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Letter to the Editor

The Progressive

Puerto Rico Should Look Within

by Gene Roman

September 1, 2000
Copyright © 2000 The Progressive. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2000 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All Rights Reserved.

Martin Espada correctly identifies the major obstacle to a resolution of the unjust bombing of Vieques, Puerto Rico, as a "problem of colonialism" ("iViva Vieques!," July issue). The present Commonwealth arrangement leaves the 3.5 million U.S. citizens and their elected officials on the island no political leverage to redress this legitimate grievance with the U.S. Navy. Under these conditions, nonviolent direct action is an honorable and necessary form of political protest.

Unlike Espada, I no longer hold the President and Congress accountable for the present political situation in Puerto Rico. The major opponents to a final and permanent resolution to the island's colonial status is the Popular Democratic Party, which still believes that the status gives Puerto Rico the "best of both worlds."

Vieques will continue to be a problem until Puerto Ricans are given an opportunity to express their political preferences in a Congressionally sponsored referendum . To paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault, my fellow Puerto Ricans, lies not with the U.S.. but with ourselves.

Gene Roman
Brooklyn, New York

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