The lead singer of the politically charged Spanish-language group Calle 13 is throwing his support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders' run for president.
"Bernie Sanders has more than 30 years advocating for working people and the lower class of the USA," Puerto Rican-born René Pérez Joglar, who goes by Residente, told his 5.7 million followers on Twitter.
Calle 13 developed a huge and loyal fan base with its lyrics about politics and the disenfranchised. Residente's apparent endorsement could help Sanders in states like Florida, where the population of Puerto Ricans rivals the numbers of boricuas in New York.
It could also compel young Latinos critical of the U.S. government to actually hit the polls and support Sanders.
Residente supports independence for Puerto Rico from the United States. "They've pissed on our flag, he bled to death, my people, I tell you he bled to death," Joglar rapped in one of his first songs "Querido FBI," or "Dear FBI," about the killing of Puerto Rican nationalist Filiberto Ojeda Rios.
In 2013 Calle 13 released a song with fellow revolutionaries WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and Audioslave fame and Palestinian artist Kamilya Jubran.
Sanders has publicly supported bankruptcy measures for Puerto Rico, which is currently facing financial troubles. The share of Puerto Ricans living in poverty (27%) is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and for Hispanics overall (25%), according to the Pew Research Center.
"We need to do everything we can to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt in a rational way that does not harm its people, ordinary investors or pension funds in the United States. Chapter 9 protections would be a good first step," Sanders said last year.
“But we also should recognize that the reason Puerto Rico has such unsustainable debt has everything to do with the policies of austerity and the greed of large financial institutions," said Sanders.