In this interview, I speak with Natalie Minoshka and Ínaru de la Fuente Díaz. Natalie and Ínaru are on-the-ground activists and citizens of Puerto Rico, and have been active participants in the massive protests that have swept the island for several weeks. Natalie and Ínaru provide some background on the demands of these protests, including what incited them, the historic size and turnout of these demonstrations, and what we can expect in the coming weeks. This interview was recorded Tuesday July 23rd, two days before Governor Ricardo Rosselló resigned.
After nearly 900 pages of private chat logs between Governor Ricardo Rosselló and several members of his administration was leaked to the public in July, the people of Puerto Rico have had one demand for Roselló: resign. The leak of these chat logs has revealed to the world and the citizens of Puerto Rico the truly abhorrent attitudes and blatant corruption the Governor and his administration have engaged in. For nearly two weeks, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans took to the streets all across the island, (with one day of the protests reaching 1.25 million participants, well over a quarter of the island’s population) demanding “Ricky Renuncia.” The leaks was "the straw that broke the back of a territory in the midst of its worst fiscal crisis in recent history, with rampant corruption and the sad weight of the more than 4,000 deaths from causes related to Hurricane María — mainly as a result of government negligence. These victims were the objects of the most obscene joke in the whole transcript.”*
This interview with Natalie and Ínaru was conducted just two days before Governor Roselló’s decision to resign, and this discussion with them gives us a glimpse into the powerful moment of collective strength the people of this island have demonstrated. Along with this, Natalie and Ínaru discuss what we can hope to expect in the future, as this struggle for the people of this island to overcome gross government corruption and incompetence by forcing Roselló to resign is only the beginning.
Natalie Minoshka is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, with degrees in English Literature and Office Management. Ínaru de la Fuente Díaz is a non-binary and trans activist currently studying law at the University of Puerto Rico, and is the co-founder of La Sombrilla Cuir, a project that helps visibilize LGBTIQAP+ youth, feminism, and queer theory from an intersectional standpoint. Natalie and Ínaru are citizens of Puerto Rico.
- The song featured in this episode is “Afilando los Cuchillos” by Residente, iLe and Bad Bunny: http://bit.ly/310qANy