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Viewpoint, Commentary

The San Juan Star

Emerging U.S. Consensus On Status Is Pragmatic

BY Arturo J. Guzman

February 11, 2004
Copyright ©2004 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA). All rights reserved.

After the White House’s recent announcement reaffirming President Bush’s commitment to resolving Puerto Rico’s colonial condition by nominating the integrants of the task forced charged with identifying and developing viable constitutional options, others, most notably Democratic candidate General Clark, followed his lead.

It is interesting to note that there is a consensus emerging from both Republicans and Democrats that the alternatives to be offered by the Congress will be limited to options that must not only meet constitutional requirements but also conform to internationally established parameters for decolonization: Full integration as a state or independence with or without a free association agreement.

For those of us who for many years have actively participated in demanding a decolonization process as part of our collective and individual rights as Americans, this consensus on the part of the metropolitan power does not come as a surprise but rather as the result and culmination of a long process of education and awareness in Washington most notably during the course of the process leading to and included as part of the "Young Bill".

Inevitably, as has been the case historically, supporters of the current condition continued as late as this week to "denounce" any process that would exclude the option which they refer to as "commonwealth" but which is nothing more than a semantic term that has deceivingly been utilized to cover up the constitutional and juridical reality that since 1898 Puerto Rico has remained an American colony under the full powers and authority of the U.S. Congress.

The Popular Democratic Party has renewed its ancient cries that democracy demands the inclusion of their semantic option and that a majority of Puerto Ricans support it, ignoring the fact that Washington is fully cognizant that they are wrong on both accounts. To begin with neither Puerto Rico nor Puerto Ricans have the power to demand anything from the Congress beyond its obligations under the Treaty of Paris.

While during the 1998 local plebiscite the P.D.P. got away locally with its tired lies that the congressional definition of "commonwealth" included in the ballot was the result of machinations of a republican and pro-statehood coalition and that it was inaccurate and untruthful thus forcing them to vote for "none of the above". This deception is soundly rejected in the Congress and later fully discarded as part of the hearings held by Congressman Doolittle on the subject of the proposed enhancements to the current condition which proved unacceptable and unconstitutional.

If the P.D.P. wants to use an obligation to democracy as an indictment to try and force their disingenuous inclusion, they cannot hide from the fact that Washington fully recognizes that when accurately defined by the Congress their "commonwealth" option received but a fraction of a single percentage point. The U.S. Congress has become painfully aware that it is ruling by forceful imposition by loosing over 99.9% of the consent of the ruled.

Interestingly in their cries for inclusion, the P.D.P. has been incapable or unwilling to admit that democracy is the reciprocal right of our fellow American tax payers who foot the bills for the excesses of a failed and embarrassing system of colonialism and who are empowered to express their own opinions through their voices in the Congress. This leads to the determination of only offering alternatives that represent the best interests of the Nation, and to the essential understanding that the Congress will not act against their own voting constituents and much less to satisfy the unconstitutional whims of a deceitful, local, obsolete and minority political ideology.

Thus, the emerging Republican-Democrat consensus is the result of their conclusion that a continuation of the current relationship may not be in the best interest of the United States politically, socially or economically.

Although in future columns I will expound on the subject in much more detail, suffice it to state that on a short term basis there is a growing impression in the Congress and in the Administration, being fueled by the local nationalist-socialist minority, that the best interest of the United States could be served by unilaterally granting Puerto Rico full sovereignty and independence.

All the Congress needs to finalize the proposition of granting independence as soon as possible is how to prevent the migration to the States of over two million Puerto Rican who are statutory American citizens. The bad news for Puerto Ricans who may feel differently is that the Congress has already found at least two legal historical precedents on how it can be done.

Arturo J. Guzman can be contacted at

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