Wednesday, April 24, 2013

While it has been some time since I have posted here, it has not been for lack of interest nor abandon. I have given a great amount of thought to and decided that it was time to move on. It has been a pleasure providing you this information and my opinions. Thank you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Puerto Rico: The little Engine That Could But...

Puerto Rican politics can be very complicated business. You can sit at the dinner table with family and there will be someone for statehood, another for commonwealth and yet another for independence.  The myriad of reasons for each is enough to make for a complex algorithm. There is never an easy answer.

The most recent plebiscite (the fourth since 1967) proves that, Puerto Ricans, are still very divided when it comes to their future. Along these lines, there is no need to explain their current political status. That's been done plenty of times. Truth is, just like a Californian or New Yorker that knows very little about each others politics to even be concerned, such is the case with Puerto Rico. Who in the U.S. really took notice of that small island, with a population of nearly four million, and its plebiscite vote?

The important thing to understand is that the U.S. Congress has no obligation to address this plebiscite. Up at the Hill there are barriers already set in place, as the machinations are in motion to ignore all the hoopla in Puerto Rico over this. As is always the case, Washington will merely nod its head in acknowledgement of the plebiscite while continuing to ignore the peoples right to self determination in the world's oldest colony.

At the end of the day, nothing is resolved for the plebiscite is merely a reflection of the algorithm and indecisiveness of a dependent people. Like the little engine that could, Puerto Rico keeps chugging along without a station in sight.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

From Summer Olympics to Plebiscite: What's Next for Puerto Rico?

What is it about national pride that brings out a glow in people? That deeply embedded sentiment of belonging to something great. A reflection of your very being. I pondered this thought as the 2012 Summer Olympics were played. I quietly watched and digested the pride of the Puerto Rican athletes as they competed in various sports. And then, there was this feeling of contradiction.

Puerto Rico's Olympic Committee (COPUR) sent a total of 25 athletes to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Yes, Puerto Rico has an Olympic committee. Many never consider this as odd because to know that Puerto Rico is a nation in colonial bondage is to know America's secrets. To some, it is a foreign nation, to others a commonwealth or invisible. But, to know its history is to know that it a possession of the U.S.

The Olympic Games, considered to be the world's foremost sports competition, hosts more than 200 nations. Again, we have to stress nation and look at Puerto Rico's status as a nation. In pride, to some extent, in culture (given the American influence thus far) and in mindset, it is still a nation. Realistically, it is a nation held in silent possession and in experimental dogma.

Silently, Puerto Rico, a nation-less nation heads towards another plebiscite on the heels of positive Olympic fervor and in the midst of a presidential election in the U.S., in which they have no say. As the presidential and vice-Presidential debates take place, Puerto Ricans on the island can only watch and wait.

It is not to say, that there isn't an election in Puerto Rico. On the contrary, there is a gubernatorial election, along with the plebiscite vote. What comes out of this, can indeed be interesting. The current Governor, Luis G. Fortuno, who favors statehood and stands with U.S. republicans, is not exactly Mr. Favorable and the result of the plebiscite can contradict that which he favors. Still, the plebiscite is non-binding and doesn't change a thing. There is no real plan nor concerted effort by island politicians to take total control of the islands political future. All island politicians have is hope that Washington will take notice of their whimpering. All this, of course, is unknown to the American public.

Consider this: Immigration occurs for a reason, people looking for a better way of life may top the list. In that search, the glamorized American way of life becomes the pot of gold. Yet, in spite of the slow climb from a recession in the U.S. and Puerto Rico's one hundred plus year relationship with the U.S., Puerto Rico is still going through some tough times, both economically and socially, as witnessed by the influx of Puerto Ricans to Florida. It is then safe to say, when in difficult times people look for ways out of their misfortune. Puerto Ricans are no different. They have been led down a long road of U.S. dependency. The chains of colonialism extend for so long that the links have become more and obscure. In the end, if there ever is an ending, many questions remain and the answers, just as numerous, are never clearly defined.

Is the plebiscite vote a mathematical equation of subtraction in favor of statehood? Will the peoples right to self determination be acknowledged or ignored? Does America really want or is it prepared for a 51st state? What's next for Puerto Rico?

The debate continues.....