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Full text of "U.S.-Puerto Rico Political Status Act : hearing before the Subcommittee on Native American & Insular Affairs of the Committee on Resources, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on H.R. 3024, to provide for a process leading to full self-government for Puerto Rico, March 23, 1996--San Juan, PI [i.e. PR]"

V 



U.S.-PUERTO RICO POLITICAL STATUS ACT 

Y 4, R 31/3: 104-87 _^^_^ 

NG 

U.S. -Puerto Rico Political Status «... 

.HE 

SUBCOMMITTEE OX XATR^ A.MERICAX & IXSUIAR 

AFFAIRS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES 
HOUSE OP REPRESENTATR^S 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 
ON 

H.R. 3024 

TO PROVIDE A PROCESS LEADING TO FULL SELF-GOVERNMENT 

FOR PUERTO RICO 



MARCH 23, 1996— SAN JUAN, PI 



Serial No. 104-87 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Resources 




/? 






U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
24-926 cc WASHINGTON : 1996 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-053513-1 



U.S.-PUERTO RICO POLITICAL STATUS ACT 

Y 4. R 31/3:104-87 

NG 

U.S. -Puerto Rico Politicil Status »... 

.HE 

SUBCOM.AIITTEE OX XATRTE A.\IERIC.\X & IXSUIAR 

AJ^TAIRS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATR^S 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 

ON 

H.R. 3024 

TO PROVIDE A PROCESS LEADING TO FULL SELF-GOVERNMENT 

FOR PUERTO RICO 



MARCH 23, 1996— SAN JUAN, PI 



Serial No. 104-87 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Resources 



'4.. 




D 






'> 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
24-926 cc WASHINGTON : 1996 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-053513-1 



COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES 
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman 



W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana 

JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah 

JIM SAXTON, New Jersey 

ELTON GALLEGLY, California 

JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee 

JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado 

JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California 

WAYNE ALLARD, Colorado 

WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland 

KEN CALVERT, California 

RICHARD W. POMBO, California 

PETER G. TORKILDSEN, Massachusetts 

J.D. HAYWORTH, Arizona 

FRANK A. CREMEANS, Ohio 

BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming 

WES COOLEY, Oregon 

HELEN CHENOWETH, Idaho 

LINDA SMITH, Washington 

GEORGE P. RADANOVICH, CaUfornia 

WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carohna 

WILLIAM M. (MAC) THORNBERRY, Texas 

RICHARD (DOC) HASTINGS, Washington 

JACK METCALF, Washington 

JAMES B. LONGLEY, Jr., Maine 

JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona 

JOHN E. ENSIGN, Nevada 



GEORGE MILLER, California 
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts 
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia 
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota 
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan 
PAT WILLIAMS, Montana 
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut 
BILL RICHARDSON, New Mexico 
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon 
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American 

Samoa 
TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota 
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii 
GERRY E. STUDDS, Massachusetts 
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas 
OWEN B. PICKETT, Virginia 
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey 
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California 
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELO, Puerto 

Rico 
MAURICE D. HINCHEY, New York 
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam 
SAM FARR, California 
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island 



Daniel Val Kish, Chief of Staff 

Elizabeth Megginson, Chief Counsel 

Christine A. Kennedy, Chief Clerk /Administrator 

John Lawrence, Minority Staff Director 



SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIVE AMERICAN & INSULAR AFFAIRS 
ELTON GALLEGLY, California, Chairman 



DON YOUNG, Alaska 

WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland 

WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carohna 

RICHARD (DOC) HASTINGS, Washington 

JACK METCALF, Washington 

JAMES B. LONGLEY, Jr., Maine 



ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American 

Samoa 
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan 
PAT WILLIAMS, Montana 
TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota 
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELO, Puerto 

Rico 
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam 



Tim Glidden, Counsel 

T.E. Manase Mansur, Professional Staff 

Christopher Stearns, Democratic Counsel 



(II) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Hearing held March 23, 1996 1 

Text of H.R. 3024 87 

Statements of Members: 

Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, a U.S. Representative from Hawaii 12 

Burton, Hon. Dan, a U.S. Representative from Indiana 9 

Kennedy, Hon. Patrick, a U.S. Representative from Rhode Island 15 

Romero-Barcelo, Hon. Carlos, a U.S. Delegate from Puerto Rico 6 

Roth, Hon. Toby, a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin 12 

Underwood, Hon. Robert, a U.S. Delegate from Guam 14 

Young, Hon. Don, a U.S. Representative from Alaska 1 

Statements of witnesses: 

Aboy, Roberto Buso, Bar Association of Puerto Rico 78 

Prepared statement 172 

Acevedo, President Hector Luis, Popular Democratic Party 32 

Prepared statement Ill 

Brown, Chairman Herbert W., Ill, Citizens Educational Foundation 76 

Prepared statement 143 

De Rosario, Pilar Barbosa (prepared statement) 202 

Fas-Alzamora, Antonia J., Esq 74 

Prepared statement 139 

Ferre, Luis A., founder and representative of the New Progressive Party 

of Puerto Rico 54 

Garcia-Passalacqua, Juan M., Presidente, Analsis Incorporado 64 

Prepared statement 105 

Loubriel, Wilson M. {prepared statement) 207 

Martinez, President Ruben Berrios, Puerto Rican Independence Party 48 

Prepared statement 115 

Martinez, Noel Colon (prepared statement) 225 

Ortiz, Angel Israel Rivera (prepared statement) 212 

Ramirez de Ferrer, Dr. Miriam J. (prepared statement) 192 

Rossello, Governor Pedro, from Puerto Rico 17 

Vega-Romos, Luis, President, PROELA 66 

Prepared statement 124 

Additional material supplied: 

Bush, President George: Memorandum on the Commonwealth of Puerto 

Rico, dated Nov. 30, 1992 173 

De Rosario, Pilar Barljosa: Letter dated March 24, 1996, to Don Young .... 183 

Ferre, Luis A.: Letter dated March 12, 1996, to Hon. Don Young 233 

Ford, President Gerald R.: Letter dated Jan. 14, 1977, to Speaker of 

the House 246 

Joint Letter from 32 signers, dated March 4, 1996, to Hon. Elton 

Gallegly 236 

Rossello, Pedro: Letter dated March 13, 1996, to Hon. Elton Gallegly 235 

Torres, Zaida Hernandez: Letter dated March 1, 1996, to Hon. Elton 

Gallegly 231 

Valentin, Manuel Roman: Letter dated Jan. 23, 1996, to Hon. Don Young 238 

Vidal, Ramon E. Dapena: Letter dated Feb. 9, 1996, to Hon. Don Young .. 223 
Young, Don: 

Letter dated Feb. 29, 1996, to Mr. Roberto Rexach-Benitez and Ms. 

Hernandez-Torres 174 

Letter dated March 4, 1996, to Colleague 179 

Communications submitted: 

Congressional Record excerpt dated March 6, 1996, Vol. 142 No. 29 180 



(III) 



^ Page 



°°Tottof ChVolTe*datd''Mtchl4. 199<^Sovere,gnty or statehood to ^^^ 

Puerto Rico by 2° W -v'- :.;: p-.:(oR|c-„ status Act .^^ 182 

KTorTTm*/d"?rM!S^S^1?6^Hean„gWe,ghs^ ^^^ 

on Puerto Rico 



U.S.-PUERTO RICO POLITICAL STATUS ACT 



SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 1996 

House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Native 
American and Insular Affairs, Committee on Re- 
sources, 

San Juan, Puerto Rico 
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 a.m., at Gov- 
ernment Reception Center, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Honor- 
able Don Young [Chairman] presiding. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. DON YOUNG, A U.S. REPRESENTA- 
TIVE FROM ALASKA; AND CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON RE- 
SOURCES 

Mr. Young. It is my intention to keep our hearing on schedule. 
This is the first hearing in Puerto Rico on the Legislation H.R 3024 
United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act. 

I will make an opening statement, and then I will recognize Mr. 
Romero-Barcelo, as your delegate, and then alternate between each 
member of the committee. 

I would like to thank the members for being here for this hear- 
ing, this historical moment, and the audience, which I hope will 
participate in the feeding of information. 

When I became chairman I made the decision to bring the Unit- 
ed States Government to the people, and have hearings in the 
areas in which the people are affected. 

It is an honor to be here today in this internationally renowned 
city of San Juan — in the gorgeous weather — regarding an issue 
that has gone unresolved for many centuries: providing a process 
leading to full self government of Puerto Rico. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Let me thank our distinguished witnesses for their 
willingness to appear before the subcommittee today and share 
their differing views — and I mention that differing views regarding 
legislation now pending in the Congress, and the subject of this 
hearing, the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act of H.R. 
3024. 

We received a large number of requests to testify from many sec- 
tors of Puerto Rico. Although the amount of time available for to- 
day's hearing has limited the number who will present their testi- 
monies orally, all other requesters have been notified by letter that 
they may submit their written statements for the official hearing 
file. 

(1) 



All of the testimonies submitted will be reviewed and considered 
as the bill moves through the legislative process. All of your input 
is valued and appreciated. 

I also want to thank the Legislature of Puerto Rico, and I am ad- 
dressing all members of all parties for their cooperation with this 
hearing. I understand that some may not be in favor of the pending 
legislation, but again, I thank you for your cooperation. 

It is indeed appropriate for the second hearing of the 104th Con- 
gress on the issue of Puerto Rico's status be held near the Capital. 
It is the Legislature of Puerto Rico who called upon the 104th Con- 
gress to respond to the results of the 1993 status plebiscite and to 
indicate the next steps in the process to resolve Puerto Rico's sta- 
tus. 

We are here today fundamentally because of a very special docu- 
ment — a very special document — the Constitution of the United 
States. 

The United States is a constitutional democracy, which means 
the government of the people, based on the provisions of the Con- 
stitution. 

The roles of the Presidents, the courts, and the Congress are de- 
fined by the Constitution. 

Congress is given the responsibility for territories. According to 
Article IV, "The Congress shall have the power to dispose of and 
make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or 
other property belonging to the United States." 

In the Congress, it is the Committee on Resources of the House 
that has jurisdiction for those territories. In other words, the buck 
stops here. I know from experience that territorial issues can be 
difficult to resolve. 

