Letter to The New York Times: The root of Puerto Rico’s crisis is the colonialism

New York Time Puerto Rico

Dear Editorial Board:

This letter[1] is in reaction to you editorial “Save Puerto Rico Before It Goes Broke” from October 24th 2015[2]. The story that you explain is right but it doesn’t go deep into the root of the problem. The real problem is colonialism.

As you know, on May 12th 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the United States of America (U.S.) bombarded San Juan, Puerto Rico. Later, on July 25th 1898, the U.S. invaded and occupied Puerto Rico. These events led to a 60% devaluation of Puerto Rican peso (the local currency at that time), a coup that left a military government in office, and established a system that deprived Puerto Ricans from fundamental human rights. Since this point of time, Puerto Rico has been a colonial state with imperialist laws that restrain economic development in a sustainable manner.  One example of these laws is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Leyes de Cabotajes) which requires that all marine transports must be carried by U.S. owned vessels.

I agree with your editorial about Puerto Rico’s public finances mismanagement. However, those currently in office are from the same political party bribed by the U.S. to create the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico” with the purpose of misleading the United Nations and removing Puerto Rico from the list of colonies. This political and economic model has created economic dependency, extension and promotion of colonialism and degradation of Puerto Rican’s nationality.

The Unites States’ Government (The President and The Congress) need to recognize that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was repealed by the 2012 Plebiscite. The U.S. must allow a decolonization process. Puerto Rico’s independence is the only political status that will offer tools to achieve sustainable economic development and the only one that will reaffirm our own nationality and culture.

Re-negotiation of public debt should be embedded into the decolonization process. It is obvious that the current economy is not producing enough to pay the obligations. But it is important to understand and admit that Puerto Ricans are not solely responsible, this problem has its roots in the current inefficient political and economic system, the Commonwealth. If we don’t tackle the real problem, the colonialism, the symptoms will never be eradicated.

Best regards,

Jesús M. Pizarro, a Puerto Ricans

[1] This letter was sent to the NYT on October 25, 2015 but it was not publish by the NYT.

[2]The Editorial Board (Oct 24, 2015). Save Puerto Rico Before It Goes Broke. Retrieved on October 25, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/opinion/sunday/congress-should-help-puerto-rico-restructure-its-debt.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

Author: pizarrojesus

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