Social Movements in 1990S Puerto Rico

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041564/00001

Material Information

Title: Social Movements in 1990S Puerto Rico Between Neoliberalism and US' Imperialism
Physical Description: 1 online resource (197 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Cortes, Jetsabe
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: Political Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Political Science thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This study is an attempt to show that two different events of social movements in the late 1990?s in Puerto Rico arose as a response to imperial domination in the island, but that the ways in which that imperialism was understood varied considerably between the two cases, resulting in very different outcomes for them. The cases under study are the sale and privatization of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company and the movement that sought to remove the United States? Navy presence in the island. The first movement failed to achieve its goal, while the second movement proved successful. The study shows that while both movements saw their origins as a response to imperial domination, the Puerto Rico Telephone case took the form of anti-neoliberal protest while the anti-Navy movement took the form of anti-colonial imperialism. In order to deepen the understanding of the imperial tradition in the region and the different responses to imperial domination, the study places the Puerto Rican case in a comparative context within Latin America. This was done by reviewing three of the most important contemporary movements in the region: the Landless Workers Movement Brazil, the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador. To show how the perception of the movements by the Puerto Rican population was considerably different, surveys that support the claims that the views on imperialism differed between the two movements were conducted among the populace in five different regions of the island. The findings of the study show that the civilians in Puerto Rico indeed understood the movements differently and that there is a stronger ?and longer- tradition of anti-colonial sentiment in the island than of anti-neoliberal sentiment, which helps explain the eventual failure of one movement and the success of the other.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jetsabe Cortes.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Anderson, Leslie E.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041564:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041564/00001

Material Information

Title: Social Movements in 1990S Puerto Rico Between Neoliberalism and US' Imperialism
Physical Description: 1 online resource (197 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Cortes, Jetsabe
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: Political Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Political Science thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This study is an attempt to show that two different events of social movements in the late 1990?s in Puerto Rico arose as a response to imperial domination in the island, but that the ways in which that imperialism was understood varied considerably between the two cases, resulting in very different outcomes for them. The cases under study are the sale and privatization of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company and the movement that sought to remove the United States? Navy presence in the island. The first movement failed to achieve its goal, while the second movement proved successful. The study shows that while both movements saw their origins as a response to imperial domination, the Puerto Rico Telephone case took the form of anti-neoliberal protest while the anti-Navy movement took the form of anti-colonial imperialism. In order to deepen the understanding of the imperial tradition in the region and the different responses to imperial domination, the study places the Puerto Rican case in a comparative context within Latin America. This was done by reviewing three of the most important contemporary movements in the region: the Landless Workers Movement Brazil, the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador. To show how the perception of the movements by the Puerto Rican population was considerably different, surveys that support the claims that the views on imperialism differed between the two movements were conducted among the populace in five different regions of the island. The findings of the study show that the civilians in Puerto Rico indeed understood the movements differently and that there is a stronger ?and longer- tradition of anti-colonial sentiment in the island than of anti-neoliberal sentiment, which helps explain the eventual failure of one movement and the success of the other.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jetsabe Cortes.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Anderson, Leslie E.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041564:00001

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2 2010 Jetsabe Caceres


3 To Alex, thank you for making my days shine brighter!


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I n completing this study, I am deeply indebted to a number of individuals. First, to my wonderful committee, without their guidance, insight and support I would probably still be struggling to write my first sentence. I wish to thank Leslie Anderson, my dis sertation chair. It is because of her encouragement, guidance and support that this study was completed. During the dissertation process she became much more than a mentor to me, I can only hope one day I can become half of the amazing scholar that she is. Thank you for pushing me to the limit and for never stopping believing in me. To Conor ODwyer, whose deep insights made possible to frame this study in a comprehensible way. I feel so lucky to have come across such an intelligent person who was willing to help me along this journey. To Efran Barradas, who made it possible to effectively place this work into the bigger hist orical context of Latin America and Puerto Rican politics. To Larry Dodd, words cannot express how indebted I am for your unconditional support and understanding through good and bad times during my doct oral student career. WonHo Park, thank you for all those sleepless nights helping me make sense of my data at three in the morning. I feel truly blessed for the support these individuals have showed me. I also wish to thank my respondents, for without their help this work would have never had come to be. I thank my interviewees for their patience and willingness to put up with me. Thanks to the Graduate School for their generous financial support for the completion of this project. My family and friends have become a deeply entrenched part of this project. They lovingly sat by my side and cheered me on when times got though. There were times when I felt like just giving up, but my son Alex was all the motivation I needed for going


5 on. His brilliant smile encouraged me to be the best mom I can be and to continue this project to be able to offer him a better future. My mother Nayda is the best mother in the world! My deepest gratitude goes to m y wonderful parents in law, Tati and Paul, for all of their support in good and bad times and for encouraging me to achieve this goal. Thanks to my amazing friend Aldo, who has heard me cry, complai n and get excited about small achieveme nts much more than anyone else has done Finally, thanks to John Paul for bearing with me through this entire process. He loves me; I have no doubt about it! Thank you.


6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 11 CHAPTER 1 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: SYMBOLIC AND MATERIAL POLITICS ......................... 13 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 13 The Movements ...................................................................................................... 1 4 Material vs. Symbolic Politics .................................................................................. 15 Social Movements in Latin America ........................................................................ 19 The Landless Workers of Brazil ........................................................................ 19 The Urban Unemployed Workers of Argentina ................................................. 24 The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador .............................. 27 The Case of Puerto Rico ......................................................................................... 30 2 IMPERIALISM ......................................................................................................... 32 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 32 Economic Imperialism ............................................................................................. 32 The Washington Consensus ............................................................................ 33 Neoliberalism .................................................................................................... 35 Colonial Imperialism ................................................................................................ 36 Colonial Imperialism in Latin America ..................................................................... 38 Cuba ................................................................................................................. 39 Guatemala ........................................................................................................ 43 Nicaragua ......................................................................................................... 46 3 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS ........................................................................................... 51 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 51 Social Movements in the Literature ......................................................................... 52 The Emergence of Social Movements .............................................................. 52 The Causes of Social Movements .................................................................... 53 The individual ............................................................................................. 54 Social factors ............................................................................................. 54 Types of Social Movements ............................................................................. 56 Characteristics of Social Movements ............................................................... 58 Stages of Social Movements ............................................................................ 61 Theories of Social Movements ......................................................................... 64 Collective behavior theory .......................................................................... 64 Ration al actor theory .................................................................................. 65


7 Resource mobilization theory ..................................................................... 66 Political process ......................................................................................... 67 Frame analysis ........................................................................................... 69 New social movements .............................................................................. 69 Social Movements in Puerto Rico ........................................................................... 70 4 THE VALUE ADDED MODEL ................................................................................. 72 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 72 The Variables in the Model ..................................................................................... 73 Generalized Beliefs .......................................................................................... 73 Structural Strain ................................................................................................ 74 Structural Conduciveness ................................................................................. 75 Precipitating Factors ......................................................................................... 76 Mobilization for Action ...................................................................................... 78 Operation of Social Control .............................................................................. 79 Differences in Perception ................................................................................. 79 Norm v s. ValueOriented Movements ..................................................................... 80 Areas for Improvement ........................................................................................... 82 Applicability of the Theory to the Case of Puerto Rico ............................................ 82 5 THE PUERTO RICO TELEPHONE COMPANY ..................................................... 84 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 84 The First Telephone ................................................................................................ 85 The SpanishAmerican War and the U.S. Takeover ............................................... 87 The Porto Rico Telephone Company ...................................................................... 90 Puerto Rico Communications Authority .................................................................. 92 The Commonwealth ................................................................................................ 92 The Puerto Rico Telephone Authority ..................................................................... 94 The 1990s ............................................................................................................... 97 The Puerto Rico Telecommunications Law ............................................................ 99 Meaning of the PRTC for Puerto Rico .................................................................. 100 6 PRIVATIZATION WINS ........................................................................................ 101 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 101 Background and the Unions Strike ....................................................................... 106 The General Strike ................................................................................................ 114 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 124 7 VIEQUES: A STORY O F COLONIAL IMPERIALISM ........................................... 125 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 125 Human Rights Violation ........................................................................................ 129 David Sanes ......................................................................................................... 131 The Movement Gains Momentum ......................................................................... 132 The Navy Leaves Vieques .................................................................................... 135


8 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 138 8 IMPERIALISM CONQUERED .............................................................................. 139 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 139 Analyzing the Struggle .......................................................................................... 144 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 145 9 EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE OF PUBLIC OPINION ON THE MOVEMENTS ............. 151 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 151 General Views on t he Protests ............................................................................. 153 Political Impact of the Movements and Repercussions ......................................... 154 Perceptions of Imperialism and Neoliberalism ...................................................... 157 Impact of the Movements on Grassroots Understanding ...................................... 158 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 160 10 CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 165 The Movements .................................................................................................... 165 Vieques Movement ......................................................................................... 165 The Puerto Ric o Telephone Company Movement .......................................... 168 The Value AddedModel Tested ........................................................................... 170 Structural Conduciveness ............................................................................... 171 Puerto Rico Telephone Company ............................................................ 171 Vieques .................................................................................................... 171 Structural Strain .............................................................................................. 172 Puerto Rico Telephone Company ............................................................ 172 Vieques .................................................................................................... 172 Growth and Spread of Generalized Beliefs .................................................... 172 Puerto Rico Teleph one Company ............................................................ 173 Vieques .................................................................................................... 173 Precipitating Factors ....................................................................................... 174 Puerto Ric o Telephone Company ............................................................ 174 Vieques .................................................................................................... 174 Mobilization of Participants for Action ............................................................. 174 Puerto Rico Telephone Company ............................................................ 175 Vieques .................................................................................................... 175 Operation of Social Control ............................................................................ 176 Puerto RicoTelephone Company ............................................................. 176 Vieques .................................................................................................... 176 The Model Assessed ............................................................................................ 177 APPENDIX A SURVEY ............................................................................................................... 178 B ANNONYMIZED RESPONDENT DATA ............................................................... 185


9 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 188 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 197


10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 9 1 Importance of factors in PRTC mobilization ...................................................... 161 9 2 Opinions regarding the PRTCs leadership capabilities to mobilize the population ......................................................................................................... 161 9 3 Importance of factors in Vieques mobilization .................................................. 161 9 4 Public opinion regarding the outcome of the PRTC movement ........................ 161 9 5 Public opinion regarding the outcome of the Vieques protests ......................... 162 9 6 Underlying causes of the PRTC m ovement ...................................................... 162 9 7 Underlying causes of the Vieques m ovement .................................................. 162 9 8 Probit estimatio n of the probability of supporting Governor Rossell in the 2000 election based on 1996 vote .................................................................... 162 9 9 Probit estimation of the probability of supporting Governor Rossell in the 2000 election based movement participation .................................................... 163 9 10 Perception of US imperialism as a problem for the island of Puerto Rico ......... 163 9 11 Perception of neoliberalism as a problem for the island of Puerto Rico ............ 163 9 12 Effects of social movement participation on importance of grassroots awareness ........................................................................................................ 163 9 13 Perceptions of social movement culture in Puerto Rico based on the PRTC and Vieques movements .................................................................................. 164 9 14 Future involvement on social movements ......................................................... 164 9 15 Effect of PRTC movement participation on participation in Vieques movement ......................................................................................................... 164


11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN 1990 S PUERTO RICO: BETWEEN NEOLIBERALISM AND UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM By Jetsabe Caceres May 2010 Chair: Leslie Anderson Major: Political Science This study is an attempt to show that two different events of so cial movements in the late 1990s in Puerto Rico arose as a r esponse to imperial domination in the island, but that the ways in which that imperialism was understood varied considerably between the two cases, resulting in very different outcomes for them. The cases under study are the sale and privatization of the P uerto Rico Telephone Company and the movement that sought to remove the United States Navy presence in the island. The first movement failed to achieve its goal, while the second movement proved successful. The study shows that while both movements saw their origins as a response to imperial domination, the Puerto Rico Telephone case took the form of anti neoliberal protest while the anti Navy movement took the form of anti colonial imperialism. In order to deepen the understanding of the imperial traditi on in the region and the different responses to imperial domination, the study places the Puerto Rican case in a comparative context within Latin America. This was done by reviewing three of the most important contemporary movements in the region: the Landless Workers Movement Brazil, the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador.


12 To show how the perception of the movements by the Puerto Rican population was considerably different, surveys that su pport the claims that the views on imperialism differed between the two movements were conducted among the populace in five different regions of the island. The findings of the study show that the civilians in Puerto Rico indeed understood the movements differently and that there is a stronger and longer tradition of anti colonial sentiment in the island than of anti neoliberal sentiment, which helps explain the eventual failure of one movement and the success of the other.


13 CHAPTER 1 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: SYMBOLIC AND MATERIAL POLITICS Introduction There are two main ideas embedded in the concept of imperialism. One side of the concept, the most commonly understood, focuses on the associations between center and periphery and the patterns of domi nation that stem from it. The other notion tries to explore the links between the nations of the center in the capitalist pursuit (Katz, 2001). Here I am particularly interested in the former. I attempt to show that responses to imperial domination and it s accompanying policies, such as neoliberalism (Petras, 1997; Bagchi, 2005) have frequently taken the form of social movements, especially in Latin America. This topic already has been explored in several countries in the region (Young, 1990; Escobar & Alv arez, 1992) and it is my goal to expand on this literature by focusing on a Caribbean country with an interesting sociopolitical history, which differs from most of its neighbor countries: Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has strong ties to the United States, which many consider one of the strongest imperialist countries in the world (Rowe, 2000; Wexler, 2000; Pease & Kaplan, 1992; Steinmetz, 2005). Its status as a Commonwealth of the United States gives it a somewhat privileged economic position when compared to its Latin American counterparts. Nevertheless, as it will be shown in this study, not all Puerto Ricans have a positive view of the U S and many resent its interventionist practices on the island. Furthermore, there is an almost even division between advocates of Puerto Rican statehood and those who want it to remain a Commonwealth. With the political elites who represent statehood and those who advocate Commonwealth status frequently switching power, one could reasonably expect that there be little le ft to do for the citizenry other than taking it upon themselves to advocate change by resorting to social


14 movements or forms of political disobedience, but that has not historically been the case in Puerto Rico. I will explore two social movements that took place in Puerto Rico during the 1990s. The selection of these movements is due to several reasons. First, there is not a strong tradition of social movements in Puerto Rico aside from these two cases. This represents a sharp contrast with other Latin American countries. Second, these movements took very different paths in their development and eventual outcomes despite the fact that they happened almost simultaneously Finally, these movements illustrate two different types of response to two different forms of imperialism: economic i mperialism and colonial imperialism. The purpose of this study is fourfold. It show s that there is a long tradition of U S imperialism and more recently neoliberalism throughout Latin America that in many instances has trans lated into collective action in the form of social movements It also illustrates the difference between economic imperialism and colonial imperialism in a collective action setting and show s that the tradi tion of colonial imperialism is more deeply ingrai ned historically throughout Lati n America, which has an effect in grassroots responses to political action. Finally, the study analyze s the movements in Puerto Rico in light of the social movement literature The Movements The latter years of the 1990s decade saw two unprecedented social movements in Puerto Rican history. In 1997, a social movement emerged as a response of a wave of privatization started by neoliberal and prostatehood governor Pedro Rossell. The movement focused on the sale of the Puerto Rican telephone c ompany (PRTC) With Puerto Rico being caught up in the globalization phenomenon that arose through Latin


15 America and the economic changes brought by it (Klak, 1999) the island started feeling the pressure of privatization and the Washingt on Consensus ( DeLamonica & Mehrotra, 2007) A second social movement followed soon afterwards in 1999. This time, the citizenry rose against U S naval practices in the island of Vieques, a municipality located off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. This m ovement took a somewhat different tone than the PRTC movement. While the anti privatization movement focused primarily on economic reasons and the fear of the privatization consequences, the Vieques movement took a more nationalist tone and focused primari ly on U S colonial exploitation of Puerto Ricans and a perceived abuse from the center. Material vs. Symbolic Politics The movements had strikingly different results: the anti privatization movement eventually failed while the Vieques movement achieved its goal of removing the U S Na vy from the island. I seek to explore the reasons why they took such different paths. Despite the differences, there were some shared characteristics between the two cases. Although one was primarily focused on economic reasons while the other had a more nationalist driving force behind it, they both had economic and national elements and a general negative conception of U S domination, albeit one (Vieques) with more strength than the other. In order to better understand these results, one can explore t he difference between material and symbolic politics The response to social movements in the island of Puerto Rico during the 1990s was extensive and diverse. Movements were composed of a rich variety of people of diverse backgrounds, age, different political views, etc. Several different organizations joined the protests, such as student organizations, teacher organizations, women


16 associations, public transportation employees association, truckers associations, among others (Broida, 2004). In the case of the Navy in Vieques, political leaders mainly from the Partido Independentista Puertorriqueo (PIP, proindependence party) and clergy leaders from both Catholic and Protestant traditions were among the first citizens to act ively join the protests and engage in civilian disobedience acts along with other citizens, and some of them were even incarcerated for these disobedience acts. In the case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, the movements were not as extreme, but they were extremely voiced and mobilized nevertheless. It has been suggested that the dynamics of collective action have different forms depending of the nature of the resources at stake that shape the way in which conflict lines in society are framed. They can be classified in terms of the distribution of material resources and interests (Sherif, 1967) or in terms of symbolic interests such as values, identity and beliefs (Azzi, 1998; Wolfe, 1999). Through symbolic politics (Edelman, 1985), movements can allude to ideas and values in order to create social change through collective action. This type of politics can be used to both challenge and maintain social order, but here I am concerned with the challenge aspect of it instead of the maintenance of the s tatus quo. Collective action may be measured by mobilization, protest, and rebellion. According to Alison Brysk ( 1995), the successful exercise of symbolic politics causes social change by creating a collective identity, challenging legitimacy and shaping political agendas. In the case of the Navy in Vieques, the effects of symbolic politics were much more evident in the mobilization and civilian disobedience that took place in the municipality during almost two years than in the PRTC movement. Despite federal government threats of incarceration and prosecution, people camped outside the Navy


17 fields for months in a severe act of resistance. Campers planted Puerto Rican flags on their tents and called the Navy foreigners that were taking their lands. Reli gious leaders appealed to peace and unity among the population in order to stop the violent practices and human rights violations that the Navy was causing in Vieques. However, I am not making the claim that symbolic politics were the only factor at play. As with most social movements, traces of both symbolic and material politics existed in the Vieques struggle and I will elaborate on this claim as the study develops. Material politics, on the other hand, refer to politics aimed at bringing about materia l gain or profit for the contenders (Harbers, 2005; Daunton & Hilton, 2001). The PRTC case fits better within this framework of analysis. Although some elements of symbolic politics and nationalism were definitely present on the anti privatization movements (i.e. banners stating Puerto Rico no se vende Puerto Rico is not for sale), there is little doubt that the driving force behind the anti privatization campaign was an economic one. Besides the loss of jobs, people feared an increase on telephonic fares and feared the economic impact of not having the telephone company be a government based agency on the island. The citizens felt that the new private owners would not have the kind of political pressures to maintain low fees and to respond to the national demands that the governments monopoly over the company had (Ramirez, 1997). Another issue worth considering is that the PRTC social movement appeared to be a direct response to neoliberal policies, which became common in the Latin American region during the 1980s decade. The effects of neoliberal policies, although highly contested, are relatively new to the region and might not have caused enough


18 grievances yet as to create a strong feeling of resentment among the Puerto Rican population. The anti Navy struggle, on the other hand, had been brewing on the island since the 1940s decade. Efforts to remove the Navy from Vieques started happening ever since the military practices began. Ismael Rodriguez a Vieques activist since the 1960s claims that the efforts of Viequenses to remove the Navy from the island started the first day that the Navy arrived1 The struggle was not new, but a precipitating factor during 1999 was the crucial event that finally caused enough mobilization as to remove the Navy This case fits perfectly within the long tradition of U S imperialism and domination in Latin America, and the effects of that domination are widely understood. A final issue for consideration is that Puerto Rico presents a peculiar situation in the Latin American tradition of social movements. Most contemporary successful movements in Latin America have appeared as a direct or indirect response to neoliberal practices. These movements, at least some of them, have been able to secure major achievements and have become forces to be reckoned with on their own right. Some of the most important current Latin American movements have roots on material claims although the issues extend beyond that as to include aspects of culture, symbols, moral identities, et c. The case of Puerto Rico presents an opposite picture. 1 Respondent #12 To better clarify this point, I will now turn the discussion to three of the most salient social movements in Latin America: The Landl ess Workers Movement in Brazil, the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina and the CONAIE movement in Ecuador. Although many more movements that are powerful have appeared throughout the


19 region, I lack the space to analyze all of them and these cases will suffice to illustrate my point. Social Movements in Latin A merica No I would like to point out that although I try to summarize these movements in a comprehensive fash ion, there is no way I could possibly make them justice through a short summary. All of these movements have proven to be powerful forces within the policy and to fully comprehend them a separate study of each one of them would be necessary. discussion of social movements in Latin America would be complete without referring to the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil. The MST is the largest movement in the region and often regarded as the most important one (Meszaros, 2000; Pe tras, 2002). The second movement I analyze is the piqueteros movement in Argentina, since it follows a somewhat different organizational structure and its demands are somewhat different from other movements in Latin America as will become apparent as the discussion progresses. Lastly, I focus on the CONAIE movement in Ecuador, as it is the largest indigenous group in the region and a very prominent one as well The Landless Workers of Brazil Brazils Landless Workers movement (MST) is regarded as the largest and one of the most important social movements in contemporary Latin America. One of its main positions is a claim against neoliberalism (Flvio de Almeida & Snchez, 2000) On its webpage, the quote We Continue the March Against Neoliberalism2 2 is prominently displayed. Up to date, it has more than 1.5 million members and is present in twenty www.mstbrazil.org accessed February 03, 2008


20 three out of Brazils twenty seven states. The MST was born in 1984 just as t he nation was experiencing the transition from military dictatorship to democracy. Although established in 1984, the origins of the MST can be traced back to the late 1970s when several thousand landless families established themselves in unoccupied land i n the state of Rio Grande du Sol. These families promptly received support from civil society and the Catholic Church, effectively pressuring the military dictatorship to designate nearby unoccupied lots of land to agrarian reform. The main objective of t he MST is to coerce the government into land redistribution. Several articles in the Brazilian Constitution that require land to have a social function and requires the government to expropriate any land that is not fulfilling its social function and utilize it for agrarian reform constitutionally back their claim The MST mission and main objective is therefore to find lots of land that are not fulfilling the social function requirement and then the members occupy it, making a case to the government that according to the Constitution the land should be legally transferred to those who can work it and make it productive. A legal process then ensues with a dispute between the lands owner and the MST camp. Sometimes they succeed in keeping the land and sometimes the original owners are allowed to keep it. Brazils land distribution is disturbingly disproportionate. In fact, it is the second most uneven in the world, next to Paraguay. Forty seven percent of the total available land is concentrated in th e hands of only 1% of the population, typically elites (Bartolone, 2005) The country is ridden by hunger and poverty which could largely be solved if more of the land would be designated for agriculture, instead as for pasture as is the case now. The Institute for Food and Development claims that 42% of arable


21 land is not cultivated and 88% of land belonging to landowners who own one thousand acres or more remains idle3MSTs strategy has been mostly through passive political activity, through the take over and settlement in unoccupied land but violence has at times marked some of their protests, both from the government s side in an attempt to halter MSTs attempts as well as from MST members. One famous example occurred on April 1996 when the national police shot nineteen landless farmers who were protesting in the state of Par, in which has come to be known as the Eldorado dos Carajs massacre ( Montejo, 1996) MST farmers have also perpetrated acts of vandalism against productive government property and have been accused of torturing members of the military police, although it remains unclear whether the torture was really carried out by MST members or outsiders. In addition to the taking over of land and settling there, MST is also known for their re gular road, railroad and highway blockades (Quirk, 2007) Three units compose the MST organizational structure: political, operational and legal It starts with nucleos de base which are groups composed of families living in encampments (ranging typica lly from 10 to 15 families per group). Each family is assigned membership to of a nucleo de base ad each nucleo de base designates two members who represent them at settlement meetings. These same two members are responsible for attending regional meetings in the name of their nucleo and they participate in elect ions of regional representativ es, the State Coordinating Body of the MST and the National Coordinating Body. It is a policy of MST to have all their elected officers live as part of the collectivit y in encampments. These representatives set the political agenda of the movement at different levels and once they reach a decision, 3 Institute for Food and Development, Policy Brief #8, August 2003


22 they turn it over to the operational unit, or secretariats, which then proceed to implement it. Legal units exist at all three different levels. Among other legal responsibilities, t he legal units are in charge of managing the MST budget, which is estimated at around $20 million per year (Kss, 2007; Karriem, 2009; Pinto, 1998). The MSTs work goes beyond the fight f or fair land distribution. Throughout its fight for agrarian reform, the MST has also learnt that in order to lead a decent life, disadvantaged families need more than land to cultivate. Given the limited resources of these families MST has organized itse lf through time as a very powerful organization that is rearranging the face of Brazilian politics. The MST has extended its claim beyond land distribution. They have created access to education, credit, healthcare and more for rural families living in pov erty. As part of their social reforms program, the MST has built schools in their settlements, (there are currently 1800 public schools that teach from 1st to 4th grade); are working with UNESCO and local Universities in order to develop a higher education program for thousa nd of rural teenager and adults. They have developed programs in teaching, nursing, communications and land management education for MST member s and have created small cooperatives in the encampments to process fruits, dairy and vegetables, effectively creating employment and income for several hundred rural towns in Brazil. MST has drawn support from governmental and religious organizations wit hin Brazil and the international community as well. The Brazilian Minister of the Environment helped them develop an Environmental Education program aimed at preparing educators and technical professionals to work for the settlements. Cuba has


23 also joined the MST in its fight for education, admitting forty eight students so far to the Latin America School of Medicine4Moreover the MST has been a key ally of the Workers Party (PT), a left wing political party who famously brought Lula da Silva to presidential power in 2002. The PT began in the 1980s as a socialist, anti imperialist party. However, they have progressively abandoned those origins, as party leaders continue to align with corporate globalism ideals Thanks to the role of MST in mobilizing the electorate, the PT has been able to secure many victories (Kss, 2007) I n recent years, the MST has been very critical of Lulas reforms and of the PT in general, who constantly finds itself surrounded by corruption scandals. It continues to accept support of the PT whenever it is offered, but generally functions as an external organization with no official ties to the party (Biekart, 2005) The MST has also been a strong supporter of similar causes in the international community, speaking against pover ty. It strongly supports Palestine, constantly calling for an end to the Israeli attacks. They produce Biona tur seeds for agriculture (organic seeds that are f ree of chemicals and pesticides) and send them to other ally countries such as Venezuela and Cuba in order to help them combat poverty and overcome natural disasters (Correa, 2003) MSTs work has proven that agrarian reform does work. They currently have successfully created over four hundred associations in the fields of production and commerciali zation, forty nine agricultural and cattle raising cooperatives, three credit cooperatives, two regional commercialization cooperatives and thirty two service 4 www.mstbrazil.org accessed January 11, 2008


24 cooperatives. These associations are benefiting thousands of MST members who had nothing to begin with (Correa, 2003) Since its origins in 1984 the MSTs has been able to legally acquire land for more than three hundred and fifty families, while around eighty thousand more families are at this time living in encampments awaiting for the government to recognize the land they currently occupy5The Urban Unemployed Workers of Argentina The unemployed workers movement (MTD) in Argentina emerged in 1995 by urban and suburban unemployed workers during the Menem presidency. Although there is not an exact apparent reason that triggered the movement, it is general belief that it rose as an opposition to the high unemployment rates and poverty that characterized Menems government. The high level of unemployment during the mid 1990s in Argentina, which was high ly due to neoliberal privatization policies (Zibechi R. 2008) gave rise to an economic recession in 1998 (Boyd, Gallagher, Lee, & Jouet, 2006) James Petra (2002) argues that not only economic conditions, but also sociopolitical conditions gave rise to the MTD movement, or piqueteros as they are commonly called. He claims that general discontent with the government because the three presidents that preceded the birth of the movement (Raul Alfonsn, Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Ra) had sold Argentinea n national holdings to foreign capitalists at bottom prices and also pardoned military officials charged with many deaths and disappearances throughout the country (Petras, 2002) The MTDs resistance strategy has been mainly through road blockades and general strikes, which according to Petras 5 www.mstbrazil.org accessed February 3, 2008


25 is the functional equivalent of workers laying down the tools of production (Petras, 2002, p. 12) By blocking main highways throughout Argentina, the piqueteros are able to paralyze the economy by obstructing the distribution and circulation of goods. The piqueteros motto is we are shooting the highway, it is ours ( Ogando, 2001) The highway blockades are not merely done through unemployed workers standing by; these are massive blockades that go beyond a typica l act of blocking. The Argentinean news outlets often show clips of the piqueteros in their acts of resistance. In one occasion, two former employees of the electrical company who were fired for no apparent reason chained themselves together and covered t hemselves up with oil. They demanded to get their jobs back or else they would set themselves on fire. Once the blockade of a highway or main road is arranged by the piqueteros, hundreds and sometimes thousands of citizens participate in the protest, inc luding women, men and children. They set up tents in the highway and even create soup kitchens for those participating in the demonstration. Whenever the police threaten the militants, more and more people from adjacent localities join in the blockade unt il the government decides to negotiate with them. They negotiate at the site of the blockade with all of the participants present during the negotiations. The structural organization of the MTD starts in the barrios. Each town has its own assembly, which is further divided within the barrios. The barrios are then divided in blocks, with each block having their own leaders and activists. All of the active members decide on policy issues and actions to be taken in a general assembly organized in the main municipality or town. All participants decide on which road to block and the demands that they are going to make in order to stop the road blockades. Their


