‘The consequences of colonialism and conquest are both unnamable and undecipherable. That is why colonialism and conquest always bring up crucial questions regarding reading and writing, and of the use of language itself. ‘
… ‘One hundred and twenty years after the American military invasion, a century after the imposition of American citizenship to Puerto Ricans, 66 years after the United States manipulated members of the United Nations and other international organizations into believing that the colonial status of Puerto Rico had been resolved by the establishment of the Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico’ …. my country remains a colony of the once mighty, imperialistic US of A!!!
Eduardo Lalo delivered the following speech—“Unnatural Disaster: Puerto Rico and Hurricane María”—on June 15, 2018, at the one-day symposium Puerto Rico after Hurricane María: Culture, Politics, Place, organized por María Pilar Blanco at the Rothermere American Institute (RAI), University of Oxford, England. El Nuevo Día (Lalo’s column “Isla en su tinta”) published the complete speech in English; here are excerpts:
I write more than 250 days after hurricane María barreled across Puerto Rico on September 20th, 2017, more than eight months ago. Exactly two weeks earlier, another enormous hurricane, Irma, brushed lightly the north coast of the island, before veering west and causing great destruction throughout Cuba. Apparently, we were lucky then; after all, that was what people were saying in the streets, in the newspapers and radio and television stations. Time and time again, politicians and talk-show hosts repeated that our island was blessed. Somehow, hurricanes miraculously…
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