[News] Puerto Rico - A repeat of the farce?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 5 10:26:31 EDT 2011

A repeat of the farce?

Published Jul 4, 2011 9:21 PM

Last April, the U.S. House of Representatives 
approved HR 2499 RFS, ironically known as the 
“Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010.” This allows 
for a plebiscite on the island, which, in 
Congress’ own words, will “provide for a 
federally sanctioned self-determination process for the people of Puerto Rico.”

The colony’s representative in the U.S. Congress, 
Pedro Pierluisi, who has speaking rights but no 
voting rights in the House, introduced HR 2499 
RFS. Pierluisi is Puerto Rico’s resident 
commissioner in Washington under the island’s 
pro-statehood administration of Gov. Luis 
Fortuño. Pierluisi introduced the plebiscite bill on Fortuño’s behalf.

Adding to the contradictions and falsehoods about 
colonial status, Fortuño belongs to the right 
wing of the Republican Party in the U.S. and to 
the New Progressive Party (PNP) on the island. 
Pierluisi is also from the PNP, but is a member 
of the Democratic Party in the U.S.

Many plebiscites and referendums on the status 
have been conducted in Puerto Rico, but this is 
the first time that the island’s government seeks 
the formal approval of its master in the empire. 
This plebiscite, if approved in the U.S. Senate, 
will legally authorize Puerto Rico to conduct a 
plebiscite. This itself is proof of Puerto Rico’s colonial status.

Although the pro-independence forces on the 
island are very clear about this farce, some 
doubts remain in the minds of some people. In 
order to put those to rest, Puerto Rican patriot 
and former political prisoner Rafael Cancel 
Miranda wrote an open letter on June 21, which is reprinted here.

A repeat of the farce?

Recently a reporter asked me about a so-called 
plebiscite on the future of Puerto Rico in which 
the foreigners [who reside on the island] who 
swear citizenship could participate, but not the 
Puerto Ricans who reside outside Puerto Rico.

I responded that any plebiscite in the colony 
would be illegal and fraudulent because the 
colonial power and their servile ones control the 
sociopolitical and economic life and even the 
psyche of the Puerto Rican people. And, besides, 
to which citizenship do they refer? To which 
citizenship would a foreigner swear? The Puerto 
Rican or the one of the U.S.? We already know 
which side those foreigners would be on and why. 
The United States’ citizenship by itself 
constitutes an illegally imposed foreign 
citizenship in Puerto Rico. On the other hand, 
Puerto Ricans, no matter where they are, continue being Puerto Rican.

In 1952, the government of the United States 
tried to deceive the world with an alleged 
“plebiscite” for the creation of the so-called 
Free Associated State. They declared then that by 
virtue of that “plebiscite” Puerto Rico had 
stopped being a colony. Now, almost 60 years 
later, everybody knows that that was a sham since 
even committees appointed by the White House have 
affirmed that Puerto Rico continues being a 
colony, thus confirming what Lolita Lebrón, 
Andrés Figueroa Cordero, Irvin Flores Rodriguez 
and I went to denounce in the Congress in 
Washington, D.C., the 1st of March of 1954.

We could extend, but I will not do it. I will 
simply say that the Yankees did not have any 
plebiscite in 1898 in order to invade us. So why 
would they have to conduct one in order to leave? 
It is the same gimmick, with the same words, to 
justify before the world the colonialism which 
they have imposed on us. Many Puerto Ricans were 
deceived in 1952. Let us not fall into the same 
trap. Besides, the right of the peoples to their 
independence is not a question of numbers, and 
only those who are free can vote freely. There is 
no power that can alter that truth.

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