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Popular Democratic Party Rejects H.R. 2499, Puts Forward Its Own Vision for Puerto Rico Self-Determination

In Enemies of Equality, H.R. 2499, Puerto Rico Democracy Act, Self-Determination, The Big Lie: The PPD's "Commonwealth" on November 14, 2010 at 6:52 PM

We at La Chuleta Congelá’ have decided to take all of the “proposals” and/or “suggestions” made by the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico (PPD, the creator and promoter of the territorial status with the name of “Commonwealth”) and put them into a “bill” for Congress to consider.

Of course, this “bill” is crude bologna because most of the assertions made by the PPD are impossible to achieve under the American constitution. As such, though, we have decided to have fun, and make up a bill that illustrates what it is the PPD really wants for Puerto Rico’s future: nothing but the status quo! (But they cannot campaign or say that in Puerto Rico.)

As a matter of fact, here’s a little quote from the founder of the PPD, Luis Munoz Marin, who used to be an independence supporter and then changed his views in favor of territorial “Commonwealth.” Muñoz Marin had a plan. He would name the “new” status “Commonwealth” in English and “Estado Libre Asociado” (Free-Associated State) in Spanish. See the ruse? In Puerto Rico, to Puerto Ricans, Muñoz Marin spoke of “sovereignty and nationhood and equality and compacts,” but in Washington, D.C., to Congress, Muñoz Marin spoke this way:

“There is a wide disbelief here [in Puerto Rico] as to any political status that does not involve a transfer of sovereignty to the people of Puerto Rico. I share this belief because of the [U.S.] constitutional limitations involved. Congress cannot–save in the form of classic statehood–create sovereignty in a territory that continues to be part of the United States. Under this limitation, commonwealth status would have the nature of a loan of authority by Congress that is recallable at will.”

The point ought to be clear, this party and its leaders do not have any real solutions to move Puerto Rico out of colonialism and into statehood or independence. According to the party, even a plebiscite written their way would be “unfair” because statehood promises too much and the other options (independence and “Commonwealth”) cannot compete. Huh. So statehood must be watered down so that other options have a fair chance? More bologna! If statehood is “the better option,” then independence and “Commonwealth” supporters better come up with better arguments. After all, it is the Americans of Puerto Rico who DO NOT want independence. And it will be they who tear down the territorial “Commonwealth.”

With that in mind, dear readers, here’s the mock PPD bill; the way they want it: confusing.

 

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112th Congress, 2nd Session, Last day thereof …

H.R. 1952.2

(y Arroz con Gandules a Bomba y Plena)

To provide an unnecessary federally sanctioned self-determination process for the People of the Sovereign and Autonomous Free-Associated State of Puerto Rico because Puerto Rico is a nation with its own culture and we have a COMPACT with the United States of America and we are equal partners, and Congress does not hold us as a colony. Anyways, some people “don’t like it,” so we are forced to do “something.” Move on.

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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

January 2, 2013

The Popular Democratic Party, Holder and Protector of the Truths of 1952 (for himself, EVERYBODY, yep, EVERYBODY because there are too many people behind this bill we couldn’t possibly name them all. Big Pharma, here’s to you! In addition, we must thank for their support all of those in the Popular Democratic Party who have held up the promise of “Mejorando La Raza.” Further, who could forget, to Dependency—because it feels free!) Anyway, uh, introduced this bill for immediate consideration by the House of Representatives Committee of the Whole … no screwing around with that stupid Committee on Natural Resources; they don’t like us.

 

A BILL to provide for a federally sanctioned self-determination process for the Great Nation of the Independent State Territory of the People of Puerto Rico—not a damned colony!

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled and with Puerto Rico’s Permission,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “GREATEST ACT EVER.”

 

SECTION 2. FEDERALLY SANCTIONED PROCESS FOR PUERTO RICO’S SELF-DETERMINATION.

(a) FIRST PLEBISCITE.—The Government of Puerto Rico is authorized—even though they already possess all the power thereto—to conduct a status plebiscite in Puerto Rico or somewhere in the Caribbean, definitely within the Western Hemisphere. The 2 options set forth on the SPANISH-ONLY ballot shall be preceded by the following statement: ‘‘Instructions: Mark one of the following 2 options if you feel like it:

‘‘(1) Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of political status, which has done wonders for the people of Puerto Rico under the power of the Great One they called Luis Muñoz Marin and promoted perpetually by the Honorable DON Rafael Hernandez Colón, former great Governor of this Island Nation. Blessed be he. If you agree, mark here _____________.

