Where Are Today’s Patriots?

By Luis Torres

With an oversight Board to help manage Puerto Rico’s debt stricken economy of over $70 billion dollars, while at the same time the island filling for the biggest municipal Bankruptcy in the history of the USA, Governor Ricky Rosello held a bad timed pointless and ridiculous plebicite were only 23% of the registered voters actually went out and vote for the island to become part of the Union. 

From this 23% of voters (mainly all from the New Progressive Party PNP) 97% choosed statehood, now we have to see the puppet governor making a fool of himself by asking Congress to act on the will of just this 23% (good luck with that)

But to see where we are now, we have to go back in time and check what was the trigger for Puerto Ricans to be so submissive​ against the USA. 

With the Foraker Act of April 2, 1900 signed by Presindet Mackenley, the first civilian government in Puerto Rico was implemented, Section VII of the Foraker Act also established Puerto Rican citizenship (will touch on this later on) what the Foraker Act really did, was establishing Puerto Rico as a Colony of the USA.

Then came the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917- this was an act of Congress signed by President Woodrow Wilson, that gave Puerto Ricans born after April 25, 1898 US Citizenship.

This Act superseded the Foraker Act, The Jones Act separated the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of Puerto Rican government, provided civil rights to the individual, and created a locally elected bicameral legislature. Also, the United States Congress had the power to stop any action taken by the legislature of Puerto Rico. The U.S. maintained control over fiscal and economic matters and exercised authority over mail services, immigration, defense and other basic governmental matters. this as of today, has never changed. Can you imagine the islanders waking up on March 3, 1917 as US citizens? What the hell they would have cared, they don’t know the language, don’t know what they are pledging allegiance to, don’t know the culture etc. My grandfather​ used to tell me that when he was in school (Central High) they had to said the pledge of allegiance before entering the classroom…this is brainwashing at the highest level.

What the Jones Act really accomplished, was to put in the minds of Puerto Ricans that we couldn’t live without the USA from that point forward, therefore we were colonized mentally and that has been the mindset eversense.

In 1920 came in as part of the Jones Act, The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 that prevents foreign-flagged ships from carrying cargo between two American ports (a practice known as cabotageBecause of the Jones Act, foreign ships inbound with goods from Central and South America, Western Europe, and Africa, cannot stop in Puerto Rico, offload Puerto Rico-bound goods, load mainland-bound Puerto Rico-manufactured goods, and continue to U.S. ports. Instead, they must proceed directly to U.S. ports, where distributors break bulk and send Puerto Rico-bound manufactured goods to Puerto Rico across the ocean by U.S.-flagged ships.

Puerto Rican consumers ultimately bear the expense of transporting goods again across the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea on U.S.-flagged ships subject to the extremely high operating costs imposed by the Jones Act. This also makes Puerto Rico less competitive with Caribbean ports as a shopping destination for tourists from home countries with much higher taxes (like mainland states) even though prices for non-American manufactured goods in theory should be cheaper since Puerto Rico is much closer to Central and South America, Western Europe, and Africa.

Ultimately, the island couldn’t get afloat with this cabotage law that has strangled the citizens​ of the island for 93 years, this is ridiculous and abusive​.

Fast forward 1940’s we have the figure of Don Luis Muñoz Marín, a Well known and respected politician who believed in the independence of the Island, while been President of The Senate, Muñoz Marín helped past Operation Bootstrap to supposedly boost the economy, in those years sugar was the main source of income, well all the Sugar Mills pass to Americans hands ( just to give an example) by the end of the decade Muñoz Marín helped also pass Law 53 The Gag Law, which would restrain the rights of the independence and Nationalist movements in the island. ( A 180° change) one of the victims was Pedro Albizu Campos.

1948 The Popular Democratic Party of Muñoz Marín won the election and he became the first Puerto Rican governor, unfortunately his independence tendencies were long gone at this point and make way for the biggest nonsense the world had ever seen, The Free Associate State (ELA) or a version of a Commonwealth in general terms that was implemented in 1952. By the way, the Island it’s not Free, not associated (association is a two way street, not in our case) and we’re not a State.

