Mensajes Pro-Estadidad ante la ONU y el Congreso- Pierluisi, Franklin D. López e Igualdad
Van a transmitir las Vistas sobre Status del Miércoles en directo a través de este LINK: Naturalresources.house.gov
Aqui van los links para las ponencias:
Considero que son 2 magnificas presentaciones.
Por InterNewsService –
El presidente del Partido Nuevo Progresista, Pedro Pierluisi, volvió a acudir hoy ante el Comité de Descolonización de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) para exigir que cualquier resolución que se adopte debe sostener que Puerto Rico tiene el derecho inalienable a la integración como estado de Estados Unidos.
Esta es la tercera vez que Pierluisi, quien también es comisionado residente de Puerto Rico en Washington, acude a deponer a la ONU.
Pierluisi confrontó a los miembros del Comité de Descolonización con las múltiples resoluciones que han adoptado respecto a la autodeterminación e independencia de Puerto Rico, recordándoles que la decisión no es de la comunidad internacional, sino de los puertorriqueños, y les exigió adoptar una en la que se incluya además el derecho a la estadidad.
“Este comité redacta una resolución todos los años afirmando que Puerto Rico tiene “el derecho inalienable a la autodeterminación y a la independencia.Ustedes y las naciones que representan puede que quieran que Puerto Rico se convierta en una nación soberana. Sin embargo, la vasta mayoría de los hombres y mujeres que yo represento en Puerto Rico no quieren eso, y esa decisión es nuestra—no de ustedes”, señaló.
Para Pierluisi, “la independencia es digna y democrática, y la estadidad es igual de digna y democrática. Por lo tanto, la resolución que redacten este año debe sostener que Puerto Rico tiene el derecho inalienable a la independencia o a la integración como un estado de Estados Unidos. Si no lo hace, estará incompleta y será irrelevante”.
El presidente del PNP recordó que en 2013 acudió a la ONU para informar los resultados del plebiscito del 2012, en el que los electores rechazaron el estatus territorial y expresaron su preferencia por la integración como un estado de Estados Unidos.
Entonces, Pierluisi le expresó al comité que le correspondía al presidente de Estados Unidos y a sus colegas en el Congreso responder a esa votación.
En su ponencia, Pierluisi también trajo a colación que en 2014 regresó a la ONU a informarle que bajo presión suya y de los opositores al status quo, el gobierno federal había tomado una acción sin precedente, refiriéndose a la ley aprobada por el Congreso para facultar a Puerto Rico a realizar el primer plebiscito con aval del gobierno federal en la historia.
“La ley requiere que el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos se asegure de que cualquier opción en la papeleta sea compatible con las leyes y la política pública de Estados Unidos. Por esto, insté a este Comité a reclamarle a los dirigentes del gobierno de Puerto Rico a que efectúen un plebiscito a la mayor brevedad posible”, dijo Pierluisi.
Añadió que “ya es claro que el actual gobernador de Puerto Rico, quien favorece nuestra presente condición política, no utilizará los fondos provistos por la ley federal antes de que finalice su mandato el año próximo. Es mi intención utilizar esos fondos para efectuar una votación sobre la admisión de Puerto Rico como estado de Estados Unidos tan pronto tenga la oportunidad de servir como gobernador”.
El político reiteró que “el estatus actual de Puerto Rico es intolerable” y destacó, además, que los ciudadanos estadounidenses de la isla que se trasladan a los estados pueden votar por el presidente y por los miembros del Congreso, y son tratados en igualdad de condiciones en todas las leyes y programas federales.
Por el contrario, “si permanecen en Puerto Rico, son ciudadanos de segunda clase. Esto debe ofender a todo hombre y mujer que cree en la dignidad”, dijo el también comisionado residente.
Release time: June 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM E.S.T.
Statement for the record of the Sub-Committee for Insular Affairs of the U.S. Congress, of Mr. Franklin D. López
June 24, 2015 Hearings on Puerto Rico.
THE TIME FOR EQUALITY IS NOW!
The beginning of this American Paradox started in the office of newspaper publisher and tycoon William Randolph Hearst. With his control of newspapers in San Francisco and New York Hearst was competing for influence and circulation with another newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New World. Their competition was fierce and promoted the publishing of unfounded and false stories to incite public opinions in promoting their business interests and political policies objectives.
Hearst was the prime mover of the Spanish American War of 1898. He used his papers in every conceivable way to spark the war against Spain. He sent Frederic Remington, an artist hired by Hearst to provide illustrations to accompany a series of articles on the Cuban Revolution,soon became bored with seemingly peaceful Cuba and wired Hearst on January 1897: “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return.” To which Hearst’s alleged reply was: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Then, the war ship Maine was blown by a massive “unknown” explosion in Havana harbor and the Spanish American War began. It was a short war. It started in April and ended on December 10, 1898 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Spain sold the Philippines for $20 millions; Cuba became a protectorate and Puerto Rico and Guam were ceded to the United States.
The treaty gave the United States Congress absolute control of the new territories. After 2 years of military governors Puerto Rico was given civilian control of the governments with the Foraker Act and in 1917 the Jones Act granted American citizenship. During the first 25 years the United States Supreme Court issued a series of opinions in the so called Insular Cases in which the citizens living in Puerto Rico were labelled “aliens” “not fit for the Anglo-Saxon culture” and through judicial fiat legalized segregation and discrimination. Francis Torres writing for the Brown University Political review said: “The recent memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction led some to believe that the relationship between Americans and the peoples of these new territories would be based upon the newly established concept of political equality between racial groups on the mainland. However, these notions were thrown out the window in the wake of popular social Darwinism and the nationalistic mythos of Manifest Destiny. Under this ideological framework, American views of their new subject populations leaned towards the paternalistic and racist.”
It is true that Puerto Rico was an abandoned and neglected colony by the decaying and powerless metropolis of Spain. When the United States assumed control of Puerto Rico roads, schools, hospital, the University of Puerto Rico and many other infrastructure and public works were built to begin a process of social, economic and political development. The overwhelming majority of the citizens of Puerto Rico lived under abysmal levels of misery and poverty. Just take a photographic tour of the pictures in the National Archive of that time period. http://www.archive.gov
Nevertheless since the granting of citizenship American citizens in Puerto Rico have contributed to our Nation in many forms and ways. Let’s see the most outstanding:
1- More than 275,000 have served with dignity and honor defending liberty democracy in all major conflicts of the 20th and 21st century. Thousands have given their lives for the causes of democracy and liberty denied to them.
2- Puerto Rico is among the 20th purchaser of U.S. goods and services in the World creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in all the states of the union.
3- Puerto Rico pays more Federal taxes than Alaska, Vermont, Montana, Maine, North Dakota and Wyoming. Despite this fact that American citizens paid 100% of the Social Security taxes they are discriminated by Congress denying the application of certain benefits. Congress has extended 100% applicability of all Social Security benefits to Americans abroad and to those retired in independent republics like Costa Rica. Taxation without representation? See The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union
4- American citizens from Puerto Rico have enriched the diversity of American culture in show business, movies, literature, sports and in all aspects of the human experience. Examples of this contributors are: José Ferrer; Rita Moreno, Benicio del Toro, tennis player Gigi Fernandez, baseball stars like Roberto Clemente, Peruchín Cepeda and many others.
