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Will Puerto Rico become a state? For one political science professor, it’s a personal question

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Headshot of Amílcar Antonio Barreto in front of the Puerto Rican flag.

Amílcar Antonio Barreto’s political education began in his grandfather’s ice cream parlor. That’s not on his CV. Officially, Barreto’s political education began at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. But once a month, while he was in college, Barreto would head to the little town of Lares, the cradle of the island’s independence movement.

Barreto’s paternal grandfather, an activist for Puerto Rican independence, operated an ice cream parlor on Lares’ central square. He plastered the parlor’s walls with pro-independence posters and pictures, including one of the revolutionary leader Pedro Albizu Campos. “It was like a micro Puerto Rican pro-independence Disneyland,” recalls Barreto. The ice cream parlor was also known island-wide for its bizarre flavors: corn, rice and beans, pigeon pea, lobster. 

“He got into trouble with Puerto Rico’s internal revenue [service] because his rum raisin was basically liquid,” Barreto says. “People were enjoying themselves a bit too much with it.” Barreto’s favorite flavor—much more common in Puerto Rico—was parcha (passion fruit).

Continue reading at NGN Magazine.

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