Most U.S. Citizens have the privilege of freedom of speech and have politicians that will protect those rights and make sure that everyone has the opportunity to express themselves. One of the reasons I joined the U.S. Military at the early age of 17 was to protect those rights.
One of the biggest disadvantages of being a colony is that elected officials on occasion can put Fidel Castro and other oppressing dictators to shame. At least Fidel Castro is firm on the censorship he has imposed on his government. The difference from Fidel is that elected officials like Pierluisi want to become the 51st state of the Union but still want to censor those who might not agree with him.
In the post I wrote on Obama’s quick profitable layover , I wrote how my friend Julio Varela got censored from Pierluisi’s Facebook Page because he made a comment that his staff did not agree with. Please listen to the phone call (which I have included as a audio file here ) so you can clearly see that they have no answer as to why they blocked him. I would take a precise guess and say it was because they did not agree with what he said.
Pierluisi’s Office sent official communication which at first appeared as an apology but as one begins to read it, it was not a sincere apology. Listening to the previous audio file also confirms that they think bloggers are a joke.
I have been censored in various occasions by organizations in the government and private sector. The approach of these offices is to give the run around and not give an answer until the situation goes away.
This common practice by individuals who call themselves PR practitioners on the Island (PR standing for Press Release because in most occasions they have no idea of that acutal meaning of Public Relations) is to avoid the situation until it disappears. Guess what? We are in a completely different world where addressing the situation can clearly put you in the position of advantage.
Not only did Pierluisi and his staff censor Julio they have made and keep making the following mistakes:
They did not give an Answer
As you can read in the written statement or listen to the audio file, they provide no answer.
Pierluisi’s Team contradicted themselves
First the person named Karla Coto indicated that she was aware of Julio’s situation and even laughed in a very nervous way . Later on she told him that she could not give him a clear answer. Either you know what happened or you don’t. I guess when you are lying and nervous it is difficult to keep your story straight. How can you say “Sincerely and honestly I can’t answer” but yet she was aware of the situation.
Most people here especially in Government think bloggers are a joke and they have little or no respect for them. The same way she laughed when she recognized it was Julio. Well Mr. Pierluisi the joke is on you now.
Karla mentioned a Congress page. Not sure what she was talking about because the page where Julio got blocked from was the Facebook Like Page.
Who Runs the Facebook Page
I guess Pierluisi has a robot typing and blocking on his Facebook page. Not sure why they have to keep it a secret. Something that is key in using social media channels is making sure there is transparency.
Accuracy Lays in Hiding the Facts
For most Goverment officials here accuracy lays in hiding the facts and not informing the public.
In January we had a situation where the Puerto Rico Tourism Company brought my friend and reporter Nelson Alcantara from Hawaii so he could interview the Director of Tourism regarding an article created by Elinor Garely. (Puerto Rico Paradise Plagued with Pollution )
The PRTC wanted to accuse Elinor from creating an article with many inaccuracies. They decided to bring Nelson with a promise to have him sit down with the PRTC Director of Tourism Mario Gonzalez-Lafuente. After promising a meeting with the Director of Tourism they canceled on short notice. They never gave Nelson the opportunity to sit with him and clear the issues. In that occasion I reached out to various elected officials to see if they could fit in as a representation of the local government to clear out the issues for Puerto Rico and nobody stepped up to the plate.
The PRTC thought it was going away and it did not. Finally in March they gave me the opportunity to sit down with the Director of Tourism under a rigid set of rules so I could interview him in getting some answers. Just as the Tourism Company learned its lesson that they needed to step up to the plate, I recommend Pierluisi and his folks do the same.
Like Julio said censorship is Bad in America and it also applies to the only existing colony in the world.
In my opinion Pierluisi forgets often about his position as a a PUBLIC official; he is not royality. We see how he already uses his position to spend good US tax payer money. Pierluisi is the individual with the most expenses in the House of Representatives by spending the huge amount of 2.1 million beating Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi by approximately $300,000
- Pedro Pierluisi, D-Puerto Rico: $2,117,000
- Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: $1,860,000
Not sure if he is investing his expenses in the most accurate way since his staff acts the way a dictator would in a third world country. They can’t even give an explanation of the actions taken on something so simple as managing a Facebook Like Page.
What do you think of having organizations blacklisting bloggers and silencing them?
Do you know of any organizations who blacklist bloggers just because they don’t agree with their views?
Photo by Andréia