When the Legislature of Puerto Rico enacted Concurrent Resolu- 
tion 62, asking the 104th Congress to respond to the results of the 
1993 status plebiscite, and to indicate the next steps necessary for 
Puerto Rico to resolve the status issue, I realized we should base 
a legislative proposal on the proven successes of this century. 

If you'll look at the display behind me, there have been 10 areas 
under the sovereignty or control of the United States during the 
20th century which have attained permanent self government. 

Five of these became separate sovereigns, as either independent 
or freely associated States; and the other five territories became 
States of the Union. 

Full self government has generally been developed in three 
stages involving an initial decision, a transition period, and an im- 
plementation act. 

In the case of the Philippines, which also came under United 
States sovereignty with Puerto Rico under the Treaty of Paris, 
there was an initial decision in 1916 by the United States — in the 
Philippines to seek separate sovereignty. 

In 1934, Congress enacted a 10-year transition plan for the Com- 
monwealth of the Philippines, which culminated with an independ- 
ence act in 1946, from 1916 to 1946. 

The latest areas under United States Administration to gain self 
government are the free associated States of the Marshall Islands, 
Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia. 



Although Puerto Rico experienced increased self government dur- 
ing the first half of the 20th century, these critical stages of devel- 
opment of full self government have yet to occur. 

It is clear that in order for Puerto Rico to advance toward full 
self government in an orderly manner, legislation must provide for 
these three stages, beginning with an initial decision of choices de- 
fined by Congress and approved by the people of Puerto Rico. 

I want to stress that. Being from Alaska we went through the 
same thing. Defined by Congress and approved by the people of 
Puerto Rico. 

The United States Puerto Rico Political Status Act, H.R. 3024, 
uses all three historical stages to provide a careful and slow proc- 
ess leading to full self-government. 

Let me explain this three stage process of the United States- 
Puerto Rico Political Status Act. 

First, it helps to envision the process leading to full self govern- 
ment as a road map, with Puerto Rico as the car. 

Although Puerto Rico made remarkable progress in local self gov- 
ernment by mid-century, with the direct election of Governor and 
the authorization and conditional approval by Congress of a local 
constitution, there has been no other significant advances in self 
government. 

Clearly Puerto Rico has eclipsed all other territories in the level 
of self government at that time. Only Puerto Rico elected their gov- 
ernor and operated under a local constitution. 

However, since that time, the other territories have either be- 
come fully self governing, or have also reached a similar level of 
self government. For over 40 years, Puerto Rico has been poised at 
the junction of different paths toward self government. 

On April 18, 1952, President Harry Truman responded to a letter 
of Governor Muiioz regarding the recent adoption of the Constitu- 
tion of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico by stating, "I think we 
have made great strides. The adoption of the constitution that per- 
sonally gives Puerto Rico the status of a State in the Union is a 
wonderful step in the right direction." 

That was President Truman. 

The initial decision stage of the legislation permits Puerto Rico 
to decide which path to follow toward self government — either sep- 
arate sovereignty leading to independence, or free association, or 
United States sovereignty leading to statehood. 

The vote would be conducted by Puerto Rico before the end of 
1998. The President then would send Congress a Transition Plan 
for full self government based upon the outcome of the referendum. 

After Congress passes the Transition Plan, Puerto Rico would 
have another vote. If the Transition Plan is not approved in the 
second Transition Stage Referendum, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico would remain at the fork in the road as an unincorporated ter- 
ritory. 

However, if the Transition Plan is approved, Puerto Rico moves 
forward along the path toward self government in a 10-year transi- 
tion. 

The final implementation of stage begins at least two years be- 
fore the end of the transition period with the President sending 
Congress a proposed Implementation Act. 



After Congress passes the Implementation Act, the third vote is 
held in Puerto Rico. If the Implementation Act is not approved, 
Puerto Rico remains under the United States sovereignty. 

However, if the Act is approved, Puerto Rico arrives at the end 
of the path and attains full, permanent, full self government, either 
through separate sovereignty of independence, or free association, 
or through the United States Sovereignty and Statehood. 

During this century, the number of years it has taken for areas 
under United States control to achieve full self government has 
varied greatly. And I want to stress that. If you look at that, this 
century has taken a lot of different time for different areas. 

Cuba became independent in three years, and Oklahoma became 
a State after 104 years. 

Under the timeframes set forth in the legislation for the develop- 
ment of full self government, including a 10-year transition, Puerto 
Rico can reach full self government in the year 2010, or after 113 
years of United States government control. The longest time for 
any territory. 

The territorial clause will no longer apply when Puerto Rico be- 
comes a separate sovereign or a State. 

I believe full self government will be in the best interests of both 
the United States and Puerto Rico, whether as a separate sov- 
ereign, or as a State of the the Union. 

The people of Puerto Rico have a right to be fully enfranchised — 
not defranchised — enfranchised, either on their own as a separate 
sovereign, or within the United States political system as a State. 

I look forward to hearing the testimony after the other Congress- 
men make their presentations. I am open to suggestions. I want to 
stress that. I am open to suggestion. This is a hearing process. 

I am open to suggestion to improve the bill, as long as it remains 
consistent with the overall objective to provide a process leading to 
full self government for Puerto Rico. 

Thank you. 

[Applause.] 

[The prepared statements of Hon. Don Young and Hon. Elton 
Gallegly follow:] 

Statement of Hon. Don Young 

Today, the introduction of the "United States-Puerto Rico PoHtical Status Act" 
will, for the first time in nearly a century of U.S. administration, provide a Congres- 
sionally recognized frame work for the inhabitant of Puerto Rico to freely express 
their wishes regarding the options for full self-government. 

I want to acknowledge the insightful leadership of Speaker Newt Gingrich in 
working with the Committee to formulate a process to advance the U.S. -Puerto Rico 
relationship towards a conclusive one of full self-government. 

A number of Members have been supportive and instrumental in the development 
of the legislation, including Elton Gallegly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Na- 
tive American and Insular Affairs of the Committee on Resources, Ben Gilman, 
Chairman of the Committee on International Relations, and Dan Burton, Chairman 
of the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere who co-chaired with Mr. Gallegly 
the October 17, 1995 joint hearing on the 1993 Puerto Rico status plebiscite. There 
also has been substantial input from Members on the other side of the aisle. 

This matter of tremendous importance to the United States and the nearly 4 mil- 
lion U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico can only be resolved by adhering to constitutionally 
and internationally based principles and standards for full self-government. 

While many may misconstrue this legislation to be designed to benefit one local 
Puerto Rico political party over another, it is in fact a serious bipartisan effort to 
enact into law a pragmatic process with the long-term objective of resolving the 



Puerto Rico dilemma. The legislation divides the process into three manageable 
stages which follow historical precedent set by the Congress in providing for final 
political statuses of territories and trust territories during this century. 

After 400 years of colonial rule by Spain ended in 1898, it should not have taken 
another 100 years of American administration of the U.S. Congress to define the op- 
tions for full and permanent self-government. 

The United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act permits full self-government 
to be realized in Puerto Rico in definitive steps, with a smooth transition to what- 
ever form of full self-government the people choose: Independence, separate sov- 
ereignty in free association with the United States, or Statehood. 



Statement of Hon. Elton Gallegly, A U.S. Representative from California; 
AND Chairman, Subcommittee on Native American and Insular Affairs 

Congress has a Constitutional responsibility to act to provide a process for full 
self-government for Puerto Rico Political Status Act will permit the United States 
and Puerto Rico to cooperatively advance down the path of full self-government se- 
lected by the people of Puerto Rico. 

Congress is providing the structure for attaining full self-government in Puerto 
Rico — consistent with Constitutionally and internationally based standards and 

Erinciples, with definite time frames for action. By the year 2010, Puerto Rico could 
e a separate sovereign and member of the United Nations, or a state of the Union. 

Let me note that it is not only Puerto Rico self-determination which is involved. 
The United States also has a right to self-determination. That is why both the Unit- 
ed States and Puerto Rico are included in the title of this bill both the United States 
Congress and the people of Puerto Rico are required to take their respective step 
in approving each stage in the process prescribea in the bill in order attain full self- 
government. 

This is a monumental undertaking, but one deserving of the energy and time re- 
quired. The co-sponsorship of this bill by Speaker Gingrich is indicative of the im- 
portance of this matter to this body. The people of Puerto Rico deserve nothing less 
than a clearly defined process leading to a full self-government relationship with the 
United States — whether that be without or within the sovereignty of the United 
States. Either choice is acceptable as status alternatives of full political dignity. 

Mr. Young. Now I recognize the former governor, Romero- 
Barcelo, a good friend of mine that serves on the committee. Gov- 
ernor? 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

And, Mr. Chairman, first I would like to offer here a statement 
by ranking minority member. Congressman George Miller, who has 
asked me to submit this for the record as his statement. 

Mr. Young. Without objection, so ordered. 

[The prepared statement of the Hon. George Miller follows:] 

The statement of Hon. George Miller, a U.S. Respresentative from 

California 

Today's hearing by the Subcommittee on Native American and Insular Affairs 
marks another important step towards a goal we all share: the determination of a 
permanent political status for Puerto Rico. 

The decision of status must be made by the voters of Puerto Rico — clearly, deci- 
sively and credibly. Past efforts, including the plebiscite of 1993, did not yield the 
clear results that are needed to permit the Congress of the United States to consider 
the status question. 

Any new plebiscite must result in a decisive statement by a majority of Puerto 
Rico voters. And to be credible, that vote must be free of any taint of pressure of 
bias. In my view, H.R. 3024 as introduced will not pass that test, and would not 
produce a result that would be viewed credibly by the United States Congress, and 
properly so. 

H.R. 3024 plays games with the plebiscite process by prohibiting voters from 
choosing an option — Commonwealth — that is not only a legitimate and longstanding 
political faction among voters, but also is the option selected by a plurality in the 
1993 plebiscite. 

The Commonwealth option, like the other options placed before the voters, must 
be realistic and unbiased. These options should state the legal and factual ramifica- 



tions of each status choice. And Puerto Rico voters should be able to make their de- 
cision without being forced to choose from what they may regard as the lesser of 
two evils. 

If this legislation is amended to present a fair and credible Commonwealth option, 
or other options that reflect the views of a significant portion of the electorate, I 
will be pleased to support its passage. Otherwise, we will offer amendments to en- 
sure that the Congress does not prejudge the voters of Puerto Rico by limiting their 
choices unfairly. I note with satisfaction editorials in the San Juan Star & El Nuevo 
Dia just this week endorsing this position which I proposed earlier this month. 

