25 June 2013

U.N. Decolonization Committee resolution on Puerto Rico


Decision of the U.N. Special Committee of 18 June 2012 concerning Puerto Rico


The Special Committee,

           Bearing in mind the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, as well as the resolutions and decisions of the Special Committee concerning Puerto Rico,

           Considering that the period 2011-2020 was proclaimed by the General Assembly, in its resolution 65/119 of 10 December 2010, as the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism,

           Bearing in mind the thirty-one resolutions and decisions adopted by the Special Committee on the question of Puerto Rico contained in the reports of the Special Committee to the General Assembly, in particular those adopted without a vote in recent years,

           Recalling that 25 July 2013 marks the one hundred and fifteenth anniversary of the intervention in Puerto Rico by the United States of America,

           Noting with concern that despite the diverse initiatives taken by the political representatives of Puerto Rico and the United States in recent years, the process of the decolonization of Puerto Rico, in compliance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and the resolutions and decisions of the Special Committee on Puerto Rico, has not yet been set in motion,

           Bearing in mind that the people of Puerto Rico mostly rejected its current status of political subordination on 6 November 2012,

           Stressing the urgent need for the United States to lay the groundwork for the full implementation of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and the resolutions and decisions of the Special Committee concerning Puerto Rico,

           Noting that the Inter-agency Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status designated by the President of the United States, which submitted its third report on 16 March 2011, reaffirmed that Puerto Rico is a territory subject to United States congressional authority,

           Taking note of the Declaration adopted at the I Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santiago, Chile, on 27 and 28 January 2013, in which the Latin American and Caribbean character of Puerto Rico is highlighted, and note is taken of the resolutions on Puerto Rico adopted by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, identifying it as an issue of interest of CELAC,

           Also noting the Special Declaration on Puerto Rico adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas in Caracas on 4 and 5 February 2012, whereby they expressed their strong support for the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and full independence; recalled that Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own unmistakable identity and history, whose rights to sovereignty have been violated by the imposed colonial rule for more than a century; stressed that the cause of the independence of Puerto Rico concerns the region of Latin America and the Caribbean and their forums for dialogue and political cooperation — particularly the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and demanded the release of political prisoners convicted for fighting for the independence and self-determination of Puerto Rico, including comrade Oscar López Rivera, who has been imprisoned under inhumane conditions for thirty-two years,

           Further noting the “Panama Proclamation”, adopted by the Latin American and Caribbean Congress in support of Puerto Rico’s Independence, which was held in Panama on 18 and 19 November 2006 and was attended by 33 political parties from 22 countries of the region, the conclusions thereof were reaffirmed in the declaration adopted by the Council of the Socialist International in Portugal, on 5 February 2013, expressing support to the repeated and unanimous call of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization for the General Assembly to examine the colonial case of Puerto Rico, and for the release of Oscar López Rivera and other Puerto Rican patriots who are serving sentences in jails in the United States; and satisfaction and solidarity with the overwhelming rejection of the people of Puerto Rico to the continuation of the current colonial status of Puerto Rico is likewise demonstrated,

           Noting also the debate in Puerto Rico on the search for a procedure that would enable the launch of the process of decolonization of Puerto Rico, and aware of the principle that any initiative for the solution of the political status of Puerto Rico should originate from the people of Puerto Rico,

           Aware that Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, was used for over 60 years by the United States Marines to carry out military exercises, with negative consequences for the health of the population, the environment and the economic and social development of that Puerto Rican municipality,

           Noting the consensus existing among the people and the Government of Puerto Rico on the necessity of ensuring the clean-up, decontamination and return to the people of Puerto Rico of all the territory previously used for military exercises and installations, and of using them for the social and economic development of Puerto Rico, as well as on the slowness of the process thus far,

           Also noting the complaints made by the inhabitants of Vieques Island regarding the continued bombing and the use of open burning for clean-up, which exacerbate the existing health problems and pollution and endanger civilian lives,

           Further noting the consensus among the people of Puerto Rico in favour of the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoners, some of whom have been serving sentences in prisons in the United States of America for more than thirty years for cases related to the struggle for Puerto Rico’s independence,

           Noting the concern of the people of Puerto Rico regarding violent actions, including repression and intimidation, against Puerto Rican independence fighters, including those that have recently come to light through documents declassified by federal agencies of the United States,

           Also noting that in the Final Document of the Sixteenth Summit Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries,[1] held in Teheran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 26 to 31 August 2012, and other meetings of the Movement, the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence is reaffirmed under General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), the Government of the United States is urged to assume its responsibility to expedite a process that will allow the Puerto Rican people to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence and to return the territory and occupied installations on Vieques Island and at the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station to the Puerto Rican people, who constitute a Latin American and Caribbean nation, and the General Assembly is urged to actively consider the question of Puerto Rico in all its aspects,

           Having heard statements and representative testimonies of various viewpoints among the people of Puerto Rico and their social institutions,

         Having considered the report of the Rapporteur of the Special Committee on the implementation of the resolutions concerning Puerto Rico:[2]




1.       Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in conformity with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and the applicability of the fundamental principles of that resolution to the question of Puerto Rico;

2.       Reiterates that the Puerto Rican people constitutes a Latin American and Caribbean nation that has its own unequivocal national identity;

3.       Calls again upon the Government of the United States of America to assume its responsibility to expedite a process that will allow the Puerto Rican people to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, in accordance and in full compliance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and the resolutions and decisions of the Special Committee concerning Puerto Rico;

4.          Notes the broad support of eminent persons, Governments and political forces in Latin America and the Caribbean for the independence of Puerto Rico; 

5.        Again notes the debate in Puerto Rico on the implementation of a mechanism that would ensure the full participation of representatives of all viewpoints prevailing in Puerto Rico, including a constitutional assembly on status with a basis in the decolonization alternatives recognized in international law, and aware of the principle that any initiative for the solution of the political status of Puerto Rico should originate from the people of Puerto Rico; 

 6.        Expresses serious concern regarding the actions carried out against Puerto Rican independence fighters, and encourages the investigation of those actions with the necessary rigour and with the cooperation of the relevant authorities; 

 7.       Requests the General Assembly to consider the question of Puerto Rico comprehensively in all its aspects; 

 8.       Urges the Government of the United States, in line with the need to guarantee the Puerto Rican people their legitimate right to self-determination and the protection of their human rights, to complete the return of occupied land and installations on Vieques Island and in Ceiba to the people of Puerto Rico, respect fundamental human rights, such as the right to health and economic development, and expedite and cover the costs of the process of cleaning up and decontaminating the areas previously used in military exercises through means that do not continue to worsen the serious consequences of its military activity for the health of the inhabitants of Vieques Island and the environment; 

 9.       Reiterates its request to the President of the United States of America to release the following Puerto Rican political prisoners serving sentences in United States prisons for cases relating to the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico: Oscar López Rivera, who has been serving a sentence for over thirty years and whose case is of humanitarian character, and Norberto González Claudio, who was arrested most recently; 

 10.      Takes note with satisfaction of the report prepared by the Rapporteur of the Special Committee, in compliance with its resolution of 18 June 2012; 

 11.       Requests the Rapporteur to report in 2013 on the implementation of the present resolution; 

 12.       Decides to keep the question of Puerto Rico under continuous review.




          [1]            A/67/506-S/2012/752, annex I.
          [2]            A/AC.109/2013/L.13.

4 comments:

José M. López Sierra said...

Dear Partner,

After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’ resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the United States government to comply with it.

The facts that the United States government has maintained Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33 years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico. Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply with the 33 resolutions.

We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until we achieve our goal. The first one will be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of Slavery Day on March 22. The second will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. The third one will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto Rico decolonization hearing.

These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.

Sincerely,
José M López Sierra
Jlop28vislophis@gmail.com
Comité Timón del Pueblo
United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

José M. López Sierra said...

Vea la vista 2014 sobre la descolonización de Puerto Rico en la ONU oprimiendo este enlace aquí:http://webtv.un.org/search/special-committee-on-the-situation-with-regard-to-the-implementation-of-the-declaration-on-the-granting-of-independence-to-colonial-countries-and-peoples-4th-meeting/3639598037001?term=puerto rico

Sesión de la tarde:http://webtv.un.org/search/special-committee-on-the-situation-with-regard-to-the-implementation-of-the-declaration-on-the-granting-of-independence-to-colonial-countries-and-peoples-5th-meeting/3641178758001?term=puerto Rico

José M. López Sierra said...

Dear Partner,

Since the United Nations determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity, there is no longer a need for plebiscites. The solution is to give Puerto Rico her sovereignty.

But being the United States government does not want to, it continues to advocate the use of plebiscites to find out what Puerto Ricans want. Even if 100% of Puerto Ricans would want to continue being a US colony, Puerto Rico would still be obligated to accept her sovereignty to then decide what she wants to do.

The only thing these plebiscites are good for is to divide Puerto Ricans. A Puerto Rican didn’t invade us to make us a colony. When will we understand that we need to unite?

This is why we must peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until Puerto Rico is decolonized!

José M López Sierra
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

José M. López Sierra said...

Should criminals be in charge of correcting the wrong they inflicted?

Puerto Ricans vote in elections every 4 years at an 80% level of participation. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States (US) government for the past 116 years. If the US government has the final say in what happens in Puerto Rico, what is the purpose of these elections? The purpose is to fool the world that Puerto Rico is a democracy.

The United Nations (UN) declared colonialism a crime against humanity in 1960. The UN has asked the US government 33 times to decolonize Puerto Rico immediately. The US government has refused. It says that Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States is none of the UN’s business. The US says that it is a domestic affair.

To appear that the US government wants to decolonize Puerto Rico, it promotes the use of plebiscites to determine what Puerto Ricans want. Doesn’t that sounds innocent and democratic? So what’s the problem?

To begin with, the international community already rendered its verdict and determined that colonialism is illegal. So to have a political status option in a plebiscite that favors maintaining Puerto Rico a colony of the United States is not permitted. To have a political status option of Puerto Rico becoming a state of the United States is also not permitted under international law. The problem goes back to the beginning of this article. In order to have free elections, the country must be free. So before these elections and plebiscite could be valid, Puerto Rico would have to first be an independent nation.

What people must realize is that Puerto Rico is a colony of the US because the US government wants it that way. That is why it has used terrorism to keep it that way. That is why it refuses to release the Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar López Rivera. That is also why it is ridiculous to believe that decolonization is a US internal matter in which the UN has no jurisdiction over. If we allow the US government to decolonize Puerto Rico, she will remain a colony of the United States forever!

José M López Sierra
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com