Puerto Rico’s artists are launching a fight for justice once more. They did it last summer, releasing protest music and successfully helping to shine a spotlight on the protests on the ground, inciting demonstrations to overthrow Ricardo Rosselló, the island’s corrupt former governor — and they’ll do it again. Artists like Residente, Bad Bunny, Ricky Martin and Kany García have all taken to social media in recent days to announce their plans for support, following the government’s mishandling of emergency aid needed after a series of devastating earthquakes on the island.
When a warehouse full of withheld emergency supplies was found in Puerto Rico’s southeastern city of Ponce recently, it only heightened the collective indignation of communities on the island. Boricuas took to the island’s Fortress and Capitol buildings on Monday, January 20, to demand the resignation of current governor Wanda Vázquez. As Vázquez continues to govern, artists have no choice but to use their platform to take further action.
Ricky Martin was one of the first artists to speak out on the situation on January 21, when he took to Instagram with a lengthy post. In it, he condemned the government “mistreatment” of his people and pledged his support to Puerto Rico moving forward. “I’m with you. Feeling the pain and firm in defending what is right, that which is worthy for everyone,” he wrote. “I am on my way to Puerto Rico. Very soon I will accompany you again in this call for respect, justice and peace. I’ll see you there, my island.” And according to El Nuevo Día, the artist is already set to arrive today.
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Lo ocurrido en un almacén en Ponce, Puerto Rico es un acto de insensibilidad, de maltrato e irresponsabilidad sinigual. En los momentos de mayor necesidad de nuestra gente, los que suponen sean los líderes han vuelto a fallar. Han vuelto a faltar a los derechos más básicos de los seres humanos: agua, techo, educación, seguridad… Lo hicieron con maldad. No hay otra explicación. Pero, entre tanta indignación y para consuelo de todos, vuelvo a ver a la gente, a los nuestros, despiertos, atentos y sobre todo, de pie. Luchando, defendiendo, cuidando, protegiendo y regalando amor a lo largo y ancho de ese tesoro que es nuestro Puerto Rico. En este vídeo podrán ver a un pueblo unido y yo desde aquí, celebrando una alianza tan sólida y bonita con nuestros amigos de @SERPuertoRico. Unimos fuerzas para llevar bienestar a quienes más lo necesitan luego de los terremotos en el sur de mi tierra. Estoy con ustedes. Sintiendo el dolor y firme en defender lo que corresponde, lo que es digno para todos. Voy en ruta a Puerto Rico. Muy pronto les vuelvo a acompañar en este reclamo de respeto, justicia y paz. Ahí los veo, mi isla. P.d. Y a todxs lxs voluntarios que sin esperar nada a cambio lo entregan todo por el bienestar de sus compatriotas, MUCHAS GRACIAS.
Singer-songwriter Kany García also confirmed that she will leave behind any former commitments to join upcoming demonstrations on the island. El Nuevo Día reports that she’s already set to take a flight back to Puerto Rico at any moment. “We already know the streets and we already know the pain and injustice of a people, who at the time of absolute vulnerability, their government didn’t live up and left them helpless,” the songstress wrote on Instagram. “We are not afraid to return, [as] we have lost all fear in the face of such a blow.”
Meanwhile, urbano star Bad Bunny promised on Twitter that “Puerto Rico is no longer left behind.” El Conejo Malo was especially instrumental in inspiring last summer’s protestors, alongside reggaetonero Residente.
Puerto Rico ya no se deja
— (@sanbenito) January 21, 2020
Residente posted an IGTV broadcast himself recently, delivering an impassioned statement on the state of affairs currently plaguing Puerto Rico. “You have to understand that the people are the ones who have the power, the corrupt government we have who have failed to do things, you have to understand that we are the ones who decide,” he said on Instagram.
He also confirmed he would be attending a protest tomorrow, January 23. “See you this Thursday, January 23 at 5 pm at the Capitol to join the street resistance,” he wrote in his caption.