In just four months, on June 11 of this year, Puerto Rico will hold a referendum on whether to become independent, a US state, or continue suffering as a “US commonwealth.”
The ballot will provide two options: “Independence/Free Association” or “Statehood.” If a majority chooses the first option, then a second referendum will be held in October, to decide between “independence” and “free association.”
Historically, the island has already held four referenda on its political status: in 1967, 1993, 1998 and 2012.
It is highly doubtful that this 2017 referendum will be any different. In fact, every indication is that – politically, economically, socially – the US is not prepared to welcome Puerto Rico with open arms, as the 51st state.
“Colonialism is not an option for Puerto Rico,” said Gov. Ricky Roselló, as he praised this upcoming referendum.
We certainly agree…and after this referendum, when the US Congress refuses to extend statehood to Puerto Rico, we expect that Gov. Roselló will embrace the only remaining option…independence.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos
From what I’m hearing on the news they changed the ballot. Statehood Independence or territory.. I can’t confirm this because I’m really not too sure.
Nothing’s ever going to change here. That’s actually fine with me. There’s nothing stopping us from going to the mainland to work.
But I’m retired
The June 11th poll, like most of the colonial antics, is just a distraction that takes our minds off the cruelty of colonialism caused by Boriquen´s Junta and the colonial government’s inability to protect The Puerto Rican People. Like Quijote, Roselló and Hernandez pursue unrealistic outcomes from a poll in which more than 45% of the population will not even participate. The percentage surmounts to 150% if Boricuas in Diaspora were to vote!
Boricuas need to understand that whether we favor statehood or independence, the first step to either goal is sovereignty. Boriquen can not improve until it removes the shackles of colonialism. With sovereignty, Boriquen can have a constitutional convention to establish a new efficient governmental structure and laws that reflect the needs of Boricuas, not American interests. As sovereigns, we can develop our native industries as we are exempted from the Jones Act.
PNP´s Plebiscite does nothing to change our colonial status. We should take the process as a means to educate ourselves instead of going along with the ruse, that this poll will somehow give us statehood. If PNP was really interested in ending our colonial status, they would be the first to vote for sovereignty and unite with the other political parties in pursuing sovereignty as the first step in ending colonialism and securing a future for all Boricuas!!
There is just one common thread in a conversation involving emancipation of Boriquen. This is the case whether you favor independence or statehood. That commonality is called SOVEREIGNTY!! As a state, you have sovereignty That we call state´s rights. As a nation, sovereignty comes with its independence. As a free State that is associated with a sovereign state, Boriquen could have had sovereignty in 1952. The US Congress denied sovereignty to Boriquen, thereby perpetuating the colony that it continues to be!
@Annie. How are we going to support ourselves? We’re not leaving the Union. Americans live in America. If the island ever went independent which is highly doubtful. Since we are all Americans we would have no choice but to go to America. If you lived in Sicily and it broke away from Italy where would you go ?Italy. No?
But like I said it’s futile. This is all just a bunch of hot air there’s nothing ever going to change here. It’ll get better with time. It better hurry up I’m not a spring chicken.
The first thing people have to realize is this is a non-binding referendum. It doesn’t matter if 99% of this island voted for statehood.
It’s still up to the United States Congress to ratify it. And since they only work 6 days a year well…….. It’s a useless vote.
Puertorricans better become the state number 51.The economy is very bad .How are they going to support them selfs if they leave USA.
This is the worst time for a statehood vote. Look what’s going on in the United States. You notice how the mainland is so quick to mention that we’re in a 72 billion dollar debt. But what they fail to mention is the country as a whole has a 21 trillion dollar debt. I’m personally going to vote for statehood. As far as the debt.. As of last January passed there is a federal control review board on the island. It’s their job to fix the debt. Don’t worry about that that it’s being took care of. We are Americans . At the same time I’m reading some of your comments. And I know my Puerto Rican Brothers are right now in Syria using artillery against Isis. Is there anything else you would like Puerto Ricans to do to make you satisfied that we deserve statehood? If so let me know when you’re going over to Syria to fight for your country?
