President Barack Obama eats a "medianoche" sandwich during a surprise visit to Kasalta Bakery while in Puerto Rico, June 14, 2011. (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.)

He came and went.

The one we anticipated nervously and painted lines on the road for. He ate a medianoche, had his photo taken with supporters and hosted a fundraiser at $35k per person. The entire day, down here on the island where I’m lucky to find myself on the day President Obama came back for a visit, has been filled with over-analyzing political commentators dissecting every word President Obama said and every step he took during his brief visit. It’s the classic neglected-child syndrome. Any attention is better than no attention. It doesn’t matter what he said, we would still hang by his every word, and we still spent (and will continue to spend) an inordinate amount of energy reacting to every little thing the President did and said.

Two significant things that are still being debated: 1)the President’s detour to a popular eatery to meet with the opposition candidate and 2)his intimation that the U.S. would stand by the people of Puerto Rico only after a clear majority of islanders arrive at a clear decision concerning the political status of the colony. We’re not sure what clear means.

The day could have been better. Imagine the uproar if the “c” word (colony) had come straight from the President’s mouth, instead of the political commentators’. But the President and his speechwriters are too smart for that. He could have made a statement about the remaining political prisoner, Oscar Lopez Rivera, jailed in the U.S. for 30 years. Again, better not go there when 2012 is around the corner. And I suppose it would have been exciting to have Marc Anthony break into song and for JLo to have made a surprise appearance…

Personally, I think the President’s visit went as good as it could have. We showed him our good and courteous side, and carefully avoided his seeing the protestors who burned an American flag, or hearing difficult questions from any “radical” leaders. Too bad there are so many things that are just unfit for the President’s eyes and ears. Then again, how would you explain in only a couple of hours that the Puerto Rican economy needs more than a stimulus package to recover from 500 years of colonialism? How would you explain the oppresive monopoly we face trying to supply our basic needs for food and fuel? How would you explain soaring unemployment, drug use and domestic violence? How would you explain police brutality against college students, a gasoducto being shoved down our throats and a political referendum stacked in favor of the ruling party (do you want blue or blue)?

It would take a few years, not a few hours for Mr. President to get the full and atrocious picture of all things unfit. Then again, his subtle nod to the opposition makes one think that not all is medianoche for Mr. President. Maybe he can see in the dark. Now, in the dark, with the coquies singing their ancestral song, I have to say we might be unfit and he might not have collected as much campaign money here as elsewhere, but he still came and he still broke medianoche with us. That’s more than other presidents have been willing to do.

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