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"Churumba" Cordero: Commonwealth Is A U.S. Colony

May 15, 2002
Copyright © 2002
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved. 

PONCE (AP) — Ponce Mayor Rafael "Churumba" Cordero said Wednesday that Puerto Rico will not be able to develop itself politically and economically while it is a colony of the United States.

In a letter sent to President George W. Bush, the Popular Democratic Party mayor said the United States cannot talk about civil rights when it "is violating" daily the rights of Vieques residents.

Furthermore, he accused the United States, as a colonial power, of liquidating economic laws and regulations that benefit Puerto Rico.

"Since 1898 to the present day, history has demonstrated that Puerto Rico is a U.S. colony and can’t be developed into a self-sufficient economic model because of obstacles from the U.S. legislative and executive branches," Cordero said in his letter to Bush.

He also said Puerto Rico and the United States should work together to solve the problem of the status of Puerto Ricans, "with intellectual honor from both parties."

"After 104 years of U.S. dominion over Puerto Rico, I think a status formula should be created that entails self-determination for Puerto Rico, with pacts that guarantee good relations between both nations," Cordero said.

Cordero, who has exchanged letters with Bush on political matters in the past, does not suggest any specific status to change the so-called "colonial relationships" of the Commonwealth.

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