5- There are five millions American citizens from Puerto Rican ancestry living in all of the 50 states of the union and generating billions of dollars to the American economy. Since the granting of the so called “estado libre asociado” free associated state in 1952 more than 2.3 millions have departed seeking the American dream.
6- Dozens of Air Force, Naval and Army facilities in an Island 100 miles by 35 miles, including use of two populated islands with live target practice and multiple intelligence gathering & listening posts.
The other side of the coin:
1- Since conquering Puerto Rico, the United States government, particularly Congress, established an apartheid and segregated policies towards American citizens residing in Puerto Rico. Federal laws provides full benefits to Americans living in the states and a different standard in the territory. For example, supplemental social security is paid to American citizens residing in the Republic of Costa Rica by an act of Congress.
2- American citizens serving in the U.S. Armed Forces were segregated in the same manner African Americans were. They were also discriminated in promotions within the ranks of the armed forces.
3- During the 1930s the Rockefeller Foundation funded a program under the management of U.S. Army Colonel Cornelius P. Rhoads, an oncologist and pathologist. He experimented with Puerto Ricans, using cancerous cells to find “a cure” for this deadly disease. He wrote a letter to a colleague of his in Boston by the name Fred W. Stewart and this is what he said about PuertoRicans: “They are beyond doubt the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this sphere. It makes you sick to inhabit the same island with them. They are even lower than Italians.”
4-Federal court system and law enforcement agencies are been used to persecute enemies of the colonial regime with the sole objective of maintaining the status quo.
5-American citizens residing in the territory are forced to use American ships for importation and
exportation of goods and services.
6-Since 1952 the United States have adopted the disgraceful policy that Puerto Rico “solved” it’s political status with the adoption of the territorial constitution (Law 600) approved by the U.S. Congress. This policy denied American citizens the right for a self determination process guaranteed by United Nations Resolution 1541-XV.
On July 25, 1979 the Carter Administration, pressed by Puerto Ricans who supported his candidacy in 1976, ignored the pressures from The White House and the State Department and crossed the street into the United Nations to denounce the colonial nature of the “commonwealth status!” As a direct result the White House issued the Alternative Future Presidential Executive Order. This was the beginning of a path to be followed by future presidents to maneuver the status question into abridge to nowhere. But it was a beginning on the end of “commonwealth” colonial status. It was also the 1st time that the presidency made an official policy statement “guaranteeing” the right self-determination to choose between independence, statehood or the so called commonwealth.
President George H.W. Bush issued a memorandum on November 30, 1992, to heads of executive departments and agencies establishing the current relationship between the Federal Government and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This memorandum directs all Federal departments, agencies, and officials to treat Puerto Rico administratively as if it were a State insofar as doing so would not disrupt Federal programs or operations.
On December23, 2000, President William J. Clinton signed executive Order 13183, which established the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status and the rules for its membership. This executive Order outlines the policy and functions of the Task Force in identifying the options for Puerto Rico’s future status and the process for realizing an option. On April 30, 2001, President George W. Bush amended executive Order 13183, extending the deadline for the Task Force to forward a report to the President until August 2001.
President George W. Bush signed an additional amendment to executive Order 13183 on December 3, 2003, which established the TaskForce co-chairs and instructed the Task Force to issue reports as needed, but no less than once every two years.
President Barack Obama validated the Executive Order en a Task Force was re-appointed an issued a report.The Obama Administration Inter Agency Committee on Puerto Rico clearly stated that Puerto Rico’s economic quagmire is tied to it’s political status. On March 11, 2011 it released its report and the first recommendation made was the following:
“The Task Force recommends that all relevant parties—the President, Congress, and the leadership and people of Puerto Rico—work to ensure that Puerto Ricans are able to express their will about status options and have that will acted upon by the end of 2012 or soon thereafter.” Obama in multiple letters to the colonial governor and political leader said “is to to you to decide. You vote and I will act.”
All of these carefully planned intervention by presidents from Carter to Obama, even though they are better than nothing, were hollow policies initiatives with great sound bytes and lip service labels! There more things “change”…the more they remain the same.
Soon there after on November 6, 2012 the People of Puerto Rico in a historical plebiscite voted on two questions:
1- Whether to remain a colonial territory under the “commonwealth status.” For the first time in its history the People spoke clearly with 54 per cent rejecting the present non incorporated colonial territory. So the United States has a territory that has rejected the colonial status and does not have the consent of the governed.
2- The second question asked the People’s preference in favor of independence, statehood (political equality) or free association. The People again expressed their preference by voting for statehood with 61 per cent of the vote. We voted two and half years ago. Even though, President Obama issued the Lexington Doctrine of Nation building first for his second term PuertoRico is seating in the back of the bus. Washington through its web of control and “persuasive perversions” maintains out of the political discussion agenda the issue of the right of self determination of 3.6 millions American citizens. This is no longer benign neglect of a Nation sequestering the final destiny of a People. It is gross negligence and violations of the Charter of the United National, the United States’ Constitution and the right to pursue its final status.
The present crisis facing the territory is a massive un-payable public debt together with high unemployment, real estate deflation, the largest non performing loans portfolios of all colonial banks in recorded history and a massive population exodus. Today PuertoRico is the place in all of the Americas with the highest cost of living and taxes. Maintaining a policy of passivity and non intervention, while the Island’s family structure is dismembered by the massive population exodus, is a crime against humanity!
The U.S. Census projected that by 2050 the population of Puerto Rico will decrease to 2.3 millions. The same amount when “commonwealth” and the Constitution were adopted in 1952. The number of American citizens leaving the Island for 2015 is 120,000. The tax base and government revenues is shrinking fast. Jet Blue has increased their flights from the Island to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey. All “battle ground states!” Therefore if Washington does not react PuertoRicans will give a bankrupt and nearly empty archipelago to the United States.
The Gallup Organization made two polls in Puerto Rico in 1990 and 1991 and asked the American citizens living in the territory, what would they do if the Island was granted Independence or Free Association (Associated Republic). Ninety two per cent said that they would move to the United States. This is not surprising. Polls made by Frank Luntz for the campaign for Governor of Dr. Pedro J. Rosselló revealed that 97% treasured their American citizenship the most. So, those states that PuertoRicans love the most should be prepared for the tidal wave of population from the territory to a neighborhood near you.
The United States owes the People of Puerto Rico reparations for all its colonial abuses and for extending it’s regime of apartheid and segregation for 117 years. Giving us billions in welfare and subsidies programs is not a substitute for our right to be equal. We have paid a very high price of 117 years of colonial rule. There is an admission bill introduced by Resident Commissioner Pedro J. Pierluisi to sponsor Federal plebiscite asking for a vote on statehood yes or no. That’s the democratic path to follow to resolve this American Paradox! Latin America, the Caribbean and the World are watching how the United States treats this issue affecting the lives of 3.6 millions American citizens of Hispanic origin. It will reveal if the United States has changed its policies of force and imperialism and has truly become a beacon of democracy, liberty and equality. Passivity is not an option
The reparation is to grant political equality and end the racist, segregated and apartheid colonial territory to American citizens that pays more Federal taxes than 6 states of the Union; to the thousands of American citizens who gave the ultimate sacrifice defending democracy and freedom and to the 275,000 who have served and are serving with honor and distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces. The time to act is now. History will judge the decision makers. Equality is the soul of liberty. Denying it is a human right violation!
