Friday, March 5, 2010

A comment on ... An Independent Puerto Rico: For Better or Worse?

Note: The President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status was established in 2000 to provide options for Puerto Rico’s future status and relationship with the U.S.

In a recent public hearing held in San Juan, Puerto Rico the task force stated it was the first step in resolving the status issue and seeking more equitable treatment in federal programs. In regards to resolving the status issue one has to consider what status the U.S. is willing to grant Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is an "unincorporated" territory, meaning that it was never intended to become a state. It is then no surprise that during this latest hearing, when the Task Force was asked whether Congress would be willing to grant statehood to the island, Task Force officials sidestepped the question.

Far too often we hear about Puerto Rico's ability to self-govern and survive independently as a nation due to the many problems afflicting the island. The idea of it becoming a third world country, communist and invaded by Cuba are just a few. Never is the idea of an independent flourishing nation mentioned. This way of thinking is in part the fault of the ever darkening cloud that covers the island. The relationship with the U.S. and the dependency on it is only enhanced by the idea that statehood will offer more funding, employment and growth. Obviously, these are promises which steer the people to believe that the only possible way to flourish is to become a state (that is the colonial mentality).

While the people of Puerto Rico have a right to self determination, the process does not entirely begin with them, the process must also begin with the U.S. Congress facing its responsibility under the Territorial Clause. It must begin by offering Puerto Rico a serious and responsible offer without the colonial option.

To believe that Puerto Rico cannot survive on its own at the moment is, again, in part the belief that the people are less than and incapable of self-governing themselves. The truth is that economic development is directly affected by its current status and until that status issue is resolved the island will continue in its current economic and social malaise. Let's face it, the doubts to survive as an independent nation will always exist so long as the negative balance of survival exists.

Read-->An Independent Puerto Rico: For Better or Worse?

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