Julio Ricardo Varela

Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Plans to Present Statehood Commission to Congress

A Tuesday media release from the government of Puerto Rico said that the island’s resident commissioner —a non-voting delegate of Congress— plans to present the seven members of a Puerto Rican statehood commission to the House of Representatives.

  • Jan 9, 2018
  • 5:08 PM

As Deaths From September and October Continue to Increase, Puerto Rico Governor Announces Details on Death Toll Working Group

As of this posting, there have now been a total of 537 more deaths in September 2017 when compared with September 2016, and 657 more deaths in October 2017 when compared to October 2017.

  • Jan 4, 2018
  • 4:24 PM

After Reports of Higher Hurricane María Deaths, Puerto Rico Governor Calls for Formal Investigation and Review

“We always expected that the number of hurricane-related deaths would increase as we received more factual information —not hearsay— and this review will ensure we are correctly counting everybody.”

  • Dec 18, 2017
  • 10:13 AM

Government of Puerto Rico Responds to Hurricane María Death Count Story

“With this, I suggest that the number of total deaths in Puerto Rico is not a fixed one.”

  • Dec 13, 2017
  • 11:04 AM

FEMA Responds to Reports of High Death Count in Puerto Rico After Hurricane María

A comment was made 36 hours after requests to both the White House and Department of Homeland Security.

  • Dec 8, 2017
  • 8:50 PM

Independent Study: Hurricane María Death Count Could Be 10 Times Higher Than Official Count

“Our findings suggest that the actual mortality burden attributable to Hurricane María may be far higher than current official statistics,and may exceed the current official death toll by a factor of 10, or more.”

  • Nov 27, 2017
  • 4:54 PM

Rosselló About Investigating Uncounted Hurricane María Deaths: ‘This Is a Continuous Effort’

“Of course, we welcome the information that the journalists stated.”

  • Nov 17, 2017
  • 4:39 PM

Revisiting the Rebelde Mission

No matter the situation, we have every reason to be part of the conversation. We learn from every experience. Yet will we change? You already know the answer to that question.

  • Oct 13, 2015
  • 12:02 AM

I Am the Bronx Judas: All Because of Nomah, Pedro and Papi

So this weekend is the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend. Although I don’t plan to drive from Boston to Cooperstown to catch it, I am a bit (okay, VERY) excited because Pedro Martínez is one of the honorees. In his prime, Pedro was the best pitcher I have ever seen. In fact, he […]

  • Jul 22, 2015
  • 10:31 PM

How Fútbol Will Defeat Donald Trump’s Fear of a ‘Lost’ America

FOXBORO, MA, July 10, 2015 I am driving down Route 1 headed to the stadium normally reserved for Patriots. My middle schooler (and fútbol-obsessed) son is in the back seat with his friend. They talk Clint Dempsey, Ronaldo and if they will ever get the chance to watch an FA Cup Final at Wembley. Did […]

  • Jul 14, 2015
  • 11:05 AM

Puerto Rican Law Student Tells UN: Sanction the US for Island’s Colonial Status

A few things you need to know. Phillip Arroyo, the young Puerto Rican law student who appears in the video below, is a new contributor to Latino Rebels. Similar to what I have been writing about for years, Phillip believes that the only way to solve Puerto Rico’s status issue (mired in decades of mediocre […]

  • Jun 24, 2015
  • 2:12 PM

Dear Governor García Padilla: Questions from Global Puerto Rico

Today in New York as part of my duties as Digital Media Director for Futuro Media Group, I will be attending the Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program’s journalism seminar about Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis. A portion of the agenda will include a Skype appearance by Alejandro García Padilla, Puerto Rico’s governor. As I was preparing for […]

  • Jun 15, 2015
  • 8:17 AM

A Rebelde Goes Back to Harvard

There was this surreal moment last night at Harvard’s Science Center during the beginning of the Latin@ Graduation that hit me hard—not the violent hard you would feel if a brick fell on your head, but more like the hard you get when your heart is about to burst with joy and happiness. The fabulous Erika Ontiveros Carlsen, a […]

  • May 28, 2015
  • 11:24 PM

VarageSale’s English-Only Policy Problem Persists

Earlier this year, Latino Rebels wrote about the language policy used by local administrators of VarageSale, a fast-growing Canadian app that allows people to run virtual garage sale groups in their local communities. Several Spanish-speaking members had let us know that one local Texas VarageSale group (the town of Brenham) had instituted an English-only policy […]

  • May 15, 2015
  • 4:20 PM

WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS Earns ‘Instant Classic’ Status

This is a story about a book and a new friendship. When I first heard that Nelson A. Denis was publishing War Against All Puerto Ricans, and that it would release yesterday (already topping the Amazon charts in Caribbean History and Caribbean & Latin American Politics categories), to say I was intrigued would be selling my emotions short. I […]

  • Apr 8, 2015
  • 11:26 AM

Miami’s VOXXI.Com Shutting Down

Earlier this week, Latino Rebels received an email from a freelancer writer looking for opportunities at LatinoRebels.com. Part of the email said the following: “I used to write for the website VOXXI.com. Sadly, the website will be discontinued and I am looking for any freelance positions in other Latino websites.” After several emails and phone […]

  • Mar 26, 2015
  • 4:14 PM

Don’t Blame Latino Digital Space for Calling Out The Economist for Stupid Cover

Who knew that a March 12 tweet from The Ecomonist’s Américas account would lead to this week’s hot (no pun intended) issue in the U.S. Latino media space? On our cover: The rise of Latinos is a huge opportunity. The US must not squander it http://t.co/Jw7aPIbchM pic.twitter.com/oUo4dqAUK8 — The Economist (@EconAmericas) March 12, 2015 Not […]

  • Mar 18, 2015
  • 9:47 AM

Rodner Figueroa’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ Moment Proves Spanish-Speaking Media No Longer Segregrated

I do wonder that if former Univision host Rodner Figueroa had said what he said on Spanish-language television 10 years ago, he would still be part of the Univision family today, for the very reason that Spanish-language media didn’t have as much of a mainstream national or digital reach as it does now. Maybe a […]

  • Mar 13, 2015
  • 4:08 PM

The Real Reason Why Puerto Ricans Are Protesting Tax Reform

A few things you need to know: tax stories are really complicated and quite frankly, a bit geeky. You should also know that Puerto Rico is on the brink of bankruptcy. I’m pretty sure that you haven’t heard about that fact, nor about the story that governor Alejandro García Padilla and his status-quo pro-Commonwealth Popular […]

  • Mar 6, 2015
  • 12:33 PM

How a Silly Story About Puerto Rico’s Powerball Winner Became Our Most Popular Post Ever

I’ll admit: when our group decided to do a quick goofy story about really insane Twitter reactions to the news that one of the winning Powerball tickets came from Puerto Rico, there was nothing out of the ordinary. We had done these types of stories for years, and quite frankly, we had been doing less […]

  • Feb 13, 2015
  • 1:04 PM

RNC Leadership Perpetuates Myth of Latino ‘Activist’ Journalist

Last year, when Jorge Ramos was grilling President Obama for an immigration record that has done more to damage the U.S. Latino community than help it, personalities like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity (who called him RAY-mos) had the Univision and Fusion anchor on their respective shows. They were somewhat complimentary about what Ramos had done. […]

  • Jan 24, 2015
  • 10:53 AM