Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

El Grito de Lares

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
September 23, 2007
12:00 pm

Join us Sunday, September 23rd in a march and rally for Puerto Rican independence and self-determination. (Details follow)

Sunday September 23rd.
!Todos somos Macheteros!

12PM Begin gathering at Times Square (Broadway between 41st & 42nd)
1PM: Begin marching towards the United Nations
2PM: Rally at the UN- Dag Hammarskjold Plaza featuring speakers from Puerto Rican and ally communities and live hip hop and bomba performances.

www.September23.org

(212)696-6804

Puerto Rico is the oldest colony on the planet, first invaded by Spain in 1493, then in 1898 by the United States. After 109 years, it continues under U.S. colonial rule.

Within those 500 plus years of invasion and occupation, the Puerto Rican people have been engaged in anti-imperialist/ anti-colonial resistance that continues to this day.

The Significance of the September 23rd date September 23rd, 1868 is traditionally celebrated and commemorated as the birth ofthe Puerto Rican nation, when Puerto Ricans rose up against Spanish colonial rule in a revolt known as El Grito de Lares. By 1898, Puerto Rico had achieved a form of autonomous self-rule, which came to an end later that year with the United States invasion of the island during the Spanish- American War. Puerto Rico has been under the political rule of the United States ever since and has continued to struggle throughout that time for its independence
and self-determination.

Well aware of this date’s significance to the independence movement, on September 23rd, 2005, U.S. FBI agents assassinated Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Comandante Filiberto, who founded el Ejercito Popular Boricua (the Puerto Rican People’s Army) – Los Macheteros, was a revered revolutionary leader of the Puerto Rican liberation struggle. The assassination of Filiberto on this date was a clear attempt to kill the spirit of the ongoing Puerto Rican liberation struggle.

Why the UN location? In spite of their attempt to kill our spirit, the FBI assassination of Ojeda Rios served to rally additional support for the independence movement. Since his death, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization voted unanimously on a resolution calling for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico. This resolution, in addition to several declarations made on the colonial situation of the island reiterates: “the Puerto Rican people constitute a Latin American and Caribbean nation that has its own unequivocal national identity.” If picked up by the UN General Assembly the Puerto Rican status question will be addressed in September of 2008. This historical decision would put Puerto Rico’s status
issue on the UN agenda for the first time since 1953. The September 23rd march will rally national and international support so that the United Nations will make it a priority to resolve the colonial situation in Puerto Rico once and for all, through its natural right to be a free nation.

What, when and where?: On Sunday, September 23rd of 2007:

12PM Begin gathering at Times Square (Broadway between 41st & 42nd)
1PM: Begin marching towards the United Nations
2PM: Rally at the UN- Dag Hammarskjold Plaza featuring speakers from Puerto Rican
and ally communities and live hip hop and bomba performances.

For more information and march route/ program details visit:
www.September23.org

(212)696-6804

Vicente ” Panama” Alba
panamaalba2@yahoo.com
(917) 626-5847

“if you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are comrade of mine.”
“Let’s be realistic, let’s do the impossible”
Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Puerto Rico status should be clearly decided

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

MCT News Service
October 29, 2009
Puerto Ricans need to be allowed to vote on changing their political status. The status quo is untenable.

With little fanfare, a bill is circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives that proposes an election that may ultimately decide the fate of Puerto Rico. The bill is needed now more than ever, for the island is gripped in a fiscal and political crisis that can no longer be ignored.

Puerto Rico has been an incorporated territory of the United States since 1898, and its residents were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917. Although the United Nations and much of the world have recognized it as a colony, Puerto Rico’s status as a “free associated state” has resulted in a stagnant economy and mounting political unrest.

It’s been a rough month for Puerto Rico.

First, in an attempt to rectify a financial crisis, the island’s governor, Luis Fortuno, announced the layoff of 17,000 government employees, which was met with massive, angry protest. A few days later, an unemployed worker threw an egg at Fortuno during a news conference, and one of the island’s biggest rap stars insulted the governor on an MTV awards show.

