Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2011


In a much-heralded White House Roundtable Discussion today with journalists from Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL, President Obama offered his views about Puerto Rico’s quest to finally resolve its 113-year-old status debate. Here is the video of what he said:

Although President Obama said “the key here is that the status of Puerto Rico should be decided by the residents of Puerto Rico,” he also said that it comes with certain conditions:

  • Puerto Ricans must show an overwhelmingly majority for one option.
  • In the end, the US Congress is the FINAL VOICE of determining Puerto Rico’s political future. A plebiscite vote will only “influence” Congress to act.
  • If the island is split on status options, “it is hard to imagine that Congress would be wanting to impose a single solution on the island.”
The reality is that President Obama, even with his actions to form a new White House Task Force on Puerto Rican Status behind him, has basically reiterated the truth about Puerto Rico: Puerto Ricans on the island do not have the right to self-determination — the final voice and authority on determining Puerto Rico’s status is and always will be Congress.
The colony of Puerto Rico is alive and well, even after the world has seen cosmic changes in new governments being formed in places such as Cairo and Tripoli.
Puerto Ricans, according to President Obama, can vote for their future, but Congress will have the final say. And if the next non-binding plebiscite is not a slam dunk for one of the four options (independence, statehood, the commonwealth status quo, or free associate state), then nothing will happen and Puerto Rico will still be stuck, as it has been so ever since 1898, the year the United States invaded the island during the Spanish-American War.
This kind of reminds us of that famous line from The Who: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

When will Puerto Rico wake up and realize that leaders from the United States and the island’s own leaders from all three major political parties are just feeding into the current status quo? When will the island and its people say that they won’t get fooled again?

Read Full Post »


“It’s raining money and drugs here in Puerto Rico.” For all those who think that the issues of border security, drug crimes and tragic murders are only affecting the US-Mexican border just need to watch this report from CBS NEWS.

As the report says: “Drug smuggling is as much a part of Puerto Rico as palm trees and sand – American sand. For drug traffickers that means once they get to Puerto Rico, no more customs checkpoints on the way to the mainland.”


Read Full Post »


The following photos from #OccupyWallStreet were taken by the extremely talented photojournalist Rebecca Beard and published exclusively by LatinoRebels. The protest is entering its second week.

Read Full Post »


Ever since the Arab Spring, the world’s political status quo has been challenged, and the United States of America —still the globe’s only true superpower (maybe China will be there soon, but not now)— is still trying to figure out its role in this changing political landscape. While the Obama Administration was slow to recognize the Cairo revolution, it was quicker to respond to Libya. But what about Syria or Bahrain? And of course, what about Palestine?

Now, my position about Israel and Palestine is very similar to the views of many of my Israeli and Palestinian friends: a peace that will ensure security and co-existence for both countries. The violent views of extremists have no place in the dialogue. I don’t choose this view for religious reasons (unlike US evangelicals who believe that for the End of Days to come, all people of Jewish descent must first head back Israel before the second coming of the Messiah) nor do I use history to justify why there should be peace in the Middle East. The reality is that every human, every country, has a right to self-determination, which last time I checked, was a basic tenet of America’s Founding Fathers when a new country revolted against the English Crown in the late 18th century.

© Associated Press

What intrigues me about Palestine’s recent attempts to seek statehood from the United Nations is that they had the cojones to just go for it. Sure, such a move did not play well in Tel Aviv, but what is even more surprising is that it didn’t play well with President Obama either. What does that tell you about the United States? Self-determination is only encouraged when it fits the interests of the United States. So, sorry, Syria and Palestine, no dice. But Libya? Sure, you can determine your own destiny.

So what can Puerto Ricans, whose country in essence is the Western Hemisphere’s oldest colony, learn from what Palestine is trying to do and Washington’s reaction to it?

