Will the United States finally decolonize Puerto Rico?

11 May 2021 — MROnline

Puerto Rican flag outside the Capitol, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2 March, 2008


On April 14, 2021 the House Committee on Natural Resources held hearings on two competing bills to end Puerto Rico’s colonial status. The different bills reflect the changing political dynamics in the archipelago, as well as the Puerto Rican diaspora’s growing political clout. H.R.1522, the Puerto Rican State Admission Act, binds Congress to admit Puerto Rico into the Union if a majority vote in favor of doing so in a special referendum. H.R. 2070, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act, authorizes the insular legislature to convene a semi-permanent status convention where elected delegates decide on alternative self-determination options that are “outside the territorial clause of the constitution.” The bill creates a bilateral negotiating commission of U.S. government officials and the convention delegates. In a referendum, voters will select a territorial option, which may include statehood, independence and sovereign free association. The bill requires that Congress “approve a joint resolution to ratify the preferred self-determination option” approved in a referendum. Commonwealth (or Estado Libre Asociado–ELA in Spanish) is not included as an option in this status bill.

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Rejecting Politics of Fear, Marginalized Puerto Ricans Led the Uprising By Oscar Oliver-Didier

3 August 2019 — Truthout

De Puntas por Puerto Rico group poses in front of the Puerto Rico governor's mansion. The De Puntas por Puerto Rico group poses in front of the Puerto Rico governor’s mansion.Alexandra Rodríguez-Jusino and Angélica Jiménez of De Puntas por Puerto Rico.

On July 17, 2019, a massive protest of approximately 100,000 people convened in San Juan’s historic center to call for the immediate resignation of Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. A few days later, more than 500,000 people went on a national strike concentrated along one of the main highways of the San Juan metropolitan area.

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Puerto Rico in Flames By Atilio Borón

30 July 2019 — Internationalist 360°

The popular insurgency in Puerto Rico overthrew a corrupt, reactionary and servile government, which bowed its head and tolerated Donald Trump’s contempt and insults on the occasion of Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and the “humanitarian aid” that the New York tycoon personally went to distribute. Given that the Puerto Rican Constitution of 1952 does not provide for the call for elections in cases such as the current one, the resigned president must appoint his successor before August 2. Renewed popular pressure could overturn colonial regulations and force the installation of a transitional government, but it seems very unlikely that such a thing could happen. Other alternatives, such as a call for a Constitutional Assembly, seem closer to reality, as will be seen below. The unifying factor in the imposing street protests was the blatant corruption of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the phenomenal indebtedness into which the island’s government has fallen, and the leaking of his revealing homophobic conversations, his misogyny, and his contempt for the main opposition figures and even for the victims of the hurricane.

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Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Unravelling of US Empire

2 August 2019 — Consortium News

To be a law-abiding nation, the U.S. must grant self-determination in areas it has stolen, write Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

The results of centuries of U.S. empire, which began with Manifest Destiny that crossed the North American continent and grew into a global empire, are coming home to roost in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Puerto Ricans had an important victory in July with the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló after more than one million people protested to demand his removal. This was a powerful display of people power, but changing the head of state does not confront the real issues for Puerto Rico: ending colonialism and ensuring self-determination.

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Puerto Rican crisis deepens over Rosselló’s replacement By Rafael Azul

30 July 2019 — WSWS

The crisis of rule in Puerto Rico deepened on Sunday when Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vázquez, second in line to replace Governor Ricardo Rosselló, declined the appointment in a Twitter message. Rosselló announced his resignation from the governorship on July 24, following twelve days of mass popular protests. The governor’s resignation is to take effect on this Friday, August 2.

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Puerto Rico ousts corrupt governor — is ‘La Junta’ next?

29 July 2019 — Youtube

A historic people’s uprising in Puerto Rico has forced the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosello – but the struggle doesn’t stop there. Protesters have voiced opposition to ‘La Junta,’ the unelected, Washington-appointed board that controls the island’s finances and promotes harsh austerity. Guest: Dr. Rima Brusi, scholar-in-residence at the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Lehman College-City University of New York.
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Wall Street demands “discipline” as protests continue in Puerto Rico By Eric London

26 July 2019 — WSWS

Hours after Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s early Thursday morning announcement that he will resign on August 2nd, thousands demonstrated in downtown San Juan demanding the resignation of his successor, Justice Minister Wanda Vázquez Garced. Both Rosselló and Vázquez are members of the New Progressive Party (PNP) and the Democratic Party.

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Puerto Rico governor resigns after popular protests By Jerry White

25 July 2019 — WSWS

After two weeks of protests demanding his removal, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation late Wednesday night. In a statement posted online, Rosselló said he would step down on August 2. The announcement was met with cheers by thousands of protesters who gathered outside the governor’s La Fortaleza (The Fortress) residence in the Old San Juan district of the Caribbean island’s capital.

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Protests flare up in Puerto Rico: Hundreds of thousands flood streets

19 July 2019 — Counter Currents

Hundreds of thousands have marched in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory since 1898, for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday. They are calling for the resignation of Ricardo Rosselló, governor of the financial crisis shattered and billions of dollars debt burdened island territory. Protestors cleared of the streets Thursday morning after clashing with police all night.

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