Tuesday, June 18, 2013

UN decolonization panel: PR plebiscite rejected ‘current political subordination’ - CB

UN decolonization panel: PR plebiscite rejected ‘current political subordination’

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The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization is again calling the United States to expedite a process that would allow Puerto Ricans to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
By a draft resolution approved by consensus Monday during its annual meeting, the panel reaffirmed the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence, and reiterated that the Puerto Rican people constituted a Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own unequivocal national identity.
The decolonization committee has now agreed on 32 resolutions and decisions on the Puerto Rican issue, the latest 14 of them presented by Cuba and adopted by consensus.
Cuba’s representative cited the broad agreement on the need to end Puerto Rico’s colonial status. He said little progress had been made towards a solution so far, but 115 years of colonialism had not been “sufficient to crush the will or culture of the people of Puerto Rico or to wipe out their identity or feeling of nationhood.”
The panel has taken up the issue of Puerto Rico’s status every year for four decades. In a new element, the draft approved Monday took note of the November plebiscite “rejecting Puerto Rico’s current status of political subordination.”
The draft resolution was introduced by Cuba and co-sponsored by Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
In the first question of the two-part referendum, 54 percent of voters said they were not content with the current commonwealth status.
The second question asked what status was preferred. Of the about 1.3 million voters who made a choice, nearly 800,000 supported statehood, some 437,000 backed sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. But nearly 500,000 left that question blank.
The White House has said “the results were clear, the people of Puerto Rico want the issue of status resolved, and a majority chose statehood in the second question.”
The Puerto Rican Independence Party and New Progressive Party maintain that the results of the two-step plebiscite represent a clear rejection of the continuation of the current territorial status. Those voting “no” included statehood supporters, as well as advocates of independence and free association.
Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla and his commonwealth Popular Democratic Party argue the ballot was rigged against the current status and that the empty ballots represent a protest against commonwealth’s exclusion from the second question. The governor says the blank votes dropped support for statehood to just 44 percent.
The $3.8 trillion fiscal 2014 budget President Barack Obama sent to Congress includes $2.5 million for voter education and the first federally sanctioned plebiscite in Puerto Rico on options that would “resolve” the fundamental question of the island’s future political status.
Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s sole representative in Congress, has filed legislation aimed at putting Puerto Rico on the path to statehood.
Pierluisi’s Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act hinges on a proposed federally sanctioned “yes” or “no” vote on statehood in Puerto Rico. The measure proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives would ask Puerto Rican voters, “Do you want Puerto Rico to be admitted as a state of the United States?” A majority vote for statehood would trigger a 180 deadline for the president to certify the results of the plebiscite and lodge legislation in Congress to admit Puerto Rico as a state the union “on an equal footing” with other states.
The draft resolution approved by the decolonization panel would also have the UN General Assembly urge the U.S. to complete the return of all occupied land and installations on Vieques land in Ceiba to Puerto Ricans, and to release Oscar López Rivera and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, two “political prisoners” serving sentences in federal prisons for violent cases relating to the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. The text also expressed serious concern about the actions carried out against Puerto Rican independence fighters and encouraged investigation of those actions.
Several other Latin American members of the committee echoed the references to Puerto Rico’s culture, affirming its clear Latin American and Caribbean identity. Nicaragua’s representative promised her full commitment to the Puerto Rican cause until the commonwealth’s representative’s were “seated where they are meant to be seated,” as a full member state of the United Nations.
More than 40 petitioners addressed the special committee, urging the international community to end Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the U.S.The majority of speakers favored full independence. Also speaking today were representatives of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Syria.
Juan Dalmau of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, said the most significant recent event was the November referendum. With a turnout of 78 percent, 54 percent of voters had rejected continuing the commonwealth’s current status, but despite that “full rejection of colonialism”, the U.S. government continued to defend colonialism, he said.
Pierluisi said the plebiscite had fundamentally changed the terms of the debate on Puerto Rico’s political status, pointing out that 61 percent of voters favored statehood, also the position of his political party. The referendum had eliminated any legitimacy attached to Puerto Rico’s current colonial status and people clearly preferred integration, he said.
PR not on UN’s list of colonies
The UN committee continues to take up the issue of Puerto Rico’s unresolved political status despite the fact that it doesn’t hang the “colony” tag on the island.
In 1917, Puerto Ricans were collectively made U.S. citizens via the Jones Act, and in 1952 the U.S. Congress turned the territory into a commonwealth after ratifying the island Constitution. The U.S. government then declared the territory was no longer a colony and stopped transmitting information about Puerto Rico to the United Nations Decolonization Committee. As a result, the UN General Assembly removed Puerto Rico from the UN list of non-self-governing territories.
Petitioners before the panel have pressed the international community to recognize Puerto Rico’s colonial status and place it on the list...

