Puerto Rican Independence

In 1898, Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States and has been held by the U.S. in the form of a colony ever since.

In response to international pressure, in 1952, the U.S. established the "Free Associated State" status for Puerto Rico but continued to claim that Puerto Rico belongs to, yet is not a part of, the United States.

The root of the crisis is the colonial status of Puerto Rico as echoed in the UN Decolonization committee resolution on Puerto Rico adopted on June 22, 2015. The resolution states that the condition of political subordination prevents Puerto Rico from making sovereign decisions to attend to its serious economic and social problems including unemployment, marginalization and poverty (Olga Sanabria Davila, Crisis and Colonialism in Puerto Rico, 10/26/15).

We should support the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in conformity with United Nations Resolution 1514(XV) of 1960. We should call for the release of all Puerto Rican political prisoners, such as Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been held in U.S. prisons since 1981.

We need to call for the appropriate environmental clean-up and sustainable development of Vieques, the island that was used as a firing range by the U.S. military.

We should oppose the recruitment of the youth of Puerto Rico into the U.S. armed forces and their deployment to U.S. wars abroad by denouncing the recruitment attempts at educational institutions.

Further, We should recognize that:

  1. Puerto Rico's debt is unpayable.

  2. In the last 20 years alone, foreign corporations operating in Puerto Rico have reaped over 600 billion dollars in tax free profits, 10 per cent of which would suffice to pay its current otherwise unpayable debt.

  3. Austerity measures like a "Financial Control Authority," which have proven to exacerbate economic suffering and strip away democratic rights to self-determination, must be opposed.

  4. The social cost of increasing the sales tax, of reducing workers' pay, education and health services, of eliminating labor rights gained and the dismantling of the retirement system among other recessionary measures, are a detriment to the quality of life of the people of Puerto Rico and to the strategic development of the country's economy.

  5. The present fiscal and economic crisis in Puerto Rico is largely due to the United States' colonial power and exploitation in Puerto Rico.

  6. Further, although Puerto Rico is a tropical island country seriously being affected by climate change, it is powerless to participate in initiatives and international negotiations to control and mitigate climate change and global warming.

Conclusion 7. As as a colony of the United States, Puerto Rico's position of political subordination cuts across the problem and independence would break the stalemate and create the possibilities of a solution.

  1. Commitment to grassroots democracy is totally consistent with support for the decolonization of Puerto Rico as colonialism is contrary to democracy.

  2. For the country ruled, democracy is non-existent where one country rules over another, even if there are elections every four years to elect local authorities.

  3. In Puerto Rico the United States controls commerce, international relations, immigration, monetary issues, communications, postal matters, defense, labor relations and in others areas.,

Conclusion: To truly support democracy in Puerto Rico, its decolonization has to be supported as the first step for the Puerto Rican people to live in a democracy.

Sources:

Green Party