Friday, December 31, 2004

R. F. Kennedy on Gross National Product

I just had to put this quote on my site. It's deep.

Too much and for too long we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community value in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product now is over 800 billion dollars a year, but that gross national product, if we judge the United States of America by that, that gross national product counts air pollution, and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic squall. It counts napalm, and it counts nuclear warheads, and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifles and Speck's knives and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet, the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America, except why we are proud that we are Americans.
Robert F. Kennedy

Absurd Salary Raises


En una caótica y desordenada sesión plagada de fuertes intercambios de corte político, la Legislatura Municipal de San Juan finalmente aprobó con 13 votos a favor y uno en contra el aumento salarial del alcalde Jorge Santini.

Así las cosas, el primer ejecutivo capitalino verá duplicado su salario efectivo el 16 de enero, de $65,000 a $125,000 anuales.

Pasada las 8:30 de la noche, los legisladores municipales todavía debatían otra medida para aprobarle una seguridad de 24 horas y siete días a la semana al Alcalde.
- ENDI.com
Yesterday the San Juan Municipal government approved an almost 100% raise for the mayor Jorge Santini, from $65,000 to $125,000. Also, the municipal government approved 24/7 security for the mayor paid for with public funds. A raise for the mayor doesn'y seem bad, in fact, Santini has done a pretty good job. But a raise of 100%. Most US Congressmen don't get paid that much. The municipal government of Ponce approved the same measure for the mayor last week. Public officials should get paid well, but this amount is just ridiculous.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Bolivarian Cirlces in Puerto Rico

The Bolivarian Circles, with 2.2 million members, are the backbone of the democratic revolution unfolding in Venezuela. After the attempted US-backed coup against Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on April 11, 2002, the Bolivarian Circles helped organise the uprising that reinstated the pro-poor president. The Bolivarian Circles have also organised mass resistance against the corporate managers' and corrupt union officials' attempt to destroy the country's oil industry. . .

.. . .The goal is the defence of the revolutionary process to form a society with social justice, with economic justice, with a guarantee for real political participation for all. This last point deserves special attention. I am not talking here about voting every four or five years, or whatever the electoral cycle is. I am talking about people being able to directly design, supervise and carry out their development projects without intermediaries, without people representing them.

Through Bolivarian Circles, neighbourhood associations and cooperatives, people can represent themselves before city hall and governors. The citizens' assembly is a constitutional right. Articles 166 and 192 of the constitution establish that governors and mayors must allow for communities to participate in the design and implementation of their budgets. What do you call this? Socialism? Communism? Populism? It's up to you. We just don't care about the name as long as the process works. We call it Bolivarianism and participatory democracy.

DR RODRIGO CHAVEZ, coordinator of the Bolivarian Circles in Venezuela

I've been researching the Bolivarian Cirlces movement in Venezuela. The whole movement is interesting and is working for Venezuela. I am fascinated and trully inspired. I think Puerto Rico should start a similar movement. To learn more about Bolivarian Circles click here

The new police logo



Bandera: significa la unión de DOS PAISES en validación de sus derechos civiles.

At first glance, I was like what the hell is the american flag doing on the Puerto Rican police's new logo. The police are suppose to be mediators in society, they should be apolitical and the american flag in Puerto Rico symbolizes Statehood for many (tyranny for others) and both flags generally symbolize that you are a popular. But then I read a description of the new logo on the Puerto Rican police department's website (quoted above) and saw that the flags meant something else. Their definition to me sounds very pro-Puerto Rico, almost independentista. It says that the flags represent the union of two countries in validation of their civil rights. Of course, I think the definition is illusionary and bien popular, but the way it is worded is very autonomistic - union of 2 COUNTRIES. Think about that boricua.


Mira, the Three Kings are not only Puerto Rican, but they're independentistas too!

Somos Antillanos


This picture from The Festival of Masks in Hatillo demonstrates the Caribbean-ness of Puerto Ricans. I love festivals like these because they remind us that we are connected to our island neighbors than our colonial rulers. Cable TV, and fanatical statehooders want us to believe otherwise. Somos antillanos mis hermanos.

The PIP survives


El Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP) quedó inscrito ayer oficialmente como partido por petición de cara a las elecciones del 2008 al firmarse la resolución a esos efectos.

The Pro Independence Party of Puerto Rico was registered today as an official party by the CEE, this after losing inscription in the past elections for not fulfilling the requirements. This is the fourth time the PIP has had to re-register themselves after a general election. But it also demonstrates the numbers of independentistas and sympathizers on the island. In only a month the PIP had over 100,000 signatures, a remarkable achievement. How could they pull that off when in the elections they could not acheive 3% of the votes? I think this reinscription proves that the Melon is alive, active and growing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

While downloading some songs on my brothers computer, I ran across a song by La Sonora Poncena with Celia Cruz. Its called Soy Antillana, and Celia is basically saying that she is antillana and hence she feels cuban, dominicana, and boricua. It made me think about Betances and all the great antillian leaders who have dreamed of a antillian confederation. Interestingly, although the three islands share a common culture and heritage, each veered off towards their own political ways in the 20th century. It makes me wonder if an Antillian Confederation can be pulled off. Either way, como dice Celia, "No me pides definicion, yo soy antillana."

Desperate PNP's

Aunque niegan que le hayan ofrecido un soborno a los legisladores, el director de Prensa del Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP), Javier Maymí y el presidente de la Juventud novoprogresista, William Villafañe, aceptaron ayer que son parte del movimiento que busca que un senador electo abandone su escaño para cederlo al derrotado candidato a gobernador, Pedro Rosselló.

La información trascendió luego de que El Nuevo Día publicara reportajes exclusivos en los que se detallaba un esquema en el que se ofrecía $140,000 y la secretaría del Senado al que dejara su escaño a Rosselló. El esquema fue confirmado por la senadora Lucy Arce, aunque luego se retractó para indicar que el dinero ofrecido era el salario anual del puesto.
- El Nuevo Dia
Rosello's two terms, the two failed referendums, the PNP corruption scandals of the 90's, the numerous ex-PNP officials in jail, amd the recent pivazo case are but a few examples of events that have tainted the PNP and have ruined their reputation. Now this scandal of finding a loophole to get Rossello a seat in the Senate is but a another deed on the PNP's record of evil doings. How is it possible that some PNP officials are willing to twist and turn Puerto Ricos democracy in order to get what the want. And these are the people who want Puerto Rico to be a state. In the states, losers will accept defeat and plan for the next elections. In PR, losers can't seem to quit. It's no wonder the US doesnt take Puerto Rico's statehood movement seriously. Save for a few individuals, I have personally loss all respect for the PNP leadership. Either the PNP change their leaders or the PNP party should dissolve.

Compromiso de Dialogo?....Yeah Right!!

Con un apretón de manos, el gobernador electo Aníbal Acevedo Vilá y el comisionado residente entrante, Luis Fortuño, sellaron un compromiso de trabajar juntos para adelantar lo que ambos llamaron “la agenda de Puerto Rico”.- El Nuevo Dia

The CEE has declared Anibal Acevedo Vila as the winner of the 2004 gubernatorial race in Puerto Rico. The article above mentiones that Acevedo Vila and Luis Fortuño will work together. Could this be signs of unity? I doubt it. The differences in political ideology are too great. Acevedo is Popular, and democrat while Fortuño is PNP, and republican. Both men have different agendas for Puerto Rico so it is pointless to think that they will be working together to push the "same" agenda of Puerto Rico. Besides, what "power" does Fortuño really have as Resident Commissioner? He can talk his mouth off on the floor of the US Senate, ask for more money, and that's about it. Also, this election year has divided the island to a point in which the health of Puerto Rico's democracy is being challenged by people who want to push their own agenda. The governmental branches are divided, the populace is divided, and I am pretty sure that Acevedo Vila and Fortuño will fall back to their sides. We should not be duped by mere politics.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

El TU..Inagurado, pero not operation

TRAS OCHO años de construcción y a un costo que supera los $2,200 millones, el Tren Urbano fue inaugurado ayer en una breve ceremonia encabezada por la gobernadora Sila Calderón, en la que reconoció el trabajo de pasados secretarios del Departamento de Transportación y Obras Pública.- El Nuevo Dia

Yesterday, Sila inaugarated the Tren Urbano. Free rides will be offered to passengers on Sundays and in February people will have to start paying $1.50. However, in a related article, the Tren Urbano's stations will not be fully operational for another six months. Qué qué!?!?

I'm back and I'm black!

LSAT's are done, law school applications are off and finals are over. I am free and can now get on with a normal life. This semester has been tough and so much has happened on the island and in New York. In the next few days, I will try to recap the months loss and move forward with Verde Luz. Que Viva Chu!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Americans Immigrating?

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President Bush's election win this week...

On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the Web site, www.cic.gc.ca -- a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of U.S. visits settled down to 65,803 on Thursday, still well above the norm.

Bush's victory sparked speculation that disconsolate Democrats and others might decide to start a new life in Canada, a land that tilts more to the left than the United States...
Read the rest of the article at-Reuters.
I thought it is the other way around: people immigrate to the US, not reverse. It seems that the elections have upset alot of Americans. I would not be surprised if many Americans bail out of the country until a democrat, more liberal leader gets elected. These are signs of an unhealthy democracy in America.

If push came to shove (and it's coming closer), I'd move to Puerto Rico, not Canada, its's too cold there where as Puerto Rico is eternal spring.

