Some words about Fortin San Geronimo

Fortín San Jerónimo del Boquerón"I guess words are a motherf**ker,
they can be great
Or they can degrade,
or even worse, they can teach hate"
from "Sing For The Moment " by Eminem

his·tor·ic (h-stôrk, -str-)
adj.
1. Having importance in or influence on history.

Words. Truth. Lies. Spin. Transference. Unsubstantiated. Fake. Made-up. Wished-for. Words. Today's post is about words. Step right up ladies and germs, and hear the man in a tie use real words. Yes, never before have you heard such words. And for the first time ever, the man in a tie will use the word anti-historic in a complete sentence. Yes, step right up and get your tickets. Hear him defy logic while using words. This is not to be missed.

In response to legislation that recently passed in the United States House of Representatives, that calls for the United States to assume managerial control of Fort San Geronimo, José Luis Vega, Executive Director of the Institute for Puerto Rican Culture, said

"La federalización del manejo del Fortín San Jerónimo del Boquerón, ubicado a la entrada de la isleta de San Juan, es “antihistórico”.
So referring to the definition I kindly added to the beginning of this post. If the U.S. assumed management of the fort, it would eliminate Fort San Geronimo's importance in history. I guess that means, the U.S. Government will use an unknown force or machine to travel back in time and cause the fort to never be built. Sounds like someone must be a big fan of the new series of Heroes, because as far as I know the U.S. doesn't possesses such technology. If the did, they would go back and see to it that Al Gore would become the 43rd President of the United States and erase the darkest seven years the United States has ever seen. What I think is meant here is that after a trend where the U.S. transfers control of historic properties, like the lighthouse in Fajardo, this legislation shows distrust, disrespect, or maybe it shows a lack of confidence, but it is certainly not anti-historic, whatever the hell that means.

Unsubstantiated statements and wistful thinking

I really could of let the whole anti-historic comment slide if Mr. Vega didn't begin to back up his declaration with unsubstantiated statements and wishful thinking. He goes on to say:
“Yo creo que éstos son los remanentes, una mentalidad que existe en el País, que piensa que todo lo que está bajo el ámbito federal es superior o está mejor atendido que lo que está bajo el ámbito del Estado Libre Asociado”
. Essentially he claims that this represents a mentality that the U.S Government can manage things better than the Freely Associated State of Puerto Rico. After Katrina, who could blame that mentality? But what does he present as evidence that the Puerto Rican Government can manage something better than, well better tha a room full of monkeys? Coqui. Coqui. Well actually he does suggest their management of the Cuartel de Ballajá as an example, but I'd say that doesn't prove anything, other than yes indeed, a roomful of baboons can successfully manage, well anything given enough time.

I 'm sure everyone would agree that the newly constructed Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Puerto Rico Coliseum are two jewels in the Puerto Rican Government's crown. Surely these are examples that prove the good sirs' comment, right? Well, not so much. Did you know that both of these fine establishments are operated by a third party? The Choliseo is managed by SMG. SMG manages 70 arenas, 7 stadiums, 50 convention centers, 34 performing arts centers, and 10 other recreational facilities. Their corporate offices are located in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit them at: www.smgworld.com. What about the Convention Center? Well what do you know? SMG also manages the Convention Center too. Hmm, imagine that. Not Federal management for sure, but I guess it's O.k. for someone else to manage something of historic importance as long as we don't disagree with them politically.

The heart of this issue

Basically this issue boils down to, according to what has been said, is an idea that Puerto Rico doesn't possess the talent or resources to properly take control of the Fortin, restore it, and open it to the public. For me this is not an issue of talent or resources, but of will. It is going on thirteen years since I've been in Puerto Rico and not once have I ever been able to step foot onto San Geronimo; every time I tried to get close it was locked behind a chain link fence. According to conflicting accounts available on the web, the ICP either took control of the Fortin in either 1956 or 2000, what is clear is that the Fortin was listed in the U.S National Register of Abandoned Guánica lighthouseHistorical Places in 1983. In between the inattention by the ICP and whatever happened that resulted in the highly disputed Paseo del Caribe construction, it seems to me, that only now does anyone give a damn about this irreplaceable artifact of colonial Spanish architecture. Funny how politics seems to bring into focus what is historic and priceless from what was previously abandoned and worthless. Is anyone talking about the lighthouse in Guánica much these days?