7 Obligations the U.S. Must Fulfill to Decolonize Puerto Rico | La Respuesta

July 25th marks 116 years since the U.S. Navy invaded and occupied the Latin American nation of Puerto Rico. While a number of people will be moved to protest this fact, as has the Nationalist Party every single year at the original site of the invasion in Guánica, others will be honoring the current colonial formula imposed, also on this day, 62 years ago.
Members of the Nationalist Party before their march in Guánica 2010.

Members of the Nationalist Party before their march in Guánica 2010.

That this formula, known as the Free Associated State or Commonwealth, has been repudiated for decades by several world governments and international organizations, most notably within the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, is of no concern to such people. In these circles, international law and procedure is inconsequential, and Puerto Rico’s status is either sufficient as is, or to be determined solely by U.S. Congressional law.

As an individual conscious of the popular and widespread demand for the decolonization of the Caribbean territory, i wanted to list some of the obligations i understand the U.S. as being responsible for fulfilling towards the Puerto Rican people under such a process.

My hopes are that we use this day to consider these obligations, comment on or even critique the importance of each, and, if desired, add others one feels should be included.

7 Obligations the U.S. Must Fulfill For Puerto Rico’s Decolonization:

1. End the imprisonment and threatening of people because of their political activities and associations. As a prerequisite for any process of decolonization, all who are in prison for their involvement in Puerto Rico’s independence movement must be released. Independence is recognized as an inalienable right of all peoples, so supporters of such must be free to take part in the decolonial process without fear of imprisonment.

2. Withdraw all federal and colonial institutions. In order to ensure an authentic process of self-determination, the Puerto Rican people must be free of pressure and intimidation from the FBI, U.S. Courts, and all other potentially repressive forces. Their presence in Puerto Rico only impedes the necessary construction of the island’s own institutions.

3. Support the free and objective education of the people around their status options. As the imperial power subjecting Puerto Rico to colonialism for 116 years, the U.S. has the responsibility to take part in studying and informing people as to the history and effects of its colonial relationship with the island, as well as its alternatives. This includes detailing the possible form(s) of reparations to be taken, and other economic aspects that would dispel the ungrounded belief that independence is an economic impossibility.

4. Prosecute those responsible for the murder of Puerto Rican independence activists. Just as independence activists currently imprisoned must receive justice, so must those killed by the FBI and other repressive agencies. The murders of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos (2005), Carlos Muñiz Varela (1979), and Santiago Mari Pesquera (1976), among others, must be thoroughly investigated, and all responsible parties must be held criminally liable.

5. Reverse the economic damage caused by decades of exploitation and mismanagement. Considering the current levels of poverty, unemployment, and resulting crime, all of which are connected to years of an irresponsible colonial government, the U.S. has an absolute responsibility to provide reparations to correct this situation. The U.S. must directly support the development of a viable economic infrastructure for Puerto Rico.

6. Ensure the active cleanup of former military sites like Vieques and Culebra. As with the effects of its economic damage, the U.S. is responsible for addressing the environmental damage it has caused in Puerto Rico after using its lands, most notably Vieques and Culebra, as a bombing range for decades. The chemicals dispersed in nearby beaches and oceans have produced considerable health issues among the people living in these locations that cannot be overlooked and must be attended to immediately.

7. Guarantee the participation of the Puerto Rican Diaspora in their homeland’s future. The colonial history of Puerto Rico, particularly the effects of its economic aspects, has forced the migration of Puerto Ricans to the point that those in the U.S. now outnumber those on the island. An authentic process of decolonization must involve these members of the Puerto Rican Nation by virtue of their nature in large part as economic exiles, and due to the fact that many maintain connections to the island, some in the form of remittances.

When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency. And it will continue as long as it is supported by Washington and tolerated by Europe – to our everlasting shame.
Noam Chomsky (via nc4l)



Not just for those in Detroit, but anywhere where the right to water is being restricted or denied!

hey everyone, this post has only gotten a thousand or so notes and only a single follower of mine has reblogged this from me specifically.

Detroit has been shutting water off for entire neighborhoods regardless of whether people paid bills or not. Even if they didn’t, should that really mean that they should die of thirst? Should there really be a cost to stay alive?

Please, spread this. Link it on other sites so someone down the line who needs this anywhere can take back water, something that should be the right of every human being.


“Liberals and conservatives are two factions of the same team (read capitalists); we just perceive them as markedly different because of the degree to which the spectrum of political possibilities has been narrowed… [to reflect] only the range of needs of private corporate power and nothing more.

…[They both] wholeheartedly participate in the concentration of power when they take a set of political positions which express the basic ideas of capitalism and then present a range of indoctrination within that framework — so any “solution” only enhances the strength of capitalist institutionalization, ingraining it in our minds as the entire possible spectrum of choice that there is.

This is the purpose of electoral politics, to present from our capitalist masters individuals whose ideas keep the flow of power moving upward; to normalize indoctrination; to, in effect, control the market by maintaining the perceived pedigree of capitalist ideas and restricting competition through the marginalization and repression of ideas new or contradictory.

…[The result is] our political system is the wholesale of government to private corporate interest. Capitalism’s existence is predicated on expansion, and as such, when the natural boundaries of freedom and democracy infringe upon this imperative, it must co-opt government to facilitate its survival. The repression of radicals by liberals and conservatives, both abroad and domestically, has always served these capitalist ends, and will continue to do so.

This comes at a great disservice to the American underclasses, for no viable alternatives have entered the public lexicon for nearly a century. By keeping ideas narrowly framed within a capitalist paradigm, the monopoly of power rests completely within a tiny spectrum of political and economic possibilities, all of which enable and perpetuate a statist, classist society.

To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, if you want to change government you have to attack the substance of it, not the shadow. Attacking the shadow, government alone, does nothing because in a political cartel it does not matter who we elect — liberal or conservative — so long as the cement between private corporate power and government remains un-fractured. Until this basic obstacle is confronted, none of us will exist outside an illusion of choice.

— Democrats & Republicans: A Political Cartel | AmericaWakieWakie 

I am a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust, the Nazis’ mass murder of Europe’s Jews. The tragic experience of my family and community under Hitler makes me alert to the suffering of other peoples denied their human rights today — including the Palestinians…. For me, the Israeli government’s actions toward the Palestinians awaken horrific memories of my family’s experiences under Hitlerism: the inhuman walls, the checkpoints, the daily humiliations, killings, diseases, the systematic deprivation. There’s no escaping the fact that Israel has occupied the entire country of Palestine, and taken most of the land, while the Palestinians have been expelled, walled off, and deprived of human rights and human dignity.
Suzanne Weiss (via socialismartnature)
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