Don Pedro Albizu Campos was born, and Octavio Ramos “Tavín” Pumarejo died, on the same day of September 12. Their careers appeared very different…but just below the surface they shared the same vision, the same values, the same love for Puerto Rico.
And they both left the same message.
In La Conciencia Nacional Puertorriqueña, in his speeches recorded by the FBI, in his interviews with Manuel Maldonado-Denis, Don Pedro left a treasure map for his nation.
With his songs and records, his Christmas aguinaldos, his Rio Caña Sound Machine and “ai que lindo,” Pumarejo left us the same treasure map.
The treasure appears to be elusive, but it is not.
We walk right past it every day.
There is a treasure in Puerto Rico…inside our own hearts, in our love for the land, the ocean, the sound of the coquí, and our love for each other.
We lose sight of it, because it is all around us…until finally, we forget that it exists.
AN EMPIRE BUILT ON AMNESIA
The US economy, and the “American way of life,” is built on this amnesia.
Every day, hundreds of corporations pump thousands of commercials into our heads…helping us forget the simple but profound values, that make life worth living…
The values of Don Pedro and “Tavín” Pumarejo…
Values that are rooted in the land…and hard work, honesty, and mutual respect.
The US lost these values.
It replaced them with greed, dishonesty, distrust, dirty politics and get-rich-quick schemes.
US “culture” is now built on consumption, celebrities and super-heroes…because only super-heroes can transcend all the traps, tricks, lies and quicksand of an “American Dream” that no longer exists, if it ever existed at all.
Bigger…Faster…Newer…More Sex…More Money…and when all of it caves in, then let’s make America great again.
The US is trapped in a cultural and spiritual amnesia: an inescapable spider’s web, woven by its own corporations. This web of amnesia is kept firmly in place…by an economic elite so small, that it is nearly invisible.
LET’S RETURN TO DON PEDRO AND PUMAREJO
But the news is not all bad.
There is a simple way to defeat this elite, and deny their control over everyone else.
It starts with the memory of Don Pedro, and the music of Pumarejo.
It starts inside our own hearts.
A little less reggaetón, and a few more decimas and aguinaldos.
A little less McDonald’s, and a few more home-grown aguacates and quenepas.
A little less driving, and a little more farming.
Fifty fewer mayors, and fifty more large farms.
No more Black Fridays like this one, at the Mayaguez Walmart:
The future of Puerto Rico is not entirely in the hands of a US Financial Control Board.
It is locked away in our hearts.
It is a history that will be written, by the personal & individual choices that we all make.
That is the treasure map, that was left to us by Don Pedro and Pumarejo.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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