CANO-SANTIAGO: Abolish the colony – Puerto Rican independence is long overdue – The Cavalier Daily
Despite decades From the debate in Congress on the subject of the Puerto Rican state, the conversation continues to be sidelined. While numerous members of Congress and women expressed support for independence, very few have openly pleaded for the Puerto Rican self-determination even independence. Meanwhile, Puerto Rican representatives continue to lack political power both in US politics and in decision-making on behalf of the island. Sadly, despite preaching self-determination and freedom for nations around the world, the United States has made no effort to grant equal rights to people. people of Puerto Rico and other US territories. The era of colonization is long gone, and it is time for the United States to practice what it preaches and abolish the colony.
To understand Puerto Rico’s current political status and why independence is necessary, it is important to understand its long the story of colonial occupation. Borinquen was a thriving island nation inhabited by an indigenous group called the Taino. Rather than recognizing the sovereignty of the Taino, the Spaniards invaded the island in 1493 and later named the island of Puerto Rico, or “Rich Port”. The Spaniards sought to drain all available natural resources – exploiting the land and its people for profit. During the Spanish-American period war, Porto Rico face with America in the hope of escaping Spanish colonialism. However, the United States did not intend to liberate Puerto Rico as the islanders had hoped. Instead, following the Treaty of Paris of 1898, the United States annexed the island in order to feat Puerto Rico’s flourishing sugar industry and use the island for military purposes.
Like the Spanish colonization, the 123 years of American colonial oppression were parasitic and painful for Puerto Rico. This includes historical constraints sterilizations Puerto Rican Women and Land Use for the United States military to test bombs. Equally heinous was the Jones Act of 1917, which imposed US citizenship on Puerto Ricans without their consent. It was not an act of charity – rather the United States needed its allegiance for First World War and benefited from the enrollments of Puerto Rican men in the army. In addition, the United States wanted to conceal the true nature of the occupation under the appearance to extend US citizenship to Puerto Ricans. Even today, the United States continues to hide this by referring to the island as a Commonwealth. However, Puerto Rico is a modern colony and is the alone Latin American country never gained independence from its colonial oppressors.
Now that the United States no longer needs Puerto Rico for its military efforts or for its material resources, it sees Puerto Rico as an economic burden as the island struggles with decades of paralysis debt. A proposal raison because the denial of statehood by the federal government is because the United States does not want to inherit these problemsThe irony is that historical foreign exploitation often leads to political and economic instability for Isle savings. This is not surprising as foreign powers often fail to understand the unique needs of island economies, which include the necessary protection against disasters from frequent and socio-economically devastating hurricanes. Even with the economy derogations, the United States has continuously failed to correctly aid Puerto Rico and is an important factor why hurricane maria proved it devastating and led to massive displacements of residents in 2017.
The federal government’s solutions to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, such as the Puerto Rico Surveillance, Management and Economic Stability Act in 2016 – have kept Puerto Rico financially dependent on the United States and have very limited autonomy. PROMESA’s intention was to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt, but instead it became a method of control. Under PROMESA, the US government has more power than the Puerto Rican government, which is unable to approve its own budget. In an attempt to stimulate the economy, the United States even used tax incentives as a method to attract rich non-Puerto Ricans to establish permanent residences on the island. The small percentage of native Puerto Ricans who are able to afford the rising cost of living on the island often work in the service of wealthy American tourists.
While the statehood issue remains one of the most pressing issues for the island, it would not fix Puerto Rico’s economy. Instead, Puerto Rico would become the poorer state in the nation. After having voted overwhelmingly for statehood many times since the 1970s, the United States continues to ignore Puerto Rico’s desire to be equal in every way. However, after years of repression, there is a growing independence movement on the island. If Puerto Rico chooses independence, the United States can help with the transition in several ways. On the one hand, they owe Puerto Rico 123 years of colonial repairs in order to curb the debt crisis and repair the economy. They can further expand their alliance as Puerto Rico begins to make treaties and begins to trade with other nations.
Puerto Rican history is more than the pain of colonization. It is the story of a force in the face of adversity and of a beautiful language and mixed cultures. Puerto Rican culture must be preserved and passed down from generation to generation, and Puerto Ricans deserve autonomy keep telling this story. As Boricua myself, I yearn to see my beautiful Borinquen rise from his colonial oppressors. I believe in Puerto Rico’s strength and resilience to recover from its financial debt, build a stronger economy, and accommodate its unique needs. The United States cannot preach self-determination and freedom without liberating the people of Puerto Rico and recognizing the island as a sovereign nation.
Yssis Cano-Santiago is an opinion columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at [email protected]
The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Cavalier Daily. The columns represent the views of the authors alone.