Sales Tax In Puerto Rico

El viernes el representante del PNP, José Aponte, adelantó que tan pronto tome posesión ordenará al nuevo presidente de la Comisión de Hacienda a que realice otro estudio para aprobar un proyecto de ley que establecería un impuesto a las ventas en Puerto Rico. Esta propuesta es una promesa de campaña del PNP.-Endi.com

The PNP has said that the first thing they will do when they take over Congress in January is begin an initiative to instate a sales tax in Puerto Rico. The PPD are against it, PIP are weary, but I am for it. I share the sames views as my good buddy Luis Gallardo. Check out his argumeny by clicking here.

The sales tax would be good by making those who consume more contribute more. As anyone who has been to Puerto Rico knows, Puerto Ricans have a massive consumer problem. The sales tax would also add much needed funds to the government coffers that can go to fund public intiatives such as raises for teachers and fixing our roads.

However, unlike my friend Luis, I think the progressive tax on income should remain. Those who earn more should pay more. A flat rate tax would only benefit the upper class and hurt the middle and lower classes. For example, if the flat rate is roughly $200 a month for everyone, he who makes $1200 a month will be affected more than he who makes $5000 a month.

On a related issue, I also believe that our tax revenues should be use towards other things than paying for welfare and medicare, etc etc. These programs are good, however, it is not fair if as the government coffer grows so too do the number of unemployed and people on welfare as well. The government is there to help not to maintain. Thus, fiscal liberalism as well as responsibility should be structured into the tax system.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Fuego Popular!


Fuego Popular! Ganó Acevedo Vilá! The results are in, with more than 80% of the population voting, Acevedo Vila has been declared the winner. However, the PNPs are letting down. The race was a close one and they have asked for a recount. I don't blame them, Acevedo Vila only has roughly 4000 more votes than Rossello. Plus, nearly 20,000 votes have not been counted yet. So, the PNP has a good base to wait to conced the elections to the PPD.

In any event, I'm kind of glad the PPD won, although I myself am not a popular, because Rossello did not win. Acevedo Vila is not really any better, but at least we know the next four years will be free of PNP rule. Sadly, the PPD will find it hard to govern since the PNP has won control of both houses and the Resident Commissionership.

On another fearful note, the PIP did not receive the 3% needed to remain as an official party. There existence is threatend. Farinacci, the socialist party leader, has made it clear that the independence movement is in crisis. This is a sign I think, that the independence movement has to be revised and revitalized on the island. New tactics and leadership is needed. More dialogue and solidarity is needed between the independence parties and the melones of the PPD party. On a brighter note, it was kind of ironic that Maria de Lourdes had the highest percentage of votes than any other senator elected on Tuesday. It goes to show you that Puerto Ricans are willing to elect an independentista. We need more independentistas in positions of power.

Bush the Moralist


Bush has won his first presidential election (he was appointed to his first term, don't forget). These elections surprised the hell out of me. First, I was shocked to see that Bush also won the popular vote along with the electoral college votes. Yes, more people voted for him than Kerry. Further, I was shocked to see the reasons Americans voted for Bush. The number one reason being that he is more moral than Kerry. What the hell?! Bush is the moralist? Bush is a guy who allowed the Assault Weapons Ban to expire. Bush is the guy who says its ok for people to own weapons that serve no other purpose than to kill massively. Bush is a guy who's lie about Iraq has caused the death of hundreds of our troops. This is a guy who has not created one job un his three years. This is a guy who questioned the loyalty of John Kerry and even John McCain back in 2000. How the hell do you question the loyalty of men who fought for this country and he himself (Bush) avoided service. This is a guy who's trying to pass a constitutional amendment that is just as prejudice as jim crow laws. And he is the moralist?!!

The country lost something on Tuesday. The Christian Right is taken over. It seems that we are moving backwards. Justice is being threatened. Four more years of hell await us...and the scary thing is that now Bush thinks he has a mandate. Dios cuidanos.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Temor a la independencia? Amor a la estadidad? Yea right!

Puerto Ricans don't fear independence. How can they? They have never experienced it (one day does not count). It's like someone telling you they're scared of a movie they've never seen. Likewise, Puerto Ricans can't adore statehood for the same reasons. It's like a virgen saying she loves sex. No one can honestly fear or love something they have never had, seen or felt. Further, oddly enough, there are those who say they are somewhere in between. What the..? How can you fear and love something at the same time. Imagine a wife saying "I love my husband, but I'm afraid of him." Something is not right with that relationship. This is current state of Puerto Rican politics today: Something is not right with our relationship with the US. Puerto Rico is like the abused wife of just can't seem to let go.

Someone one day sold Puerto Ricans the idea that they could have the best of both worlds, that they didn't have to decide just yet their final political status, that it was ok to be indecisive. Someone told them that having cultural and social independence was enough and that in exchange they would have to give up their economic and political independence. Eventually, the economic dependence swelled so much that today there are Puerto Ricans who can't perceive a life without economic dependence. Some are even willing to give up their culture and social independence to secure their economic dependence. This is what Puerto Ricans can really say they love or fear: the economic dependency.

God forbid that one day Puerto Ricans realize that they can also survive on their own two feet. An infant will learn to walk, a kid on a bike will learn to ride, a teen who goes off to college will learn to manage his budget, set priorities, create his own goals and make wise decisions. Isn't it time for Puerto Rico to learn to walk, to ride alone, to make its own decision, manage its own budget and set its own goal? Isn't it possible? Of course.

Puerto Rico continues to be the pet dog of the United States. Just like a pet, we are "in" the family but we are not "part" of the family. Puerto Ricans need to let go of this leash. They need to realize that change is good. However, they also need to realize that one's culure, one's way of life is non-negotiable. Their history, flag, anthem, future, society shall not be put on the negotiating table. Any so called leader that does put the things that Puerto Ricans hold dearly on the negotiating table should be looked upon with skepticism and disgrace. That leader's motives are different from the pueblos.

Independence or some other form of association that's not statehood are the only options that Congress is willing to offer Puerto Rico. Let's wake up people. We are the battered wives, the kid on the bike, the teen going off to college, the mistreated pet of the US. Isn't it time that we grow up and learn to love freedom and fear dependency because these are things we have experienced before.



Rosello Might Win?!

EN ESTA ÚLTIMA Encuesta de El Nuevo Día, completada ayer sábado 30 de octubre, Pedro Rosselló aventaja a Aníbal Acevedo Vilá por un margen de 5 puntos, 45% a 40%. Mientras que Rubén Berríos recibe un 4% de los votos.

-Endi.com


How the hell is Rosello leading the polls in Puerto Rico? If Rosello wins, then another stereotype, and even insult, will be created about Puerto Ricans: that they have terrible memories. How can Puerto Rico have forgotten 8 years of bad administration, corruption, lies? On the other side of the tracks, the PPD has produced a horrible candidate. Acevedo promises much of the same of Sila (?), whereas Rosello promises much of the same he did (trains, ports, health). Rosello can't win. If push comes to shove, melones must vote red this time to avoid four more years of embarrassment.

Jesus lives!

Wassup guys! After a month of absence, Chu is back! I've been studying my ass of for the LSAT and been busy filling out my law school applications. Elections are this Tuesday, so I've been busy monitoring that. I'll make it a habit to continuously update my website for all you crazy Verde Luz fans.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

TITO! TITO!


NUEVA YORK - El puertorriqueño Félix "Tito" Trinidad hizo un regreso triunfal a los cuadriláteros cumpliendo los pronósticos al vencer por la vía del nocaut en ocho episodios al nicaraguense Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga, en el Madison Square Garden de Nueva York.-El Nuevo Dia

Another victory for the Boricua family! Tito is back baby. I was also excited to see Bobby Cruz, a salsa legend, sing La Borinqueña, the Puerto Rican National Anthem. Every Puerto Rican was a Puerto Rican tonight. Or you may even argue that the true spirit of the Melones was in full fledge tonight.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Religion and Politics in Puerto Rico

TOA ALTA - La fe y la política caminaron ayer de la mano tras el endoso público de una pastora protestante a la candidatura por la gobernación de Pedro Rosselló.
Al afirmar que "el señor me ha dicho que tendremos al prime, arriba, aseguró, con respecto a Rosselló, que Puerto Rico tendrá un gobernador "que hable en lenguas".J. Ismael Fernández Reyes

"Estoy endosando a la persona de Pedro Rosselló", dijo la pastora Wanda Rolón, líder espiritual de la congregación de La Senda Antigua. "Es una nueva criatura".
El endoso de Rolón, reconocida cantante evangélica y pastora de una iglesia de 4,000 miembros con un canal de televisión, se debe en parte a que Rosselló abandonó la fe católica y se convirtió en evangélico, a parte de que los gobiernos del Partido Popular Democrático (PPD) siempre han atentado contra la Iglesia, según dijo.

"El señor me ha dicho que tendremos al primer gobernador cristiano evangélico", dijo la pastora, lo que causó una alabanza a Dios entre uno de los seguidores. "Tú vas a ver un gobernador que hable en lenguas". -El Nuevo Día

Religion is important to Puerto Ricans. No one can doubt that and the importance of religion and the impact it has on Puerto Rican society is astounding. For example, when leaders of the Catholic church in Puerto Rico spoke out against the Navy in Vieques, almost all of Puerto Rico united from all parties to get the Navy out. I guess Rolon is trying to do the same thing by supporting Rosello.

However, I think Rolon is wrong for "religousing" politics. Who will question a person who says "God told me so." There is no way to prove or disprove it. I've visted Rolon's church and I kind of got the sense she and the congregation, for the most part, were pro-statehood. I guess what made it obvious was when Rolon gave a massive prayer and speech about Luis Ferrer.

Many people follow Rolon throughout the island. She has over 4000 members in her church and her services are broadcasted across the island. This is clearly a political move by Rolon under the guise of religion. This is wrong and should not be tolerated. Religion and state should be separated simply because the divine is a tool that can easily manipulate the minds of people. Interesetingly and ironically, if Rolon is pro-statehood, and hence pro-American, she is doing something that goes against American principles by mixing both institutions.

And, by saying that "God has told me that a christian person (Rosello) will lead the people," makes one question her sanity. In NYC, we'd lock her up in a mental ward for comments like that.

Keep religion out of politics.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Woes of El Tren Urbano


SI NO se superan los obstáculos técnicos, la apertura del Tren Urbano podría ocurrir luego de las elecciones, proceso para el cual restan 34 días . . . La primera ronda de pruebas, que duró 12 días y se completó el 31 de agosto, reveló 80 asuntos que requerían atención. Y los más serios continúan sin arreglarse. . . Los vehículos del tren continúan deteniéndose abruptamente en medio de su recorrido sin que haya una causa justificable de peligro real que sería la única causa para que el sistema de seguridad ordene frenarlos.

La disponibilidad de piezas de repuesto es otro asunto que podría tener un impacto en la apertura del proyecto. Al día de hoy, sencillamente no hay piezas de contingencia. La pasada gerencia de Siemens aseguró reiteradamente que los equipos estaban en el proyecto, pero el DTOP nunca las encontró. "Falta equipo de reemplazo y algunos hay que mandarlos a hacer especialmente para el tren de Puerto Rico, y sin estas piezas no se puede empezar", dijo Alcaraz. No obstante, indicó que para finales de octubre llegarían algunas piezas.

Este asunto es vital para las operaciones del proyecto ya que en su punto máximo de servicio, el tren tendrá 28 vehículos en operación, de un total del 37 que hay disponibles.

El costo del Tren Urbano se estima en más de $2,250 millones, lo cual lo convierte en el proyecto de infraestructura más costoso en la historia de Puerto Rico.- El Nuevo Día
It seems like the tren will never open. Constant problems, malfunctions, repairs lead to delays and postponement. Of course, this in turn creates discontent and skepticism among the people. "Is the tren really safe? Will it really get me to work or home faster? Have we wasted our money on this project? What was the reason for the tren anyways?" These are probably some questions the population is asking themselves.

Although the tren was a PNP iniciative, I tend to like it and see it as promising. I live in New York and I know the importance of public transportation. Furthermore, those who have experienced driving in the metro area know the needs of alternative means of transportation. However, the questions I am asking myself are these: If the tren fails, i.e., people won't ride it for whatever reason, then should we pursue expansion of the tren system? Could we have done a better job with the system if we had taken our time in planning instead of rushing to construction? After seeing the millions wasted or spent, which by the way Puerto Rico has paid 2/3 of, will Rosello or the other candidates reconsider their infrastructure programs?

Only time will tell, but so far the tren is getting off to a bad start simply because it hasn't started.

Culture and Politics in Puerto Rico


This picture is from the protest of the AAA of Puerto Rico being held today in San Juan. It's interesting to see how the protesters are using cultural means to convey their message. This is a common occurrence throughout Puerto Rico. Almost every protest group (even pro-statehood groups) in Puerto Rico use the music of plena to express their discontent while protesting. You won't see that in the states. This phenomenon shows the unity among Puerto Ricans and the value they have for their culture. Also, it shows us that when groups in Puerto Rico are feeling threatened, they turn into boricuas de pura sepa.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Dirty Dozens of Puerto Rican Politics


Did anyone see the debate last night? I didn't get to see it, but I read the transcript. The whole debate was a dirty dozens match between the candidates. A sort of "You so corrupt that..." or "You so stupid that..." They should have made the debate more interesting by talking about each other's mamas. We really didn't learn much from the candidates that we already didn't know. On a brighter note, Ruben Berrios brought up some good points about both candidates. We know he won't win but I wouldn't be surprised that many boricuas vote for him just to show the other two parties the discontent they are feeling.

Dalai Lama Visits Puerto Rico


SAN JUAN -- Aunque en sus primeras declaraciones al pisar suelo borincano manifestó que conocía "muy poco" sobre la situación social y política de la Isla, el decimocuarto Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, opinó luego que la relación del país con Estados Unidos es "beneficiosa" y aplaudió que la Constitución local prohíba la pena de muerte. . .

"Puerto Rico está asociado a los Estados Unidos en muchos aspectos, como se me ha dicho, en muchos renglones, que ayudan además al progreso también de Puerto Rico y un nivel al que pueden acceder debido a ese tipo de asociación", expresó el Dalai Lama.
-Noticentro 4
After being told of the ELA, the Dalai Lama said he likes the status for the island. What do you guys think about that? Personally, I don't think that an important religious figure should be maken political comments. But interestingly, his comment has a dual meaning, almost a "melon" tinge to it. Association with the US is "beneficial" but at the same time he acknowledges the non-integrationist aspect when he praised our prohibition of the death penalty. Either way, his visit to Puerto Rico was an honor. Thanks Mr. Dalai Lama.

El Girto de Lares


A Lares, Tierra Santa,
hay que entrar de rodillas

To Lares, Holy Land,
we must enter on our knees.
- Don Pedro Albizu Campos

For Puerto Ricans, the town of Lares symbolizes the struggle for
liberty and national identity. On September 23 of 1868, after loosing
hopes of acquiring a change in the political situation of the island
through peaceful means, a group of Patriots, acting under the
leadership of Don Ramón Emeterio Betances, took up arms against the
Spanish colonial government. Their goal was to rescue our national
sovereignty and to proclaim the independence of Puerto Rico. In the
mountains of the towns of Lares and San Sebastian, the cry of “Patria y
Libertad” was heard. This glorious historical event is known as “El
Grito de Lares”, for it was in that town that the Republic of Puerto
Rico was declared after the up-rising.

Sometime at the end of May or the beginning of June of 1868, Don Manuel
Rojas presented to the Revolutionary Committee Centro Bravo in Lares
the original design of a flag conceived by Betances himself. This flag
was formed by a white Latin cross in the center, two bleu squares
situated above the arms of the cross, two red squares situated below,
and a lone five-pointed star (in light yellow or white) situated in the
upper left square. This design served as the model for the first Puerto
Rican flag, sewn by Doña Mariana Braceti. The cry of “¡Viva Puerto Rico
Libre!” and this flag became the symbols of the revolution and of the
first expression of national identity in Puerto Rico. During the Grito
de Lares, two other flags were used, a red flag, and a white flag with
the inscription “Libertad o Muerte, Año de 1868” (Liberty or Death,
Year 1868).

It was the flag with the white cross (the Lares flag) the one which
became the symbol of the Puerto Rican revolutionary movement until the
end of the 19th century. This flag was an adaptation of the flag of the
Dominican Republic, the first Spanish speaking country in the Antilles
to gain its independence from Spain. Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances’
family on his father’s side was of Dominican descent. The flag
symbolizes the bond of the Puerto Rican revolutionary movement with the
Dominican struggle for independence.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Boricua Named Soldier of the Year


Army announces NCO, Soldier of Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service, Sept. 20, 2004) -- After a week of enduring physical and mental anguish, Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Bullock and Spc. Wilfredo A. Mendez took home the titles of 2004 Department of the Army Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year in a Sept. 17 ceremony at Fort Myer, Va. . . -Army.mil

. . .SAN JUAN (AP) - El puertorriqueño Wilfredo Méndez fue galardonado como el soldado del año del Departamento del Ejército estadounidense, venciendo a otros 20 finalistas en varias pruebas físicas y mentales.

Méndez, oriundo de Río Grande, se encuentra destacado en Corea del Sur con el Tercer Batallón de Inteligencia Militar, donde se desempeña como analista de inteligencia de comunicaciones, informó el Ejército en un comunicado.
El boricua compitió una semana en el Fuerte Lee de Virginia, sometiéndose a un examen de condición física, una prueba escrita, un ensayo sobre temas militares, pruebas de destreza de combatiente, cualificación nocturna y diurna con sus armas, y una marcha de seis millas a campo abierto, entre otras pruebas. . .-Endi.com

Boricuas do it again. We win Miss Universe, we win boxing titles, we beat the US in basketball and now we beat them again in their own military. How about that?! Vaya Boricua!

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Draft is A-Creeping On Us

McCain also called for enlarging the U.S. Army by 70,000 soldiers and the Marines by 20,000 to 25,000.

Kerry and other Democrats have said Bush plans to call up more part-time National Guard and Reserve troops after the November election to compensate for thinning ranks in the full-time military due to Iraq. The Bush campaign denied this.
-Reuters
More soldiers for the war in Iraq? Our lines are already thin, so where is the military going to get the needed soliders? Call up more part-timers? Or.....the draft?!... It seems the more talking we do about Iraq, the more it looks like that the draft is coming back.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Funny Voting Ad

Check out this ad on the Village Voice website. It's mad funny.

Another Sign of Colonialism in Puerto Rico

PONCE - El subdirector del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de EE.UU. en el distrito de Jacksonville, Florida, Richard Bonner, aseguró que los permisos de construcción que sean otorgados al Puerto Las Américas dependerán de cuán severos sean los comentarios de otras agencias estadounidenses en torno al proyecto.