The thing is if we do like the native Americans, we accept tyem and make peace. They will come and snatch our lands, segregate us and forget about us. That is what happening right now in USA. I am sorry to say that but that’s the reality of a colonialism and capitalism country. Only care about what they can get and forget about what they can do to help.
That guy from Disque by the name His Excellary is a total jerk that was never true whar he explained about Puerto Rico having english as a primary language and no more states here enough.
Very interesting! Puerto Rico needs to think about its future! Cuba and the Dominican Republic would snatch at the chance to became part of the United States! If I were Puerto Rico in this uncertain future I would do what the native Americans did long ago and that’s make peace with the past and look forward to the near future! It’s not going to get easier it’s going to get harder and we will need the help we will have from our friends in the USA!
Wow can you imagine, reunifying with Espana. Now that truly is thinking outside the box and quite frankly, why not? It’s in part where our roots lie before USA came along.
Statehood is the death of the Puerto Rican nationality.Some of the States want to separate from the U.S. What keeps the U.S. united is the United States armed Forces. Otherwise these states would be separate nations. This is an empire that committed genocide against its Native People and Blacks. So don’t cover up by mentioning Hitler. You committed the greatest genocide and are still committing it.Think about the millions killed in all those nations that have been bombed to hell.
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What people fail to understand is that, yes free association how people call it, is impossible under US constitution because PR needs to be independent first. Also that PR as a territory (or pretty much a colony) can be sold to another country. So it’s not in US interest for PR to be a state, most likely won’t give it its independence and well… there is another option and with US in so much debt..
‘US colonial exploitation of Puerto Rico has
BY SETH GALINSKY
UNITED NATIONS — As working people in Puerto Rico are battered by a deepening crisis, and moves by Washington lay bare its denial of Puerto Rican sovereignty, supporters of independence took their fight to the U.N. Special Committee on Decolonization. Almost all of the nearly 60 people who addressed the annual hearing on the status of the island nation demanded freedom for long-time independence fighter Oscar López, including those opposed to the independence movement.
In 1950, Washington claimed that Puerto Rico was becoming a “self-governing territory.” But speaker after speaker at the June 20 hearing stated that, in fact, Puerto Rico has never ceased being a U.S. colony.
“Recent developments leave no room for the illusions, facades and deceits which have prevailed regarding the political status of Puerto Rico,” said Olga Sanabria for the Committee for Puerto Rico at the United Nations. The continued imprisonment of López, she added, symbolizes “the brutal imperial domination the people of Puerto Rico have been subjected to for more than 118 years,” as well as their resistance. (See box on page 6.)
López called from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, and spoke with members of the U.N. committee during the hearing. The committee chair announced plans to visit him in prison later this year.
His daughter Clarisa López told the committee that her father’s “love for equality, justice and independence for Puerto Rico are intact.”
Many of those testifying referred to two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that highlight the colonial status of Puerto Rico. On June 13 the court ruled that the island’s government is barred from adopting its own bankruptcy laws. The week before the court held that the government of Puerto Rico is not “sovereign” and derives all its power from the U.S. Congress.
Speakers also denounced a federal bill backed by the Democratic and Republican parties and President Barack Obama that would give control of the finances and budget of the island’s colonial government to a seven-member board appointed by the U.S. president, to ensure that Puerto Rico’s $70 billion public debt is paid on the backs of working people.
The bondholders and hedge funds want to “use the debt as a guillotine against the rights of our people,” Pedro Irene Maymí, representing the CPT union federation, told the hearing. “It is unpayable.”
Supporters of the two main colonial parties in Puerto Rico — Gov. Alejandro García Padilla of the ruling Popular Democratic Party, which wants to keep the island as a U.S. “commonwealth,” and Ricardo Rosselló, head of the New Progressive Party, which says it should become the 51st U.S. state — denounced the recent U.S. moves at the hearing.
Both parties have been fighting for the right of the Puerto Rican government to declare bankruptcy and are chafing at Washington’s arrogance. Their goal is little different from that of the fiscal control board, but they want to ensure a greater say in the “restructuring” of Puerto Rico’s debt by the island’s capitalist class.
And both parties have been responsible for layoffs of more than 30,000 government workers, cuts in pensions, closing schools, hikes in taxes paid by working people and other measures undertaken to pay the burgeoning debt.
The Supreme Court decisions and the bill before Congress creating a fiscal board have made it “clear that nothing has changed in the U.S. colonial relation to Puerto Rico,” said Iris Colón Dipini on behalf of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico. “Our crisis is deeply rooted in Puerto Rico’s exploitation as a colony.”
Who owes whom?
Héctor Pesquera, co-chair of the National Hostosiano Independence Movement, noted that after Washington invaded Puerto Rico in 1898 small farmers were forced to sell their land to U.S. agribusiness.
“Then they imposed U.S. citizenship on us to recruit our youth for the First World War. Since then we have been cannon fodder for the invading army,” he said. In addition, the U.S. military “caused billons of dollars of damage to the environment and health of the residents of the islands of Culebra and Vieques,” using them as a bombing range for more than six decades until forced out by mass protests.
Pesquera noted that U.S. companies take billions of dollars of profits out of Puerto Rico every year, while driving small stores and farmers out of business.
“So who owes whom?” he said.
Workers the hardest hit
“Workers have been the hardest hit, we are the ones who have been more harshly weighed down by the consequences” of the crisis, said Irene Maymí. “Hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters have lost their jobs, many have been forced to emigrate, principally to the United States, making up what is now the largest migration in our history.”
“The fight for Puerto Rico’s independence is also in the interests of the vast majority of the people of the United States,” said Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president. “The people of Puerto Rico and working people in the U.S. have common interests, a common enemy, a common struggle.”
The crisis in Puerto Rico is opening new opportunities, said Manuel Meléndez Lavandero, speaking for A Call to Action on Puerto Rico, based in New York. “Today there is a people that is beginning to look with curiosity at the possibility of an independent Puerto Rico.”
The U.N. Special Committee approved by consensus a resolution presented by Cuban Ambassador Humberto Rivero Rosario calling for the General Assembly to schedule a discussion on the status of Puerto Rico and for the committee to facilitate dialogue between Washington and Puerto Rico on self-determination and independence.
“The people of Puerto Rico continue to be unable to exercise their legitimate right to genuine self-determination,” Rivero said. “Despite U.S. economic, political and social domination, this sister nation has maintained its deep-rooted and unwavering vocation for independence,” a cause always supported by revolutionary Cuba.
The U.N. testimony capped a weekend of activity that began with a meeting to back the fight for independence of more than 200 at the 1199SEIU union hall in New York, organized by A Call to Action on Puerto Rico.
Several of the speakers at the hearing joined a late afternoon protest outside the United Nations calling for freedom for Oscar López as part of an international day of action.
‘Independence for Puerto Rico is in interest of workers in US’
Who is Oscar López Rivera?
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Puerto Rico: The Crisis Is About Colonialism, Not Debt
Puerto Rico: The Crisis Is About Colonialism, … an explanation as any for Puerto Rico’s current crisis. … of colonialism, Puerto Rico is a “state …
A REFERENDUM serves a purpose when an entity is sovereign, such as a state or even an Indian Nation, which is theoretically protected by a treaty of equals with The United States Government. The elected representatives can, after a referendum enact laws that represent the will of the people. This process is part of our democracy and it works extremely well. The same can not be said of entities that are not free to enact laws without the approval of a foreign sovereign power. Boriquen has had referenda over status in the past. These acts are nothing more than expensive polls that are taken today and forgotten tomorrow! It would be a better process if it was a legislative proposal for decolonization or sovereignty as is the recent measure proposed by Luis Gutierrez in The house of representatives.
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Freedom Independence for Puerto Rico or Free Association.
US does not want statehood, Puerto Ricans do not want independence. What is left? A new form of american colonialism called Free Association? Please! US has ruined Puerto Rico in more ways that i can count. I think the best deal to safeguard what is left of Puerto Rico is to undo the US invasion by reunifying the Island with Spain, the country who actually founded Puerto Rico (1493) and the country we were part of as a province (1812) and then later as an autonomous province (1897). It is the only way we can keep our language alive without the interference of a foreign language which is the one i am using to write here since this page is an english language page, so we can keep our culture traditions which are being lost or watered down by the heavy american influence, so we can be who we are and at the same time keeping a high quality of life by being part of a bigger economy and economic bloc. I do not see any way out of this than returning back to Spain, really. Canary Islands is today an autonomous province of Spain, the majority of Puerto Ricans can trace back their ancestors to this chain of spanish islands off the coast of Africa. Today the Canary Islands is also an overseas part of the European Union. The Canary Islands were not invaded by the US, they never had to face the cultural genocide that was intended in Puerto Rico. My vote goes to the Reunification of Puerto Rico with Spain as our last chance to save what is left of the real Puerto Rico.
Mr Denis and Remy,
What is happening here in Miami, THE GENTRIFICATION OF MIAMI! by powerful Real Estate Developers. Before “Little Havana” and “Little Haiti”, there was “Little San Juan” settle by the Puerto Ricans. They established Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community Center, Roberto Clemente Park, Jose de Diego School, San Juan Bautista Church…etc. today that area is famously know as “Wynwood”. The Rich Developer Tony Goldman, following the format of what happened in SOHO New York, bought properties (mostly warehouses) in the Wynwood-(Little SanJuan) area. He rented to galleries and artists, created an art district. He was trying to duplicate in Miami what happened in SOHO New York but at the same time pushing the residence out, mostly Puerto Ricans. But!! The Art Movement in SOHO was artist driven!! Not driven by Real Estate Developers! I know this because I lived in New York City when SOHO was growing and I have artist friends that bought and live there. Developers are always following in the heels of the artist because they know artist need cheap good space to work.
Now these real estate developers have bought into Little Havana wanting to change the name from “Little Havana” to “Little Brickell”!!!
The Cubans protested and since they have Political Power, last week “Little Havana” was made a historic district. But the real estate developers have already bought into Little Havana, and wish to torn down and built highrisers.
They have also bought into Little Haiti. A developer has bought 5 blocks, will be building a huge Complex. This particular developer in the pass has been taken to court for not renting to black people. The Haitians have been protesting, calling for the name “Little Haiti” not to be change. A couple of weeks ago the name “Little Haiti” was made official!
The Puerto Ricans in Miami have no political power like the Cubans, nor like the Haitians.
But are fighting to preserved their district. The developers have promised the Puerto Ricans there, to built a Cultural Community Center. But they are dragging their feet. They know the Cultural Community Center will cement the Puerto Ricans presence in Wynwood (little San Juan). These people want us out. In the long run the warehouses will be torn down, people including artists will be push out, and only rich who live in high risers will be there.
Please Mr Denis and Remy, investigation what is happening here. This is being done by very powerful people.
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PUERTO RICO WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT THE CHAINS THAT BIND THEM TO THE UNITED STATES WHAT WE NEED IS A FREE AND INDEPENDANT STATETHATS FULLY DEMOCRATIC WE SHOULD ASPIRE TO BE LIKE THE STATE OF ISRAEL THEY HAVE ALL THE PROTECTION FROM THE UNITED STATES BUT ANSWER TO THERE OWN PEOPLE
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it took many tries before statehood was extended to Alaska and Hawaii…we would be naive to think they will just invite us in on the first vote…if the vote goes that way…
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