El Grito de Lares

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On this day 146 years ago, Puerto Rico attempted a revolution in the name of independence from Spain. This was the only attempt for independence in all of Puerto Rico’s history and is now known as “El Grito de Lares.”

The rebellion was supposed to take place on September 29 and include support from thousands coming from other parts of the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands, but, due to complications and allies being compromised, the rebellion was carried out on September 23, 1968 by no more than 600 people. The Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico, as the rebellion group was called, was able to take over Lares, proclaiming the Republic of Puerto Rico; however, the following day, the rebellion was stopped in San Sebastian by Spanish militia.

Although “El Grito de Lares” only lasted a day and independence was ultimately not gained, this was still an immensely important event in Puerto Rico and had several positive effects in shaping the island’s current identity. During the rebellion, Puerto Rico’s first flag was created by Mariana Bracetti and Lola Rodriguez de Tio’s poem, “La Borinquena,” was written. Following the rebellion, the island gained more autonomy for itself and it is still heavily discussed in Puerto Rican history.

In my opinion, “El Grito de Lares” may be viewed as a failure and a waste by some people, but it clearly had a huge effect if it’s still remembered today. It shows that, despite complications and difficulties, you should always try. Even if the outcome you had in mind doesn’t come about, then something positive can still be the result of your effort.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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