Bonner indicó que posiblemente los permisos de construcción tarden varios meses, por lo que entiende que los planes de la Autoridad del Puerto Las Américas podrán llevarse a cabo.
ENDi.com

What get's me about the whole thing is that Puerto Rico must wait until some American burocrats give the OK to buld this megaport. This is another sign of the colonial hierachy that exists in Puerto Rico. Sure, the Americans will most likely give us the green light, but the fact that they have the power to say no is what bothers me. It's our island, we should have the final say in everthing insular.

Two More Boricuas Dead in A Foreign War


LOS RESTOS de las dos víctimas boricuas más recientes de la guerra en Irak llegaron a Puerto Rico ayer para ser velados y homenajeados por sus seres queridos.

El soldado Michael Martínez, de 29 años y residente de Juana Díaz, se convirtió el 8 de este mes en el veinteavo soldado puertorriqueño en perecer en la llamada guerra contra el terrorismo, cuando su vehículo se volcó en la ciudad de Baqubah. Tres días antes había fallecido su colega Gary Alexander Vaillant, víctima de una mina casera en la ciudad de Khalidiya.
-ENDi.com


You guys know how I feel about boricuas in the military. Why are our boys fighting? They can't vote. It's not their country at war. Where must we as boricuas draw the line of loyalty? To whom are our boricua soldiers loyal to and from whom are they receiving loyalty? Bring our boys home, it's not our war.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Patriotic Painting


Isn't this a cool picture?! It's by Edwin Velez and the title of the painting is Sueño Boricua.

Storm UnMasks Puerto Rico's Poor Planning

The below text is from an article in El Nuevo Dia that says that Puerto Rico's urban planning is horrible and isn't fit for catastrophes like hurricanes. I could have to you that. Every Puerto Rican knows it. I wonder if political ideology, especially status preferences, has any influence on urban planning? What do you guys think?

LA TORMENTA tropical Jeanne puso en evidencia ayer una vez más la mala planificación que impera en el país y la consecuente vulnerabilidad de su infraestructura, opinaron ayer tres expertos quienes ofrecieron desalentadores augurios sobre la solución a esta perpetua problemática. . ."Nosotros no hemos desarrollado un modelo de crecimiento que se ajuste a nuestras condiciones de isla tropical. A veces parecemos que queremos ser un continente", señaló Ortiz, ex presidente de la Junta de Planificación. . ."Cuando hay uno (temporal), y hay uno varias veces al año, se pone en riesgo todo el sistema productivo del país y eso tiene un costo económico extraordinario", apuntó.

En términos de las inundaciones, Irizarry explicó que el exceso de carreteras y de desarrollos desparramados de urbanizaciones y centros comerciales, y la deforestación y alteración de los terrenos necesarias para estas construcciones son las principales razones para que las lluvias causen tantos estragos. Según dijo, los responsables son tanto los grandes intereses y la ciudadanía que patrocina este tipo de proyecto, como el Gobierno que los autorizan y que legitimiza la invasión de terrenos inundables. . .Aponte y Ortiz destacaron la vulnerabilidad del sistema eléctrico debido al diseño y extensión de sus líneas así como a la ubicación de sus plantas generatrices en las costas.

"Es triste que un sistema como el nuestro, tan costoso, unas lluvias lo inutilicen inmediatamente", opinó Ortiz.

Los planificadores sostuvieron que el país tiene que moverse hacia la construcción de ciudades habitables, densificadas y orientadas al uso del transporte colectivo. Sin embargo, opinaron que al presente no hay voluntad política y habrá que esperar a que una catástrofe o la transformación del propio mercado obliguen a estos cambios.

Ortiz sostuvo que lo que proponen los partidos de mayoría en sus programas de Gobierno es "más de lo mismo" prometiendo "construir y construir más y por ende seguir agravando los problemas de infraestructura".-ENDi.com

Bronx Boricuas Win Primaries

WASHINGTON – La jefatura demócrata boricua del condado de El Bronx triunfó contundentemente en todas las contiendas políticas que tuvo el martes en la noche, como parte de las primarias legislativas del estado de Nueva York.
El congresista José Serrano, quien también salió vencedor al no tener retadores en las primarias.
-ENDi.com

Boricua politicians in the states are so patriotic. Even though they represent a specific district, they always include in the programs the issues that concern Puerto Rico. The 3 boricuas in Congress, Jose Serrano, Nydia Velazquez and Luis Gutierrez, were important leaders in the Vieques movement. Unlike the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico, these boricuas are true representatives of Puerto Rico.

A Constant Reminder of Our Status

Jeanne's sustained winds grew to 80 mph as it walloped Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that is home to about 4 million people, and the Dominican Republic.
-Reuters

Did they have to mention that Puerto Rico is a US territory? What does that have to do with the hurricane that hit the island? It seems that when Puerto Rico is mentioned in the US papers it is always accompanied by that phrase "a US territory." I wonder why they always say it. Is it because they want to make sure that PR is a "territory" and not a "colony?" Or could it be that the US public doesn't really know where or what Puerto Rico is? Haha.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Luis Fortuno: The Republicans Puerto Rican Toy

"ET phone home" Doesn't he look like Millhouse from the Simpsons.

Luis Fortuño is the PNP candidate for the "Resident Commissioner" of Puerto Rico to Washington. I don't know much of this guy's background, but what I do know is that he has been put or has put himself into some awkward, non-traditional positions for a Puerto Rican in US politics. For those of you who watched the RNC, Fortuño was the guy who said "I'm Puerto Rican, but I'm American too." He also said that what makes him both is the cultural similarities that both countries share. Bull shit! Cultural similarities?! What does PR and the US have in common in cultural terms?! In fact, its our cultural distinctions that sets us apart from the US.

Fortuño is being used by the Republican Party and was probably bought out by them. Let's be real, no-one can honestly believe that a Puerto Rican would ever support a Republican candidate. The majority of boricuas in the states are democrats. And the majority of politicians from Puerto Rico have liberal tendencies no matter what party they're in. I can't think of one Republican Neo/Puerto Rican. So it makes you wonder why Fortuño is supporting Bush. Hell, I don't even understand why any politician from Puerto Rico would get involved with US Presidential races when at the end of the day they can't even vote for the guy they're campaigning for. Que Barbaridad!

Will this guy really be an effective "Resident Commissioner"? (as if it matters). Or will he just be sniffing the asses of US Republicans and touting to whatever tune they give him? Then again, I kind of hope he does get to be RC, because then "real" Puerto Rican congressmen like Luis Gutierrez will chew him up and spit him out.

Another Boricua Boxing Champion

Miguel Cotto knocking the silly out of Kelson Pinto

Miguel Cotto became the boxing champ for the 140 lbs weight class of the OMB Saturday night when he defeated by way of "nocaút" his opponent. Cotto became the 50th boxing champion that Puerto Rico has produced. Can you believe that?! For a small island, we have produced 50 champs! Just goes to show you that Puerto Ricans produce some of the best stuff in the world: best fighters, best women, best music, best food, best culture. Damn, we are good. Talk about overacheivers.ENDI.com

Chu is back!

Wassup guys. Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I was occupied with first week college admin stuff and I just got over the flu. But its time to blog and blog I shall do. There is so much work to be done and so little time to do it in.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Studying!


I haven't blogged for a while. I've been studying and getting my stuff ready for law school applications. Ay mi madre!

So far, the schools I'm looking at are Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Fordham and UPR. Don't know which one I will choose. Money will probably be the determining factor

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Real Terrorist


Check out this poster. I saw it at the march/protest on Sunday near Madison Square Garden. There were tons of people there. NYC really hates republicans. More pics of the protest will be posted soon. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Is The Draft Coming Back?


Ever since 9/11 I've always had this gut feeling that the draft was going to be coming back, and that I was going to be one of them drafted. Growing up around military bases, I always knew that our forces were low and I always heard talk that the US couldn't sustain a long campaign. I remember hearing that our forces were so slim that if Canada and Mexico invaded the US, we'd be screwed. Rumors of course, but they always sparked a level of uncomfort in me.

Since 9/11, I've been working out and keeping in shape just in case I do get drafted. I know it sounds crazy but with the talk being spoken now, Don Chu wasn't crazy after all. In the past months, reports have been coming out on how thin our lines are. Generals, top officials, politicians, everybody is agreeing that we are low on troops. And then the rumor sprung up that Congress was discussing a draft bill that would bring the draft back by summer 2005. The scary part is that both candidates for president seem to support the bill. The web site No Draft, No Way.org seems to confirm these rumors.

It's scary to even think about. I'm still in the drafting age range and if the draft did come back in 2005, I'd probably be one of the first ones to get drafted. Spooky. I'd probably run off to Puerto Rico, hide in the mountains, change my name and identity. Hell, boricuas have done it before; its in our blood.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Who Can Be A Boricua?

. . ."I said, 'But I am African and I am an American citizen; am I not African-American?' " said Mr. Kamus, who is an advocate for African immigrants here, recalling his sense of bewilderment. "They said 'No, no, no, not you.' "

"The census is claiming me as an African-American," said Mr. Kamus, 47, who has lived in this country for 20 years. "If I walk down the streets, white people see me as an African-American. Yet African-Americans are saying, 'You are not one of us.' So I ask myself, in this country, how do I define myself?" . . .-NY Times

Puerto Ricans have the same problem. How many of us born and raised in the states consider ourselves Puerto Rican yet when we visit the island we are deemed other terms? I remember when I was studying abroad and people would ask me where I was from, I'd always say "I'm from New York but I'm Puerto Rican." Then they would say, "no you're not; you're weren't born or raised here." They would then proceed to call me other things like "Nuyo Rican" "Neo-Rican" and some hard core people would even call me "gringo."