26 demands are usually a number of temporary jobs by the government and they make a point of having all of the members participate in the negotiations because they distrust sending one or two delegates to negotiate since they can be bought by state officials with a promise of employment. Once they secure the number of jobs they demand, the distributions of said jobs is done collectively as well. Priority is given based on active participation in the protests and family needs. The impact of the MTD in Argentinean civil society is unquestionable. I n August 2002, a mobilization of labor and popular forces drew 80,000 in Buenos Aires alone. That same month, at a littlepublicized four day Argentina Social Forum, 10,000 persons all supporters of the MTD showed up to call for defeating US imperialisms attempt to annex or re colonize Latin America through the pr oposed FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) and US military control 6Although the main demand of the piqueteros is state funded jobs, they do not limit themselves to that demand. Once jobs are secure, they ask for state action in other issues, both loca lly and nationally. They commonly ask for the liberation of jailed participants of the movement, public investment in utilities, distribution of food parcels, state action on the pavement of roads and investment on the health care system. At the local leve l, their demands are usually against the neoliberal economy, which they want to reverse in order to return to state regulated economy (Ogando, 2001) Thanks to the work of MTD, over three hundred social development programs now exist in Argentina, most of them still working successfully. Since the MTDs beginnings, several projects have been created for the benefit of the barrios, providing food and employment, local first aid clinics, organic gardens and water purifying plants among many others. The MTD leaders have successfully replaced government officials in the 6 International Vi ewpoint Online Magazine, February 2003. Retrieved from http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article264


27 ruling of the towns and they have taken leadership of the barrios by de facto rule, given that their power has surpassed that of the state officials. This is significant because in this way they have been capable of challenging the state on the policies that they find need action (Petras, 2002) The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador The socioeconomic climate in Ecuador perfectly mirrors the circumstances for the majority in Latin America. Inflation keeps marching at a strong and steady pace while millions are left behind in a desolate state of poverty and unemployment. In 2004, unemployment rates hit an all time high at 11.10%7While the poor continue to get poorer, the ruling elites of the country continue to benefit in this disparate social climate. From 20002003, during President Noboas ruling regime, U S banks received almost 60 cents in loan repayments from every dollar that the government collected if the austerity measures that were part of the Washington Consensus went through ( McInerney, 2000) and according to a Reuters report, only 25% of those employed had full time jobs. Further requirements by the IMF as provisions for continuing loans were responsible for the escalating tension bet ween Noboas government and society groups which included peasants (mostly indigenous) workers and students alike. During this regime, the prices of most commodities increased dramatically; sometimes the increases were as high as 75% to 100% In this politically charged context, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE ) played a crucial role in spreading the protests across the Andean nation. 7 www.cia.gov accessed October 9, 2009


28 CONAIE was born in Quito, Ecuador, in 1986 with the objective of consolidating and integrating indigenous communities into the political process of the country. It represents about 30% of the Equatorial population (more than 4 million indigenous people) and is the largest indigenous movement in the region (Selverst onScher, 2001) The fundamental mission of CONAIE is to secure consolidation and integration of and for the indigenous communities in Equatorial society the recognition of indigenous lands and territories, access to proper education for the indigenous people, and a fight against colonialism. At the time of its formation, CONAIE s two main demands were land and education. The main target of their protests was the Agrarian Development Law This reform, implemented by the government of president Duran, was part of the larger neoliberal structural adjustment program that was underway in the country by the mid 1980s (Pacari, 1996) Similar to the MTD in Argentina, t heir resistance practices were (and remain) frequently carried through popular uprisings, road blockades and the takeover of government structures. However, it was not until 1990 that CONAIE achieved national recognition. This year they led a national uprising that paralyzed most of the country for a week. Two hundred Indians staged a hunger stri ke while hundreds of thousands more took over the commercial centers and blocked main roads throughout the country and refused to take their produce to the markets and shops. (Pallares, 2002) The CONAIE had a platform of sixteen specific demands that they were requesting government action on before they ended the uprising, which included health care, resolution of land conflicts, end of Indian exploitation, an end of the invasion of Indian territories by public and private corporations, a decrease in the co st of living. Military


29 officials were sent to appease the struggle but they were cautioned not to use excessive force. After a week of the uprisings the government agreed to meet with leaders and hear their demands if they immediately stopped their actions (ibid). The 1990 uprising was of historical significance because of its unprecedented mass participation and the fact that for the first time since its formation the CONAI E was successful in having the government address (although not fully resolve) some chief longstanding land conflicts and this is itself was a significant gain (Ainger et al. 2003) It was also the first time in the history of Ecuador that the President directly negotiated with indigenous communities (Brysk, 2000) setting a political base for future ethnic negotiations in the country. Similar uprisings followed in 1992, 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2005, following the lead of the first uprising in 1990. During the 1990 uprising, the movement received support from the Catholic Church and human rights organizations in the country. Thr e e distinct regional federations make up the organizational scheme of CONAIE: in the occidental region, members are represented by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) ECUARUNARI is the leg of CONAIE that is responsible for the fair representation of the Quiche Indians living in the mountain region of Ecuador and the coastal members are represented by the Coordination of Indigenous and Black Organizations of the Ecuador ian Coast (CONAICE). CONAIE has been successful in contributing to the downfall of presidents Bucaram in 1997 and Mahuad in 2000 (Zibechi R. 2005) It participated in a national protest organized by the Patriotic Front by blocking roads connecting the Andean Provinces. The protests eventually forced the resignation of President Abdala'


30 Bucaram. In 2000, when the government announced their plans to dollarize the economy, CONAI E and several other organizations in Ecuador staged countrywide protests, which included road blockades that halted commerce throughout the area, with major cities suffering the most devastating economic consequences. Just f ive hours after the uprising, military personnel requested the immediate resignation of President Mahuad (Chavez 2004) They also helped bring President Gutierrez to power, bringing down the Noboa regime. Although CONAIE has not been as successful as the MST and the MTD in achieving their demands, it has nonetheless had some significant achievements throughout its history. On June 1994, they were able t o secure some agrarian reforms and successfully gained electoral participation for the indigenous communities. O n August 1998, a new Constitution that recognizes Ecuador as a multiethnic and multicultural state and gives indigenous communities civil right that they did not have before was established. They have also been able to demand and succeed in doing so the creation of an Intercultural University where indigenous population can receive higher education, and have been able to halt Equatorial negotiations with the United States for free market treatises, among other successes. Despite all of these achievements, the Equatorial government has frequently made promises to CONAIE that never transform into action. CON AIE keeps fighting to achieve their demands The Case of Puerto Rico The preceding discussion has shown that three of the most prominent examples of social movements in Latin America have taken a more material than symbolic approach to imperial and neoliberal practices in the region. These movements have been successful, al beit some more than others, in achieving their goals. In the case of Puerto


31 Rico, however, the movement that took a more neoliberal and material approach to U S imperialism (anti privatization movement) was not successful in achieving its goals. The movem ent that took a more symbolic approach (anti Navy) to imperialist practices did achieve its proposed goal. In the remainder of this study I seek to prove that it is precisely these reasons that caused the different outcomes of the movements. As previous ly stated, Puerto Ricos relationship with the United States is one of privilege when compared to the rest of Latin America due to historical reasons. The anti privatization movement was not seen as imperial exploitation to the extent that the Vieques move ment was seen from its very inception. The anti privatization movement did take an anti imperial tone as it progressed, but the reasons of the actors remained concentrated on economic aspects and its goal was a quick halt of the sale of a national company. Since this was Puerto Ricos real first brush with the neoliberal policies of the Washington Consensus, the movement emerged as quickly as it dissolved. It lacked leadership and organization. It was the first attempt of Puerto Ricans to fight against eco nomic imperialism. The anti Navy cause, on the other hand, was brewing long before the social movement that emerged from it took shape. Puerto Ricans were well aware of the long tradition of colonial imperialism in the island and throughout Latin America. Furthermore, this movement came on the heels of the anti privatization movement, and the sense of discontent with imperialism was latent on the mind of the population. Before turning the discussion to the analyses of these two cases, it is important to di scuss the concept of imperialism and the literature on social movements. I start discussing this in Chapters 2 and 3.


32 CHAPTER 2 IMPERIALISM Introduction The term imperialism in its crudest form simply means domination or foreign control. Involved in thi s conception are two contenders: on the one hand the dominant nations, or the center, and on the other, the developing nations, or the periphery. With the current wave of globalization and free market practices sweeping the international environment, the t heory of economic imperialism (Lazear, 2000) cannot be ignored. With the wealth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet exceeding the GDP of the Dominican Republic, for example, it is impossible to ignore the inequalities between the center and periphery8Economic Imperialism Milit ary interventionism, a form of colonial imperialism remains the most common means of coercion by the powers of the center. One just needs to look at the current situation in the Middle East to understand this point. The theory of economic imperialism emphasizes the mechanisms of economic dominance that the center employs against the periphery in the quest of its own economic stability, rather than the relationships of political or territorial domination. Along this line, we in the fiel d are now constantly dealing with subdivisions of this bigger picture. Concepts such as dependency theory, development and underdevelopment are the order of the day when examining domination patterns and theorizing ways in which this control can be finally evened out. The Marxist positive view that one day the proletariat would raise and end the inequalities that surround the world does not hold in 8 For an excellent analysis of the imperial relations of dominations see Claudio Katz, Imperialism on the 21st Century IV Online Magazine, November 2002


33 this present day and age. If anything, the proletariat in the periphery just continues to be further alienated from the center and pushed into an endless abyss of despair. There is little doubt that one of the main forces in this reigning economic imperialism stage is capitalism. New modes of production are perpetually replacing manual labor. When that manual labor is still needed, the working conditions for those employed are substandard at best. This is more striking when we look at the nations of the periphery (Brown, Deardorff, & Stern, 2004) With capitalism acting full force and with no end or substitution to this market practice in sight, it seems that there might be no hope for those in the periphery. It is important to note that not all peripheral actors are the losers in the capitalist game. Latin America is the region in the world with the largest economic disparities. Political elites throughout the region have found ways to ally themselves with the dominant elites of the center and the wave of neoliberalism that has swept the region for the past three decades has further emphasized the gap between the rich and the poor (Wood, 1997) Starting in the 1980s decade, a series of prescriptions to help developing countries, especially Latin America, catch up with the advanced nations in the global race, a series of prescriptions were enabled. It started in 1989 with the Washington Consensus. The Washington Consensus The prescription for the solution to the lagging behind of Latin America in the global economy was born in 1989 (Williamson, 1990) with the Washington Consensus. This set of policy reforms outlined a series of policy measures that developing countries were to undertake in order to receive foreign aid in the form of grants and loans by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.


34 The Washington Consensus emphasized trade and promoting expor ts, market liberalization and limited government intervention. Restrictions on imports were not of immediate concern in the package. The policy makers behind the Washington Consensus understood that inequality would be a problem with no immediate solution, but they argued that it was a necessary step on the way, which would be eventually resolved after economic stability arrived in the countries (Stiglitz, 2003) Although the model was to be applied to all developing countries, it was originally tested in Latin America with devastating results (Burki & Perry, 1998; Haar & Price, 2008) The model specifically outlined ten areas of reform9 Countries should be able to finance budget deficits without the need for tax inflation : Redirection of public expenditures into previously neglected areas with high potential both for economic return and income redistribution Taxing restructuration system which would expand tax base and moderate rates Interest rates liberalization Ensuring competitive exchange rates Focus on trade liberalization Foreign Direct Investment liberalization Privatization Deregulation Allowing of the informal sector the opportunity to acquire property rights at affordable costs In Latin America, only three out of these ten reforms were pursued. Governments all throughout the region lifted their trade limitations, effectively liberalizing their markets and key sectors were opened allowing an important influx of Foreign Direct Inve stment 9 Presented by John Williamson, 1990 in the Conference of the Americas


35 to cover the area. Privatization became an almost standard procedure, although it was frequently used as another tool for corruption and patronage politics (Haar & Price, 2008) The recent wave of leftist government that appeared in the region since 1998 with the election of Hugo Chavez illustrates the general discontent that now permeates the continent in regards to neoliberal policies. Neoliberalism It is impossible to discuss the Washington Consensus without discussing neoliberalism. Simply put, neoliberalism refers to economic liberalization and free market economy, which has become the staple of the current globalization trend. Adam Smith (1777) first introduced the idea of economic liberalization in his book The Wealth of Nations. Smith proposed an economic model with limited state intervention. The United States quickly adapted the model, which became prevalent until the 20thAntiliberalization proponents rapidly emerged after the Great Depression, and new prescriptions for the proper functioning of the markets were put forth. One of the most prominent anti liberalization advocates was John Keynes, which proposed full government intervention in order for capitalist economies to succeed. According to Keynes, capitalism needed full employment, and full employment needed to be overlooked by direct government intervention in the economy. The Keynesian model inspired much of the developed nations economic policies from the 1930s onward, and was hugely influential in Roosevelts New Deal policies. century. Then, after t he Great Depression of the 1930s, it became obvious to some that economic liberalism was no longer the ideal model than it once seemed to be. However, with the capitalist crisis (Soros, 1998) looming during the last decades of the 20th Century, it became increasingly apparent that the Keynesian model was in need


36 of revision. It was during this time that a new perspective on economic liberalization started to take shape. It returned under the name of neoliberalism or new liberalism. Mark Ols sen (1996) does an excellent job of outlining the main differences between classic liberalism and neoliberalism: Whereas classical liberalism represents a negative conception of state power in that the individual was to be taken as an object to be freed from the interventions of the state, neoliberalism has come to represent a positive conception of the state's role in creating the appropriate market by providing the conditions, law s and institutions necessary for its operation. In classical liberalism, the individual is characterised as having an autonomous human nature and can practice freedom. In neoliberalism, the state seeks to create an individual who is an enterprising and co mpetitive entrepreneur. In the classical model the theoretical aim of the state was to limit and minimise its role based on postulates which included universal egoism (the self interested individual); invisible hand theory which dictated that the interests of the individual were also the interests of the society as a whole; and the political maxim of laissez faire. In the shift from classical liberalism to neoliberalism, then, there is a further element added, for such a shift involves a change in subject position from 'homo economicus', who naturally behaves out of self interest and is relatively detached from the state, to 'manipulatable man', who is created by the state and who is continually encouraged to be 'perpetually responsive'. It is not that the conception of the self interested subject is replaced or done away with by the new ideals of 'neoliberalism', but that in an age of universal welfare, the perceived possibilities of slothful indolence create necessities for new forms of vigilance, surveil lance, 'performance appraisal' and of forms of control generally. In this model the state has taken it upon itself to keep us all up to the mark. The state will see to it that each one makes a 'continual enterprise of ourselves' ... in what seems to be a process of 'governing without governing'. (p. 340) Colonial Imperialism The preceding discussion outlined one side of the equation in the imperialist tradition. As this study progresses, I will discuss how this economic imperialism has affected Latin Amer ican countries and its applications in the Puerto Rican context of social movements. I will now turn the discussion to the territorial domination aspect of imperialism: colonial imperialism.


37 Probably the most widely regarded origins of colonial imperialis m start with the European conquest of the Americas. It is in this context that Latin American politics have developed from their very inception. The first institutions that were established in the continent were already ingrained in a domination pattern, starting with the social castes that the colonization created. It was during this time that the first vestiges of class divisions and patronage politics were born, and remain ingrained up until present day. Colonial imperialism, of course, is not limited to the relations of domination between the United States towards Latin America. It applies to any relation of power where the countries of the center establish territorial and military dominance over the periphery. There have been many instances throughout history in which the complex dynamics of this relationship (Kratoska, 2001; Fage, 1976) have been illustrated. Militarism Military supported imperialism is one of the stronger forms of domination employed by the powers of the center towards the peripher y (Magdoff, 1970). The dominant powers resort to war when their interests seem to be threatened or endangered. The use of military forces as a means of keeping the masses under control has defined humanity in one way or the other since its beginnings. The U.S. Constitution clearly delineates that the civilians will rule, but it also allows for the presence of an active army, which can interfere in civilian or international affairs when deemed necessary. The U.S. has used these provisions in several occasions throughout its history (Kaplan & Pease, 1993). Since the 1800s, this U.S. policy of domination through armed force has been evident, mainly in the foreign policy of Manifest Destiny which sought to expand their social and political control of the nat ion and establish itself as a superpower (Weinberg,


38 1935). The first Latin American nation to be exposed to the policy was Mexico through the battle over political control of Texas. The Cold W ar years saw increased military expansionism in Latin America. In several occasions, democratically elected regimes were overthrown, with United States support on fear of the communist threat. Military bases flourished throughout the region and the geostrategic locations of these countries were employed to the maximum. The island of Vieques proved to be one of these crucial places for war preparedness. Although perhaps justified in their actions, these patterns of militarism in the Latin American region would contribute to their political development for years to co me (Masterson, 1993). Up until this date, traces of militarism can be seen in both politics and society Colonial Imperialism in Latin America There is a long pattern of U S imperialism in Latin America. U S military practices in the region have existed since the 18thA historical look at Latin America will reveal decades, even centuries of struggle, both within the countries and outside of them. Latin America remains the region with the most significant economic inequalities in the world since the ages of Spanish colonization. Distribution of power is strikingly uneven, wit h power concentrated in the hands of a few elites in most countries. For these reasons, among many other too lengthy to discuss here, Latin Americans have evolved inside a culture of contention and revolution, which often times are the only means of possible change available to them. century and continue up to this date. Neoliberal practices are the order of the day in the region, which is attempting to modernize and globalize by instituting free market reforms.


39 Imperialism is as much about power as it is about market reforms (Grondin, 2006; McChesney, 2001; Dello Buono & Bell Lara, 2006) Most, if not all, Latin American countries have felt the effects of U S imperialism. This chapter makes light of three of those instances: Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Many other countries can be described which make light of the issue, but for the purposes of my argument, these cases will suffice. The United States has been guilty of supporting obnoxious regimes for its own selfish purposes, notably in Latin America, the MiddleEast and SouthEast Asia Heater & Berridge 1992, p. 12 Cuba Cuba and Puerto Rico were both won by the United States as a result of the Spanish American war in 1898. After the Spanish American war, the United States drafted the Teller Amendment in a show of diplomacy towards Cuba. The amendment stated that the U S could not establish permanent control of Cuba and would only interfere in Cuban affairs if and when it became absolutely necessary. This was a marked difference from the cases of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, which were also conquered during the Spanish American war. Nevertheless, the U S occupation of Cuba extended for several years after the war ended. In 1901, Cuba became the subject of the Platt Amendment, which replaced the Teller Amendment. The Platt Amendment delineated the conditions in which the U S co uld intervene in Cuban affairs. It stated that Cuban land could only be transferred to the U S and granted intervention of the U S on Cuban affairs when the latter saw it necessary. Cuba was also forbidden from entering into treaties with any country other than the U S permitted the U S to buy or lease lands for military


40 purposes in Cuba and the U S was allowed to dismiss the independence clause that the Treaty of Paris conceded to Cuba, among other things. The Platt Amendment was a condition for the withdrawal of the U S military from the island and leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its people, which in turn allowed the first constitution of Cuba as an independent state to be drafted. The Cubans reluctantly agreed and in turn became a protectorate of the U S. In 1934, as part of the Good Neighbor Policy (Wood, 1962; Pike, 1995; Rhodes, 2001) of President Roosevelt the Platt Amendment was eradicated and substituted with the Treaty of Relations. The new treaty overthrew most of the provisions of the Platt Amendment except the use of Cuban lands for military purposes, although the only base that remained was Guantanamo bay and it still remains to this day. Tomas Estrada Palma became the first elected president in1902 and ruled until 1906 when a revolt that threw him out of power ensued. Charles Magoon, a U S governor served as a temporary president until 1909. The Cuban Communist Party was born during this period and for the following decades; the countr y was ruled by former War of Independence leaders until 1925: Miguel Gomez, Mario Garcia Menocal and Alfredo Zayas. In 1925 Gerardo Machado became president by popular vote but refused to leave office after his term expired, becoming a dictator. Despite t he rights to the U S given by the Platt Amendment, it decided not to interfere. Machado was officially deposed in 1933 and the country had no ruler for about six months. In September 1933, the Cuban Army led a coup that successfully brought it into power. Fulgencio Batista, an army sergeant that served as a telegraph officer was instrumental in the ascent of the army to power. He gradually commanded total control of the Cuban government with the support of the U S who recognized this


41 undemocratic governm ent and became its de facto leader. The Platt Amendment is said to have been in part eradicated because it would have limited Batistas power (Rhodes, 2001) In a reunion with Batista during the 30s, a U.S. Ambassador gave him extensive control of his government Youre the only individual in Cuba today who represents authority I will lay down no specific terms; the matter of your government is a Cuban matter and it is for you to decide what you will do about it. ( Snow, 2008) He became president officially in 1940 until 1944. Batista drafted a new constitution in 1940 that many considered very progressive for Cuba. Batista became an ally of the United States during World War II, collaborating with it in anti German security measures. Batista was succeeded by Dr. Ramon Grau San Martin in 1944, followed by Carlos Prios Socarras in 1948. Socarras was also elected democratically but his government was tainted by corruption. Eduardo Chivas ran for president in 1952 against Batista and was widely expected to win because of his strong anti corruption platform. However, he committed suicide before the election, leaving the Orthodox Party without representation. Batista seized the opportunity and took office through a mostly peaceful coup to which Prios did not r espond and was forced to leave the country as a consequence of these actions. Batista changed the Constitution to form a one party system with him as the leader and the U S quickly recognized his government as legit, seen in Batista as a strongman who was in tune with its economic and political interests and backed him with military support (Mason & Mason, 1997; Franklin, 1997) Batista became increasingly unpopular during his second term in office. He was seen as an ally to the rich in Cuba as long as he was being rewarded by them while the poor were completely ignored by his government. He made Havana an


42 entertainment capital where the U S s wealthy would come and gamble and party. He acknowledged that between him and his wife, they took 40% of the profits earned from Havana (Pike, 1995) Mason & Mason claim that Batista was a U S creation (p.87). He increased trade relations with the U S and imposed war taxes on the population. Popular discontent during Batistas second term in office increased due to his neglect of the poor and his perceived laziness as president and in 1953, a group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro led an attack on the Army barracks in an attempt to throw Batista out of power. They did not succeed and Batista ordered that the revolutionaries be incarcerated. They remained jailed until 1955 but Castro and his allies continued to gain popular support among that discontent with Batista, who at one point shut down the University of Havana due to the students opposition to his government. Castro and his rebels reunited again in 1956 against Batista and took over lands and redistributed them to U S the peasants, who in return joined Castros fight against Batista. During this period, they realized that the Batista government was coming to an end and decided to withdraw its support for Batista. They placed an embargo on Batistas acquiring of U S weaponry. Under the U S advice, Batista resigned, leaving a temporary government in place. H e fled to the Dominican Republic 1959 and never returned to Cuba. The temporary regime left by him soon collapse and Fidel Castro effectively became the new ruler of Cuba. Towards the end of Batistas rule, the U S was not hostile to Castro although it t ried to prevent him from assuming power but recognized his government in 1958. However, once in power Castro started expropriating U S lands and commerce in Cuba and the U S Cuba relations quickly deteriorated. To further add to the tensions, the US saw evidence of a CubaSoviet allegiance. The tensions between the Cuba (now


43 officially committed to Communism under the aid of the Soviet Union) and the U S conti nued escalating during the 1960s and were severed during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Divine, 1988) These eventually lead to a massive U S embargo in 1962 that cut economic, commercial and financial ties between the two countries, including forbidding travel to and from the U S. Guatemala The political history of U S and Guatemalan relationships s tarts with bananas. Bananas were undiscovered by t he United States until the 1870s, and quickly becam e extremely popular and therefore extremely important to the U S economy. In 1871, a contractor from Brooklyn, NY named Minor Keith traveled to Guatemala in order to build a railroad, but his plan was far beyond that. While constructing the railroad, he was also plating banana plants along both sides of the road. The bananas had flourished by the time construction was completed, and Keith started the proce ss of transporting them for sale to the United States and Europe, aided by the railroad he had constructed. The banana market proved very prolific and by the end of the century, Keith owned three banana companies. He joined forces with the Boston Fruit Com pany (BFCO), which dominated the northeastern U S banana market and in 1899 merged the BFCO with his companies creating the United Fruit Company (UFCO ), which became the largest fruit company in the world. T he UFCO secured an exclusivity contract with the dictator Manuel Estrada which put them in absolute control of the mailing system and the transport of communications between the country and U S. The UFCO also won a contract to build telegraph lines along Guatemala and rights to the construction of more railroads between cities and later formed the Guatemalan Railroad Company as a UFCO subsidiary. The United


44 Fruit Company eventually gained cont rol of mostly all of Guatemalas transportation and communications systems. For almost ninety nine years the UFCO was able to avoid, all taxes imposed on commerce and had the unconditional support of Guatemalan dictators, thus gaining a prominent place in Guatemalan politics (Shapman, 2008) The United Fruit also developed close ties to the U S administration, led by President Eisenhower at the time. The Secretary of State legally represented the company along with his previous law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell. Important executives from the CIA were members of the companys board of trustees. Public relations were conducted by the husband of Eisenhowers private secretary, Ann Whitman (LaFeber, 1993) The corruption of the UFCO was in full force during t he first part of the twentieth century, charging high prices to merchants for exportation of their products and raising the process of those goods at above global market prices. In 1944, the then dictator of Guatemala was overthrown and Guatemala saw its f irst democratic election, which came with the drafting of a constitution based on the U S Constitution. Dr. Jose Juan Arevalo Bermej was elected president and begun a progressive reform that focused on education and health care. He was succeeded by Jacobo Arbenz through another democratic election and Arbenz continued the progressive reforms of Arevalo Bermej, this time focusing extensively on land reform (Koeppel, 2007) Land distribution in Guatemala was extremely uneven. Ninety percent of the total land was in hand of only 10% of the population, leaving 90% of t he people with only 10% of land to share. Arbenz set out a plan to redistribute the total unused land among the landless. The problem was that UFCO was the largest holder of the unused land in the country. As pressure mounted, the UFCO started spreading allegations of


45 communism within the system Guatemala was deemed a soviet satellite, helping further the Allie s powers in Europe. As this was happening during the Cold War era, Guatemala was imm ediately labeled to be on the wrong side of the war and this unleashed the events that would eventually return authoritarian rule to Guatemala (Moeberg, 2003) The plan paid off and the UFCO was able to portray itself in a positive light in the media. A fter the success of the public relations campaign against Guatemala, the CIA carried out a coup dtat in Guatemala in 1954, which was coded Operation PBSUCCESS. The operation was led by a small number of American men but they convinced the Guatemalan government that a major U S invasion was under way. As part of the plan, bombs were detonated in strategic points of Guatemala and the radio stations were sabotaged. The plan succeeded in scaring the Guatemalans and the U S overthrew President Arbenz and replaced him with a dictator that would accommodate the political agenda to the UFCO needs (Shapman, 2008) Mike Lehman writes the CIA catalyzed a turn for the worse, even to the inhuman, for many Latin American governments by its actions in managing the Guatemalan coup. They provided the essential weapon for the modern national security state, the knowledge of how to organize an efficient apparatus of state repression and terror. (Lehman, 1999) Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas was a rebel opposed to the li beral reforms of Arbenz and forming a guerilla to overthrow him. The U S saw in him an ally and threw its support behind him. Born in Guatemala, he fled to Honduras in 1951 after a failed attempt to overthrow the Arevalo government. He played a major role during the 1954 coup dtat and under the CIA wing, he and his rebels were key to the detriment of Arbenzs government. He took office on July 8, 1954 and immediately reversed the agrarian reforms of Arbenz, retired voting privileges for the illiterate (l eaving more than


46 half of the Guatemalan population outside of the political process), tortured and killed many that he believed to be communists or assoc iated with communism in any way. Under his regime, the National Committee of Defense Against Communism, was created. President Nixon, still Vice President at that time stated in a 1955 visit to the county that: President Castillo Armas' objective, 'to do more for the people in two years than the Communists were able to do in ten years,' is important. This is the first instance in history where a Communist government has been replaced by a free one.10Castillo was assassinated in 1957 while in the Presidential palace. It is unclear whether the assassin was following orders or was working on his own. Desp ite his death, Castillo Armas continued to be replaced by dictators and the situation in Guatemala would remain that way for more than forty years afterwards. Nicaragua In 1893, Jose Santos Zelaya of Nicaraguas liberal party assumed office in Nicaragua by a military coup. He enacted a number of progressive reforms in the country such as land redistribution, health care and education among others. Since early in the century, the U S was trying to negotiate the construction of canal that would facilitate trade between U S and the Americas and Nicaragua was one of the main locations being considered. However, U S interest later on shifted to Panama and Santos Zelaya started negotiating with Germany and Japan to build a canal in the country. He then becam e a tyrant for the U S who feared that Nicaragua would build an alternative ec onomic system in opposition to its hegemony. 10 Daniel Schmidt, Today in the Americas, Castillo Armas assassinated. To the Roots online magazine, July 26, 2009. http://totheroots.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/today in th e americas castillo armas assassinated/ Retrieved July 26, 2009.


