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Lessons from the Puerto Rican insurrection: "When tyranny is the law, revolution is the order."

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28.07.2019

"When tyranny is the law, revolution is the order."

Pedro Albizu Campo

It couldn’t be a more radical contrast.

On the island of Puerto Rico hundreds of thousands of activists took to the streets to depose Governor Ricardo Rossello, while here on the mainland we have Speaker Pelosi hoping that gravity can do the heavy lifting of holding Donald Trump accountable for his high crimes and misdemeanors.

Puerto Ricans have been simmering in the economic crucible of poverty, racism, and endemic political corruption for generations.

How do you really feel?

According to the BBC it finally boiled over after 880 pages of group text messages between Rossello and several of his male colleagues were leaked. Some of the male banter including joking about using the corpses of the dead from Hurricane Maria “to feed our crows” referencing the administration’s political opponents.

In his comfort zone with his pals, the Governor said that he wanted to see someone beat up the former New York City Council Speaker who he called “that whore.” Another member of the Rossello junta said he was “salivating to shoot” San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Just before Rossello’s U.S. Border Patrol secret Facebook group-like repartee went viral, his former education secretary, Julia Keleher was arrested by the FBI on fraud charges.

As the island’s top educator, Keleher was getting paid $250,000 which, as Forbes pointed out was “ten times more than the average Puerto Rican teacher, three times more than Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Roselló, and 25 percent more than Secretary [of Education] DeVos.”

Your local schools as a resort?

After Hurricane Maria, Keleher, a charter school partisan, closed 263 public schools, one-fifth of the island’s inventory, firing 5,000 teachers in the process. In at least one case, the government sold off a local elementary school treasured by the community because it was a symbol of surviving Maria.

But these kinds of abuses of power are compounded by the structural elements traced back to the island’s colonial status. Despite generations of dedicated U.S. military service, as well as making major intellectual and cultural........

© Salon