Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Puerto Rico: Tiny Advocacy Group Urging That España Assume Ownership of the Commonwealth is a Non-Starter

According to The Latin American Tribune, a small Puerto Rican group has launched a campaign to demand that the Caribbean island break all political links with the United States and annex itself once again to Spain to become an autonomous community of the Iberian nation.

“We want to become Spaniards again, to be an autonomous community of a country that we never wanted to abandon,” said José Nieves, the founder of the Puerto Rico Reunification with Spain group.

With the slogan “It’s time to return home!” and a promotional video with the Spanish national anthem in the background, the initiative so far has fewer than 2,000 followers on Facebook.

“We’re getting support from (US) statehood advocates, independence-minded people, who would accept unification as a decolonizing option, and even supporters of the status quo,” Nieves said, referring to those who want to remain a US commonwealth.

COMMENT: Nieves, who characterizes himself as a security guard and a criminologist (What came first?) is obviously not keeping up on current events.

“Our demand has taken many by surprise, but it makes perfect sense. The key is in education,” he commented, after noting that Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain for more than four centuries and in 1897 even had a charter that conveyed its sovereignty as an overseas Spanish province.

With a mere 2,000 supporters, Nieves' supporters has little likelihood of gaining steam, considering that there are Democrats in the US Congress that are hoping to fast-track US statehood for Puerto Rico, largely in order to  spearhead a Democratic win in the 2016 presidential race, considering that 75% of the Commonwealth voted Democratic in 2012.

To make matters worse, Puerto Rico currently has the highest homicide crime rate in the US, if the Commonwealth is considered in the equation. At the moment, homicides in Puerto Rico are double that of Chicago.

Additionally, with a an unemployment rate of some 25%, the one issue that España does not need is  Puerto Rico's unemployment rate of 15%, which is already forcing an exodus of Puerto Ricans to the US Mainland.