How an Independent Mind Can Cut through the Fog of Puerto Rico’s Status Politics
La Chuleta recently received notice that there was some guy out there trying to do an independent project on the status issue of Puerto Rico. Apparently, he noticed that the recently passed H.R. 2499, which could result in Puerto Rican independence or statehood, did not garner the attention of the American people as much as the possible admission of a new state should. The “guy” is Craig Edwards of SolidPrinciples.com, and he set out to find out what is really going on with the status issue, and what he found was nowhere near what he had believed.
With some of the most prominent voices (and some of the loudest) of the status issue at his disposal, Craig Edwards moves to answer some key question about Puerto Rico’s path to self-determination: 1) Have Puerto Ricans ever voted “against” statehood? 2) If not statehood or independence, then, what? 3) What happened in the 1993 and 1998 plebiscites? 4) Why was H.R. 2499 different from previous plebiscites? 5) Will Puerto Rico be Democratic or Republican? 6) What about bilingualism?
Craig Edwards’ final product does not reflect a pro-statehood or a pro-independence ideology (although there are no Independentistas in the audio); instead, what the audio reveals is an intricate lie that has survived for half a century. With Luis Dávila-Colón, one of Puerto Rico’s foremost political analysts (and a trusted voice everywhere in Puerto Rico) as the fulcrum of the status argument, calumny on Puerto Rico and what it is trying to achieve through self-determination does not stand for long.
Of course there are sides, but that does not subtract from the learning experience of the documentary. Instead, the listeners gets to make their own opinions as to what is really going on in Puerto Rico and why the territory does not seem to find “consensus” on the status question.The sides include pro-statehood supporters (i.e. Gov. Fortuño (R-PR); Res. Comm. Pierluisi (D-PR); former mayor of San Juan and fierce advocate of equality, Hernán Padilla; Kenneth McClintock, PR Sec. of State), the Enemies of Equality (i.e. PR Rep. Hector Ferrer, PPD President & House Minority Leader; US Rep. Luis Guitiérrez (D-IL); Don Soifer, Lexington Foundation; Brian Darling “Bombastic Know-Nothing“; Phylis Schlafly, Eagle Foundation), and the interviewer, the expert and the analyst (i.e. Craig Edwards, Jeffery Farrow, Luis Davila-Colon, respectively).
As noted before, there are no independence supporters on the panel, but given that this is NOT a forum for the airing out of comparisons between statehood and independence, the quality of the information gained has not been diminished one bit. Although to have been able to hear some of the Independentistas‘ rhetoric on the “Commonwealth” status would have been delightful, their absence did not translate into missed opportunities for raising very essential questions about the current status. And that mantle of chastising the Enemies of Equality at every turn fell on the pro-statehooders, and we at La Chuleta must confess that we were quite pleased with the way in which the PPD lie was, once again, cogently exposed.
The opposition, though, did not come only from the Enemies of Equality in the territory; there were two other overarching “arguments” being leveled against Puerto Rico self-determination. The first had to do with the implications of Puerto Rico’s bilingualism and the second with political composition of a state of Puerto Rico. There, the documentary makes it clear that in Puerto Rico’s status issue 90 percent of the opposition is premature or misguided, with the other 10 percent being merit-based opposition and legitimate concerns.
We hope this audio documentary provides the readers of La Chuleta Congelá’ a valuable glimpse into the very sinister actions of the PPD and the condition (political and otherwise) of the unequal American citizens of Puerto Rico.
Listen to The United States Plus One: The Prospects of Puerto Rico as the 51st State (by Craig Edwards @ SolidPrinciples.com).