Three weeks after Hurricane Maria’s September 16, 2017 devastating landing on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, causing the destruction of its fragile colonialist infrastructure, the people are still dying, there is no electrical grid, and food, water and medicine are trickling down to the people at a snail’s pace.
The colonialist U.S. Don Trump-led white power government is affording Puerto Rico the treatment as all colonialists afford their colonial subject territories and peoples. They use Puerto Rico as a point of expropriation and profit extraction, not a place for investment so that the people who live there can create and sustain life for themselves.
As San Juan mayor Carmen Cruz literally begs for help and resources for victims (“I am begging anyone who can hear us…”), neocolonialist governor, Ricardo Rossello defends the Trump administration, saying, “[t]he president and administration, every time we’ve asked them to execute, they’ve executed quickly.”
According to recent Facebook post by Puerto Rican journalist/activist Rosa Clemente, hundreds are dead and the carnage is significantly worst than what the colonial media are showing us. In fact, only a week before the arrival of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico took a direct hit from category 4 hurricane Irma that left in its wake death and mass destruction.
Puerto Rico should not be suffering as it is. The major problem confronting Puerto Rico is U.S. colonialism and the neocolonialist stooges that prop it up at the expense of the well-being and livelihood of the people.
Revolution defeated in Puerto Rico
In the 1950s, Puerto Rico, like most of the colonized world at that time, raised up a great revolutionary Independence movement against imperialism.
That movement, led by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party was not begging for anything. It was demanding and fighting for total independence from U.S. colonialism that had seized the island from the Spanish in 1898.
Following U.S. contrived elections there in 1950, where continued U.S. domination was the only thing on the ballot, the Nationalist Party initiated a country-wide armed uprising. It took a combined effort of the U.S.-led Puerto Rican National Guard in conjunction with U.S. troops to put down the insurrection.
As the October 30, 1950 armed uprising spread throughout many cities on the island, Nationalist Party armed militants (Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola) on November 1, in Washington, D.C. attacked Blair House. Blair House was the residence of U.S. president Harry Truman during renovations of the White House.
Truman was a strong supporter of the rigged elections that were boycotted by the Nationalist Party. Torresola was killed in the attack. Collazo was wounded and stood trial for killing a Secret Service agent during the attack and spent nearly 30 years in a U.S. federal penitentiary, freed only after an international movement worked for his release.
Lolita Lebron, Rafael Miranda, Andres Cordero and Irvin Rodriquez (The Four Nationalist) were four other Nationalist Puerto Rican political prisoners who were also freed in 1979 as a result of an international movement, led by Puerto Ricans demanding their independence and freedom for their political prisoners.
The Four Nationalist had been held for more than 25 years for their March 1, 1954 armed attack on the U.S. Congress when five congressmen were wounded. From the balcony in the Congress, Lebron shouted “Viva Puerto Rico Libre!” as her comrades unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and began firing at the meeting congressmen. So the people in Puerto Rico were not beggars. They were a part of the world’s colonized people fighting to be free.
All over the world in 1954—in Ghana, in Kenya, in Occupied Azania, in Korea, in Vietnam—there was “great disorder under the heavens.”
But in Puerto Rico, like in other countries, the Revolution was defeated, our militants jailed and our organizations destroyed and neocolonialist sell-outs put in their place. Hurricanes Maria and Irma are not the main source of destruction in Puerto Rico. It is colonialist U.S. parasitic capitalism that is starving the people out.
It is the U.S. ability to militarily enforce the so-called Jones Act that allows it to block aid to Puerto Rico from Cuba and Venezuela and others who would help the suffering Puerto Rican masses. Even the imperialist NGO, the Red Cross who, according to U.S.A. Today, raked in over $400,000,000 for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but only $9,000,000 for Maria, reflects the devastation of Puerto Rico’s colonial status.
Hopefully, Puerto Rico’s revolutionary movement will rise from the horrors of Irma, Maria and U.S. colonialism, rebuild itself and fight for a socialist worker’s state in Puerto Rico.
Viva Puerto Rico Libre!