La Paz 703, Miramar, San Juan, PR 00907
Van a transmitir las Vistas sobre Status del Miércoles en directo a través de este LINK: Naturalresources.house.gov
Igualdad, Futuro Seguro
Mensaje ante el Comité de Descolonización de la ONU
22 de junio de 2015
Señor Presidente, Distinguidos Representantes del Comité Especial de los 24. Mi nombre es Annabel Guillén Casañas, soy la Directora Ejecutiva de Igualdad, me acompaña el Lcdo. Steven Batista, quien representa en Puerto Rico a una organización de jóvenes que apoyan y trabajan por la estadidad para la Isla.
Igualdad es una organización cívica, no partidista presidida por el Dr. José Manuel Saldaña, ex Presidente la Universidad de Puerto Rico, reconocido no sólo por sus aportaciones a la Academia, sino también por ser una de las más importantes voces de opinión pública y análisis en la Isla.
Nuestra organización tiene como único propósito hacer valer la voluntad de nuestro pueblo y lograr la Igualdad plena para los 3.6 millones de ciudadanos americanos en la Isla, de manera que disfruten de los mismos derechos y responsabilidades de los que residen en el resto de los 50 estados de la nación.
Los puertorriqueños somos ciudadanos americanos desde 1917, sin embargo NO todos los derechos de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos se extendieron a Puerto Rico, los ciudadanos que allí residimos no tenemos la Igualdad de derechos, beneficios y oportunidad que los demás ciudadanos americanos.
Como ya conoce este comité el 6 de noviembre de 2012 se celebró en la isla un referéndum de status que contó con una participación electoral de 78% y en el cual el 61% de los electores favorecen la estadidad para Puerto Rico y un 54% se oponen al actual status colonial.
Nuestro pueblo atraviesa por la peor crisis fiscal, económica y social en la historia moderna. Algunos se lo atribuye a malas administraciones, pero la verdadera raíz del problema es la situación colonial que vivimos en la cual la falta de igualdad y democracia hacen imposible el progreso, la seguridad y la justicia en todas sus dimensiones.
La realidad es que vivimos en una democracia a medias, tenemos procesos estatales similares a los de los estados de la Unión Americana, pero hasta ahí llega nuestra democracia. Puerto Rico no tiene representación a nivel federal, que no sea un Comisionado Residente que tiene voz pero no tiene voto. ¿Qué fortaleza puede tener un Congresista sin voto en un cuerpo que toma todas sus decisiones a base de votaciones?
Si Puerto Rico fuera estado tienen derecho a dos Senadores y cinco representantes, según nuestra población. Además del derecho a votar por el Presidente. Es la falta de ese poder político lo que permite que seamos tratados injustamente. Tratados como ciudadanos de segunda categoría, cosa que expresamente prohíbe la propia constitución americana.
Estamos viendo como nuestra isla se vacía. La migración ha llegado a números similares a los de los 50 cuando sobre 150,000 mil puertorriqueños abandonaron la isla en busca de mejores oportunidades.
En aquella ocasión los puertorriqueños se fueron a recoger tomates y a trabajar en factorías. Hoy en día esa migración es distinta y más terrible.
Tenemos fuga de cerebros, se nos van los más educados, los profesionales, la clase trabajadora y los jóvenes. Es decir la sociedad que produce. Entonces qué nos queda? Nuestra isla se está convirtiendo en una sociedad de viejos pobres. Es necesario retener nuestro talento, pero para eso debe mejorar nuestra situación. Tenemos que brindarles las oportunidades que consiguen tan fácilmente en cualquier estado.
Resolver definitivamente el asunto del status es esencial para atender adecuadamente la deprimida economía de nuestra isla. Está más que probado que cada vez que un territorio pasa a ser parte de la Unión, su economía prospera. La seguridad que representa el ser parte los Estados Unidos, promueve la inversión de capital y por ende mejora la calidad de vida de sus ciudadanos. A eso aspiramos. Ese es nuestro derecho.
Reconocemos que este comité aboga por la independencia de los territorios que no han resuelto su status, pero Puerto Rico nunca ha solicitado su independencia, por el contrario lo que sí ha expresado contundentemente es su voluntad de ser parte igual de la nación a la que pertenecemos.
Como cuestión de hecho la fórmula de la independencia nunca ha logrado el respaldo del electorado, por el contrario el Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño sólo obtiene consistentemente un 3% de los votos. Evidenciado en las últimas tres décadas.
Escuchamos al Embajador de Cuba abogar por la independencia de Puerto Rico. Le decimos; Señor Embajador, usted no habla por nuestro pueblo. Nuestro pueblo ha expresado su voluntad con el poder del voto y no le corresponde a usted pedir para nuestra isla lo que ella no quiere.
Su pueblo se embarca en una ruta positiva, finalmente el diálogo con los Estados Unidos comenzó y tenemos la esperanza que esa nueva relación sea buena para los cubanos. Ya han dado un paso grande, ojalá sea el camino hacia la democracia. De la misma manera que su gobierno reconoció la necesidad de un cambio en Cuba, reconozca aquí que los puertorriqueños no queremos la independencia. Queremos la soberanía y el poder que nos brinda ser estado de la Nación Americana.
Señor embajador retire su Resolución del Pleno de este comité y trabajemos juntos en una nueva que represente verdaderamente la voluntad de nuestro pueblo.
Yo soy estadista porque amo inmensamente a mi isla. Me siento orgullosa de nuestras raíces y costumbres, encuentro nuestros campos hermosos y todavía no he visto en ningún lugar del mundo playas como las nuestras. Me gusta ver izada mi bandera, me hace falta el coquí cuando estoy lejos y sí, también me gusta escuchar un buen cuatro. Todos estos sentimientos y el amor por mi tierra es lo que me hacen luchar por su bienestar, por su futuro y por su progreso.
Todos los que estamos aquí hablando por Puerto Rico, compartimos el amor por nuestra tierra, pero amar a Puerto Rico, significa querer lo mejor para nuestra gente. Lo mejor es seguridad, prosperidad, calidad de vida y la recuperación económica que desesperadamente necesitamos.
Una vez más le pedimos a este cuerpo que al igual que aboga por aquellos pueblos oprimidos que necesitan más de una voz para ser escuchados, presente al pleno que reconoce los resultados del plebiscito y acepta que Puerto Rico es una colonia. Más aún le pedimos que abogue por nuestro derecho a convertirnos en el estado 51 de la nación a la que pertenecemos pero de la cual no somos parte
Venimos hoy a pedirles que le exija tanto al Presidente como al Congreso de los Estados Unidos que asuma su responsabilidad de atender nuestro legítimo reclamo de Igualdad de inmediato. Nos encontramos frente al colapso de la colonia y nuestro pueblo no merece este trato injusto e indigno.
Van a transmitir las Vistas sobre Status del Miércoles en directo a través de este LINK: Naturalresources.house.gov
Hola! Please, see attached/below my Testimony (Final). Take care! Dennis
THE TIME IS NOW! “Canto Claro como un Gallo de Manati!”
