disobedience, frame-ups, and draft resistance, so the parole conditions deliberately affect their ability to attend meetings of the independence movement. The restrictions have an outrageous personal side: Two sisters, Alicia Rodríguez and Ida Luz Rodríguez may now be forbidden to see each other. Luis Rosa had to request permission to meet his own brother, Felix, in Chicago after his release. Juan Segarra may be forbidden from seeing his wife when he gets out--since she too was once convicted of a political "felony." It is a bitter irony that Puerto Rican independentistas may have had more freedom of speech and association inside prison than they will now have on the outside. After his release, Adolfo Matos said: "My jail now turns into one with invisible bars and my words are like those of a caged bird." A Just Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism The release of these prisoners has been accompanied by a huge media offensive of misinformation about the status of Puerto Rico and the activities of revolutionary forces. The released prisoners were constantly referred to as "terrorists" in headlines. Article after article claims that Puerto Rican people benefit from U.S. domination. There are constant claims that U.S. colonial authorities have created a "democratic process" where Puerto Rican people can determine their own future. And it is said that these elections and plebiscites prove that dreams of independence have faded in the hearts of Puerto Rico's people. But these votes take place under the guns of the U.S. military. They take place under conditions where organized forces for Puerto Rican independence have been infiltrated, disrupted, imprisoned, murdered--and are now gagged by federal parole rules. And they take place after the economy of the island has been twisted to serve U.S. corporations. Throughout its history, the Puerto Rican revolutionary movement has correctly exposed colonial elections on their island. There is no "democratic process" in Puerto Rico. There is a colonial dictatorship of the U.S. imperialists, and the elections staged in Puerto Rico are mechanisms for legitimizing U.S. domination of the island. The three "status options" the U.S. "offered" in their latest plebiscite--statehood, commonwealth or neocolonial "independence"--all represent a continuation of the U.S. domination of Puerto Rico. The last year has seen an upsurge of struggle in Puerto Rico--the general strike against privatization and the exciting struggle against the U.S. Navy in Vieques. There is deep hatred among the people for the Americanization of their island, and the creeping imposition of English in their schools, public institutions, highways and communities.
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