Sunday, June 10, 2007
Free Puerto Rico
Every year a Delegation from Puerto Rico comes to the United Nations to testify to the U.N. De-Colonization Committee; to make the case for the liberation of Puerto Rico, Vieques and the release of the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.
This delegation is made up of various activists from the different
organizations throughout Puerto Rico that fight for the independence of Puerto Rico.
A little history [Wikipedia]
Since Puerto Rico is a territory and not an incorporated State of the United States of America, not all constitutional rights, privileges and immunities provided by the U.S. Constitution were extended to the island and its residents by the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917. The Jones Act established that Puerto Ricans born prior to 1899 were considered naturalized citizens of Puerto Rico, and anyone born after 1898 were declared naturally-born citizens of the United States; unless the Puerto Rican expressed intentions to remain as a subject of Spain. Since 1917, all Puerto Ricans, whether born within the U.S. or in Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States.
Puerto Ricans residing in Puerto Rico cannot vote in the U.S. Presidential election, nor are they represented by a U.S. Representative or Senator. They are represented by a Resident Commissioner in the U.S. House of Representatives who has the right of voice, but not vote. Puerto Ricans residing in the United States, however, do have all rights and privileges associated with residing in a U.S. State.
As statutory U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans may enlist in the U.S. military. Puerto Ricans have been included in the compulsory draft, when it has been in effect. Puerto Ricans have fully participated in all U.S. wars since 1898, most notably in World War II, in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the current Middle-Eastern conflicts. Recently, nearly 60 Puerto Ricans have died serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Click here for The Puerto Rican Political Prisoners website
The poet Mariposa puts it best when she declares, “I wasn’t born in Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico was born in me.”
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