Exposing U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico

Attendees at the meeting sing the revolutionary Puerto Rican anthem with raised fists.

Sept. 29 — Puerto Rican independence activists and allies gathered in Boston for a forum hosted by the Boston chapter of Fight for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere (FIRE) on the history of Puerto Rico and its continued status as a U.S. colony. A delegation from Western Massachusetts, Boricuas for the Liberation of Puerto Rico, travelled several hours to build unity in the movement for Puerto Rican liberation.

Roberto Torres of Latinos for Social Change spoke to the need for the upcoming International Tribunal on Colonial Crimes in Puerto Rico in New York on Oct. 27, relating the devastation of Hurricane María to the austerity imposed by the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico and 120 years of U.S. colonialism.

Alberto Barreto of Workers World Party noted the economic aspect of colonialism, leading countries to “consume what they do not produce and produce what they do not consume.” He also spoke about the destruction of culture and language as a tool of the colonizer to suppress resistance. But, he noted, this tactic has failed in Puerto Rico.

Other speakers included Bishop Filipe Teixeira, a longtime immigration activist, and Sam Ordóñez of FIRE. Both focused on the need to link the Puerto Rican struggle with struggles in Latin America and Africa, especially with the struggle of migrants displaced by U.S. imperialism.

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