In the end, no matter how determined Puerto Rico is to finally resolve its 113-year-old political status paradox (are we a colony, a commonwealth, the 51st state of the Union, an independent country, or a freely associate state), San Juan is still subservient to Washington. Puerto Ricans and their politicians (all of them, from the pro-statehooders to the Populares to the Independentistas) have failed the island. Our system is broken. Politicians on the island are programmed to serve their own party’s interests, instead of working together to promote a new way to determine Puerto Rico’s political paradox. Instead of following the bold (and some critics would say disrespectful) steps of Palestine, Puerto Ricans stay silent and wait, passive for others to make changes for them.

What is to stop us Puerto Ricans from forming our own non-partisan UN committee to demand that we finally determine our political status? Airline tickets from San Juan to New York are not that expensive, why can’t we go to the UN and say, “We have had enough NON-BINDING plebiscites about our status, it is time for the world community to support our intent to finally resolve our political status, no matter what that final vote is?”

Are we afraid of Washington? What would Washington do? Remove our federal benefits? Get rid of our Wal-Marts and Costcos? Why can’t we begin to work together and speak as one Puerto Rico and demand that the world finally pay attention to us?

Instead, we remain passive. We rely on a political system that for over 50 years has exploited us with dreams of free countries or adding another star to the American flag. Add the 60 years before the new Constitution was formed, and it is clear: our current ways to determine our future are not working.

So, to my fellow Puerto Ricans, will we go to the UN? (NOTE: I am very aware that resolutions from the UN have been brought up and been passed, but nothing has happened. I am suggesting a more bolder non-partisan delegation that DEMANDS support and gains the global attention it deserves.) Will we actually practice self-determination, or will we continue to be the colonials that we are? You know, the ones who would rather rely on Washington so as not to offend the federal government. While others fight, we stay silent.

As Republican presidential candidate John Huntsman so eloquently said this week in Orlando: America should worry about America. Will Puerto Rico begin to worry about Puerto Rico? Only we can answer that question. Nothing can stop us. Nothing.

Read Full Post »


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY LATINOREBELS.COM

In May, Agustín “Gus” García, a Latino political powerhouse who was one of Hilary Clinton’s top consultants for her 2008 presidential bid, was identified by CNN as the Tequila Party’s top political strategist. During that time, García said the following to CNN:

 

 

“I think first you have to understand the humor of calling it the Tequila Party. We are a culture that likes humor,” the movement’s main political consultant, Agustin “Gus” Garcia, told CNN.

“We’re not Puritans. Humor is part of our politics as well. We could have called it the ‘Cafe con Leche Party.’ You have to laugh because there is no logic in racism.”

As the fall approaches, García is no longer involved with the Tequila Party, citing his busy lecture Latinization of America Lecture Series schedule.

García, a Democrat, had joined forces with Somos Republicans founder and Tequila Party leader Dee Dee García Blase to launch the Tequila Party on Cinco de Mayo of this year. The duo made several high-profile media appearance, yet could not garner the national support they sought among Latino voters.

We reached out to García Blase for comment and have yet to hear from her. The Tequila Party organization recently had its articles of organization rejected by Arizona’s Corporate Commission.

Read Full Post »


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN LATINOREBELS

In a move that has discredited its founder, the Arizona Corporate Commission recently rejected an application by the National Tequila Party Movement to incorporate itself in Arizona as a domestic limited liability corporation.

The Tequila Party organization, founded by Somos Republicans founder Dee Dee Blase Garcia, in essence is not a legitimate organization, as defined by the Arizona Corporate Comission. Arizona listed a “potential name conflict” that potentially invalidates the Tequila Party. Arizona listed a “potential name conflict” that potentially invalidates the Tequila Party. The current application expired last week.

We did reach out to both Somos Republican and Blase Garcia for comment, but they have not returned our requests.

Read Full Post »


Leave it to Representative Luis Gutiérrez to leave it all out on the floor of the US Congress this week, in light of a scathing Department of Justice report on the police abuse charges in Puerto Rico.

Gutiérrez, who has been the lone voice of Congress in exposing the hypocrisy of the pro-statehood Republican administration of Luis Fortuño, share his thoughts with his Congressional colleagues.

Flash Animation

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: