Twenty-five years ago motley gangs of leftists, lunatics and bored thugs started acting out revolutionary fantasies of turning Puerto Rico into another Northern Ireland or Vietnam. They formed small groups with grand names like the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN), Fuerzas Armadas de la Resistencia Popular and Los Macheteros (a splinter group of the FALN).
Incapable of bringing down the federal government, forcing the United States out of Puerto Rico or changing public opinion on the island — support for independence remains in single digit percentages in Puerto Rico to this day– the gangs were chiefly threats to bank employees, bar patrons, bomb sniffing dogs and street cops in New York, Chicago and Hartford. They were linked to more than 100 bombings in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Among the FALN outrages were the 1982 New Year’s Eve attack on New York City’s police headquarters and a 1975 bombing of a Manhattan tavern that killed six and injured hundreds.
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