Judge Juan R. Torruella, a Puerto Rican, is the longest-standing federal judge in Puerto Rican history. From 1994 through 2001, he was the Chief Justice of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. He has served on the federal bench for 42 years.
For this reason it is highly significant, that Judge Torruella has called for an island-wide consumer boycott, against every US chain store in Puerto Rico.
Judge Torruella is also a leading interpreter of what is known as “the Insular Cases” (Balzac v. Porto Rico; De Lima v. Bidwell; Goetze v. US; Dooley v. US; Armstrong v. US; Downes v. Bidwell; Huus v. New York and Porto Rico Steamship Co.) and he wrote what many people consider as the definitive analysis of those cases:
Torruella is not a “radical” judge. He is not even a leftist…in fact, quite the opposite: he was first appointed to the federal bench by Pres. Gerald Ford, and appointed to the First Circuit by Pres. Ronald Reagan.
Also noteworthy is Judge Torruella’s foresight: he called for this general strike more than two years ago.
According to Torruella, Puerto Ricans on the island buy $35 billion per year in US consumer goods. They buy more US goods per capita, than any other country on earth.
Also according to Torruella, a consumer strike in Puerto Rico would have a high moral standing: comparable to the Boston Tea Party, the march to the sea of Mahatma Gandhi, the refusal of Rosa Parks to sit in the back of a bus, and the bus boycott and civil rights movement that followed her.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, leading the march on Selma
Judge Torruella is correct.
Puerto Ricans need to march. Consumers need to boycott US chain stores, and support the small business people of Puerto Rico.
Celebrities need to get involved – just like Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Marlon Brando and Charlton Heston, during the civil rights marches of the 1950s and early 1960s.
This is the kind of activism and energy that Puerto Rico will need.
Nothing less will succeed.