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jueves, 25 de diciembre de 2014

Puerto Rico is still a colony after 54 years of President Kennedy’s UN address

Click on the above link to watch a video of President Kennedy’s address to the United Nations.

Eleven years before President Kennedy’s address to the United Nations (UN) on September 25, 1961, the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party revolted on October 30, 1950.  That prompted the hiding of Puerto Rico colonial relationship with the creation of what is presently known as “The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico” on July 25, 1952.  Ironically, on that same date 54 years earlier, the US militarily invaded Puerto Rico.  The following year (1953), the US government deceived the UN into removing Puerto Rico from its list of colonies.  Two years later, 4 Puerto Ricans attacked the US Congress on March 1, 1954 to call the world’s attention to Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the United States. 

The UN in 1960 declared colonialism a crime against humanity.  This address by President Kennedy to the UN occurred the following year.  At about 24 minutes into his speech, he says:

"I do not ignore the remaining problems of traditional colonialism which still confronts this body.  Those problems will be solved with patience, good will and determination.  Within the limits of our responsibility in such matters, my Country intends to be a participant and not merely an observer in the peaceful, expeditious movement of nations from the status of colonies to the partnership of equals.  That continuing tide of self-determination which runs so strong has our sympathy and our support.    

But colonialism in its harshest forms is not only the exploitation of new nations by old, of dark skins by light, or the subjugation of the poor by the rich. My Nation was once a colony, and we know what colonialism means; the exploitation and subjugation of the weak by the powerful, of the many by the few, of the governed who have given no consent to be governed, whatever their continent, their class, or their color.”
The US government has not lived up to these words.  The fact of the matter is that it has done the opposite.

Careful analysis of history shows that the US government has never supported self-determination for Puerto Rico in a peaceful and expeditious movement from a colony to a partnership of equals.  On the contrary, it has used violence, intolerance and state terrorism to maintain Puerto Rico as its colony for the past 116 years.  It has also ignored 33 UN resolutions asking the US to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico.  It has also refused under tremendous worldwide pressure to free from prison Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar Lopez Rivera (the world’s longest held political prisoner). 

Puerto Ricans have shown the patience that Kennedy spoke of, but the US government has never shown the good will and determination to meet its responsibility.   That is why, we must peacefully protest at least 3 times a year on a permanent basis until we decolonize Puerto Rico.  Join and be a part of the tsunami of people to obligate the US government to comply with the UN resolutions.  These marches are necessary because, those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all!  More information late in January 2015.

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