In one voice and one Song.
With sharpened knives and voices tuned - that is how Puerto Rico defends itself.
A nation that has been wounded, deeply, will always find a way to defend itself at all costs. For Puerto Rico, its weapon of defense has not been violence, but words - words that have inspired people to take to the streets and fight.
“Boricua de cora’ con el puño arriba, a la conquista” (Boricua from the heart, raise your fist and let’s go to battle) are just some of the words the singer/songwriter Residente, who is well known for his political lyrics that highlight injustice and demand respect for Puerto Rico.
And now that Puerto Rico has been dealt an almost mortal blow by Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the Puerto Rican people have had no doubts about taking to the streets en masse. But - the protests have been uniquely Puerto Rican, with the taste of the island. Puerto Ricans have used music and art to lift their voices in protest and the whole world has had to pay attention.
— Liz Lebron (@lizlebron1) July 22, 2019
“Your apologies drown in the rainwater, inside the houses that still have no roof”-Residente
“Aunque la historia nos azota, somos como una botella de vidrio que flota”. (Even when history lashes us, we are like that glass bottle, we still float to the top.) Residente wrote this before Puerto Rico took to the streets demanding Rosselló resign; before Puerto Rico found its voice again. He describes his island as people who can withstand any blow. His song “Hijos del Cañaveral” lets it be clear that Puerto Ricans, since that initial colonial blow, have always defended themselves. In the song, he says: “Our race is by nature brave,” “We have always resisted with dignity.”
And it is not without reason, because Puerto Rico has suffered a number of near-fatal blows, blows which others would have found it hard to recover.
Image posted on Twitter.
This time, the Puerto Rican people came out with pots and pans, and their own voices, in order to be heard. At one point in the march, you could hear - in one unified voice - the iconic song of every Puerto Rican - “Mi Viejo San Juan” Written by Javier Solis.
— Tommy Torres (@Tommy_Torres) July 19, 2019
As one could hear later on, in tune with the song of the Coqui - “ Yo quiero un pueblo, que ría y que cante; Yo quiero un pueblo, que baile en las calles” sung by a tenor late at night in Barranquitas, a Puerto Rican town. The voices of a betrayed people, singing with their hearts full of hope, gives one goose bumps.
A people that will not allow anyone to trample on them and that will not stop until they see justice done. A people - that as Residente says - the generation of ‘Yo no me dejo’ (I will not allow it.)
In other words, a Puerto Rico without Ricardo Rosselló at the helm.
Photo by Karlo Karlo