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HomeAbout NBHRNHuman RightsProtests announced against the FBI in six states

Protests announced against the FBI in six states

Jesús Dávila, El diario La prensa (Click here to read the original article)

January 8, 2008

SAN JUAN/ EDLP Correspondent—Protests against the Federal Bureau of Investigations, for subpoenas of Puerto Rican independentists to appear before a grand jury investigation of the Popular Boricua Army-Macheteros, will take place in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Illinois and California, as well as Puerto Rico. The protest in Puerto Rico will be on January 10; the simultaneous demonstrations in the U.S. will take place on January 11. All the protests will urge non collaboration with the grand jury.

The announcement was made yesterday at a press conference attended by the main independence organizations of the country, and during which Doña Elma Beatriz Rosado Barbosa, widow of the Macheteros commander Filiberto Ojeda, affirmed that it is a “legitimate organization,” while the FBI “needs to be thinking about getting out of Puerto Rico.”

Rosado Barbosa said she was familiar with the FBI’s “Strategic Plan for 2004-09” and affirmed that “this strategic plan is outlining all the actions” that this U.S. agency is taking against Puerto Rican independentists.

This very notion, that the FBI is using the topic of The Macheteros to attack the entire independence movement, motivated the united reaction of organizations that rarely coincide. In fact, the majority of the leaders who attended touched on this point and avoided answering questions about The Macheteros, except Rosado Barbosa and the Nationalist hero Rafael Cancel Miranda, who explained that the problem is that anyone who admits the existence of this organization would have to explain how he knew it.

Representing Puerto Rican communities in the U.S. was Vicente Alba, of New York, who informed the group of protests scheduled for January 11, “the day the three Puerto Ricans are to appear before the grand jury” not only in front of the federal court in Candem Plaza, Brooklyn, but also in Chicago, Cleveland, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Alba explained that the most recent revelations on details related to the death of Ojeda raise an entire set of questions about the FBI, and that this agency has decided to avoid answering by taking the offensive against Puerto Rican independentists.

The Secretary General of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, Juan Dalmau, also touched on this point, affirming that the Special Agent in Charge of the San Juan FBI, Luis Fraticelli, was the person in charge of the attack on Ojeda, calling Fraticelli “criminal.”

Michael González Cruz, of The New School, said that while the investigation may be related to the Macheteros, its true basis is a general attack, because “the independence movement is still a force that challenges the colony.”

Also participating in the press conference were the National Hostos Independence Movement, the Socialist Front, the Socialist Workers Movement, the Coordinating Committee of Solidarity with the Caribbean and Latin America, and other organizations.

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