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THE SAN JUAN STAR
October 28, 1998
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Last week's columns by Mssrs. Ron Walker and Juan Manuel Garcia-Passalacqua
deserve closer scrutiny. In the first instance Mr. Walker extols as brilliant
the P.D.P.'s decision to support the 5th column ("none of the above")
in the upcoming December 13th plebiscite, almost as if he were still acting
as a spokesperson for former Resident Commissioner Jaime Fuster. Mr. Walker
and the P.D.P. are wrong. Totally wrong.
Regardless of the disinformation and outright deceit that has been perpetrated
for forty six years upon the people of Puerto Rico by the P.D.P.'s leadership
in describing the true nature of the relationship between the United States
and Puerto Rico, one fact remains clear: as far as Washington is concerned
the current relationship is accurately defined under the first column. Although
they persist in telling the people here in Puerto Rico that the definition
that will appear in the first option of the ballot does not correspond to
that of "Commonwealth", P.D.P. leaders are also fully aware that
these arguments have absolutely no weight or credibility with the Legislative,
Executive and Judicial branches of the federal government.
Thus, as a result of this decision, the first column will remain "orphaned"
as it is very doubtful that more than a handful of voters will support it.
In conclusion, and regardless of how the voting is divided among the other
four options, the P.D.P.'s action will assure that the message Washington
will receive is one of massive and overwhelming rejection for the "Commonwealth"
that juridically and actually exists.
In the second instance Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua refers to the bill filed
by Cong. Dan Burton (H.R. 4766) to assure the availability of English language
instruction in Puerto Rico as applicable to "Commonwealth" ONLY
IF the statehood option were to receive a majority in the plebiscite. That
is also misleading and wrong.
The Bill in question (to be re-introduced in the 106th Congress) has
absolutely nothing to do with the plebiscite or its results. As a matter
of fact it applies exclusively to the status-quo. Time and time again, Congressman
Burton has personally assured me and others, of his concern and determination
that never again are the people of Puerto Rico going to be purposely deprived
(for political or ideological reasons of any local party in power) of their
absolute right, should they individually choose to exercise it, of a good
English language education.
Arturo J. Guzman