Monday, February 7, 2011


A student strike in the state-run University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras that began in December 2010 against an imposed fee and privatization of the institution has been brutally repressed by police; more than 150 students have been arrested in an unprecedented escalation of police brutality. Journalists have also had their share with several of them attacked and one arrested as they try to cover the events. This is the second time police forces have entered and occupied the main campus. The first time was in 1981.

As President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton call for prudence in Egypt, they turn the blind eye to the attack on the most basic speech rights in its colonial enclave of Puerto Rico.
Mainstream media has largely ignored these violations in a colony that the US occupies since 1898.

Governor Luis Fortuño's response to the student strike has demonstrated the lengths to which his administration will go to repress all dissent. The governor has laid off 26,000 public sector employees, nullified public sector union contracts, and gutted the budgets of cultural, educational and social agencies, including the University of Puerto Rico. Early in his term, he activated the National Guard for civilian purposes, to the public outcry of civil and human rights groups.

1 comment:

  1. Why does Puerto Rico have a higher voter turnout than USA?

    Puerto Ricans have a voter turnout of about 80%. The United States (US) citizens have a voter turnout of about 50%. What accounts for this 30 % disparity? Could it be that Puerto Rican believe in democracy more than US mainland citizens?

    Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States since 1898. Since that time, Puerto Ricans who have wanted to decolonize their country have been either assassinated or imprisoned. Many Puerto Ricans are terrified of independence for Puerto Rico as a result of 116 years of repression.

    Since colonialism is always for exploitation, there are no opportunities in Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans. That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans out, than in Puerto Rico. Therefore, Puerto Ricans are desperate to find a political solution to our eternal colonialism!

    Most Puerto Ricans believe that decolonization can be achieved through the electoral process. But the electoral process is ultimately under the control of the government of the United States. Since the US government has ignored 33 United Nations resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and it has maintained incarcerated Puerto Rico political prisoner Oscar López Rivera for 33 years despite worldwide support to free him, there should be no doubt that the US government will never allow decolonization via the electoral process. If it were possible to do it that way, we would not have it!

    The better way to decolonize is for that 80% of the Puerto Rico voter turnout to instead protest in the streets to demand our inalienable right to self-determination and independence, and insist that the UN do the decolonization in conformity to international law. After all, colonialism is within the jurisdiction of international law and never under national law. That is why it is a crime against humanity to have a colony under international law, but not so under US law.

    José M López Sierra