25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

July 25, 2022

July 28, 1997

UNITED NATIONS — “We have come to denounce the colonial and imperialistic policies that the United States has imposed on Puerto Rico for the last 99 years,” said Raquel Rivera June 19 at the UN Special Committee on Decolonization. She spoke for the Puerto Rico Collective.

Cuban ambassador Bruno Rodríguez stated, “Cuba reiterates its solidarity with the brother peoples of Puerto Rico.” He said the Special Committee “has a duty to remain vigilant” and not forget the plight of Puerto Rican political prisoners. Both Rodríguez and Rivera spoke against the U.S. military presence on the island.

The hearings were marked by the participation of unionists from Puerto Rico and young Puerto Ricans in the United States, who were demanding the release of 15 Puerto Rican political prisoners held in jails across the U.S.

July 28, 1972

JULY 19 — A “state of emergency” was declared for the Attica Correctional Facility yesterday by the prison’s superintendent. Last Sept. 13 New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller shocked the entire world by ordering a murderous assault on rebelling prisoners at Attica in which 33 inmates were killed.

The current “state of emergency” has been declared in response to a peaceful “lock-in” by more than half of the 1,200 men confined in Attica. The protest began July 17. The July 18 New York Times reported that 900 inmates refused to leave their cells.

The prisoners’ demands were reported to be “revised work schedules and exercise periods and new clothing.” The same day the “state of emergency” was declared for Attica, the Maryland prison system was rocked by the third protest in four days. The July 18 protest hit the Prince Georges County Jail.

July 28, 1947

On July 20 Dutch troops burst into the Batavia radio station of the Indonesian Republic. With this midnight blitzkrieg attack, the Netherlands imperialist government launched its long-planned war of annihilation on the Republic that dared to challenge the centuries-old rule of the Dutch colonial despots. Similar raids were under way throughout the city. Dawn revealed thousands of troops fanning into the countryside.

The strategic aim of Dutch imperialism was to smash the Indonesian Republic and re-establish the despotic rule that enabled them to keep the Indonesian people bled white generation after generation. They had no intention of permitting this fabulously wealthy colonial area to slip through their fingers.

The Truman administration has consistently backed the Dutch capitalists. Wall Street has a big stake in Indonesia.