After 12 days of protests and a general strike, the Puerto Rican people have delivered a decisive blow to imperialism and oligarchy, causing the resignation of the misogynistic, sexist, homophobic and corrupt Rosselló’s governement.
Puerto Rico ravaged by imperialism
Puerto Rico has been always a country downtrodden by imperialism. Since Spanish domain and later the invasion by the United States of America until the current status as Commonwealth, a seemingly democratic mask that almost isn't enough the hide the colonial control that suffers by US.
Puerto Rico has been heavily hit by the 2008 global crash. 10 years after the crash, the devastation of Hurricane Maria, in 2017, has compounded on the constant welfare cuts, ineptitude,scorn and corruption of the Government to overcome the losses and destruction. The exact number of mortal victims is still unknown, but is estimated to be around 4700 people. The hurricane caused a massive power outage that affected almost half of the population; a year after the disaster there were still zones where electric power hadn’t been restored. The losses were estimated on f 140 billions of dollars, increasing the already unaffordable island's debt to the US.
The indignation of the people, caused by the disaster and its management by the authorities, increased with Donald Trump ́s treatment when he visited. The American president, showing his most absolute disdain to the population, threw supplies as if they were pig feed.
Rosselló filed for the government’s bankruptcy in 2017
At the current time, the rebuilding has not been finished; thousands of empty houses are still destroyed and various corruption cases, t we which involve state employees and construction companies.
Due to this situation, most of Puerto Rican people live outside the country.More than 5 million live in the US, while Puerto Rico has no more than 4 million residents. Puerto Rico is more similar to any Latin America country than to the north giant.
It is a country managed by an internal political mob, full of corruption and authoritarianism, organised around the Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) to which Roselló belongs, who is also affiliated with the Democrat Party of EEUU. The PNP controls the Puerto Rico parliament.
This rotten situation is supported by Washington, which is responsible for assigning Puerto Rico's governor.
Puerto Rico inside a continent in flames
In this context, the outrage exploded on the 13th of July. On that day, almost 900 messages from a chat group of high-ranking public officials were made public. In them, they showed their disdain for Puerto Rican people, their misogyny, homophobia, and their cynicism about the economical situation of the country.
The Centro de Periodismo Investigativo- CPI (investigative journalism centre), responsible for the publication of the case already known as “chatgate”, brought to light a multimillion corruption net between the Government and businessmen.
The growth of this “cancer” can be easily understood, considering the hegemonic control that the Government applies over the Supervision and Financial Management Board which controls the whole economy of the county. This Board has 8 members, and 7 of them are chosen by the governor.
The extraordinary mobilization of Puerto Rican people achieved the overthrow of the current Government in just 12 days. The decisive blow which accomplished this was the call for a general strike, which was massively supported.
Thousands of workers and young people paralized the whole country, the ports, cruise-ships, universities, malls and one of the main motorways.
A sea of people flooded the streets to shout “Ricky renounce!”. After two weeks of protests with massives concentrations and the support of army and police battalions, the protest achieved the resignation of 15 officials, one of them the successor of the current governor, and finally the resignation of the governor against his will, which will take place on the 2nd of August.
The Puerto Rican people not only had their own reasons, they were also influenced by the mood of rebellion which sweeps through Latin America.
The masses fight to change, not only this current Government, but the whole rotten situation that they have been suffering and which has recently escalated. The mobilisations extends over the whole continent. From the south, in Chile and Argentina with 5 general strikes in the last 2 years, passing through Brazil and its people against extreme right-wing Bolsonaro,also with generals strikes, until the last mobilisations against JOH in Honduras and the huge protests in Costa Rica. Latin America is a continent in struggle, a struggle that has even infected the heart of north-american imperialism with mobilisations of teachers, drivers, women, migrants, etc. in the US,
This is what concerns Washington, the fear that this convulsive atmosphere arrives in its own territory.
Puerto Rican people will not go home
As a volcano that has erupted after a long period of calm, the Puerto Rican people will not go home after the resignation of Roselló. After years of oppression, the struggle will not quiet down with just a change of Government. The people want a profound change that will not come from the election of Wonda Vázquez, current justice secretary. This succession is seen as a maneuver to avoid new protests for the next week.
The Puerto Rican people have concluded that is not enough to replace the Government,and they are right. To end the crisis in Puerto Rico it is necessary to end the system itself, which is the root of all the problems which afflict the majority of the peoples of the world.
It is essential to struggle for an independent government of the oppressed people, based on the experience of collective organisation that allowed to face the crisis after the hurricane Maria, inspired and strengthened the victory achieved by the overthrow of Roselló. It's necessary to join this struggle to the struggle of workers and youth in US territory and keep the struggle until the end.