“Colonialism is similar to the law of inertia. It is an absent force remaining at rest and only an external force can push it into motion.” In the meeting continuing the matter of decolonization, 35 petitioners outlined their views on Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States and stressed the importance of independence to the Specialty Committee.
Despite having been moved from the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, Puerto Rico has remained a colony of the United States of America, calling for the Island’s liberation. “There is a wall constituted by certain legal and trade restrictions that blocked economic development on the island,” stated the representative of the Movimiento Puertorriqueno Anticabotaje. Due to the deterioration of the island’s economy, half of the Puerto Rican population lives below the poverty level now, said a representative of Frente Socialista De Puerto Rico. Batasha Lycia Ora Bannan emphasized that the increase in disease on the island was caused by chemical exposure in addition to the imported foods required.
Among the petitioners were those who sought equality instead of independence, and suggested under the U.S. law Puerto Rico would become the 51st state. By integration, Puerto Rico would have a sound economic standing and structured governance. Additionally, already more than half of the Puerto Rican population resides in the continental United States now.
Just as important as the freedom of Puerto Rico, is the freedom of Oscar Lopez Rivera. He has been in jail for 34 years and has become a living legend as well as a symbol of freedom for Puerto Rico. The representative of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee phrases his imprisonment as “a betrayal of democracy and a symbol of fragrant dishonor.” Many of the speakers called for his immediate pardon and release.
Meeting: Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Date & Location: June 22, 2015; 10:00 – 13:00; Conference room 4, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Mark Anthony Bimbela , Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico; Pedro Pier Luisi, New Progressive Party; Julio Muriente, Movimiento Independista Nacional Hostosiano; Ramón Nenadich, Estado Nacional Soberano de Borinken; Jan Susler, National Lawyers Guild International Committee; Juan Dalmau, Puerto Rican Independence Party; José López Sierra, Campaneros Unidos para la Descolonizacion de Puerto Rico; José Umpierre Mellado, Acción Soberanista; José Ortiz Vélez, Frente Autonomista; Rosana Lopez Leon, Movimiento Puertorriqueño Anticabotaje; Manuel Rivera, Puertorriqueños Unidos en Accíon; Isamiel Muller Vasquez, Frente Socialista de Puerto Rico; Larry Alicea Rodriguez, Colegio de Profesionales de Trabajo Social de Puerto Rico; Eduardo Villanueva Munoz, Committee for Human Rights; Olga Sanabria Dávila, Comité de Puerto Rico para Naciones Unidas; Osvaldo Toledo, American Association of Jurists; Batasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Latino Justice PRLDEF; Annabel Guillen, Igualdad; José Enrique Melendez Ortiz, League of United Latin American Citizens; Osvaldo Burgos Pérez, Coalición Puertorriquena Contra la Pena de Muerte; Julio Juan Rolón, Puerto Rico No Se Vende; Geraldo Lugo Segarra, Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico; Ana M. Lopez, New York Coordinator to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera; Chris Hoeppner, Socialist Workers Party; Edwin Pagán Bonilla, Generación 51; Zoe M. Laboy, Ideological Statehood Reborn; Luis Toro Goyco , Convergencia Nacional Boricua (CONABO); Hector Bermudez Zenón, Grupo por Igualdad y la Justicia de Puerto Rico; Jesús Mangual, Fundación Puerto Rico en Marcha, Inc.; Richard Lopez Rodriguez, Fundación Puerto Rico en Marcha, Inc.; Phillip Arroyo, Coalition for the Presidential Vote in Puerto Rico; Arturo Otero, Latinos United for a Progressive America; Alexander González Torres, High School Republicans of Puerto Rico; Javier Torres, Brigada Guarionex; Maria De Loudes Guzmán, Movimiento Unión Soberanista; Mary Anne Grady Flores, Ithaca Catholic Workers Vieques Support Group
Written By WIT Representative: Ariel Granat
Edited By WIT Representative: Parth Shingala