US House Natural Resources Sub-Committee Hearings on Puerto Rico Status
Written Testimony: DENNIS O. FREYTES, American Veteran
FAIRNESS/ EQUALITY FOR ALL US CITIZENS-INCLUDES PUERTO RICO!
24 June 2015 (FINAL)
Honorable Members of the US House Natural Resources Sub-Committee and other American Patriots: My name is Dennis Freytes-a statutory born US Citizen (with an un-permanent US Citizenship—no matter where I reside); patriotic American Veteran, LColonel, U.S. Army Retired- former Commander of Infantry, Special Forces, Airborne and other Units in worldwide defense of our noble US Flag and Humanity; now serving as a Community Servant Leader for the good of all…; reside in Florida.
These hearings on the US Territory of Puerto Rico Status are a vital to advance Equality, Liberty and Justice, by:
- Equal and fair application of the US Constitution weighing more the evolved Amendments/ Bill of Rights of a US Citizen (which the Constitution serves)–over the conflicting outdated Territorial Clause that focuses on the federally undemocratic control of US Property and People…
- Ensuring the essence of our representative Democracy “Consent of the Governed”- with protected Individual Civil Rights for ALL, under US jurisdiction; preventing a Tyranny of a Majority”…
- Equal treatment under just laws by ending a 2d Class US Citizenship; Puerto Rico’s 117 years federally undemocratic Territorial Status…
*NOTE: Please, SEE:
“Canto claro como un Gallo de Manati!”
“The US Citizen is the building block of our US Republic with a Representative Democracy!”
I write on behalf of my Parents, and millions of other statutory 2d Class US Citizens. My Mother, Gloria E. Gonzalez Marrero worked hard as a Teacher and Social Worker; my Father Celio Freytes Menendez, is a Combat War Veteran who fought with the famed *U.S. 65th Infantry Regiment (Borinqueneers) from Puerto Rico (WW-II/Korea). These hardworking and loyal American Citizen Patriots are among millionsof others who live in the archaic US Territory of Puerto Rico. They paid their dues; deserve all rights of equal US Citizenship; a vote to end the Territorial Status…!
Our US President Obama, many Democrats and Republicans– preach equal Individual Civil Rights; say all US Citizens should have the right to Vote; call for “consent of the Governed”; stand for a fair (non-discriminatory) “We the People Constitution” under our noble American Flag!
Yet, Federal Government hypocrisy reigns incongruently for over 117 years–how can America be a just Representative Democracy, when millions of its loyal born Citizens (including American Veterans) can’t Vote for their President/Head of State; don’t have fair representation in the US Congress that determines their destiny or same full benefits or paid entitlements as other US Citizens or a permanent US Citizenship-no matter where they reside?
The Federal Government controls Puerto Rico under the undemocratic outdated/ original US Territorial Clause– including: the economy/market, currency, security, borders, shipping, taxes, benefits…; oversees all local laws; can cede PR to another Nation… Plus, PR has no power in Congress; has only one Resident Commissioner-(without a vote) that represents millions of US Citizens (does the job of 6 US Representatives & 2 US Senators)!
Millions of American Patriots are up in arms because the Federal Government desperately treats American Hispanics-loyal Puerto Rican US Citizens by denying full Civil Rights…; in many programs, like– MEDICARE, MEDICAID, Social Security, SSI funding for the poor… where Puerto Ricans pay fully and receive less than the States. It excludes Puerto Rico from Federal Code 9-Debt Restructure (which all States have); doesn’t exempt Puerto Rico from the 1920 Jones Act (monopolized Shipping Law) that hurts Puerto Rico’s economy and the MACRO US Economy… The Feds must be fair; help, not sink, Puerto Rico!
The racists Insular Cases (1901-1925+ that weighted the outdated Territorial Clause over the evolved Constitutional Amendments with protected Individual Civil Rights, and where some called Puerto Ricans: aliens…; blacks and mestizos not fit to governed themselves…)– dictated that Congress can discriminate in applying the US Constitution to a US Territory, because Puerto Rico is, according to their racist interpretation– an “an-incorporated territory; more foreign than domestic…belongs too, but, it’s not part of the US…”—words not found in the US Constitution, nor applied to Territories before, but, is one discriminatory root of today’s Puerto Rico’s veiled Federal governance…! The “Balzac” decision is racist and unjust–hasn’t been overturned.
This un-American wrong (discrimination against Hispanics/ Puerto Ricans); strike’s at the soul/essence of our evolved Constitutional US Representative Democracy (which we now own)–“Consent of the Governed”—with protected Individual Civil Rights for ALL!
Besides, the Puerto Rican US Citizens voted to end the Territorial Status (Nov. 2012)- results:
*End Territorial Status: 54% (958,915); *Statehood: 61+% (824,195); *Independence 5% (74,812)-(Independence has never received more than 3-5% in the past) (Total Voted: 78+%) The plebiscite results were clear-a Non-Territorial Status through Statehood won as duly ratified by the PR’s Elections Commission…Puerto Ricans cherish their US Citizenship; don’t want to lose it!
Let’s advocate (illuminate the truth)-stand up for a just cause, don’t fall trapped to political excuses, distortion, generalizations, speculation, or stonewalling by close-minded closet Chauvinists, or support actions that leads to impasse and Voter segregation of loyal US Citizens; abets discrimination, and political subjugation!
The Federal Government must respect the local Vote of its born US Citizens residing in Puerto Rico–do Right–stop institutional discrimination! Take Non Partisan ACTION: Pass
*H.R. 727–Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Process Act— STATEHOOD: YES or NO (This bill has over 108 Congressional Co-Sponsors; but, it needs a companion bill brought up by unbiased US Senate Sponsors that support Equal US Citizenship; justice.)
*Alternative–the Federal Government conducts a sanctioned Referendum between constitutionally defined Non-Territorial Options: STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE (or forms of Independence-Free Association; ELA Soberano… truthfully defined.)
**Puerto Rico— will keep its own Boricua Identity and have Sovereignty (like other States-“the Lone Star Republic of” Texas…) upon becoming a Full and Equal Member of the “Union of States” of our noble United States…
**Also, remember that the US Constitution has only two forms of Government: one for States another for Territories-which is Puerto Rico’s Status; not Commonwealth or ELA-Free Associated State-conflicting esoteric no meaning political terms that fool People, and which are not found in the US Constitution, but, allowed by Congress to be used in describing Puerto Rico’s local Government (almost like a State), but, still under the will of Congress.
**According to Presidential Reports, and Federal Court Determinations, those born in Puerto Rico, have a statutory non-permanent US Citizenship no matter where they reside (under the control of Congress; not fully protected by the US Constitution).
All statutory US Citizens (born in Puerto Rico) have legal standing to participate in any Plebiscite on Puerto Rico’s Status (because the decision affects them). If Puerto Rico were to become Independent they can lose their US Citizenship because it was imposed by an Act of Congress. It is not fully protected by the US Constitution (Amendment 14th) as sustained by Presidential Reports, Supreme Court decisions and today’s Federal Courts.
