Tuesday, July 22, 2008

POPULAR "DEMOCRATIC" PARTY: Are they truly Democratic?

By: Phillip Arroyo

For those of us living on the island of Puerto Rico and actively involved in our nation's political process whether it be with the Republican or Democratic Party, it is sometimes disappointing and unfortunate to see a local political party consistently contradict itself in so many ways. For years the pro-"commonwealth" party in Puerto Rico, also known as the PDP Popular "Democratic" Party has expressed its unwavering support of the people's involvement in all political decisions of the island. They expressed it when the party was created in 1937-38, they expressed it in 1952, during the birth of the "commonwealth" the exact date in which for the first time the Puerto Rican flag stood equally right next to the stars and stripes of our great nation and they continue to preach the same in Congress today as their key argument against any type of self determination legislation presented that would in any way threaten the island's current colonial political status.

The Popular "Democratic" Party and its current President and Governor of Puerto Rico, Anibal Acevedo Vila have in numerous occasions stated that the future of Puerto Rico lies in the sole hands of the Puerto Rican people and that in no way and matter should the Federal government intervene in this process. What is truly contradicting and ridiculous is how the so called Popular "Democratic" Party has teamed up for years with members of the Republican Party in Washington, DC to put a stop to any type of legislation that would facilitate the people of Puerto Rico with a federally sponsored and consensus providing instrument or mechanism to solve the island's political status once and for all. They propose that Puerto Rico's political future be decided by a select group of politicians and civic leaders that would in turn decide the island's fate behind closed doors through a constitutional convention and NOT by the people. They team up with members of the Republican elite, members of congress, lobbyists , donators, etc. to counter the Democratic Party's known and genuine willingness to participate actively in helping the Puerto Rican people's desire for change. Let's face it, a vast majority of hispanics on the mainland United States vote Democratic, therefore it makes sense for the local commonwealth party to team up with members of the Republican elite, because it would ultimately avoid the GOP a huge headache with a possible hispanic 51st state of the union. This would also cause the current status quo political status of Puerto Rico to remain intact. So therefore , both sides are happy, right? Well in the eyes of many this is in no way acceptable.

The future and well being of the people of Puerto Rico should not be decided by political party interests , both with the only intention of putting a stop to change, all at the expense of 4 million american citizens on the island of Puerto Rico who are stripped of rights as fundamental as the ability to vote for our commander of chief, the President of the United States. It's not right, it's undemocratic and it is also unamerican.

Today, we see a Popular " Democratic" Party lead by Governor Acevedo Vila that has shifted so far to the left that during their past Party assembly he announced that he supports a sovereign commonwealth status for the island. One that is incompatible with the United States constitution and with international law for that matter. He and his party propose that Puerto Rico remain as a commonwealth, yet at the same time wish to have complete "autonomy" and the ability to negotitate independently with other countries such as Venezuela and China. Even more absurd is the proposal made by PDP Party Platform Chairman Willy Miranda Marin of requesting the Federal Government over 120 billon dollars up front for the island in order to "put a stop to federal dependency".

This type of contradicting and political flip flopping only indicates one thing. The Popular "Democratic" Party is NOT democratic, ít is a hypocritical political organization that only seeks to destroy our relationship with the United States by separating us as an independent nation. As Democrats we should censure and condemn these "so called Democrats" who love to have photo ops with members of our Democratic Party leadership and also campaigned for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, yet they do not believe nor do they promote that Puerto Ricans participate in the November 2008 Presidential elections. Hypocritical or not.......you be the judge.