‘‘(2) Puerto Rico should have a different political status and possibly begin 100 years of regret about choosing a status alternative that they knew nothing about. God help us if we should pick some status that Puerto Ricans can’t handle. Especially one that will destroy our culture and language … and our kids. If you agree, mark here _.’’.

(b) PROCEDURE IF MAJORITY IN FIRST PLEBISCITE FAVORS OPTION 1.—If a majority of the ballots in the plebiscite are cast in favor of  (the best) Option 1, the Government of Puerto Rico (unless the Popular Democratic Party happens to be in the minority, in which case it) is authorized to conduct additional plebiscites under subsection (a) at intervals of 100 years from the date that the results of the prior plebiscite are certified under section 3(d). Take your time!

(c) PROCEDURE IF MAJORITY IN FIRST PLEBISCITE FAVORS OPTION 2, WHICH WILL DESTROY PUERTO RICO.—If a majority of the ballots in a plebiscite conducted pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) are cast in favor of (the worst) Option 2, the Government of Puerto Rico (unless the Popular Democratic Party happens to be in the minority, in which case it) is authorized to conduct a plebiscite on the following options:

(1) Third World Independence (look at Haiti): Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States. You WILL lose your American citizenship and everything good in your life. If you want it, mark here _____.

(2) Sovereignty in Association with the United States (look at Palau): Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution, like the Current “Commonwealth” Status because we ARE NOT under the Territorial Clause. Agree to disagree. If you agree with losing your benefits, mark here _____.

(3) statehood (I want more taxes): mark here _.

(4) If you agree that el Coquí is ours, please mark here, ___________________________.

(5) Enhanced Commonwealth; The Independent Republic of the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico will have the authority to tax the 50 states of the United States, veto any federal law, continue to enjoy all the rights of natural citizenship, conduct international relations through the United Nations, enter into bilateral treaties, etc. At the will of, again, the Popular Democratic Party. If you want the Best of Both Worlds, PATRIOTICALLY MARK HERE ________________.

(6) Commonwealth as is, but with a Constitutional Convention to go with it. At the Convention, popularly elected Popular Democratic Party Spanish-speaking delegados will be responsible for exploring, studying, analyzing, constructing and deconstructing theories about, challenge, support, endorse and repudiate all possible options for Puerto Rico (including but not limited to Independence, Free Association, Enhanced Commonwealth, Independence with American citizenship, Commonwealth as it is, Constitutional Monarchy, Communism in Association with the United States, Parliamentary Government in Partnership with Quebec, Unicameral Sovereignty, Cuban and/or Venezuelan Provincial Sovereignty, Autonomy under the King of Spain … oh, and statehood).

(7) NONE OF THE ABOVE! If you agree, please mark here _________________________, or anywhere in the space below. Comments welcomed!”

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SECTION 3. APPLICABLE LAWS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS.

(a) APPLICABLE LAWS.—All Federal laws applicable to the election of the Resident Commissioner shall, as appropriate and consistent with this Act, also apply to any plebiscites held pursuant to this Act. Any reference in such Federal laws to elections shall be considered, as appropriate, to be a reference to the plebiscites, unless it would frustrate the purposes of this Act or the Plans of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico. Viva La Pava!

(b) RULES AND REGULATIONS.—The Puerto Rico State Elections Commission shall issue all rules and regulations necessary to carry out the plebiscites under this Act. Further, only the Popular Democratic Party’s delegate in the Commission shall have the right to vote on said rules and regulations.

(c) ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE.—Each of the following shall be eligible to vote in any plebiscite held under this Act:

(1) All eligible voters under the electoral laws in effect in Puerto Rico at the time the plebiscite is held. Except the leadership of the English-speaking New Progressive Party AND independence supporters not aligned with the Popular Democratic Party.

(2) All United States citizens born in Puerto Rico or elsewhere who comply, to the satisfaction of the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission, with all requirements (other than the residency requirement) applicable to eligibility to vote in a general election in Puerto Rico. Persons eligible to vote under this subsection shall, upon timely request to the Commission and prompt return to the Popular Democratic Party of a full political profile of your views on Puerto Rico’s status, might be entitled to receive an absentee SPANISH-ONLY ballot for the plebiscite.

(3) All Popular Democratic Party members who have died since the founding of the party in 1938. The Puerto Rico State Elections Commission shall collaborate with the Puerto Rico Department of Health Demographic Registry to gather all necessary records to cast the “dead vote.” Further, Popular Democratic Party Founder Luis Muñoz Marin gets two votes; one for each face.