47 Out of the economic fears for Zelayas regime, the U S offered its political support to the conservative forces that started rebelling against Zelaya in 1909. The U S sent out warships to aid the rebels after Zelayas government killed more than five hundred revolutionaries, amongst whom there were two Americans. The killing of the Americans gave the U S the perfect excuse to just ify the occupation, claiming that they were acting to protect American lives. Later that year Zelaya resigned. In 1912, an insurrection took place in Nicaragua and the U S Legion asked the then president Adolfo Diaz to ensure that the lives and property of Americans was ensured during the insurrection. Diaz turned the coin and told the U S that he would not do that and asked them to ensure the well being and protection of the Americans and to extend that protection to the Nicaraguans. Following this incident, the U S marines occupied Nicaragua from 1912 until 1933 when General Augusto Cesar Sandino led a guerilla that brought the liberals back to power. Before the Americans left, they set up the National Guard. Among all of Latin American countries, the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua received arguably more support from the United States than any other country (L'Pearcy, 2006) The Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua started with Anastasio Somoza Garcia, a highly educated son of an affluent coffee planter who attended schools in both Nicaragua and the U S. He secured a political position in Nicaragua by marrying the daughter of an important Family in Nicaragua and quickly thereafter (in 1933) became head of Nicaraguas army, the National Guard, which was organized and trained through the U S marines and designed to be loyal to the United States. With the National Guard behind him, he overthrew the elected president Juan Bautista Sacasa (his wife uncle) three years after becoming head of the National Guard and assumed


48 office on January 1, 1937. Bautista Sacasa was mostly a puppet president and Sandino continued to exert great control of the country. The National Guard executed Sandino in 1934. Although Somoza assumed power under constitutional means, quickly after he was in power he started employing kinship politics and twisting the constitution in his favor, for example, ignoring the clause that forbad active involvement in the National Guard and government at the same time. He had renounced to his pos t as head of the National Guard in order to be able to compete for office but once in power resumed his position within the National Guard. Political opposition was tolerated as long as it did not intervene with the Somoza familys rule. The Somozas took control over the National Liberal Party, which controlled the judiciary and the legislature thus allowing Anastasio Somoza Garcia to rule over all of Nicaragua. In 1938, he announced his intention not to step out of power after his term had ended. He established a National Assembly that allowed him to remain in power and was governing by decree in matters related to the National Guard, bypassing Congress. He had the support of the National Guard behind him all along. Under Somoza Garcias rule, the National Guard saw his power institutionalized and eventually gained control over the health system, the radio and telegraph, the postal system, railroads, immigration services and the internal revenue service. He amassed a vast personal fortune. There is no doubt that Somoza was a brilliant and manipulative ruler who used his charm and education to continue gaining U S allies. He cleverly supported the U S during the World War II, in turn receiving financial and military support from it. The U S government confiscated German propertied during the war and sold them to the


49 Somozas for very low prices. Somoza Garcia benefited from the war by injecting his government into the global economy, providing raw materials and goods to the War Allies. After the World War II was over, global criticism against the Somoza dictatorship, even from the U S started to emerge and Somoza Garcia decided to place a puppet president in office to regain international support. His plan backfired and his intended puppet president Leonardo Arguello refused to be a puppet and started challenging Somozas rule. The National Guard staged a coup and placed a Somoza relative, Benjamn Lacayo Sacasa in power. The U S refused to recognize the new government and Somoza Garcia turned his rhetoric against communism in an effort to regain American support, although he engaged in communist practices in the country. The U S ignored his efforts and severed its ties with Nicaragua until 1938, when under diplomatic pressure from the rest of Latin America it agreed to establish relations with the country once again. Somoza remained Nicaraguas continuous ruler through his assassination in 1956. Although he was not officially president during the 19471950 term at the U S request, he continued to be commander in chief and thus maintaining his dictatorial rule since he assumed power until he died. Somoza Garcia was succeeded by his son Luis Somoza Debayle (19561967) and later by Anastasio Somoza Debayle (19671979). Luis was considered to be a fairer ruler than his father was although he continued the dictatorial legacy of his father, curtailing civil liberties and engaging in corruption practices. He died in 1967 of a heart attack and having no offspring, was succeeded by his brother Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Anastasio had held the position of head of the National Guard during Luis


50 rule and had a powerful influence on Nicaraguan politics. Contrary to Luis, Anastasio returned to his fathers firm ruling practices and was intolerant of any opposition. While he stepped down of his presidential term in 1972, he continued to be head of the National Guard and thus the countrys de facto ruler. He regained his presidency in 1974. He was becoming increasingly unpopular and was frequently criticized by the Catholic Church and human rights groups. By this time, President Jimmy Carter completely withdrew his support for the Somoza government and this was a key factor on its dismissal. The U S had continued to support the Somoza dynasty in large part f or its purported anti communist stance. In 1979, Somoza Debayle fled Nicaragua to the U nited S tates and was denied entrance by President Jimmy Carter. Banned from the U S he exiled to Paraguay, where he was assassinated in 1980 by a Sandinista commando t eam. This chapter has shown that there is a long tradition of imperialism in Latin America. This has created a general feeling of discontent throughout the region (Laclau, 1971; Galeano & Belfragi, 1997; Petras, 1997). In some instances, the population i s left frustrated and defeated. In other instances, as in the cases of Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador discussed in Chapter 1, the population responds by resorting to social movements. Puerto Rico responded along these lines. Before turning the discussion to the case of Puerto Rico, Chapter 3 will analyze the social movement literature in order to shed light into this issue.


51 CHAPTER 3 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Introduction Social movements comprise a large field of study in both sociology and political science studies. The study of social movements dates back to the 17thMany scholars have engaged in the debate of social movement s, offering their own definitions and ideas. However, there is no single definition that can comprise the wide array of ideas, purposes, origins and motives of every social movement. Due to this fact, it is necessary to start this discussion with some general reflections on the field. What are social movements? Why do they emerge? How do they evolve? How are they different from other forms of collective action? Century, when Lorenz Von Stein (1850) from Germany, first introduced the term to the academ ic field Von Stein understood a social movement as an aspiration of social sectors (classes) to influence the State, due to economic inequalities (Von Stein & Mengelberg, 1964, p.221) Rather than defining the much debated concept of social movements, it seems more plausible to present a description of social movements, their characteristics, what they try to do, and the conditions that give way to this phenomenon. I will start by giving a general definition, which by no means claims to be inclusive, of what is a social movement. A social movement is a form of collective action that stems from situations of strain11 11 The concept of strain in much debated in the social movements field and some scholars reject it altogether (McAdam, 1999) as a requirement for social movements. However, I believe that ev en if not evident, strain is an absolute requisite for the development and maintenance of social movements where people join each other in trying to change (or preserve the status quo in situations of unwelcomed change) the sociopolitical environment. Although all social


52 move ments are forms of collective action, not all forms of collective action are or evolve into a social movement (Crossley, 2002) Social Movements in the Literature The Emergence of Social Movements Different schools of thought have offered several different reasons for the emergence of social movements It is pertinent here to explore some of those reasons and I attempt to invoke some of the main arguments that different theorists have put forward as necessary conditions for the development of collective act ion into social movements. A social movement emerges as a response to structural strain (Smelser, 1968; Marx & McAdam, 1994) Structural strain can reflect tensions in the work place, the political space, the family or the social environment as a whole. T he strains experienced are concrete and defined. It is important to note that structural strain is always present and therefore the notion of strain as a prerequisite for social movements has been highly contended in the literature (Lemert, 2008; Macionis, 1997; Ray, 1993) Other scholars suggest that even if strain is always present, social and political conditions and structures have the capacity to control or repress the development of social movements and the groups need to be alert and prepared to engage in collective action at the right time. Structural shifts allow for the emergence of groups that are under strain and deprivation and did not have an avenue to previously challenge the system. These scholars contend that social movements cannot be explained in the absence of strain (Smelser, 1968; McAdam, 1999; Blumer, 1993) Social movements emerge either because preexisting organizations and social structures cannot solve a conflict because they cannot reach agreement or because


53 they do not want to pa y attention to the particular problem at hand that eventually becomes the goal of the social movement. Therefore, in this instance, social movements stem out of organizational deficits (Cobbler, 2004; McCarthy & Zald, 1990) New social movements theorists explain the emergence of social movements in terms of the creation of a collective identity that seeks to challenge the status quo in favor of a moral/cultural shift that would allow them to solve value or moral oriented conflicts (Laraa, Johnston, & Gus field, 1994; Petras, 2003; Dalton & Kuechler, 1990) These are only a few of the theories for movement formation put forward in the literature. Although many more remain, for a general analysis of social movements the reasons presented above should suffice. With variations from one another, most theories generally explain social movements emergence in terms of deprivation/strain, organizational structures and opportunities and collective identities. In conclusion, a movement emerges and consolidates because there is a group of people willing to challenge the system, because they see reality in a different way than the sociopolitical environment tries to impose and they seek to change that view. There need to be an avenue to challenge the system, if not, it is likely that the initial collective action would not transform into a social movement (Payne, 1972) The Causes of Social M ovements The causes of social movements can be either individual or collective. The psychological status of an agent might be reason enough to convince him to engage in activist behavior. The social, political, or economic conditions of a society at any given time can also spark the emergence of social movements.


54 The i ndividual The individual might experience different kinds of psychological states that might prompt him to become part of a movement to achieve a sense of uniqueness that breaks his obligation to an established group. This commonly happens when the individual senses a defacto belonging to a group that does not r eally support his specific beliefs, especially if they are unpopular ones. They can also join movements seeking for recognition and belief in times when feelings of isolation are present. The comfort that can be found by being part of a group can be more i mportant to some that the actual goals or values of the movement. Some of the causes that has been put forth as explanation for the formation of social movement have been negative ones, such as unhappiness with the system, deprivation and a sense of frustr ation. This appears to be correct. However, these feelings of isolation are not alone sufficient for a movement to emerge. It has been in fact proven (Lamar, 1979) that those groups of society that suffer the highest degrees of deprivation are l ess likely to engage in social movements. It is because of this that another concept has been introduced to the social movement and collective behavior literature: the concept of relative deprivation (Crosby, 1982). The theory of relative deprivation explains the feelings of unhappiness and deprivation in relation to other segments of society that are, in the mind of the agent, better off than they are. Relative deprivation has proven to be a more useful theory for studies of social movements. Social factors One of t he most crucial duties in the study of social movements is the delineation of the circumstances that favor the development of a social movement. For example, while women understood the lack of rights during the suffrage movement as a cause for


55 their depriv ation and lower place in the patriarchal society, they must have also understood that there was space for change in that society, so they organized around their common cause. Macionis & Gerber (2008) argue that ironically, these movements often times take place as a progressive advance in society occurs. Alexis de Toqueville found in a study of the French and German societies that while the social conditions were far worse in Germany, the country did not experience a revolution during the 18thThere is considerable scholarly variation in theories on the origin of social movements. Smelser (1968) and Turner & Killian (1987) agree that changes in social structures can conduce to t ensions and strains in several key elements of the established social order Strain is one of the most widely accepted components that lead to social movements. Here we can differentiate between normative and value strain. When a society experiences normat ive strain, they understand their environment as one in which the accepted rules and norms negatively affect the achievement and maintenance of crucial moral values. This can lead to value strain. At this stage, the changed values of a society are obstacles to the achievement of the greater societal good. Examples of this include the expansion of racial groups in a society. The new century, whi le France did. He argues that this was precisely the reason why. France experienced an improvement in their conditions, which gave hope for change to those in previously oppressed groups. The Germans did not experience these opening of opportunities and t hus remained relegated to their status quo. Similarly, successful protests in one place might spark further action in distant or neighboring places. A perfect example of this can be found in the FSLN Nicaraguan movement that aimed to follow on the steps of the successful Cuban revolution in 1959 (Wiarda & Kline, 2006).


56 groups bring in their own values and beliefs, which must coexist with previously established values. The clash resulting from t his expansion produces value strain. Types of Social Movements As previously stated, there is no standard definition or typology of a social movement. Each movement is unique and different scholars focus on different aspects of social movements. Attempts have been made at classifying social movements into several diff erent dimensions, including the objective of the movement (Aberle, 1966) the rate/type of change advocated (Killian, 1985) the scope of the movement, targets and range. It is important to note, however, that these categories can be highly subjective. In terms of objectives, movements can be categorized as reformi st or revolutionary (Crossley, 2002) Reform movements are aimed at changing norms in the system, usually legal norms such as the legalization of abortion, work rights or ecological and env ironmental laws. Revolutionary movements attempt to change value systems, which are fundamental in the operation of society. Some examples of revolutionary movements are the Civil Rights movement and the Ant Fascist movement. This categorization between r eformist and revolutionary is subjective, muddy at best, since many movements are broad, and include both reformist and revolutionary aspects. The type of change that the movement advocates can be characterized in two dimensions: innovation (Papadakis, 1996) and conservation (Castells, 2004) Innovation movements seek to make possible the introduction of specific norm s or reform with the goal of changing the present conditions. Conservative movements, on the other hand, seek to preserve the status quo.


57 Social movements can be targeted at either groups or the society in general or at specific individuals (McCarthy & Zald, 1977) Movements targeted at the society are more likely to become a political party or join a political party in the process that indi vidual focused movements. Furthermore, the mode of operation of social movements varies widely among the field. Movements can be peaceful activities (protests, demonstrations), or violent endeavors (mobs, riots). It is necessary to highlight here that act ivism in the form of protests, riots, etc. does not and cannot define a social movement by itself. M ovements usually engage in more than demonstrations, including, internal organization, planning and education, among other things. New social movements typ ically operate along the lines of peaceful activism, which brings us to another dimension by which movements are commonly distinguished: old and new social movements. Old social movements have a strong Marxist notion, which suggests that class struggles and social classes are the main agents of historical change. These movements are characterized for their emphasis on material benefits, such as improving living standards or achieving benefits for the working class. Labor movements are an example of the old social movements. New social movements, on the other hand, focus more on human rights, cultural and abstract ide als that go beyond material goals, but are not always completely separated from those goals. They became dominant during the second half of the 20thSocial movements can also be characterized by their scope of action and objectives (Ray, 1993) Global movements have global goals and purposes. They aim to societal change at the global level. Many gay/lesbian movements fall into this century. Some examples of new social movements are the animal rights movement, the pro choice and prolife movements and the third wave of feminism movement.


58 category. Social movements that seek change at the regional level are local in scope. The Landless Workers Movement in Brazil is an example of a local social movement. It is important to note here that local movements, even when their direct action is aimed to the regional level, often times extend beyond the local range and become voices of support for other movements in the global context, especially after they have achieved some gains. Characteristics of Social Movements Sydney Tarrow (1994) notes the distinction between social movements and political parties and interest groups. He defines a social movement as : C ollective challenges to elites, authorities, other groups or cultural codes by people with common purposes and solidarity in sustained interactions with el ites, opponents and authorities ( p.66) Several important characteristics of social movements surface from this definition. Among these are collective challenges, common purposes, solidarity, and sustained interactions. Collective challenges. T he collective concept of social movements is not hard to comprehend. As stated above, social movements are necessarily forms of collective action. A movement cannot be considered a movement if only one individual is involved in challenging the system or seeking change. Nevertheless, it is important to consider that certain individuals might be more noticeable than others might in collective behavior. Movements often times have leaders and activists that guide the movement and are differentiated from the ordinary people (Oberschall, 1995) The key concept in this part of Tarrows definition is challenges A c rowd gathered at a sports event, despite that they might be hostile or agitated towards their rival team are engaging in collective


59 action but cannot be considered a social movement because they are not challenging or defying an existing power or situation. Social movements challenges usually come from groups that are disadvantaged or powerless in some sense and are directed towards the powerful groups/structures in society or any other group from which they are claiming some sort of change. Common purposes. P eople joining a social movement have a common set of interests that tie them together and guide them towards action. Often times the powerful side of the equation in a social movement, that is, the group or system that the social movement is rebelling against has the means to crush the movement, by way of inflexibility, repression, or the like. Common purposes give the individual a reason to fight hard for their ideals. Tarrow (1994) writes: People do not sacrifice their skins or sacrifice their time to social movement activity unless they have good reason to do so. A common purpose is that good reason. (p.6) Solidarity S olidarity can be understood in different ways. Tarrow (1998) notes than an isolated instance of contention, such as a riot or a mob, is usually not considered as a social movement since solidarity in this forms of contentious is usually temporary an cannot sustain challenges against opponents (p.6) He argues, however, that sometimes these forms of contention can hint a level of solidarity or a common purpose but usually can be understood as the beginning of a social movement or movements in formation rather than a consolidated one since full solidarity has yet to be developed (ibid). Full solidarity, on the other hand, risks the possibility of punishment or repression in favor of opening the way for others to enjoy the benefits that the agent is fighting for. The action in which an agent is engaging can be very costly and it is possible that he


60 will not achieve any significant gains in the end, but nonetheless the agent is willing to run that risk so others can benefit from his actions. Solidarity thus, is the glue that holds together all of the participants of a movement, who feel that they are joined by the common purpose discussed above. Sustained Interactions. Actions started by social movements translate into processes. All protest instances start with periodic actions, but in order to develop into a social movement those actions need to become constant and extend through a period of time, whatever length is necessary to achieve their goals or until they are defeated by their opponent. Social movements frequently revolt against powerful opponents, which are difficult to defeat immediately and spontaneously. For this reason, Tarrow states that the social movements that have left a deeper mark in history are those that successfully maintained collective action against their better equipped opponents. Other scholars have referred to this process as the career of the social movem ent (Blumer, 1993; Buechler & Cylke, 1993) Along these same lines, Herbert Blumer ( 1993) identified five mechanisms that lend collective action a certain level of organization that helps it transform into social movements. The mechanisms he presents are: agitation, esprit de corps, development of morale, formation of an ideology and the development of tactics. Agitators. A gitators set the conditions to get the ball rolling in social movements. They serve to point out disadvantages in the systems for those people that might not realize the strain in their situation or create ways of channeling grievances (protests or movements) for actors that are under strain and aware of it but have no means of expressing their discontent. Agitators create social unres t and therefore, movements.


61 Esprit de Corps. Blumers concept of esprit de corps equates Tarrows concept of solidarity. Through esprit de corps, members learn to view the world in terms of the social movements point of view. They incorporate a sense of the movement into their behavior and their everyday lives, and are willing to make sacrifices for the movement Development of Morale. Through the development of morale, agents become convinced of the righteousness of the movement, which allows the movement itself to develop and sustain activity for a length of time. Morale gives agents a sense of purpose and meaning. Formation of an Ideology Ideology generates the beliefs of the groups, persuades participants to remain in the movement and detracts them for changing sides and be lured by opponents of the movements. Ideology also helps the goal of sustainable interaction. Tactics. This concept refers to the ways in which movements challenge their opponents. Participants develop strategies by which they or ganize their movement. Stages of Social Movements Both Tarrow and Smelser, among many other scholars (Macionis, 1997; Henslin, 2001; Price, 1982; Willie, 1983) suggest that social movements do not happen overnight and that they have to undergo a series of stages and sustainability. One of the most comprehensive set of stages is put forth by Moyer et al in their study of social movement organization (Moyer, MacA lliste, Mary, & Soifer, 2001). They identify eight stages of successful social movements: normal times; proving the failure of official institutions; ripening conditions; take off; perception of failure; majority of public opinion; success, and continuing the struggle. They concede that these stages do not immediately follow one another and that the process can take years or even decades.


62 Stage 1: normal times During this stage, a critical problem that violates widely held values exists. The power holders support the problem through official policies, but the operating policies violate the values. The public is not aware of the problem and supports the power holders. In this stage, the problem is not yet a public issue. As supposed by other scholars (Ingram & Mann, 1980; Blumer, 1993; Back, 1987) the public is under strain but has yet to recognize it. Stage 2: proving the failure of official institutions This stage is characterized by the use of official channels to solve the problem. During this s tage, many opposition groups start forming and in the process of dealing with official channels such as the courts, hearings, commissions, etc become experts, do research and prove that the system does not work. Stage 3: ripening conditions. During this st age, it is estimated that between 20 and 30% of the population oppose the power holder policies. The recognition of the problem and its victims grow. Local groups become visible to the public. Stage 4: t ake off: During the fourth stage, a trigger event that reinforces the movement surfaces. Other scholars also address the need of a trigger event in movement formation (Birkland, 2005; Smelser, 1968; Crossley, 2006) Dramatic non violent actions and campaigns show the public that conditions violate widely he ld values. Nonviolent actions are repeated through the country and the problem is put on the social agenda. At this stage, it is estimated that 40% of the population opposes the power holder policies. Stage 5: perception of f ailure. At this stage, the public sees the power holder as unchanged and policies unachieved Numbers at demonstrations start to decline and a negative rebel emerges.


63 Stage 6: majority public opinion: After the perception of failure, the majority of the population opposes the power hol der policies and the present conditions. It is important to note that Moyer et al acknowledge that a long period of time can pass between stages. The problem is put into the political agenda and the public promotes alternatives. A retrigger event happens which brings stage four back to the game for a short period of time. The power holder promotes publics fear of the alternatives and activism. This instance can be explained by one aspect of the Political Process Theory (McAdam, 1999) that states struct ural opportunities as key to social movements. If the government succeeds in creating fear, the public will find themselves with no avenue for contention and the movement could deteriorate. Stage 7: s uccess. A large majority opposes the power holder polic ies and no longer fears the repercussions of their actions. Many power holders split and change positions, and policies eventually change, stemming from the power holders conviction that it would be more costly to maintain old policies in terms of social unrest and potential rebellion than substitute them for new ones. The power holder will try to make minimal reform, while the public demands social change. Stage 8: cont inuing the struggle. The group celebrates its achievements and try to extend them. They also start focusing on other subissues. As interesting as these stages are, they only serve to describe successful social movements. While recognizing that each mov ement follows a unique trajectory, a more generalized and generally accepted model (Blumer, 1993; Tilly, 1978; Macionis, 1999) comprises four stages of movements development: (1) emergence, (2) coalescence, (3) bureaucratization, and (4) decline. Blumer adds a fifth category, which includes


64 success/failure/cooptation/ repression/go mainstream. They define these categories as follows: Emergence: the source of strain and the problem are identified. People realize that not all is well and seek a solution to t he problem. Coalescence: resources are mobilized and concrete action is taken to address the problem. The movement defines itself and develops strategies both for recruiting members and to maintain the members it already has. Bureaucratization: The movem ent becomes organized and established. Success/failure/cooptation/ repression/go mainstream: the movement then takes any of these forms. Decl ine: S everal reasons can cause decline, each one unique to the specif ic movement: resources dry up; the group face s overwhelming opposition; or the members achieve their goals or at least some of their goals and lose interest. Theories of Social Movements Many theories of social movements have surfaced since the study of this phenomenon became prominent in academia. Theories vary in their conception of the agent, societal structures, movement formation, movement objectives, etc. This section presents some of the most prominent theories in the field. Collective behavior t heory Marx and McAdam (1994) offer a good source for c ollective behavior study, but they do not provide a definition. Gamson (1975) is also helpful but not definitive. Neil Smelser put forward the most comprehensive work on co llective behavior theory forward in 1963. Smelser defines collective behav ior as: mobilization on the basis of a belief which redefines social action ... it involves a belief in the existenc e of extraordinary forces and an assessment of extraordinary consequences which will follow if the collective attempt to reconstitute s ocial action is successful. Collective behavior is not institutionalized. ( p.15)


65 Most of the scholars of collective behavior t heory suppose that that collective behavior is irrational extrainstitu tional behavior. Also known as d eprivation t heory, Collecti ve Behavior departs from the notion that in order for agents to engage in collective action must be under situations of strain and grievances (Blumer, 1993) Although similar, distinctions exist between collective behavior and collective action. Tilly (1 986) defines collective action as "people acting together on shared interests" (p. 381). Collective action is, at least, a claim made on behalf of an actor, in defense of a ( purportedly ) shared interest. Usually, this is political, in a broad or narrow sense of that term. In addition, it is organized, at least in the limited sense that a category of persons (the constituency) have routine access to each other (and thus form a network). The main distinction between collective action and collective behav ior lies in the concept of rationality. Collective behavior is irrational, expressive, and unrealistic Collective action is a rational effort to defend or promote a collective interest. Generally, collective behavior theories focus on disorganization an d the breakdown of social control (from the perspective of authorities). Collective action theories focus on organization and opportunity/threat (from the perspective of challengers). Marx and McAdam (1994) suggest that collective behavior and collective action may be elements in the emergent phenomena of panics, fads, disasters, and political protest. They suggest that social movement theory has moved too far in the direction of collective action theory and too far away from collective behavior theory. Rational actor t heory Rational choice theory (Elster, 1986; Olson, 1965; Downs, 1994) focuses on the patterns of thought that an individual makes when confronted by different possible


66 options to follow. It focuses on rational thought as the guiding mechani sm behind these choices, or as a predictor of the choices that will be made. It is often applied to the individual, but also to the collectivity. The problem that arises with this notion is the conception of the rational. Most definitions of rational behavior are mechanical, almost a mathematical formulation of cost benefit behavior. Criticisms of this rational pattern of behavior focus around the idea that when describing choices in this calculated way, scholars are bound to make assumptions that are not completely realistic. For example, rational choice assumes that the agent has full knowledge about all of the possible choices that he can make. A further charge is that even if that was the case, the model assumes that the individual has unlimited amount of time to decide among these possible options at his disposition. These assumptions have come under serious scrutiny (Crossley, 2002) A more fitting model seems to be that of bounded rationality (Simon, 1991; Kahneman, 2000) The bounded rationality model still draws on the notion that decisions are made rationally using the cost benefit analysis pattern, but takes into account the limited amount of knowledge and information that the individual has in relation to his world. The bounded rationality idea is best explained by Herbert Simon (1991) He argues that any given individual is a mixture of rational and irrational, with the irrational part and emotions making up for most of their thoughts and actions. H e writes that: bounded rational agents experience limits in formulating and solving complex problems and in processing (receiving, storing, retriev ing, transmitting) information. (p.188) Resource mobilization t heory Resource mobilization t heory (RM) center s around relative processes that provide for the recognition of the structural conduciveness for social movement action. In this


67 theory, the actor is almost static and it is the amount of resources that they can allocate and mobilize what matters in movement formation and effect. Resource Mobilization For RM theorists, movements that emerge in more affluent societies are ahead of those movements that are based on less developed ones. This is because advanced societies tend to have not only more material res ources in the form of money, but also an upper middle class willing to lend their money and influence over the less well off masses. Resource mobilization theory sees the middle class as the most important actor for movement activity. theory ids highly rational, explaining movements based on their strategic goals and the amount of activity they are willing to employ (Tilly, 1985). The origins and outcomes of the movement, thus, are explained in a game of negotiation and power domination and influence. More advanced societi es also have systemic resources that can help the movement. For example: better communication networks, such as media, telephones, internets. The actors under the resource mobilization theory are well aware that all of these resources are out there and str ategically seek to use them for their own interests. They also form coalitions with social organizations that can help them further their goals. Political process The theory of political process (McAdam, 1982) claims that three crucial factors affect soc ial movement. These are insurgent consciousness, organizational strength, and political opportunities. From these factors, the one that mostly ties up to the collective heavier theories of strain is that of i nsurgent consciousness It starts with individua ls feeling that they are being wronged or treated unjustly by society. When that


68 feeling extends into the collectivity, it refers to the realization by the combination of individuals that it is not their fault that their situation is what it is. It then becomes a collective understanding that the problem lies within the system and that it needs to be remedied. This understanding provides the basis for movement formation. Organizational strength derives from the resource mobilization theory. It claims that no movement can be successful in the absence of strong leaders willing to guide it and if the movement lacks the necessary resources to flourish, it cannot move forward. The third factor, political opportunity is the most crucial part of political proce ss theory. It refers to the existence of channels through which the movement can reach and change the status quo. In the absence of these avenues, the movement cannot and will not be successful. For example, in his study of black insurgency during the Civ il Rights movement, McAdam (1982) finds that the rise and fall of the movement can be explained by looking at the avenues for challenge and lack thereof during the 19301970 eras Political opportunity theory departs from resource mobilization theory in t hat it does not see the movement as powerless in the absence of resources. Similarly to resource mobilization, political process is a rational theory. It does acknowledge the necessity for resources, but contrary to resource mobilization, the resources need not be external. They can be found within the movement. Doug McAdam (1982) has been largely credited with being the force behind the political process theory, but the model has been studied even before McAdams model came to light. Peter Einsenger (1973) sought to find out why there seemed to be a bigger concentration of movements against poverty and racism in some cities than in other in United States. His conclusion was that those cities that experienced


69 movements to a larger scale had better opportuni ties for challenging the system than those who saw limited mobilization. These could be found in the form of laws or regulations, or through weaker leaders. Political process theory sees agents not reacting out of deprivation or isolation alone. Rather, these are rational beings that react to failures of the system around them. In a way, activism in the political process model can be seen as a response to deprivations brought about by their sociopolitical context. If the system allows for it, the movement can be successful, providing that other conditions are also met. Frame analysis The concept of frames in studies of social movements derives from the efforts of sociologist Erving Goff man (1974) to explain how perception affects interpretation by the agents. Frames are symbolic windows through which the individual sees his world, and the ways in which agents frame their environment varies from person to person. The same experiences lived by two different ages are not going to be understood equally by them. They had to be understood in terms of the thinking processes that they are engaged in and their experiences lived throughout their existence. New social m ovements The new movements that have emerged roughly from the late 1950 s onwards throughout Wes tern societies are commonly understood as being different from the traditional movement culture that permeated during the first part of the 20th century in which the movements followed a Marxist ideology and relations of contention commonly centered around issues on the workplace. Ronald Inglehart (1977) attributes the change in values on the economic stability that emerged midcentury. His argument centers around the fact that newer generations did not have to go through the same economic


70 hardships that preceding generations did during the Great Depression and thus a new culture emerged which is more preoccupied with post materialist issues. These new movements focus on collective identity, culture, moral issues, environmental and societal relations (Kend all, 2005) Social Movements in Puerto Rico My purpose on this study is to show that social movements as a response to Imperial practices in the island of Puerto Rico followed different paths. One movement (PRTC) was primarily focu sed on economic imperialism while the other (Vieques) was centered on colonial imperialism. Despite of a relatively homogeneous population, confined within small territory mobilization efforts differed significantly. In the case of the PRTC, a material focus gave way t o structural approaches, better explained by rational actor, resource mobilization and political process theories. As shown by the agents emphasis on the economic strains that the sale of the PRTC would immediately cause, the citizens primarily mobilized rationally in terms of cost benefit assessments of their conditions. The unionists strike and the general strike that followed were able to secure resources in terms of money donated by the general public. One factor that might explain the failure of this movement was that the crucial factor of political opportunity of the political process approach was missing. The resistance of the then Governor of the island to negotiate with the strikers since the very beginning halted any potential for change that the movement had. Chapter 6 explains these claims in much more detail. The Vieques case, on the other hand, which followed a more symbolic approach, can be better explai ned by more emotional theories. In particular, the collective behavior theories whic h see strain as a necessary condition for social


71 movements and where periods of social breakdown lead to the mobilization of masses and in the process gives them a feeling of belonging and cultural redefinition (Macionis, 2003). The cultural aspect of new social movements theory is also highlighted in the Vieques movement: In a cultural context, social movements are originated by a group of people who believe in some just cause, and eventually this movement becomes a symbol of pride, power and justice (Ryan and Gamson, 2006). Also of importance, is that structural conduciveness similar to political opportunity was present in the case of Vieques, which found support even from the government and political elites. Despite the fact that both moments arose as a response to exploitation, the case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company was a more rational movement that lacked the structural conduciveness and political opportunities necessary for successful collective action, while the case of Vieques follows along the lines of more irrational theories such as collective behavior. This is exemplified by the acts of civ il disobedience, where people did not take into account cost benefits, risking even going to jail in the name of their values. This irrationalism and the failure of social agents of control such as the police to halt them only caused more collective act ion. Neil Smelsers value added model seems to perfectly explain the different outcomes of these movements. In Chapter 4, I will discuss this theory in depth and in the Chapter 10 I will explain how it relates to the Puerto Rican case.


