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PDP Questioned on Political Status Stance

By on February 15, 2016

SAN JUAN – The independence and statehood movements are both criticizing, separately, the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) for allegedly not prioritizing the issue of future political relations between Puerto Rico and the United States.

The PDP, through its president and gubernatorial candidate, David Bernier, has said it will not issue statements on the matter until the U.S. Supreme Court decides in the Puerto Rico v. Sánchez Valle case involving the double jeopardy clause, in which U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli’s friend of the court brief argues that Puerto Rico is a territory controlled by the U.S. Congress and therefore lacks the sovereignty needed to try those prosecuted for the same offense in federal court.

Veteran independence leader Rubén Berríos, who invited the island’s political leadership to act in unison on the issue of political status before President Barack Obama and the United Nations, has condemned Bernier’s refusal of the invitation.

The president of the New Progressive Party, Pedro Pierluisi, has criticized Bernier, saying, “It is unfortunate that in these times, when Puerto Rico needs a leadership committed to stepping forward to provide solutions to the problems we face as a people, David Bernier has chosen to continue to postpone the discussion of the status issue.”

“If there is something this crisis has made evident, it is that solving the status issue is a priority. Leaders wouldn’t shy away from discussing such an important issue for our island,” Pierluisi added.

PDP General Secretary Javier Echevarría Vargas has said the Berríos is wrong because Bernier has made his position on what should be the substantive proposals and process regarding the issues of political status and the development of the commonwealth clear since the day he announced his gubernatorial candidacy.

Former Gov. Pedro Rosselló, under whose administration the issue of political relations between the United States and the island was forcefully addressed, has described the PDP’s position as unacceptable.

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