The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Who Will Be Left?

Aoife Rivera Serrano • 28 February, 2006

After reading last Thursday's issue of The Blanket (16.2.06), I felt obligated to comment on the pursuit of peaceful solutions to the troubles of two islands that are a part of me and a part of my history: Puerto Rico and Ireland. Despite the fact that I was not born in Ireland I am, by birth and predilection, an implacable, dyed-in-the-wool albizuista, which means that I am a hard-core Republican, that I love Ireland as if I had been born there for she is my bloodsister, and so she is also to albizuistas everywhere, be they in Puerto Rico, or in the Diaspora that is the port of final call for many of history's exiles and patriots. I am the kind of Republican the CRJ might feel the need to visit, the kind who believes that self-determination and reunification cannot be achieved by settling for some share of power to be determined by political parties resolutely at odds with each other. Irish and Puerto Rican history have clearly proved the inchoate nature of power-sharing initiatives in modern times with spokesmen like Muñoz Marín, Luis Ferrer, Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness. And how can we forget the admonition of U.S. journalist Ambrose Bierce who called warfare "a by-product of the arts of peace"?

The last time I traveled through Puerto Rico, Northern Ireland was a topic of whispered conversation among the people who have, of late, wondered what is happening to our comrades on the other side of the Atlantic. "How many lives have been saved by the GFA? What troubles have been conclusively resolved by the GFA?...What happened to Sinn Féin?...What about Gerry Adams? Are the rumors true?...Is something always better than nothing?"

I do not have to whisper from where I write. I am safe, far from Eireann, far from Puerto Rico, perhaps considered an interloper by some Irish brethren who do not know of the noble Latin American Fenian called Albizu. Yet it is from Pedro Albizu Campos that I derive, and shall exercise, my right to opine. I have wanted to do so since Commandant Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, leader of the clandestine Puerto Rican army known as the Ejercito Popular Boricua-Macheteros, was murdered by the FBI in his home in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, on the 23rd of September 2005. His whereabouts had been divulged to "authorities" by a Puerto Rican traitor, a member of the U.S. armed forces. A series of human rights abuses followed whereby a dozen families in Puerto Rico have had their homes and lives turned upside down by U.S. agents suspecting them of terrorist activities. These abuses coincided with your reports on the Ballymurphy pogrom and the murder of Gerard Devlin.

Yet, I know who the terrorists really were the day the 72-year-old Commandant's home was surrounded by FBI sharpshooters. Fired upon for hours because he would not surrender, the FBI made sure no medical personnel of any kind could approach the premises. The pro-independence leader was deliberately left to bleed to death on an important anniversary to the Puerto Rican people, El Grito de Lares (The Lares Rebellion), commemorating an armed insurrection against Spain in 1868. A prerecorded message from the Commandant was played to the crowds during the Lares Rebellion ceremony at the precise moment the FBI was assassinating the albizuista leader. The strongest country in the world chose this date to make a point to one of the smallest islands in the world. In an article printed in El Nuevo Día on the 16th of October, Ramon Grosfoguel, professor at the University of California at Berkeley, pointed out that "what the United States did to Filiberto Ojeda Ríos was State terrorism, which is a lot more dangerous...Look what happened in Panama in 1989. In order to arrest Noriega, an ex-CIA agent, the State led an operation that killed thousands of civilians..."

A series of articles in all our newspapers followed, asking whether the murder will revive the possibility of armed struggle again in Puerto Rico. According to Juan Enrique Segarra Palmer, a former member of Puerto Rico's clandestine army, "The underground organization led by Filiberto is like the U.S. National Guard. It is activated when necessary, and proof that it exists is that the Commandant had enough support to evade U.S. authorities for fifteen years."

On the 26th of September, the day before the burial of Commandant Ojeda Ríos, the IRA announced that they had laid down their arsenal of weapons. This gesture, a pivotal act in keeping with the Good Friday Agreement, still did not satisfy Unionists who continue their fight to keep Northern Ireland a territory ruled by the British. This fight may well turn out to be a conflict that does not determine who is right--but who is left.

This is the question that concerns me the most. Who will be left? Allow Irish accommodationists, and British and Puerto Rican annexationists to kill the Ojedas and Joe O'Connors and Diarmuid O'Neills of our homelands and who will be left to question the terrorist agendas of the most violent imperialist countries in the world: England and the United States?







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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
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Index: Current Articles

28 February 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Gratefully Remembering
Eoghan O’Suilleabhain

Another Unjust Execution?
Maria McCann

Sinn Fein Be Warned - The Truth Will Out
Martin Ingram

Who Will Be Left?
Aoife Rivera Serrano

Irish Republican Socialists Show Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Willie Gallagher

Queens, New York City, Republicans decry Irish parliamentarian's inappropriate intervention on U.S. immigration bill
Patrick Hurley

Bush's Double Standard
Fr Sean Mc Manus

"Democratic Unionist Pharisees"
Dr John Coulter

A Society That Failed to Protect Its Children
Anthony McIntyre

Unreal Paradigms
Mike Marqusee

The Letters page has been updated:

Dublin Riots


Moon Man?

Independent Workers Union rejects Sunday Times allegation of involvement in Dublin riot
Noel Murphy

20 February 2006

Try separate the wood from the trees:
MI5, Sinn Fein/IRA and the intelligence war

Paul Maguire

Sinn Fein Set To Win … The Neanderthal Derby
Anthony McIntyre

21st Century Vision?
Mick Hall

The Real Betrayal?
Dr John Coulter

Cowardice on Cartoon Controversary
David Adams

Meeting Marielos
Anthony McIntyre



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