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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
THE PUERTO RICO HERALD
"The Commonwealth Was Only But A Step Forward
In Puerto Rico's Permanency In The Union"
January 31, 2000
Copyright © 2000 THE PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.
To The Puerto
I would like to express my
deepest gratitude to all the collaborators of the Herald. Thank
you all who are writing on the Puerto Rican situation. I myself
have a deep concern over our present situation, as well as what
is to be our future.
I do not know if its too late
for statehood, but it is certainly too late for independence.
We Puerto Ricans must ask ourselves in regards to a man that all
of us agree to admire, our first elected governor Luis Munoz Marin.
Way back when, he was an independence
supporter, way back when we had nothing to lose by opting for
independence, he had the chance to fight for it. Why then, we
must ask, he chose to do otherwise? Why he chose to fight for
the union between our island and the states? The answer to me
is simple, we had much to gain, not only economically, but as
a people. Not too many people admit it, but we Puerto Ricans are
as much different from Americans as we are similar. We share similar
interests, and goals. And we want to help in all we can, we want
to work hand in hand with the rest of the nation.
Our nation is changing as we
know it. In a few years, Latinos will become the first minority
group surpassing Black Americans who have been here long before
Latinos officially migrated here. Spanish will be a common language
along with English. Why shouldn't Puerto Ricans fit in this world
to come? Why shouldn't we fit in our world now? We can.
I believe Luis Munoz Marin
foresaw this, because he understood the meaning of what America
stands for, what America was, and what it was to become. He saw
that Puerto Rico was there to enrich America, to help, and to
work side by side. The Commonwealth was only but a step forward
in Puerto Rico's permanency in the Union, as a means for the island's
economics and education to catch up with the rest of the state's.
The Commonwealth has done its job, and has done it very well.
But it can no longer do its task because it has already done what
it was meant to do. Now it's time to take that step further.
I understand all the fears
on both sides of the shore. The loss of culture, and language,
etc. But look around what's happening, what I mentioned. America
is changing. It is to benefit all Americans, Hispanics, blacks,
whites, Indians, Asians, you name it. This is also our place,
our land. A land who had conquered us, and now a land that we
have conquered. Taking a step towards separation now is an economic,
cultural, and social suicide. And I think more and more people
are realizing this.
The independence supporters
are taking the Vieques situation to their advantage, giving mainland
Americans the feeling that Puerto Ricans don't want them there.
This is not true. I for one wish the Navy either to retire and
do their thing else where, or to remain and give most of the lands
back to Vieques. Either way, see I as most Puerto Ricans, respect
our armed forces, and view them as something crucial and necessary
for our security.
But it still cannot justify
the loss of lives of any kind because of this necessity in a time
of relative peace. That is our main argument. The armed forces
are not only there to make war, but they should also be there
to protect lives. A task they failed to do in Vieques, and other
places. American lives, including Puerto Ricans, and any and every
life is worth too much to keep jeopardizing them unnecessarily.
With this I leave you, and
once again thank you very much for your efforts for Puerto Rican
self-determination, and for your time.
Julio Figueroa is a 21 year old Puerto Rican
currently studying in a 4 year liberal arts college in Sioux City,
Iowa. Although born in Caguas, he considers himself from Cayey,
PR. He writes that "I have been worried about our political
situation since the age of 12, and have been studying the issue
on my own ever since."