“Spanish Only” in Puerto Rico: playing politics with our language

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony


On Thursday Sept. 3, Tony Fas Alzamora rammed Bill 1177 through the Senate, without any discussion or debate before the vote was taken.

Bill 1177 will make Spanish the only “official language” of Puerto Rico.



Spanish will be mandatory in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the island’s government. This includes the power (PREPA), water (PRASA) and highway (PRHTA) authorities, every government agency, every court, and all 78 mayoral bureaucracies.

All transcripts, agency memoranda, court papers, judicial opinions, bill language, hearing and committee minutes, executive orders, mayoral documents, city council proceedings, revenue statements and financial records, shall all be in SPANISH ONLY.



The bill has teeth: any government employee who fails to comply with it, in any of the above categories, may be fined up to $10,000.


Tony Fas Alzamora is not merely a senator. He is the longest-sitting politician in Puerto Rican history: he has been in office for 38 years since 1977.

Alzamora has been President of the Puerto Rican Senate, President of the PPD Party, and Director of the Management & Budget Office of Puerto Rico.

If anyone knows the Puerto Rican government bureaucracy, it is Sen. Alzamora. He knows exactly what he is doing with this bill.

Senator Tony Fas Alzamora on the Senate floor


Alzamora invokes “cultural pride” and “preserving our heritage” as the motive for his bill. However the entire history of his PPD party, and what has kept them in office, is the notion of having “the best of both worlds” in Puerto Rico. This bill contradicts the entire philosophy of his PPD party.

The timing of this bill (just before the PPD is run out of office in 2016), the manner of its passage (with no discussion or debate), and its targeted scope (applying to the entire government, but not the school system) suggests a calculated political intent, that has nothing to do with culture or heritage.


Alzamora’s bill is a “Poison Pill” ordinance.

Its purpose is to cripple Puerto Rico’s chances, of ever becoming the 51st state. When the PNP sweep back into office, and make their push for statehood, the US congress will look at this “Spanish Only” government, and have another powerful reason for denying statehood.

“Statehood” will appear more onerous to the American public, to conservative congressmen, and to Fox News.

“Statehood” will be difficult because all legislative, regulatory and judicial integration between Puerto Rico and the US, will become a linguistic nightmare.

“Statehood” will be impossible if all government correspondence to the US is in Spanish, and the US cannot understand it.

Onerous…difficult…impossible…this is what Alzamora’s bill will accomplish. It will interpose a linguistic chasm between the US and Puerto Rican governments, and make Puerto Rican statehood even more of a pipe dream, than it has been for the past 50 years.


The Alzamora bill accomplishes one other objective: it forces Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi into a tight corner.

Pierluisi is supposed to represent Puerto Rico in Congress…but for the past seven months, from February 11, 2015 until today, he can’t even get his own Chapter 9 bankruptcy bill – HR 870 – out of US congressional committee.

Pierluisi has been utterly impotent.

Now, if the Spanish Only bill becomes law, Pierluisi will have two distasteful options:

Number 1…he asks Congress to veto it. If they do, the PPD can say “he can’t get us any bankruptcy relief, but he can kill our Spanish language!”

Number 2…he doesn’t push for a veto. Puerto Rico goes Spanish Only. Statehood goes out the window, along with his party.


This is what politicians do. They play games with each other.

Puerto Rico is in great trouble…but in the midst of a deep fiscal crisis, the most senior politician on the entire island is unconcerned with creating more government waste and inefficiency and confusion in the management of Puerto Rico.

It doesn’t matter if people get hurt. These politicians don’t care about people.

They care about their bank accounts, and their petty Machiavellian politics.

They can’t even get anything DONE…but they sure are crafty.


5 Comments on ““Spanish Only” in Puerto Rico: playing politics with our language

  1. Language has never been a determining factor in the decision process on part of the U.S.when it makes a state out of other people’s lands and nations. English was not the language of any of the 50 states prior to the imperialist take over of any of them.
    It is a false argument and naive to assume that U.S. will consider statehood if only Puerto Ricans officially included English. Another smoke screen. The U.S.never truly considered PR statehood even while English was considered one of the official languages. PR status is not and has never been predicated on language. The oppresor is capable to continue even if the oppressed speak the “King’s English”. It has yet to be in U.S. intrest that PR become a state. Statehood proponents have yet to present any convensing arguments, that would move the US to act in favor of statehood, language not withstanding.
    To include English as an official language is purely political; a misguided attempt to appear more attractive to colonial rulers.
    No PR politician arguing for english as an official language has ever run a campaign in english in it’s entirety.


  2. Making “Spanish” the official language of the island will have a negligible to no effect on the “status” question as it relates PR becoming a state or not. For the last 117 yrs the islanders have pushed for independence or statehood. They have been snubbed by D.C. every time. Even when the islanders prevailed with a recent plebescite. And, now in 2015 “the spanish language” concern’s going to turn the tide??

    The islander’s wishes were ignored by D.C. How much more of a clue-in does one need? How many more times do the islander PR’s care to be insulted by such indignities? ( Usually, most folks “get it” by connecting the dots. It doesn’t take more than 2 or 3 dots to draw the line through it to see where it’s headed. Once that’s determined, one makes a choice. And, takes the appropriate action ) Apparently, forever ( a seemingly infinite number of DOTS! ) They’re gluttons’ for punishment/suffering.

    When you have landlord ( and ALL islanders are tenants..Worse: They are “allowed” to exist on the island at the pleasure of D.C…. ); who do you think is going to prevail when the tenant is requesting the landlord to make a home-improvement such as adding another bedroom or changing the entire facade of the home; all while keeping the rent the same? Has it ever happened here, domestically, in the U.S. between a first class citizen landlord/tenant? Do you think this is ever going to happen under the current relationship between second class citizen islanders and the first class citizen D.C. “elites?” What do you think the average tenant is going to do in a relatively short period of time if their wishes are not met?

    It simply amazes me how many islander ( and some non-islander PR’s..) PR’s “miss the boat” on the critical political questions…just to wax political. Just to sit around and talk politics. Maybe the #1 pastime of PR’s ( talking politics ) evolved over time because an increasing number of the them had so much TIME on their hands to do so ( those 100% dependent of the colonialist’s teat via welfare/food stamps after being forced away from dignified work ). The point is, is where has all this “talk” gotten the islander PR’s over time? Absolutely, nowhere. It’s all been in vain. Time that could have been and needs to be utilized much more intelligently/productively.


  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “POLITICS OVER PEOPLE … This is what politicians do. They play games with each other.”
    .. and Puerto Rico’s politicians are no exception! Shame either way!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hernandez Colon tried this before in the 90’s…he promptly lost the next election. One of the ramifications of this is to make all the degrees from the PR universities invalid as far as the states go…engineering, medical, all of them. It will not pass, because I don’t think the legislators are that stupid…well, some of them. We have been down this road before and it led no where.

    Liked by 1 person

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