Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Colony by Any Other Name is Still a Colony

The image shown is © grupoHuracan via NY Latino Journal

Not to belittle but to begin by definition, the definition of colony as per is defined as a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state. So for 111 years, an island roughly 100 by 35 miles situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, has been a colony of the United States. This island is known as Puerto Rico.

Since 1952, Puerto Rico's colonial status has been masked as a commonwealth. It was in 1950 that the U.S Congress approved a law allowing for Puerto Rico to determine whether Puerto Ricans wanted to draft their own constitution. This public law left unchanged all the articles that were present under the Jones Act of 1917. Nothing was really changed in 1952 and the same still remains. Let's face it, when General Miles set foot in Gaunica, Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898 he did not come with a promise of riches and equality. The expectations, of many, of a free and sovereign nation were met with another padlock and chain. Then, in 1952 the intention was to change the name so as to change the mindset. Merely changing the name by which you call it does not change it true status : a colony.

Feed it with just enough to maintain it; keep it under control; provide just enough but not too much. Remember this, change will come..maybe not today, tomorrow or even in this lifetime but it will come because change is inevitable.

Read this excellent piece "For Shame: Congress and its Puerto Rican Subjects" by Ronald Fernandez.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is true. La isla del encanto is trapped within the facade of a colonial state. The island is still a U.S. Territory. I love how you point out the idea of "keeping it fed...under control...provide enough not too much." That is why so many of us leave the island. There just isn't enough opportunity within her walls. Kudos for your blog and educating Puerto Ricans about the societal struggle that goes on in the place we call home, mi orgullo, Puerto Rico.