Afraid of Neither Death or Prison

“In this Puerto Rican struggle, we do not cut ourselves off from the past, for it is all one. It began in Lares when the nation was formed, and Hostos and other continued it. It is a sequence, it is all one…” – Dominga Cruz, 1978.

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2 thoughts on “Afraid of Neither Death or Prison

  1. The uniformed Nationalists (Cadets) were marching peacefully when the police opened fire on them, and on everyone else who happened to be on the street. According to the “El Mundo” newspaper at the time (the Puerto Rican version) all 22 of the dead were shot in the back while fleeing, including a seven-year-old girl. The police spent fifteen minutes methodically gunning people down, and went so wild with their machine guns that they accidentally killed two of their own thugs.

    The massacre was ordered by Blanton Winship, who Franklin D. Roosevelt had appointed as governor of Puerto Rico in 1934 with instructions to crush the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, and thereby keep Puerto Rico enslaved.

    Winship ordered the Rio Piedras Massacre of 24 Oct 1935, and then the Ponce massacre of 21 March 1937. He was never reprimanded for ordering these massacres, nor were any of the people who did the shooting. The day after he ordered the Ponce massacre, he radioed Washington and officially reported that the peaceful and unarmed Nationalists had opened fire on the police. The New York Times and Washington Post repeated Winship’s lie.

    As governor, Winship prevented the recently passed minimum wage laws from applying to Puerto Rico, as it would have doubled the hourly wage of 12.5 cents, which was standard for sugar plantation workers.

    When right-wing creeps condemn Cuba, they are defending events like the Ponce Massacre in Puerto Rico.

    In 1898 the USA invaded Puerto Rico and “liberated” the island into brutal slavery. The oppression became much worse when Puerto Ricans sought independence, and worse still during the Cuban Revolution. Today with gratuitous austerity, the U.S. stranglehold is worse than ever. And no one cares. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, but the corporate media outlets rarely mention the agony of average people on the island.

    The “leftist” blogs also ignore Puerto Rico.

    Could Puerto Rico ever gain independence? It seems impossible, but the Cuban Revolution also seemed impossible. Castro, Che Guevara, and all the others faced the combined strength of the U.S. and Cuban governments and militaries. Their struggle went on for 5 1/2 years, and countless revolutionaries were killed, but eventually they won. So yes, it is possible.

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