Calle 13 resident puts on a political interviewer's jacket during the quarantine
The artist has spoken with leaders such as former Uruguayan President Pepe Mujica and Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Is he getting ready for the November referendum?
If Puerto Rican rapper Rene Perez Joglar can't do it, no one can. A recognized advocate of Puerto Rico's right to self-determination –which expects a non-binding referendum next November– the artist has had a frantic and very diplomatic quarantine, so much so that he has seated some Latin American presidents and U.S. Hispanic leaders to openly address some important international policy issues that include President Trump's handling of the pandemic or the health of their respective countries' economies.
Now the question is on everyone's lips: Is Residente preparing for the long-awaited November vote?
"My interest, personally, is to get to know him better, and also the people who don't know him, and have a casual chat," the singer told Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele during one of the interviews, noting that all Latin American countries - including Puerto Rico - are facing the pandemic with different approaches.
He has also been very critical of the high dependence of Latin American and Caribbean countries on U.S. companies for ventilators and protective equipment and the role being played by the Trump administration, which the Salvadoran president confirmed.
"The United States is doing very little," Bukele said. "As they say in the United States: too little too late."
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district has one of the worst scenarios of coronavirus in New York –especially among Hispanic citizens– criticized Governor Wanda Vazquez's policy and her management of the crisis, especially, Ocasio-Cortez said, because Vazquez did not have the authority to close the island's airport or prevent cruise ships from docking, something that has created new and tough challenges for Puerto Ricans.
"When it comes to Puerto Rico, [the pandemic] has only amplified the injustices of the island's colonial status," Ocasio-Cortez said. "People were happy to go on vacation without thinking about what the disease was going to bring to the island."
Others who submitted to his incisive questions were the former president of Uruguay José Mujica or the Argentine leader Alberto Fernández, which proves the media and also diplomatic power of Pérez Joglar, whose more than 5 million followers in Instagram were able to enjoy a direct and necessary confrontation –although there are those who criticize the partisan inclination of the Puerto Rican towards leftist regimes, especially his support to Venezuela's Chavismo.
But, once again, whoever is free of ideology should throw the first stone.