Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day and Puerto Rico

Independence Day: commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The approval of the Declaration of Independence, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain.

On the other hand, July 1898 marks the invasion by U.S. forces on Puerto Rico. An invasion that has led to a 112 year old relationship mired with much political debate (and then some). From its early military occupancy, Puerto Rican citizenship, commonwealth status to its present colonial state it leaves one to wonder about a celebration in Old San Juan. Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi states "today is the day to celebrate the benefits, the privileges, the rights and liberties our founding fathers fought for with courage that Fourth of July 1776. Today is the day to enjoy those bounties for being Americans,” he said.

This comes after a two month long University of Puerto Rico student strike which garnered wide support. This strike, in which police and riot squads attacked and injured students, their parents and journalists on several occasions, was only the beginning of the PR governments arrogant and shameless attitude. To add insult to injury, the recent protest at the Puerto Rico Capital, further brought to light the total disrespect for human rights and liberties of protesters, by this near fascist government. The continued arrogance of an administration which seems to have a misconstrued meaning of "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

One lash after another continues to be the order within this far right wing Republican government, with a deep desire to be included as a state. The recent events seem to lean towards a more fascist regime, hell-bent on setting it own standards as the oldest colony on earth. This all seems two-faced, along with celebrating independence when, in 1953, the only real factor was the islands removal from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. A move which amounted to nothing more than a status name change. And so, oddly enough, as a colony and without self-determination, they celebrate U.S. independence.

UN Decolonization Committee Urges United States to Expedite Puerto Rico's Self-Determination

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