10 comments:

  1. Greetings,

    We need to work together to decolonize Puerto Rico and free Oscar López Rivera. Join 2 peaceful protests until it is accomplished!

    Un abrazo,
    José
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Partners,

    Join The First Oscar – Mandela Protest in Puerto Rico on Saturday, March 22, 2014, on the Abolition of Slavery Day, to peacefully protest for the decolonization of Puerto Rico and the release of our political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. It is the perfect day to protest the enslavement of Puerto Rico by the government of United States.

    We will march from the Roosevelt Avenue Urban Train Station at 2 PM to the United States Court in Puerto Rico on Chardón Street in Hato Rey.

    If you belong to any particular group, feel free to bring your flags and signs to our protest. We want it to be a collective effort involving everyone who believes that colonialism is a crime against humanity and a threat to world peace. We need to have as many people as possible, because those who practice or accept colonialism, don’t believe in justice for all!

    Un abrazo,
    José
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Partner,

    After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’ resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the United States government to comply with it.

    The facts that the United States government has maintained Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33 years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico. Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply with the 33 resolutions.

    We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until we achieve our goal. The first one will be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of Slavery Day on March 22. The second will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. The third one will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto Rico decolonization hearing.

    These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.

    Sincerely,
    José M López Sierra
    Jlop28vislophis@gmail.com
    Comité Timón del Pueblo
    United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Partner,

    After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’ resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the United States government to comply with it.

    The facts that the United States government has maintained Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33 years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico. Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply with the 33 resolutions.

    We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until we achieve our goal. The first one will be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of Slavery Day on March 22. The second will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. The third one will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto Rico decolonization hearing.

    These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.

    Sincerely,
    José M López Sierra
    Jlop28vislophis@gmail.com
    Comité Timón del Pueblo
    United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Partner,

    Who’s the radical, Oscar López Rivera or the US?

    There are some who call for keeping Puerto Rico political prisoner Oscar López Rivera in prison forever, because he is a radical terrorist responsible for the killing and injury people. That’s not true, but even if it were, he would still be not guilty. Is Oscar really the radical?

    It was the government of the United States (US) that illegally invaded Oscar’s country 116 years ago to make Puerto Rico a colony. The United States government has used everything it could think of to train Puerto Ricans to want to be a colony of the United States for over a century. Through its educational system and mass media it has tried to shape the minds of Puerto Ricans. And when that hasn’t been enough, it has resorted to state terrorism to repress those who want independence for Puerto Rico. All nations have an inalienable right to self-determination and independence according to international law. That is so, because it is a natural thing for a nation to want to be independent. That’s why most nations are.

    So, Oscar is doing what is natural of wanting his nation to be independent. The US government, however, is doing the unnatural or radical thing of trying to prevent Puerto Rico independence.

    What the US government is doing is so radical that it is committing a crime against humanity. The United Nations declared it so, because colonialism is a threat to world peace. So by the US government having Puerto Rico as its colony, it is creating the conditions for people like Oscar to resort to any means necessary to obtain decolonization. International law also give colonies the right to use any means necessary to decolonize itself. And that why colonialism is a crime.

