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The Cry of Lares Vs. The 4th of July

Updated on August 11, 2013

In the name of Homo Sapien Puertorriquenses and a patriotic saying here in Puerto Rico "Boricua hasta la muerte " (Boricua till death); I can not let the moon come up again without letting the cry of my heart and in name of "The Cry of Lares " drowning in the words of at least this hub; where somebody out there can understand, if they have intellectual feelings. Let me start defining what is "The Cry of Lares ", in Spanish is "El Grito de Lares ".

El Grito de Lares was a revolutionary movement planned, where a group of Puerto Ricans and some foreigners protested against the political and economic conditions in which the country was going through and the conditions that the Spanish Government assumed toward Puerto Ricans.

Isn't it kind of similar to the 4th of July celebration? The 4th of July is...oh you all know what it is... but even so, I will proceed with defining it (for purpose of the versus used in the title). The story goes something like this:

In the spring of 1775, after more than a decade of political agitation against the British and the first battles of the War of Independence, the 13 American colonies sent representatives to the first Continental Congress held in Philadelphia. After various debates about cutting ties with Britain, the representatives voted unanimously for independence on July 2, 1776. The next day, in a letter to his wife, the representative of Massachusetts, John Adams, said the date "should be solemn pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one to another confines of this continent from now on and forever. " Thus, two days after his important vote, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and sent copies to the entire country. The statement was dated July 4th; the new nation adopted it as Independence Day. The new country struggled to make independence a reality on July 4 and was characterized by parades, concerts, food and fireworks.

The great "truths" as the Declaration of Independence are:

"That all men are equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that to ensure these rights that are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these principles, the people have the right to alter or to abolish it and institute a new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such manner as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Continuance of the story "The Grito de Lares"

Ramón Emeterio Betances and Ruiz Belvis were banished in 1867 for their revolutionary ideas. They went to Santo Domingo and then to New York in search of money and weapons to free Puerto Rico and establish a free and democratic Republic.

Ruiz Belvis died in 1867. Betances than prepared an armed revolution from Santo Domingo. He found communication with the separatists in Puerto Rico, which formed a chain of secret societies in Mayaguez, Ponce, Lares, Camuy, San Sebastian and Juana Diaz.

Meanwhile Betances gathered men, rifles and ammunition. Everything was planned for September 29, 1868. A statement was issued in Camuy alerting the authorities but the separatists carried on with the coup anyway.

On September 20, in Mayaguez, the conspirators agreed to begin the revolution on the farm of Manuel Rojas in Lares with the aim of taking Lares and San Sebastian and subsequently Moca, Quebradillas, Camuy and Arecibo. They had set the date of September 23, 1868.

At midnight on September 23, 1868, armed with rifles and machetes, horseback riding revolutionaries entered the town of Lares shouting, "Viva Puerto Rico Libre." The revolutionary troops consisted of 400 men led by Manuel Rojas and Matías Brugman. The revolutionaries took the council planting there the Lares flag designed by Betances and embroidered by Mariana Bracetti.

The rebels vowed to defend the freedom of the Motherland. They abolished the unjust system of books of day laborers and the slaves were declared free.

During the morning, General Rojas and his small army advanced towards San Sebastian but the Spanish had received reinforcements. It was four hours of fighting but the rebels had to retreat to the outskirts of town.

Rojas came back to the town to meet them, but many men refused and decided to return to Lares to wait for news of the rise in the rest of the island. El Grito de Lares was not a military success, but a failure. It emphasized the wickedness of the Colonial System of Puerto Rico and international public opinion of the desire for freedom of the Puerto Rican people.

Where does my indignation comes from?

My indignation comes, because the 4th of July is being celebrated by the governor's agencies in Puerto Rico, but September 23 whoever is absent to a normal day of work is seen as terrorist.

Where does the great "truths" of the Declaration of Independence goes in September 23? Are we some kind of species different than United States? They got their independence and we only a "Scream" called "Cry" against Spain it wasn't against United States. Why can we have our remembrance day...why could independence be for one place?

This is what americans labeled with the name of FBI did in a day where many Patriotics Puerto Rican wanted to do like they do the 4th of July in United States:

A day when Puerto Ricans were celebrating a day like the 4th of July

The leader of the Boricua Popular Army, "Los Macheteros ", Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a true legend for Puerto Rican independence, died in a shootout with the FBI during a long police operation.

"Definitely, Filiberto Ojeda Rios is dead," confirmed the Puerto Rican police chief, Pedro Toledo Dávila, having been informed by the FBI.

The operation to arrest Ojeda Rios, 72 years old and a fugitive since 1990, began on the afternoon of a Friday, when almost one hundred federal agents surrounded a residence in the town of Hormigueros, 150 kilometers west of San Juan. In the operation an FBI agent was wounded and Ojeda Rios' wife, Elma Beatriz Rosado Barbosa, was arrested.

The FBI never informed the purpose of the ongoing operation. The Puerto Rican police chief said that federal agents had located Ojeda Rios and were about to arrest him.

In the midst of a complete lack of information on the outcome of the police operation, the leaders of the Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP), took to the streets in protest, of what is already advertised, the "murder" of the leader of the Boricua Popular Army, better known as "Los Macheteros".

The governor of Puerto Rico, Anibal Acevedo Vila, complained about the secrecy of the FBI by the lack of information.

Why did the FBI disrespect the Puerto Ricans celebration with a terrorist act such as this? I am not judging Ojeda's innocence, only the fact of, from 365 days of a year, they invaded with blood, our celebration, when the 4th of July is celebrated with such colorful musical events.

Where does the world's problems come from?

There are many existing answers for this question but I assure that one of the answers lays in the invasion of other countries in the lust of power toward others. Where rebellion is lifted up and hatred is giving birth.

Election day is almost around the corner...independence or statehood? I have had my opinion since I was 20 years old. I dislike political themes for its lies and disrespect to the spiritual, human intellect and moral capacities.

If a country loves liberty and wants respect...let others love liberty and want respect! Thank God that His everlasting true words are left for hope:

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

Galatians 3:28
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Blessings to all!

© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


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    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      5 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      José M. Lopez Sierra, I apologize for not answering before. My computer and laptop aren't working properly and this tablet just doesn't make it same with all the political issues that our island as the whole world does.

      I do appreciate your input to this hub concerning our political status, I admire your perseverance.


    • profile image

      Jose M Lopez Sierra 

      5 years ago

      Should criminals be in charge of correcting the wrong they inflicted?

      Puerto Ricans vote in elections every 4 years at an 80% level of participation. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States (US) government for the past 116 years. If the US government has the final say in what happens in Puerto Rico, what is the purpose of these elections? The purpose is to fool the world that Puerto Rico is a democracy.

      The United Nations (UN) declared colonialism a crime against humanity in 1960. The UN has asked the US government 33 times to decolonize Puerto Rico immediately. The US government has refused. It says that Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States is none of the UN’s business. The US says that it is a domestic affair.

      To appear that the US government wants to decolonize Puerto Rico, it promotes the use of plebiscites to determine what Puerto Ricans want. Doesn’t that sounds innocent and democratic? So what’s the problem?

      To begin with, the international community already rendered its verdict and determined that colonialism is illegal. So to have a political status option in a plebiscite that favors maintaining Puerto Rico a colony of the United States is not permitted. To have a political status option of Puerto Rico becoming a state of the United States is also not permitted under international law. The problem goes back to the beginning of this article. In order to have free elections, the country must be free. So before these elections and plebiscite could be valid, Puerto Rico would have to first be an independent nation.

      What people must realize is that Puerto Rico is a colony of the US because the US government wants it that way. That is why it has used terrorism to keep it that way. That is why it refuses to release the Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar López Rivera. That is also why it is ridiculous to believe that decolonization is a US internal matter in which the UN has no jurisdiction over. If we allow the US government to decolonize Puerto Rico, she will remain a colony of the United States forever!

      José M López Sierra

    • profile image

      Jose M Lopez Sierra 

      5 years ago

      Thanks, Lastheart, for your kind words!

      Not true that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico

      The United States (US) government has made Puerto Ricans believe that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico. That is a lie. The purpose for that is to have Puerto Ricans fight amongst themselves. The plan has been a huge success! Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States for 116 years, and judging by the 80% voter turnout in the colonial elections, the majority of us has not realized that we have been lied to.

      In reality, there is only one option. The United Nations (UN) in 1960 determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Therefore, the only thing that Puerto Rico can do is to become her own nation. That means that the US must give Puerto Rico the sovereignty that the US illegally took away from her by virtue of the July 25, 1898 military invasion.

      Thus far, the US government has ignored the 33 UN resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. Instead, it has tried to hide these petitions, and at the same time appear to believe in democracy by pushing for plebiscites so that Puerto Ricans could decide between colonialism, being a US state, or independence (decolonization as required by the UN).

      The problem with the US pushed plebiscites are that they:

      1. don’t comply with international law that prohibits a nation to have a colony.

      2. don’t comply with international law that requires the empire to give the sovereignty it illegally took away to its colony.

      3. don’t comply with international law that requires that to have free elections, that country must be free first.

      4. have 2 options that are not permitted by international law- continuing being a colony and becoming a state of the country that has the colony. For the option of becoming a state of the country that has the colony to be considered, the colony must first become her own nation (decolonized).

      This is why we have to peacefully protest 3 times a year until the US government complies with the UN resolutions for Puerto Rico decolonization.

      José M López Sierra

    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      6 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks José M. Lopez Sierra for the update. I like the adverb you used "peacefully".

    • profile image

      Jose M Lopez Sierra 

      6 years ago

      Dear Partner,

      After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’ resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the United States government to comply with it.

      The facts that the United States government has maintained Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33 years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico. Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply with the 33 resolutions.

      We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until we achieve our goal. The first one will be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of Slavery Day on March 22. The second will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. The third one will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto Rico decolonization hearing.

      These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.


      José M López Sierra

      Comité Timón del Pueblo

      United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico

    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      7 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Jose M Lopez Sierra thanks! I will visit your website.

    • profile image

      Jose M Lopez Sierra 

      7 years ago


      We need to work together to decolonize Puerto Rico and free Oscar López Rivera. Join 2 peaceful protests until it is accomplished!

      Un abrazo,


    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      7 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      José M. López Sierra thanks for your visit, comment, interest in the land of the Valiant Lord, and invitation. I will visit your blog.

    • profile image

      Jose M Lopez Sierra 

      7 years ago

      Dear Partner,


      I invite you to join the non-violent protest to demand that the United States (US) decolonize Puerto Rico (PR) immediately. It will be on Monday, June 17, 2013 from 8 AM to 5 PM outside the United Nations (UN) visitor’s entrance located on 46th Street and First Avenue in New York City.

      The UN has determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity in 1960 under Resolution 1514 (XV). That’s why the UN celebrates every year a hearing about Puerto Rico decolonization. Every year the UN puts forth a resolution asking the US to decolonize PR. Despite 30 of these resolutions, PR is still the oldest and most populated colony in the world! It is obvious by now that the US is not going to decolonize PR just because the UN asks.

      Through education, we must create a domestic and international solidarity with this cause to pressure the US to do what historically she has refused to do. This is why we need everyone who also believes that colonialism is a crime against humanity to join the protest to demand compliance to international law!

      Puerto Rico has been a colony of the US for 114 years. The US’ intention is to keep PR a colony forever unless we do something about it. It is important to note that: democracy isn’t what a government does. Democracy is what people do!

      President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.” These ideas, of course, are the reasons why the United Nations was created after World War II.

      It is up to us to defend the fundamental human rights that promote world peace. The tragedy of doing nothing is that we will have the kind of government that we deserve!


      José M. López Sierra

      For more information:

      Compañeros Unidos para la Descolonización de Puerto Rico

    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      8 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks shiningirisheyes! I did not want to hurt nobody's feeling, your comment gives me the impression that my real message is in the hub.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Celebrations do belong to each country and the awsome history of Grito de Lares deserves it rightful due.

      You did well with this and I thank you for sharing.

    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      8 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I know themes like this get side tracked. I just want to make a call that celebrations belong to each country and the "Grito de Lares" deserves its cultural honor also.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 

      8 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      I do believe all Boricua should have the right to celebrate the Lares uprising. I also must say, I don't think it is Americans stopping it, but some actual Puerto Ricans who want to be American.

      I appeal to those who have lost their respect as a country and who totally rely on the U.S. that it is high time to move out from the United States wings and fly.

      It takes guts and people working together. Do Puerto Rican's have them?

      Great hub honey! Maybe some will consider their heritage!


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