72 CHAPTE R 4 THE VALUE ADDED MODEL Introduction No assessment of the field of collective behavior and social movements would be complete without considering the valueadded theory of Neil Smelser (1963).12Among all of the works than have attempted to make use and test Smelsers, the most ambitious one has probably been carried out by Maurice Pinard (1971) Pinards study is framed within Smelsers structural theory, although with some modifications. The study analyzes the ascendance to power of a political party in Canada during the federal election of 1993. His study highlights the applicability of the valueadded model in p resent day politics. Although not without its problems, his work has prompted mor e research in the field of social movements than any other work Smelser successfully broke barriers by introducing a sociological rather than psychological approach when the latter made up a significant portion of the dominant theories in the field. His w ork is highly methodical a structural, borrowing from economic theory, a certain oddity for his times Since the valueadded model became known many more works have emerged along the sociological theory that he put forth. Nevertheless, he still borrows significantly from conventional psychological approaches (Waddington & King, 2005) The theory was again tested by Zurcher et al (1971) in a study that analyzes the anti pornography movement. They found the theory only partiall y applicable and Smelser later borrowed from their model in one of his own studies. In 1968, Kerckhoff & Back applied the theory to a study of hysterical contagion. Rudwick & Meier (1972) 12 Marx & Wood (1975) do an outstanding job of reviewing the theory, which served as a reference point for several of the studies reviewed in this chapter


73 tested the model when trying to explain the Kent State crisis. In exploring the trajectory of the New Left Wood ( 1974) has also drawn extensively on the model In a more recent study, Audrey Wipper (1977) applies Smelsers organizational framework to a sociological study of rebels in Kenya. The Variables in the Model Smelsers model outlines six variables and argues that all of them must be present in order for collective behavior to take place. Alternatively, it can be inferred that whenever these six variables come into play together, collective behavior will inevitably happen. His theory ponders the study of the individual dimension and the irrational acti ons that derive from situations of strain. The fundamental questions he asks are why, how, where and when collective behavior emerges He believes that collective behavior does not happen by mere chance and that we have to look for regularities in these ev ents to which the social theory can respond. The six variables that must be present for collective behavior to occur are: (1) generalized beliefs (2) structural strain (3) structural conduciveness (4) precipitating factors (5) mobilization of participants for action and (6) operation of social control. Generalized Beliefs Collective behavior tends to restructure the agent affected by the action, eliminating the uncertainty that characterizes him. This happens because generalized beliefs mobilize action towards the more general components, and in the process they tend to reinstate the balance that was initially lost. Generalized beliefs redirect collective attention upwards and makes the agents focus their attention towards action components that are more important than the ones directly affected.


74 Most of Smelsers critics focus on this concept of generalized beliefs to attack his theory. Some consider these to be too exaggerated and implausible (Oberschall, 1973). Smelser has refuted his critics by claiming that no collective action can take place without an initial generalized idea. It is this idea that then provides the parting point for agents to mobilize into action with others. For Smelser, without this belief, collective action cannot and will not happen. Some of his critics have refuted him back by stating that collective action in the form of an instant outburst of emotion, such as cheering in a crown, and disturbances motivated by victories, for example, or clapping in a concert can happen without the generalized belief (Marx, 1970). Other critics of Smelser question the validity of his conception of a generalized belief that is sufficiently homogeneous to affect all agents equally. In Smelsers theory, there are no allusions to race, class, gender or any type of cultural factor. For him, generalized beliefs have the power to create a common culture that allows for mobilization and coordinated action. Fuller (2008) points out that there necessarily exists marked variation between the leaders and ordi nary people in any given movement. This includes all movements, even the racial and religious ones where one would expect more similarities between the constituents. Structural Strain Smelser defines structural strain as collective hardships experience by a society. In order for structural strain to occur, agents must understand that there is a problem that is external to their actions, i.e. not because of their making. The realization that the system is failing to meet their expectations thus serves as a trigger for the collectivity to find a solution.


75 Structural strain comes about by the lack of regulation at higher levels of the social hierarchy. This is differentiated from individual strain, which is experienced by the individual alone when they seek to satisfy their own needs and fail to do so. Structural strain can manifest itself in different ways: pain, tensions, deprivations, etc. Structural strain is perhaps the single most important variable in the model. Nevertheless, Smelser acknowledges that strain can be present in a society for a long time before the agents come to realize it. It is not until all variables fall in place that collective behavior manifests itself. Therefore, the process of collective behavior can either happen quickly, or be in the making for a long time. Structural Conduciveness Structural conduciveness refers to those things that make some behaviors or actio ns possible. In order for collective behavior to exist, the environment must be favorable enough to allow the behavior to take place. For example, all of the other five variables can exist in a repressive political regime, but the regime cannot provide for them to develop properly. This is in fact the first social condition that must be in place before collective behavior happens. Agents can be aware that they are under strain, but they will not act upon that strain unless their social environment allows t hem to do so. In his study, Smelser argues that the American political system allows for mobilization because of the system lacks extensive control in many areas of the social life, such as religion. Although the system favors the development of collective action, it does not, in itself creates it. On the other hand, authoritarian regimes make it difficult to find an avenue for social movements. However, that does not mean that they are not likely to occur in these types of regimes. For Smelser, movements t hat happen in less restrictive environments, that is, when structural conduciveness is in place, are not likely


76 to be extremely revolutionary movements. Instead, they are likely to be more norm oriented movements. These movements aim to change the rules of society without changing their basic social foundations. When the structural conditions are not favorable, movements can occur, but they are more likely to be valueoriented movements, seeking to reform the complete social foundation of a society. This, according to the theory, would be the case in authoritarian repressive regimes. Oberschall (1973) and Gurr (1970) find that an authoritarian society is more prone than a democratic society to produce radical reformist movement Oberschall (1973) argues that the Hungarian attempted revolution occurred because agents saw a limited possibility to obtain basic liberties under the existing regime and the situation was not likely to change. Thus, Hungarians had to resort to extreme reformist measures. The same c an be said of all the attempted revolutionary movements that took place in Latin America during the Cold War years. Coser (1956) claims that even though conflict is less likely to happen in repressive regimes, when it does happens it will be much more extr eme than in open regimes History seems to agree with this claim. Precipitating Factors The role of precipitating factors in collective behavior is perhaps the variable in Smelsers model that has been confirmed the most by studies of social movements Zurcher et al (1971) detail one specific event where the executive director of a national anti pornography movement was invited to visit the city of Midville, and was shocked to find out the amount of pornographic merchandise found in a downtown adult bookstore. He publicly denounced the findings and they show how this served as a precipitating factor for two other immediate actions that followed. Local newspapers started devoting


77 coverage to this particular bookstore and in a matter of weeks; the city of Midville was engaged in a largescale anti pornography campaign. Charles Tilly (1964) demonstrated that the Vendee counterrevolution was prompted by a mandate for action by the revolutionary government in France. Donatella de la Porta (1995) finds that terrorist activities are largely linked to individuals previous experiences with crime. H asson (1993) explains how urban movements in Jerusalem were triggered by the emergence of the Soviet Jewery in the country. Scholars have also challenged the claim of the precipitating factor on the grounds that even though events might occur because of an initial precipitating factor, the nature of that original events can be extensive and varied. For example, the precipitating factor for crowds riots or onetime protests may differ from that of a social movement One difference that can be drawn between the two is that typically the precipitating factor for a social movement happens gradually and over time (Roe, 1997). In the case of a crowd, or collectives burst, the factor immediately precedes the action. As is the case in several recent movements (anti genocide, anti globalization movements), there is commonly a successful protest able to achieve enough supporters or gains. After the media presents the cas e or the victory becomes common knowledge, it is more likely that it will spark demonstrations elsewhere, effectively turning the first protest into a precipitating factor. As previously stated, Zurcher et al (1971) found some major problems with Smelser s conceptualization of the precipitating factor. This caused Smelser to rethink his original idea of the concept. He later stated that : many of the inst ances of precipitating factors that I gave were nothing more than sudden intensification of one of t he other determinants. ( p. 27)


78 To address this problem, he reconceptualizes precipitating factors in terms of time. He claims that precipitating factors was a way for the model to clarify how the notion of the time of an event affects its outcome (Smelser 1 972) and excuses this on the fact that his model was never intended to be linear (i.e. the variables do not necessarily need to occur in a given order) Brown and Goldin (1973) have serious problems with his attempt at removing the variable from the model in light of this realization. They attack the fact that all the variables in the valueadded model necessarily must be understood in terms of their overall relation to the other. They claim that the variables as Smelser presents them lack any individual v alue by themselves. The question that arises from this, then, is how to explain the initial occurrence that triggers action if we are to do away with the precipitating factor explanation. Mobilization for Action In order for effective mobilization, people need to organize. It is at this stage that leaders who guide the collectivity emerge. There are two segments of mobilization: the real phase and the derived phase. During the real, or initial, phase, people react to their immediate environment. This is m ost evident in the case of panic, outbursts and crazes13The derived phase is a consequence of the real phase. The course of mobilization during this stage is contingent on the actions during the initial phase. It is important to note that these phases are not what make up the ultimate variable of mobilization in Smelsers model. It is due to these possible reactions that he highlights the importance of leadership. The mobilization for action variable as stated in the six variable model This phase lacks a rational thought process and can exist with or without leadership. 13 Explained below


79 necessitates having leaders willing to guide the masses and establish order if a successful movement is to occur. Otherwise, the mobilization is likely to be sporadic and inconsequential Operation of Social Control This is a situational condition in the model, along the lines of structural strain and conduciveness. The operation of social control is outside of individual control and must be set forth by the social environment. The importance of this variable lays on its effect on the other five. Social control can either prevent or further a movement. Some examples of social control are: police effectiveness in halting a movement, media furthering of the knowledge of a movement in the population, and the effective implantation of rules and regulations. This is perhaps the least developed variable of the model. It is not entirely clear which possible effects can happen from different successes and failures of the social control. Differen ces in Perception In his original formulation, the valueadded model seemed to neglect the fact that not all agents understand their environment in a similar way. There was a serious gap in the theory regarding the notion of the self and lived experiences. It should be obvious that not all individuals will regard the variables of the model in the same way. However, this is not just Smelsers problem. There has been considerable debate throughout the field in trying to find a balance between the thick and the thin (Chabal & Daloz, 2006). Smelser seemingly became aware of this problem with his original model, as in a later essay (1968) ; he added a psychologic al dimension variable to his original six.


80 Although useful in theory to better explain collective behavior, the addition of this dimension can effectively complicate the applicability of the model in practice. To be more precise, it can be argued that adding the psychological dimension to the original six can undermine the value of the model in its previous form. One attempt to test the new model was put forth by Stern (1992) in a study about the psychological perceptions of environmental change. Considering the psychological dimension, the variables on the new model now are: Structural con duciveness Structural strain Generalized beliefs Precipitating factors Mobilization of participants for action The ineffective operation of control Here lies the psychological dimension. In the previous model, this variable was simply referred to as operation of social control. The addition of the adjective ineffective now takes into account the notion of perception, which can vary among individuals. Structurally, it remains the same as it was in his original model (police, media, etc). Norm vs. V alueOriented Movements Smelsers typology regarding collective behavior relies in a hierarchical relationship of four crucial elements (Smelser, 1969): Values (shared goals) Norms (rules and regulations that guide social behavior) Motivational mobilization (incentives) Situational facilities (knowledge, understanding of the social context) Smelser calls these elements the determinants of collective behavior. One of the main arguments put forth besides the variables of collective behavior in Smelsers theory is that the type of collective behavior that emerges from such relations depends


81 on the specific interaction of these four determinants According to the theory, there are five possible types of collective behavior that can occur. These are: The panic The craze The hostile outburst The norm oriented movement The valueoriented movement Smelsers explanation of outcomes is implicitly psychological. The different types of collective behavior that can emerge out of these interactions are due to different situations (values, norms, motivations and situations) that therefore set off different thought processes in the individual and either guide or prevent the course of further action. At some point, the individual must experience the six variables of collective behavior (strain, structural conduciveness, generalized beliefs, precipitating fa ctors, mobilization and social control) in order for action to occur. He claims that these six variables in themselves are sufficient to trigger collective behavior. However, before the variables materialize, the agents need to understand the social condit ions that surround them as important and relevant. That previous understanding is then what guides the behavior that emerges from the variable interactions (panic, craze, hostile outburst, norm, or valueoriented movements). In other words, for Smelser, the relationship between the six variables of collective behavior and the four components of action determine one of the five possible types of behavior that can occur. For example, to expect the incidence of a craze, we must focus on the structural strain relationship to one specific component of action. This, according to him, can only happen if and when the other variables are also in place. However, he is not entirely clear about how this happens. There is no implicit description in the model about these interactions and this is a major gap, which he never addressed.


82 Areas for Improvement One of the most salient problems with Smelsers theory is the fact that he seems to purposely choose cases that fit his theory. He has effectively demonstrated that hi s model holds by giving us examples when collective behavior does occur following the interaction of the six variables. He furthers this explanation by showing examples when some of the variables were present but no collective behavior materialized because the lack of the other conditions. Nevertheless, he never focuses his attention on instances where the six variables where present but no action came to be. He also contradicts himself when explaining the linearity of his model. Sometimes he hints at the fact that there must be an exact order of the variables before action can happen. At other times, he merely suggests that all six variables must be present in before collective behavior can develop. This suggests that there does not need be a specific pattern to be followed. Applicability of the Theory to the Case of Puerto Rico Smelsers theory undoubtedly has gaps and he has in numerous occasions been charged with stretching his theory to fit his model. Numerous scholars have made severe criticisms to the valueadded model. Nevertheless, Smelser does put forth one of the most exhaustive and technical approaches to the study of collective behavior and social movements in the field. With both slight and more rigorous modification, his theory remains one of the most widely used and tested in the field, even decades after its origin. No other scholar has delineated specific rigorous criteria that a movement must experience before it can materialize as Smelser has done. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of t his theory is the fact that he has effectively shown that just discontent with the system is not enough for a movement to form. He


83 has made it unquestionable that any study of social movements necessarily needs to focus on a set of conditions some of them external to the agent and some internal that together are responsible for the eventual coming to been of collective action. The case of Puerto Rico, and the two movements that are under examination in my study are examples of the validity of the valueadd ed model. In the conclusion, I examine each one of the variables for each model and show how Smelsers model continues to have value up to this day. Before I do so, I will discuss both cases in depth and explain their successes and failures in light of t he social movements literature. This will help pave the way for the illustration of the valueadded model in a clear and comprehensive fashion. I will start by examining the history of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company in the Chapter 5.


84 CHAPTER 5 THE PUERTO RICO TELEPHONE COMPANY Introduction The history of telecommunications in Puerto Rico dates back to the late eighteenth century. Samuel B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, first introduced wired communication to the island in 1858. M any of Morses experiments with telecommunications were carried out in the island (Vargas, 2007) One year later, on March 1, 1859, the Spanish government officially registered and approved the first telecommunication system in Puerto Rico. The telegraph was the beginning of a development that would ultimately connect millions of Puerto Ricans across the island and w ith the rest of the world. In 1864, Governor Flix Mara de Messina published a plan to put in practice the telegraph system throughout the island. In 1869, the first major milestone of the new wired system was achieved: Governor Jos Laureano Sanz inaugurated a telegraph line that connected the capital of San Juan with the northern town of Arecibo. Following this, the first connection beyon d the island arrived in 1870, with the installation of a submarine line between Puerto Rico and the neighboring island of St. Thomas. The West India & Panama Telegraph Co. laid the line. Two years later, another submarine cable was laid between San Juan an d Holland Bay, Jamaica. This helped connect Puerto Rico with Cuba, United States with Canada (through Havana), and Europe with Asia (through London)14At this time, Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain, which was among the original countries to offer private t elephone services to their country Following Spains lead, the 14 14 Telefnica de Puerto Rico: Quines Somos: http://www.telefonicapr.com/es/sobreprt/quienessomos/misvisval.jsp, accessed July 21, 2007


85 Puerto Rican government sought to put into operation telephone services by the concession of franchise licenses to various local entrepreneurs starting in 1880. L egal guidelines and policies f or the process appeared, among them: (1) there needed to be a central station for each network, and no individual line could exceed a distance of 10,000 meters from said station, (2) no installation could exce ed a completion time of 30 days and (3) a dogmatic body must oversee all actions of the endeavor. N o network operations could start until approved by this commission. The commission was in charge of establishing rates, and the repair and maintenance of the systems and the equipment was the sole responsibility of the individual franchise owners. Franchises were divided by geographical area, with rural areas having the franchises adjacent to haciendas (Noam, 1998; Vargas, 2007). For the actual concession of telephonic lines, other guidelines were establ ished by the Crown : (1) the lines could only connect buildings from a single owner or entrepreneur within the boundaries marked as extension of the lines (2) these lines could not be connected to any telephonic or telegraphic network, (3) the subscriber could not broadcast any news other than personal ones, and (4) the government could, at any given time, suspend the service when public order reasons necessitate to do so (Merino, 2006). The First Telephone The first telephonic line was established in Puerto Rico between the Public Works offices and a tools warehouse located between the Arsenal and Mercantile Deposit. By 1882, North American Preston C. Nelson arrived to the island representing the West India Telegraph and Telephone Co (WITT). Nelson prese nted the government with a proposal to develop a telephonic line connecting the towns of Mayaguez, San Juan and Arecibo, the islands three largest municipalities. His plan proposed to develop the


86 system at the expense of the WITT, since the company saw gr eat potential in the island. The only requirement he had was that his company be given exclusive rights to the telephone system (Parra, 2005). The offer was received with mixed feelings. The newspaper El Buscapi published an extensive article on its December 10, 1882 issue detailing all the benefits that a telephonic system could bring to the island. However, political advisors to Governor Miguel de la Vega were not so thrilled about the offer. They warned the Governor about the risks that the plan coul d pose to Puerto Rico. One of their major fears was that the system was going to be entirely under foreign control and local laws and regulations could not be applied to it, given than none had be passed yet. Another concern that they had was that if the t elephone was under foreign control, military security could be jeopardized. (Prez, 1989) Governor de la Vega ignored these warnings and proceeded to authorize Nelsons offer in January 1883, however the overseas government put a halt to it on April 3, 1883. King Alfonse XII intervened and ordered a telephone service to be developed and gave vast control over it to the local government (Cortes, 1990) The colonial governor in the island authorized a network that would connect the military, the governm ent and its dependencies (Baez 1995). It is interesting to note that from its very beginnings, the telephone system in Puerto Rico was characterized by a conflict that would continue up to the present day: the strains for its control between the national inte rests and the private enterprise. Franchises for the local monopoly of telephone services were given to Alfredo Casals for the north (Arecibo), Pedro Rosaly for the south (Ponce) and Rafael Fabin y Fabin for the nor theast (San Juan) This monopoly was s imilar to the one implemented


87 in Spain (Noam, 1998). The population expressed some hesitation at first, with only six subscribers showing interest, the main reason being the high cost of the service, which was around 100 pesos a year. For merchants, the c ost was 60 pesetas annually for equipment and line. Between 1885 and 1893, forty two lines were registered to plantation owners and merchants. The first telephone network was established in 1894, with its headquarters located on the Governors residence, La Fortaleza. This system was comprised of a small panel consisting of ten lines, which communicated some military posts and some government offices. Later that year, two additional lines were set in Ponce for the Firefighters Departments use. An additional line connected the borough of Santurce with the center of San Juan. By 1897, public telephone services connecting San Juan, Arecibo and Mayaguez were officially established, and this in turn helped to expand and improve economic development in the island, since telecommunications greatly eased transactions between agricultural centers in Ponce, San Juan and Mayaguez (Parra, 2005). It can be inferred from these facts that telephone service in Puerto Rico was at first reserved almost exclusively for the government and private enterprises The SpanishAmerican War and the U S Takeover After the Spanish American War, Puerto Rico became a protectorate of the United States, along with Guam, Cuba and the Philippines. United States maintained full control of the government and that remains the case until this date. The U.S. constitution and laws also regulate it s governmental proceedings With the advent of North American institutions and currency, another historic moment took place in Puerto Rican telecommunica tions. P rivate enterprise s, which until then were unknown, were introduced and the term enterprise would eventually hold a


88 protagonist role not only on the telecommunications arena, but also on many other previous national endeavors (Vargas, 2007) Ten mont hs after the U S invasion, the executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Company, EC Alsop, wrote to the Secretary of Interior 15 In 1901 T he Puerto Rico Railroad Company was given authorization to operate a railroad system. As part of the deal, the rail road company was also allowed to install and maintain telegraphic and telephonic lines for public service, effectively transmitting the already established phone system back to the Puerto Rican government by the U S Department of War provided that the Ex ecutive Committee approved of the lines. The railroad company was allowed to hand out permissions for contracts to any citizen, company, corporation, firm or legal entity as long as they had a government approved franchise license. John Elliot, regarding the establishment of a telephonic network in Puerto Rico that covered all municipalities of the island. Alsop hoped to turn the service into a public utility, and was seeking also permission to utilize public roads and government withholdings for the installation of network posts and lines. The request was turned down, as was a later one presented by anot her entrepreneur, Alfred Salomn. Salomns plan only included the development of a telephonic network between San Juan and Ponce. The railroad company es tablished both telephone and telegraph lines along its route, usually with a terminal in each station. Poles carrying lines for the telephone and telegraph were erected along the trains right of way. With the railroad company in charge of the telephone s ystem, another change came along. The previous franchise 15 The Interior Commission later became the Department of Public Works (Departamento de Obras Pblicas as its known in the present)


89 system established by the Spanish Crown evolved into a modern corporate system by the turn of the century. On May 16, 1902, the incorporation of the San Juan Telephone Co. was certified in the stat e of New Jersey. The company was awarded a contract to erect, operate and maintain a long distance telephone service in the island between San Juan and Ponce. Under this certification, the state was allowed to build telephone centrals and provide services to towns between San Juan and Ponce, and also to other towns that did not fall into the San Juan Telephone Co. deal (Noam, 1998). This agreement marks the birth of a coexistence system between the private and public telecommunication regulators in the island. This system differs from that of the USA, where telecommunications are exclusively dealt by the private enterprise. The San Juan Telephone Co. changed its name to Porto Rico Telephone Company on November 1902. This company was also granted a franchise to develop a network with headquarters in San Juan that would extend throughout the island. A second company, The Porto Rico Telephone Company emerged shortly thereafter and both companies held headquarters in the United States The South Porto Rico Telep hone Co. would cater to several towns in the South and the West coast until 1914. The company recruited one of the original franchise holders, Pedro Rosaly, as President (Corts, 1990). One year later, on October 1906, another company was created, this ti me in Connecticut. The new company was named The Porto Rico General Telephone Company, and it proceeded to purchase The Porto Rico Telephone Co., thus gaining control of the San Juan and Mayaguez networks. By December 1906, Mr. Sostenes Behn became president of this company, and his brother Hernan became a corporate in 1907.


90 The Porto Rico Telephone Company The Behn brothers16 had been experimenting with telegraph and telephonic lines since 1901. The Behn brothers proceeded to buy the Porto Rico General Telephone Company in July 1911 Two years later they bought the South Porto Rico Telephone Co. The merger was certified on June 22, 1914 17 The telephone service eventually became a public utility in 1917, regulated under the Public Service Commission (Comisin de Servicio Pblico). Under this law, the Puerto Rican government saw its role in the workings of the company increase (Corts, with the approval of the U S government and was again named The Porto Rico Telephone Co. (PRTC). The new company had around 3,900 subscribers (ASPIRA, 1995). By 1922 that number had increased to 9,174 (Noam, 1998). The company was also given approval to maintain telecommunication services throughout the island, except for some municipalities that were under government control On December 31, 1914, Public Writings officially approved the authorization to the Behn brothers The authorization stated that the Government of Puerto Rico had the option to buy out the telephone system under concession after a 20year contra ct, after which the government had the option to terminate or extend the contract. The government never proceeded to purchase the system, due to a lockup in the legislature. This act marks the birth of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, the one that still operates in the island to this day. 16 The Behn brothers had inherited vast landholdings in San Juan, and they built one of the main bridges in Puerto Rico to thi s day, the Dos Hermanos Bridge. They sold the bridge to the city of San Juan in 1910 and purchased the Porto Rico General Telephone Co with the proceedings of the sale, which were about $25,000 USD


91 1990). This same year Puerto Ricans were given United States citizenship under the Jones Act. Puerto Rico became one of the first countries worldwide to establish public payphones in 1914. After their success in the island, the Behn brothers continued to develop phone services in other countries such as Cuba and Europe. They also pioneered a telephonic line connecting Cuba to the New York. In 1924 they acquired all the shares in Spains Telephone Company. It is interesting to note that despite its size and small population, Puerto Rico played a major role in the worldwide telecommunications system. An unfortunate event in 1918 destroyed almost all progress that had been made with the telephone and telegraph lines. A powerf ul earthquake shook throughout the region and the devastation was major. Reconstruction efforts were almost complete by 1920, and 6,500 subscribers were enjoying telephone services again (Cortes, 1990) Unfortunately, another natural disaster followed in 1928, Hurricane San Felipe. The hurricane hit hardest in the South region, around Ponce. This was one of the areas where the telephonic lines cluster was highest. The hurricane left the island without telephone services for various months. Despite the devas tation, the hurricane proved to be a positive thing for the telecommunications in the island. During reconstruction efforts, the system was modernized, changing old wire material for newer, more resistant ones and modernization of the inside plants. In addition service trucks were introduced for reconstruction efforts and these proved very helpful for repairs and new installations, so they became a permanent fixture of the Telephone Company by 1930 (Merino, 2006).


