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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!

Former Colonial Governor Hernandez-Colon’s ‘Quicksand’ Argument

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 8, 2010 at 11:44 PM
The Spaniard’s Puffery in Support of a Constitutional Convention on Status

 

Former Governor Rafael Hernández-Colón’s last two columns on CaribbeanBusinessPR.com (see Part I; see Part II) show that the Spaniard has shifted his focus beyond H.R. 2499 because it is obvious that the colonial status party, the PPD Commonwealthers, have succeeded once again in derailing the process towards self-determination by attacking the possibility of statehood and refusing to define what their sovereign solution for Puerto Rico is.

Hernández-Colón’s two-part column begins by highlighting two questions on a CaribbeanBusiness-Gaither poll:

1. How important is it to resolve Puerto Rico’s territorial status?

2. What is Puerto Rico’s principal problem?

On the first question, the poll shows that 70 percent say it is important or very important to resolve the status issue. The governor also points to the 60 percent who think it is “urgent,” while simultaneously saying these figures have not changed in the past five years. Further, on the second question, the poll shows that less than 1 in 10 persons believe the status issue is “a principal problem,” bested by homicides, healthcare, and the economy. Now, there are natural questions that arise in view of these paradoxically tantalizing poll answers, and the former governor has his.

Hernández-Colón uses these ostensibly opposed answers to validate his belief that Puerto Ricans do not wake up in the morning “fearing or feeling oppression from the chains of colonialism as the ideological status junkies would have us believe.”

His conclusion is that “Puerto Ricans are not upset at the functionality of the (territorial) Commonwealth” but at the “ongoing conflict between varied aspirations of the Puerto Rican people as to the ultimate political destiny of the island,” which the governor qualifies as a “governing problem.” (All emphasis added)

The one thing the former governor has right is that Puerto Rico’s current territorial status is NOT the pinnacle of Puerto Rican sovereignty he and his party have sold to Puerto Ricans for almost 60 years.  It is the very “functionality” (or lack thereof) of the territorial structure known as the “Commonwealth” that the people of Puerto Rico do feel everyday of their lives and the consequences of such an uncertain, impotent mechanism.

As for the “ongoing conflict between varied aspirations,” let us not kid ourselves, governor, we all know that in Puerto Rico the real “fight” for status is between those who believe Puerto Rico should be sovereign through statehood and those of you who believe the current territorial, unequal “Commonwealth” status is just fine. Only less than 5 percent of Puerto Ricans want sovereignty for Puerto Rico through independence, but at least they have a real, constitutional option out there for the Puerto Rican people and they can vote for it if they so wish.

But Hernández-Colón and the PPD do not care about ending the current territorial status–they want to “enhance” it. Lipstick for that pig, anybody?

The “lipstick” in this case is a Constitutional Convention on Status. The foundation for his argument is that “status resolution devolves through a fatal political quicksand that requires more than a one-shot deal plebiscite expression to bring the matter to fruition” because (as he shockingly admits) “the losing parties will mount an all-out campaign–to them a matter of political life or death–to defeat the will of the people.”

This last comment on “losing parties” is not some sort of premonition or academic conclusion, as the governor attempts to portray it, but, instead, it is a page out of the PPD’s dirty playbook. The latest occasion for its deployment being the assault on Res. Comm. Pedro Pierluisi’s H.R. 2499, which sought to end the current unequal and subservient status of Puerto Rico. And it worked! It worked so well that it “defeated the will of the people” before they had a chance to express it. Brilliant! (see Foxx Amendment)

So, to recapitulate the governor’s stand, 1) direct democratic plebiscites are the wrong way to go; 2) losing parties will defeat the will of the people; 3) there is nothing wrong with unequal democratic and civil rights; and 4) we should enhance the very structure that supports the unequal status, even though this idea does not have the support of a majority of Puerto Ricans. Mix well, look up, look down, clap once, propose a Constitutional Convention on Status and Presto!

Rafael Hernández-Colón erroneously concludes that because past plebiscites have not worked to produce a clear choice from the Puerto Rican electorate it is time to move beyond the direct will of the people and on to a yet-to-be-described big “C” convention. Hernández-Colón has already told us that past and future plebiscites will not work because those who stand to lose will do anything to subvert the will of the people. When it comes to past plebiscites–the same plebiscites the enemies of equality claim are repudiations of statehood–what the former governor fails to mention is that all have been riddled with innocuous obstacles placed there by the party that stands to lose the most: Mr. Hernández-Colón’s PPD.

“In status politics,” Rafael Hernández-Colón believes, “anything goes.”

And he means it!

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