(d) CERTIFICATION OF PLEBISCITE RESULTS.—The Puerto Rico Popular Democratic Party shall certify the results of any plebiscite held under this Act to the People of Puerto Rico for another vote on whether or not to accept the Popular Democratic Party’s interpretation of the results. After said vote by voters in Puerto Rico, the Popular Democratic Party shall verify and certify that vote, send it to a Blue Ribbon Committee for no less than two years but no more than 5 years. After this period of legislative cooling, the results and all reports and analysis collected thereto, herein, and aforesaid, the Popular Democratic Party shall send every ballot box on a victory lap around the island, visiting all 78 municipalities and 900 barrios of the island where every child under 5 shall be present (unless said absence is accompanied by a doctor’s note). After the island-wide Caravana (building-size speakers optional), the Popular Democratic Party shall call forth a Constituent Assembly to further analyze and scrutinize the vote. After a period of no more than ten years, the Popular Democratic Party shall finally certify the process to the President of the United States and to the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States for immediate action on future changes or vice versa, respectively.

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GOOD LUCK, PUERTO RICO!

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United States Plus One

In Citizenship Equality, Commentary and Analysis, Enemies of Equality, H.R. 2499, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Democracy Act, Self-Determination, Tennessee Plan, The Big Lie: The PPD's "Commonwealth" on July 22, 2010 at 11:35 PM

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.

 

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Listen to The United States Plus One: The Prospects of Puerto Rico as the 51st State (by Craig Edwards @ SolidPrinciples.com).

 

 

Brian Darling’s Cojones: Prototype of a Bombastic Know-Nothing

In Citizenship Equality, Commentary and Analysis, Enemies of Equality, H.R. 2499, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Democracy Act, Self-Determination, Tennessee Plan, The Big Lie: The PPD's "Commonwealth" on July 14, 2010 at 11:46 PM
How Opponents of Equality Utilize the “Brian Darlings” of the World to Fight their Dirty Campaigns

 

In the fight for equal, sovereign, democratic rights for the four million American citizens of Puerto Rico there are two kinds of people: 1) those who want to know and 2) those who wish they knew and speak as if they do.

Brian Darling is a true Vitruvian Man of ignorance when he attempts to speak about Puerto Rican affairs and the search for equal rights for all Americans in Puerto Rico.  His lack of knowledge on the issue is breathtakingly evanescent at best, and maliciously and deliberately neglectful at worst.

No economic insight into the U.S. tax code and its reverberations throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Treasury. No grasp of Puerto Rico’s  political history–since 1898 when the Americans took over, or even since 1952 when the so-called “Commonwealth” was instituted. No command of the most basic–and enumerated–constitutional powers of the Legislative Branch or honor for the American traditions of statehood and E Pluribus Unum. Mr. Darling’s dearth of knowledge on this issue should give us clues as to his scorched earth motives.

Darling’s most memorable piece came as a short, blog-type post for The Foundry (The Heritage Foundation’s blog) on April 27th, 2010 and titled “Puerto Rico Democracy Act: Legislation Biased in Favor of Statehood.” In the post, Darling (unsuccessfully) attempts to make a coherent argument against, principally, H.R. 2499 (the latest attempt to bring equality to Puerto Rico), generally, the costs of statehood, and, ignorantly, the traditional statehood process. Despite the title, Darling’s “argument” is two-fold: the plebiscite’s form is unfair and the costs of statehood too high.

An inconsistency right from the get go. If you pretend to care about the fairness of the process, then, why would you also mount an attack on the very process for which you seek fairness? Let us find out.

On the plebiscite’s fairness, Darling objects to the structure of the vote, which asks Puerto Ricans whether they wish to keep their current territorial status. If a majority of Puerto Ricans are not satisfied with the unequal status of “Commonwealth,” then they can vote against it, but if they like being unequal and enjoying less rights, then, they can keep “Commonwealth.”

If the first vote shows that a majority of Puerto Ricans wish to finally move forward on a constitutionally viable, sovereign form of government, then, they get a second vote on what that P-E-R-M-A-N-E-N-T status will be. At that point, Puerto Ricans will have to decide–after over 500 years of political subservience to a higher political entity, be it a king or a national legislature–which of the perpetual, equal, sovereignty-granting options they wish to establish as their form of government, and their options are limited: independence (in two varieties, but independence nonetheless) or statehood. That’s it. The U.S. Constitution does not afford any other remedy for territories.

Mr. Darling claims that because past plebiscites only asked Puerto Ricans to vote on the sovereign options (independence and statehood) on the same platform they were being asked about their current status ALL plebiscites must conform. In other words, Puerto Ricans were asked to choose a permanent option from choices that include the non-permanent option, so, according to Darling, all plebiscites should continue the half-century-old charade. That is what we call self-determining yourself out of self-determination. Brian Darling does not know anything about these pesky details. He cannot care about what he does not know. This is why he really believes that “Puerto Ricans have voted against statehood numerous times.”

Puerto Ricans have never voted against statehood, Darling. The most anybody can extrapolate from past plebiscites is that the American citizens of Puerto Rico want a change to the current territorial status, but they cannot get a straight process that provides them a chance to do that. H.R. 24 99, if nothing else, provided finality to this long issue by setting a timetable, which, incidentally, allowed Puerto Ricans to hold on to the current unequal status if they could muster the necessary majority vote. But the principle of “Majority Rules” seems to be another one of those pesky American traditions Darling would much rather ignore. H.R. 2499, as originally introduced, forced all parties involved, Americans in Puerto Rico and in the mainland (through Congress, Mr. Darling), to confront the situation head on and, most importantly, establish as a matter of national principle that the unequal relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico is not in either side’s long-term interest.

The reason Mr. Darling gets away with the blatant lack of respect for Puerto Rico’s democratic rights issues is because he is not alone in his buffoonery. Most of the criticism here contained can be widely applied to the multitude criticizing a process they do not understand.

Take, for example, Darling’s second line of attack on the process proposed on behalf of Puerto Ricans by their democratically elected representative and member of the statehood party, which in 2008 received super majorities in both chambers of the legislature and the mayorships of the island. The Congressional Budget Office, Darling adequately states, could not issue a score (i.e. dollar value) to H.R. 2499 because the legislation “only authorizes a vote.” Still, that was not enough for Brian “Premature” Darling. Although the CBO properly states that this is only a vote authorization with nothing to “score,” Darling wants everybody to believe that he has reliable sources that purport to know Puerto Rico’s “true” costs as a state.

Darling cites The Lexington Institute and, get this, his boss at The Heritage Foundation, Edwin Feulner. The Lexington Institute is the think-tank of choice of the PPD and we will confront their so-called research in the coming days. As for Darling’s boss, Dr. Feulner, well, if his statements about Puerto Rico are as reckless as his employee’s, then, I guess, that also makes him just as void of the same important ingredients mentioned above (i.e. insight into economic and political history of Puerto Rico, command of the controlling constitutional issues, and honor for established statehood precedent). Rather than deconstruct their economic theories about the possibility of Puerto Rico statehood and its costs, I would recommend Darling and all who live by this profile in ignorance to grab the authoritative report that, instead of describing future possibilities, describes current realities.

I speak of a book called Pay to the Order of Puerto Rico (Part I/Part II) by Alexander Odishelidze and Arthur Laffer (yeah, the “Curve” is named after him). These guys not only have done the hard research, but they have also bothered to understand the cultural, political, and status qualities that make Puerto Rico. Pay to the Order of Puerto Rico examines, in-depth, the status situation from a variety of critical angles. Odishlidze and Laffer, most importantly, analyze the American tax code and find the costs of maintaining Puerto Rico as a territory are beyond what meets the eye. Not only does Puerto Rico’s inequality cost every American family $400 per year, but also billions more in loss tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury (both from the Puerto Rico Treasury and American and foreign companies based in Puerto Rico). Here are some real numbers we all can look at and bask in the ambiance of inequality and its true costs.

Finally, Darling’s biggest blunder.

He is not content with attempting to explain what makes a plebiscite “fair” (or rather, why H.R. 2499 is “unfair”) and trying to scare Americans on the mainland into continued inequality toward Americans in Puerto Rico, no, Darling goes farther. He takes a try at pandering some “Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1” populism into the mix: “If the people of Puerto Rico can vote, the people of the United States should have a vote.”

Darling does not seem to understand what a democratic republic is. “A vote by members of Congress,” advocates Darling, “is not enough to indicate [the] consent of the American people for Puerto Rican statehood.” As he knows (now), the American people do not run their country through referenda, and the matter of statehood is expressly reserved to the people’s representatives through Congress. You know, Darling, the U.S. Senators The Heritage Foundation claims you “educate.”

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