92 In 1928, the first yellow pages, paid adv ertisements, were introduced to the phone directory. During the next two decades, the Puerto Rico Telephone Company went through its major development to day. Long distance service was introduced and rural service was initiated. In 1936, the PRTC18Puerto Rico Communications Authority and the Radio Corporation of Puerto Rico launched a radiotelephonic system that connected the island with the rest of the world. The system was pioneered by a radiotelephone service between the island and the USA; an agreement oversaw by both the PRTC and the R adio Corporation. By 1941, the PRTC had over 19,000 costumers. In 1945 the first automated station was launch ed in San Juan. During the 1950s, 41,095 telephones were installed, representing an increase of 117.6% on the system. The Puerto Rico Telephone Company was undoubtedly the major telecommunications provider in the island, but the local government still held a place in the system. A series of laws were enacted during the beginning to the mid 1940s which aimed to s eek telephone service to those small towns that did not have it yet (they were outside of the PRTC holdings), as the phone became considered a universal right. The government was appointed to carry out the task of delivering the service to these towns. The new entity was known as the Puerto Rico Communications Authority. The telegraph was transferred to the Communications Authority. The Commonwealth The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was approved in 1952 by the U S Congress and by a population vote. The new political situation saw an increase in demands for telephone and long distance service, given that many hundreds of thousands of citizens 18 Puerto Rico Telephone Company


93 immigrated to the USA, nearly one third of the population left, and needed to communicate with relatives and acquaint ances left behind in the island. The PRTC could not satisfy the demand for pone service anymore, and they sought assistance from the Public Service Commission. The Commission approved permanent increases of rates by 10 cents, effective August 1, 1952 (Var gas, 2007). The rates increase allowed the PRTC to begin a 5year expansion program, which included automated service development for Ponce and the Metropolitan Zone. Between 1952 and 1955, a total of 15,000 new telephones were added to the system, bri nging the total of telephones in service close to 60,000. The total population of the island was close to 2.2 million people. Although the expansion was quite substantial, the developments were meager compared to those in the USA (Corts, 1990; Merino, 2006). The expansion effort was completed in three and a half years. Another expansion program was implemented in 1959, beginning with another rate increase. At present, the telephone to people ratio in San Juan is 29.3 for each 100 people. These numbers com pare favorably with much larger cities in Europe and substantially exceed the average of Latin American Capitals. The advent of industrial economy during the 1960s and 1970s due to the Commonwealth situation caused an all time high in demand for telephoni c service. In 1960, a submarine cable connecting Puerto Rico and Florida was laid. In 1968, direct dial services were established. The number of subscribers from 1959 to 1969 was increased by 231%19 19 There were over 276,000 subscribers in 1969 This remains one of the highest telephone increases worldwide (Prez, 1989). Such a dramatic increase made it hard for the local government and the PRTC to operate, and as a result the system deteriorated noticeably. During the 1950s


94 and 1960s, the system was characterized by long waits both for new services and for repairs. Rural areas suffered the most; urban areas were generally offered better services. The Puerto Rico Telephone Company was a very profitable enterprise nonetheless. Gross revenues for 1973 were close to $75 million USD, and earnings exceeded $6 million. The Public Service Commission fined it for $219,000 USD and stopped approving rate increases. It was also required to pay damage claims to costumers, upwards to more than $114,000 USD. ITT, the mother enterprise of PRTC advertently cut expenses from staff training programs, and this was seen as the root of the service problem (Corts, 1990). The Puerto Rico Telephone Authority Given the fact that the Puerto Rico Telephone Company could not satisfy demands for the system, a national interest for control of the main telecommunications enterprise emerged. While the telephone situation worsened, newspapers called for government action and leadership. The law no. 25 of May 6, 1974 offered a response (Rico, 2003). This law created the Puerto Rico Telephone Authority (A.T.). The authority was created with the purpose of improving and expanding communications in Puerto Rico in order to provide the public with additional and more efficient services (ibid). The Communications Authority was merged wi th the Telephone Authority, but not with the PRTC. Law 25 allowed the Telephone Authority to acquire the system that the PRTC had already in practice at the most convenient price for the Commonwealth. The takeover was complete by June 1974. The law also provided for the transmittal of the Communications Authority subscribers, withholdings and shares to the A.T. In 1980 the


95 law was amended to allow the A.T. to act in the name of the Communications Authority while the transfer was compl eted. The act was never completed due to the costs that its implementation would present. In order to win back the trust and business of costumers, the government set to turn the company around. The government started by investing in expansion. A $500 USD million fund for renovations was established in 1974. State of the art technology came along with the makeover, and the next decades saw a complete renovation of the system (Corts, 1990). As part of the renovations, all systems were replaced by digital technology, completely controlled by computers instead of mechanical devices. By 1980, approximately six years after the company became a national body, the installation of lines was increased by 71%. Now that the company was no longer dependent on ITT as its only supplier, a bidding war for contracts by major manufacturers ensued, among them AT&T and Northern Telecom. In 1976, electronic switching systems (ESS) were introduced in the PRTC. This new technology became one of the most technological advances of the time in Puerto Rico. ESS allowed for easier and more competent maintenance. The next step the company took was to expand its telecommunications schools in order to better train their staff. Staffing problems and corruption was one of the main issue s when the company was in the hands of the ITT, so this step seems a logical one. Around four thousand employees completed more than two hundred and fifty thousand hours of coursework. Most of the coursework was of technical nature, preparing the students to enter fieldwork. Because of the Commonwealth, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered in 1977 that long distance between Puerto Rico and the U S changed from


96 international to domestic service (Noam, 1998). This rule helped lower rates by as much as 73%. In 1978, the PRTC extended its direct dial service to include the Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Jamaica. Shortly afterwards, a communications tower was built in the Yunque rainforest. Only six years after the nationalization of the PRTC the company was situated for major growth. The government effectively overcame all of the major problems that the PRTC suffered under ITT ownership: it was successful at expanding the system, training a Puerto Rican staff, and expanding the systems into advanced technologies comparable to those of more advanced nations. The early eighties saw an important advance in the system, which would continue throughout the decade: digitalization. A fiber optic network was installed in 1980 for the first time in Puerto Rico The need for improvement and new services stemmed in part from industrial relations with the U S. The constant expansion of North American industries called for state of the art communications service in the island. Repair centers were centralize d in 1985; all repair calls were directed to a panel in San Juan, which allowed for faster and improved services throughout the island (Merino, 2006). Automated services were also established, for the first time in the Caribbean and Central America. The Automatic Response Unit 123 provided the user with automated voice recordings and then redirected the calls as needed. This allowed for a much faster response to the more than 65,000 calls that were received per day (Corts, 1990). In 1986 PRTC received gre en light from the FCC to start cellular telephone service. In 1987 satellite communications with landlines was established. Long distance service by the Puerto Rico Telephone Authority began in 1984 through a subsidiary, La Telefnica de Larga Distancia ( TLD). Up until this point ITT


97 was the number one provider of overseas calling. ITT was not pleased and challenged the new arrangement but their petition was not successful. Later on AT&T bought ITTs overseas network and continued the effort to stop the lo ng distance monopoly held in the island by TLD. The FCC approved their claim in 1989 and required PRTC to hold at least three different long distance carriers. Sprint and MCI, along with TLD joined the PRTC as overseas long distance providers. (ASPIRA, 1995). Despite the tension between AT&T and PRTC over the long distance market, the two joined forces in 1994 in order to build a new line between Puerto Rico and the U S ., which would run under the sea, calle d the TainoCarib (Noam, 1998; Sada, 2002). Hurric ane Hugo hit the island in 1989, causing major damage. Despite the devastation, the telephone service was barely disrupted and repairs were completed in a timely manner, in sharp contrast with Hurricane San Felipe in 1928. The 1990s The beginning of the 1990s saw the PRTC turning on to one of the most challenging tasks it had ever undertaken: converting its network to the Equal Access network. Equal Access is required by the FCC in order to control long distance monopolies. Equal Access allows different telephone companies to provide competitive services to subscribers. This allows for more competitive process and overall better services. Each company sets their own rates. During the 90s the company also implemented FENIX (Front End Network Information Complex), a mechanical system to process and receive data from the Central Offices. The system compiles information from all Central Offices and then redistributes to the offices that ask for that information. Since June 4, 1990 a new


98 system is in place, which registers live transactions in the Sales, Materials, Storage, Accounting, Finance and Investment areas. In February 1990, Governor Hernandez Colon announced the privatization of the PRTC. The news were received with anger by the population, who were proud of the achievements of the PRCT as compared to ITT. The citizens called for a national strike that lasted one day. The privatization plans felt through due to the ci tizens protest and to economic and legal factors that made the materialization of the final offer difficult. On November 8 1991, the Puerto Rico Electronic Lottery network was inaugurated. This network allows for connecting a number of agents that share the same telephone line to the Computing Center of the Electronic Lottery. This permits maximum use of the lines, translating into savings for the costumer (ASPIRA, 1995). Telefnica Internacional de Espaa (International Telephone Company of Spain) acquired Telefnica Larga Distancia (TLD), which was affiliated with PRTC, in 1992 for $141 million USD. The FCC approved the operation after the government of the island assured the investors that all infrastructures would remain under the Autoridad de Telefnos de Puerto Ricos (ATPR) control. ATPR held control of 20% of the new companys share. This same year the company started adaptation for the signaling system known as SS7 that permits connecting calls after only two or three seconds of dialing the last digit. In order to create and expand a uniform service, the government approved Resolution No. 9384, which permitted the total merger of the Corporacin de Comunicaciones de Puerto Rico (CCPR) into the PRTC starting January 1, 1994 (Sada, 2002). Following the merger, the Puerto Rico Telephone Association ordered on April 28, 1994 the total transference of property, active shares, rights, permits, licenses and


99 privileges from de CCPR to the PRTC, thus making the PRTC in the rightful and legal successor of all actives of the now extinct CCPR. In 1995, the PRTC along the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico developed the degree in Telecommunications Applied Sciences, the first of its kind in the island, in order to professionalize t elecommunications employment. The same year the internet and digital television came to the island. The Puerto Rico Telecommunications Law On February 8, 1996 the FCC approved the Federal Telecommunications Law, which aimed to open all of U S s market segments to free trade, including local telephonic services. The law abided by the Universal Service principle (Merino, 2006) As a consequence of this federal law, the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Law was signed in 1996. Before these laws were enacted, the PRTC held a legal monopoly on basic and long distance telecommunication services inside the island. The company was sole property of the Puerto Rican government and the only competence seen was on cordless and international long distance services. The Puerto Rico Telephone Authority was both the regulating entity and matrix enterpri se (Parra, 2005) On September 12, 1996 the Junta Reguladora de las Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Telcommunications Regulating Committee) was created as the agency in charge of regulating telecommunication services in the island. Three asso ciate members compose the Committee, one of whom is the President. The governor of Puerto Rico is in charge of selecting all members and the Senate has to approve (Rico, 2003).

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100 One of the main purposes of the Junta is to promote loyal and equal competition between those companies offering telecommunications and cable TV services, in order to guarantee that the citizens can enjoy said services at reasonable prices. The law establishes that the Junta also has the responsibility of adopting, promoting, amending and derogating those rules and orders needed for its proper functioning. The Federal Law prohibits the Junta from certificating companies that provide commercial mobile services in the States, including Puerto Rico. Therefore, these companies and its rate plans are not under jurisdiction of the Junta. According to the Telefonica de Puerto Rico digital documents, t hese remain under exclusive jurisdiction of the FCC, as well as services between Puerto Rico and United States and its territories On January 28, 1998 the Universal Service Rule was approved, which guarantees that all citizens have the right to communication services at a fair and affordable price. The PRCT was privatized in 1998 and transferred to GTE, an American Corporation based in T exas in order to improve its competitiveness in the international market. Meaning of the PRTC for Puerto Rico As it is shown in the previous discussion, the Puerto Rico Telephone company evolved over the course of almost a century from a very rudi mentary company to one of the most technological and refined in the global context. It became a source of pride for the national government that they were able to place the company at level with other companies of more advanced societies. This is impressiv e when the relatively small size of the island and its commonwealth situation are taken into account. Chapter 6 discusses what happened after Governor Pedro Rossell announced the privatization of PRTC dur ing the latter part of the 1990s decade.

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101 CHAPTER 6 PRIVATIZATION WINS Introduction With the advent of neoliberalism and market reforms in the global context, a plan for the privatization of several national enterprises in Puert o Rico was underway in the 1990s. Governor Pedro Rossell was the ruler of Puer to Rico during two terms (19921996) and (19962000). Rossell is a known and self proclaimed neoliberal and under his rule, the shipyard company, healthcare industry, water works, and the telephone company were sold. Neoliberal policies in Latin America are generally not well received by the population. M arket reforms and liberalization in Latin America brought about a wave of changes that eventually lead to higher mass mobilization on the part of the citizens. Previous to the advent of neoliberal politic s, states practiced a stateled economy plan. In the case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, revenue from the Company was used to subsidize public radio and television, provide free service to public schools and donated one hundred million dollars annually to the government (Gonzalez, 1998) The restrictive nature of authoritarian states (which Puerto Rico did not experience per se) constrained political participation and thus was at odds with the development of civil society. Democratization in Latin America gave way to a new form of politics for those who previously did not have a say in the system, by means of social movements. The problem with democratization is that, as we will later see, requires the adoption of neoliberal policies by those newly rebuilt states and this in turn is at odds with equality and promotes poverty in marginalized sectors of society. We can say that democratization is at odds with neoliberal policies in nation building settings. The political economies that permeate in aut horitarian states discourage any participation by

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102 civilians (Bayat, 2000) With the globalization that neoliberal economic policies bring, human rights and citizen participation have a place in the political agenda, facilitating the conditions for social activism. Neoliberal restructuring in the U S started in the 1970s and by the 1990s it had extended to all parts of the world in attempts at globalization. As a result of neoliberal restructuring, trade unions and its workers are under high pressure. Neol iberal policies force the states to enter into the global market and this entrance often requires market reforms that directly affect the workers, such as privatization. Privatization can result in an array of consequences for workers, ranging from lower w ages to total layoffs. Due to vast deregulation and the liberalization of market reforms within the state there are general strains to lower work settings conditions in order to make markets more flexible and competitive in the global arena. With the adve nt of neoliberalism also came a diminishment in the ability of trade unions to influence policies at the national level, as exemplified by the European Union (Bohle, 2006) since those decisions are increasingly made at the supranational level. The latter w as clear in the privatization of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, as we will see in the following discussion. Social psychological studies on social movements have focused on the individual as the model of study. They see participants as deviant from the norm, both culturally and structurally. They argue that individuals engage in social movements because they feel frustrated with the system and do not have any other recourse to bring about change other than going outside conventional forms to challenge institutions; these individuals were often labeled as irrational social outcasts (Smelser, 1963; LeBon, 1960) The social psychological model was challenged with the advent of co llective action during the 1960s. During these waves of activisms, individual s of different

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103 classes and backgrounds came together and joined in protests and acts of rebellion. The theory of the irrational social outcast no longer held and scholars shifted the focus of the study of social movements from the individual to issues of power and social structures, namely resource mobilization theory (McCarthy & Zald, 1973) Resource mobilization theory claims that those individuals barred from regular access to power engage in social movements as a way to realize social change in a rational way to maximize scarce resources More recently, scholars have argued that both social psychology and resource mobilization theories are needed to explain the complexity of social movement activism (McAdam, McCarthy, & Zald, 1996; Ferree & Miller, 1985) The social psychology approach in social movements and collective behavior studies stresses the importance of studying both the social psychological angle of collective behavior and the social conditions that give rise or frame grievances and its mani festations (Schneider, 1985) Mills, Senior and Goldsen claim that the Puerto Rican identity is characterized by ambiguity and ambivalence due to the United States infiltration in the island. Puerto Ricans strongly identify with their Spanish heritage in certain aspects of their everyday life but also strongly identify with the United States culture as better exemplified by the use of language that strongly incorporates AngloSaxon words into the main Spanish language. They argue furthermore that Puerto Ri cans are marginalized between the United States and the rest of Latin America. Politically, economically and culturally they do not feel completely Latin Americans nor completely Americans. When compared to other Latin American countries Puerto Rico fares much better economically, but when compared to the mainland U S ., Puerto Ricans are frightfully poor (Mills, Senior, & Goldsen, 1950)

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104 Karl Marx wrote extensively about labor as an agent of radical social change. He saw trade unions as the means that the proletariat used to overthrow the bourgeoisie ( Marx, 1867) Lenin extended Marxs work by claiming that unions needed to join a revolut ionary party in order to be successful, implying that unions alone did not have the means to be revolutionary (Lenin, 1905) Although these authors ideas are undoubtedly instrumental and have been expanded considerably by contemporary thinkers, there is no way to deny that unionism has its roots in the 19thMuch research has been conducted on the factors that characterize individuals attitudes regarding unionism. One of the main factors highlighted by these researchers is economic motivations as a determinant of s upport to join unions and collective development (Allen & Keaveny, 1981; Deshpande & Fiorito, 1989) Similarly, economic concerns influence features of the unions after they have formed, such as membership and commitment (Newton & Shore, 1992) although it is understood that the economic factors play a more important role in union formation than thereafter. century and these labor movements have continued to be instrumental as agents of radical social change. The social movement that the proposed privatization of the PRTC generated travels along those lines, and was brought about by union workers. Premack and Hunter's (1988) study on individual voting in union formation elections illustrates this point. The study found a positive relationship bet ween unionization preference and available resources. The higher the level of dissatisfaction of the employee, the higher the probability that he or she would cast their vote in favor of a union. This results also highlight the value that employees place on unions as a means to achieve economic goals ( Blader, 2007). The general tendency is that

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105 individuals will prefer unionization if they think that a union would be helpful in bettering the economic benefits that their organization provides (Blader, 2007) Other factors besides economic concerns have also been identified on union formation, su ch as personal characteristics and ideologies ( Deshpande & Fiorito, 1989) family background (Barlin, Fullagar, & Kelloway, 1992) and ideological perspec tives. Nevert heless, economic concerns stand out as the primary factor in union formation and organization (Kochan, 1980) Ellemers et al (1993) argue that collective action studies show that the view of injustices based on groupjustice are vital for collective action, even if those who decide to join in are not directly affected and that collective action is more likely when it is perceived as crucial to the eradication of those injustices (Ellemers, Wilke, & van Knippenberg, 1993) Research also finds that individuals are more prone to engage in collective behavior when their sense of self is closely tied to the group perceived as suffering injustice (Veenstra & Haslam, 2000; Kelly & Breinlinger, 1996) T he case of Puerto Rico and the telephone c ompany can be theoretically explained by both resource mobilization theory and social psychology. This social movement was composed of two stages: the initial strike by union workers and the general strike were most of the population participated. The unions strike can be ex plained in terms of resource mobilization theory. Resource mobilization sees actors as rational institutions and individuals taking political action (Buechler, 1999) It also stresses the capacity of members to acquire resources and mobilize people towards the achievement of their goals (Kendall, 2005) When deciding to initially strike, the workers were rationally acting towards their goal, which was a purely materialistic one (i.e. fear of layoffs) and saw a strike against their employer as solution to their dilemma. As the

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106 strike progressed, they were able to create new organizations that in turn allowed them to reach out to the masses and involve them in their struggle. The second stage of the social movement can be characterized by the massive social s upport it received. In this instance, psychological factors, along with the resource mobilization acquired in the first stage helped shape the form of the movement. The telephone workers were able to achieve a high level of solidarity first from other unions and later from the general population. Those outside the telephone company felt that the sale was unfair to the workers and decided to support their struggle. As the strike progressed, it transformed into a sense of nationalism and governments injustic e toward the national patrimony. The psychological dimension was crucial to the vitality and energy that permeated the general strike. Without the psychological factor, it is unclear that purely economic concerns for the welfare of the workers would have translated into massive public support. As things progressed, the strike became clearly more and more about the island of Puerto Rico than about the telephone workers economic concerns, but it is important to keep in mind that without the economic factor it is very possible that this movement would never have taken place Background and the Unions Strike The public sector in Puerto Rico since the 1940s has been extremely significant compared to its Latin American neighbors. By the decade of the 1970s this sector included health care, water systems, telegraph, convention hotels, radio, and TV networks, among others. This public sector has been the target for privatization from governments across party lines. Attempts at privatization have ranged from

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107 subco ntracts, leases, to the complete sale of public enterprises, like the shipping company. Of all the attempts at privatization in the island none generated the kind of public outrage that the sale of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) did. The mass protest that the sale of the PRTC created is explicated by the conviction that state owned enterprises can be more competent than the private sector (Bernabe, 2007) The PRTC originated as a successor of ITT, whose telephone service through the island was dis astrous at best. Bearing that fact in mind, it is not surprising that Puerto Ricans opposed the sale to a private enterprise (ibid). Furthermore, the plan to sell the PRTC stemmed exclusively from Governor Pedro Rossells commitment to neoliberal policie s rather than from efficiency or profitability concerns (Guzman, 2007) Many claim that the emphasis of Gov. Rosell on these neoliberal policies was to gain sympathy in Washington from the Republican Congressional majority in order to support his prostat ehood plan by portraying Puerto Rico as hostile to social services and open to global market reforms. The PRTC was sold to an association led by the U.S. based GTE and Puerto Rico's Banco Popular. GTE is a known downsizer, and selling the company would me an high layoffs, and higher telephonic rates. In addition, the public feared that given that GTE is an international company, rural areas would be neglected in the new system leading to poorer telephone quality. The public notion of the GTE was that it would emphasize its services in metropolitan areas where it mattered20 20 Respondent #13 It is important to note that beyond material concerns for the privatization, the PRTC was also a symbol of national pride.

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108 As shown in C hapter 5, before the PRTC, when the telephone sy stem was in hands of ITT, the service was poor and unreliable in the island. The PRTC transformed that into a highly technological, effective and reliable telephone system that eventually covered the whole island and was at level with the telephone service s in more advanced industrial nations. The fact that this all could be achieved locally was a major source of a sense of economic achievement for Puerto Ricans. The slogans that permeated the strike were Puerto Rico is not for sale and Defend Puerto Ricos patrimony. Public opinion polls conducted both for this study and elsewhere showed that two out of three residents of the island opposed the privatization of the PRTC. The strike started as a labor union strike, with twenty two hundred workers from the Independent Brotherhood of Union Workers (HIETEL), and forty two hundred workers from the Independent Union of Telephone Employees (UIET) going on strike starting on June 16, 1998. Many other union workers across the island pledged their support for the telephone workers and went on strike as well, including bus drivers, water workers and teacher associations among others. As a show of protest, the General Workers Council, which represents several labor unions in the island, withdrew forty million do llars from Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, a partner with a minority stake in the sale of the PRTC. The Teachers Association transferred one hundred million dollars in actions from Banco Popular to a local institution, the Westernbank. Union workers were calling the population to follow suit and withdraw money from Banco Popular and transfer it to local institutions. The president of the General Workers Council, Awilda Vera stated that we could not continue to support a banking institution that turns its back on our country and refuses to hear the workers claims (Rolando, 2007)

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109 Previous to the strike of the PRTC union workers, on October 1, 1997 when the plans to sell the PRTC to GTE were first made public, the island saw the biggest mass demonstration it had seen in its history, led by the HIETEL. The manifestation lasted only a day but it drew more than one hundred thousand supporters of the union workers in an angry gathering in front of the governors house. Even though the sale to GTE was reported in the American news, this first strike received no attention from the U S. Governor Rosell refused to negotiate with the strikers and insisted that the sale would go on. Ever since the union strike started in June 1998, Governor Rosell authorized pol ice to use physical force against picketers if deemed necessary in order to prevent them from illegally occupying buildings or interfere with normal government proceedings. This action was in clear violation of the Puerto Rican Constitution which allowed the right to strike. After this strike, Puerto Rico passed law 45 which prohibits public employees from striking21 21 The unconstitutional nature of law 45 is currently being challenged in court by the Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico. The unions actions were clashed by brutal force by the police and the FBI that included beating as police attempted to break the picket lines and allow access to those who wanted to cross the picket lines in order to get to work. The unions strike blocked access to the PRTC headquarters, effectively interrupting operations and causing the company to lose more than seven hundred thousand dollars a day. Phone service was affected throughout the island and the local economy also suffered due to the fact that the interruption of phone lines caused automatic teller machines and electronic funds transfer transactions to crash. In addition, the c ourts also suffered and had to reduce the number of cases they were evaluating by 40 to 50% due

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110 to the fact that most policeman were deployed to the picket lines and could not testify in criminal cases where they were witnesses. On June 22, 1998 the unions strike reached a high point in violence. Dozens of strikers were arrested while police also brutally beat strikers until they were bloody and unconscious and used toxic gas in order to control the picketers. Many of the cops involved took of their ident ification badges in clear violation of the law during the confrontations in order to avoid being identified later on. I was there, I saw the cops come in a rage to break our protest. There was nothing at all in their uniforms that would help us identify t hem or distinguish them from one another. It was a scary situation22 22 Respondent #8 All of this violence was captured by reporters and TV cameras and once the reports hit the airwaves and press, thousands of citizens marched to the picket lines in an attempt to strength en the strike. Gunmen opened fire and detonated bombs while the police kept the violence against picketers. The shows of brutal force by police caused religious organizations to join the strikes calling for the end of violence and return to peace. Motoris ts passing by the strikers donated more than one hundred thousand dollars to the workers in the first ten days of the strike. The symbol of the strike was the Puerto Rican flag, showing that the strike was more than material ; it was a sign of rebellion against imperialist rule and Rossells attempts to sell everything that belonged to Puerto Rico (Reinosa, 2007) The Bar Association of Puerto Rico put lawyers as bystanders on the picket lines to ensure that peoples constitutional rights were not being v iolated by police. The mass attitude during the Puerto Rico telephone strike sharply contrasted with a history of negative attitudes in the island toward strikes and unionism (Fortuo, 2007)

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111 The anti privatization movement was not limited to the island. Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and other Hispanics and community committees in New York also staged a march between the headquarters of the GTE and the Banco Popular branch in the city. Protest marches were also reported in other U S cities and in Massachuset ts, where GTE has regional offices. On June 26, 1998 at 6:00 pm the Broad Committee of Trade Union Organizations (CAOS), who was in charge of the unions strike, held a meeting to organize and call for an indefinite general strike that would shut down the island until their demands were met or at least negotiated by the government. The main demand of the union workers at this point was a call for a referendum to decide whether the PRTC should be sold or not. The strikers felt strongly about this referendum given that it was already known that more than 65% of the population opposed the sale. According to one of the major Puerto Rican newspapers, El Nuevo Da, more than three thousand delegates from different public sectors, organizations, and trade unions v oted in favor of a national strike, with the beginning of the strike set for July 7, 1998 at 6:00 am until the government responded. The consensus at this point was that the strikes progress would be evaluated by the union leadership day by day and would stop when deemed convenient by the workers. The decision to call for a general strike did not come easily. Although it was almost a given that a national strike was going to be the highlight of the union workers strike, reaching a consensus on the logist ics of the strike proved problematic for the delegates who voted in favor of it. Ultimately, the delegated decided to leave the decisions in the hands of the leadership of the CAOS, and CAOS excluded the delegate assembly from deciding where and how long t he strike would last. This was not originally the plan of

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112 the presidents of the two unions that started the strike Annie Cruz form HIETEL and Jos J. Hernndez from UIETwho had publicly stated that they expected to come out of the meeting with a definite date and duration for the strike. The meeting for the call of a general strike started with a small caucus which included presidents of trade unions besides HIETEL and UIET. The president of the Electric Industry Workers Union (UTIER), the president of the Authentic Independent Union (UIA) and the president of the Teachers Federation. These leaders could not reach an agreement given that opinions were split regarding the degree of preparation that they felt Puerto Rico had for a general strike. Both the UTIER and the UIA leaders felt that more time was needed to promote and organize the strike, while the HIETEL and UIET wanted to proceed as soon as possible. Consensus was also not reached regarding the united participation of the organizations during the strike. Union laws provide for each organization to decide independently whether they want to strike and for how long they want to do so. The police superintendent, Pedro Toledo, tried to blame the agitations brought about by the unions strike on proindependence rebels, faculty and students of the University of Puerto Rico in an attempt to portray the strike as the result of extremist forces in the island. Annie Cruz responded to the statement by saying that the telephone workers strike had transce nded into a national strike against privatization and neoliberalism. This certainly was the case. Rosell was firm since the beginning in his plan to sell the company and did not seem to hesitate for a second along the way. He blamed the peoples strike on misinformation and repeatedly stated that actions would speak louder than words and that the country would see the results of the privatization at the right time. He

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113 completely refused to negotiate or meet with union leaders and picketers, claiming that the decision to sell was already made. On one interview he cited Winston Churchill at the beginning of the Second World War saying that he asked from his country blood sweat and tears in order to guide it to triumph. Nevertheless, at one point he considered an offer from TISA, a Spanish company. TISA guaranteed no layoffs for company workers for five years following the sale and offered a better deal than the GTE overall. Rosell appeared to be reconsidering the sale to GTE, but after the TISA offer the GTE improved its deal and finally won. The general strike started as finally decided on July 7, 1998. Annie Cruz laid out the CAOS strategy through a televised press conference on July 5, 1998. Union workers from around 60 organizations under CAOS were going to stop their jobs and start picketing from 4:00 am to noon on that Tuesday. Then, between 12:00 and 1:00 pm the workers were to go on convoys and marches throughout the island and between 2:00 and 4:00 pm concentration activities were going to take place in predesignated sites in fourteen municipalities, including government offices, hospitals, banking zones, the University of Puerto Rico and shopping malls (Cruz, 1998) A nnie Cruz was clear in stating that the union workers were planning on not letting anyone access their work sites. She reminded the masses to stay strong and to know that they were not fighting alone, that in New York, Tampa, Dallas and California people were also joining in and marching against the Banco Popular, GTE and Citibank who was financing the GTE purchase. The unions also made sure to assure the people that the strike was for the country of Puerto Rico, not against it and that they would do their best to make sure that basic services were not affected. Nevertheless, th ey acknowledged that some of these services could be affected by technical problems

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114 external to the strike and that could possibly not immediately be repaired because they were going to make sure that field workers did not access their work sites. The str ategy for the second day of the general strike was different. On Wednesday, July 8, the union workers were planning on concentrating large amounts of citizens in only five municipalities: San Juan, Caguas, Arecibo, Ponce, and Mayaguez. When asked by a reporter about the possibility of violence during the general strike she responded that the CAOS desire was to conduct a pacific protest but that if the government wanted to play dirty then the masses would have to fight back by any means necessary. She said that the people of Puerto Rico were not going to try and emulate Jesus Christ and turn the other cheek. On Thursday, the plan was to analyze the results from Tuesday and Wednesday in order to establish new strategies to proceed (Cruz, 1998) The General Strike Confronted with the imminence of the strike, several shops and major shopping areas announced that they would be closing during the strike, including Plaza Las America, the major shopping mall in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in response to CAOS threat to picket the entrance to the mall. What was the point in opening my shop if everyone would be too concerned with the strike? Besides risking my safety and that of my employees, I would be losing money in operations23 23 Respondent #37 Banco Popular also announced that it would cease operations during the strike, losing millions of dollars by doing so. LIAT airlines also announced that it would not fly into the Luis Muoz Marin International Airport and cancelled its seven daily flights during the strike.

