Puerto Ricans had a message to send to the King of Spain prior to his scheduled visit to the Caribbean island and it damn sure wasn’t a welcoming one.
According to the Associated Press, a statue of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León was toppled in the wee hours of the morning today (January 24) in Plaza San José just hours before King Felipe VI was set to meet with Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the founding of San Juan. While on the surface it just seems like a regular old statue of an oppressor, it actually carries some history in it’s own construction.
“The statue was made of melted steel from British cannons and featured the Spanish explorer facing south with his left hand on his hip and right finger pointed toward the first settlement he founded. The ruins still mark the spot of the island’s first Spanish capital and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The statue also points in the direction of the nearby San Juan Bautista Cathedral that bears Ponce de León’s remains and is a popular tourist spot.”
Police commissioner for San Juan, Col. José Juan García, told the AP that he and his men were patrolling the area when they heard a loud bang at 4:30am and found the status broken into pieces.
For years now Puerto Rican activists have been demanding that all symbols of oppressions and oppressors be removed from the island as they want Spain’s legacy be erased from eyesight. Though they’ve defaced and spray painted such symbols since, this is the first time a statue has actually been destroyed.
The move is reminiscent of confederate statues being removed and defaced in the US a few years back and though many racists and MAGAts were upset that Americans wanted symbols of racism removed from plain view, we doubt many Puerto Ricans will miss seeing Juan Ponce de León pointing to the San Juan Bautista Cathedral.
Should be interesting to see how King Felipe reacts to news of the topped statue.
Never forget, If it was up to Donald Trump, he would’ve been traded Puerto Rico for a white country.
Statue Of Spanish “Explorer” Toppled In Puerto Rico Prior To Visit From King of Spain was originally published on hiphopwired.com