Then, the island’s largest labor unions led a general strike that paralyzed the capital city of San Juan.

Two weeks ago, drug violence took the lives of eight people in a shopping mall. Puerto Rico is suffering under a wave of drug crimes, as efforts to crack down on the illicit trade along the southern border of the United States have had the effect of rerouting it through the Caribbean.

This week, the island is recovering from a massive gas explosion that has cost $6.4 million to put out and may result in long-lasting environmental damage.

The chaos in Puerto Rico is largely a function of its peculiar status.

Since becoming a territory of the United States, Puerto Ricans have wrestled with three political options: “commonwealth” (status quo), statehood, and independence. But this struggle seems to have no endgame, and the people of this island nation are the losers.

By remaining a commonwealth, Puerto Rico has failed to acquire sufficient political power and has become subservient to U.S. economic interests.

Puerto Rico needs to move to a place where its economy can develop autonomously and not just as a subsidiary of U.S. and multinational corporations. It needs to set clear priorities on how to do this, and to finally decide among three options: statehood, a more autonomous version of commonwealth, or independence.

Since by law, Congress ultimately has the last word on the fate of the island, it should pass a plebiscite bill sooner than later. The time for serious discussion about viable alternatives is now. Puerto Rico’s current political system no longer allows for true self-determination, which is the right of every American citizen.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Ed Morales is a writer for Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues; it is affiliated with The Progressive magazine. Readers may write to the author at: Progressive Media Project, 409 East Main Street, Madison, Wis. 53703; e-mail: pmproj@progressive.org; Web site: www.progressive.org. For information on PMP’s funding, please visit http://www.progressive.org/pmpabout.html#anchorsupport.

This article was prepared for The Progressive Media Project and is available to MCT subscribers. McClatchy-Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editors.

(c) 2009, Ed Morales

HIV/AIDS Advocates Protest to end the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Puerto Rico, 12/13/07

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

U2 Lead signer, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Time Magazine Person of the Year Bono seems aghast as Michael Kink, Housing Works, Legislative Council describes the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Puerto Rico during last nights protest in front of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs annual Christmas Party. For months now the islands’ HIV/AIDS advocates have been calling out for US supporters to help in their efforts to bring some sensibility to the perpetual misuse, mismanagement and possible corruption of Federal HIV/AIDS designated funds by the San Juan EMA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health.

Bono seems intrigued by Michael as he details the situation outlined in the Puerto Rico HIV/AIDS crisis leaflet.

Supporters of the HIV/AIDS advocates in Puerto Rico traveled from Philadelphia and New York (and elsewhere) to protest in front of the annual Puerto Rico government sponsored party that draws many of Washington, DC’s elite. While inside, party revelers danced to salsa music and ate Caribbean delicacies outside the advocates poured out bottles of Bacardi Rum, a Puerto Rico based product, and called for a national boycott of Puerto Rico Rums.

The advocates campaigned for the US Federal Government to take action to gain responsible control of the HIV/AIDS dollars that are currently either being mismanaged or underutilized while so many patients are going without life sustaining services. According to numerous federal investigations, the island is among the top 10 jurisdiction that returns funds to the Federal government because it not manage them.

Both the San Juan EMA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health are under HRSA imposed restricted draw down, an administrative condition imposed by the Health Resources and Services Administration when grantees are not compliant. Little more however has been done to remedy the situation.

Yours in the struggle,
James Albino
National Minority AIDS Council
www.nmac.org
Assistant Director, Government Relations and Public Policy
1624 U St, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20009-4432
Tel: 202-234-5120 ext. 303 Fax: 202-234-6404
email: jalbino@nmac.org -or- jalbino@caribe.net

“No war on the face of the Earth is more destructive than the AIDS pandemic. I was a soldier. But I know of no enemy in war more insidious or vicious than AIDS. Will history record a fateful moment in our time, on our watch, when action came too late?”

US Secretary of State Colin Powell
Address to the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS
June 25, 2001

The United Nations De-colonization Hearings–How useful are they?

Friday, July 7th, 2000

United Nations