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The San Juan Star

PDP Talent Bank May Be Nearing Bankruptcy

By Arturo J. Guzmán

July 21, 2003
Copyright © 2003 The San Juan Star. All rights reserved. 

My June 4, 2003 Star column ("The Queen is dead! Long live...the Prince?") described as follows the process to thrust José Alfredo Hernández as the appointed P.D.P. candidate for governor: "An ambitious and candid Hernández Colon, Jr. rushed and fell for the ruse that once and for all would settle Calderon’s old scores with the former governor and his family. A good future prospect for the governorship was sacrificed in a single selfish act of brilliant but obsessive vengeance and destruction."

We’ll never know if these comments had any effect in making young José Alfredo recognize his predicament, if it was his father or others that led him to reconsider and escape Calderón’s intended ambush. Who or what awakened him becomes irrelevant before the fact that José Alfredo fled. And fled he did extracting an even greater vengeance of his own!

I would never question José Alfredo’s love and dedication to family but I found that using his son’s health was a lame, shallow, and incredible excuse to utilize as the reason for his withdrawal. His son’s health condition and need for on-going treatment had been known for years, and they did not impede him from readily taking the bait. Once he was given a whiff he rushed to accept without the benefit of pondering Calderon’s evident motivation and the consequences they would force upon his prospective political career and future. That my dear Watson, is called over-ambition, immaturity and inexperience.

But maybe that’s the way his conduct was intended to be perceived so that the shallowness of the nomination would be repaid with the shallowness of the withdrawal to make evidently clear that Calderon’s ruse had backfired ensuring that in the end it would be her who would be publicly refused and humiliated. The later stages of this episode underscored reciprocal feelings that have been evident since that day long ago during his father’s tenure as governor when allegedly José Alfredo notified Calderón that her presence and services would no longer be welcome in La Fortaleza.

Now the name of the play became "The queen is dead, the prince has abdicated, and hell has broken loose". Who would become pretender to the throne? The much-touted P.D.P. talent bank turned out to be bankrupt, and the best possible excuse of a candidate that they could muster turned out to be none other than Aníbal Acevedo Vilá.

Wasn’t this the individual who had been unmercifully discarded earlier as candidate for governor and even more embarrassingly barred from seeking re-election as Resident Commissioner? Wasn’t this the same character that dejectedly wanted "time and space" to fend off fierce opposition from peers that were even denying him a leadership position in the local legislature, and the one who had meekly capitulated by stating that he was ready to settle for the mere position of lowly House member?

I am shocked and awed by the shamelessness of the P.D.P.’s bottom of the barrel candidate search and selection processes! I can almost hear their joy: Hey Sila, we lifted the lid and look what we’ve found!" Allow me the opportunity to remind you of who and what the P.D.P. has found and nominated for governor.

Aníbal Acevedo Vilá is a shame to dignified Puerto Ricans from all political parties and ideological persuasions. It was he who jointly with P.D.P. paid political lobbyists Charlie Black, Roberto De Posada, Ramon Luis Lugo, Toby Roth, and Jim Boulet of US. English, who designed, devised, implemented and participated in the campaign to try and prevent enactment of the Puerto Rican Self-Determination Act (Young Bill) in Congress by systematically denigrating and demeaning Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans.

Some of the tactics they employed were intent on creating stereotypes and images portraying Puerto Ricans as loud, uneducated, and intellectually incapable of learning English. Instilling the notion that Puerto Rican women became purposely pregnant to increase welfare benefits, using any means to convey that Puerto Ricans were unworthy of being accepted into the Union, etc., etc.

In summary there has never been such a dirty, lowly, degenerate, immoral opposition to any status process or ideology than the destructive effort led by Acevedo Vilá in Washington. I was there to witness it, and if it had been possible to charge those who commit moral crimes against fellow Puerto Ricans, I have no doubt Acevedo Vilá would have been tried, sentenced, and hanged for his abhorrent lies and denigrating schemes that soiled not only his opposition but the fabric and image of his own people.

The pursuit of justice often takes inordinate time, and it will be next year when an opportunity for a trial finally presents itself in the form of an election. You become the jury, and it is up to you to prove by the results of your voting if your sense of respect for Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans is truly stronger than any partisan, political or ideological considerations.

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