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      Puerto Rican Freedom Fighter
      Rafael Cancel Miranda, presente!

      Translated by Frank Velgara

      This past March 2, a little after nine in the evening, a hero born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, but acclaimed for his actions as a hero of our entire homeland, decided to pass on to the plane of immortality. He did not choose a day before nor a day later: he had decided that we would have for another year the joy of celebrating with him his most honored action, carried out with another three valiant patriots, on March 1, 1954, in the imperial Congress of the United States. That slap in the face of that monster has never been emulated . . . nor forgotten.

      From his youth in his native Mayaguez, Don Rafael Cancel Miranda always carried on his shoulders, as Martí would say, “the decorum of many men”. His complete dedication to the defense of the independence of his homeland and his determination to free the countries of our América from the imperialist oppression that for more than a century had bled our Latin American peoples, led him to broaden his struggle and to raise a vibrant voice in favor of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Mexico and other Latin American nations.

      Don Rafa, as many of us call him, always collaborated with our Committee in Solidarity with Cuba that I am honored to lead. He always lent his unconditional support for all the activities of the Solidarity Committee. I cannot forget that he was the first that took up the banner of our Brigade in 1993 and that he was always present in all of our activities. He always provided his most decided and enthusiastic support to the Brigades and our annual Solidarity dinners, as he did with all activities in solidarity with Cuba and other peoples in struggle. Don Rafa also accompanied us in several international events.

      Don Rafa deserves that we dedicate the trip of the Juan Ruis Rivera Brigade to Cuba in its’ 30th Anniversary trip in 2021. Don Rafa shares the same noble blood that coursed through the vains of Bolivar, Betances, Hostos, San Martin, Rius Rivera, Cespedes, Maceo, Maximo Gonez, Lolita Lebron, Carmin Perez, Blanca Canales, Doris Torresola, Pedro Albizu Campos, Filiberto Ojeda Rios, Jorge Farinacci Garica, Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, Hugo Chavez Frias, Fidel Castro Ruz and all the heroes and sheroes that have given their lives in the struggle in solidarity with the independence and liberation of our Latin American countries. These men and women as Marti would say in his work, Three Heroes, “are the ones that rebel ferociously against those that rob our peoples of liberty, that is to role our men of their decorum. In these men are thousands of men, entire nations and the dignity of all humanity. Their lives are sacred” . . . and I add . . . and those of women are sacred.

      This past March 2nd, a little after nine in the evening, Rafael Cancel Miranda, took his place with the women and men that have raised high our flag to wave it with strength in the illuminated space where his presence already resides alongside his heroic peers.

      That day he also decided to give the ultimate slap in the face of the empire in order to make clear before our people that March 2 is not the day that U.S. citizenship was imposed upon our people, but the day that our RAFEAL CANCEL MIRANDA, continued his struggle from the realms of immortality.

      Eternal glory to our heroes and heroines!
      Eternal glory to Rafael Cancel Miranda!
      Long Live the Solidarity of the Peoples of Our America and the World!
      Long Live A Free and Socialist Puerto Rico!

      Milagros Rivera Pérez, President
      Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, Puerto Rico
      March 6, 2020
      Bar Association of Puerto Rico

      Frank Velgara is a Puerto Rican revolutionary activist from the Socialist Front, living in New York City.

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