We all seek a decisive result from the next plebiscite, and I recognize that some 
who favor H.R. 3024 in its present from believe the limitation of choices is the only 
way to produce a clear winner. In my view, the end simply does not justify the 
means because the provisions of H.R. 3024 taint the electoral process and, by so 
doing, taint the outcome itself 

I personally endorse no particular long term status for Puerto Rico. That is very 
much a decision for the people of Puerto Rico themselves without pressure from the 
Congress. I am hopeful this legislation can and will be amended as I have rec- 
ommended so that we — and especially the people of Puerto Rico — can move forward 
to resolve finally this hundred year old question of status. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. CARLOS ROMERO-BARCELO, THE 
RESIDENT COMMISSIONER FROM PUERTO RICO 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Mr. Chairman, first of all I would like to 
welcome you, Mr. Young, as chairman of this Resource Committee, 
to Puerto Rico. And welcome, Mr. Burton, our chairman of the 
Western Hemisphere subcommittee, and my fellow Committee 
Members and good friends. Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Patrick 
Kennedy, and Bob Underwood, and the distinguished gentleman 
from Wisconsin, Toby Roth. Welcome to Puerto Rico, the Shining 
Star of the Caribbean. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank you, 
Mr. Chairman, for your interest in matters related to Puerto Rico, 
and for your commitment to achieve full self government, and to 
put an end to the disenfranchisement of the 3.7 million American 
citizens that reside on the Island. 

Furthermore, I want to thank the three newest cosponsors of this 
bill. Congressman Wayne Gilchrist, Richard Pombo, and Michael 
Forbes. 

Both Mr. Gilchrist and Mr. Pombo are very distinguished Mem- 
bers of this Committee, and their addition brings the total of the 
Resources Committee cosponsors to fourteen. And 41 members are 
so far cosponsoring this bill. 

Mr. Chairman, when you introduced the United States-Puerto 
Rico Political Status Act a couple of weeks ago, few people on the 
Island took this effort seriously. 

Many saw this legislation as just another status bill with no pos- 
sibility, a bill that was dead on arrival, a bill that would fade away 
like so many others in the past. 

Two weeks and 41 Congressional cosponsors later — including 
among them the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt 
Gingrich — we meet in the historical city of San Juan, the oldest 
city in the United States, to continue building upon a process that 
suddenly seems to be very serious, even to the most skeptical 
minds. 

I believe that the presence of seven Members of Congress here 
today attests to the seriousness of this effort. 



As we begin today's vital discussions, and hear from the very dis- 
tinguished panehsts representing the entire political spectrum of 
the Island, I believe that it is of the utmost importance that we put 
this event in the proper perspective. 

Puerto Rico became a possession in 1898. Nineteen years later, 
in 1917, U.S. citizenship was granted to all Puerto Ricans pursuant 
to the terms of the Jones Act. 

For nearly 80 years we have cherished and valued that citizen- 
ship with our hearts and our minds and have defended it with our 
blood. 

Nearly 200,000 Puerto Ricans have served in the United States 
in this century's major wars. Many paid the ultimate price for the 
cause of democracy, more so than in any other U.S. territory prior 
to their becoming a State, and in more than many States of the 
Union. 

The Commonwealthers, and even the independentistas, for they 
advocated for a combined Puerto Rico and U.S. citizenship in the 
1993 plebiscite independence definition, will have to agree with me 
that the U.S. citizenship is something that the vast majority of 
Puerto Ricans, over 95 percent, I would say, treasure deeply. 

However, the citizenship that we enjoy in Puerto Rico is less 
than equal to that of our fellow citizens in the 50 States. 

We are not empowered to give consent to the policies or decisions 
of the government under which we live, through proportional vot- 
ing representation in Congress, or voting in National elections. 

Neither are our rights as citizens as secure as those of our fellow 
citizens in the States. Nor do U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico re- 
ceive equal treatment under Federal policies and programs. 

The fact that Puerto Ricans do not pay Federal income taxes is 
often used by both the executive and the legislative branches of the 
Federal Government to justify this political and economic discrimi- 
nation and unequal treatment. 

Mr. Chairman, ours is a colonial relationship that clearly con- 
tradicts the basic tenets and principles of democracy, one in which 
Puerto Rico's economic, social, and political affairs are, in large de- 
gree, controlled and influenced by a government over which we ex- 
ercise no control, and in which we do not participate. 

Our Nation cannot continue to preach and, at times, attempt to 
enforce democracy throughout the world while at the same time it 
continues to disenfranchise and deny political participation and 
economic equality to 3.7 million of its own citizens. 

Therefore, the real issue is how can we enable the U.S. citizens 
of Puerto Rico to achieve a first-class citizenship? 

The answer to this fundamental question was clearly expressed 
in the February 29, 1996 historic letter that Chairman Young, Ben 
Oilman, Elton Oallegly, and Dan Burton sent to the leadership of 
the Puerto Rico Legislature. 

If we are ever to resolve Puerto Rico's status dilemma, the 
choices to do so are clear: 

(1) equality of benefits and burdens, rights and responsibilities, 
known to be attainable by the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico only 
through statehood, or, 



8 

(2) the establishment of a Puerto Rican citizenship through sepa- 
ration from the Federal union and commencement of a new era 
through a treaty based or bilateral pact relationship. 

Mr. Chairman, the masquerade is over. It is time for the pre- 
tending, the partisan mischief, and the dysfunctional political sta- 
tus process in Puerto Rico to end. 

It is time for all of us to put hypocrisy aside and be truthful 
about what the real choices are for Puerto Ricans. 

It is time to decide if we want to have full self government, and 
full empowerment, that will allow us to search for a brighter fu- 
ture, or if we would rather live hanging on to an outdated colonial 
relationship of the past. 

As we approach a century of U.S. sovereignty over Puerto Rico, 
the time has come to empower the people by giving them the clear 
choices which they understand, and which are truly decolonizing so 
that we can reveal Puerto Rico's true desire through a legitimate 
act of self determination. 

The bipartisan initiative that we are considering today seeks to 
resolve, once and for all, the long standing Puerto Rico status di- 
lemma by providing a Congressionally recognized process that 
would allow true Puerto Rican self determination for the first time 
since the U.S. acquired control over the territory of Puerto Rico 
nearly 100 years ago. 

I am both appalled and amazed by the fact that the Common- 
wealth party leadership has labeled this bill as undemocratic. They 
have compared you, Mr. Chairman, with Adolf Hitler. 

Well, the fact is that this criticism is coming from self proclaimed 
"leaders" who, while they preach democracy on one side, they 
would like to perpetuate a relationship that disenfranchises its own 
people, and denies them a vote, and equal participation in the deci- 
sionmaking process of their Nation. 

"Leaders" that would rather keep corporate welfare in billions of 
dollars worth of tax credits for U.S. companies operating in Puerto 
Rico then have our elderly, our persons with disabilities, and our 
children receive the same opportunities and treatment under Fed- 
eral programs that their fellow citizens in the 50 States receive. 

"Leaders" that promised the "best of two worlds" but have not 
been able to deliver on a single one of those promises. 

"Leaders" that want all the benefits of U.S. citizenship but none 
of its responsibilities. 

"Leaders" that want some of the sovereignty that comes only 
with independence but expect to keep their U.S. citizenship also. 

If the Congressional intent here is to establish a process to re- 
solve Puerto Rico's colonial dilemma permanently, then Common- 
wealth should not be included as an option, because Common- 
wealth means disenfranchisement. And that, Mr. Chairman, is the 
problem. 

As my good friend and colleague from New York, Congressman 
Jose Serrano, has said, "If you want to take the pulse of the people, 
see what they like, then Commonwealth should be included. 

However, if the intent is to start a truly decolonizing process, 
then this bill is the right approach." 

I do have to say that I look forward to Governor Pedro Rossello's 
testimony, particularly as it pertains to this subject. 



Even though I believe that the Commonwealth formula is incon- 
sistent with the purposes of this bill, I am open to the idea of in- 
cluding it as one of the options, so long as it is defined by Congress, 
and is not a dishonest "wish list" prepared by those who want to 
have their cake and eat it too. 

When history demands upon a people, they must either rise to 
the occasion, or live with the consequence of their inaction. 

In this, the last decade of the 20th century, the United Nation's 
proclaimed decade of decolonization, history demands that the peo- 
ple of Puerto Rico take control of their own destiny. 

To ignore the situation of Puerto Rico — that is, to ignore our dis- 
enfranchisement — is to betray the spirit of our own democratic val- 
ues. 

Mr. Chairman, and fellow Members, I want once again to thank 
you for your interest, and your attention to this vitally important 
matter. 

I look forward to the testimony of our distinguished guests and 
to further an expeditiously Congressional action on this subject. 

The 3.7 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico deserve no less. 

And, Mr. Chairman, just some final words. 

Some decades ago our nation decided in the south that a white 
majority could not disenfranchise an Afro-American minority. Here 
in Puerto Rico we have a political party, a political group that not 
only purports to maintain a minority disenfranchisement, but it 
purports to maintain all of the people of Puerto Rico 
disenfranchised, all of the citizens of the United States in Puerto 
Rico, 3,700,000. 

How can disenfranchisement be tolerated in a democracy? 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman. A very eloquent presen- 
tation. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. At this time I'd like to recognize the Congressman, 
Dan Burton, the subcommitteet chairman of International Affairs, 
Mr. Burton. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. DAN BURTON, A U.S. 
REPRESENTATIVE FROM INDIANA 

Mr. Burton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Governor, Mr. Mayor, distinguished guests, it is great to be here 
to see this great outpouring of democratic action. I don't think I 
have ever been to a meeting that was so well attended, in the 
streets and every place else, and so we really appreciate your en- 
thusiasm. 

his is a very timely event, something that has been a long time 
in coming, and I think that we are approaching the time when we 
are going to finally resolve the problems that we have been talking 
about regarding independence, statehood, or Commonwealth. 

I would like to thank my colleague, Don Young, Chairman of the 
House Committee on Resources, for this opportunity to have this 
hearing on the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act. 

As chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee, I have 
the desire and the responsibility to examine the political pref- 
erences of the people of Puerto Rico. 



10 

After all, the U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, are governed 
by or under the authority of Congress, pursuant to the territory 
clause. 

Further, the future political status of the island has broad impli- 
cations with respect to both National and international policy, and 
I believe, security as well. 