    This is why, after 33 UN resolutions ignored by the US government asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and the US government’s refusal to release Oscar from prison despite tremendous world pressure to do so, we must continuously protest until it happens!

    Sincerely,
    José
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Partner,

    Since the United Nations determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity, there is no longer a need for plebiscites. The solution is to give Puerto Rico her sovereignty.

    But being the United States government does not want to, it continues to advocate the use of plebiscites to find out what Puerto Ricans want. Even if 100% of Puerto Ricans would want to continue being a US colony, Puerto Rico would still be obligated to accept her sovereignty to then decide what she wants to do.

    The only thing these plebiscites are good for is to divide Puerto Ricans. A Puerto Rican didn’t invade us to make us a colony. When will we understand that we need to unite?

    This is why we must peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until Puerto Rico is decolonized!

    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why does Puerto Rico have a higher voter turnout than USA?

    Puerto Ricans have a voter turnout of about 80%. The United States (US) citizens have a voter turnout of about 50%. What accounts for this 30 % disparity? Could it be that Puerto Rican believe in democracy more than US mainland citizens?

    Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States since 1898. Since that time, Puerto Ricans who have wanted to decolonize their country have been either assassinated or imprisoned. Many Puerto Ricans are terrified of independence for Puerto Rico as a result of 116 years of repression.

    Since colonialism is always for exploitation, there are no opportunities in Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans. That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans out, than in Puerto Rico. Therefore, Puerto Ricans are desperate to find a political solution to our eternal colonialism!

    Most Puerto Ricans believe that decolonization can be achieved through the electoral process. But the electoral process is ultimately under the control of the government of the United States. Since the US government has ignored 33 United Nations resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and it has maintained incarcerated Puerto Rico political prisoner Oscar López Rivera for 33 years despite worldwide support to free him, there should be no doubt that the US government will never allow decolonization via the electoral process. If it were possible to do it that way, we would not have it!

    The better way to decolonize is for that 80% of the Puerto Rico voter turnout to instead protest in the streets to demand our inalienable right to self-determination and independence, and insist that the UN do the decolonization in conformity to international law. After all, colonialism is within the jurisdiction of international law and never under national law. That is why it is a crime against humanity to have a colony under international law, but not so under US law.

    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not true that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico

    The United States (US) government has made Puerto Ricans believe that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico. That is a lie. The purpose for that is to have Puerto Ricans fight amongst themselves. The plan has been a huge success! Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States for 116 years, and judging by the 80% voter turnout in the colonial elections, the majority of us has not realized that we have been lied to.

    In reality, there is only one option. The United Nations (UN) in 1960 determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Therefore, the only thing that Puerto Rico can do is to become her own nation. That means that the US must give Puerto Rico the sovereignty that the US illegally took away from her by virtue of the July 25, 1898 military invasion.

    Thus far, the US government has ignored the 33 UN resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. Instead, it has tried to hide these petitions, and at the same time appear to believe in democracy by pushing for plebiscites so that Puerto Ricans could decide between colonialism, being a US state, or independence (decolonization as required by the UN).

    The problem with the US pushed plebiscites are that they:

    1. don’t comply with international law that prohibits a nation to have a colony.
    2. don’t comply with international law that requires the empire to give the sovereignty it illegally took away to its colony.
    3. don’t comply with international law that requires that to have free elections, that country must be free first.
    4. have 2 options that are not permitted by international law- continuing being a colony and becoming a state of the country that has the colony. For the option of becoming a state of the country that has the colony to be considered, the colony must first become her own nation (decolonized).

    This is why we have to peacefully protest 3 times a year until the US government complies with the UN resolutions for Puerto Rico decolonization.

    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. ¿Deben los criminales estar a cargo de corregir los daños que hicieron?

    Los puertorriqueños votan en las elecciones de cada 4 años a un 80% de participación. Puerto Rico ha sido una colonia del gobierno de Estados Unidos (EEUU) por los últimos 116 años. Si las decisiones para Puerto Rico se toman en Washington DC, ¿para qué son las elecciones? Estas elecciones son para engañar al mundo que Puerto Rico es una democracia.

    La Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) declaró el colonialismo un crimen en contra de la humanidad en el 1960. La ONU le ha pedido 33 veces al gobierno de Estados Unidos que descolonice inmediatamente a Puerto Rico. EEUU ha ignorado estas peticiones. EEUU dice que la relación política entre Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos es un asunto domestico que no le compete a la ONU.

    Para aparentar que el gobierno de EEUU quiere descolonizar a Puerto Rico, EEUU favorece el uso de plebiscitos para saber lo que quiere los puertorriqueños. ¿No te parece eso suena inocente y democrático? ¿Cuál es el problema?

    Para empezar, la comunidad internacional ya tomó juicio y determinó que el colonialismo es ilegal. Por lo tanto, tener como opción en un plebiscito que Puerto Rico continúe siendo una colonia no es posible. Tampoco no es posible tener como una opción que Puerto Rico sea un estado de Estados Unidos. La razón tiene que ver con el comienzo de este artículo. Para tener elecciones libre, el país tiene que ser libre. Para que estos plebiscitos tengan validez internacional, Puerto Rico tiene que ser un país independiente primero.

    Lo que la gente tiene que entender es que Puerto Rico es colonia de EEUU porque el gobierno de EEUU lo quiere así. Por eso ha usado el terrorismo de estado para mantenerla. Por eso no quiere excarcelar al prisionero político de 33 años Oscar López Rivera. Y por eso es que es ridículo pensar que la descolonización de Puerto Rico es un asunto interno de EEUU, y que la ONU no tenga jurisdicción en la misma. ¡Si nosotros dejamos que el gobierno de Estados Unidos descolonice a Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico será colonia de EEUU para siempre!

    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Second Oscar – Mandela March in New York City 2015

    We will be having our 2nd Oscar – Mandela Protest March on Monday, June 22, 2015. We will start marching peacefully at 9 AM from Hunter College on East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, to East 43rd Street and Lexington Avenue. We will then go East (turning left) to end up at the Ralph Bunche Park on First Avenue (across from the United Nations).

    We will be at the park until 5 PM. We will be giving out flyers and talking to people about who Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera is. We will also be educating the public about Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the government of the United States (US).

    Most people don’t know that every year, usually on the Monday after Fathers’ Day, the United Nations holds its hearing about the decolonization of Puerto Rico. The petitioners will usually join our protest after this meeting.

    The UN determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Since then, the UN has issued 33 resolutions asking for the US government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government has ignored these resolutions. What kind of democracy is that?

    The US government tries to keep these hearings a secret. What we are trying to do is to get them out of the closet. The UN is in its 3rd decade trying to make the world colony-free. Please help us!

    Most people also don’t know that the United States government takes out 14 times more money than what it invests in Puerto Rico. But, that is what colonies are for!

    This savage exploitation impedes Puerto Rico’s ability to provide opportunities for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico. That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans living away from Puerto Rico than in their homeland.

    Oscar López Rivera has been incarcerated for 34 years for his struggle to decolonize Puerto Rico. Since colonialism is an international crime, international law gives Oscar the right to use whatever means necessary to decolonize his homeland. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years for doing the same thing as Oscar. This is why we say, Oscar López Rivera is our Nelson Mandela!

    United Partners for Puerto Rico Decolonization invites the public to be part of the tsunami of people that will be necessary to make the US government comply with the UN resolutions. These annual protests in Puerto Rico and at the UN are absolutely necessary, because, those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for all!

    José M López Sierra
    787-429-1981
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete