The Socialist International has been consistent in its solidarity with the cause of decolonisation and independence of Puerto Rico dating from the SI Congress in Albufeira in 1983 under the presidency of Willy Brandt until as recently as 23 June of this year when, in accordance with the decision taken at the Istanbul Council, the SI President, George Papandreou, appeared before the Special Committee on Decolonisation of the United Nations in support of a Resolution on Puerto Rico which was later unanimously adopted by this Special Committee.
This Resolution of the Special Committee on Decolonisation, after defining the current condition of Puerto Rico as one of political subordination and reaffirming its inalienable right to self-‐ determination and independence, urges the United States to encourage a process that will permit Puerto Rico to fully exercise this right, and requests the General Assembly of the United Nations to examine the Puerto Rican case. The adopted Resolution, like the words of President Papandreou, also requests President Obama to release the independentist patriot Oscar López, who has been jailed by the United States government for 33 years for a crime of “seditious conspiracy”.
This Resolution of the Decolonisation Committee notes with satisfaction the three paragraphs concerning the theme of Puerto Rico and decolonization that were adopted in January 2014 by the most recent Summit of the American States and Caribbean Community (CELAC). This Resolution, insisting that Puerto Rico was born as a Latin American nation and by its political condition, according to the resolutions of the Decolonisation Committee, is a matter of interest for CELAC. The commitment to promote the end of colonialism in Latin America and the Caribbean is set out within the context of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the UN General Assembly. This General Assembly Resolution declaring the inalienable right to self-‐determination and independence of the peoples, known as the Magna Carta of decolonisation, is the one that the Special Committee on Decolonisation affirms is applicable to the Puerto Rican case.
Furthermore, it must be remembered that in the vote taken in November 2012 in Puerto Rico, an absolute majority of the Puerto Rican electorate gave a strong expression of rejection to the current condition of political subordination. It is now up to the United States Congress and government to feel compelled by Puerto Rico and by the international community to comply with their decolonisation obligations, collaborating with the Puerto Rican People so that they can finally vote between decolonising alternatives previously negotiated among the parties.
In view of these important developments, and particularly in moments when the political insolvency of the colonial regime has led to the collapse of its economy and the fiscal insolvency of its government, urgent new initiatives are needed in support of the vocation of the Puerto Rican People for their full decolonization.
The Socialist International, aware of its political responsibility and historical solidarity with the cause of decolonisation in general, and with Puerto Rico in particular, consequently agrees: the creation of an SI Special Working Group to become the driving force of a concerted action necessary to achieve the adopted goals of the SI, CELAC and the Special Committee for Decolonisation, and ultimately to achieve the examination of the colonial case of Puerto Rico by the United Nations General Assembly in view of the Resolution 1514 (XV). Such examination and the diplomatic process that will necessarily precede it, will be a crucial and decisive contribution to the efforts intending to get the United States to recognize the need to set in motion a collaborative process that will culminate in the decolonization of Puerto Rico.
This SI Special Working Group on Puerto Rico will be headed by our Honorary President and President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, Rubén Berríos Martínez and composed of representatives of the following member parties: Institutional Revolutionary Party and Party of Democratic Revolution of Mexico, Radical Civic Union and Socialist Party of Argentina, and Sandinista Front of Nicaragua.