In the 21st century, who's to say who can be a Puerto Rican and who can't? There are roughly 8 million Puerto Ricans in the world and nearly half of them reside outside of the island. Is birthplace the only determining factor? Or is being Puerto Rican more of a state of mind? Remember the phrase "Boricua hasta en la luna."

For us "Neo-Ricans" I believe it's more of a state of mind. We in the states are generally more prideful, partiotic and nationalistic. Though we may not speak the language very well, nor have lived on the island, I bet you most, if not all, of us would defend our island to the end. As a line of a poem of a "Neo-Rican" poet says "Yo no naci en Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico nacio en mi."

Friday, August 27, 2004

Chu's Thoughts On Abortion

Partial Birth Abortion

A federal judge in New York ruled yesterday that a federal law banning a rarely used method of abortion was unconstitutional because it did not exempt cases where the procedure might be necessary to protect a woman's health. . .Judge Casey determined that the Supreme Court required, in a decision four years ago, that any law limiting abortion must have a clause permitting doctors to use a banned procedure if they determine that the risk to a woman's health would be greater without it. . .-NY Times

I consider myself to be a rather liberal person. I believe in equality for all, especially women. I believe that people should have the right to determine their own destiny and have the final say on how they conduct their lives. Noone should have the right to tell a person what to do with their bodies. Abortion has been a top issue for ages. Pro-choice people advocate a women's right to have an abortion if she wants to while the pro-life people advocate a ban on any type of abortion. I guess the issue here is women's rights. Women, of course, have been marginalized since the beginning of mankind and in this day in age they deserve every right to pursue social, economic and political equality. However I do not think abortion is the way to go. Although I am liberal, I just see any kind of abortion as a form of murder.

Some people argue that it isn't murder, that what is being destroyed is merely a fetus. The Supreme Court even ruled in Roe v Wade (1973) that a woman can determine the destiny of a fetus in the first trimester; that life really begins at birth. But take a look at the diagram above. That "fetus" looks like a minature scale of a human-being, doesn't it? The procedure above, the partial birth abortion, is when a doctor sticks a tube inside the "fetus" head and sucks the brians out, causing the skull !The "fetus is then removed> Cruel, when you think about it, right?

It's a tough issue, but here are two arguments I would like to make, that people haven't made concerning this issue. One is social and the other legal.

SOCIAL ARGUMENT: Throughout history certain groups have de-humanized other groups by inventing terms to label that other group thereby creating a sense a inferiority of that other group and therefore justifying any actions, cruel as they may be, against that other group.

Consider this: American Indians were called "savages"; Whites called blacks in America "niggers"; latinos in America are called "spics"; the jews were called "impure" and a number of other things by the Nazis; homosexuals are called "fags" and "dikes"; young, poor urban kids are called "thugs"; and more recently, anyone who goes against the US gov't is called "unpatriotic" or even "terrorist." You get my jif?! In all cases, these terms were invented to justify a groups actions towards another group. This led to genocide, slavery, poor housing, menial jobs, extermination, imprisonment, marginalization, denial of civil rights.

Creatures that apparently look like human-beings in all aspects are called "fetuses" There is no difference between the abortion issue and any other social issues mentioned above. These creatures are being called "fetuses" in order to justify what is obviously considered murder (the forceful ending of a life) in any dictionary. It would be harder to carry out a horrendous act if we refered to the fetus or any other group we seek to treat unfairly, as a human being.

LEGAL ARGUMENT: The most famous legal basis for the abortion issue is the Roe v. Wade decision. The Court ruled that the woman had the right to have an abortion if she wanted in the first trimester, in the 2nd trimester she would have to consult a doctor and in the 3rd trimester the fetus belonged to the state. Bien.

The basic principle here is that a woman has a right to privacy of her own womb. No one can tell here what to do with the fetus in the first 3 months. It is completely here decision. But consider this: the womb may be hers, no one argues that; but what about what's inside the womb? The "fetus" isn't wholly hers. Remember that old saying "it takes two to mambo"? The female is only "owner" of half of the "fetus" while the male is an "owner" as well. Pro-creation is a partnership. Therefore, the male, the father, should have as much say on what should be done to the "fetus" in the first trimester as the female, mother, does.

Let's say a woman owns a house. She meets a man and allows him to move in with her. A month later, they buy a car together. They park the car in the garage of the house. Let's say one day the woman decides she doesn't want the car and wants to get rid of it. Does the man have no say in that decision? Isn't the car also his? Just because it's in the garage of the house that belongs to the woman doesn't mean the man has no right to that car. You get my jif?!

Some of you might be thinking, oh how can you use an analogy like that when one deals with property and the other deals with humans. A Ha! That's where you are mistaken. Remember, according to law and the current social structure, the "fetus" isn't human. Life begins at birth, so says the court, remember? The creature inside the womb is merely a "fetus," in other words non-human, right? Hence, the "fetus" is as equal as a car: property.

The point here is that man has a right to the "fetus" as much as the woman does. This is one point that the Court failed to touch on.

These are just two new arguments that one should consider when thinking about the abortion issue. I don't think abortion should be banned completely simply because there are cases in which the life of the mother could be endangered if she proceeds with a pregnancy. But, the whole issue should be revisted and reconsidered, especially taking into considerations the points I made above. It's the only fair thing to do.

Latinos Biggest Group With No Health Insurance

. . . The increase in uninsured people last year, as reported by the United States Census Bureau yesterday, was 1.4 million, to a record 45 million. . .

More than 10 million of those without insurance were young people, 25 to 34 years old, government officials said, an increase of 576,000 from 2002. . .

The proportion of uninsured people held steady among Hispanic, Asian and black Americans. About 18.5 percent of blacks, 18.7 percent of Asian-Americans and 32.7 percent of Hispanics did not have insurance. . .NY Times

And I ask myself why Latinos continue to migrate to the US. We get stuck with the crapiest jobs, post-secondary education isn't assured, no health coverage and almost no say in politics. Is this the American dream? We should start moving to Europe, at least there we'll be guaranteed free education and health care.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Poverty Continues to Rise in the US

This article in Reuters is shocking. Poverty has risen since 2000 and among the poorest of the poor are blacks, latinos and children! Along with the poverty rate, the number of people who don't have health coverage went up and the incomes have fallen as well. I think these are clear signs that Bush has to go. It seems that as the rest of the world progresses, the US is moving backwards.

Read the article for yourself below.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some 1.3 million Americans slid into poverty in 2003 as the ranks of the poor rose 4 percent to 35.9 million, with children and blacks worse off than most, the government said on Thursday in a report that fueled Democratic criticism of President Bush.

Despite the economic recovery, the percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose for the third straight year to 12.5 percent -- the highest since 1998 -- from 12.1 percent in 2002, the Census Bureau said in its annual poverty report. The widely cited score card on the nation's economy showed one-third of those in poverty were children.

The number of U.S. residents without health-care coverage rose 1.4 million to 45 million last year, while incomes were essentially stagnant, the Census Bureau said.

The poverty line is set at an annual income of $9,573 or less for an individual, or $18,660 for a family of four with two children. Under that measure, a family would spend about a third of its income on food.

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has argued Bush's economic stewardship, including three rounds of tax cuts since 2001, has done more to help wealthy Americans than the poor or middle class.

"Today confirms the failure of President Bush's policies for all Americans," the Massachusetts senator said in a statement. "Under George Bush's watch, America's families are falling further behind."

Analysts have said the poverty rate typically tracks the broad economy, rising during a recession and falling in boom times, and the Bush administration said the report was "looking backwards at the economy" because it did not capture recent job growth or the full benefit of recent tax cuts.

"The first thing to remember is that the number of people living below the poverty line has historically mirrored the rise and fall in the number of people working," Commerce Secretary Don Evans told a conference call. "In June of 2003, when this data was collected, the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. Now it is down to 5.5. percent."

The United States has struggled to recover from the 2001 slump and job creation has lagged behind overall growth. Since Bush took office in January 2001, 1.1 million jobs have disappeared, but employment has begun to rebound and analysts believe incomes may begin to improve once the job market strengthens.

The poverty rate has risen each year since 2000, when it was 11.3 percent. It hit a record-low 11.1 percent in 1973.

Children and most racial minorities again fared worse in 2003 than the overall population, according to the Census report. The rate of child poverty rose to 17.6 percent from 16.7 percent in 2002 -- boosting the number of poor children to 12.9 million, the most since 1998.

The poverty rate of African-Americans remained nearly twice the national rate, with 24.4 percent of blacks living below the poverty line in 2003, nearly unchanged from 24.1 percent a year earlier. The poverty rate for Hispanics was 22.5 percent, up from 21.8 percent.

Non-Hispanic whites fared best, with a poverty rate of 8.2 percent, nearly unchanged from 8 percent a year earlier.

The report showed real median income for all races was unchanged at $43,318 in 2003. Incomes have fallen nearly 4 percent since 1999.

Democrats criticized the government's decision to release the highly anticipated report in mid-August -- when many people are on vacation -- rather than sticking to the usual September release. They also said the decision to release the health insurance and poverty statistics in the same report was a bid to minimize media coverage of the worsening lives of the poor in the run-up to the November election.

The Puerto Rican Army


Who said Puerto Rico didn't have an army?! By the looks of this picture, it seems that we do. It's interesting to see this Puerto Rican platoon waving around the Puerto Rican flag. It makes you wonder to whom their loyalty lies or even for whom they are fighting for.