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115 Airport a uthorities increased security, including police security and FBI agents. The airport management reminded its employees that their contracts are covered by the Taft Harley law, which prohibits them from joining solidarity protests and warned them against tr ying to avoid crossing picket lines. The government, in turn, continued to reduce the strike to a police issue and continued neglecting any negotiations (Gonzalez, 2007) The environment that permeated in the Island previous to the general strike has frequently been compared to the arrival of a hurricane. People emptied supermarkets of essentials in fear of interrupted communication with produce providers and merchants covered their stores windows with aluminum boards for fear of break in and destruction. A San Juan resident24The strike also affected the tourism industry. Two cruise ships, the only two scheduled for the week of the general strike, due to land in the island changed t heir routes to avoid the strike. According to the General Planning Boards (Junta de Planificacion General) statistics, the merchants in the touristic zone lost around three thousand eight hundred dollars, what was expected to be spent by the tourist in the cruise ships. Most merchants decided to close their shops given that more than 85% of their earnings come from cruise ships tourist activity. The Tourism Company had previously stated that they did not expect the strike to affect tourism activities and that they were confident that the ships would proceed with their scheduled itinerari es. claims that Things were looking worse than they did for Hurricane Hugo. On July 7, the strikers started their protests at midnight. Chanting struggle yes, surrender no they effectively blocked the entrance to the International Airport and the 24 Respondent #21

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116 mass amount of people that joined in the protest was highly effective in frus trating the polices and FBIs efforts to break picket lines. Something that the police did not see coming was that the unions had portrayed the protests as starting at 6:00 am but the blockade actually started at midnight effectively blocking police preparations to break them. This shows the effective level of grassroots communication that was able to interfere with the governments attempts to halt the protests. Truck drivers blocked the entrance to the airport with their trucks, while the picket lines co ntinued to grow throughout the day. Taxi workers also decided not to work in a show of solidarity. The strike took the form of a national party in several places, with people dancing and chanting to some of the islands most prominent bands and entertainers. Crowds of young people could be seen dancing and celebrating on the streets while waving the Puerto Rican flag and repeating the strikes slogan Puerto Rico is not for sale. Annie Cruz categorized the strike as a massive success, pointing that its main objective of paralyzing the island was reached by and large. Several hundred of tourists were stranded in the island. The images of north Americans walking down the sideways carrying their luggage under the hot sun because they could not fly out of t he island captured U S news attentions and reports started to pour about the general strike in the mainland U S whose media had failed to report the general strike in Puerto Rico despite the fact that the proposed sale to GTE was widely covered through its media. The airport mobilization brought traffic to a standstill, extending the picket lines through the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, one of the most important in the island. It gives access to the airport and allows people coming from the east to drive int o San Juan. The bridge also had to be closed down during the general strike. The police superintendent Pedro Toledo announced that the strikers had

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117 until 8:00 am to leave peacefully before the police was authorized to break the picket by violent means. He arrived at the airport but quickly changed his mind, possibly because he realized that his plan would not succeed due to the mass amount of people involved. Tense negotiations started with leaders and about 11:00 am the picket lines started to dissolve. By this time, all of the morning flights had been disrupted and most of the afternoon flights were already canceled. Meanwhile, Governor Rosell was reported to take the week off to spend it in his beach house. He offered a press conference around noon and avoided talking about the obvious effects of the strike in the island and concentrated on discussing on less important issues. The reporters kept bringing on the general strike issue and he undermined it, stating that the effects of the strike were minimal and that most workers had reported to work. He repeated that he had no intentions of negotiating and that the sale would proceed. After the conference he returned to his beach house. Charlie Rodriguez, the Senates president and who also belongs to the PNP party digressed, saying that the effects of the strike could be noticed and confirming that several members of his party had joined the protests. On the second day of the general strike, mobilization continued but things started to go smoother than o n the previous day. The airport had resumed normal operations and the picket lines were not as dense as on Tuesday. Effective negotiations with the police allowed the picketers to continue demonstrating and enjoying their constitutional right to strike peacefully. The AFL CIO union leadership in New York contributed one hundred thousand dollars to be distributed among the PRTCs union workers that were on their twenty third day of striking. The cruise port continued to be blocked for the second consecutive day while many merchants reopened and others decided to remain

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118 closed down. On this day, Annie Cruz announced that the unionists were open to negotiations to end the strike if some conditions for their return to work could be negotiated, specifically avoiding sanctions for going on strike. Nevertheless, CAOS exhorted the Puerto Rican community to continue the strike and congratulated them for their efforts. According to a retired ex member of HIETEL, the general strikes short life was due to pessimism am ongst the union workers25Confronted with the dilemma of whether to return to work or continue to strike, the unionists decided to continue to strike. The candor of the leadership on the days previous to the general strike was gone and it was obv ious that they did not feel as strongly as they did before. The mass mobilizations started to decline and picket lines started to vanish, although some people continued picketing throughout the island. On the night of July 15, UIET decided to call off the strike through a delegate assemblys meeting. They affirmed that returning to work did not mean that they were giving up Despite the tremendous popular success of the strike, he claims that union workers and leaders were quickly unmotivated by Governor Rossellos refusal to negotiate and his firm position regarding the sale. This feeling was shared among many of his ex coworkers (Maldonado, 2007) Leadership of both the UIET and HIETEL were torn between continuing to strike and returning to work. Some cited the obvious physical and economic toll that the strike was taking amongst workers and the fact that other offers for the sale had appeared (including TISA) and that the process of negotiation could go up to six months and there was no sense on continuing to strike, while others felt that abandoning the strike only two days after the massive show of support received was a mistake. 25 Respondent #11

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119 against the sale, but that they had succeeded in getting the case to both the local and federal courts and in getting other agencies involved, such as the Federal Communications Commission. The return to work was a far cry from the proposed plan by Annie Cruz and Jose Juan Hernandez, who originally said that the strike would go on as long as needed until the Governor decided to negotiate. Instead, they turned their strategy to a negotiation so that union workers and PRTC employees were not penalized for joining the strike. Unfortunately, the governor also refused to negotiate in this respect. The Secretary of Government announced that it had been the public policy of government since 1993 to watch for the loyal enforcement of the laws and rules of unions and collectives and that for that reason the Rosell administration was not open to any negotiation regarding the abortion of sanctions for the unionists. Hernandez had no choice but to announce to the unionists that there could be firings and suspensions (Gonzalez, 'Puerto Rico had never seen anything like it:' the meaning of the general strike, 1998) Annie Cruz stated that going back to work with no warranties that sanctions wont be imposed is like taking our struggle into the workplace (Lozada, 1998) in an obvious attempt to keep the unionist spirits up high. However, on the next day the UIET members decided against the delegat es that they would not return to work unless the conditions for their return to work were met. This brought the unionist strikes back on the table. The HIETEL also opted for continuing striking until guarantees that no action against the strikers would be taken. These negotiations caused a noticeable decline in the mass attitude towards the strike. People felt that the strike had reached a standstill and saw no reasons to continue on. The leadership of the strike was widely criticized for its disorganizati on and for failing to

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120 continue pushing the general strike. Annie Cruz rescinded as a coordinator of CAOS, citing a failure to recognize her efforts on the part of the unionists and personal problems. After this, the CAOS sent out a press communicate claimi ng that Cruz ad decided to rescind because of the time effort that the new stage of negotiations required. This situation exemplified the internal stresses within the labor movement that although were clear since the beginning but could have been overcome by the popular support. It points to the loss of initiative and motivation after only thirty seven days of striking. On July 22, 1998 Governor Rossell announced the final sale to GTE. The counter offer made by TISA exceeded the GTE offer by one hundred and ninety million dollars. The Governor said that for practical reasons it was better to proceed with GTE since the legislature had already approved the sale and the sale could be done more rapidly. It is agreed upon the population that the Governor went with GTE also because it would allow him to use part of the money to improve the sewage system in a timely fashion, which he had promised as part of his reelectoral campaign. On July 25, the unionists announced that they had been able to reach a middle p oint with the government and were returning to work. The details of such negotiations were never made public and the only thing that was said about it was that the deal would ensure the peaceful operations of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. The announce ment came on the same day that Puerto Rico celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the U S invasion of the island, which had added motivation to the strike during the preceding weeks. Sekhela Buhlungu argues that unions would always be torn between effi ciency and democracy and that the tensions would take the form of conflicts between

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121 members and officials, members and delegates and between structures (Bulungu, 1999) The case of Puerto Rico confirms these findings. Since the beginning of the unionist strike, tensions were apparent and although they seem to overcome at the beginning, a deeper analysis shows that the tensions permeated until the end. The union workers in Argentina, which will be explore more in depth later, have successfully managed to rise above these tensions and furthermore to expand their reach to unions across the country and embed them in their social movement. It is clear that the organization and leadership of unions is key to successful social movements. Unfortunately, Puerto Ri co failed on that front. Robert Lambert ( 1988) identifies three areas that are significant for social movement unionism: (1) the transcendence of the established political economic segregation, (2) attempts at creating structural allegiances with social m ovements, and (3) the engage in national campaigns of resistance against the state. He argues that the primary task of social movement unionism is the transcendence of the bourgeois separation of politics and economics which needs to be understood in the light of the relationships between economy, civil society and the state. The greater the containment of unionism within the collective bargaining system, the greater the social stability of capitalism. That is why new forms of workplace organization and practice that transcend the divide and lock into civil society and the state in new ways pose a threat to capitalist dominance (Lambert, 1988) By transcending the traditional political economic divide, Lambert is not concerned with the separation of economic interest from political issues, because as he states workers struggles against dominative power in the workplace are immanently political (p.32). This divide involves the separation of the workplace and the nonworking life of the agent. Union work ers in social movements need not to be reminded of their decisions or modus operandi by external agencies regardless of what the interests of those agencies represent. They are well aware of the existing social order and the role

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122 that they play on it and are fully capable of independently taking action in order to change it. Lambert and Webster (1988) distinguish between three types of unionism, "orthodox", populist and social movement unionism. They define orthodox unionism as: a form of trade unionism which concentrates almost exclusively on workplace issues; fails to link production issues to wider political issues; and finally encourages its members to become politically involved without necessarily engaging itself in the wider political arena, believing that this is best left to other organizations more suited to the task. The political content of such unionism varies widely, but in each instance, what is common to this orientation is an accommodation and absorption into industrial relations syst ems, which not only institutionalizes conflict, but also serves to reinforce the division between economic and political forms of struggle so essential to the maintenance of capitalist relations in production, in the community and in the state ( p. 2021) Populist unionism is: unionism in which trade unionism and struggles in the factory are downplayed. The latter is a tendency that neglects struggles over wages, supervision, managerial controls at the workplace and job evaluation. It places in its stead a political engagement that only serves to dissipate shop floor struggles ( p. 21) Finally, "political, or social movement unionism" is: That type that attempts to link production to wider political issues. It is a form of union organization that facilit ates an active engagement in factory based, production politics and in community and state power issues. It does not negate the role of a political party, but rather asserts the need for a co coordinating political body that is democratic in its practices and therefore able to relate to political unionis m in a noninstrumental manner ( p. 21) The activism in the PRTC, under these typologies, can be characterized as a middle point between orthodox unionism and populist unionism. Oddly enough, under these definitions, the category of social movement unionism does not really apply to it. Although the issue of the privatization of PRTC transcended economic

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123 issues as we have seen and was also a clear revolt against the neoliberal policies of Governor R ossell, the unions strike started exclusively as a workplace issue: fear of job losses. It transcended and was able to reach out to the general population outside the unions, but it did exactly what Lambert and Webster claim, it encouraged its members to become politically involved without entering the broader political arena. At no point there were talks of leaders trying to escalate into higher political positions, nor any member of the unions or anything along those lines. They did want to negotiate f ace to face with the Governor, but since he refused to do so we will never know for sure how that process would have developed and the things that they did finally negotiate were never made public and hint at the fact that said negotiations did not really fulfill the requests that the workers originally had sought. The fact that the divisions within the unions were so marked makes it easy to believe that even if the governor had accepted to negotiate, the negotiation could have easily come to a halt amongst the workers. In its final stages, the unionists strike took the shape more of a populist movement. The original struggle was seemingly forgotten and the final negotiations neglected any negotiation of salary, working conditions and employment securit y. At that point, it is apparent that the strikers were mostly concerned with avoiding sanctions and securing the jobs they already had. From this discussion, it becomes apparent that those unionists that from the beginning felt that they did not have the required conditions to go on strike were correct. Previous to the telephone workers strike, Puerto Rico had lived in a relative political calm despite the U S imperialism. The only major labor strike that the country had seen occurred during the 1930s, more than sixty years before the PRTC events. Most of the

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124 PRTC unionists were relatively young and had not really experienced political turmoil which could have played a role in the developments of the privatization sale. Other social movements in Latin Am erica emerged in countries that had since the beginning been permeated by political disruption and were not strange to revolts. I believe that the inexperience of Puerto Rico in situations aimed at social reform and social change can at least partially exp lain the failure of the PRTC movement. Conclusion Although the PRTC movement was unsuccessful in achieving its goal of stopping the privatization, it would be unfair to characterize it as a complete failure. The general strike shows that social movements in Puerto Rico have the potential of disrupting the political arena and this strike was a complete success in terms of mobilization and political unrest. Governor Pedro Rossell lost his reelection bid in 2000, after being a very popular candidate at some point during the 1990s. His neoliberal policies gradually were causing discontent among both his followers and the opposition. It is generally accepted in Puerto Rico that his defeat was a result of these reforms and his blatant neglect of popular concerns. The general strike helped to reinforce that belief. The movement also paved the way to the Vieques Navy movement, which followed shortly after the PRTC movement. Chapters 7 and 8 explore Vieques history and the social movement that followed.

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125 CHAPTER 7 VIEQUES: A STORY OF COLONIAL IMPERIALISM Introduction U S military practices in Latin America have taken place since the 18thThe island of Vieques is located approximately eight miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. It is relatively small, measuring 21 miles long. Its location, practically connecting the Greater Antilles with the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, has made Vieques a highly attractive territory for many colonizers since the European conquests. It became official Spaniard property after the conquests, but other European forces at times had made claims over it at times, espec ially military claims. century and continue up to this date. A historical look at Latin America will reveal decades, even centuries of struggle, both within the countries and outside of them. Latin America remains the region with the most significant economic inequalities in the world since the ages of Spanish colonization. Distribution of power is strikingly uneven, with power concentrated in the hands of a few elites in most countries. For these reasons, among many other too lengthy to discuss here, Latin Americans have evolved inside a culture of contention and revolution, which often times are the only means of possible change available to them. The island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, offers one example of this. Due to its strategic location in the Caribbean, its small size, and its incorporation to the U S through the Commonwealth status of Puerto Rico, the island became a perfect ground for U S mi litary practices and preparations. Professor Jorge Rodrguez Beruff (1988) describes the military importance of Puerto Rico, which dates back to the Spanish colonization for the extraction of gold and silver. For the United States, Puerto Rico formed part of the Panam a Canal and its commercial lines. Following the Spanish War, the increase in militarization, he tells us,

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126 was part of the Cold War mentality and an attempt to control national revolutions and maintain a colonial dominance in the Car ibbean. The decade of t he 1940s serves as a perfect example of this mentality (Beruff, 1988). In 1941, the United States Navy arrived in Vieques for military practicing. Throughout the decade, the United States Congress with support from the government of the islandenacted several laws that allowed the Navy use of the eastern and western portions of the island for bombing practices The most severe of these laws, Law #247, gave the Navy complete reign over the lands they were already occupying in order to build up a naval base in the island. Up until 2001, the Navy had direct control of almost three quarters of the island. At the time of the Navy settlement, t he Puer to Rican government was still colonial ; it was not until 1952 that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico came to be. This government contributed to the Navys expansion and to the civilian expropriation of land by granting the Navy the right to use all dry land and water bodies surrounding the islands of Vieques and Culebra. Despite the almost total control of the island, bombing practices were only carried out in the eastern portion of Vieques, the rest of the territories were used as storage grounds for ammunition. All of the best and most fertile portions of land were under U.S control. The arrival of the Navy, besides causing a large part of the population to lose their land also brought seve re social problems. Unemployment levels, poverty rates and socioeconomic development are substandard when compared to those of Puerto Ricans living in the mainland. Cancer rat es in Vieques are three time higher than cancer rates in the mainland. The source of the anomalous cancer rate have been studied both by the Puerto Rican legislature and United States government, but it is typically

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127 assumed that these were direct consequences of the bombing residue and the deteriorated economic conditions that came with it. The Navy forced thousands of people off their land, regardless of how long they had held control of it. The U S paid fixed prices to the landowners, some receiving as little as $20.00 for their lot and/or their houses if they did not legally owned the lot on which their houses were built. The families were then reassigned to a cane field, under the provision that if the Navy at any time needed to use the field, they would have to vacate within 48 hours. One of the most notable consequences of the Navy invasion was the mass migration of viequenses, who saw no better alternative than to flee the island. The main migrations were to the mainland of Puerto Rico, while others left for the United States and to a lesser degree some immigrated to the Lesser Antilles surrounding Vieques. At this time, there had been mass migrations of Puerto Ricans to the United States, following World War II. Agricultural production was in decline in the island while the government sought to rapidly industrialize the economy and rural workers suddenly found themselves facing increasing income losses. The economic boost of the United States economy after the Great Depression era presented the possibility of steady employment, and airfares were lowering their tariffs, which made migration both easy and affordable. New York, Chicago and Orlando were some of the most common destinations for these Puerto Ricans. The Puerto Rican government was facing an overpopulation dilemma, as population was growing as a steady rate of approximately 1% a year (Pico, 1991). Overpopulation also brought unemployment, and the government saw an unexpected

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128 alleviation to their social issues with the mass migrations. It creat ed a supervising body to oversee the working conditions of Puerto Rican immigrants in the USA. By the end of the 1940s, a plan was underway to allow the Navy to take complete control over Vieques for their activities. The U S government, represented by t he Department of Interior, started preparations to reposition all of the people left in Vieques after the immigrations into the neighboring island of St. Croix. The plan hit some roadblocks along the way and it never came into fruition. It was not long after the arrival of the Navy that some members of the government started understanding the damaging effects of its presence and criticizing the unfair practices. Some representatives in the legislature started voicing concerns over the legality of the land expropriation and the economic consequences of such practices. The most vocal anti Navy leader, however, was Dr. Pedro Albizu Campus. He charged the Navy of being mass murders and called the situation in Vieques a genocide. He charged the U S administration with killing the Vieques people in the most brutal of manners, by dealing a slowly death and destroying everything they had worked for. He also accused the U S government of forcing a twisted education upon the younger generations causing them to disregard the true Puerto Rican values. He said that he feared that at any time that the United States felt it appropriate, they could easily invade any of the municipalities of the island, which was evidenced by the establishment of nava l bases in the mainland. Violence in Vieques escalated as the Navys tenure progressed. Vices until then mostly unheard of saturated the island. Naval officers frequently contracted prostitutes, abused alcohol and became violent when under the influence of controlled substances.

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129 One example of such violence occurred in 1953, when a group of drunk marines, attempting to buy more alcohol, k illed two civilians by beating them to death. These were Pepe Christian and Julio Bermudez. Both men were in their sevent ies. A military trail was set up to prosecute the perpetrators, which were acquitted of all charges In another event, nineteen people suffered severe injuries in a confrontation with naval officers when these attempted to let themselves into a private par ty. The locals were of course not amused with the unexpected guests and tried to stop them from entering the party, which provoked a full blown confrontation that ended in physical violence. During Governor Muoz Marns administration, a strategy for com plete takeover of Vieques by the Navy was underway. Marin lobbied hard against this plan, claiming that the movement fundamentally violated the agreement and that this would be the first time that the American government would take such a deplorable action in their history (Sanchez, 2009). There were talks about the possible expropriation of the southern portion of the island by the Navy during the early 1960s. This movement enraged the citizens, who formed local organizations and associations to oppose t he move, fearing that the Navy would eventually gain control of the entire island. The group appeared before the government of Puerto Rico in San Juan and traveled to Washington to express their opposition. They were successful in avoiding the takeover (Murillo, 2007) Human Rights Violation Although scientific evidence has not been put forth regarding the issue, it is generally accepted that the navy practices contributed to deteriorating health conditions throughout Vieques. Bomb explosions release tox ic materials that are a hazard to the environment. Before the Navy arrived, levels of contamination in Vieques were minimal

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130 and the island enjoyed vast natural resources in the form of land and pure water (Pinillas, 2004). Since the population is scarce and the island is small, automobiles did not account for a significant source of pollution in the air. In fact, many Viequenses to this day still do not own a car. Bombing ranges existed within civilian areas. As mentioned above, the cancer rate in Vieques is nearly triple the rate in the mainland and this is a major problem when considering how much smaller the population of Vieques is. One of the main issues with human right abuses in the island during the local and international campaigns called attenti on to the poor health of Viequenses. The situation became even more alarming when the Navy acknowledged that their ammunition contained depleted uranium (DU) in May 1999, after the U S Military Toxic Organization filed a Freedom of Information request. Even then, they claimed that they had only done this once and by mistake, but the discovery only served to fuel the masses further against the Navy. Experts and citizens alike met the claim that this was a onetime only incident with skepticism. In fact, there was widespread worldwide controversy over the use of DU in the war against Yugoslavia in 1999. It turns out that many of the battle equipment used in the war by NATO were tested in Vieques first. The use of DU in warfare remains controversial due t o its toxic health effects. During the illegal occupation of Navy grounds by civilians in 19992000, experts were for the first time able to conduct studies on the quality of the environment in these areas, which the public was barred from until then. The ecological devastation of the land and environment has been tied to the aforementioned health concerns (Romero, 2005). Studies found that biosystems closer to the bombing ranges had a higher

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131 amount of toxins than those on mainland Puerto Rico. The Navy, over time, did away with most of Vieques natural resources. Land to this day shows clear signs of degradation. One direct consequence of this was the erosion of Vieques once blooming agricultural economy. A study funded in part by the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus, found that even that vegetation that is able to grow in the degraded and arid land could be hazardous if consumed by humans (Ruiz Marrero, 2001). Amongst some of the material found in selected vegetables grown throughout the isl and, toxic minerals (when consumed) were nickel, manganese and lead. During the Navy tenure, t he economy of Vieques fared worse than the United States economic downfall after the Great Depression (Ramrez de Len, 1996). Agriculture was the main source of employment in the municipality before 1941. It was closely followed by the fishing sector. Since part of the agreement with the Navy included their control of waters up to three miles off the coast of the island, the fishing activities became severely co nstrained (Ruiz Marrero, 2001) David Sanes In spite of obvious popular discontent, the Navy continued its practices for almost six decades The situation would start to change with a surprising development on the evening of April 19, 1999. On this evening, the Navy was conducting aerial practices and two live bombs were dropped, each weighing 500 pounds. As luck would have it, these bombs missed the intended target and detonated near the Navy practice field. A civilian guard named David Sanes was, on that afternoon, in charge of guarding the Navys observation post, which was destroyed by the explosion. David Sanes also lost his life.

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132 Sanes' death was a tragedy waiting to happen. This was the tragedy that Viequenses had been warning against and had been fearing for decades. Outrage soon followed and the Navy became under even higher pressure to stop their practices and to leave the island once and for all. Calls against the actions come in droves, from the New York Times, Washington Post and local newspapers, among many other media The international community charged the military with neglect and disrespect for the citizens of Vieques. There was mass indignation at the fact that bombing experiments were a daily occurrence in a small and inhabited i sland. Important figures joined the denunciation, including politicians from all sides of the political spectrum and religious leaders of various denominations. The citizens of the mainland joined their plea. Unfortunately, the Navy could not claim that this accident was an isolate incident. In several occasions before, the bombing practices had gone awry and the bombs had missed their targets. Just a year before, in 1998, a dummy mission turned into a shooting when the Navy had once again missed their t arget and their bullets had reached school buses, blasting their windows. In 1993, a jet dropped the same kind of bombs that killed Sanes about one mile from the center of Vieques. This area was not considered Navy territory and the intended target of the bombs was much further off, about ten miles away into the waters. Surprisingly, there had not been any major injuries during these incidents, except perhaps, emotional ones. The Movement Gains Momentum It would be mistaken to assume that the citizens of Vieques were strangers to protest activity before 1999. The Navy had experience the anger of both Viequenses and Puerto Ricans from the mainland before. The biggest protest before Sanes death

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133 had occurr ed in 1979. On this occasion, citizens blocked the Navy property lands. The military was quick to act, however, and the U S got involved. Federal arrests were issued for several of these protesters and the marches died down soon thereafter. The 1979 inc ident was nothing compared to the events that followed the death of David Sanes. Almost immediately, both Viequenses and Puerto Ricans of the mainland marched in droves to the bombing ranges and took them over in order to prevent the military from resuming practices. They erected a cross on the site of Sanes death and organized groups to keep watch of the site at all times. This area is now known as Mount David, in honor of David Sanes. Following the tragedy, the first political group to join the anti Nav y cause was not surprisingly the proindependence party of Puerto Rico. Known for their deviant actions, its leaders and members set up a permanent encampment within the bombing range. Their action sparked the creation of several other encampments throughout the Navy properties and practice lands. All of a sudden, the Navy found their territories occupied by several different groups of the civil society. Encampments were not the only way that dissidents found to confront the Navy. They started entering Navy controlled waters and entering the Navy headquarters, Camp Garcia, through the main gates all the while shouting and chanting for the Navy to leave. It was a massive event. As news of the successes of the encampments and marches spread, more and more cit izens joined. Within a week, the number of people engaged in civil disobedience acts reached over 500. The Church was the second main organization to ally with the citizens, after the proindependence party. The Archbishop of the San Juan Cathedral joined forces with the Bishop of Vieques and together they lead a march that brought hundreds of protesters into Camp Garcia by forced entry.

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134 Since the Navys arrival, a group of Viequenses had formed an organization called Committee for the Rescue and Developm ent of Vieques (CPRDV) denouncing the harm of the military throughout the island. The events of 1999 gave this group unparalleled strength and they set educational workshops to spread their message both at the local and international level. They put the i ssue of Vieques to the forefront of Puerto Rican and international policy They have made their way to the United Nations and participated in conferences on decolonization of Puerto Rico and military interventions of Latin America as a whole. The Puerto Rican law association also joined the fight, writing and denouncing the human rights violations and the tragedy of Sanes to international agencies. The death of David Sanes and the civil disobedience acts that followed was the catapulting event to unite c itizens in a campaign that crossed all political spectrums and religious ideologies. It was clear that the citizens had had enough and Puerto Rico would no longer tolerate the Navy presence in their grounds The mainland U S became an ally, with protests supporting Vieques plea blooming through major cities from coast to coast. The federal government of the United States did take action, and in various occasions, the encampments were occupied and destroyed by the federal policy. Every time they did, howe ver, a new encampment was quickly erected and even more citizens would enter it. By the end of 1999, ordinary citizens, politicians, clergy members and celebrities had all become engaged in acts of civil disobedience in Vieques. Many of them were arrested, but that did not stop further action. The battle was on and going full scale between the citizens and the military. This situation would continue for years to follow.

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135 The events of September 11, 2001seemed to put a halt on the disobedience, and slowly th e dissidents started to abandon their encampments. The U S Congress, despite a promise by President Bush during the summer of 2001 to end the practices in Vieques, felt that now more than ever the Navy practices in the island were of uttermost importance. And although the civil disobedience had come to an end, the strength of the anti military campaign and the efforts to permanently remove the Navy from Vieques had not. The struggle against the military presence in the island remained as strong as ever, or even stronger. The Navy was allowed to resume their practices, on a limited scale, during this period but the activists had made their point. Support for the demilitarization of Vieques was wide and strong. In a shocking course of events, a senator for the prostatehood party, Norma Burgos, was arrested for protesting against the Navy. This was a crucial development for she was one of the first members of the prostatehood party to openly confront the military presence in the island. The position of the statehood party in Puerto Rico is to avoid confrontation with the United States, and no member had ever before been vocal about the issue. Despite this policy, Mrs. Burgos had campaigned before against the militarization of Vieques, even before the event s of 1999. During her civil disobedience participation, Norma Burgos joined with the protesters in direct defiance of the Navy. Many of her fellow colleagues from the statehood party followed her lead. The Navy Leaves Vieques The Puerto Rican government had reached an accord with the Clinton administration to hold a referendum that would seek to resolve the status of Vieques The agreements were reached under the government of Pedro Rossell in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, the transparency of this referendum was highly questioned and the anti -

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136 navy camp extremely dissatisfied with it. It did not propose the immediate cessation of the military practices as was the goal of the protesters. The referendum would allow the people to choose whether they wanted the Navy to continue practice indefinitely, but with an added clause of monetary remuneration that would go to improve the development of Vieques. The other option was to allow the Navy to continue their practices for limited periods of time until May 2003, when they would permanently leave. Under this option, Vieques would also receive federal funds to a lesser degree for development purposes. The referendum was not ideal, but it was start. A change of government both in the United States and Puerto R ico would find themselves playing a different game. The referendum was proposed under the Clinton administration, but a week before the it was scheduled to take place the Navy General, now operating under President Bushs administration, communicated to the new Governess of Puerto Rico, Sila Maria Calderon, that the referendum would be postponed until 2002 or later. Governess Calderon, in response, called for a nonbinding referendum of her own, which included the option of immediate cessation of militar y practices in Vieques. Governess Calderon scheduled the symbolic referendum for July, 2000. The only ones allowed to participate were Vieques residents, but the environment even in the mainland resembled that of a general election day. Sixty eight perc ent of voters chose the immediate end of military practices. It was an emblematic victory since the referendum was not recognized by the U S administration, but it was significant nevertheless. The people of Puerto Rico had spoken and Governess Calderon p romised to send a copy of the results to the Bush administration

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137 The moment was highly emotional. After the announcement of the results were made, people from all corners of the island gathered together in the main plaza and chants of victory, hugs, praye rs, and tears were shared among virtually strangers. The voices crying for the Navys ouster became stronger, cars circled through Vieques and the mainland honking horns, and people ran through the streets highfiving each other. Churches throughout Vieq ues and the mainland tolled their bells in a symbolic manifest of victory. The Navy remained quiet after the referendum results. The mayor of Vieques basked on the referendum results and clamored he would be serving the Navy with an eviction notice and that if they still refused to leave and put an end to the bombing, the people would have no other choice than major acts of civil disobedience, bigger than those they had seen so far. Soon after, however, the Navy announced that the training would not stop. They made notice of the fact that the referendum, being nonbinding and onesided, bore no impact on the ultimate federal decision to stay or leave, which needed to be made by the United States government. The Bush administration continued to feel increasing pressure at the international level to find a resolution to the problem of Vieques. The permanent removal of the Navy was set for May 2003. With all resources by those who advocated for the continued presence of the military in Vieques exhausted, the Navy finally left on May 1, 2003. An ambience of joy permeated Puerto Rico on that day. Both in Vieques and in the mainland fireworks ripped through the air and cheers and dances were seen everywhere. The Navy left quietly, with no big or ceremonial elaborations. The only statement they made was a written communication wishing for continued peace and prosperity for the island. Jailed activists were freed and received as national heroes by

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138 the anti navy movement. Their supporters waited outside the priso n gates with signs and banners recognizing their bravery and thanking them for being freedom fighters. Standing ovations for brave politicians that helped end the 60 years of militarization were heard everywhere. After the ouster, Vieques was granted bac k over one third of the islands land that had been taking over during the previous decades. We here are "sending a message ... that these lands belong to the people of Vieques. 26. If the Navy needed help packing, I was more than available to help27Conclusion The success of this movement was received by collective excitement of an unprecedented kind in Puerto Rico. The day that the Navy left, on May 2003, the streets of Puerto Rico literally inundated with hundreds of people chanting, crying, dancing and shouting cries of joy. This outcome proves that this movement went beyond a mere act of collective action, it became a cultural movement which in the process helped the Puerto Ricans redefine their sense of identity, belonging, and overall, of power agai nst the United States. The day the Navy left, U nited S tates flags were burned and boats chased military personnel into the waters. Chapter 8 highlights the main differences between the PRTC social movement and the Vieques movements and the factors that contributed to their respective outcomes of failure and success. It also expands on the notion that the case of Vieques was not an isolated case, but it follows on similar patterns of U S exploitation in other Latin American countries. 26 R espondent #11 27 Respondent #36

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139 CHAPTER 8 IMPERIALISM CONQUERED Introduction The relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico has been one of power and domination since the beginning. Security is the most important feature of this scenario (Hestres, 2007). As in the PRTC movement, there had been previous attempts at removing the Navy from the island dating back as far as the 1960s. These attempts were far from successful, mostly due to the fact that they were taking place during the Cold War years and the reality is that besides offering a military hub, Puerto Rico was far from the U S main concerns at the time. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the United States significantly reduced its military presence both in the mainland and abroad, raising once again the hopes of the Vie ques people that the Navy would leave their lands. The end of the Cold War thus diluted the main claim that the Navy used to justify its presence in Vieques: national security. Culture and identity, along with specific concerns for the Navy practices shaped the movement that eventually overthrew the Navy. The Puerto Rican national identity continues to grow stronger every day and even those supporters of statehood in the island do not look as statehood as a means to become U S Americans: they want to re tain all of their national identity while getting to enjoy the privileges that the U S has to offer and that they feel they are entitled to at a certain level The story of Vieques can be placed within the neoliberal context but for different reasons that the story of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company struggle. As stated by Berta Joubet (2004)

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140 the struggle against neoliberalism is not only on the economic level. Imperialism uses the military to help open up the markets that it wants to dominate. (p. 14) Puerto Rico was certainly not the only case in Latin America where the U S dominance has been directly felt. Countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala among others have felt the intrusion of the U S where it has blatantly overridden the rights of the Latin American people. The social movement to withdraw the Navy from Vieques cannot be explained outside of the U S Puerto Rico relationship. As in the rest of Latin America, the history of Puerto Rico has been tainted by hegemony and colonial U S imperialism. The long tradition of U S intrusion in Latin American politics gave the case of Vieques a more important role in the global context than to the case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. Due to the long tradition of U S exploitation in Latin America and opposition to that exploitation, it is reasonable to assume that the Vieques case was easier to carry out than the case of the PRTC. Although there is no way around the fact that the PRTC social movement eventually became a struggle agai nst imperial U S rule, as we have seen it was directed firstly towards the prostatehood government and eventually undertook an anti economic imperialism tone. In contrast to the rest of Latin America, up until that moment, Puerto Ricans had not directly felt the effects of economic imperialism as the rest of its Latin American counterparts had. After the death of David Sanes, The Vieques movement to expel the Navy reached new heights. However, the people of Vieques had been challenging the Navy practic e s in the island since the 1940s. A longtime Vieques resident, told me People, especially in the mainland, think that the Navy is a new weapon of the U S against us.

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141 They do not realize how much we people of Vieques have had to deal with. My mother died holding on to the hope that the Navy would leave. Unfortunately, she never got to see that day. Im glad I did and even more glad that the children of my grandkids will never have to experience what we have had to endure until recently28Neoliberal policies reached Latin America during the new wave of democratization that st arted in the region in the 1980s. U S imperialism, on the other hand, has been felt throughout the region for centuries as pointed out above. The case of the PRTC, although indirectly tied to the relationship with the United Sates and the Texas based GTE was mainly a direct claim to Governor Rossell to hear out the people and call for a ref erendum that would let the people decide the fate of the company. The U S agreed to the withdrawal of the Navy in 2003, after more than fifty years of popular unrest. In the context of this study, this is an important fact when compared when the case of the PRTC which saw the first (low scale) attempt to stop privatization in 1990, seven years before the final anti privatization effort proved unsuccessful The Vieques case was a call to the United States to stop the exploitation of the people of Vieques and remove the Navy, albeit the call also included the claim to the governor to aid in the settling of that claim. Due to the U S direct involvement in the case of Vieques it is not surprising that the case of Vieques garnered much more international attention than the case of the PRTC. The privatization efforts and neoliberal policies of U S towards Latin America are a relatively new phenomenon, while the tradition of colonial U S imperialism is centuries old. In addition, it has been argued that neoliberal policies, although influenced by the global context and the big nations do not necessarily reflect mistreatment by the global 28 Respondent #16

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142 market (Campbell, 2001; Harvey, 2007). These policies are enacted by the countries themselves, though under international pressures as we have seen and often times the anger is directed at the governments that enacts them. Gene Roman (2001) argues that in the case of the PRTC the privatization was not as devastating as the people expected and that in fact it allowed Puerto Rico to compete better in an global market. He claims that even the unionists who pas sionately fought against the sale concede that the privatization of the PRTC would allow for better per formance in a competitive market. Based on this claim, it is possible that while the effects of neoliberalism have had plenty of undesired consequences and that has been seen throughout Latin America (i.e. the Piqueteros in Argentina), in the case of Puerto Rico people lacked the complete information to make an educated decision about the benefits of the sale. Roman writes that: What remained hidden from public view until the divestment process began in 1999 was the fact that the profitability of the PRTC was build upon a monopoly of telecommunications services on the Island. This public monopoly ended when the U.S. Congress approved the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The goal of this new law was to let anyone enter any communications business and compete in any market against anyone. ( p.4 ) It is important to stress out also that the death of David Sanes occurred in 1999, just as the island of Puerto Ri co was grappling with the failed attempt at stopping the sale of the PRTC. Sixty eight percent of people in Puerto Rico surveyed for this study who were actively involved in both movements responded that the mobilization for the PRTC Company had an effect in their mobilizing for the cause of Vieques. Amanda Baez, a homemaker surveyed in this study and active protester in both movements

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143 believes that the general strike of the PRTC was a success, but the unionists strike was a failure. The survey results and an analysis of the strike seem to echo that sentiment. Meanwhile, the effects of U S colonial imperialism were clear not only in Latin America but throughout the world. While people in the case of the PRTC might have not be fully aware of the potential benefits that the privatization could bring, the people of Vieques were fully aware of the devastating effects of U S hegemony and Navy practices in the island. For centuries the U S has used Latin America as a military focus for its own advantage, as exemplified in the cases of Cuba and Nicaragua. With Puerto Rico remaining a colony under the U S Constitution it made it much more appealing to keep using it as a military hub. The effects of this domination were strongly felt by the Vieques citizens. For example, in a May 10, 1999 the Navy acknowledged that it had used depleted uranium (DU) ammunition in the practices in Vieques. DU has been linked to the Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) which is an illness reported by Gulf War Veterans. The Health Encyclopedia defines GWS as: Gulf War Syndrome is the name given to a variable combination of psychological and physical complaints experienced by veterans of the Persian Gulf War. Among the symptoms are: aching muscles, irritability, thick saliva, weight loss, skin rashes, memory loss, chronic fevers, labored breathing, headaches and birth defects in the children of Gulf War Veterans. Uranium has also been identified as potentially carcinogenic and many people are convinced that the high rates of cancer in Vieques are associated with exposure to uranium from the Navy practices (Ruiz Marrero, 2001; Mendez, 2007; Gonzalez, 2007). The people of Vieques thus had much more time to organize and develop their mobilization strategies, along with their own previous failed exp eriences than the

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144 activists of the PRTC. The unionists strike started immediately following the announcement of the proposed GTE sale and their experience showed that the 1990 strike had succeeded in halting the proposed privatization by the Governor Hernandez Colon. The people of Vieques, on the other hand, had been struggling for years with no real gains. Their failed attempts against the Navy, however, did not stop them from continuing the struggle. Analyzing the Struggle Given the long history of milit ary practices, activists in Vieques had much more resources at their disposal than in the relatively short strike of the PRTC. According to resource mobilization theory, a group of sophisticated strategists work in conjunction to connect the disaffected c amps, attracting money and support, getting media attention and creating organizational structure (Buechler, 1999). There are two schools of thought on resource mobilization theory: the economical (McCarthy & Zald, 1977) and the political (McAdam, 1982; Ti lly, 1978) The economic model argues that access and control over resources is the most important factor in mobilization and that grievances alone are not enough. Resources are monetary, media, labor, solidarity, etc. The political model contends that political allegiances and processes shape the outcome of social movements. Key to both schools of thought is the belief that strong leadership and organization is vital for the success of the movements. The Vieques movement embraces both schools of thought at least in the final phases of the movement. Moreover, the political process theory adds to the resource mobilization theory by claiming that political opportunities are to be considered in the outcomes of social movements. It is the openings in the sy stem and

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145 its receptivity that allow or prohibit a movement to move forward ( Bob, 2002; McFarland, 2004). Resource mobilization and political process theories are criticized for failing to recognize the cultural dimension of social movements. New Social Movements Theory (NST) set to resolve this problem. The distinctiveness of NSMT became evident when it was transplanted into US sociology where it contrasted sharply with resource mobilization theory and shared some affinities with social constructionism. B oth NSMT and social constructionism signified a cultural turn in social movement theory. NSMT emphasized culture as both the arena and the means of protest. As an arena, this meant a shift from conventional instrumental struggle in the political sphere to contests over meanings, symbols, and identities in the cultural sphere. As a means, this meant that activists were less concerned with accumulating material resources and more interested in promoting expressive, identity oriented actions whose very form ch allenged the instrumental rationality of political elites (Ritzer, 2007) The culture theory adds the cultural dimension to social movements theory and is in line with the social psychology theory. Both resource mobilization and political process theories are built upon the assumption of a sense of injustice. Cultural theory claims that these injustices are the key to motivating and mobilizing participants (Ryan & Gamson, 2006). New Social Movements Theory challenges the Marxist view of resource mobilizati on theory of classes organized over means of production and economic concerns. Conclusion The case of Vieques fits perfectly within the social movement theories tradition. It shows resource mobilization, political opportunities and cultural values. The case of

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146 Vieques transcended national barriers. From November 18 to November 22, 1999 the Inte rnational Action Center sent a delegation to the island after the Comite ProRescate de Vieques (Rescue and Development of Vieques Committee) made an international call asking for support of all those that could travel to the island during the weekend on the 19th. The International Action Center was founded by General Ramsey Clark, former U S Attorney General and it supports anti imperialism and is in opposition to U S military intervention under all circumstances. It has played a crucial role in activism against the U S invasion of Iraq. Many members of the Comite ProRescate de Vieques participated in international forums of peace and justice. Moreover, religious organizations, NGOs and peace movements around the world joined the cause of Vieques. The international media covered the history and foreign reporters were frequently traveling in and out of the island. The effectiveness in garnering international attention was due both to the long known history of U S imperialism in the region and the global recognition that such exploitation practices are unfair to the citizens and to the strategic organization that resulted after the death of David Sanes. This organization, however, had its roots in more than fifty years of attempts to kick the Navy out. Transnational activism was crucial in the history of Vieques (Hestres, 2007) and was possible due to the length of the Vieques Navy protests. In 1993, the Comite ProRescate de Vieques (CPRV) was formed in an effort to rescue Vieques from the unfair Navy practices and its outcomes. CPRV started out mainly as movement composed of proindependence activists, but they understood the need to reach across political barriers in order to build strong support for the Vieques cause. During the forming stages of the committee, they recruited m embers that did not identify with any political ideologies and had never been

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147 activists before. Since its formation, the group constantly collected signatures supporting the cessation of Navy practices and sent them to the corresponding authorities in the U S. The CPRV went to great lengths to erase the political divide that characterized Puerto Rican politics and this effort paid off in the 1999 movement. A CPRV activist feels that all of the time invested in the organization paid off after the David Sanes incident: At times it felt that we were holding on to a lost cause and in more than one occasion we thought we were going nowhere. Politics, clientelism, moneyall got in the way of our goals. Then unfortunately we had the case of David. As hurtful as it is to think about it, it undoubtedly created awareness beyond our dreams within the Puerto Rican population and gave our organization an unexpected surge and a new sense of hope29By the time of Sanes death, the CPRV through its organization and anti Navy campaign had the whole island of Puerto Rico on their side. When the civil disobedience camps started in 1999, many prominent figures would join and be arrested in federal prison in Puerto Rico. Supporters of the Vieques cause then would rally in front of the jails and receive the rebels as heroes once they were released. As one activist put it: These were not criminals in jail, you know. These are compatriots fighting with us for our same causes. Drugs and crime run rampant on the streets of PR and the government decides to punish those who struggle for their beliefs instead. We had to show them that we were behind them, either in Vieques or in jail30These incidents captured local, national and international attention in a matter of days. Reverend Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the Dalai Lama, Rigoberta Menchu and Edward James Almo, among others were all extremely voiced supporters of the 29 Respondent #13 30 Respondent #23

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148 Vieques cause. The CPRV tactic of focusing on health issues in order to gain international support was also a crucial fac tor in the eventual removal of the Navy. In 2000, an American Public Health Association policy joined an international campaign calling for the U S president to remove the Navy from Vieques. The focus on health as a human right violation was key to the i nternational call on health issues. This shows that the people of Vieques were educated and had a plan for highlighting issues that would undoubtedly gain international attention. The CPRV was also very engaged in information technologies. The use of th e internet to expose the effects of the Navy practices to the people of Vieques helped the cause beyond national boundaries. They set up a letter writing campaign for direct lobbying with Washington. The use of the peace for Vieques framework helped them garner international support from religious organizations. By effectively presenting all of this causes within frameworks that spoke to not only Latin Americans, but also to the international community about issues that represented the tyranny of US, who has a long tradition of exploitation, the Vieques movement was easily able to acquire activists fighting for its cause in virtually all parts of the world. One of the respondents for this study31 31 Respondent #49 is a Vieques resident and has been a active on the Vieques movement since the 1960s. As a leader of the anti navy struggle, he was jailed several times which is common practice for those who oppose the U S. His incarceration, instead of diminishing his cause only served to strengthen it. After he was liberated he became interested in environmental politics after learning the health damages that the Navy practices caused to the Vieques citizens.

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149 Together with a group of proindependence activism they set out to educate the people about these harms. The books that narrated the Vieques ordeal were nothing more than what the U S government wanted the masses to know. If you wanted to get the real story, you had to talk to those who had suffered through it. So we did. We then started dispersing that story to those generations who came after, those who the Navy wanted to believe a completely different account This story shows that even though the 1999 protests were a spontaneous incident, Viequenses started a process of education and organization many decades before. In this light, resource mobilization was much more easily achieved that in the case of the PRTC. The unionists were able to mobilize resources financially and got some international media attention, but I believe that the short story of the PRTC strikes did not provide the environment for the international development of that cause. Political opportunity was also a factor in the case of Vieques. Contrary to the case of the PRTC where the governor blatantly refused to hear or negotiate with the unionists, and the strike was carried out by citizens, in the case of Vieques political leaders from all sides of the spectrum publicly denounced the Navy. Another important factor to bear in mind was that Governor Rossell lost his bid to reelection in 2000 and many blame his defeat to his actions on the PRTC. Had Rossell really stepped up to the plate and joined us in Vieques maybe he would still be governor32 The Navy case also reflects the NSM theory in that it was not a class struggle fighting for economic concerns, the mobilization of citiz ens crossed social classes and A new liberal government led by the first and only female governess of the island took office in 2000 and sh e was very critical of the Navy practices and extensively negotiated with the Bush administration for its withdrawal. 32 Respondent #18

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150 economic backgrounds in a revolt against U S hegemony and towards peace and justice for the people of Vieques. As stated elsewhere in this study, the PRTC movement started with unions fighting for economic concerns and devel oped into a cultural issue. Although it shares aspects of many of the social movements theories previously discussed, placing it within a theoretical frame proves challenging. It can be explained in terms of social movements theories previously presented i n this study, but it certainly poses challenges to the theorization of social movements within the Latin American context and this can be explained by its relative newness and quick development, which did not allow time for its full development before seek ing to mobilize and challenge political order. Chapter 9 presents the results of a survey conducted within the Puerto Rican population regarding the feelings of both the Puerto Rico Telephone Company and the Vieques movement in terms of effectiveness, organization and their perception of imperialism

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151 CHAPTER 9 EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE O F PUBLIC OPINION ON THE MOVEMENTS Introduction In order to seek further confirmation of the arguments put forth by this study, a survey of the Puerto Rican population regarding their feelings for, and understanding of, both the PRTC and the Vieques movements was conducted. The survey was conducted in person among 5 regionally representative (in the towns of Mayaguez, San Juan, Ponce, Arecibo and Morovis) samples of 100 Puerto Rican adults living in the island during the protests. The survey took place between July 5 and August 3, 2007. The sample was drawn using cluster sampling of neighborhoods that were randomly selected from a pool of all neighborhood/areas in the t own. It was stratified according to density of population in the towns. The sampling design produced an oversample of women. There was nonetheless a robust sample of men, but for homogeneity of results, the survey results were afterwards weighted to contr ol for gender, age, age within the category of gender, level of education and type of employment. The survey results are consistent with the arguments put forth by this study. Results show that the PRTC and Vieques protests, mobilization and policies both before and after the events have had a clear effect on public opinion and that the majority of the population understand that they have had direct consequences and outcomes. Despite the vast majority agreeing on most points, the survey shows that subgroups of the population do vary in their opinion and understanding of the events. Not surprisingly, some of the most marked differences can be found among groups with different levels of education. The less educated, for example, are more likely than the more educated to acknowledge the importance of the movements in bringing political

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152 debate to the forefront, but at the same time are more reluctant to commit themselves to further mobilization. There are also clear differences of opinion among groups w ith different economic backgrounds. Re spondents from higher economic backgrounds and middle classes appear to be less prone to recognize that the movements have had important and lasting consequences than respondents from the lower economic strata. There are also regional areas especially the center towns that appear to be more immune to the effects of the movements than others, especially in regards to their political affiliation. Whereas the overall results of the survey show a significant shift in party vote for the 2000 election, the center region respondents remained mostly consistent in their 1996 and 2000 vote. Moreover, although a majority of respondents did hold a negative view of the leadership of the New Progressive Party (PNP) during the 19962000 term, the PNP did not lose a significant amount of registered voters in the 2000 election, although the actual number of voters for the party was considerably lower than those who voted in 1996. This is paradoxical, since the respondents acknowledge a shift in party vote. One possible explanation for this might be the number of registered but inactive members of the PNP. Furthermore, affiliation with the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) seems to be in decline after 2000. There have also been recent su rveys that point to the fact that registered voters keep on supporting their respective parties, but not necessarily at the polls. This is a grim picture for the future of democratic politics. The biggest losses for the New Progressive Party are most signi ficant among young voters who were not politically active during the time of the protests. The survey helps shed light on some of the questions left unanswered by the movements. Some of the questions asked centered around the perceptions of the most

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153 impor tant factors behind the Puerto Rico Telephone Company and the Vieques movement; the perceptions of the effects of Rossells neoliberal policies for the Puerto Rican populace; the impact that the movements had on the general population and its effects on possible future mobilizations, the perception of United States Imperialism in the Island; and perceptions of the outcomes of the protests among others. General Views on the Protests Consistent with the arguments put forth elsewhere in this study, when as ked about the most important factors that led to the mobilization of citizens during the Puerto Rico Telephone Companys movement, the majority of respondents did not ascribe a significant effect to the leadership of those movements, the HIETEL unionists ( Tables 91 and 92). Instead, most respondents felt that their direct involvement in the movements was caused by direct community action (networks of friends, colleagues and neighbors). Furthermore, more than half of the respondents (54%) felt that the lea dership of the PRTC lacked the capabilities to conduct a successful social movement. These results point to the importance of networking in social movement theory Movements flourish at the microlevel, despite the presence of leaders that might and do lead the career of them According to McCarty and Zald (1977) three elements influence the emergence of a movement. These are members of the movement, the leaders, and the existing communications network. It has been proven by various studies that new members who join movements tend to know citizens (friends, family, acquaintances) who are previously participants of the movement Studies have also shown that familiarity with an activist environment facilitates the joining of social movements. From the resul ts of these surveys and interviews with respondents, the

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154 case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company seems to s upport McCarthy and Zalds (1977) claims. It is evident that the majority of Puerto Ricans see the PRTC movement as a failure, while they see the Vieques movement as a success. Only 12% of the respondents considered the Puerto Rico Telephone Company movement to be successful, while an overwhelming majority (86%) considered the movement to be a failure (Table 94). However, as stated elsewhere in this study, and as shown below in this chapter, it is important to consider the repercussions that the PRTC movement had in the island despite its eventual failure to achieve its proposed goals: i t caused impressive mobilization, appears to have strengthened citizenship among the populace and it seems to have paved the way for the later Vieques movement. The PRTC movement can be considered as the first experiment with social movements that the majority of Puerto Ricans had and as such it is not fair to classify it as a total failure. In the cas e of Vieques, there is little doubt that the movement is perceived as a success by the majority of the population. Of those surveyed in this study, 96% consider the movement to have been successful, while only 3% of the respondents consider it to have been a failure (Table 95). Again, when comparing both movements it is important to remind ourselves about the much more extended trajectory that the Vieques movement underwent and the relative short duration of the PRTC movement. Political Impact of the Movements and Repercussions The political significance of the movements takes two different paths: in the case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, the survey shows that the main political issue that arises from the movements has an economic undertone. Const ant with the

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155 argument of this study, in the case of Vieques, the political impact of the movement takes a clearly nationalistic/anti imperial/hegemonic tone. More than half (54%) of the survey respondents saw the sale of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company as an economic issue, and threequarters (75%) saw the Navy protests as mostly a hegemonic issue. Tables 96 and 97 show the opinions of the Puerto Rican citizenry in this regard. The survey also shows that Puerto Ricans appear to place part of the blame on Governor Rossell and the New Progressive Party for the perceived failure of the anti privatization movement, but the long term impact of those beliefs on politics and policies in the island are not clear Party affiliation among registered voters did not change significantly from the 1996 election to the 2000 election. However, the share of respondents who believed Governor Rossell to be a good leader dropped by 19 percentage points. The surveys show that 45% of respondents considered Rossell to be a good leader in 1996. By 2000, the number of those who considered him a good leader was only 26%33Despite the fact that party affiliation remained almost unchanged, it is important to note that the number of registered voters affiliated to the New Progressive Party (PNP) in Puerto Rico during the 2000 election dropped by 16% from the 1996 election, while the number of voters affiliated with the Popular Democratic Party saw a mini mal (. 78 % ) with virtually the entire loss coming among active participants in the PRTC strike (14% vs. 5%), who potentially represent an important factor on the Navy protests outcome. 33 A cross time study of this data would have proven more useful, but due to scarce resources and the timing of this study all of the results shown here are based on the 2007 survey

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156 increase during the same period, according to the State Electoral Commission statistics34Probit models for Rossell support demonstrate that the probability of those who voted for him in 1996 decreased by 21 percentage points in the 2000 election (Table 98). The model controls for gender, age at the time of the election and socioeconomic status of the respondent. A second probit estimation of vote for Rossell on participation on the PRTC movement had an effect of 17 percentage points, which is statistically significant (p value: 0.004, two tailed test), and indicates that participating in the PRTC strike relates with a 17 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of voting for Rossell in 2000 (Table 99). Those who participated in the Vieques protests showed even more striking results, with a 28percentage point decrease in the probability of voting for him in 2000, with a 001 significance. Since a large number of respondents participated on both movements, the effect of participation on both movements on Rossells vote was not tested, but the above results are conclusive of the effects of the movements on Rossells eventual defeat. T he PPD, however, has shown no sign of noteworthy gains in voter affiliation and in recent years it has even seen its number of supporters reduce (although not substantially) If anything, the survey shows dissatisfaction both with the PNP and PPD. For example, 35% of respondents expressed that they do not consider any one of the major parties adept at resolving the major socioeconomic and political issues that are affecting the island. Only 10% said that they felt that way before the 2000 election. 34 www.ceepur.org accessed January 2, 2009

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157 Perceptions of Imperialism and Neoliberalism A large majority of respondents ( 77%) say that imperialism is a problem that affects Puerto Ricans ( Table 910). The intensity of that attitude, however, has increased after the movements: 53% of respondents now say imperialism is a major problem, as opposed to 42% who described it as a major problem before the movements. The results show that t he social movements of the 1990s helped to increase the awareness of imperialism in the island by 14%, despite the fact that the majority of the population considered imperialism to be a problem even before these events. It is important to note that this question in the survey was a general question, not directed at any particular movement (PRTC or Vieques). Interestingly, the change in attitude towards imperialism is seen in those respondents who already considered imperialism to be a problem in the island before the movements. Among t hose who did not consider imperialism to be a problem before the movements, the feeling seems unchanged after the movements. There is no significant difference between those who said that imperialism is not a problem and the number of respondents who considered that imperialism was not a problem before the movements. If this trend is to continue, Puerto Rico will likely join the ranks of other Latin American countries where social movements are being used as a response to imperialism. Concerning neoliberal ism, the movements in general seemed to have raised neoliberalism awareness (Table 911). The movements seem to have more than doubled the perception of neoliberalism as a problem for the island of Puerto Rico: 36% of the respondents reported that they understood neoliberalism to be a problem in Puerto Ri co before the 1990s movements. The number of respondents who reported

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158 neoliberalism to be a major problem after the movements dramatically increased to 73%. The results, however, are more interesting when they are broken down by case. Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents agreed that as a result of the PRTC movement their understanding on neoliberalism increased. On the other hand, only 32% of respondents claimed that the Vieques case raised their notion of neoliberal practices, suggesting that Puerto Ricans at the time of the protests were more familiar with imperialist practices than with neoliberal policies. These results, again, are consistent with the arguments put forth by this study that the su ccess of the Vieques case was in part due to the long tradition of colonial imperialism that permeates the Latin American region. Three out of four of respondents (75%) agreed that the movements posed a threat to U S pattern of domination in Puerto Rico and seem to have found a new tool to combat United States domination in the island. Impact of the Movements on Grassroots Understanding The survey found overwhelming agreement that the movements increased citizenrys understanding of their role in bringing about change (Table 912). This view was held by a significant majority of respondents regardless of age, income, education, party affiliation or gender. Those who were the most educated, with a college degree or higher, were just as likely to express that their understanding of grassroots power increased because of the debate as those with a high school degree or less. An overwhelming majority of respondents (85%) felt that participating in the protests increased their understanding on the importance of social mobilization, and none of the respondents reported a decrease on their awareness on the importance of social

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159 grassroots mobilization. For 14% of the respondents, the movements did not seem to affect their opinions on social mobilization. Both t he anti privatization and anti Navy movements were remarkable for their size and for the vast amounts of cities that they were able to reach within the island. Another crucial aspect that defined them is the number of different sectors of the society that they were able to reach. They both started with workers and ordinary citizens that were able to bring their cause before and gain support from media, religious groups, student organizations, and actors at the international level. When asked to select among two statements regarding the future of social movements in Puerto Rico more than half (59%) of respondents said the movements of the 1990s were the start of a Puerto Rican social movement phenomena that is likely to continue. Only 25% claimed that thes e movements were isolated events that will probably not happen again and will have no effects on future mobilization efforts (Table 9 13). Another question asked whether or not the respondents would be willing to participate in a similar protest if it were to happen in the near future. This was in order to understand the longterm effect of the late 1990s activism in the participants. Almost three thirds of the respondents (72%) said that they would. This is a good indicator of the possible social movement culture that emerged from the previous experiences with activism. Fifteen percent of respondents remain undecided and the number of those that are certain that they would not participate is relatively low (Table 914). Furthermore, it looks like that the Puerto Rico Telephone Company anti privatization movement had a direct effect on the involvement in the Vieques protests. There appears to be a pattern of involvement in PRTC activities leading to increased

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160 involvement in the peace for Vieques Movement. To test this assumption, respondents were asked whether or not they felt that their direct involvement in the PRTC movement led to an increased desire to join in the Vieques movement. The results overwhelmingly prove this assumption to be correct, with alm ost three quarters of respondents stating that the events of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company had an effect on their involvement in the Vieques case (Table 915 ). It is important to note that from the people interviewed in this survey, only 83 out the 100 participated in both movements, and these results are concerned only with those 83 respondents. Conclusion The results of this survey are consistent with, and help support the claims and arguments put forth in this study. It is clear from these results t hat the PRTC case helped pave the way for the anti Navy movement and that the leadership of the PRTC namely the unionists were ill prepared to carry out a successful strike that would have major repercussions. As previously stated, the Vieques case had been brewing for a long time and there was a higher sense of commitment to the Vieques cause than to the PRTC cause. The surveys show that the Vieques case was seen mostly as a struggle against the US, while the PRTC case was perceived largely as an economic issue. This is not to say that elements of both were not present in either case, which have been discussed in this study. The political repercussions of the movement are evident in the striking loss of support for Governor Rossell during the 2000 electio n. Previously a well liked, charismatic leader, Rossell tremendously suffered the backlash of the privatization efforts, which were further complicated by the events on Vieques in 1999. It is worth considering that the anger of voters was not directed towards the party, as party

