Copy and Paste Colonialism (OPINION)

Aug 30, 2020
9:12 PM

There has been much bochinche generated by an allegedly plagiarized ad created by an independent political party in Puerto Rico that is perhaps well-deserved. But as I mull it over, isn’t the fact that Puerto Ricans continue to overwhelmingly support a plagiarized version of the same old, outdated, stale and corrupt two-party system in the United States worthy of the same ire, resentment and rejection?


If Puerto Ricans despise plagiarism, then let’s channel our indignation toward Luis Muñoz Marín. who threw independence and its most passionate advocate, Pedro Albizu Campos, under the guagua in a delusional attempt to obtain “bread, land and liberty” with the creation of the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD)—an attempt to mirror the Democratic party in the U.S. while defending the colonial status quo.

If Boricuas are appalled by “cut and paste” politics, direct your frustrations at José Celso Barbosa or Luis A. Ferré, who obviously saw Puerto Ricans more akin to folks in Kansas and Arkansas than Cuba or Venezuela. The statehood-advocating Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) is so contorted in its efforts to reflect the dysfunctional values of U.S. Republican Party, it should just add another ‘P’ for pretzel.

As in the U.S., neither party truly encourages the participation or champions the needs of hard-working families. How can they, when they are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the one percent?

Sure, one party (the Democratic PPD) talks the good game of fighting for workers, students, families, etc., but at the end of the day, their elitism and wanton disregard for this constituency is glaring. At the same time, the current ruling party (the Republican PNP), is a poster child for all the shameless and blatant corruption stateside Republicans can only dream of committing.

Suffice it to say that in the PNP, there are members of both the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties. Let that simmer like a bipolar sancocho.

We’ve often heard this expression: if the U.S. has a cold, Puerto Rico has a pneumonia. Well, the cloning of U.S. political parties has created as perverse a strand of neoliberal politics as deadly as the cancer of colonialism. A farce of democracy embodied by the mistreatment of Puerto Ricans from both major U.S. parties—whether with the passage of PROMESA and the creation of a punitive, undemocratic Junta or the gross mistreatment and disregard for Puerto Rican lives by the Republican Party and its diabolical leader after Hurricane María.

Indeed, Alexandra Lúgaro and Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC) brought this unwanted attention and criticism unto themselves but in the whole scheme of things, does it rise to the level of the crimes committed against Boricuas by both its homegrown parties and its cynical and evil stepparents in Congress?

Personally, I can only pray that someday in the U.S. we’ll be in the same enviable position as Puerto Ricans on the island to have viable third and fourth party candidates. For all intents and purposes, we have Lúgaro to thank for that—whether you support her candidacy or not. It’s not surprising that any slight on behalf of her campaign is being treated like Watergate since she garnered an impressive number of votes in the last race and more importantly, connected with young voters and people who have been historically ignored by the major parties.

Sound familiar?

It could be described as sloppy and dumb if in fact this popular campaign ad that ran in Argentina was passed off as an original. But, it would be lethal and dumber to support two parties that continue to clone the same old tired and corrupt style of governance employed by their colonial masters in Washington.


David Galarza Santa tweets from @DGalaSanta.