Puerto Ricans have made their mark in the US military. Well over 200,000 boricuas have served in the military and numerous others have given their lives for the metropolis. Currently, there are over 30,000 boricuas in uniform. Among other things, the 65th Regiment (the Borinqueneers) fought in WWII and the Korean War. They became well respected during the Korean War by helping to push back the North Koreans and rescueing many marines. During Gulf War II, the Puerto Ricans have been praised for maintaining order in Abu Ghraib prison after the scandal created by American soldiers. Reportedly, the boricuas are the ones watching over Saddam Hussein. Go boricua!

Personally, I believe the boricuas shouldn't be fighting in any of the US' wars. Hell, they can't vote for their commander-in-chief. If it were up to me, I would station every Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico.

Pinochet Stripped of Immunity

Agosto Pinochet

ANTIAGO, Chile, Aug. 26 (Reuters) - Chile's Supreme Court stripped the former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution in a notorious human rights case on Thursday, raising hopes of victims that he may finally face trial for abuses during his 17-year rule. . . The lower court said the retired general, who is 88, could be charged in connection with the disappearance of 19 leftists in the mid-1970's as part of Operation Condor, a joint effort by South America's military dictators to help each other wipe out dissidents.-NYTimes

This is the man who, with the help of the US, got rid of the democratically elected leftist president Salvador Allende in Chile. It's ironic that Venezuelas Hugo Chavez is very similar to Allende. But who's going to try to get rid of Chavez? "Chavez da' man!"

I think Rosello should also be put on trial. Though he didn't kill anybody, Rosello has a lot of explaining to do about missing millions of dollars, defunct programs, and a corrupt administration.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Colombia to Negotiate With Rebels Via Email

BOGOTA, Colombia - Email may be the fastest way to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Colombian rebel group holding 72 hostages, the government said on Wednesday, declining to explain why it wanted to avoid face-to-face talks.REUTERS
Can you imagine if the Puerto Rican government reverted to using email to perform its functions liket talking to el pueblo?! Hell, Puerto Rican politicians barely even use the existing media to talk to the pueblo; what makes you think they're going to sit down and write out emails every so often? They're lazy as it is.

"No Child Left Behind" Doesn't Work In Puerto Rico


EL DEPARTAMENTO de Educación (DE) implantará este semestre un plan de trabajo para las 21 escuelas que no están cumpliendo con los criterios académicos de la ley federal "Que Ningún Niño Quede Rezagado", aunque aún desconoce cuáles son los factores que están causando el rezago.El Nuevo Dia, 8/25/04

Can the Department of Education really be that inept? They seem shocked that our schools aren't meeting the standards of the "No Child Left Behind Act" and aren't sure why this is happening. Well I'll tell them why: Because it doesn't work in Puerto Rico! Once again, the DE is ignoring the fact that this federal law just isn't compatible with Puerto Rican society. (as aren't many other federal laws). You cannot impose federal standards in education for an island who's educational system is different than those of the US. Nevermind the fact that our schools are taught in a different language! How can you expect Puerto Rican children to score high on an English exam? How can you expect them to do superb on a US history test? Heck, American school children aren't even doing as well as expected. In fact, that law is ruining many schools across the US.

The DE needs to pay more attention to the social factors and create an educational system that not only refelcts the society but is responsive to the distinct needs of that society. The DE needs to stop trying to please the Americans and accept the fact that our schools aren't doing so well by American standards because we're not Americans!

Study Finds Vieques Women have Dangerously High Levels of Mercury

EL 26.8% de las mujeres en edad reproductiva en Vieques consumió suficiente mercurio como para causar daño neurológico a sus bebés, revela una investigación de la epidemióloga Carmen Ortiz-Roque, que aparece en la edición de septiembre 2004 de la prestigiosa revista científica Journal of Epidemiology and Health.

These are the effects of over 60 years of bombing by the US Navy. In the name of national security, our people suffered...and still are. Read the rest of the article at ENDI.com

Back in nYc . . . its cold!

It's good to be back in the city. Things have changed in a year. Parts of my neighborhood have vanished and where there use to be buildings, shopping centers have sprung up. Prices have risen for everything. Bums still roam the streets. The city is preparing for the arrival of the Republicans. All hell is planned to break loose. I'll be there....Reggaeton seems to be popular. Even American stations are playing our music...It's cold! Temp. is at around the high 60s. I think I'm the only fool walking around with a sweater...Time to get back to work. Must liberate my island and form a salsa band...My posts from now on will probably focus more on what's going on in NYC, particularly with the Neo-Rican commmunity. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Heading Back to NYC


My summer vacation is officially over. Tomorrow I head back to the Big Apple (or as I like to call it, the Big Mango). My last year in college begins this week. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Training and Recruiting Soldiers Through Video Games


. . . For the past three years, the military has been entertaining the surprising idea that video games, even those that you play on a commerical system like Microsoft's Xbox, can be an effective way to train soldiers. In fact, the Army is now one of the industry's most innovative creators, hiring high-end programmers and designers from Silicon Valley and Hollywood to devise and refine its games. . .NYTimes Magazine

So this is the military's new way of recruiting our kids. Isn't this a form of brainwashing: training kids ealry and making them think that they too can be an effective soldier. Blah.

Read the rest of the article at The Making of an X Box Soldier

Santini Favors Proliferation of Weapons on Our Island

AK-47

SAN JUAN - El candidato popular a la alcaldía de San Juan, Eduardo Bhatia, reveló ayer una carta del alcalde Jorge Santini en la que éste le expresa a dos alcaldes estadounidenses su oposición a la extensión de una ley federal aplicable a Puerto Rico que prohíbe la fabricación y venta legal de 19 modelos de a rmas largas y semiautomáticas como la AK-47, entre otras asociadas al bajo mundo.El Nuevo Dia, Aug. 20, 2004

The mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, is advocating against the extension of the Assault Weapons Ban law which is set to expire on Sept. 14. This law prohibits the manufacturing, legal sells and utilization of 19 different types of military style weapons, like the AK-47, Uzi, Colt AR-15, among others. His REASONS: Santini says that the law has been inefective in the fight against crime and the law discriminates against "good citizens" who love free shooting and hunting.

It is shocking to hear these words from the mayor of a city in which the crime right has risen 14% since he took office.(source: ENDI) I believe he is simply refusing to accept responsibility for his inaction and failure to battle crime by putting the blame on this law. Further, his allegations are completely false. In a report released by the Brady Center, an organization against violence, it was revealed that since this law took effect criminal incidences with these types of weapons where reduced by 66%. So imagine, if people are already dieing by simple handguns, think about how many more are going to die if criminals get a hand on one these weapons.

And what about his allegation of discrimination. Who the heck "hunts" with an AK-47 or an Uzi? There are no big game in Puerto Rico, so unless these people are hunting terrorists or revolutionary groups these weapons are superfluous.

Here are some facts on guns that we all, including Santini, should know: There are over a quater-billion guns in American households. Each year about 500,000 guns are stolen. The vast majority of these stolen guns end up in the inner city, sold cheaply or traded for legal or illegal goods and services. For those who say they need a gun for protection of their home or family, think about this: Fewer than 1 of 4 violent crimes occur while the victim is at home. In the cases involving gun-use during break-ins, only 2% of these guns were used to shoot intruders; the other 98% of the time, residents accidentally shot a loved one, themselves, or the burglar tooked the gun and killed them with it.(source: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence "Guns in the Home" fact sheet, via Michael Moore's, Stupid White Men)

Who's to say a guy who purchased a AK-47 legally won't sell his gun to some kid on the street when times are tough or if the price is right? Are Puerto Ricans willing to risk the lives of their families in the name of "protection?" Will we really be safe when thousands of military style weapons purchased legally get unaccounted for? The facts are there guys. Read them for yourself, click on the Brady Campaign link above. Yes, as a Puerto Rican you may have a constitutional right to own a gun, but you'll be sorry when that gun is used against you or a loved one.

With comments like these, Santini is a man that can't be trusted to ensure the security and safety of our people. Shouldn't the government be trying to stop the proliferation of guns rather than the opposite? Boricua, you decide!

Another Boricua Dies in Bush's Little War

WASHINGTON (AP) - Un soldado del Ejército estadounidense oriundo de Caguas, Puerto Rico, y residente en Connecticut falleció el miércoles en la ciudad de Sadr en Irak, informó el viernes el Departamento de Defensa.

That's 18 boricuas dead so far in this so called war against terror. It pisses me off to see my people die in trying to provide a free, democratic and sovereign nation for a foreign people when the government of the flag they fight under denies these very rights to them and their people. Damn you Bush!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Ecuajei!

Cortijo y Maelo

Isn't this such a cool picture. Some of the greats of our culture are pictured there. You can tell they're having fun. Ismael Rivera is one of my favorite singers. Along with Cortijo, they revolutioned Puerto Rican culture and made our music popular and fun. An interesting thing to point out is notice how everyone in the band is black. Today's salsa bands and salseros are mostly of light skin. This is just proof that our roots, nuestros raices, are strongly influenced by Afro-boricuas.

