmental systems were put in place by the Spaniards to divide the land, collect its gold, enslave the local population, and harvest its land for sugar and coffee. This is the system that was taken over by the USA.

A system designed to squeeze the people below and bring riches to those at the top.

With a background like that, is it ANY SURPRISE that when Puerto Rico was given “Common Wealth” status and started creating its “autonomous” government that this “new”  system would be riddled with corruption?

Is it any surprise that it WASN’T to be a government by the people, FOR the people and that it’s loyalty to the all mighty dollar would be written into its very constitution?

Is it any surprise that instead of incorporating Puerto Rico into the USA as a state, the decision was made to put a band-aid over the colonial status, call it a “common wealth”?

Any surprise at all that Puerto Rico would continue to be a territory used as an experimental bomb range for pharmaceuticals companies and the military?

Are we truly surprised that the new rulers were to be corporate interests and investors of new and previously established powers on the island?

Is it truly so impossible to conceive that politicians on the island would serve as mere puppets of these new powers? Truly?

And Nationalism?

Is it ANY surprise that there was literally ZERO support for Independence and island autonomy when the Nationalist movement on the island was SQUASHED into oblivion BEFORE we even HAD a constitution?

Is it any surprise that Independence, self government and autonomy are foreign concepts on the island when the remaining supporters of the Nationalist movement were jailed, labeled communist and terrorist, followed, fired and/or thrown in jail?

And we are now expected to shake it all off  and take responsibility for our country and its political choices?  When our patriots, our leaders, our true supporters were murdered, persecuted and tortured with radiation?

We’re expected to take control and responsibility of a government that was NEVER ours to begin with?

Despite his ACTIVE and CONTINUED ROLE in this atrocious mess, I commend Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla for not sugar coating the reality that is today’s status quo and why Puerto Rico CAN NOT and WILL NOT pay it’s creditors before attending to the basic services and needs of its people.

This is Puerto Rico’s last card on the table. Refusing to pay.

500 years of colonialism is here to collect it’s dept…

Why is Puerto Rico’s present situation so ugly? Well look at where it’s coming from.

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

This isn’t about destroying the system, this isn’t about independence. This is about acknowledging the realities of Puerto Rico’s complicated colonial history that is STILL at play today. This is about realizing that these problems have 500 years in the making. It’s about understanding our past so that we can better understand the present.

Thanks for reading.

Yours truly,

From someone tired of waiting, tired of political corruption, tired of second class citizenship, tired of the lies, tired of this bull crap, tired of colonialism, tired dysfunctional governments,  just tired…

 

 

 

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That time we were in Puerto Rico… Humacao

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 Feeling a bit nostalgic after saying good bye to Nana and Papo who just came to visit… So I was browsing through some photos I never blogged even if I meant to.

This is my Little Godzilla meeting the ocean… We stayed in Puerto Rico for over a month and it was warm and sunny and wonderful every single day. I miss the beaches… Nothing more relaxing than the ocean breeze, the crashing waves, the warm sand. I miss it very much.

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Visiting Siembra Tres Vidas Organic Farm Aibonito, Puerto Rico

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Ever since I stumbled onto this article (warning, it’s in Spanish) about a young Puertorican mother and her organic farming I was obsessed with Daniella and the idea of the “Nuevos Jibaros” (new jibaros). Young people heading back to the mountains to tame the land, grow food, and just get away from city life. It’s definitely something I often daydream of, and when I read that article and saw Daniella with her toddler on her back… I knew I had to meet her and see her farm; Siembra Tres Vidas.

So I promptly found her on Facebook and sent her a message. She didn’t reply.

I wasn’t surprised, with the article being passed around in the social media networks, I figured she might have an influx of people contacting her for one reason or another. So I just left it at that…

But finally it came to be that I found myself in the homeland once again and I happened to remember her and the message I had sent… So I decided to try one more time. To my great pleasure Daniella promptly replied telling me she was actually having an event the coming weekend and recruiting volunteers and that I was welcome to come.

Well I was thrilled! And excited! And despite having probably never visited Aibonito for much of anything, or not knowing anything else about Daniella and her farm, or not knowing if I would be of any use to her and the work she needed done, I figured… what the heck, I want to go!

So as I mentioned my plans to everyone around me, giving ample warning that I had no idea what I was doing visiting this stranger “en el campo“, everyone got equally intrigued and I rounded up a few of my friends and we all drove up to Aibonito to play in the dirt.

And play in the dirt we did!

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It was a gorgeous day.

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Little Lue frolicking in the fields…

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My friends and I working the earth. Mostly pulling weeds around crops and putting down fresh mulch. Babywearing for the win.

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My mom and dad were the official baby sitters.

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End of the day. Clouds started to roll in around 3pm and we could see the rain gathering in the mountain side ahead of us. The sound of the oncoming rain was glorious, but we knew we had to pack it up and head back. We’re holding some of the “babies” we were given as thanks for the work.

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I’m not really sure what it was that I wanted to see… A farm? A hip young mom? Organic produce? Scope out Aibonito for my realty daydreams?

All I know is that I crave to be around the things that I want for myself. I want to see people growing food on our island, I want to see people creating a community that is based on positive energy, I want to see people loving living in Puerto Rico, people who see the rich soil and nutrient filled lands and want to make use of it, I want to see it in person, not just read about it. Not just look at photos. Not just imagine that such people are out there somehwere. I want to live it.

So that’s why I wanted to go, I guess. I needed to see it for myself.

 

Daniella and her husband.

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A huge thank you to Daniella for opening up her lovely farm to those curious to see it. It was wonderful to participate in something so delightfully fulfilling. And I hope we can meet again soon before I have to make my way back to… Germany.