Puerto Rico Struggles for Independence and Sovereignty

By | November 19, 2021

Pedro Albizu Campos

The city of Ponce, on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, was the place where Pedro Albizu Campos (September 12, 1891) came to the world, a man who, very early on, knew firsthand the vicissitudes that the oppressed of his time and knew how to be by their side until the last of his 74 years (April 21, 1965).

The experiences lived for several years in the United States allowed Pedro to know the interiors of that nation and how the ambition of its rulers, managed by the large consortiums, led the poor to a situation of misery that reached his native Puerto Rico, due to its status as a dependent State.

The year 1924 was defining in the life of Albizu Campos, due to his entry into the Nationalist Party and from its ranks he advocated ideas related to the recovery of the dignity of his subjugated land. Later, he traveled to various Latin American countries to seek solidarity with Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence and sovereignty.

A decade later, the sugar agricultural workers began a strike to demand improvements, and again the oppressive Yankee arm was present, to accuse the independence leader of being the promoter of these events and then condemn him.

When the 21 of March of 1937, members of the Nationalist Party organized a peaceful demonstration, the governor imposed by the United States ordered shooting, crime now known as the Slaughter of Ponce. It all culminated in the imprisonment in Atlanta of several nationalist leaders, including Albizu, who could not return to his homeland until ten years later.

His long list of indictments and prisons included an alleged attack on former President Harry Truman. He was jailed and shortly after being pardoned, in 1953, he returned to his cell accused of directing an act of protest carried out by several Puerto Rican independentistas in the United States House of Representatives.

Albizu Campos was imprisoned until his serious state of forced health to their captors to release the 15 of November of 1964, and died on April 21, 1965. His funeral was the busiest in the history of Puerto Rican island as their compatriots They knew how to recognize their long history of struggle for national independence.

Santiago Mari Pesquera

Santiago Mari Pesquera, better known as “Chagui”, was the son of Paquita Pesquera and Juan Mari Bras. In his college years, he participated in the 1973 college student strike. A 24 as March as 1976 murder cravenly this young man.

Members of the Commission for Truth and Justice in Puerto Rico unveiled in 2009 a series of declassified documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that confirm that, in January 1976, two months before the murder of Santiago Mari Pesquera, the FBI He knew that there was a plot between members of the Cuban exile to assassinate the independence leader Juan Mari Bras, at that time a candidate for governor for the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP).

As a matter of fact, the FBI had knowledge of the plot to assassinate Mari Bras at least since November 1975.

The country was experiencing a historic moment in the midst of the institutional persecution and criminalization of the independence movement. Mari Bras was a prominent figure in the movement, and he and his family had been the target of multiple threats and attacks, including the placing of explosive devices in their homes and cars.

This, coupled with the fact that a gang of corrupt and repressive agents controlled by the FBI operated in the Police, and that the Department of Justice committed a series of irregularities in the investigation and prosecution of the only official suspect of the crime, they left the family and the independence movement dissatisfied with the result of the investigation and the trial in which Henry Walter Coira Story was convicted.

Cerro Maravilla

The 25 of July of 1978 two young Puerto Rican separatists, Arnaldo Dario Rosado and Carlos Soto Arriví, were massacred in Cerro Maravilla, victims of a covert action that involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation US and local police.

The 25 and 19-year-olds respectively, carried no other weapons than a match, matches and cubes of coal, but they probably planned to detonate at least one of the 20 pressure tanks (with an explosion power equivalent to one pound of TNT each). one) stored on site and used to clean the antennas of the Rikavisión television channel.

The “official” version revealed that terrorist elements who tried to blow up the television towers had died in the confrontation with five policemen who killed two young terrorists. Carlos Romero Barceló, at that time Governor, reported that the police officers had been unharmed and proclaimed them heroes before the WIPR cameras.

What actually happened is that Alejandro ” El Fraile ” González Malavé, an undercover agent of the Puerto Rican police, had previously alerted the police who were waiting for the defenseless young people.

When they reached their destination, they were greeted by a hail of bullets, handcuffed and beaten with hands, boots and butts. Then they were shot at close range.

The event provoked popular outrage. Every July 25, Puerto Rican nationalists and independence activists gather at Cerro Maravilla in honor of Carlos Soto and Arnaldo Darío, as well as to defend and celebrate the Puerto Rican independence movement.

Military base in Vieques

Since 1935 the United States carried out naval maneuvers on the island of Vieques and in 1941 the United States Navy requested permission from Puerto Rico to occupy the Vieques land as a training area to stop Hitler’s advance in the world. Hitler fell, and the Navy never vacated the island, nor did it stop using it.

From the 1960s to 1975, the island’s fishermen protested the activity of the US military and the destruction it caused. The population was reduced from 17,000 residents in 1941 to 10,000 in 1999. Military activity caused cancer diseases to be 20% higher than that of all of Puerto Rico, located in Central America according to thefreegeography.com.

In 1999, during a test bombardment on the island, a civil guard was killed and three were wounded. This revives local protests. Under the motto “not one more bomb”, its residents form human shields on the lands used for war practices. For months they avoid the bombings and manage with small boats that the immense Eisenhower aircraft carrier is diverted.

Viequenses held a referendum in 2001, in which 7 out of 10 residents of the island vote for the soldiers to leave. The civil struggle produced great economic losses to the North American government, which accepted, that it was cheaper to withdraw than to stay.

Military practices have produced serious destruction to mangroves, lagoons, beaches, coconut trees and other natural resources. The Navy razed the coconut trees of Bahía Tapón, Bahía la Chiva, Punta Brigadier, Puerto Negro, Puerto Diablo and began the destruction in other areas such as Bahía Salinas del Sur

Filiberto Ojeda

Born on 26 of April of 1933, since the early 1960s, Filiberto Ojeda Rios was persecuted by the FBI. More than forty years passed, during which the FBI waged an all-out war to try to neutralize him and, concurrently, to try to demolish his revolutionary ideas.

On 30 August as as 1985 they tried to assassinate him at his residence in Luquillo. This fact was admitted in court by one of the FBI agents, who declared that he shot to kill. This attempt failed them, and from that moment on, the sentence, which was illegally articulated by the US agency, was signed: a bullet for Filiberto Ojeda Ríos. Judgment applied the 23 of September of 2005, when he was finally murdered in the town of Hormigueros.

The FBI shot Filiberto and let him bleed to death, in an act of vile torture that reveals the fury, rancor, cruelty and insensitivity of the United States government. This political murder constitutes an extrajudicial execution that translates into an action of State Terrorism against the Puerto Rican people.

Puerto Rico Struggles for Independence