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161 affiliation remained virtually unchanged from 1996 to 2000. Nevertheless, many of the respondents directly blamed Rossell for the events and decided to abstain from voting in the 2000 election where he ran as an incumbent. Up until 2008, Puerto Rican politics were controlled by the Popular Democratic Party, although there seems to be a general sense of apathy towards politics across all party lines in the general populace since 2000. Table 91 Importance of factors in PRTC mobilization Factor Frequency Leadership 12% Community networks Sense of injustice 65% 20% Dont know 3% Source: Surveys conducted for this study. Total n=100. Table 92. Opinions regarding the PRTCs leadership capabilities to mobilize the population Opinion Frequency The PRTC leadership effectively helped mobilize the populace 38% The PRTC leadership was ineffective in mobilizing the populace 54% Dont k now 8% n=100 Table 93 Importance of factors in Vieques mobilization Factor Frequency Leadership 19 % Community networks Sense of injustice 3 5% 46 % Dont know 0 % n=100 Table 94 Public opinion regarding the outcome of the PRTC m ovement Opinion Frequency Successful 2% Somewhat successful Somewhat failure 10% 24% Total failure Dont know 62% 0 n=100

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162 Table 95. Public opinion regarding the outcome of the Vieques protests Opinion Frequency Successful 88 % Somewhat successful Somewhat failure 8 % 3 % Total failure Dont know 0 0 n=100 Table 96. Underlying causes of the PRTC m ovement Cause Frequency Economic policies 54% US domination Both economic policies and U S domination 19% 23% Dont know 4% n=100 Table 97. Underlying causes of the Vieques m ovement Cause Frequency Economic policies 14% US domination Both economic policies and US domination 75% 11% Dont know 0 n=100 Table 98. Prob it estimation of the probability of supporting Governor Rossell in the 2000 election based on 1996 vote Independent variable Estimated coefficient Z statistic Predicted probability change Vote in 1996 .203 2.24** .178** Gender Age Social Class Constant .066 .028 .174 -8.021 3.47** 1.51 2.91* -6.69*** .017** .009 .113** **Statistically significant at 1% level, p<.01;*** p<.001

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163 Table 99 Probit estimation of the probability of supporting Governor Rossell in the 2000 election based movement participation Independent variable Estimated coefficient Z statistic Predicted probability change Vieques participation .173 1.39 ** 134 ** PRTC participation Gender Age Social Class Constant .277 .101 .173 .114 -2.80 3.07** 2.08* 1.52 1.98** 4 .32*** .152* ** .097** 029 .071 ** Statistically significant at 1% level, p<.01; statistically significant at the 5% level, p< .05;***p<.001 Table 910. Perception of U S imperialism as a problem for the island of Puerto Rico View Frequency Imperialism is a major problem 77 % Imperialism is a problem Imperialism is not a problem 12% 1 0 % Dont know 1 % Table 911. Perception of neoliberalism as a problem for the island of Puerto Rico (before 1997) View Frequency Neoliberalism is a major problem 36 % Neoliberalism is a problem Neoliberalism is not a problem 24% 25 % Dont know 15 % Table 912. Effects of social movement participation on importance of grassroots a wareness Awareness Frequency Increased 85% Unchanged Decreased 14% 0 Dont know 1%

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164 Table 913. Perceptions of social movement culture in Puerto Rico based on the PRTC and Vieques movements Opinion Frequency Beginning of a culture 59 % One time event Dont know 2 5 % 1 2 % Table 91 4 Future involvement on social movements Response Frequency Would get involved Would not get involved 72 % 13 % Dont know 1 5 % Table 915. Effect of PRTC movement participation on participation in Vieques m ovement Effect Frequency Did affect involvement Did not affect involvement 74 % 25 % Dont know 1%

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165 CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSION The Movements In the introduction, I explained how the goal of this study was to seek an answer to why one movement was successful in achieving its goal while the other fell short of their intended goal. I suggested that the answer laid in the distinction between materi al and symbolic politics and on their different takes on the issue of imperialism. That distinction was explained throughout the rest of the study as colonial imperialism (Vieques movement) and economic imperialism, or neoliberalism (Puerto Rico Telephone Company movement). The findings of this study, carried out through conversations with activists and individuals involved in both movements; surveys of the general populations; and archival research, seem to confirm that notion. Vieques Movement The anti Navy movement showed a powerful response to the issue of military occupation of the island of Vieques, whose primary claims were rooted on the colonial exploitation of the municipality. There were undeniable material concerns, such as the economic harm that the military presence introduced to the islands natural resources and the industry of tourism, for example, as well as moral issues involved, such as the issue of human rights violations. However, it is clear that the main target of the movement remained centered on the United States administration and it was this government who the citizens blamed throughout and against which the majority of the charges were made. The activists sought for a resolution to the problem within the local government as well but their intention was to get the local government to respond to their concerns through mediation with the U.S. government.

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166 Escobar & Alvarez (1992) write about the symbolic reach that movements can have. They describe the symbolic defy that some social movements can pose to the government and their sociopolitical environment even in the absence of a large network of supporters. This wa s the case of Vieques. Due to the small size of the island, at the inception of the movement, following the death of David Sanes, the number of those involved in the protest was relatively small. Within a few months, the number of participants had increase d exponentially. As Escobar and Alvarez explain: The symbolic challenges posed by social movements has sometimes pushed other political and social actors, especially institutional actors such as parties, to reformulate their political programs and recast t heir discourse about seemingly consensual concepts such as democracy and citizenship. (p.328) This was clearly evidenced with the New Progressive Partys (PNP) interference on the issue of Vieques, something that they had avoided touching on for most of the occupation, until the death of Sanes. Starting with Senator Norma Burgos arrest, the number of civil disobedience from members of the PNP steadily increased. The effective use of symbols of discontent from the movement made it increasingly impossible fo r the party to ignore the problem. The situation escalated to the point that Governor Rossell, from this party, for the first time sought a resolution with the U.S. government and the Clinton administration to resolve the issue. Guidry et al. (2000) expl ain the use of symbolic politics by women during the womens suffrage movement. They highlight how the majority of the tactics employed by women to gain their right to suffrage were based more on symbols than anything else. This parallels the case of Vieques in many fronts. For instance, the activists and protesters of Vieques at no point sought negotiations for the Navys departure. They based their struggle on symbols of abuse and brought their demands to the international

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167 arena, relying on international organizations that aligned to their pleas, such as the United Nations, in exposing the issue of human rights abuses. Guidry et al. also describe how women were prepared to go to jail and break the law in order to gain sympathy and supports from the masses, regardless of the consequences. The same can be said about the protesters of Vieques. Elsewhere in this study, it is mentioned that many of those engaged in civil disobedience acts were arrested and jailed for breaking the law. Rather than being intimidat ed by this possibility, this gave the militants more incentives for participation. Every time a jailed protester was released from jail, he or she was awaited outside prison by hundreds of supporters that cheered them on, hugging and congratulating them and giving him /her a heroic status. Perhaps the biggest distinction of symbolic politics in the Vieques movement that sets it apart from the Puerto Rico Telephone Company movement lies in the rationality use of both movements (Edelman, 1962). Edelman sees symbolic movement as irrational calculations, contrasting this type of politics with rational choice. The case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company shows clear calculations based on the rational choice model: for example, negotiations and calculations of c ost (as in the length of protests). Although I have suggested in this study that the Vieques movement presented many traces of the theories of social movement that derive of rational choice (resource mobilization, political process), this happened more bec ause of accident than on intention. From my conversations with participants in the movement, I am certain that even if the political environment had not been favorable for the militants for action, this would not have stopped them from creating the movement. In fact, this movement took a life of its own after the outrage of 1999. There was no set plan for action, no call for a strike,

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168 no concerted calculations. What was present was a desire for the Navy to leave the island. Activists started engaging on civil disobedience acts to stop the military from further bombing and from that point onward, more people joined the struggle. A calculated movement emerged only after it had gained more than enough members to help it thrive. In conclusion, from its inception this movement proved to be a movement against colonial imperialism, which drew on symbolic claims to achieve its goals. The Puerto Rico Telephone Company Movement Teresa Ebert (1996) calls material politics historic materialism, or a struggle o ver the relations of production. Neoliberal policies advanced throughout Latin America since the 80s decade depict the change of this relationship. Before neoliberal policies were enacted, the local governments had greater control over their means of production. The state oversaw the local companies that provided basic services to their citizens and had a substantial amount of influence over them. In the case of Puerto Rico, the proposed privatization of the Telephone Company jeopardized that relationship. Participants of the movement understood that the problem with the proposed sale was related to the U.S. administration, and the Puerto Rican governments desire to remain in good terms with it, but the protesters mainly blamed the local government and hoped to get a resolution to the situation at the local level, by pressuring the government. The struggle also presented some symbolic elements, such as the slogan Puerto Rico no se vende (Puerto Rico is not for sale), which was directed both at the local administration and the U.S. government. The Puerto Rican flag was raised in many occasions during the strike, but the motivation behind the strike remained based on economic concerns, as has been shown in this study.

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169 Material politics use a logistic constr uction rather than a moral one (Bruzzi & Church, 2000). This was the case of the anti privatization strike. At no point there were charges of moral abuses in the form of human rights, for example. What permeated the struggle were charges of abuses in terms of economic security for the citizens, which many understood as a betrayal on the part of the government. As was the case of Blacks in trying to achieve representation in liberal clubs (Persons, 1997), the struggle of the anti privatization movement remained centered on claims of direct material effects, such as jobs and working conditions. Moreover, there was not a dramatic moral trigger event in this movement, as the case of David Sanes was in the case of Vieques. The main problem that the anti privatiz ation movement encountered was the lack of organization. The unionist members who started the call for action among the citizenry were able to mobilize these citizens by making symbolic claims. These citizens were the one that chanted Puerto Rico no se ve nde and waved the Puerto Rican flag when marching. However, the division remained between the material and the symbolic and the leaders failed to reconcile that divide. At the unionist level, the main concerns throughout remained their potential loss of jobs and the deteriorating working conditions they could experience if the sale took place. Even after mobilizing the masses after the national symbolic slogan, they could not forget that that was the main motivation behind the strike. On a technical level the leaders of the movement were in disagreement from the beginning on how to approach the strike. This led to confrontation and fragmentation between them that proved to be the element that brought the strike to a halt in the end.

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170 As opposed to the case of Vieques, the Puerto Rico Telephone Company movement was purely rational from the beginning. The callings for a strike were calculated and the unionists attempted negotiations in sought of a resolution to the movement. When it became clear that the str ategies were not working, they changed their plan of action in a rational way as well, by trying to avoid losing more than they already had at that moment in terms of jobs and job security. Since the element of moral indignation that was present in the ca se of Vieques was absent in the case of the anti privatization movement, as soon as the unionists withdrew from the struggle, there was a gap for leadership left within the population. No actor stepped in to fill that gap and the strike quickly dissolved. In summary, it is evident from this discussion that the claims made during the anti privatization movement were mostly economic claims, derived from material concerns and the lack of leadership failed to present the issue in the moral frame that the Vieques movement did. This contributed to its unexpected outcome. The Value AddedModel Tested Besides trying to explain the different outcomes of the movement, this study sought to test the workings and careers of each one of them in light of the social movem ent literature, especially Neil Smelsers valueadded model. This section will further analyze each one by employing the model. In C hapter 4, I presented Neil Smelsers (1963) theory of the valueadded approach and proposed to apply it to this study. Foll owing the discussion, I now will examine all 6 components of the value added model and apply them both to the Puerto Rico Telephone Company and the anti Navy movements.

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171 Structural Conduciveness Social systems inhibit or facilitate and aid collective behavior through the constraints and opportunities for action which they afford. Furthermore, the specific configuration of opportunities and constraints they involve shapes the types of collective behavior which emerge Puerto Rico Telephone Company As follows from the previous discussion, structural conduciveness was lacking in the case of the PRTC. From the very beginning, Governor Rossell refused to negotiate with the unionists regarding the sale of the company. His made was made up long before the unionists decided to strike and his position remained the same all through the movement. Given Rossells refusal to negotiate, the strikers lacked a conductive environment that would allow them to achieve their goals. This is probably the reason why the union leadership gave up on their anti privatization demands and instead opted to negotiate their economic return to work. Vieques The case of Vieques presents a completely different picture. In sharp contrast to the PRTC movement, the political leadership of the country very much sided with the Vieques activists. Moreover, since the case of Vieques had a far more extensive history of struggle, the activists did not encounter opposition within their country; opposition came from the United States and the Navy itsel f. Moreover, as the surveys show, the recent events of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company helped open up the sociopolitical environment to the anti Navy struggle. While the case of the PRTC was majorly lacking in structural conduciveness, the Vieques struggle had all of the required elements of structural conduciveness.

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172 Structural S train Agents must experience the system as problematic and stressful in some way. According to Smelser (and others who have written on the subject), without strain a movement woul d never form since this is the catalyst for action. Puerto Rico Telephone Company Structural strain is evident on both movements. However, in the case of PRTC the structural strain came from the unionists original strike. It was the perceived unfairness of the sale to the economic future of these employees which started the movement. Because of the claims of the unionists, the general population came to understand their environment as problematic. Vieques In the case of Vieques, structural strain had been felt for a long time. Furthermore, this strain was perceived as a product of a higher force: the United States. Pride and national feelings for the country became at odds with the major force on that country. The strain transcended the Island of Vieques : it became a symbol of the U S domination over Puerto Ricans. As opposed to the PRTC movement, the structural strain of the Navy presence in Vieques was felt equally among the population. Even though Viequenses were those more affected, the case was a ca use of concern for the population in general. Growth and Spread of Generalized B eliefs Agents must diagnose the problems that they face and propose remedies. If they do not, there will be no collective behavior. What sort of collective behavior emerges depends upon what sort of beliefs emerge

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173 Puerto Rico Telephone Company Smelser proposes that agents must diagnose the problem and propose remedies. The problem in the case of PRTC was evidently the sale of the company. The unionists, however, failed to propose an adequate remedy other than stopping the sale and calling for mass support. Since Governor Rossell refused to hear their claims, there was not an opportunity to try and reach a middle ground either. As the survey shows, they fell short on recrui ting mass support too. Most of the activism in the PRTC movement came through networking, not necessarily done by the unionists themselves but through communal networks. There was a belief that the sale was unfair as the survey shows, but the unionists fai led to capitalize and amplify that belief. Through their actions, by turning back on the strike and deciding to negotiate their return to work instead, the leadership diminished the sense of unfairness of this event. Vieques The perception of the unfair ness of the military practices in Vieques fairly exceeds the perception of the unfairness of the privatization of PRTC as we have seen. Moreover, in disparity with the telephone company movement, the belief that neoliberal policies were unfair was relative ly new to the citizens of Puerto Rico. The belief that imperialist practices affected Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans in general did not need any more impulse within the population. That belief was already present and latent long before the death of David Sanes. The leadershipespecially the Independent Party leadershipunderstood that this was a common concern for the population and capitalized on it. The proposed remedy in the Vieques state was unanimous: get the Navy out. Since many politicians and pr ominent figures joined the movement from its onset, there was no need for negotiation and the message was sent loud and clear to

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174 the United States. Nobody backed up from that belief at any time, if anything, it only grew stronger. Precipitating Factors This are trigger events. Whatever strains may be acting upon interaction situations they must be expressed in some form of concrete event or series of events if agents are to mobilize around them. Puerto Rico Telephone Company The precipitating factor for the PRTC movement was the announcement of the sale. This precipitating factor originally affected those directly involved with the company, namely the unionists. The precipitating factor was not, at first, concrete enough to cause major discontent and it was not until the marches took momentum that the movement spread throughout the island. Strain was not present at the time that the precipitating factor took event. Vieques In the case of Vieques, there was already a long history of strain within the P uerto Rican population. The death of David Sanes was the precipitating factor of the final protests. It was also a more moral concern than the announcement of the sale. Those not directly affected by the sale at the beginning may not have felt the proposed privatization to be a major concern. The death of a human, however, has much more potential to cause disgust and call for action. These facts, combined with the recent failure of the PRTC movement combined to cause a major precipitating event. Mobilizatio n of Participants for A ction This involves the emergence of communication networks, and in some cases, leaders and organizations. All action involves coordination and organization.

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175 Puerto Rico Telephone Company Smelser makes it clear that action requires coordination and organization. Mobilization requires the emergence of communication networks and leaders and organization. As previously discussed, the leadership of the PRTC was not strongly organized and coordinated. Divisions within the leadership caused the movement to lose strength. Communication networks were dim at best, with the leadership itself failing to prepare fliers or printed material to distribute at the rallies. The leadership was too focused and engaged with their own concerns and devoted little time to mobilize the masses. Again, mobilization came mostly through networking of the citizenry, which were likely illprepared to efficiently inform other participants 9and probably themselves) of the c oncrete effects that the sale of the company could have. Vieques The Vieques movement was far more organized than the PRTC movement. The leadership efficiently educated the population not only on the dangers of the military practices in the Island, but also on the environmental and economic repercussions of those actions. As show, this movement was extremely coordinated and organized, even before the death of David Sanes. Viequenses had started education campaigns since the 1940s and the consequences of t he Navy practices were common knowledge. During the final movement (1999), communication networks quickly emerged and the movement made a point of informing the mainland of all the negative outcomes of the Navy in Vieques. Mobilization in this movement was from the beginning, far more likely to be achieved than in the case of PRTC and the leadership made a point of getting involved throughout the process.

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176 Operation of Social Control Social control agencies, such as the police and the media, can play a preventative role, smoothing over strains and problems before movements emerge and their response to collective behavior, when it does begin, can be a very important factor in determining what happens next. Repressive policing may be sufficient to quash a mov ement, but if it is insufficiently repressing it may have the opposite effect, causing moral outrage and mobilizing many more agents who may not otherwise have gotten involved. Similarly, the media can play a central role, amplifying the process of movem ent formation by publicizing it. (Crossley 1996; Crossley 2000) Puerto RicoTelephone Company The operation of social control plays a major role in the outcome of a movement. In the case of the PRTC, even though the media got involved, the use of repression played a vital role in quashing the movement. Repression from the government, through the use of violent police force, functioned as scare tactics to discourage further action. The events at the Luis Muoz Marn airport clearly illustrate this effect. The media was not powerful enough to compete against the use of brute force. Furthermore, the media involvement did not reach beyond the island, with the exception of the Hispanic communities in the U S and some union groups in some Latin American countries In summary, operation of social control in this instance was more powerful to quash the movement than to help expand it. Vieques The perceived human rights violations of the Vieques case extended through the mediation of social control. The media played a major role, reaching not only Latin America and the U S but internationally. International peace leaders and organizations

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177 joined the Vieques cause and helped to call for action in this case. The media was powerful enough to overpower the United States. Furthermore, brute force such as the federal police involvement and incarceration was not repressive enough to discourage participation. It has been shown how incarcerated activists were received as heroes by supporters of the movement and how whenever a disobedience camp was dismantled, a replacement one quickly emerge. The beliefs that this movement created far exceeded the possible negative repercussions of involvement with it. Social control failed to quash this movement, as it did in the case of PR TC. The Model Assessed The previous discussion shows how Smelsers model perfectly held in the case of the anti Navy movement, while it lacked some of the components or they were not powerful enough to carry out the kind of collective action or social mov ement that Smelser presents in the case of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. As discussed in the beginning, this model has many imperfections, but it accurately encompasses many of the ideas that the social movement literature has described throughout it s course. From its onset, the Puerto Rico Telephone Company case was lacking on vital components that account for a successful social movement, and it can possibly be described as an episode of collective behavior rather than a social movement. Structural strain was not necessarily or clearly present at the time of its inception and furthermore, there was not structural conduciveness to allow the movement to flourish. In the case of Vieques, all of the components were clearly present and even when those s ame components existed in the PRTC case; they were far more powerful in the anti Navy struggle.

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178 APPENDIX A SURVEY 1. How would you classify the struggle against the privatization of the PRTC Company? a. Mostly economic b. Mostly anti hegemonic (US) c. A combination of both d. Other ___________________ e. Dont know/no response 2. How would you classify the struggle against the Navy in Vieques? a. Mostly economic b. Mostly anti hegemonic (US) c. A combination of both d. Other __________________ e. Dont know/no response 3. Do you think that the sale of the PRTC was unfair? a. Yes b. No c. Not as much as portrayed d. Dont know/ no response 4. Do you think that the Navy practices in Vieques were unfair? a. Yes b. No c. Not as much as portrayed d. Dont know/no response 5. What do you think was the most important factor behind the mobilization against the PRTC privatization? a. Leadership b. Community action/networks c. The sense of injustice d. Other ______________________ e. Dont know/no response 6. What do you think was the most important factor behind the mobilization against the Navy in Vieques? a. Leadership b. Community action/networks c. The sense of injustice d. Other _______________ e. Dont know/no response 7. Were you aware of the concept of neoliberalism before the privatization of the PRTC?

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179 a. Yes --proceed to question 9 b. No c. Dont know/no response 8. Are you aware of the concept of neoliberalism now? a. Yes b. No -----proceed to question 10 c. Dont know/no response 9. Do you think that the sale of the PRTC raised your awareness of neoliberal policies? a. Yes, my awareness increased b. No c. My awareness wasnt affected/ I was already aware d. Dont know/no response 10. Were you aware of the US imperial practices in Latin America before the anti Navy struggle? a. Yes ---> proceed to question 12 b. No c. Dont know/no response 11. Are you aware of the US imperial practices in Latin America now? a. Yes b. No -------proceed to question 13 c. Dont know/ no response 12. Do you think that the anti Navy movement raised your awareness of imperialist practices in Latin America? a. Yes b. No c. My awareness wasnt altered/ I was already aware d. Dont know/no response 13. Did you actively participate in the PRTC movement (strikes, demonstrations, protests)? a. Yes b. No c. Dont know/no response 14. Did you actively participate in the anti Navy movement? a. Yes b. No c. Dont know/no response 15. Did you actively participate in both movements? a. Yes

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180 b. No proceed to question 16 c. Dont know/no response 16. How would you best describe your involvement in the anti Navy movement? a. The PRTC case was important for my mobilization in Vieques b. The PRCT case was not important for my mobilization in Vieques c. The PRTC case played some importance for my mobilization in Vieques, but other factors were more important d. Dont know/no response 17. How did you feel about your active engagement in grassroots movements before the PRTC movement? a. Important b. Somewhat important c. Didnt really think about it d. Somewhat unimportant e. Unimportant f. Dont know/ no response 18. How do you feel about your active engagement in grassroots movements now? a. Important b. Somewhat important c. Dont really think about it d. Somewhat unimportan t e. Unimportant f. Dont know/no response 19. Did your perception about your active engagement in grassroots movements change as a result of the PRTC or the anti Navy movements? a. Yes, with the PRTC being the most influential b. Yes, with the anti Navy being the most i nfluential c. No, it has changed because of other factors ______________________ d. No, it hasnt changed e. Dont know/no response 20. How would you describe your patriotic feelings towards Puerto Rico? a. Very strong b. Strong c. Somewhat strong d. Not strong e. Dont know/no response 21. Which of the following statements most accurately describe your feelings about the US influence in Puerto Rico? a. The US influence makes Puerto Rico a better country b. The US influence has faults, but it improves Puerto Rico as a country c. The US influence is not needed for Puerto Rican prosperity

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181 d. The US influence negatively affects Puerto Rico as a country e. Dont know/ no response 22. If you had to blame someone for the sale of the PRTC Company, who would it be? a. Governor Rossell b. The government in power at the time c. The United States d. Both the United States and Rossell e. Both the United States and the government in power at the time f. The people of Puerto Rico g. Other ____________________ h. No one i. Dont know/no response 23. If you had to blame someone for the Navy practices in Vieques, who would it be? a. Governor Rossell b. The government in power at the time c. The United States d. United States and Rossell e. Both the United States and the government in power at the time f. The people of Puerto Rico g. Other ____________________ h. No one i. Dont know/no response 24. Did you vote for Rossell in 1996? a. Yes b. No c. Dont know/no response 25. Did you vote for Rossell in 2000? a. Yes b. No c. Dont know/ no response 26. How would you describe the anti privatization movement for the PRCT? a. Successful b. Somewhat successful c. Somewhat unsuccessful d. Unsuccessful 27. How would you describe the anti Navy movement? a. Successful b. Somewhat successful c. Somewhat Unsuccessful d. Unsuccessful

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182 28. How would you best describe the Unionists strike that preceded the General strike against the PRTC? a. Well organized b. Somewhat organized c. Somewhat disorganized d. Disorganized 29. How would you best describe the anti Navy demonstrations? a. Well organized b. Somewhat organized c. Somewhat disorganized d. Dis organized 30. The sale of the PRTC _______________________ a. Has improved Puerto Rico b. Made no difference c. Has worsened Puerto Rico d. Dont know/ no response 31. The Navy withdrawal from Vieques ________________ a. Has improved Vieques b. Made no difference c. Has wor sened Vieques d. Dont know/no response 32. For which of the movements would you say you had stronger feelings? a. PRTC b. Vieques c. None d. No difference, both were equally important for me e. Dont know/ no response 33. How would you describe the importance of the PRTC movement? a. Very Important b. Important c. Somewhat important d. Somewhat unimportant e. Unimportant f. Very unimportant g. Dont know/no response 34. How would you describe the importance of the anti Navy movement? a. Very Important b. Important c. Somewhat important d. Somewhat unimportan t e. Unimportant

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183 f. Very unimportant g. Dont know/no response 35. Did the media influence your sentiments against the privatization of the PRTC? a. Yes b. At a certain level c. No d. Dont know/no response 36. Did the media influence your sentiments against the Navy in Vieques? a. Yes b. At a certain level c. No d. Dont know/no response 37. Your Gender a. Male b. Female c. Dont know/ no response 38. With which political party do you identify the most? a. PNP b. PPD c. PIP d. Other ________ e. None f. Dont know/ no response 39. Highest level of education achieved (at the time of the PRTC and Vieques movements) a. No formal education b. Elementary school c. Middle school d. High School e. Some College f. Bachelors degree g. Post graduate h. Dont know/ no response 40. Were you a College student during the protests? a. Yes, during the PRTC movement b. Yes, duri ng the Vieques movement c. Yes, during both movements d. No e. Dont know/no response 41. Your Age (during the protests)

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184 a. Under 18 b. 1825 c. 2635 d. 3645 e. 4655 f. 56 or older g. Dont know/ no response 42. Occupation a. Student b. Homemaker c. Unemployed d. Trade e. Service/Sales f. Communications g. Educational h. Legal i. Health services j. Agriculture k. Manufacture l. Other _________________ m. Dont know/no response 43. Annual Income a. Under 20,000 b. 20,000130,000 c. 30,00140,000 d. 40,00150,000 e. More than 50,000 f. Dont know/no response 44. Regional area where you were living at the time of the protests? a. Metropolitan b. North c. East (including Vieques) d. West e. South f. Center g. Dont know/no response 45. Did you move from geographical regions between the time of the PRCT movement and the Vieques movement? If so, from what area to what are did you move? ___________________

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185 APPENDIX B ANNONYMIZED RESPONDE NT DATA35 Respondent Gender Age Category Region 1 M 36 45 M 2 F 26 35 M 3 F 26 35 M 4 M 18 25 M 5 F 26 35 M 6 F 18 25 M 7 M 46 55 M 8 F 46 55 M 9 M 2536 M 10 M 25 36 M 11 F 56+ M 12 F 25 36 M 13 F 56+ M 14 F 36 45 M 15 M 56+ M 16 F 26 35 M 17 F 56+ M 18 F 18 25 W 19 F 36 45 W 35 This is data for respondents who participated in indepth interviews and who are referenced by # throughout this study. It does not al lude to survey respondents. The regions are abbreviated as follows: M=Metropolitan Area W=West E=East C=Center S=South N=North

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186 20 M 26 35 W 21 M 36 45 W 22 M 56+ S 23 F 46 55 S 24 M 36 45 S 25 M 18 25 S 26 F 36 45 S 27 F 18 25 S 28 M 56+ N 29 M 46 55 N 30 F 26 35 N 31 M 56+ N 32 F 26 35 N 33 F 46 55 N 34 F 46 55 N 35 F 56+ E 36 M 36 45 E 37 F 25 36 E 38 F 26 35 E 39 M 56+ E 40 F 18 25 E 41 M 26 35 E 42 F 56+ E

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187 43 F 36 45 E 45 F 56+ E 46 F 56+ C 47 F 18 25 C 48 F 36 45 C 49 M 46 55 C 50 F 26 35 C 51 M 26 35 C 52 F 36 45 C

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197 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jetsabe Caceres was born in 1981 in Puerto Rico to Nayda Cortes and Jaime Caceres. She has two younger siblings: Wendolyn Caceres and Willner Segui. Jetsabe attended Doctor Carlos Gonzalez High School, were she earned her high school diploma in 1999. Following high school graduation, she attended the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, where she pursued her B achelors of A rts in political science. While at the University of Puerto Rico, she was a McNair Scholar and had the opportunity to conduct political research, which she nationally presented at several conferences. It was this experience that motivated her to pur sue graduate school. Upon graduating with her B achelor of A rts in 2003, Jetsabe enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Florida where she chose comparative politics as her main field in the political science program. Her second field of study is political methodology and she had the opportunity to attend the International Consortium for Political Science Research (ICPSR) in the summer of 2006. Jetsabe earned her Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Florida in May 2007 after successfully passing the two qualifying exams in comparative politics and political methodology. She plans to pursue a career in Academia after obtaining her PhD. She is engaged to John Paul Hargen and they have a twoyear old son, John Alexander Hargen.