Chu Defends Boricuas on ESPN.com

A blog buddy of mine sent me this link from a forum on ESPN.com. A guy poses the question "Why is Puerto Rico allowed to play?" referring to the olympics, particularly the game between the US and Puerto Rico. Check out this guys comment on Puerto Rico, which is ignorant, arrogant and racist; a typical comment from an average American joe, hoo rah!


stevo002 wrote:
Puerto Rico is TERRORITY of the USA. PR is listed as a "Commonwealth", but so is Virginia, so both are RULED by United States. There is NO President or ruling Party in Puerto Rico. Again, its ruled by a Governor appointed BY the US Government. Puerto Ricans THREE TIMES were given a national election by the USA to decide if they want to be a state, commonwealth, or its own country. And all 3 times, they chose "CommonWealth". Why? Because Puerto Ricans are a lazy bunch of people who have always been riding the backs of larger governments. They were dominated by Spain for hundreds of years. All of them were given what they needed to survive by the Spanish royalty so that they can work on that measly island, which mainly served as a military lookout island (kind of like Hawaii's origin). Then when the USA defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, it was already in the blood of Puerto Ricans to be baby fed by a bigger country because they don't know how to rule for themselves. This is why they choose "Commonwealth". They need pampering and the U.S. money, and don't know how to rule for themselves. Even being classified as a State is too much work for them.

If this island is nothing more than a lab mouse for us, then why not just tell the Olympics we're going to pull our P.R. terrority out of the Olympics starting right now? That's what we should do. If Puerto Ricans complain, we'll tell them "Oh yea? then we'll make you become your own country" You know they won't like the idea of human rights so it should work.

But Don Chu doesn't sit around letting his people go undefended. So here is what I had to say:


Don Chu wrote:
I would like to thank you for making the case FOR Puerto Rico. In your comment you have just described the exact political condition of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico IS a colony RULED by the US. Gees, and the US talks about liberty. How the heck can they go "free" Iraq when they have another nation in chains? Isn't that hypocritical.
You're Puerto Rican history is off my friend. First, the US has never given a national election to the Puerto Ricans. All referendums, as theyre called, have been insular and non-binding, meaning the US didn't recongnize any of the results. Second, Puerto Ricans didn't choose commonwealth 3 times. In fact, in the last referendum, they choose, "Non of the Obove" because they realized that they weren't going to be taunted with a fake referendum. Thirdly, Puerto Ricans are not lazy. The island produces more professionals (doctors, lawyers, ph.Ds, etc) per capita than any state in the union. Furthermore, they obviously must be hard workers if they were able to defeat the US. Fourth, the only money given to Puerto Rico is for federal purposes, i.e. to maintain whatever federal property they have their (bases, postal service). Fifth, Puerto Ricans would commit suicide before becoming a state of a racist, arrogant, self-centered country.

I find it amazing that you, an American, a representative of democracy and self-determination, is speaking in such a dictatorial fashion. Lighten up man. Read a book.

I urge every boricua to go post a comment and show stevo002 what boricuas are all about. Just click on the link above.

Puerto Ricans are not Americans

Excerpts from the essay Puerto Ricans are not Americans.


. . .Aside from the obvious cultural differences, the most crucial, yet less known, difference is that we do not share a common history with the US. Unfortunately, George Washington did not liberate this colony, nor did Abraham Lincoln emancipate our slaves. The history we can relate to with the metropolis is one of unilateral tyranny, economic oppression, political repression, civil subordination, assimilation attempts and forced expatriation. . .

Puerto Ricans must wake up to the fact that, no matter how hard we try to be like Americans, and no matter what kind of catchy phrases we try to invent, we are not Americans. . .

What keeps us from becoming Americans is the reality that Puerto Rico is a nation and we as Puerto Ricans have refused, for the most part, to fully assimilate. In fact, both reasons correlate with each other because it is Puerto Rico’s nationality that keeps us from fully assimilating to American culture. . .

Read the rest of the essay by clicking here and selecting PRnotUS.doc.

Rosello Refuses To Admit Fault

Pedro Rosello

" SAN JUAN, 20 de agosto - Más convencido que nunca, el ex gobernador Pedro Rosselló defendió ayer el agrio proceso de privatización de la Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) y dijo que el tiempo le ha dado la razón. . . Nada hizo detener la venta de la Telefónica y Rosselló selló la transacción en 1998. Seis años más tarde, el candidato a la Gobernación por el Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) insiste en que la política pública impuesta por su pasada administración "fue la correcta"."
El Vocero, 8/20/04

Roselló continues to stand by his decision of 1998 when he privatized the phone company. Have people forgotten what occurred in the days following. Puerto Ricans were left with out phone service for several days, which paralyzed the island. It lead to a national strike in which strikers took over the airport and halted services there. And who can forget those images of bleeding workers laying on the ground as a result of police beatings.

Roselló says that in the long run his decision was a correct one. Prices may have gotten lower but that's because Puerto Ricans began buying cell-phones and looking for other phone companies. As a result the PRTC had to lower its prices.

But let's not overlook the real issue here. The real issue is Roselló and his nact for privatizing everything in his path. Remember, he privatized the AAA, which now has been turned over back to the gov't. He privatized several hospitals some of which now have closed. Voters need to watch out for this guy.

Don Chu's Plan for Alleviating Tapones

We've all been stuck in one at some point of our driving career. "Tapones" in the metro area are ridiculously nagging: traffic moves at 5 miles an hour, people drive on the emergency lane, etc etc. We all know how it feels. Now here are a couple of things that can be done to help alleviate tapones and provide some environmental relief for our island.


  1. ENCOURAGE CARPOOLING. The gov't needs to create carpooling lanes on major roadways. A law must be passed that states that on the major roadways, certain vehicules (like SUV's and min-vans) must have more than one person in it during rush hours. If not, then they can't use these roads. The gov't should launch a major ad-campaign that encourages people to carpool. For example, if people live in the same neighborhood and are going generally to the same place or area (ex. from Caguas to San Juan) then there would be no need to take several cars. Also, encourage bigger companies, who can afford to, to provide some environmental-friendly means of transportation. Have them provide a bus or have them create their own car-pooling plans.

  2. INVERT ROADWAYS. We've all been stuck in traffic on el Espreso during the evening hours and have seen few cars passing us on the opposite lanes. Vice versa for the morning hours. In the mornings people on the highways are trying to get to city while in the evening people are trying to leave the city. So why not invert a couple of lanes from the opposing side of the highway during rush hour. Cities like Nashville do it.

  3. PROMOTE SMART BUYING. When it comes to buying a car, Puerto Ricans need to be informed on what kind of car to buy. Encourage Puerto Ricans to buy smaller cars and environmental friendly cars. Have the gov't provide a list of these favorable cars. The gov't should create a "fee" on bigger cars like SUV's and Mini-Vans. Call it an Environmental Protection Fee. These bigger cars are the ones who suck up most of our gas, create the most pollution and destroy our roads. For those who have a little bit of more money, encourage them to buy hybird cars. These baby's, while expensive, are more fuel efficient and create less pollution. The gov't can even prohibit certain large cars from parking in certain areas at certain times. For example, SUV's cannot park on the streets of Viejo San Juan during normal working hours.

  4. EXTEND EL TREN URBANO TO CAGUAS. A large portion of the people coming to San Juan live in this area anyways. Bayamon is already being taken care of, but the people of Caguas need to be in on the gig. The gov't should then promote usage of the tren by making it affordable by lowering the prices! $1.50?! Hell, NYC pays $2.00 for a fare and they make a whole lot more money than Puerto Ricans.

  5. REFORM THE MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM. Provide more buses, more routes and extended hours. Or provide more buses and routes during rush hours and/working hours. People who live in metro areas don't need cars. Look at NYC and Washington. Their citizens depend on the mass transit system. We need to follow their lead. The gov't can even promote usage of the reformed transit system by prohibiting city dwellers who work less than half a mile from their workplace to use a car during working hours.

  6. ENFORCE EXISTING TRANSIT LAWS
  7. That's right. There are plenty of transit laws existing that aren't even enforced. Like no driving on the emergency lanes.


These are just a few suggestions that, if enacted, could relieve some stress on Puerto Ricans and help protect the environment. If anyone has any more ideas, please post them on the comments page.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Venezuela's Opposition Needs To Settle Down

CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug. 18 - After demanding an audit of voting results upon failing to oust President Hugo Chávez in a recall referendum, representatives of Venezuela's opposition movement said Wednesday that they would refuse to participate in or recognize the review, asserting that the audit would fail to detect the deception that they insist took place.New York Times


After urging for an audit and even gaining the support of the Bush Administration, the opposition now doesn't want to recognize the results of or even proceed with the audit. What's up that? The opposition is taking this loss very seriously. It's ironic how they are claiming that voting machines were manipulated and tampored with when only a day before the elections they "took part in a smoothly conducted pre-election audit of a sampling of voter machines, after tamper-proof software was installed that allowed the machines to record votes and transmit results to a central vote-counting bank." Let's not fail to mention that the Carter Center and the OAS monitored 150 voting tables. Carter even insists that the surveys of voters by members of Súmate, an antigovernment group, are inaccurate. In fact, Súmate "also conducted a quick count sampling of votes similar to that conducted by the Carter Center and the O.A.S. that also showed the government had won."

Chu's message to the opposition: give up! Take defeat like civilized people. Just because the referendum didn't work out for you doesn't mean the elections were undemocratic or flawed. In a democracy, there are always losers and in this case you are it. Let's see: you've lost 2 prior elections, you've had a failed coup attempt, you're economy-aimed national strikes didn't work and now you've lost the referendum. Save face and allow Chavez's "social revolution" to proceed because frankly, that's what the people, you're compatriots, want.

