September 26, 2008

El Grito de Lares, Part 2

I hate to admit this, but after Tuesday's lame Wikipedia cop-out, I started to feel a little guilty. Surely I had much more to say about El Grito de Lares than that! Granted, I was really busy when I posted it, but some of goals for this blog are to find better sources that Wikipedia, because, as I mentioned, it's lame, as well as potentially sexual in some contexts if I got lazy and left of the "pedia" (can't help it, I think it's funny), and I also try to make this blog as personal as possible. Because in the end you could learn plenty about Puerto Rico through Wikipedia and other websites, but, aside from the fact that you have to know it exists to be able to look for it, simply reading an "unbiased" page (we know it's not but it certainly is more unbiased than mine) will not attach you to the subject. Not that I'm expecting anyone to become deeply enamored of Puerto Rico through reading this, especially since most people who are already know at least of Puerto Rico (again, you have to know it exists blah blah...). But for many of the things I talk about here, I've had very strong personal experience with, some of them quite emotional. My poor attempts at conveying them, since I'm going for honesty here, are not going to convert anyone to Puerto Ricanism, but ideally I'd want the personalness of this blog to inspire a space where people discuss their own experiences as well. That said...

El Grito de Lares is an ambiguous holiday, hard to understand for those not growing up with it. For one, the word "holiday" implies some kind of celebration and fun-filled festivities, which don't really exist in relation to el Grito de Lares (except for maybe in the town of Lares, but that's another story). It's akin to holidays like Memorial Day, observed but not necessarily a "happy" occasion. It also is equivalent to an independence day without, of course, actually being an independence day. The purpose is the same though: a sense of pride for the struggle for independence. However this was a failed effort, so the significance changes. Rather than being a celebration of failure (as I'm sure a couple of you guessed), however, it's a sort of nostalgic look back at what could have been.

That's the funny thing about El Grito... even though it's very essence is political, it's been absorbed into the culture without that. While it can be interpreted politically, and used as a political symbol, and it is very often, it doesn't have to be. Anyone and everyone references and seems to respect it, no matter what party.

It's this attitude that generally explains Puerto Ricans' view towards independence. Now, before anyone misinterprets that, let me explain. Independentistas are undoubtedly a minority, many people vehemently hate the party, and there exists plenty of fear about the idea itself (Would an independent Puerto Rico be able to support itself? Would it turn into a state like Cuba overnight? I know it sounds unlikely, but people legitimately voice that fear every day). To say independence is unpopular would be a huge understatement.

But poll numbers cannot represent an ideology, it being a complicated and ever-changing creature. Remember that the first half (give or take a few decades) of the 20th century was almost entirely devoted to the independence movement. The American (or FBI), as well as Puerto Rican (Luis Muñoz Marín), efforts were very successful at diminishing the movement's power, but completely erasing it was impossible. It still lingers even in the most passionate estadistas. Few people deny the vast cultural gap between the states and PR; the Americans will always be separate, the other, even while the island absorbs everything they produce. There is still some affiliation with them, and even some patriotism, but it is often followed by expressions of disrespect. It's a bit too complicated for this post at the moment, but I go into the contradictions of it a little at the end of this post. Needless to say, Puerto Ricans proudly affirm and jealously maintain their own identities separate from America.

Thus it would be fair to say that despite whatever party is currently in office and despite any and all plebescites, Puerto Rico has independence at its core. In a year Puerto Rico could become the 51st state, and independence would still be present as a concept. Unless Puerto Rico undergoes a drastic and deliberate homogeneization process to assimilate with the United States, it will always be its own being. Independence is no longer the result of an election (in today's Puerto Rico, anyways)--it is a value. Hence El Grito de Lares will survive as a manifestation of that crucial and impenetrable value.

For more thoughts on Puerto Rico's attempts to stay separate culturally from the United States, read this essay. I also go a little more into history here, including some about the independence movement.

2 comments:

Gisela 814 said...

As I read this, I was thinking about my own research, how Puerto Ricans write each other into history. How we write what happens to us, what we do to each other in history. It compels me. Conversations about these radical acts with family, it always goes back to Cuba or Haiti, then again, Cuba has more water per person than Puerto Rico, so what would that mean?

RONBOTHUNTER said...

WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OPPOSES YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE!!

Puerto Ricans, whether they are called Independents (independentistas), Patriots or Nationalists or Freemen, who desire to be free, must always know that the federal government, here in the States has no “subject matter jurisdiction” over the person, case or location and should be challenged to proof it. These are magic words to learn when in Federal Court for desiring freedom for your/our Country.

You won’t be told this in court but: All jury members, judges, attorneys, and employees working in federal court, must reside in federal territory to legally be a federal juror or touch your case or they can be commercially sued, disbarred and financially ruined for violating your constitutional rights etc.

Your God given right to be free is not wanted by the USA, it will oppose your desire for independence and freedom, because the Federal USA is a profit based Corporation.

The Federal Government is a District of Columbia “Corporation”, as are all the States of the USA. What you know of as the USA, is NOT a Republic, but a multi-based Corporation acting as a Country. These Corporations were formed for the benefit of the real owners. Since June of 1933, everything since then, is under Contract law or commercial law, aka Admiralty law, to benefit your masters in power.

The Federal Government owns Puerto Rico as an ASSET, because it is a slave colony—whether you like the idea or not. But the Federal Government takes orders from those who own and run this (Corporation) Country, but are not of this country. The International Bankers, who really own the corporations called the USA and also the Federal Reserve, will let the slaves of PR be free, only if enough real men of Boricua blood wish to be free, by reserving their rights under the Constitution. Their books will be adjusted and we will be free.

The answer to your freedom lies in your Constitutional rights --- To win --You must always reserve your constitutional, commercial rights and know what they are and how to do so.

A Puerto Rican without a desire for independence and/or freedom from alien control has no heart and soul of a man.

The fact that the public does not know that we are NOT free, makes no difference, to the desire to be free. The PR that wants Statehood is a Gringito, who has no soul of a man left in his traitor's heart. Freedom is happening all over the world and yet we allow Gringitos to kill our right to be free.

A Gringito is a non-Anglo THING, IT is not really a “person”, just like a mass murderer is more like an animal than a person, who internally is so inferior, that he desires to be what he can not be—thus Gringito means little gringo.

The Gringito is like an Uncle Tom to blacks or a collaborator and traitor to many others. To us he/she is all three and much worst. The “It or thing” I call Gringito, is the enemy of freedom -- all thru out HUMAN history.

We allow the Alien Invaders to kill, harm, abuse, rape, and scam us and yet the Gringito wants to give our Country away.

This abuse must end. No man or woman is a real Man or real woman who is too scared to fight for their souls and be free. If you listen to the Gringito, you will lose your soul.

Thru out eternity, humanity owes its freedom from slavery, ONLY TO BRAVE SOULS who fought and DIED for your right to be free.

The fight will NOT succeed if you don't fight the Gringito enemy/traitor/collaborator at home first. He is there next door and claims he is a real man and tries to give you many excuses of why PR can't be a free Country.

To give away your/our/my Country is not a right of alien invaders, visitors or foreigners with NO Puerto Rican Blood.

The right to vote on THIS ISSUE should NOT be given to NON-Puerto Ricans.

The fight for the independence of Puerto Rico is now non-violent and will be won in the hearts of real men around the World.

The Ronbothunter,

A proud freedom loving Puerto Rican.

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