PDP Leaders to Demand Puerto Rico’s Decolonization Before UN
SAN JUAN – Popular Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate David Bernier will ask the United Nations (UN) Monday to reaffirm its commitment to the self-determination and decolonization of Puerto Rico. The party president’s decision comes about as part of efforts to force the U.S. government to clarify to the international organization its position on the colonial nature of the relationship it has with Puerto Rico in light of recent Supreme Court decisions establishing their territorial nature.
Bernier’s campaign director, Liza Ortiz, said he will also ask the UN to “authorize the president of the [UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization] to convene a dialogue between representatives of the governments of Puerto Rico and the United States to negotiate the terms and conditions of a process that ensures the exercise of the right to self-determination and the decolonization of Puerto Rico through formulas recognized by constitutional law and the constitutional experience of the United States.”
Gov. Alejandro García Padilla is also slated to depose before the UN.
“The governor will appear before the UN Monday at 10 a.m. and will deliver a message to the entity regarding the new political reality of Puerto Rico following the most recent expressions by the U.S. government,” said Jesús Manuel Ortiz, La Fortaleza Public Affairs secretary, who will accompany the governor as well as Secretary of State Víctor Suárez and Chief of Staff Grace Santana. Suárez met with García Padilla Thursday in La Fortaleza, Caribbean Business learned.
Bernier cited the PDP’s governing board for a 3 p.m. Friday meeting. The board is composed of 32 party members, with different views on what the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico should be, which may indicate an extended meeting.
Several PDP board members expressed their ideas or proposals Thursday. For José Alfredo Hernández Mayoral, who was head of the party’s federal affairs office until December, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision does not rule out the sovereignty of the commonwealth and recognizes that the island emerged in 1952 as “a new, sovereign political entity.”
However, Hernández Mayoral believes the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (Promesa), which is making its way through the U.S. Congress, does not augur well for the commonwealth because it is the first encroachment by the federal government on the Constitution of Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, who is a member of a coalition that is in favor of holding a constitutional assembly on the status issue, Frente Amplio pro Asamblea Constitucional de Status, advocates for Puerto Rico’s political sovereignty through a relationship in which the island is not part of the U.S. Constitution’s territorial clause.
“The PDP is committed to [Puerto Rico] in promoting a constitutional assembly on status. It is time to show that the PPD is an entity for everyone to have a voice,” the mayor said.
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