In those years, we moved​ from poverty to misery seen how the island was been exploited from all it’s resources and moved to a complete dependency from the mainland turning Puerto Rico into a Nanny State.

While all this was happening, the Independence movement in Puerto Rico decline from a 17% still in 1952 to receiving the least support, less than 4.5% of the vote, in the status referendums in 1967, 1993 and 1998.

Under Pedro Rosello administration ( the current governor’s daddy) we saw the Island loosing section 936 which gives mainland United States companies an exemption from federal taxes on income earned in Puerto Rico, whether it comes from operations or interest on local bank deposits. On this, there were many opinions stating that loosing this section, the island wasn’t going to be affected well, it did. Puerto Rico had more pharmaceuticals per square mile than any other place in the world, now a lot of this pharmacies and other companies like 7-up and Motorola (just to name a few) had moved to Mexico since then.

 In 1993 something very interesting happened, Mr. Fufi Santori a well known blogger, ex basketball player, and pro independence supporter Renounced his US Citizenship but in his case, he didn’t went thru the proper channels, since he didn’t recognized this, stating that been of Puerto Rican nationality was an inalienable right, he was among the ones that came up with a Puerto Rican Passport and he handed more than 1,500 of them.

Then on July 11, 1994 Juan Mari Brás also renounced his American citizenship at the American Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. He did this to test a technicality in United States citizenship laws.”, according to writer Mary Hilaire Tavenner. Brás believed that a person holding United States citizenship and who subsequently renounces his citizenship would be deported to his country of origin. As Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, Brás theorized the U.S Department of State would have to deport him or any Puerto Rican who renounced his or her U.S. Citizenship to Puerto Rico. The U.S. State Department approved Mari Brás’ renunciation of his American citizenship on November 22, 1995.

 

On November 18, 1997,  Miriam J. Ramírez de Ferrer, a pro-statehood attorney then took Mari Brás before the Puerto Rico Supreme Court alleging that if he had renounced his United States citizenship, then he also had renounced his right to vote in the local Puerto Rican elections. The Puerto Rican Supreme Court sided with Mari Brás, finding that “as a citizen of Puerto Rico” Mari Brás was eligible to vote so his vote on the elections of 1996 was valid as a non US citizen.

In 1998, 14 Puerto Ricans from Aguadilla, went to the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic to renounce their Citizenship  In the Lozada Colón v. U.S. Department of State position asserted that renunciation of U.S. citizenship must entail renunciation of Puerto Rican citizenship as well. The court does decide to not enter to the merits of the citizenship issue. After this debates In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, on June 4, 1998, the U.S. State Department reversed its November 22, 1995 decision and declared that Mari Brás was still a US citizen. The U.S. State Department argued that as Mari Brás had continued living in a US territory, he was still a US citizen. According to the State Department, US Immigration and Naturalization law stipulates that anyone who wants to give up their US citizenship must live in another Country.

On all this, the independence party (PIP) movement was nowhere to be found, they never supported this transcendent actions of this fellows Puerto Ricans trying to make sense of their true Nationality. 

On June 15, 2016 we saw how the ELA was not a discolonization venue, it was clear that the island has always been a Colony of the USA, more over it let us know that the mainland has never have the intention of including the island into the Union since we got invaded in 1898.

Now let me show you the real Puerto Rican, we our passionate about our culture regardless of our political views, we follow our athletes whenever they’re in the spotlight like we saw in the World Baseball Classic where we finish 2nd in the world or Monica Puig winning the first Gold Medal in the Olympics of 2016 for the island, we did this as a NATION, not as a colony.

If Puerto Rico ever becomes a State (which I think it will never happen) we are going to lose or Nationality.

In my opinion, the only way Puerto Rico will get out if this abbis, it’s by joining the international community, we cannot depend on a nation that has crippel us economically and mentally for 114 years, which have sale us the notion that we can’t survived without their help, it’s time to get up our asses and defend what’s ours instead of giving in like we have been, 6 million Puerto Ricans, one voice, one nation PUERTO RICO.

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One thought on “Where Are Today’s Patriots?

  1. Pingback: Where Are Today’s Patriots? | Luis T. – rudolfblog

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