Besides, the Federal Government to be fair to all US Citizens it serves, must also:
- PASS H.R. 870, the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act of 1915 (Debt Restructure– that is fairly applied to other States)
- Support Puerto Rico on finding solutions to the fiscal, economic/job, and security problems… This includes treating Puerto Rico (with about 3.7 million US Citizens) fairly like it treats other US Jurisdictions!
**New York (with 9 million US Citizens) from 1975-1986 went through a dire fiscal/economic crisis. In this case, the Federal Government–backed up or guaranteed New York’s loans/ bonds (with fees attached) until New York resolved its fiscal problems; was solvent and prosperous again; continued to make mayor contributions to the MACRO US Economy…
- Federal Enterprise Zone-provide economic development incentives– tied to Job creation, and other Metrics.
- 1920 Jones Shipping Act— Legislate to exclude Puerto Rico from this trite Act (which needs to be updated because it’s detrimental to the US MACRO Economy; especially to Puerto Rico).
- Federal Oversight: As last resort, if the PR Government does not show internal/local results soon—The Federal Government must positively act to resolve the situation directly…
Hispanics/Puerto Ricans (which are all born US Citizens) are part of the kaleidoscopic or intertwined strong threads that make up the resilient fabric of the USA—the land of Free Immigrants with own identities and tolerance! But, united under our US Constitution and with State Sovereignty (like the “Lone Star Republic” of Texas or other States of our Union)!
Loyal US Puerto Ricans/ Hispanics (which cherish their US Citizenship), and Ancestors- have contributed greatly to the advanced civilized development of the now US (since 1513)–107 years before the Pilgrims; bravely fought in the US War of Independence and other Wars; have courageously defended our noble US Flag with utmost sacrifice and blood…
US Puerto Rican Warriors of Good have fought bravely for our noble US-(won nine Medal of Honor and other awards) since 1899—WW-I, WW-II, Korea, Vietnam…until this day in the Global Islamic Terrorist War and against other evil enemies of Humanity! (Including the valiant Borinqueneers- US 65th Infantry Regiment-Winners of the Congressional Gold Medal-highest honor US Congress can bestow).
These American Veterans and their Families have sacrificed; spent sweat, blood, and tears (with other American Veterans) for our Freedom, Peace, Security, and Progress—deserve Equal treatment!
Furthermore, about 5 million US Puerto Ricans have “voted with their feet”-moved to the States (with more on the way)-wanting equal rights, benefits, and better opportunities. To stem the flow, resolve PR Status…
How can loyal US Citizens be foreign or not part of the US? How can the Federal Government (US President –through Justice Department; US Congress or the US Federal Courts) not taken action to rectify this grave wrong against equal US Citizenship rooted in an era of bigotry and mal interpretations of our US Constitution; not give more weight to the Amendments?
It is democratically incongruent to apply the undemocratic outdated Territorial Clause to born loyal US Citizens… especially when our original Constitution’s focus (which we now own) has evolved through the Constitutional Amendments (Bill of Rights) to give the building block of our democracy—the US Citizen– equal and non-discriminatory protected Individual Civil Rights…
In the interim, the Federal Courts, US President-through US Justice Department, and Congress must give more weight to the evolved Bill of Rights/ Constitutional Amendments– Incorporate Puerto Rico; overturn the biased and racist rooted Insular Cases (Bidwell; Balsac) like “Brown vs the Board of Education” overturned “Plessy vs Ferguson” (Blacks separate but, equal which is being applied to Puerto Ricans in another way-that impacts adversely on their Civil Rights).
Congress, in 1917-Jones Act, should have not imposed a US Citizenship without all rights, responsibilities, and benefits to recruit People for WW-I…; treated Puerto Rico differently (because of documented racism) then other previous Territories that became States.
The Federal Government has been benevolent in many ways, but, it doesn’t treat Puerto Rico equally or fairly. US Citizens/American Veterans, from Puerto Rico, don’t have full civil rights; don’t receive all benefits; are under the will of Congress with no just representation or federal voting rights for their Head of State-US President.
But, Congress has passed many good Laws (that informally incorporates Puerto Rico) like the: Foraker Act (1900) creating a Civilian Government; Jones Act (1917) provides a 2d Class US Citizenship, but, it’s better than nothing; US Law 600-Federal Relations Act (1950) allows Puerto Rico its local Constitution (approved in 1952-with a local form of Republican Government… There are a number of Laws and Federal Programs that treat Puerto Rico almost like an incorporated State of the Union with only local powers, but, still under the will of Congress.
Plus, the designation of a Federal Court District (under Article III of the US Constitution); the presence of the principle Federal Agencies on the Island; the integration of Puerto Rico’s culture to the Macro USA National Western Culture…, and its treatment by Federal Agencies (to most extent) as a State–has transformed the 1898 Puerto Rico to today’s Puerto Rico that has become a fully integrated US Territory; aspiring to become a full Partner of the US-ready to enter the “Federal Union of Sovereign States” that come together equally under our US Constitution.
Puerto Rico sacrifices, serves, defends, contributes, and spills blood for our US—deserves to be treated equally!
A representative Government should serve the People, not be their Master; unfairly subjugate them with no right to just representation in Congress. There is no true democracy without equal representation; protected individual civil rights. Even if one US Citizen can’t Vote…it is one too many!
Where is the Patriotic outcry against an aged wrong? Where are the MEDIA, Congress, Federal Courts, US President- Justice Department, and American Patriots on taking action to end this institutional discrimination quagmire? Dr. ML King stated– the foundation of Civil Rights is Voting Rights-The time is now!
Abraham Lincoln which stood for a … “government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the earth”; Dr. ML King (gave his life for equality–regarded voting rights as the foundation of civil rights) would be appalled at PR’s un-equal Federal status!
US President Regan said: it was an “un-natural” state (favored statehood); is among other US Presidents, Federal Judges, Gov. Jeb Bush, US Rep. Serrano, Attorney General Thornburgh, variouselected PR Governors, Resident Commissioners, Senators, Representatives, Mayors, and millions of Others that are for ending a 2d Class US Citizenship; an un-democratic Territorial Status where there is no federal consent of the governed, under our US Flag.
Plus, the Federal Government treats Puerto Rico differently; imposes regulatory shackles that are a hindrance to “Free Market”; kills competition; monopolizes shipping…; reduces incentives for capital investment…; raises immensely the cost of products and services-including electricity… Besides, along with the territorial status (which fuels investor un-certainty) and other factors, it adversely affects PR’s economy; denies, to an extent, a “Free Market” with competition, and incentives for capital investment…; stifles economic growth, creation of good jobs…
Bill Gates (Microsoft has operations in PR-with an educated workforce) is quoted as saying that the way the U.S. treats Puerto Rico is “just wrong…” (14 March 2014) Plus, on Shipping–US Senator McCain (R) is bringing action to redress this wrong; ensure we have an competitive open Market (with incentives) that will boost Puerto Rico’s and the US MACRO Economy as more jobs are created…: reform the trite 1920 Jones Act, as we also protect our US Merchant Marine…
“No Taxation without just representation!” Many in PR are forced to pay Federal taxes (without just representation), such as: Social Security, Medicare, Payroll, and other indirect/invisible taxes, but, US Citizens there don’t get full rights or benefits…
The time is now–Patriots of true Grit must advance US Democracy; ensure equal protected civil rights…; end a discriminatory 2d Class US Citizenship; Puerto Rico’s federally undemocratic Territorial Status! With truth and right, we shall overcome!
(Dennis O. Freytes-MPA, MA-HR, BBA, American Veteran; Community Servant Leader;
Former Valencia College Trustee; Professor (PMS), and Military ROTC Officer School Director University of Puerto Rico; Community Servant Leader; Veterans Advisor–US Senators, Congressmen, FL Governor (Jeb Bush-Transition Team), Mayors…; Orlando, Florida.. )
“There is one Race-the Human Race! Judge on Merit; fair opportunity-a level playing field!”
If there is a conflict between the original Territorial Clause and the civil rights Constitutional amendments —equal US Citizenship should triumph! We should not have a discriminatory “2d Class US Citizenship”!
***Puerto Ricans are an integral part of the US (Federal Union of Sovereign States) kaleidoscopic fabric (with the majority living in the States). Like all, they cherish their US Citizenship, identity, sovereignty, and the unbreakable links that unite us with all other States; have contributed immensely to the settlement and forming of the US-since 1513 (107 years before the Pilgrims landed) to include fighting for our liberties in the War of Independence (1776) under General Washington.. Puerto Ricans fight for our democracy (including WW-I, WW-II, Korea, Vietnam, and Global War on Terrorism), under the US Flag!
FACTS; SUPPORTING EVDENCE
If you don’t support equal US Citizenship for ALL—then, you discriminate and abet those that do!
Former Chief Judge Torruella (US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals) in his Book-has critiqued the judicial system and compares the “Insular Cases” (1901-1922), that defined the status of Puerto Rico to Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal doctrine to justify racial segregation) that was overturned with Brown v Board of Education (1954)– to Puerto Rico’s case of un-democratic inequality (2d Class US Citizenship).
Chief Judge Torruella states, “The Supreme Court continues to cling to this anachronistic remnant of the stone age of American constitutional law notwithstanding that the doctrines espoused by the “Insular Cases” seriously curtail the rights of several million citizens… of the US.” Reflecting on over 117+ years of US un-democratic control of Puerto Rico, Torruella further says: “the disparity of rights that result from this relationship has in my opinion for too long been relegated to the back burners of American constitutional thought and dialogue…” and “whatever the future holds for this island, its people should strive for the equality which has too long eluded them”. Plus, in a Harvard University discussion (Feb. 2014), Judge Torruella continue to express this. (Enclosed Remarks)
Current US District Judge GELPÍ, in 2008, stated in a decision: “…The unequal and discriminatory fiscal treatment given to Puerto Rico…is conspicuous and egregious. More so, it is not an isolated incident of the federal government disparately treating Puerto Rico and the nearly four million United States citizens living in or moving to this territory.” (Enclosed Remarks)
- The Judge continues-Under the Insular Cases doctrine (Balzac vs Porto Rico-1922), the court determined that Puerto Rico was an unincorporated territory (more foreign than domestic); only fundamental constitutional rights (which aren’t enumerated) extended to unincorporated United States territories apply, others can be denied by Congress…In an unincorporated United States territory Congress can also differentiate (discriminate) against the territory and its citizens so long as there exists a rational basis for such disparate treatment. Califano v. Torres, (1984); Harris v. Rosario (1980).
- However, the Honorable Judge believes that Puerto Rico has been Incorporated (word not found in the US Constitution), but, the US Supreme Court has not clearly overturned major Insular Cases (like Bidwell or Balzac)…
Among distinguished Supreme Court Judges/ Law Scholars that have criticized the Insular Cases are:
- Former Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court José Trías Monge has stated that “TheInsular Cases were based on premises that in today’s world seem bizarre. “They,” Trias Monge continues, “and the policies on which they rest, answer to the following notions:
- “democracy and colonialism are fully compatible; there is nothing wrong when a democracy such as the United States engages in the business of governing other [subjects who have not participated in their democratic election process]; people are not created equal, some races being superior to others.”
- In Harris v. Rosario, 446 U.S. 651 (1980), the Court in a succinct per curium order, applied Califano v. Torres, 435 U. S. 1 (1978), to hold that a lower level of aid to families with dependent children to residents of Puerto Rico did not violate the Equal Protection Clause, because in U.S. territories Congress can discriminate against its citizens applying a rational basis standard. However, Justice Marshall issued a staunch dissent, again noting that Puerto Ricans are United States Citizens and that the Insular Cases are indeed questionable.
- In Torres v. Puerto Rico, 442 U.S. 465 (1979), JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE STEWART, JUSTICE MARSHALL, and JUSTICE BLACKMUN join, concurring in the judgment, citedReid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 14 (1957), in which Mr. Justice Black said “The concept that the Bill of Rights & other constitutional protections against arbitrary government are inoperative when they become inconvenient or when expediency dictates otherwise is a very dangerous doctrine and if allowed to flourish would destroy the benefit of a written Constitution and undermine the basis of our Government.”
Our Constitution only recognizes two forms of government under the sovereignty of the US: one for States another for Territories. But, some try to cover up the truth when referring to PR’s Status as “Commonwealth” (in Spanish-ELA–Free Associated State- a contradiction). These terms are political distortions/esoteric names (not found in the US Constitution) used to camouflage a local regulated government–allowed some broad powers, but, still under the un-democratic territorial control/ will of Congress. Thus, PR’s true constitutional status is that of a federally beleaguered US Territory.
Former US Attorney General; Under Secretary General of the United Nations Dick Thornburgh, in his book (Puerto Rico’s Future-a time to decide-2007) states: “Four million U.S. citizens live under the U.S. flag in Puerto Rico, yet they can neither vote for president nor have voting representation in Congress, which enacts the federal laws under which they live. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are deprived of basic rights of self-determination that U.S. citizens generally enjoy and that the United States has committed itself to achieving for peoples around the globe.”
- “Political gridlock in Congress and in Puerto Rico has stymied efforts to put Puerto Rico on a path toward a permanent political status that ensures full self-government for its residents. If Congress does not act soon, U.S. courts may be asked to give more serious consideration to whether the residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have political and human rights under U.S. and international law that can no longer be ignored by the political branches of government.”
- Besides, Thornburgh states: “The ruling of the Supreme Court in Rogers v. Bellei 401 U.S. 815 (1970), regarding the nature of statutory citizenship is consistent with the conclusion that even a statutory extension of the Fourteenth Amendment to Puerto Rico could not limit the discretion of Congress to amend or repeal that statutory extension.”
- “Thus, the U.S. citizenship created under 8 U.S.C. §1402 does not and cannot offer the permanent or constitutional protection of the Fourteenth Amendment to the people of Puerto Rico. Similarly, the protection of persons born in a State of the Union under Afroyim v. Rusk 307 U.S. 253 (1967) would not prevent Congress from changing laws defining the citizenship of people born in Puerto Rico.”
Even President Obama’s Administration has stated in a brief filed (13 August 2014) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Tuana v. US) that, essentially, “Puerto Ricans can only obtain citizenship through the Constitution — versus through law — by Puerto Rico becoming a State or by being put on the path to statehood by Congress”. This means Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico have a non-permanent statutory (by law only) US Citizenship no matter where they reside.
