PIP denounces celebration of US citizenship
SAN JUAN – Amid the House and Senate’s preparation to hold a special joint session Thursday to commemorate the centennial of Puerto Ricans’ U.S. citizenship, Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) legislators insisted there is no reason to celebrate.
Sen. Juan Dalmau and Rep. Denis Márquez expressed their rejection of the celebration organized by the New Progressive Party (NPP) majority, arguing that U.S. citizenship was “imposed,” and has represented “undemocratic humiliation” and the prosecution of thousands of independence supporters throughout the years.
They said they won’t participate in the event, for which the House floor was adorned with large U.S. and Puerto Rico flags, as well as red, white and navy blue banners.
“Celebrating the imposition of that colonial citizenship…as the NPP leadership in House and Senate is doing, is nothing less than the slave dancing to the rhythm of his shackles… The Jones Act’s approval, imposing U.S. citizenship on Puerto Ricans, represented the closing of the door to a rising independence movement of the majority without opening the doors to the possibility of annexation [to the United States],” Dalmau said before the special session.
The legislator explained that when the Jones Act was signed March 2, 1917, the Puerto Rico House of Delegates, “the only political body elected by Puerto Ricans,” rejected U.S. citizenship “unanimously.”
“Today should be the day when, even from the annexationist, pro-statehood perspective, the Jones Act’s U.S. citizenship should be denounced,” he added.
For his part, Márquez insisted that U.S. citizenship has been “a repressive instrument against the independence movement,” which is why the PIP will reiterate its support for independence in the June 11 status plebiscite, represented by a circle in the second column, under “free association/independence.”
Although it had been scheduled for 11 a.m., the special joint session hadn’t begun by noon.