Is Puerto Rico a US colony, or is it a part of Latin America? The political leaders in Puerto Rico seem to think the former. But a famous rap star has other ideas:
The lead singer of Calle 13, René Pérez, wants to meet with all the Latin American heads of state to ask them to include Puerto Rico in official events of the region.
The artist had his first meeting of this initiative yesterday with the president of Uruguay, José Mujica.
“When there are Latin American presidential meetings, I want Puerto Rico to be included as a Latin American country, in spite of our political situation. Since even now they have not worked on a definition of [our] status, I am totally within my rights to demand, as a Latin American and a Puerto Rican, that Puerto Rico be included in all meetings,” Pérez affirmed.
The singer said that to achieve this goal, a delegation must be formed to represent the country at all events.
“Maybe some candidate from some party will be interested. But I believe that the government and the other candidates from the other parties won’t be interested, because they feel themselves to be represented by Obama. But there are people like me who don’t feel represented by him, and they would like to have a delegation which would be invited to this type of activities,” Pérez said.
During the meeting, Mujica showed himself to be very receptive. René gave him a Puerto Rican flag and the president asked him to autograph it, and also promised to evaluate his petition as soon as possible.
It is possible that next week, Pérez will meet with the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with the same proposal.
On May 6, the singer will begin a tour of the United States and Europe, along with his brother Eduardo Cabra, but he will continue to participate in such meetings.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard René Pérez get vocal on behalf of Puerto Rican independence. Here’s his harsh love letter to the FBI, who murdered the independence activist Filiberto Ojeda Ríos:
It opens with a clip of Ojeda himself, angrily denouncing the US authorities’ intrusions into the political affairs of Puerto Ricans during a TV interview. It closes with Ojeda giving the same rallying cry as Fidel Castro in Cuba: ¡Hasta la victoria siempre! (Ever onward to victory!) This is no coincidence either, since the US has long had Cuba in its sights and would no doubt like to turn it into a dependency like Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans like René Pérez are rising up to demand that things go the other way, and that Puerto Rico become independent again…like Cuba.