- “In a case concerning American Samoa, the Justice Department explained that 14thAmendment citizenship does not apply in a territory that has not “been incorporated into the United States as a part thereof” but “is simply held . . . under the sovereignty of the United States as a possession or dependency,” using the words of the U.S. Supreme Court. (It identified Puerto Rico as another unincorporated territory).”
- “Of even broader relevance for Puerto Rico’s territory status, the Obama Justice Department noted, again quoting the Supreme Court, that Congress “has full and complete legislative authority over” territories and “maydo for the Territories what the people, under the Constitution of the United States, may do for the States.”
- “It emphasized that, “the responsibility of Congress to govern this nation’s territories has long been recognized and respected by the Courts.”
- “Machen’s brief also pointed out that Congress has the “legislative discretion” to grant “privileges” to those born in “the outlying possessions” as it “sees fit,” recalling that “the Supreme Court has never found that the Congress must bestow all of the same panoply of privileges upon those born in the outlying possessions that the Constitution bestows on those born in the United States.”
- “U.S. citizenship is granted to individuals born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, another unincorporated territory, by law.”
- In June 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship does not apply to territories including American Samoa (that has US Nationals), and Puerto Rico (that has US Citizens).
- The DC Circuit, to reach their decision, agreed with the Obama Administration’s lawyers, also, relied on and even expanded the scope of a set of racially-charged, Colonial-era “Insular Cases” that refer to Puerto Rico having “savages” and “alien races”….. Plus, that the Congress has the power to discriminate in applying the US Constitution to the Territories or Property that belongs to the US… to reach their decision. They failed to provide more weight to the US Constitution Amendments over the undemocratic Territorial Clause…; allowed Terms (not found in the US Constitution)–Non-Incorporated; more foreign than domestic… to be unfairly applied to US Citizens.)
This iconic American Hispanic civil rights issue that strikes at the essence/foundation of our Democracy-“consent of the governed”– has not received the National attention it merits! But, now we must act with truth & fairness; not stereotype, but, soar above political closet bias to advance our democracy; ensure equality; break Puerto Rico’s trite Territorial un-democratic shackles!
The Federal Government’s actions — oppress; discriminate; contradict our constitutional civil rights amendments; conflicts with the spirit of our democracy! An un-democratic Territorial Status has a negative impact on the US (morally/otherwise); PR’s economy, quality of life… Plus, it causes an exodus of millions (in search of the American Dream) to the Mainland.
President Obama, US Justice Department, Congress, and Federal Courts need to strike down this injustice! We must follow the illuminating examples of US Patriots (true grit) that fight for a just cause! Enough, with unfair excuses, distortions, political spins, and speculations that fool and subjugate loyal US Citizens! Today, American Citizens (with equal rights, responsibilities, and benefits) should be the focus of our “We the People” representative Democracy!
Let the truth ring out!
Even today Congress blatantly discriminates using as excuse: “More Foreign…”): (News-Posted 12 June 2013) Puerto Rico’s Status to Cost Needy $2.2 Billion in Federal Food Funds: Congress this week passed a bill that would deny millions of low-income Puerto Ricans some $2.2 billion in food over the next five years that would be provided to their fellow Americans in the States. The discrimination against Puerto Rico in the agriculture and nutrition programs reauthorization bill was made possible by the islands’ territory status, sometimes misleadingly called “commonwealth.”
- This is just one discriminating biased instance—there are hundreds of others! We must end this travesty that strikes at the heart of our representative democracy; equal US Citizenship!
Puerto Rico, under the sovereignty of the US- can only be a US Territory or State. Besides, the only Non-Territorial Status is: Statehood or Independence, period. (Free Association or ELA Soberano is a form of Independence with separate sovereignty/ PR Citizenship).
But, some try to hide/distort the truth or use speculation to fool people/stay in Power; others don’t know the facts or don’t care (providing comfort to Politicians/People that confuse, fool and act to keep a stalemate that perpetuates a 2d Class US Citizenship and PR’s federally un-democratic territorial status)!
The un-democratic Territorial Clause was written during the original framing of the noble US Constitution when the focus was to unite States; develop the boundaries of the Nation…with a central Federal Government responsive to a “We the People” (selective few). Then, only about 20% of US Citizens could vote. (Women, Blacks, Hispanics…could not vote.) It allows States to keep their identities and have State Sovereignty… But, because of the racist/institutional biased era, it was not centered on today’s evolved essence of our democracy-true “consent of the governed”–the US Citizen with protected equal individual rights!
The Constitutional amendments have tried to redress this…but, millions of US Citizens are still suffering Federal institutional discrimination/oppression because of– faulty interpretations by Federal Courts that are mired in the past and fail to give priority/adequate weight to the individual civil rights amendments. The Federal Government has failed to act; readdress a wrong; overturn un-just conflicting laws; protect individual civil rights which are the linchpin of our modern evolved representative democracy!
During the Insular Cases (Bidwell, Balzac…), Federal Courts wrongly interpreted the Constitution & determined: PR is an “un-incorporated” US Territory–“more foreign than domestic-belongs to, but, is not part of the US”… (Words not found in our Constitution; not applied before to other Territories becoming States). They allowed Congress to wield veiled un-just powers that discriminate (differentiate) in applying the US Constitution (as sustained in Harris vs Rosario)–till today! The disguised discriminatory vestige of the “Insular Cases” puts in contention that statutory US Citizens have full-equal protection under just laws; acquired rights…! This is un-acceptable in our Democracy; un-American! Let’s spotlight the truth!
Some Congressmen and Federal Judges (of the time), as they coined the above unfair Insular Terms (still applicable today) made outrageous biased comments, such as: “Because of different origin and language… Puerto Ricans were inferior… mestizos; could not govern themselves”.
Besides, statutory US Citizenship is conferred by a Law that can be revoked by Congress… It isn’t fully protected by the US Constitution’s 14th amendment (states that you are a US Citizen if you are born in a State or Naturalized– most likely applies to Individuals in the States, not to a segregated “differentiated” Ethnic Group classified unjustly by Congress-born on “foreign” territorial land)…
How can loyal born US Citizens and American Veterans be “foreign”, under their USA Flag? They are not “foreign” or less worthy than other fellow US Citizens or should be segregated depending on where they reside under the US Flag! Where is our Federal Government-to include US President Obama (and the US Justice Department) that, for over 117+ years, have taken no action to protect individual civil rights for all or moved to overturn the Insular Cases (Bidwell/ Balzac) or incorporate PR…? Inaction on righting a wrong aids and abets the demagogues!
Senator Ron Wyden (Chairman US Senate Energy and Natural Resources) has it right when, after some research, he states Puerto Rico is a US Territory that should move for Statehood or Political Sovereignty. His factual comments that follow are on target! (1) The only two viable non-territorial constitutional Plebiscite options are: Statehood or Separate Sovereignty (Independence or its form of Free Association). (2) The so call enhanced Commonwealth… does not pass Constitutional muster. It deadlocks the status solution; should not be an option for the future of Puerto Rico. (3) Under Free Association US Citizenship would be lost, but, Puerto Rican Citizens could maintain full access to the United States with a reciprocal agreement (no need of visas or Green Cards). (Example: Islands of: Palau, Micronesia, and Marshall that have a separate Citizenship and sovereignty.) (4) It is incompatible to have a common Citizenship and a separate sovereignty. (5) If PR were to become a State it could become a bi-lingual state and keep it’s Olympic Committee (if approved by the International Olympic Committee) because there is no US law prohibiting it… (Examples of States that have been or are bilingual: Louisiana, New Mexico, and Hawaii.) (6) For a State to be admitted all that is required is an Admission Law. It doesn’t require a “super-majority vote”, but, politically many Members of Congress might want a super majority vote. (7) The District of Columbia is not a US Territory, but, falls under a different article of the US Constitution. It is not appropriate to compare it to Puerto Rico.