Racism in Puerto Rico

Most deny it, few see it and even fewer admit to its existence. But racism can be seen in all aspects of Puerto Rican society. It isn't as apparent as the class division that exists on the island. But then again, it can be argued that color is the defining factor of classes.

From childhood, we are sold the idea that Puerto Ricans are a mix-race comprised of Spanish, African and Indigenous roots. For the most part it's true, but do the institutions relfect this reality? The next time you think about racism in Puerto Rico, ask yourself these few questions:
1) Are 80% of Puerto Ricans really "white (light-skin)"? When I walk the streets of San Juan, are 8 of the 10 people I see "white"?
2) How many "black (dark-skin)" people do I see walking the halls of Plaza Las Americas? On the contrary, how many "white" people do I see walking down Paseo de Diego in Rio Piedras?
3) How many representatives in the Puerto Rican House are "black"? (To see for youself, click here.)
4) How many senators in the Puerto Rican Senate are "black"?
5) In this year's elections, how many candidates are "black"?
6) When was the last time Puerto Rico had an influential "black" leader? (Barbosa, Albizu Campos, Don Chu?)
7) How many "blacks" live in gated communities, urbanizaciones?

Makes you wonder about our society, right?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Culebra To Be Cleaned...Finally!

NEWS RELEASE: US Army Corps of Engineers

"The Department of the Army announced today that it has launched an innovative underwater survey using multi-sensor technology to identify areas offshore of the Puerto Rican island of Culebra where military munitions may be located.  The Army also announced that it has contracted to acquire high-resolution aerial photographs of the entire island and its surrounding cays to assist future cleanup efforts.  Work on the surveys is expected to be completed within the next year."

Great! The new "Plan of Action" is only 30 years late! Will it be that long for Vieques to be cleaned?



Tio Chu and Alexia

Here's a picture of me and my neice playing "horsey." She is so adorable. I love spending time with her. It's too bad I only get to see her for a couple of weeks a year.

Exporting America

For a list of US companies exporting our jobs, your jobs, overseas click here and scroll down until you see link that says "List of companies exporting jobs."

Benjamin Franklin and the Patriot Act

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Searching through some writings by Franklin I found this quote. It's eerie to think that Franklin wrote these words hundreds of years ago, but yet they still reverberate and apply to modern times. It's as if Franklin is trying to tell us something, or warn us about certain types of people.

Those that are giving up essential liberty for temporary security are people like Bush, his supporters and anyone who supports the PATRIOT Act. Heck, this act attacks several of our constitutional freedoms like the 4th and 1st amendment and downplays the right to privacy were earned through several Supreme Court rulings.

According to Franklin these types of persons don't even deserve liberty or safety. So what exactly is he suggesting? Should we lock them all up? Should we allow people to beat them up? Whatever the answer, Franklin is trying to tell us something and we must figure it out before it's too late.

How Outsourcing America Affects Puerto Rico

"Layoffs occurred at the second-fastest rate on record during the first three years of the Bush administration, a government report has found. In the government's latest survey of how frequently workers are permanently dismissed from their jobs, the layoff rate reached 8.7 percent of all adult jobholders, or 11.4 million men and women age 20 or older. That is nearly equal to the 9 percent rate for the 1981-1983 period, which included the steepest contraction in the American economy since the Great Depression."
New York Times, Aug. 2, 2004

Amist tales of improvement and talk of getting out of the recession, the American economy continues to suffer. Along with the report released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this month, research has found that the lay-offs are breaking with the traditional trend of "in good times less lay-offs in bad times more." Lay-offs are occurring in both good and bad times. It's no wonder then that an average of 403,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims every week in 2003.(source: Michael Moore, Stupid White Men) The 2004 summer average of people filing unemployment claims is roughly 340,000 every week.(source: NYT)

I believe the problems are rooted in several factors.

Problem 1: globilization.
Economists like James Glassman, senior United States economist for J. P. Morgan Chase, argue that companies are simply moving their production to other places to take advantage of low-cost centers. This my friends, is called outsourcing. Outsourcing is the nice way of saying having your job taking from you and sending it overseas. Free-trade agreements, like NAFTA, only facilitate outsourcing.

Problem 2: US Companies.
American companies are driven by the greenback. Their main, and only, concern is to maximize profit and minimize costs. Companies are basically laying people off and moving their jobs to countries that have cheap labor-costs like Asia, India and parts of Latin America. They don't care about you or me. They just look for ways to get more money in their pockets. To them, you, the American worker, is expendible. And to add insult to injury, many times companies have, and will, make you train the person who is going to be taking your job in some foreign country.

Probelm 3: George W. Bush.
Here is the man who adds fuel to the fire that is destroying the American economy. Bush entered office with a steady economy that was entering its first, yet light, stages of recession but with a surplus that numbered in the trillions. And what did he do? He helped the "needy companies" out(you know, those who funded his campain). He gave a tax-cut to the rich. He pushed for and got the NAFTA. After 9/11, as the economy was sinking deeper, he spent billions on defense, (Halliburton and Cheney are happy). And then as the economy continued to weaken, what did he do, he gave companies tax breaks. And what did the companies do with all the money they got from Dubya? They moved overseas! I think Bush's failure to improve the economy is hereditary because the last time lay-offs where this high was in the 1990-1991 recession, the year his daddy was president.

It has also been reported that Americans are finding jobs quickly after being layed-off but, according to the Labor Dept. report, 56.9 percent of those who said they were re-employed also said they were earning less in their new jobs than in the jobs they had lost.

These three problems stated above only facilitate outsourcing. But who do Americans turn to for help? State governments? Yea right. According to a report by CNN's Lou Dobbs, "at least 40 states have contracts with companies that use overseas workers rather than Americans to staff state call centers." Even state governments have jumped on the outsourcing bandwagon. It seems that Americans can only hope Bush or Kerry will pull them out, most likely Kerry.

So how does all this affect Puerto Rico? Simple: Everything that happens in the US, happens in Puerto Rico. US companies compose roughly 85% of the Puerto Rican economy. Thousands of US company jobs on the island have been lost, and hundreds of US factories closed, and moved overseas, most of the time to neighboring Dominican Republic.

Yesterday, the government released a report stating that unemployment was down to 10%, the lowest its been in decades. That's great. But then again we've learned once to many times that statistics in Puerto Rico should be taken with skepticism. (Remember, in the US Census 2000, we said that over 80% of us are white. Blah!)

What can Puerto Ricans do to improve their economy? Well, not much. It's not like we can vote for president. We can't even voice our opinions or concerns when free-trade agreements are being worked out in Congress. Our economy is controlled by the Americans. In the condition we are, we can only ask politely and play the colonialism card every now and then to secure even a thought in Congress' mind. That's the cold reality of colonialism.

PNP's Cultural Plan: "Un Disparate"

Endi Elecciones2004 Panel

"Divorciada totalmente de la realidad caribeña y latinoamericana de Puerto Rico." This was the sentiment felt by the ENDi Elecciones2004 panel in regards to the PNP's (statehood party) cultural plan. Translated, they are basically saying that the party's plan is absurd because it ignores the reality of Puerto Rico's relationship with the caribbean and Latin America. It's a plan that calls for turning control of funds from the Puerto Rican Cultural Institue to the federal government. As if the feds know anything about Puerto Rican culture.

I have to honestly say that this plan is a plan to slowly disolve the Puerto Rican culture. It's a document of cultural genocide. So you see compañeros, the true face of the PNP party is slowly appearing. Remember, this is a party that spent millions on useless construction projects, took millions from the schools and have several of its ex-members in jail for corruption.

To read more about the PNP's cultural plan, and the plans of the other party's, go to: ENDi


Once Again Chu Defends

Here is another response to a comment made by "Christian" in the article "An Anthropoligical Observation on Puerto Rican Sexuality" by my good friend Luis Gallardo on the website Living on the Planet in reference to Puerto Ricans.

Christian said:

"Let's see, the Austrians have Mozart and can also lay claim to Freud, the Germans have Beethoven and Einstein, the Italians have Raphael, da Vinci and Michelangelo the British have Shakespeare and Churchill, the French have Matisse, the Spanish have Picasso and Puerto Ricans have....RICKY MARTIN. Terrific!

While I agree with you that the “culture” in the US is totally vacuous and more specious than any nation in the world (and it’s, in fact, infiltrating and slowly dumbing-down the entire world with its garbage music and its obsession with fame and money), Puerto Rico is not, nor ever has been, a bastion of intellectual creativity."

Don Chu said:

"Christian, it is obvious that you are some right wing, conservative puritanical gringo who probably has never left his city.

You seem to comment of Puerto Rico as if you knew alot about it. From your comments, I conclude that you are very ignorant on Puerto Rican history and culture. Ricky Martin may be Puerto Rican, but he is no representation of Puerto Rico. That's like saying Brittany Spears best represents the US.

As for music, Puerto Rico produces some of the most influential and prominent musicians, composers and singers in the Western Hemishpere let alone the world. Have you ever heard of Rafael Hernandez? Composer of Preciosa, Lamento Borincano and thousands of other songs. Some of his compositions are considered as second national anthems for many countries.

What about Juan Morell Campos? Only the best Danza (what you would call Waltz) composer in the 19th century.

How about Bobby Capo and Tite Curet Alonso? Do you know who they are? Their songs, which include boleros, salsas, &jazz, are still being song today around the globe. Roberto Angleron? Almost every song he composed was a hit which still makes people dance and have fun.

Ever heard of Pablo Casals? He's Puerto Rican.

These are only a few examples of Puerto Rico's immense artistic talents. The one who needs to open up their mind is you compañero."