macheteros

Today is Grito de Lares, an important day for Latin Americans who yearn to be free. It’s also a day of significant repression; a number of domineering governments have used the 23rd of September to remind the citizens of tiny sun bleached Caribbean islands that our nations are shackled. We belong, either by law or by puppet strings, to the US or Spain before it.

Ojeda Ríos would have been 80, had he not been shot in the lung and left to slowly bleed to death by FBI agents 8 years ago today. 

A RICH TRADITION OF REBELLION

“The bars could not hold me 
Force could not control me 
They tried to keep me down
But Jah put I around
- Bob Marley
from the song Duppy Conqueror

US held Puerto Rican political prisoner Avelino González Claudio comes back home to Puerto Rico… In 2008 he was captured by the FBI after being a fugitive since 1983. The FBI charged him with the Wells Fargo Armored Truck Robbery of 1983 that was organized by the Macheteros. The Macheteros as they are affectionately called in Puerto Rico are the Ejercito Popular Boricua - The Popular Puerto Rican Army, an underground armed organization dedicated to the independence of Puerto Rico from US colonial rule. US law enforcement agencies consider the Macheteros to be a terrorist organization and consider Avelino to be a terrorist. Avelino is as much a terrorist as Paul Revere.

Avelino was convicted in 2010 in taking part in the Wells Fargo Armored Truck Robbery in 1983 and sentenced to seven years in prison. While in prison he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and for a period of time prison officials withheld his medications. A campaign to free Avelino pressured the prison to administer his medications and they eventually relented. Yesterday Avelino was released and will serve out the remainder of his prison term at home under strict probation. He is 70 years old…

This is how the US government deals with freedom fighters. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the US since 1898. Before that it was a colony of Spain for 400 years. Puerto Rico has been colonized for over 500 years and throughout that time there has been a resistance. Avelino is a part of that rich tradition of rebellion… 

Note: A duppy in Jamaica is an evil spirit sent by someone to haunt you… And of course a duppy conqueror is someone who fights that spirit back… What could be more appropriate in this situation?

Avelino Libertad by vagabond ©

“The bars could not hold me 
Force could not control me 
They tried to keep me down
But Jah put I around
- Bob Marley from the song Duppy Conqueror

The Puerto Rican independence movement has had an incredible track record of getting its political prisoner out. In 1965 the Puerto Rican independence movement was able to secure the release of Nationalist movement leader Don Pedro Albizu Campos, in 1979 President Carter released four Nationalists who had served 25 years in prison, in 1998 President Clinton released 11 more political prisoners who after served 20 years in prison. The latest US held Puerto Rican political prisoner to be released is Avelino González Claudio. On December 6th he’ll be allowed to serve out the rest of his sentence as probation in Puerto Rico.

The FBI first caught up with Avelino in 2008 arresting and charging him with taking part in the $7 million Wells Fargo Armored Truck Robbery of 1983 that was carried out by the Macheteros, a clandestine armed organization that used any and all means to free Puerto Rico from US colonial rule. Avelino had been living underground and working with the Department of Education in Puerto Rico when the FBI finally found him. In 2010 Avelino was found guilty and sentenced to seven years, he was 68 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The fact that Avelino is coming back home to Puerto Rico is a cause for celebration but it’s tempered by the fact that his brother Norberto González Claudio was just recently sentenced to five years in prison. Norberto was also a member of the Macheteros and a fugitive of the FBI until earlier this year when the FBI captured him and charged him with involvement in the same Wells Fargo Armored Car Robbery. So while there’s reason to be happy that a 70-year-old man with Parkinson’s disease, who’s been in prison since 2008 for a crime that was committed in 1983 in pursuit of gaining freedom for his country is out of prison… it’s ironic that as his prison sentence ends, his brother Norberto’s is just beginning. While this is all happening Puerto Rico still continues to be a colony of the US and Oscar Lopez Rivera the other US held Puerto Rican political prisoner of war has served more than three decades in prison for fighting to free Puerto Rico from US colonialism. So while this battle hard-fought battle has been won there is still much more work to do…

You can help with some of that work by printing and signing a letter to President Obama that asks him to grant Oscar Lopez Rivera clemency. The campaign has been started by theNational Boricua Human Rights Network which is an organization that works towards the decontamination of Vieques, Puerto Rico, the freeing and supporting of Puerto Rican political prisoners and the independence of Puerto Rico. Over 100,000 signatures for Oscar Lopez Rivera’s freedom have already been collected and the deadline to sign the letter is December 15th. So it’s wonderful that Avelino is coming home but let’s use the celebration of bringing him home as inspiration to free his brother Norberto and Oscar Lopez Rivera and to one day see a free Puerto Rico…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-SK

“Nuestra bandera la han llenado de meao, murió desangrado, mi gente, que murió desangrado. Nunca arrodillado, lo van a tener que enterrar parado con el machete al lado. El FBI se ha metido en un lío. Están jodidos, se jodio la Casa Blanca. Ahora voy a explotar con estilo, en el nombre de Filiberto Ojeda Ríos.  A los federales con piedras les tiro, y si no hay piedras pues les tiro con güiro. Con lo que sea, tumbaron al hombre pero no a la idea, a todos los federales los escupo con diarrea Me dan nausea, me dan asco. Yo se que estoy perdiendo los cascos por culpa de ustedes, jodios brutos.”

Querido FBI- Calle 13

E’ la verità
vorrei nel mio cuore pace e serenità
ma l'odio acceca, sembra cecità
mamma una preghiera recita
il figlio fuori in questa gelida città
qua ogni arma è lecita. (x2)

Figli dell'odio, nell'oblio
non ci proteggono nè santi nè dio
in strada ho solo me, me stesso ed io.

—  rasty kilo
fupistas.org
Mensaje del Ejército Popular Boricua

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Hermanas y hermanos estudiantes puertorriqueños:

Es con orgullo y satisfacción que nos unimos a la celebración del 55 aniversario de la Federación Universitaria Pro Independencia, la FUPI.

La juventud siempre ha sido puntal de la lucha por la independencia y el socialismo. Esto es especialmente cierto cuando hablamos de la juventud luchadora de la FUPI. La historia de la Universidad de Puerto Rico no puede contarse sin contar la historia de esa organización estudiantil que comenzó su lucha en 1956.

Esa lucha ha costado sangre, pero ha traído logros incalculables. Hoy la Universidad de Puerto Rico, continúa amenenazada por los que quieren que la Universidad sea un espacio más en el que se reafirme el poder del capitalismo, del imperialismo. La FUPI desde su fundación ha combatido intentos como el que se ensaya hoy. Los principios de independencia y socialismo, autonomía y democracia universitaria, equidad entre los géneros, justicia ambiental, solidaridad internacional y unidad de las fuerzas progresistas, han dirigido las luchas de los pasados 55 años. En estos momentos, es necesario que a esos principios se añada la educación pública, gratuita y de calidad. Son estos últimos principios los que están reivindicando valerosos estudiantes latinoamericanos y de otras partes del mundo y, que en el momento actual en Puerto Rico, es necesario reivindicar ya que la privatización de la educación es una amenaza contra la juventud y el futuro del país.

Una educación privatizada es una educación de privilegio para unos cuantos. Miles de jóvenes inteligentes y talentosos en diferentes campos, no podrán desarrollar sus talentos. Puerto Rico perdería la oportunidad de contar con sus aportaciones. Además, el capital cumpliría así uno de sus objetivos principales: poner la educación al servicio de sus intereses económicos, mientras los y las jóvenes que quedan fuera del mercado de empleo nutrirían las fuerzas armadas imperiales para continuar sembrando el hambre, el terror y la muerte en todo el mundo.

El Ejército Popular Boricua - Macheteros, como lo hizo antes en tantas ocasiones nuestro Comandante Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, saluda a esa juventud que continúa la tradición fupista de lucha. Con ese saludo, va también un recuerdo para el compañero Fefel Varona, muerto en Vietnam cumpliendo el principio fupista de solidaridad internacional.

                                                             ¡QUE VIVA LA FUPI!

Desde algún lugar en el corazón del pueblo,

Comandante Guasábara
Estado Mayor Nacional

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CALLE 13 - Querido FBI

vimeo

Luis Rosa Perez is a former US held Puerto Rican political prisoner of war. He served almost 20 in US prisons for fighting to free Puerto Rico from the colonial relationship it’s had with the US since 1898. In 1999 he along with others were given clemency by President Clinton. Sacrifice Without Hesitation is his story. This is part one of a weekly documentary web series.