*NOTE: Please, see my Paper “EQUAL US CITIZENSHIP– Cut Puerto Rico’s unjust Territorial Shackles—THE TIME IS NOW!” That has more enclosed facts and good arguments. (To request; email: email@example.com)
**SUPPORTING FACTS/ COMMENTS (From my informal Paper- EQUAL US CITIZENSHIP—Cut Puerto Rico’s unjust Territorial Shackles—THE TIME IS NOW!)
The complex US Territory of Puerto Rico’s equal rights quandary- that affects millions of discriminated US Citizens, is not only about a “Group Vote” on the status question. But, more essentially crucial, it’s about equal application of the US Constitution to all US Citizens (with full protected Individual Civil Rights); ending institutional discrimination/2d Class US Citizenship; advancing equality/consent of the governed–where the US Citizen is the epicenter of our Republic, not the US Government’s trite un-democratic territorial control of the Land & People (without just representation)! Facts are:
In 1898, Puerto Rico (PR) was invaded by the US; turned into a federally un-democratic US Territory. Then, in 1917, Congress imposed a statutory (by law) “2d Class US Citizenship” (without all rights, benefits, & responsibilities) that doesn’t allow loyal US Citizens (including fighting US Veterans) to vote in Federal elections (for their US President/Head of State) nor have just representation in the Congress that determines their destiny nor permanent US Citizenship–actions that, under our noble US Flag—oppress; conflicts with the spirit of our democracy; negates, for some, our constitutional civil rights amendments!
The Federal Government controls Puerto Rico, under the undemocratic US Territorial Clause, to include: the economy/market, currency, security, borders, shipping, taxes, benefits…; oversees all local laws; can cede PR to another Nation… Plus, PR has no power in Congress; has only one Resident Commissioner-(without a vote) that represents millions of US Citizens (does the job of 6 Representatives & 2 Senators)!
Besides, Puerto Rico is an island possession of the US–which contributes in many ways to the US defense, macro economy, and in other areas. But, its economic growth is: forcefully linked to the US economy. PR is hamstrung by being treated unfairly, especially in Debt Restructuring (is not covered, as other States are); by many imposed senseless stranglehold US regulations and the must use of un-competitive and very costly *American Ships– which adversely impacts on PR’s and the US economy/ creations of jobs!
*Note: Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, and others agree (and want to change) this unfair & uncompetitive shipping—that cost their economies and consumers much more than other continental States…but, Puerto Rico has no just representation; no power in Congress to fight for its US Citizens!
But, also, PR needs to structurally reform its non-effective Territory Government (with 130+ Agencies); Economy (Government based to Private Sector; provide incentives…); Fiscal policies (end dependency on spiraling high interest rate Loans to pay operating deficits; a growing $72 Billion debt; balance the budget…); its unequal Status…; and other things to recuperate economic growth and create more jobs…; stem the vast historic exodus of Puerto Ricans to the States (as they vote with their moving feet); ensure equality and progress for the good of all!
In the interim, the Federal Courts/US President/Congress must give more weight to the Bill of Rights/ Constitutional Amendments– Incorporate Puerto Rico; overturn the biased and racist rooted Insular Cases (Bidwell; Balsac)-that, along with the old Territorial Clause–are still, today– the veiled basis for Federal discrimination in applying the US Constitution, and un-democratic governance of Puerto Rico.
*Note: Puerto Rico– will keep its own Boricua Identity and have Sovereignty (like other States) upon becoming a Full and Equal Member of the “Union of States” of our noble United States…
*As we make right, let’s stay focused: For there to be “Consent of the Governed” in a representative Democracy, the US Constitution should be equally applied (with more weight to the “Bill of Rights”/Amendments that try to overcome the original Constitution’s civil rights faults). For there to be a representative democracy, it must be centered on the Individual Rights Amendments–each US Citizen should have equal rights, responsibilities, and benefits.
Some Politicians try to distort the truth; generalize; speculate; give excuses to change the focus of reality; slyly support archaic undemocratic federal oppression; have hidden agendas– that are against protected individual civil rights paramount to our Democracy, so, there is no tyranny of a majority. Thus, we must remember we are dealing with fellow born US Citizens; keep an open mind; act on facts and good analysis; work for the good of ALL!
Puerto Ricans/ Hispanics are part of the kaleidoscopic or intertwined strong threads that make up the resilient fabric of the USA—the land of Free Immigrants with own identities and tolerance! But, united under our US Constitution and with State Sovereignty (like the “Lone Star Republic of Texas or other States of our Union)!
Puerto Ricans like other fellow US Citizens– yearn for truth, equality, justice, and dignity as we pursue the American dream! After 117 years of PR being a US Colony, now is the time for American Patriots (of true grit) to move the Federal Government/Congress to be fair–enact a sanctioned PR Plebiscite on Statehood-Yes or No or between non-territorial options (Statehood or Independence); ensure equal rights for all US Citizenship; end injustice-PR’s Federal un-democratic territorial status…redress this terrible unfair wrong against the heart & Soul of our American democracy! Equality for Puerto Rico, NOW!
We leave no US Veteran; 1st Responder Behind! ONE TEAM–For the Good of all!; VR,
Dennis (PH-Principal: 407-298-1151// 2d: 321-276-1309//3d Puerto Rico: 787-946-5859)
Dennis O. Freytes (MPA, MHR, BBA); American Veteran; Community Servant Leader
VP NAUS-SE (FL-GA-SC-AL-MS-LS-AR-PR)-Support American Veterans: www.naus.org
Member US Veterans’ Congressional Advisory Boards (Two Congressmen)
Member Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Council; Former FL Governor’s Transition Team-Veterans
Facilitator-NAUS-“Borinqueneers’ Support Partners” (Round Table-Coalition–US 65th Infantry)
Chair- “Florida Discovery-Hispanic Heritage Council”; Equality Council (Round Table)-Civil Rights
Ambassador: AIPEH-“Hispanic Arts & Culture International Association” (Poets & Writers);
**Son of US Veteran/Borinqueneer Celio Freytes-Menendez
Preview attachment A+ T Fairness-Equality for ALL- PR- Status Hearings 24 June 2015.docx
A+ T Fairness-Equality for ALL- PR- Status Hearings 24 June 2015.docx
Preview YouTube video Puerto Rico Statehood Video
Puerto Rico Statehood Video
Preview YouTube video Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories (HBO)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories (HBO)
Preview YouTube video Keynote Address, “The Insular Cases: A Declaration of Their Bankruptcy and My Harvard Pronouncement”
Keynote Address, “The Insular Cases: A Declaration of Their Bankruptcy and My Harvard Pronouncement”
Para trabajar por la Estadidad: