[Marxism] Constitutional Coup in Puerto Rico

Greg McDonald gregmc59 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 02:55:49 MDT 2010



It is 5:00 of the evening of June 30, 2010, groups of students,
teachers and citizens asked for entry to the House of the Laws and
they were struck and tortured by the Police, there are numerous
injured people, while the National Guard is mobilized towards the
Capitol Hill. Violent shocks scatter for the whole zone of the
Parliament and the repressions continue.

A constitutional coup has just been established in Puerto Rico.
After a year in which the present time government under the New
Progressive Party (Partido Nuevo Progresista, that attempts to join
the Island to the United States trough statehood) tried to and
succeeded taking over many institutions that form the base of the
democratic government of Puerto Rico, an atmosphere of hostility
followed by many reckless actions that threaten public peace had
climaxed in violent and aggressive actions of this government against
the parties of the opposition, the organized student movement, the
labor unions, the press, the environment, as against every area and
institution of Puerto Rico’s civil society.

This constitutional coup springs from the Legislative branch of the
government under the command of Senator Thomas Rivera Schatz, endorsed
by the central government, under the dominance of the Secretary
Governor, counselor Marcos Rodríguez Ema, with the obvious intent of
having under their grasp and without opposition full control of every
agency and organization that rule the judiciary, academic, economic
and civil societies. Before this scenario, Governor Luis Fortuño
operates without volition, has no opinion, appearance nor public

With the complete control of the High Court of Puerto Rico, the
University of Puerto Rico Board of trustees, and the alleged control
of the news media, among many others, the genuine participation of the
People of Puerto Rico in all democratic processes protected by our
Constitution is jeopardized.

The events started (trough the rush approval of Law 7 by the
Legislature) with more than 20,000 public employee lay-offs, with the
allegation that this would alleviate the gigantism of the government
and would find the solution of the serious public deficit, that has
never been properly evidenced. This decision has caused economical
chaos, public services are worse than ever and it has generated
despair and gloominess in every Puertorrican family. In this same
guise there exists a serious persecution against all artistic
institutions of the country, strangling their budgets, trying with
this actions to avoid the propagation of art as dissidence. This,
while the government favors contracts of obscene sums with hundreds of
advisors, contractors and lobbyists associated with their own
political party.

The attacks continued in the form of the appointment to the High Court
of four Judges with a well known affiliation with, and militancy for
the governing political party, achieving a majority of votes in favor
of the actual government on all decisions made in this Forum, on
individual basis. The government went on repressing and eliminating
student participation on the procedures of the State University,
suppressing tuition exemption rights for outstanding athletes and
artists, among others; forcing the students from all eleven campuses
of the University of Puerto Rico to declare a strike that lasted 60
days, generating ample support from the people of Puerto Rico and
around the world.

The students on strike were successful on their achieving their
demands trough negotiations that involved a First Instance Court and
an appointed negotiator; however, these accords were are trying to be
invalidated by Secretary of government Rodríguez Ema who said that
these accords “are not worth the paper in which they were written”

This event preceded the Central government's action of proposing a
hasty law, that was signed with no revision within hours, adding four
additional members to the Board of trustees of the University of
Puerto Rico. These additions to the Board are unconditional members of
the governing political party The students of the State university,
who on a great majority depend in Federal grants, now face an annual
recurring fee of $800.00, fee they will not be able to pay and that
they will not pay, forcing the students to return to their strike.
With this strategy, the Central government risk the accreditation of
the State University and as a consequence, the government would be
able to privatize it's assets.

Following this same direction, the government of Puerto Rico will
attempt to sell and to divide for speculation a strip of land where
stands the Karst formation, on the northwest of the Island. This area
collects one third of our water supplies for the entire population;
nonetheless, the government intends to put this area into private
hands that would build a toll expressway over this zone that is rich
ecologically and economically.

Passing up many other events, the budget of Puerto Rico was approved,
together with countless laws which favor privatization, the dissolving
of professional associations and the distribution of public funds into
private hands, without the pertaining and compulsory hearings of
public participation, reaching the extreme of turning off the
microphones of the opposing political party members, in a despotic

The events climaxed last week when the FBI in Puerto Rico arrested
Senator Hector Martínez, NPP, on charges of bribe, the selling of
influences and other charges. Martinez is Senator Rivera Schatz' right
hand on the Senate. A public squabble reached the news between the
Senator and the FBI, with the Seantor fending the alleged innocence of
Senator Martinez,, who has been directly associated with drug traffic
and who was filmed while committing bribery.

Then, last in his many violent and reckless acts, the president of the
Senate, Rivera Schatz, using force and a real padlock, censored the
access of the cameras and the news media to the Senate sessions,
depriving the People of Puerto Rico of direct information about the
discussions and voting sessions that were taking place about this
year's budget and other matter). The events resulted in verbal and
physical violence between senators, rising indignation between the
people to a point of and almost unsustainable state of outrage and

Counselor Rivera Schatz has taken virtual control of the country with
his tyrannical and fascist ways; and it cannot be discarded that from
these same seats, this same week, acts of persecution and acts of
violence will be started against other sectors of the People, all
approved by the Secretary Governor of Puerto Rico.

It is 5:00 of the evening of June 30, 2010, groups of students,
teachers and citizens asked for entry to the House of the Laws and
they were struck and tortured by the Police, there are numerous
injured people, while the National Guard is mobilized towards the
Capitol Hill. Violent shocks scatter for the whole zone of the
Parliament and the repressions continue.

This factual deed of control of the political power from within the
Puertorrican Nation violates all elementary principles of democracy
and of participation of the People in the government, for which we
proclaim to the World the actual situation of contained violence that
exists in our People and that is about to explode against these two
politicians that had taken by assault the power in our Country. Even
though in Puerto Rico there are no conditions for an armed struggle of
the People because of the obvious disparity of the opposing sides, a
revolution of cultural and of student affirmation is starting to take
the streets and to retrieve the spaces stolen away by the originators
of this coup.

We exhortat all communications media of the World to divulge and
expose the current situation of the Puertorrican Nation and we ask of
you, therefore, your total solidarity.

Composed by Roberto Ramos-Perea, Puertorrican Playwriter
(With the active collaboration, comments and support of more than a
hundred Puertorrican citizens.)

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