Last Friday, two days after his riot police force engaged in a “wilding” on University of Puerto Rico students, Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño addressed the mob gathering known as the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. While his embrace of basic Reagan principles is unremarkable on the surface, his repetition of the neo-Republican mantra about distrust in government is the key to understanding why his government is destined to fall, disastrously. Fortuño’s corrupt authoritarian coup is a violation of the fragile status quo crafted by the U.S. and Commonwealth guru Luis Muñoz Marín almost 60 years ago–in order for Puerto Ricans to accept colonial status, an illusion was constructed that allowed us to believe in a virtual nation that had an “autonomous” government. The neo-conservative statehood party under Fortuño has gambled everything on casting that illusion aside, and when he says “Hispanics” are “natural conservatives” who “share a natural distrust of government,” he is spitting in the face of the Puerto Rican Nation. For better or worse, that trifling government that sits in El Capitolio is the material basis for that flag that inescapably embodies us, statehooder, commonwealth-ist, and independentista. To say that you distrust that is to bring us back to 1937 and the Ponce massacre.
“Actually I started in the Republican Party as a student here in D.C.,” Fortuño brags, feeling a little cocky. “stuffing envelopes in his [Reagan’s] first campaign.” Right around the time Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist were heading up the College Republican National Committee. Just a couple of years after Cerro Maravilla. Do you think we don’t remember these things?
In case you missed it, and you probably did, because it disappeared from any mention on El Nuevo Día’s website pretty quickly yesterday, our old pal disgraced ex-PNP Senator Jorge De Castro Font gave a deposition from the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts, where he is currently being held. In it, he asserted that in 2008, three representatives who said they represented the then-governor elect Fortuño visited De Castro Font’s lawyer and offered De Castro Font the possibility of avoiding charges if he remained silent about any acts of corruption committed by members of the PNP.
De Castro Font said he refused the offer and the government indicted him on 182 criminal counts.
The future of the PNP may depend on whether or not this man is as crazy as he seems.