The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
H-232 US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Madam Speaker:
Receive a warm greeting on my behalf and a congratulatory note as well for our Democratic victory on November 4th, 2008. The purpose of this communication is to clarify false impressins created by the letter sent by Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila to your office on November 18th, 2008 related to the island’s general election results. Governor Acevedo Vila has expressed that the Puerto Rico general election results, where the Pro Statehood Party won by the biggest landslide since 1964, did not represent a mandate by the people of the island in favor of statehood.
What the Governor fails to indicate is that rather than favor a specific status option, the people did in fact vote against Acevedo’s undemocratic “constitutional assembly” mechanism, and in favor of the Pro Statehood Party’s plebiscite/referendum mechanism of self determination, clearly proposed through HR 900, The Puerto Rico Democracy Act filed by Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuno and Congressman Jose Serrano; said legislation proposed that Puerto Rico’s political status dilemma would be solved once and for all through a series of federally endorsed self determination plebiscites.
The first vote would ask the Puerto Rican people directly via direct vote if they wish to continue with the island’s current political status or if they wish to pursue a change in the island’s political status. In case the people of Puerto Rico vote in favor of change, then a second plebiscite would be held in where Puerto Ricans would choose between independence or the admittance of Puerto Rico as the fifty first state of the union.
Anibal Acevedo Vila in turn supported another self determination process through a proposed Constitutional Assembly, where a select group of politicians and civic leaders would ultimately decide Puerto Rico’s final status and not the people. He also fails to mention that he in fact did include the political status debate in his campaign for re-election by consistently and aggressively promoting the Constitutional Assembly proposal and calling for a sovereign Puerto Rico with the ability to negotiate unilaterally with other nations.
Such a proposal was deemed unconstitutional in the past by US Congress and was ultimately and massively rejected by the people of Puerto Rico on November 4th, 2008 where the Pro Commonwealth Party that Mr. Acevedo Vila presided received the largest defeat in its history.
The self determination process mechanism proposed by the Pro Statehood Party was included in the party’s platform and was supported by a historical one million fourteen thousand Puerto Ricans ( 53% to 41%) who voted for the Pro Statehood Party on election day, having won the Governorship , House, Senate, Resident Commissioner seat in Congress and the vast majority of municipalities as well.
The fact of the matter is that the people of Puerto Rico did express a mandate of change on Election Day and simultaneously endorsed the Pro Statehood Party’s proposed mechanism to solve the island’s century old political dilemma consistent with the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status created by President Bill Clinton. Mr. Acevedo Vila’s misleading arguments are geared towards his agenda to obstruct any self determination process that would give the people of Puerto Rico a direct vote in regards to their political status preference.
On another note, as a Young Puerto Rican Democrat I am deeply concerned for the continued well being and image of our Democratic Party in Puerto Rico. On March 27, 2008, Acevedo Vilá was formally indicted on 24 counts of public corruption by a Federal Grand Jury along with 12 other people. The 13 are accused of running a conspiracy to illegally raise money to pay off Acevedo Vilá's campaign debts in 2000. On August 19, 2008, a second five count federal Grand Jury indictment was filed.
The people of Puerto Rico have spoken and it is the democratic and moral obligation of all of us to follow the clear, historical and unequivocal mandate bestowed by the American citizens of Puerto Rico. I am confident that US Congress and the White House will once again work with the people of Puerto Rico in order to finally reach a solution to the island’s political status dilemma.
Young Democrats of America
Puerto Rico Chapter