The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico?
Updated: Apr 2, 2018
Puerto Ricans do not own their country; the Island is controlled from Washington D.C. Today, Puerto Ricans do not have any political and economic powers to promote and defend their interests. Therefore, the political and socio-economic colonial model has collapsed and the moral and economic bankruptcy of the Colony has already been finalized.
Throughout history, world imperial countries have assigned euphemistic names to their colonies. The British referred to its colonies as Overseas Territories, the French called them Collectivite d'outre-mer, and the United States called them Non-Incorporated Territories. Since 1898, officially and legally, Puerto Rico is a Non-Incorporated Territory of the United States. Nothing more and nothing less.
The creation of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico by the United States Congress in 1952 modified cosmetically the colonial relation between Puerto Rico and the United States. The Non-Incorporated Territory of Puerto Rico is called in Spanish Estado Libre Asociado. This name literally translates into Free-Associated State, although, certainly, this translation does not represent the meaning of its words. It's not a State, because it's not sovereign, neither a State of the American Union, because it's not annexed to the United States. Also, it's not Free because it lacks political power and democracy, and neither is Associated because it lacks free will to be Associated. Therefore, for all official matters, and very conveniently, the United States refers to Puerto Rico as Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and not as Free-Associated State of Puerto Rico. As we know very well, in politics names or titles do not necessarily represent their content.
What is a Commonwealth then? The word “Commonwealth” does not carry a precise meaning; it could mean a lot of things and practically nothing at the same time. For instance, we have the British Commonwealth which is an international organization, and can be used to name a State of the United States, like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Also, it could be used for a sovereign nation like the Commonwealth of Dominica, or for a Non-Incorporated Territory of the United Sates, like Puerto Rico.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been in place for more than sixty years already. It was born in another era to respond to circumstances very different from today. After failing to adapt to Globalization, it's evident that a political and economic change is necessary to allow Puerto Ricans to respond to the challenges that they face daily.
Facing the crude reality of colonialism, many Puerto Ricans prefer not to deepen into the origin of the scam. Unfortunately, until Puerto Ricans become aware of their tragic reality, they will remain stupefied by the deceit and the anachronistic illusion, missing the train of opportunities and a prosper future.
Fortunately, the Puerto Rican nation is not up for debate. For Puerto Ricans, every day is a plebiscite in favor to maintain their Caribbean and Latin-American culture, the Spanish language, and a common history, committed to construct together a viable common future. Inevitably, the great debate for Puerto Ricans will revolt around the core issue of sovereignty and how they can reach social economic development.
To achieve their dignity and progress, Puerto Rico needs to reach competitiveness in a global world with sovereignty. To end the present colonial status is an essential element for integration into the world, that could allow the Caribbean nation to reach social justice, democracy and socioeconomic development. Equally essential, is to reform the Puerto Ricans governmental institutions to achieve competitiveness, agility and simplicity in the process of political and economic decision making. Finally, it is imperative that any political reform and socio-economic initiatives respond solely to Puerto Ricans interests, not to any other.