Puerto Rico governor criticizes UN resolution in favor of independence
CAROLINA — Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Wednesday criticized the resolution approved Tuesday by the United Nations’ Committee on Decolonization, in which it favored self-determination and independence for the island.
For the governor, this forum has lost its seriousness and validity by continuing to approve similar resolutions year after year regardless of new the “information” it receives. In this case, he referenced the June 11 political-status referendum, in which 97 percent of voters favored statehood, although only 23 percent of the island’s voters participated.
“If they want to have some validity, if they want to be something more than a photo-op, they have to start taking action. The truth is that to listen to countless people reach the same resolution that is misleading and that is wasted a year later to resubmit it as a resolution, will not achieve great changes,” the governor said in a press conference after he announced “Renueva tu Escuela,” a new school renovation program.
Rosselló insisted on the need for the UN to take the issue of Puerto Rico’s status “seriously,” starting by including the island in the list of the world’s colonies. He also demanded that action be taken with the recommendations presented at the decolonization hearings and that the “will” of the people expressed at the polls be addressed.
“The expressed will of the people of Puerto Rico doesn’t seem to matter because two plebiscites have already passed, and they continue to request the right to self-determination, but also independence for Puerto Rico, which in none of the events have obtained double digits,” the governor said.
Despite his criticisms, Rosselló said he will continue to use the UN forum to call for the island’s decolonization, but through annexation to the United States via statehood. Likewise, he will use all available forums to “assert the will of the people.”
Saying he will do everything in his power, he added that the “total ineffectiveness” of the UN committee has to be recognized.
Tennessee Plan members yet to be appointed
Meanwhile, Rosselló confirmed he still hasn’t designated the seven members of congress—two senators and five representatives—who will make up the Equality Committee to request Puerto Rico’s statehood before Congress and the U.S. government through the “Equality Plan” or “Tennessee Plan.”
According to the Law for Equality and Congressional Representation of the American Citizens of Puerto Rico (Act 30 of 2017), the governor has until June 30 to make the nominations. The legislation will have an impact of $373,800 on the local treasury.
The members of congress have not been designated “yet, but I assure you that as soon as I have the nominations, I will let you know… The nominations will happen as soon as they are ready,” Rosselló said after Caribbean Business asked if he would make the designations before June 25, the last day the Legislature can approve bills in this session.
After being appointed by the governor, the members of congress must be confirmed by the House and Senate.