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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Spanish King Felipe VI begins 2-day Puerto Rico visit today

A page 19 story in the Jan. 21-23 Weekend Edition of the STAR should have said that Professor Rafael Ocasio, the editor of a book on Puerto Rican folklore, grew up in Puerto Rico and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico.

By The Star Staff

The King of Spain, Felipe VI, is slated to arrive in Puerto Rico today for a two-day visit to enhance commercial ties and celebrate the 500th anniversary of the island capital.

He is slated to meet with Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Tuesday morning.

The Spanish monarch will be arriving at the Muñiz Air Base in Carolina in the late afternoon today. A delegation composed of Pierluisi, San Juan Mayor Miguel A. Romero Lugo, Secretary of State Omar Marrero Díaz, Spanish consul Josep Bosch, Spanish Ambassador to the United States Santiago Cabanas and the head of the Puerto Rico National Guard, General José Reyes, will welcome him.

On Tuesday, after his tour of La Fortaleza, Felipe will greet the Sister Servants of Mary and then go to the San Juan Mayor’s Office where they will be welcomed by Romero as part of the capital city’s fifth centenary.

Later, the European monarch will participate in a business summit.

The visit was described as opportunistic by the Hostosiano National Independence Movement (MINH by its Spanish initials).

MINH President Julio Muriente Pérez said the invitation extended to the king by Romero is a “deplorable decision.” Romero invited the Spanish monarch during the General Assembly of the Union of Ibero-American Cities, in November in Madrid.

“It is absurd that we are asked to celebrate the founding of a city that was built to impose colonial domination, slavery and abuse, with nothing less than the king of the same people who used San Juan and Puerto Rico to satisfy their petty interests as an imperial power for several centuries,” according to the MINH.

Muriente Pérez said Felipe VI is “descendant of a royalty that looted, impoverished and historically despised our country, and that from the very city of San Juan, created by them, kept us as a colony for more than four centuries.”

“The representative of a monarchy that cowardly handed us over to the U.S. invaders in 1898 on a silver platter cannot be welcome to our country,” Muriente Pérez claimed in a written statement.

The political leader specified that Felipe VI is the king of a decadent monarchy that for centuries used Puerto Rico only as a military installation, from which it protected the immense wealth that he stole from the peoples of America.

“Not by chance, what they left here, specifically in the city of San Juan, when they were defeated in the Hispanic, Cuban, and American War, were forts and walls, not schools, universities, or hospitals,” Muriente Pérez added.

He insisted that “the king of Spain will be in Puerto Rico not because he encourages any particular interest or concern about our society, but rather to attend to the economic and commercial interests of Spain in the Caribbean and throughout America.”

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