[News] Federal Judge Juan R. Torruella: “Puerto Rico is in a political apartheid…we need to organize a civil resistance”

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 15 12:00:35 EDT 2016


  Federal Judge Juan R. Torruella: “Puerto Rico is in a political
  apartheid…we need to organize a civil resistance”

September 15, 2016

Judge Juan R. Torruella is Puerto Rican. He is also the longest-standing 
federal judge in Puerto Rican history.

Judge Torruella has served on the federal bench for 42 years, from 1974 
through 2016. He is /still/ a high-ranking federal judge.

For 32 years (1984 through today) he has served on the US First Circuit 
Court of Appeals. Seven of those years (1994 through 2001) he was the 
Chief Justice <http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/juan-r-torruella> of the 
First Circuit.

Torruella is also a leading interpreter of what is known as “the Insular 
Cases” (/Balzac v. Porto Rico 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balzac_v._Porto_Rico>/; /De Lima v. 
Bidwell/; /Goetze v. US/; /Dooley v. US/; /Armstrong v. US/; /Downes v. 
Bidwell/; /Huus v. New York and Porto Rico Steamship Co./) and he wrote 
what many legal scholars consider the definitive analysis 
of those cases:

In 2013, Judge Torruella called for a general strike against US chain 
stores <http://elvocero.com/sugerencia-firme-y-decidida/>, by the 
consumers of Puerto Rico.

Over the past three years, his feelings have deepened.

Five days ago – on September 10, 2016 – Judge Torruella delivered a 
thundering speech 
to the /Colegio de Abogados/ (the Bar Association of Puerto Rico) in Río 
Grande, PR.


Here is a video of the complete speech 

This is what Judge Torruella, of the US Circuit Court of Appeals (1^st 
Circuit) had to say about the current relationship between Puerto Rico 
and the US.

The time code for each statement is also provided:

“The PROMESA bill makes our own elections superfluous, here in Puerto 
Rico.” *(11:20 – 11:27)*

“The principal purpose of PROMESA is to establish a collection agency 
for bondholders.” *(11:54 – 12:03)*

“We have a castrated government.” *(12:20 – 12:24)*

“The imposition of a Financial Control Board 
is the most demeaning, un-democratic, and colonial act in our entire 
history with the United States.” *(13:00 – 13:45)*

“We have fewer rights today, than we had under Spain in 1898.” *(15:50 – 

“Puerto Rico is in a political apartheid.” *(25:10 – 25:30)*

“From 1920 until today, the _Jones Act_ 
has cost Puerto Ricans $75.8 billion…which is more than the current 
debt.” *(33:45 – 34:10)*

“Thanks to the Jones Act, Puerto Rico subsidizes 27.7% of the US 
Merchant Marine.” *(34:20 – 34:45)*

“Puerto Rico is the fourth-largest market in the world for US products. 
Puerto Ricans buy more US goods per capita, than any other country on 
*(34:40 – 34:45)*

“We must unite and be prepared to take action. We must not be docile, or 
accept whatever is imposed upon us. (this was followed by a 45-second 
standing ovation) *(47:15 – 48:30)*

“We must defend our civil rights, and undertake civil resistance.” 
*(49:00 – 49:15)*

“This civil resistance 
is in the great tradition of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther 
King.” *(49:15 – 49:45)*

“We must organize a movement of civil resistance.” (standing ovation of 
30 seconds) *(50:00 – 50:40)*

“The most effective way to get their attention is through their 
pockets…and so we should organize an economic boycott.” *(51:15 – 51:30)*

“President Obama, I respectfully request that you free Oscar López 
(45-second standing ovation) *(54:15 – 55:00)*


As Arthur Miller once wrote in /Death of a Salesman/, “attention must be 
paid to such a man.”

*/All/* of the above statements were made during an hour-long 
speech…which was researched, written, and delivered by Judge Torruella 

The statements are not slogans from an excited college student. They are 
not threats from a left-wing radical, a “suspected terrorist,” or a 
person under FBI surveillance.

They are the words of federal Judge Juan Torruella, the second-highest 
ranking Puerto Rican jurist in the US.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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