Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Fighting for Puerto Rican Independence is Not a Crime- José Luis Rodríguez


Caption and poster credits: Fireworks.
Additional documentation thanks to Freedom Archives

Jose Luis Rodríguez was arrested in 1983 with Alejandrina Torres, Alberto Rodríguez and Edwin Cortés and convicted of seditious conspiracy. For Puerto Ricans who oppose US colonialism, seditious conspiracy is an impossible crime because the US government’s authority over Puerto Rico is illegitimate. The true crime is colonialism. Puerto Rico has been occupied by a foreign army and forced into poverty to provide profits for US corporations. At the time of their arrests, Alejandrina, Alberto and Edwin declared themselves Prisoners of War—captured combatants in their nation’s war against US colonialism. Alejandrina, Alberto and Edwin received 35-year sentences. Jose Luis, a community activist, asserted that he was a political prisoner and declared himself to be in full support of the clandestine struggle. Luis was given a suspended sentence with five years’ probation. Jose Luis emerged as a leading spokesperson for the independence movement. In 1985, he spoke at the United Nations, asserting Puerto Rico’s right to fight against US colonialism by any means necessary.

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