The Two Faces of the Empire

By Rafael Cancel Miranda on January 2, 2019

Rafael Cancel Miranda, Photo: Bill Hackwell

My people,

I’ve been wanting to talk to you about this for a while.  Let’s see how I can start.   A couple of days ago two Guatemalan children, who were in juvenile detention centers in U.S.-controlled territory, died while in the custody of U.S. federal agents.  These two deaths reminded me that this is the same government, in the 1940s, that injected Guatemalans with syphilis in their country. And in 1954, when the Guatemalan government nationalized the United Fruit Company, they conducted a coup d’etat against the progressive government of Jacobo Árbenz.

What I mean is the following:  The so-called Central American migrants that the media talks about so much these days, go to the United States, risking their lives and that of their families, in search of work because of the situation that the same Yankee government has created in their countries.  Yesterday, on the first day of the New Year 2019, when a group of Central American men, women and children tried to cross the border, U.S. military personnel received them with tear gas and arrests.

The question is this: it seems that for the U.S. government, migrating to its territory in search of work is both criminal and illegal.   But, it is neither criminal nor illegal when they invade another country and massacre its inhabitants to steal their lands, as they did with the indigenous peoples of North America and with Mexico itself, from which they stole 51 percent of their national territory with cannon fire.  The Trump wall, will it be so that the Mexicans won’t think of recovering their lands, that is, California, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado?

Are you aware of “Operation Condor” led by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, which cost the lives of thousands of Latin Americans in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay?

Did you know that in 1856 the American William Walker, with a group of mercenaries, invaded Nicaragua, proclaimed himself president and the government of the United States recognized him as such.  Walker then reinstated slavery in Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador?

And did you know about the U.S. Navy’s invasion of Panama in 1989, of the Dominican Republic in 1965, and of Grenada in 1983? Did you know that the same Navy bombed San Juan de Puerto Rico on May 12, 1898, destroying homes and killing Puerto Rican men, women, and children in the streets, and two months later they invaded Puerto Rico by Guánica Bay on July 25 of that same year?

The story is long, but for now, this is as far as I go, my people.  Let’s remember that those who don’t know their history don’t know themselves. Pa´lante always!

Rafael Cancel Miranda is an indefatigable fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico and was a political prison in the U.S. for a quarter of a century.

Source: International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, translated by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau