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?
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?
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.
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.
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…