October 4, 2005
On September 23, 270 FBI agents, with several hundred Puerto Rican police as back-up, converged on a farmhouse in the outskirts of the Southwestern town of Hormigueros with M4’s in lock-and-load mode with full metal jacket ordinance. They rushed the farmhouse guns blazing and shot over 100 rounds at Machetero leader Filiberto Ojeda Ojeda Ríos; three FBI agents were wounded when Ojeda returned 10 shots. Ojeda called out that he was surrendering his wife, which he did. She was arrested and taken away. As it got dark, the FBI cut the power and a sniper fatally shot Ojeda. He was left to bleed to death overnight without medical attention surrounded by an army of killer cops.
Public opinion has reached a boiling point over this cruel political assassination by imperialism’s killer elite. Leaders of the traditional bourgeois colonial parties (PPD, PNP, PIP) have expressed their criticism against the wanton death of a single man facing a small army of FBI agents. Many of them have called for federal investigations. The PNP mayor of the town of Yauco, a Republican Party Convention delegate, has written the White House in protest. Even the otherwise cooperative and subservient colonial government has called for a federal investigation, but of course would never challenge the right of the imperialist secret police to operate in Puerto Rico.
Ojeda has been elevated to martyrdom by the FBI’s action, lies and cover-up. Middle-class and petty-bourgeois nationalist leaders are promising a struggle of the same limited proportions as the struggle against the Navy in Vieques. (See Puerto Rico: For Mass Action Against U.S. Imperialism in Proletarian Revolution No. 61.) A federal Justice Department investigating team is already making the rounds in the San Juan government offices. The FBI central office in Washington has already expressed their satisfaction of a job well done.
Ojeda’s assassination has sent a powerful message not only to his nationalist followers but indirectly to the Puerto Rican working class, which produces over $30 billion of surplus value a year. Workers are overdue for a fight against to recent increases in prices and government promises of cutting the public sector workweek to four day. The murder sends the message: “We rule here and you stay in your colonial place or face our guns like the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The trade union misleadership continues to avoid the necessary call for a general strike against the capitalists’ attacks. They also fear the killer FBI, which has taken a more prominent role in harassing strikers, as during the water workers’ strike a few months ago. They impounded important union records and property and searched the whole island looking for alleged “terrorist” strikers who would damage the infrastructure.
Revolutionary workers everywhere demand U.S. military and police get out of Puerto Rico. The FBI actions show that the working class must arm and train itself for self-defense. Upholding the Puerto Rican people’s right to national self-determination, we join in united struggle with all opponents of U.S. imperialist attacks. As proletarian revolutionaries, we fight for independent working-class action, the building of revolutionary workers’ parties and the re-creation of the Fourth International, the world party of socialist revolution. Through joint struggle we hope to prove that only international socialist revolution can put an end to the vicious oppression and superexploitation enforced by imperialist guns.