By Hector Lopez
Independence is an inalienable right, which means that it is a right that cannot be renounced.
The Declaration of Independence inspires not only U.S. people but everybody in the world, including Puerto Rican patriots, who take it very seriously, to the point that many have given their freedom and their lives for the cause of our independence.
Elections held under military occupation are undemocratic and illegitimate. The United States is a signatory to both these documents and is in violation of them in regards to Puerto Rico and in regards to Iraq, for example, and in many other cases throughout the world.
In 1897 Spain was forced by the struggle of Latin America and that of the Puerto Rican Nation to grant Puerto Rico the “Charter of Autonomy” and according to International Law, by virtue of that grant Puerto Rico became an autonomous nation that acquired a juridical personality of its own. That meant that Spain had no right to cede Puerto Rico to any other nation, and the U.S. had no right to invade Puerto Rico because it was not a belligerent party in the so-called Spanish-American War. That means the United States is in Puerto Rico illegally in violation of the set of laws that it vowed to respect, and also is in violation of the high ideals of freedom, liberty, and the collective human rights of a people, the Puerto Rican people.
In Puerto Rico the public and the private schools are instrumental in denationalizing the people of the country by denying the population the study of their true history. The media and the schools are totally married to the interests of the colonizer to misinform, dumb-down and manipulate the population into believing that the lies and misinformation fed to them is the absolute truth. These lies have already been programmed into the genetic fabric of the Puerto Rican national mentality. For example, if a child grows up in a prison and knows no other life, he or she will think that that is normal, that there is no other way to live. That is what has happened to the people of Puerto Rico, and that results in the incredible outcome of the elections, like voting for statehood or the status quo, which are both colonial answers of a population that has gone through what I just described. When peoples are colonized, they do irrational things like refusing to be free, identifying with the oppressor, and suffering an identity crisis that confuses them as to what their nationality really is. It is as if we have been kidnapped and are suffering from a sort of “Stockholm Syndrome” and identify with the kidnapper. That is why, I believe, elections held under military occupation are null and void and have been condemned by the international community.
Elections held in Puerto Rico are a farce, manipulated by the CIA and the very wealthy, who have no interest in independence. The wealthy own the mass media and the “educational system” which is a system designed to intimidate and brainwash the people of Puerto Rico into accepting their status as political slaves of the U.S. corporations and their tool, the U.S. government, just like the people of this country, who are under a government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.
When I say the wealthy, they are not generally Puerto Ricans, and those who are Puerto Rican are a minority who have lost any notion of nationhood. For practical purposes they are Yankees because they have no allegiance to the Puerto Rican nation and its symbols; in other words, they have become denationalized and have renounced their nationality. That type of “Puerto Rican” votes in Puerto Rico as a Yankee and not as a Puerto Rican who has allegiance to her or his country. Imagine if the U.S. had been taken over by a foreign power, and with lies and misinformation the people of the U.S. become “un-American,” like many Puerto Ricans who have become un-Puerto Rican. Imagine these “un-Americans” have lost their sense of nationhood, become loyal to the occupier, and then hold elections to decide the fate of their country. Would you consider those that are addicted to the foreign power to be Yankees that can decide for those that are loyal to their country? After all, self-determination is for those who confirm the Motherland, not for those who deny it and have become part of the occupying force. When one votes, it is done as a U.S. citizen, not as a foreigner loyal to a foreign country. Again, the Motherland is represented by those who confirm it, not by those who deny it. Pro-statehood “Puerto Ricans” cannot control self-determination for the legitimate Puerto Ricans who are 100% loyal to their country.
So, some people tell me that we are citizens of the U.S. and that for this reason we should be loyal “Americans,” but what they don’t understand is that the U.S. citizenship was forced on us by edict, unilaterally, without consultation and by the force of military occupation, with the Jones Act of 1917. This was no “grant” of citizenship, it was an aggression against a Latin American nation, to assimilate us and take possession of our national resources, to acquire a market to dump the excess low quality products, and to conscript our men to fight imperial wars. The U.S. government used the model of citizenship that was forced on the African slaves and the American Indians to design the citizenship forced on us. On paper any U.S. citizen can renounce their citizenship, but Puerto Ricans tried that and they were denied that right. In other words, Puerto Ricans cannot renounce the imposed U.S. citizenship.
Having no votes in U.S. Presidential or Congressional elections, we the people of Puerto Rico do not elect the U.S. government, yet that same government governs us. That in plain English is called tyranny, a dictatorship by the U.S. government against the Puerto Ricans, an enslaved people.
The people of Puerto Rico have been intimidated, brainwashed, and even terrorized. In Puerto Rico there is a constant propaganda against independence and we have suffered massacres and persecutions at the hand of the U.S. government, but of course they won’t tell you about that.
In 1935 and in 1937 the U.S. Government terrorized the People of Puerto Rico with the Rio Piedras Massacre and the Ponce Massacre. The blood of heroes and Martyrs was shed for our sacred right to Independence. In the Ponce Massacre 150 were wounded and 21 were killed. My father and his two brothers survived that carnage.
Our right to Independence is sealed with the blood of those patriots who died so that the motherland could live.
During the years of North American colonization, the citizens of the 13 Colonies opened up new territories, settled them and wiped out the Americans, in other words the Native Americans. After a while the settlers in these territories asked the U.S., their country, to accept them into statehood. Well, that is not the case of Puerto Ricans; we are not settlers from the U.S., we are a nation of our own who survives under the military occupation of a foreign power. So the idea of statehood is something that does not apply to us, we are a colonial people living under the yoke of a foreign invader.
We have a history of rebellion against colonialism, and in the process we have forged a nation with founders and other heroes who have sacrificed their fortune, life and liberty for the sacred ideal of independence. We also have the right to the pursuit of happiness and the right to fly our flag without the shadow of another.
Up until 1952 we were not allowed to fly our flag and were forced to fly only the U.S. flag. Would any citizen of this country allow that unless they were brainwashed? Did you know that in Puerto Rico the puppet authorities do not allow monuments for our most prominent heroes? Yet our Benedict Arnolds have all kinds of monuments for themselves even before they die. So the U.S. government has a special place for the Benedict Arnolds of Puerto Rico and why not here? This is a double standard.
England imposed the Sea Acts on the 13 colonies and the U.S. imposes on us the Laws of Cabotage by which we cannot trade with other countries. We are a captive nation who have no control of our own affairs and our destiny is in the hands of an oppressor who rules us in the name of democracy and freedom.
The U.S. Government cannot represent us because we do not elect that government and to elect it would bring us close to assimilation.
If the U.S. really believes in all those ideals it should grant Puerto Rico its independence immediately. Otherwise, it forces the people of the U.S. to be accomplices in this injustice and hypocrisy.
Hector Lopez joined the Green Party about 10 years ago or more.
“My parents brought me to the U.S. when I was 13 years old. Our first stop in the U.S. was Waterbury Connecticut where my family suffered a lot of deprivation and poverty. I graduated from college in 1984. My father survived the Ponce Massacre of 1937 and that alone has made an impression on my life that can not be erased from my mind. I almost was unable to be writing this bio to the public if my father had died in that massacre, I would not be here to tell. I find the Green Party to be very supportive of the cause of Puerto Rico’s collective human rights and that of all humanity.”