Friday, November 19, 2004

Discovery of Puerto Rico

Today, November 19, is the 511th anniversary of the "discovery" of Puerto Rico. "Antonio," you may ask yourself. "Why put the word 'discovery' in quotation marks?" Because I'm writing the goddamn thing and I can do what I want. Plus, in my most humble opinion, I don't believe Puerto Rico has been discovered yet.
Since 1493, when Columbus found the island of Puerto Rico (or as it was called then, San Juan de Bautista), we have lived in colonial limbo. 405 years as a colony of Spain, and 106 years as a colony of the USA. Spain's rule was a harsh one. Ruled by a monarchy halfway around the world pretty much gave the local leaders freedom to do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted. For example, one of the first things they did was to ever so daintily wipe out the whole indigenous population of Puerto Rico either by disease, starvation, and even murder.
Then in 1898 the USA liberated us from Spain's rule. So now, we live as a colony of the USA with many benefits, including US citizenship, even though we can't vote for President, and Federal money, even though we don't pay taxes.
So, getting back to my point, why haven't we been discovered? We have no sovereignty. There are three political movements on the island: Statehooders, who want Puerto Rico to become the 51st state of the USA, Commonweathers, who want PR to keep it's status quo, and Independence Seekers, who want independence from so called "US Imperialism" (and yes, most of the independence political party is made up of people supportive of communism.)
The people of Puerto Rico are going to have to make a choice soon. We cannot stay as we are, living off of another country. Either we incorporate ourselves into the USA or we become an independent nation. When that day comes, when we finally decide our future, then we can celebrate the true Discovery of Puerto Rico.

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