As you know, on December the 14th, 1994 the legislature of 
Puerto Rico adopted Concurrent Resolution 62 which sought Con- 
gressional guidance regarding the results of the 1993 plebiscite. 

Recently, Don Young, Ben Oilman, Elton Gallegly, and myself, 
the chairmen of the committees that deal with the status of Puerto 
Rico, responded in writing to Concurrent Resolution 62. 

I would like to, at this point, Mr. Chairman, insert this in the 
record, so that it will be made part of the record. 

Mr. Young. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Burton. The letter expresses clear, very clear Congressional 
intent with respect to Puerto Rico and its inhabitants, and any fu- 
ture actions hereto would be within the framework of the policy ex- 
pressed in that letter. 

Today, we are here to discuss H.R. 3024, the United States-Puer- 
to Rico Political Status Act. Essentially, the bill would provide a 
process of self determination and a path toward a permanent sta- 
tus for Puerto Rico. 

Under the bill, a plebiscite would be held not later than Decem- 
ber 31st, 1998. And approval of a status option must be by a major- 
ity of the votes case. 

Voters will be presented with two status options in the bill: one, 
the path of separate Puerto Rico sovereignty leading to independ- 
ence or free association. And, two, a path under United States sov- 
ereignty leading to statehood. 

In the 1993 plebiscite — and this is very important — the definition 
of the Commonwealth option received a plurality of the votes. 

However, as my colleagues and I have detailed in our letter to 
Concurrent Resolution 62, the Commonwealth definition in that 
plebiscite was both unworkable and unconstitutional. 

As drafted, that option would have established a bilateral pact 
where Puerto Rico would be granted veto power over all Federal 
and Congressional actions. 

Such a pact is highly unlikely, because Puerto Rico is currently 
an unincorporated territory subject to the authority of Congress 
under the territorial clause. 

If Puerto Rico was not a territory of the United States, then the 
Resources Committee and Congress would have no jurisdiction, and 
we would not be here today to discuss this important issue. 

Furthermore, the only viable status options that could be based 
on an unalterable bilateral pact are free association and independ- 
ence. 

The results of the 1993 plebiscite clearly reflect that the people 
of Puerto Rico want a change in the island's current status. 

In this light, the status quo does not seem to be consistent with 
the wishes of the people. 

In addition, the current relationship between the United States 
and Puerto Rico is constantly changing. For example, in Fiscal 



11 

Year 1995, Puerto Rico received $12 billion in Federal transfer pay- 
ments, including Section 936 tax credits. 

Given the current deficit reduction efforts in Congress, however, 
it is clear, very clear, that Section 936 will be significantly reduced 
or eliminated in the future. 

This uncertain climate will simply not provide Puerto Rico with 
the economic and social stability that it needs to prosper. 

Therefore, Congress needs to clarify the various options for a per- 
manent status and self government. 

H.R. 3024 provides Puerto Rico with realistic and achievable sta- 
tus options. Many supporters of the Commonwealth have criticized 
the Young bill because the Commonwealth option will not be on the 
ballot in the form that it appeared in the 1993 plebiscite. 

This charge deserves to be addressed, and I understand that 
Chairman Young will consider this possible change. However, if 
this occurs, the correct definition of Commonwealth must be what 
is on the ballot, as defined by the Constitution of the United States 
and the Congress. 

In the event that the people of Puerto Rico do not exercise their 
right to self determination. Commonwealth will continue to exist 
until Congress unilaterally determines Puerto Rico's disposition 
and the status of its inhabitants. 

Regardless, under H.R. 3024, Commonwealth has a distinct ad- 
vantage over independence, free association, or statehood. 

For any of these options to replace Commonwealth, the voters in 
Puerto Rico must approve the change three times by majority over 
a period of 10 years. 

On the other hand, a defeat in any one of these votes will keep 
the status quo in effect. 

Chairman Young specifically incorporated this into the bill to en- 
sure that Congress does not implement any new policies directly 
impacting Puerto Rico that are not supported by a majority of the 
island's residents. 

Nevertheless, let me be clear in stating that Commonwealth re- 
mains an option in the bill, a possible option in the bill, and that 
Congress has the authority, as I said, and the duty, to define what 
the options will be. 

As stated in my response to Concurrent Resolution 62, the 1993 
plebiscite Commonwealth definition was both unrealistic and un- 
constitutional. 

Therefore, it must be defined as an unincorporated territory sub- 
ject to the jurisdiction of the Congress of the United States. It can- 
not be considered a permanent status. 

On a final note, I would like to emphasize that the continued un- 
certainty over Puerto Rico's political status does not serve the best 
interests of the mainland United States or Puerto Rico. 

As such, I encourage my colleagues to move forward on H.R. 
3024. I believe this bill provides an opportunity to work together 
with the people of Puerto Rico and forge a consensus relationship 
between them and the mainland. 

In this respect, and in the interest of mutual prosperity, I look 
forward to hearing from our witnesses, and I thank you, Mr. Chair- 
man. 

Mr. Young. Thank you. 



12 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman, the chairman, Mr. Burton. 
At this time I would like to recognize the Congressman Abercrom- 
bie from Hawaii, my sister State. Congressman, you're on. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, A U.S. 
REPRESENTATIVE FROM HAWAII 

Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

Buenas dias, Puerto Rico. 

I bring you greetings from the 50th state of Hawaii, the rainbow 
State. Aloha, aloha, noeloha. 

I join with Mr. Young, our 49th state, and Hawaii, the 50th 
State. Hawaii, as you know, and the people of Hawaii are an island 
people. And so I feel a very close relationship with the people of 
Puerto Rico. 

I, too, was excited by the enthusiasm coming here today. I am 
here to listen. I feel an obligation and responsibility as a represent- 
ative of urban Honolulu in the rainbow State, the last State to 
enter the Union, to pay respectful attention to the views being ex- 
pressed today. 

I look forward to hearing from you. I look forward to the resolu- 
tion of this issue. And I thank you once again with a mahalo 
nuiloha, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here with 
you in Puerto Rico today. Viva la gente! 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman from Hawaii, and I also have 
great sympathy for the Interpreter. 

At this time I'd like to recognize the gentleman, Mr. Roth from 
Wisconsin. Mr. Roth. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. TOBY ROTH, A U.S. 
REPRESENTATIVE FROM WISCONSIN 

Mr. Roth. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate 
being invited to be here today, and I compliment you, Mr. Chair- 
man, for coming all this way to have this hearing. And I enjoy 
being with the members of this panel, all of them my friends. 

Mr. Chairman, Puerto Rico for me is a special place, and the 
Puerto Rican people are a special people. 

I came to this wonderful island sometime ago and was struck by 
how proud the Puerto Rican people are of their heritage. 

I attended school in the early sixties with young men and women 
from Puerto Rico at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and later 
on at the University of Wisconsin. 

I have found the Puerto Rican people to be a proud people, and 
they should be proud. Puerto Rico's culture is rich with history and 
language, and has impressive monuments that are unique to the 
people of Puerto Rico. 

From the island's historical figures, like Ponce de Leon, their 
first governor, to the history making battles fought at El Morro, 
Puerto Rico has a rich legacy that sets it apart from any other na- 
tion. 

Since 1917, that legacy has been intertwined with the United 
States. Puerto Rico and the United States formalized the Common- 
wealth relationship they have enjoyed since 1952. 



13 

For over four decades, both peoples have benefited from this as- 
sociation, and the mixing of cultures, languages, and heritage have 
made both countries richer and more diverse. 

Today, this special relationship continues to be an issue that ex- 
cites the passions of the Puerto Rican people. 

It seems that, once every generation, the island reevaluates its 
political status and revisits the issue by putting its future in the 
hands of the Puerto Rican people. Such was the case in 1967, and 
again, just recently, in 1993. 

This is clearly not a matter to be taken lightly. Congress has a 
role to play in the resolution of this issue. 

But I believe that the proper role for that lies in respecting the 
wishes of the Puerto Rican people, and acting on the democratically 
expressed decision regarding their political status. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. I have always maintained a strict neutrality on this 
issue. I don't have a position on the political status question. My 
only interest is in being here today to ensure that the people of 
Puerto Rico have the freedom of choice when deciding their fate. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. The relation between our two Nations, between the 
United States Congress and the Puerto Rican people, has always 
been one based on mutual respect and faith in the democratic prin- 
ciples of government. 

The only way to continue this democratic tradition is to present 
the people of Puerto Rico with all the options available to them and 
let them decide. 

It would seem to me that they expressed their views three years 
ago, when the Commonwealth option won a clear plurality of the 
votes. 

There are some people in Washington and in Puerto Rico who 
would like to overlook the results of that referendum, or at least 
cast doubts on their legitimacy. I believe that it would be a mis- 
take. 

The 1993 plebiscite was a fair expression of the Puerto Rican 
people's will. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. It was called by the duly elected government in power, 
and it was held on the government's terms. I see no reason to effec- 
tively nullify the results of this referendum, and I think it the 
Congress's duty in this matter to respect, respect the expressed 
views of the Puerto Rican people. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. Puerto Rico and its citizens may freely decide to re- 
visit this issue. That is their right as a self governing nation. How- 
ever, no other country or government or individuals or those gov- 
ernments should intervene or meddle in the local political matter. 

I believe the United States Congress shares my views that the 
people of Puerto Rico, and they alone, should decide the political 
status of their island. 

I respect the people of Puerto Rico. I feel that the people of Puer- 
to Rico can decide their own fate. They don't need other people 
coming in here telling them what to do. Let the people of Puerto 
Rico decide. 



14 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman. And may I remind the audi- 
ence, you have now seen democracy at work. This is what this all 
about. This is a hearing process, and although Mr. Roth gave us 
a very emotional presentation, just keep in mind that Mr. Roth will 
not be with us next year. 

[Laughter and applause.] 

Mr. Young. But I have also again tried in my ability to do the 
thing that is correct, and that is to have a hearing process go forth, 
to listen to people constructively and try to solve this issue where 
Puerto Rico is going to be in the future. 

At this time I would like to recognize another gentleman who has 
the interests of Puerto Rico, and his own territory, Mr. Underwood 
from Guam, much further away even than Puerto Rico. Congress- 
man Underwood, please. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. ROBERT UNDERWOOD, A U.S. DELE- 
GATE IN CONGRESS FROM THE NON-SELF GOVERNING 
TERRIROTY OF GUAM 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

And Buenas dias to the people of Puerto Rico. 

I represent, as many of you know, an area of the United States 
that is exactly on the opposite end of the world. Yet my own home 
island of Guam is linked to Puerto Rico in many ways. And in 
many ways historically. 

And these are ways in which I am constantly reminded, not only 
by the kind of ambiance that I feel here, but also the fact of his- 
tories being intertwined. 

Both Guam and Puerto Rico became part of the American frame- 
work through the Treaty of Paris and in the Spanish-American 
War, and as a result of the Spanish-American War we, the conflict 
really produced four island children; Cuba, and the Philippines, 
which have since been resolved. And the two remaining children 
are Puerto Rico and Guam. 

I certainly wouldn't want to characterize those children as prob- 
lem children, but they certainly remain as challenges for the peo- 
ples involved, and certainly for the United States. 

I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this 
hearing in Puerto Rico and for, I think, establishing a Federal re- 
sponsibility toward the resolution of political status. 

I think one of the great defects perhaps in the process of discuss- 
ing political status is the lack of a clear Federal policy in terms of 
that, and a clear Federal process. 

I am committed to the full resolution of political status issues, 
but I am committed to the full resolution only with the full explo- 
ration of political status options. 

I think any kind of political status resolution process which at- 
tempts to disguise, or perhaps eliminate options, is one that is not 
tolerable. 

I believe, and I am committed, to full consultation with the peo- 
ples involved, and respect for the process of self determination. And 
I believe, and I remain committed to the idea and the recognition 
that there are unique, historical developments for some peoples. 
And that whether it is under the U.S. flag, or separately from the 



15 

U.S. flag, or with the U.S. flag under some special conditions, I 
fully accept the fact that there may be some special conditions in 
recognition of unique historical circumstances. 

Some people may characterize that as having your cake and eat 
it too, but I prefer to think of it as getting your just desserts. 

It is an honor to be here, and it is also an honor to bear witness 
to the spirit and the intensity with which the various positions are 
articulated here in Puerto Rico. 

I only wish that every community that I come into contact with 
could be as spirited and as committed as you are. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. At this time I will recognize our most junior member 
on the committee, which I have great hope and aspiration for, if I 
can just get him away from George Miller a while we might make 
progress. I'd like to recognize Mr. Kennedy. Congressman Kennedy, 
you're on. 

STATEMENT OF THE HON. PATRICK KENNEDY, A U.S. 
REPRESENTATIVE FROM RHODE ISLAND 

Mr. Kennedy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Buenas dias. 

Last evening I had the opportunity to fly into Gov. Muhoz-Marin 
Airport, and it gave me a great deal of pride to know that my 
uncle. President Kennedy, was a great friend of Gov. Muiioz Marin. 

In 1962 President Kennedy had a vision for Puerto Rico, so that 
Puerto Rico could develop itself, and its economy, and its way of 
life for all of its people. 

Today I am pleased to be joined with my colleagues in working 
toward the next logical step called for by President Kennedy, and 
that step, I believe, is H.R. 3024. 

H.R. 3024 is a step which ultimately belongs to the 3.7 million 
people here in Puerto Rico. But, for the record, let me say that 
given the same choice, in the same set of circumstances, I would, 
without any reservation, choose for Puerto Rico to become the 51st 
State of the United States of America. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico 
has become the shining star of the Caribbean, and in large meas- 
ure it has been because of its Commonwealth status. 

But unfortunately, as a territory, the scope of Puerto Rico's fu- 
ture, going forward, is limited under a Commonwealth status. 

The day of Puerto Rico 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. The day of Puerto Rico being able to quote/un- 
quote have the best of both worlds, because of its Commonwealth 
status, are coming to an end. 

You only need to look at this Congress, and I know as active and 
as interested as anyone is, in the political processes going on in the 
United States Congress, that they understand what I mean when 
I say that we are going through changes right now in the United 
States of America, in the United States Congress. And it's impor- 
tant that Puerto Rico keep up with the dynamic changes that are 
taking place. 



16 

With the forthcoming budget reductions in the Congress, in its 
budget, there will be less money allocated for Puerto Rico in discre- 
tionary entitlement funds. And it is misleading to assume that the 
citizens of Puerto Rico will continue to prosper under Common- 
wealth status when their very coveted 936 tax and economic status, 
that has defined Puerto Rico and the United States relationship, is 
itself beginning to come under review and change. 

As a State, the wealth of opportunities available to Puerto Rico 
are boundless. In the United States Congress you'd have Rep- 
resentatives and Senators who could vote for you, who could fight 
for you, who could work for you. 

[Applause.! 

Mr. Kennedy. And, Mr. Chairman, this is the essence of rep- 
resentative democracy. 

In my State of Rhode Island I am fighting very hard for my con- 
stituents, very hard for their health care, very hard for their edu- 
cation, and their ability to work and earn a living. 

I know that you want your representatives to have the same 
power to vote as I have in the United States Congress. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. Just for a moment, with respect to us telling the 
people of Puerto Rico what's in their best interests, let me just say, 
under the current territorial status, we in the Congress could pass 
English as an official language. And as a territory you'd have to 
comply with it, even though it may run contrary to your own wish- 
es. 

And, to me, that is the affront to the people of Puerto Rico. That 
is where your self determination is being at the expense of. 

And when you look at the number of wars that the people of 
Puerto Rico have fought on behalf of the United States of America, 
and yet they weren't even able to vote for their commander-in- 
chief, even though they were willing to lay down their lives for the 
people. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. In conclusion, let me just say that I believe, once 
again, that the shining star of the Caribbean will make an even 
more bright shining star as the 51st State in the United States of 
America. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Again, may I express, this is democracy. If you no- 
tice, that there's two speakers at both ends, and then you have the 
middle. So I deeply appreciate the process which we go through. 

Now we'll get to the witnesses. And I could remind my good 
friends in the audience, those that have strong feelings on both 
sides, if you interrupt too often for the fine testimony that will 
occur, that means you possibly could take time from the testimony. 

So, when I wave this little gavel down, you don't have to pay at- 
tention to it, but I'd appreciate it if you would try to watch it real 
close. It helps things go along pretty good. 

I would like to at this time, and it gives me great honor, to intro- 
duce the Honorable Pedro Rossello, Governor of Puerto Rico. Gov- 
ernor? 

[Applause.] 



17 

Mr. Young. Before the Governor gives his testimony I'd like to 
also recognize his lovely wife in the audience. Please stand. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Governor, it's an honor to have you here, and you're 
on. 

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PEDRO ROSSELLO, 
GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO 

Governor RosSELLO. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Chairman, I am Pedro Rossello, and I appear before this sub- 
committee as Governor of Puerto Rico. 

I extend a warm welcome to Chairman Don Young of the Com- 
mittee on Resources, and the members of the Subcomittee on Na- 
tive American and Insular Affairs, including the gentleman from 
Puerto Rico, Resident Commissioner Carlos Romero-Barcelo. 

I also want to welcome Chairman Dan Burton of the subcommit- 
tee on the Western Hemisphere, and the other Members of Con- 
gress who, by their presence at this hearing, are demonstrating 
commendable interest in the vital issue of authentic and perma- 
nent self determination for the 3.7 million of their fellow citizens. 

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. But 
to reach his destination, a traveler must head in the right direc- 
tion. 

In our quest for self determination we, the people of Puerto Rico, 
have taken thousands of steps, dating all the way back to the 19th 
century. Yet it could be argued, quite plausibly, that those thou- 
sands of steps have carried us closer to our destination by as little 
as a single mile. 

Literally, for generations, we have been exerting ourselves — ear- 
nestly and in good faith — only to discover again and again that our 
body politic has been going around in circles. 

We have possessed the will. What we have lacked is the way. 

Missing has been a compass, an instrument that will unfailingly 
keep us on course by pointing us always in the right direction. 

Now, at last, our constitutional partner in the self determination 
process, the United States Congress, is furnishing that necessary 
tool. 

H.R. 3024, the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act, is 
indeed a compass. It is a sturdy, reliable compass. We, the people 
of Puerto Rico, requested such an instrument. Chairman Young has 
provided it. 

What do I mean when I assert that we, the people, requested 
this compass? What I mean is this: 

In 1992, 85 percent of Puerto Rico's eligible voters went to the 
polls. 

By the largest margin in 20 years, those voters elected a slate 
of candidates who promised that upon taking office they would act 
immediately to consult the people of Puerto Rico on the subject of 
political status. 

In 1993 that promise was kept: 3.5 percent of Puerto Rico's eligi- 
ble voters participated in a consultation process that was conducted 
with the full and unequivocal support of all three Puerto Rican po- 
litical parties. 



18 

In 1994, the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico adopted a con- 
current resolution which conveyed to the Congress of the United 
States a formal petition that Congress respond to the outcome of 
that 1993 consultation. 

In 1995, this Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, 
meeting jointly with the International Relations Subcommittee on 
the Western Hemisphere, conducted a hearing in Washington, DC, 
for the purpose of evaluating the Puerto Rico political status con- 
sultation of 1993. 

And in 1996, exactly 17 days ago. Chairman Young introduced 
H.R. 3024, a bill that responds clearly, fairly, comprehensively to 
the request for a compass that we, the people of Puerto Rico, have 
systematically articulated, one step at a time, over the past 4- 
years. 

H.R. 3024 offers the people of Puerto Rico a responsible, dig- 
nified, eminently viable mechanism for emerging at last from the 
vicious circle of sound and fury signifying nothing, a vicious circle 
that has wasted, wastefuUy consumed far too much of our energy 
throughout the entire 98 years of United States sovereignty over 
our homeland. 

I am deeply grateful to Chairman Young, as well as to Speaker 
Newt Gingrich, and dozens of other cosponsors of this bill. 

The United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act is truly a 
blueprint for constructive collaboration between the Federal Gov- 
ernment and the people of Puerto Rico on the fundamental ques- 
tion of democratic self determination for Puerto Rico, consonant 
both with the United States Constitution and the principles of 
international law. 

Having said that, Mr. Chairman, I must caution the subcommit- 
tee that patience and persistence will be required in abundance as 
we set about the arduous task of draining that bottomless quag- 
mire of indefmition. 

The entrenched local custom of mounting ideological obstacles to 
dispassionate policymaking has not evaporated with the introduc- 
tion of H.R. 3024. 

Accordingly, this subcommittee will, both today and in the weeks 
ahead, be obliged to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous 
testimony. 

As you listen conscientiously to critics of this bill, it will be help- 
ful to keep firmly in mind a few salient facts. 

The central theme of the criticism that has surfaced regarding 
H.R. 3024 is that allegedly it presumes to abolish the so called 
Commonwealth status under which Puerto Rico is currently gov- 
erned. 

This, we are told, is anti-democratic, arbitrary, dictatorial, de- 
meaning. 

As you well know, however, such criticism is predicated upon a 
premise that is utterly false. 

H.R. 3024 establishes a procedure for decolonization that entails 
three separate referenda spread over a period of at least 10 years. 

However, if any one of these three referenda produces an incon- 
clusive outcome, with no form of full self government obtaining a 
majority support, then the whole process concludes, back where we 
started. 



19 

In that event, Puerto Rico's current political status, and Puerto 
Rico's current Commonwealth government structure, would con- 
tinue to exist in their present form. 

This is the reality, as specifically expressed in the bill. It is a 
mechanism that is eminently fair. 

Nevertheless, it is my duty, as Governor of all Puerto Ricans, to 
ensure that the reality of fairness goes hand in hand with the per- 
ception of fairness. 

We must ensure that demagogic arguments can never cast a 
shadow over a process that is of such momentous importance for 
the people of Puerto Rico. 

For that reason I submit to you that the option of Common- 
wealth, Estado Libre Asociado, should be explicitly included on the 
ballot in the 1998 referendum that will commence this whole proc- 
ess. 

Such an approach will require that the initial decision stage, as 
we can see it here, will be modified or amended to increase the 
number of available options from two to three. 

Two of those options would start us on the pathway to the attain- 
ment of full self government, as that term is defined under inter- 
national law. And a third option would allow for the retention of 
the current Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or Estado Libre 
Asociado, as a locally self governing unincorporated territory under 
Congressional jurisdiction, in accordance with the Territorial 
Clause of the United States Constitution, Article IV, Section 3, 
Paragraph 2. 

I realize that the sponsors of H.R. 3024 have every intention of 
leaving all available options open to the Puerto Rican people, op- 
tions that will lead to complete self government and decolonization, 
as well as even that option which would perpetuate the existing 
territorial status. 

To accomplish this, however, in a manner that simultaneously 
achieves both the reality of fairness and also the perception of fair- 
ness. Congress will be obliged to make absolutely clear to the peo- 
ple of Puerto Rico exactly what is meant by the status quo option 
of Commonwealth, or Estado Libre Asociado. 

[Applause.] 

Governor ROSSELLO. It is thus indispensable that Congress ex- 
plicitly define that option. 

It is of the utmost importance to me, as Governor of Puerto Rico, 
that all Puerto Ricans feel totally confident, both in their hearts 
and in their minds, that this process endows them with ample op- 
portunity to manifest their true preference and to deliver an un- 
equivocal mandate. 

To me, it is imperative that this process not only be fair in its 
substance but that it likewise be universally perceived as fair. 
Therefore, I urge that you amend the bill so that, in its initial deci- 
sion stage, up front, at the very outset, there be three options open 
to our voters. 

In addition to the options for full self government, either through 
a separate Puerto Rican sovereignty, via independence or free asso- 
ciation, or by participating on an equal footing in the United States 
sovereignty, through statehood, I urge that you include a third op- 
tion, and that this third option be the current Commonwealth of 



20 

Puerto Rico, or Estado Libre Asociado, as it is clearly defined in 
this bill, namely a locally self governing unincorporated territory 
under Congressional jurisdiction. 

By adopting this approach. Congress can ensure that our people 
will reject, as categorically false, and totally irresponsible, any at- 
tempt to portray this bill as a calculated maneuver aimed at taking 
away from the Puerto Rican people the system of government 
which has been in effect here since 1952. 

And finally, Mr. Chairman, I urge that the subcommittee take 
fully into account that the critics of H.R. 3024 are guilty of, at best, 
a flip flop, and, at worst, an act of hypocrisy when they criticize 
this bill's central purpose; that purpose is to remove our people 
from the colonial stigma imposed upon us by the Territorial Clause 
of the United States Constitution. 

Puerto Rican leaders of every partisan persuasion have for dec- 
ades been demanding precisely that. Congressman Young's bill of- 
fers us precisely that on a silver platter. 

Where, then, we must ask, where is the beef? What is the prob- 
lem? 

This bill is unambiguous, straightforward in its language, and 
presents the people of Puerto Rico with a golden opportunity to put 
up or to shut up. 

If we so desire, we can choose to cooperate with Congress on im- 
plementing a course of action which will, at last, empower us with 
permanent, dignified, internationally recognized, fully self govern- 
ing political status. 

But that is only half of the equation. 

This bill simultaneously empowers us to remain as we are, to 
maintain the status quo, if that is the desire of the majority of our 
people, and that is what they want. 

My petition to you is that you make this second half of the equa- 
tion explicitly clear and that, when you define exactly what this 
status quo option entails, you do so in a manner that obliterates 
every trace of the abundant ambiguity that currently surrounds the 
true nature of the so called Estado Libre Asociado. 

Accordingly, Mr. Chairman, I believe it is fundamental that these 
points be kept in mind at all times as the subcommittee weighs the 
testimony of any witness who purports to object on principle to the 
course of action that this bill contemplates. 

In closing, there is one other substantive suggestion that I would 
like to offer for your consideration. 

As introduced, the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act 
provides that the duration of its transition plan, leading to full self 
government for Puerto Rico, shall be a minimum of 10 years. 

Ten years, I respectfully submit, is an inordinately long period 
of time. 

Ten years ago there were two Germanys, and a Berlin Wall. 
South Africa was still under apartheid. The North American Free 
Trade Agreement was merely a promising idea. Almost nobody had 
ever heard of the Internet. 

A 10-year minimum, I believe, is more time than we need. In ad- 
dition, extraneous events that no one can foresee, could too easily 
derail or delay the process if we let it drag on for that long. 



21 

So I respectfully recommend that the transition period be short- 
ened. Instead of a minimum of 10 years, let the transition period 
be a maximum of 4 years. 

That should be entirely sufficient to achieve the historic mission 
that the Federal Government and the people of Puerto Rico will un- 
dertake together through this inspired legislation. 

Thank you very much for the privilege of the floor. 

Mr. Young. Thank you, Governor. 

[Applause. 1 

Mr. Young. Thank you. Governor. And I have a couple short 
questions or comments, and then we'll open it up to the other mem- 
bers of the Committee. And this is the way we're going to do it, and 
when we're finished you can sit in the audience and listen to the 
other testimony. 

Governor, I take with great seriousness your suggestion. I want 
to stress though that the concept of Article 4, Section 3, Paragraph 
2, that Congress will define Commonwealth. Yes. It will not be a 
wish list, or pie in the sky, it will be a decision made by the Puerto 
Rican people. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Including, including the status quo of the present 
Commonwealth. Make that perfectly understood. 

Secondly, the discussion about the minimum of 10-years, did I 
hear you right, was it a maximum of 10-years, or did you say a 
maximum of 4-years? I was just curious. 

Governor ROSSELLO. A maximum of 4-years. 

Mr. Young. A maximum of 4-years. I have great faith that the 
Puerto Rican people could accomplish the goals. I'm not totally con- 
fident the Congress can accomplish those goals knowing how we 
operate. 

We will be taking that into consideration as we mark up this bill. 
And hopefully, as we continue to have input and testimony, we 
will — and I want to stress this, because it was asked the day I in- 
troduced this bill — in other words, this is just a step. I expect to 
pursue this with your Congressmen and with yourself and with 
other interested parties because the status quo is no longer accept- 
able to this chairman. 

Now I'll recognize the Congressman, Mr. Romero-Barcelo for any 
questions. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Governor, I want to congratulate you on your testimony. And 
particularly in the generosity of your proposal which opens up the 
process to the participation of the Commonwealth as it is, the sta- 
tus quo, as we have indicated, that is precisely the problem. And 
yet you are willing to have that option open so that the people of 
Puerto Rico not only have a fair process, but remove any shadow 
of a process that is not impartial. 

But, Governor, I would like to ask you, for the record, was the 
proposal that you have for the Commonwealth to be included, was 
that — and you mentioned it briefly in your testimony and I would 
like you expound on it — the Commonwealth as it is, was that in- 
cluded in the 1993 plebiscite as an option? 

Governor RosSELLO. The 1993 plebiscite option was an option 
that was defined by the Popular party. There were no restrictions 



22 

to that definition. And I must say, and I have said it before, and 
I will repeat it again, that in looking for a fair process, the 1993 
plebiscite allowed — and this was a bill that I submitted to our Leg- 
islature — allowed the political parties to define their own formulas, 
different to what happened in the 1967, when the party in power 
defined all the political formulas, all the options, even though they 
did not represent their aspirations. 

So, we were looking for fairness at that time. We allowed the po- 
litical parties to define their own formulas. Unfortunately, we 
found that that led to another major vulnerability. 

The Commonwealth formula, as defined — and I have requested 
Congress to respond specifically to that formula — is really, from my 
perspective, something that is not consistent with the U.S. Con- 
stitution. And, therefore, it is not obtainable within the U.S. sys- 
tem. 

It would be attainable outside the territorial clause, if that is 
what the defenders of that formula want. But then it is clear that 
Congress defines what the conditions would be for Commonwealth 
outside. 

I think, as a matter of fact, that when you look at the options 
currently present in that project, free association is essentially the 
concept of Commonwealth outside the territorial clause, where you 
attain those conditions or those goals through a bilateral treaty be- 
tween two equals, or two separate entities. And I think that option 
is also presented here. 

So, essentially, the 1993 definition, to me, is a nonviable defini- 
tion, and is something that I wish I — it is not I who defined it, but 
that the Congress define whether it is a true option or not an op- 
tion. I feel it's certainly not consistent with the U.S. Constitution. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Are you aware. Governor, that now the 
editorials that have been written regarding the fact that this might 
not be a fair process, because it doesn't include Commonwealth, 
and the statements that have been made by, over in Congress by 
the people who represent Commonwealth, have been directed to- 
ward the fact that the status quo is not being represented, that the 
status quo is being denied an opportunity for expression. 

When you gave the Popular party and the leadership the oppor- 
tunity to include the status quo in the ballot in 1993, did they ask 
for the status quo be included in the ballot? 

Governor ROSSELLO. No, they didn't. They included a different 
option. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. The Cojnmonwealth option with a wish 
list. 

Governor RossELLO. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you very much. Governor. 

Governor Rossello. Thank you. 

Mr. Burton. Governor, I think I'm next in the questioning. I'll 
just ask a couple of questions. 

In retrospect, do you think it would have been better to have had 
the Congress of the United States define Commonwealth status be- 
fore it was put on the ballot in 1993? 

Governor Rossello. Absolutely, I think, Mr. Chairman, we have 
to look at this as a process. In the 1989 to 1991 period Congress 



23 

did engage in an effort to try to define for Puerto Rico, and to legis- 
late a process for self determination. It ended in nothing. 

We felt that Puerto Rico had to take the initiative. 

We knew that it was not the total answer, but there had to be 
a message to Congress that this is important to us, that we should 
not allow time to go on, that as we are going to celebrate 100 years 
under U.S. sovereignty, it is time that we make a decision. 

I was cognizant — and we were cognizant — that an important ele- 
ment was missing. But it was important in the face of that failed 
effort from Congress in 1989 to 91' to send a message that Puerto 
Rico had, indeed, not solved the status problem, and that we were 
grasping for the process, for the way to do it. And I think, I ac- 
knowledge that the best way — and that's why I so wholeheartedly 
endorse H.R. 3024, because it precisely does that. 

Congress assumes its responsibility under the territorial clause 
and provides for Puerto Rico, respecting its wishes, but defining 
those alternatives, so that the people of Puerto Rico can finally 
choose an ultimate status. 

Mr. Burton. I did not mean my question as a criticism. 

Governor ROSSELLO. No, no, I did not take it as so. 

Mr. Burton. But had it been a little bit more clear, it might 
have eliminated a lot of this 

Governor RosSELLO. Yes. 

Mr. Burton. — misunderstanding. 

Governor RosSELLO. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Burton. One other thing I think that, I hope that all of po- 
litical parties will make clear to the people of Puerto Rico is what 
Mr. Kennedy said in his very eloquent opening remarks, and that 
is that, with our budget constraints in the United States Congress, 
there will be a reduction in discretionary spending, and the 936 
program, I can tell you, is going to be reduced, and possibly phased 
out over the next 6-7-years, which will have an impact on the econ- 
omy of Puerto Rico, hopefully not in a negative sense, but it will 
have an impact. 

And that is one of the things that should be taken into consider- 
ation when you talk about statehood status, because if statehood 
status were to take place, there would be voting representation in 
both the U.S. House and the Senate. 

In the Senate, of course, there would be two votes from Puerto 
Rico, which would give equal status as to the other 50 States. And 
if there were economic problems created by the transition, from the 
funding levels we have right now to a lower level, then they could 
make a very strong case in the Congress for additional help, as Mr. 
Kennedy pointed out in the mentioning of his State of Rhode Is- 
land. 

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, could I just 

Mr. Burton. I would be happy to yield to my colleague, Mr. Ken- 
nedy. 

Mr. Kennedy. It seems to me that the proponents of Common- 
wealth status assume, or presume, that there is a bilateral pact be- 
tween Puerto Rico and the United States that is unalterable. In 
other words, that the United States cannot impose its view with 
Puerto Rico's consent. 



24 

Would you tell us about what the real experience has been? Be- 
cause as I've seen it, just as a member of the United States Con- 
gress in my first term, we routinely change the relationship be- 
tween the United States and Puerto Rico. 

The latest example is the proposed elimination of 936, which is 
one of the most fundamental elements of our relationship. And yet 
the people of Puerto Rico do not have a say in the United States 
Congress when it comes to these changes being made that directly 
affect their way of life here in Puerto Rico. 

Could you explain this a little further? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Yes, Congressman Kennedy. I think you are 
absolutely right. 

I think we can go all the way back to 1952 to examine that par- 
ticular issue. 

The people of Puerto Rico adopted a constitution. It was sent to 
Congress. Congress eliminated a section of that constitution clearly 
establishing, clearly establishing its powers under the territorial 
clause. 

Since that first moment in the establishment of the Common- 
wealth, Congress has continually — this is, the 936 issue is one area 
which is currently demonstrative of that power of Congress over 
Puerto Rico or any territory. 

It is very clear. I do not see any space for interpretation, and, 
as a matter of fact, as a matter of practicality, it is true what 
you're saying. Almost every day, every year. Congress exerts its 
powers over Puerto Rico with no real input from the people of 
Puerto Rico. 

Mr. Young. Mr. Abercrombie. 

Mr. Kennedy. Thank you. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Thank you very much, Mr. Burton. 

Now, Governor, I'm finding all this very interesting, again from 
my position as someone who comes from the last State to be admit- 
ted to the union. We were originally a kingdom. Before that, the 
different islands that make up Hawaii were separate entities. 

Kamehameha the Great united the islands of Hawaii into a king- 
dom. 

We were subsequently then turned into a shotgun republic, if you 
will, with the overthrow of the queen. And subsequently to that be- 
came a territory, and now a State. 

So, you can see we have been through the entire panoply of polit- 
ical status. 

The reason that I go through that brief history, for those who 
may not be aware of it, is that in doing the reading in preparation 
for this hearing, I went over in great detail the status definitions 
of statehood, Commonwealth, and independence, as they appeared 
in the referendum. And I am troubled by the definitions that we 
have. 

Is it a correct statement on my part that these definitions were 
written by the parties themselves to mean what they wanted them 
to mean? Is that a correct statement? 

Governor RossELLO. That is a correct statement. 

Mr. Abercrombie. OK, that's fair. I understand that. This is 
what you would have, each party would have liked to have the sta- 
tus be. 



25 

But I can tell you, and I would like your comment, I can tell you, 
as a former territory, that you do not define for the Congress of the 
United States what your status will be. The Congress defines it for 
you. 

Would you agree that what Congress defines today. Congress can 
redefine tomorrow? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Yes, sir. Under the territorial clause, or ter- 
ritories of the United States, yes, yes, I agree to that. 

Mr. Abercrombie. And so when you ask on page 4 of your testi- 
mony that Congress— and I'm quoting in context 

Governor RossELLO. Yes. 

Mr. Abercrombie. — I trust you'll agree — that Congress will be 
obliged to make absolutely clear to the people of Puerto Rico ex- 
actly what is meant by the status quo option of Commonwealth, 
Estado Libre Asociado. 

Governor RosSELLO. Yes. 

Mr. Abercrombie. That also is a request, right? You cannot 
make such a demand. 

Governor Rossello. We request that in the search for fairness 
and a well informed decision, that instead of each political party 
or movement in Puerto Rico making an idealized laundry list, we 
are requesting, yes, and I would say, we are demanding that Con- 
gress assumes its responsibility, under the territorial clause, its 
power to dispose of the territories by defining explicitly what each 
option is all about. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Very good. So what you're suggesting then to 
Chairman Young is that should this bill be modified to include a 
Commonwealth option, that a definition be provided in that bill as 
to what is meant in terms of the consequences of the bill, should 
it be passed. 

Governor RosSELLO. Absolutely correct. In the same sense that 
the bill does it for independence, for free association, and for state- 
hood. 

Mr. Abercrombie. But is it also understood that regardless of 
that, a future Congress could change that? 

Governor RosSELLO. Well 

Mr. Abercrombie. Not that necessarily — I'm not speaking about 
being capricious. But rather 

Governor ROSSELLO. Well, if we embark in this process, the same 
as Hawaii at one point had to embark on the process to be admit- 
ted to the union, I would suspect that once this process is started 
that the sense of Congress would be to continue it. 

And in that sense I would imagine that as Hawaii struggled to 
be recognized as an equal partner in the union, there could have 
been that possibility, that what the intention of Congress was could 
have been changed by another. 

Mr. Abercrombie. So your suggestion is that we make a good 
faith attempt to do that. 

The reason I bring that up is in reading the status definition of 
Commonwealth, as it appeared in the last referendum, I can say 
almost to a certainty that there is no way that such a definition 
will appear in the legislation that Mr. Young would formulate in 
its final version. 



26 

Not because he wishes to impose his own will or anj^hing. But 
how can anyone say, for example, to reformulate Section 936 insur- 
ing the creation of more and better jobs? 

I mean, there's no way you're going to have the Congress of the 
United States do that at this time, in this legislation. 

So, would you agree that some of the conditions, if you will, while 
they may be interesting as proposals, are unlikely to appear in a 
definition of Commonwealth? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Absolutely. I think that definition in 1993 
is absolutely untenable. I agree with that. And that's precisely the 
value of what we are discussing here. 

The value is that Congress says precisely that. I mean, is it fair 
to tell the people of Puerto Rico that if they vote for this formula 
they would attain that? 

Now Congress has the ability to say, this is what we would be 
willing to work with and on, so that the people of Puerto Rico have 
an informed, a chance for an informed decision. 

So I agree totally with you in terms of that particular definition. 
I think it was a dishonest definition of what Commonwealth can 
be. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Well, I wouldn't — yes, I understand. My time 
is up, and I appreciate your response to my questions. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Young. Thank you, Mr. Abercrombie. Mr. Roth. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Governor, I very much respect your office and you as a person, 
but obviously this panel here is pretty well stacked in your favor. 
So I am obligated 

Governor RosSELLO. Well, it's stacked in favor of the people of 
Puerto Rico. 

Mr. Roth. Yeah, I am 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. You appear like an honest and fair man to me. Let 
me ask you: if statehood had won the 93' plebiscite would you be 
here today telling us that the referendum was a mistake? 

Governor Rossello. I am not saying that the referendum was a 
mistake. I just define, in the process for self determination, what 
that step was. It was a step to inform Congress that this was a 
vital issue for Puerto Rico. And as I explained to you, subsequent 
steps have gone to ask Congress to respond. I think this is a re- 
sponse to the referendum in 1993. 

Mr. Roth. Yes, but in all honesty, your party was in charge. You 
were in charge, and you held the referendum, and your party lost 
the referendum. 

Governor RosSELLO. No, I'm sorry. I think you are confused, Mr. 
Congressman. You are absolutely confused. 

This was not about political parties. 

Mr. Roth. Well ; 

Governor RosSELLO. You are absolutely confused. 

Mr. Roth. Well, what percentage of the vote did your party get? 

Governor ROSSELLO. My party was not on the ballot, sir. 

Mr. Roth. Well, what percentage of the vote did statehood get? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Forty-six percent. 



27 

Mr. Roth. How much did Commonwealth get? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Forty-eight percent. 

Mr. Roth. Well, then, it seems to me they won the election. 

Governor RosSELLO. Alright, well, what we're saying is that you 
respond to that, you respond and you say, if you're willing 

Mr. Roth. Right. 

Governor RosSELLO. — to give the definition that Commonwealth 
had, under that plebiscite, that's what we're saying. 

Mr. Roth. Right. 

Governor ROSSELLO. And I want you to answer that now. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. Well, let me ask you about your definition. Now, you 
were in charge. And, again, I want to be very deferential to you. 
I respect you. 

Governor ROSSELLO. I respect you. 

Mr. Roth. I am saying, I am asking these questions in the great- 
est of respect. 

Governor Rossello. I do too. 

Mr. Roth. Was your definition the correct one? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Roth. Well, did you say that if you became a State you 
would have your own National anthem, your own Olympic commit- 
tee? Did you say that? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Does Wisconsin have an anthem? 

Mr. Roth. No, it does not. 

Governor ROSSELLO. I know Texas does. 

Mr. Roth. When Puerto Rico comes in 

Governor ROSSELLO. I know Texas does. 

Mr. Roth. I'm sorry, Governor, but when Puerto Rico comes in 
they have to come in like Indiana came in 

Governor Rossello. Wait a moment, sir. 

Mr. Roth. — like Hawaii came in, like every other State comes in. 

[Applause.] 

Governor ROSSELLO. I, I 

Mr. Roth. And — just let me finish here, Governor. 

Governor ROSSELLO. Alright. 

Mr. Roth. I was respectful to you. 

Governor ROSSELLO. I am respectful to you. 

Mr. Roth. And I will continue to be, but you have to give me a 
chance to respond to your charges. 

Governor ROSSELLO. It's your time, Congressman. 

Mr. Roth. You said that the Commonwealth had their own defi- 
nition. Well, you've rnisled the people with your definition. 

Governor Rossello. No, sir. 

Mr. Roth. You said that you were going to have an Olympic com- 
mittee. If Puerto Rico comes in you are not going to have an Olym- 
pic committee. That's not fair. 

Governor RosSELLO. OK. Can I respond to that now? 

Mr. Roth. Yes. 

Governor ROSSELLO. Alright. I don't think it is in the purview of 
this committee to define what private organizations do or don't do. 
The Olympic committee is a private organization. I do not think it 
is within the purview of this committee to define 

Mr. Roth. Yeah, but that's not the point. 



28 

Governor ROSSELLO. Can I finish, sir? Can I finish? 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. Let him answer the question, let him answer the 
question. 

Governor RossELLO. I demand the same respect that you de- 
manded before. So let me finish. 

It is not in the purview of this Committee to define religious af- 
filiations or not. If Puerto Rico becomes a State, it is not in the ju- 
risdiction to define what the Catholic church relation to the Vati- 
can is. 

And so it is beyond the scope of what you can define for Puerto 
Rico. 

Mr. Roth. Well, that is pretty far afield, but OK. Let me ask you 
this. 

Chairman Young, Mr. Burton, good friends of mine, we have a 
saying in the United States now up in the mainland, promises 
made, promises kept. Because after 40 years for the first time we 
took over. 

So, when we make a commitment, we always say we have got to 
live according to that commitment. 

Now, as I understand it, before the Plebiscite was held in 93', 
you said that you would favor an allocation of government funds 
to facilitate the implementation of the 

Governor RossELLO. Yes. 

Mr. Roth. — plebiscite results. 

And I was just wondering how much money has been afforded, 
has been afforded to the people who won the plebiscite in 93'? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Mr. Roth, that particular provision in the 
bill that I submitted to the legislature was removed by your allies 
of the Popular Democratic party, yes, sir, that is correct. I can pro- 
vide you 

[Applause.] 

Governor ROSSELLO. I can provide you with the original bill, and 
then you would have to ask that question, not of me 

Mr. Roth. But 

Governor ROSSELLO. — but of the leaders of the Popular party. 

Mr. Roth. But, Governor, they didn't make the commitment, you 
made the commitment. 

Governor RossELLO. I made the commitment in the same way 
that you make commitments, but they have to be approved by the 
Congress. I submitted the bill that had that. There was my com- 
mitment. 

I made a commitment that the people of Puerto Rico have a 
chance to express themselves in a plebiscite. I complied with that 
commitment. It is the other people that have not complied with 
their commitment. 

Mr. Roth. Yeah, you know, I'm, I'm 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. I just have one follow up question, and that is, why 
was Commonwealth — I just believe — I don't care who wins an elec- 
tion, but I feel that it should be a fair election. When this bill was 
introduced Commonwealth was eliminated. The people would not 
be allowed to vote for Commonwealth. 



29 

Now all of a sudden, hey, we have got to bring Commonwealth 
to the fore, we have got to make it part of this bill. Why is that? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Well, do you want it to be or not? 

Mr. Roth. Of course I do. But I want it to be a fair fight. 

Governor RosSELLO. Well, then we don't have any argument, Mr. 
Roth; we have no argument. 

Mr. Roth. I want it to be a fair fight. 

Governor RossELLO. That's right. 

Mr. Young. Gentlemen, time has expired — and may I suggest I 
think the Governor and myself have said very clearly we are seri- 
ously looking at the inclusion. The hearing process is the demo- 
cratic process and I hate to use that term democratic. With all due 
respect to may friend, it is a democratic process and we have input; 
we are looking and we will solve the problem. 

Unkown. Let's put a small team together 

Mr. Young. Who has not asked any questions? 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Mr. Chairman, can I just make a state- 
ment for clarification purposes? 

Mr. Young. Just a moment. Mr. Underwood, have you asked? 

Mr. Underwood. No I haven't. 

Mr. Young. But I will yield just for a brief rejoinder to my fellow 
islander. 

Mr. Kennedy. I think the process, as they say, Mr. Chairman, 
equals what is the outcome. If you have a purely political process, 
you have a purely political outcome. I think it's Mr. Roth is confus- 
ing what could be compared as the nomination process for our pri- 
maries with the true election process for our president. 

When you have a plebiscite type of election, it was not a viable 
election because the outcome did not dictate what the people 
thought the outcome would dictate. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Mr. Chairman, I just want to make a 
clarification. 

Mr. Young. We recognize the gentleman from Puerto Rico for a 
short comment. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Mr. Roth, I think that perhaps we should 
have distributed the status definitions as they appeared in the bal- 
lot, and put in the record. Because when you mentioned that the 
statehood proposal included something about the Olympics, the 
statehood proposal on the ballot does not include anything about 
the Olympics. 

When we made those statements about what was included in the 
Commonwealth option, it is what was included in the ballot. What- 
ever was said in the campaign, campaigns always say a lot of 
things, but we're talking about what was included in the ballot 
that the people saw when they went to vote. 

There is nothing about the Olympics in the ballot, in the defini- 
tion of statehood. 

Mr. Roth. I understand that. I'm just going to suggest that's the 
path we have to look for in the future. 

Mr. Underwood. Could I reclaim my time? 

Mr. Young. Yes, go ahead. 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



?4-q?fi - Qfi - ? 



30 

Much has been made about the way the statuses were defined 
in the 93' election. If the status of Commonwealth were simply de- 
fined as status quo, and had it still prevailed by the same numbers, 
do you think we would be here today? 

Governor ROSSELLO. Yes. 

Mr. Underwood, ^yell, why, why? 

Governor RossELLO. Because we have to place before the people 
of Puerto Rico a real option of attaining full self government with 
a commitment from Congress, who has the powers under the Con- 
stitution, under the territorial clause. That has not happened. That 
has not happened. 

And so, ask yourself — nand I think maybe you have a very spe- 
cial understanding of this, from the perspective of Guam — ask 
yourself can we afford to keep this process going for 98 more years 
or 100 more years? 

I think the importance of this, if we grasp anything, is that this 
provides a guide well defined for Congress discharging its respon- 
sibilities for the people of Puerto Rico so that a decision is made. 

If those requirements are met, then we don't have to talk about 
this anymore. 

Mr. Underwood. OK. Well, what I would assume then, based 
upon your reply, Governor, is that had the definition simply been 
for Commonwealth status quo, that would not resolve the issue in 
your mind. 

So the issue of how it is defined is really not pertinent to how 
you see the issue. 

Governor RosSELLO. No, the issue of how it is defined by Con- 
gress is the central part. Because who has, who has the power? 
Can we have a plebiscite or a referendum tomorrow and automati- 
cally, under our authority, implement it? Do we have that power? 

Mr. Underwood. No, absolutely not. 

Governor Rossello. OK, fine. 

Mr. Underwood. I fully understand and appreciate the role of 
Congress in resolving the issue. I was heartened by your comments 
that you wanted to include Commonwealth as an option. But I'm 
still trying to figure out that if in fact Commonwealth were the op- 
tion that were voted for, would that end the process in your mind? 

And basically a lot of attention has been given to the way it has 
been defined, as if somehow the people who were supporting Com- 
monwealth were being devious, or perhaps over reaching in their 
definition of Commonwealth, and that led to its victory. 

Now, had Commonwealth simply been defined as what exists 
today, and that still prevailed, would, in your mind, would that end 
the process? 

And I think you've answered that it hasn't. 

Governor Rossello. Right. 

Mr. Underwood. OK. The other issue that I wanted to raise was 
the issue of language and culture, which — and the identity that 
comes from that — which is very important. And I think it's impor- 
tant to the Puerto Rican people. And it's something that I admire 
them for. 

Now, it doesn't necessarily have to be politicized. 

Governor ROSSELLO. Yes. 



31 

Mr. Underwood. But you well appreciate that that is an impor- 
tant consideration, and that if it is an important enough consider- 
ation in your mind to the Puerto Rican people, and I know it is im- 
portant to some, and a matter of some consequence to Members of 
Congress, how would you proceed with that issue, and would you 
make it a part of any statehood admissions act? Or would you sim- 
ply ignore it? 

Governor ROSSELLO. I aspire for Puerto Rico as a State nothing 
more, but certainly nothing less than any of the States of the 
union. The same that applies to Puerto Rico as a State, as it ap- 
plies to Wisconsin as a State. The same powers that under the 
Constitution belong to the States or to its people, that have not 
been delegated to the Federal Government, those are the same 
powers that I aspire for Puerto Rico. No more. But certainly no 
less. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Underwood. I would assume that under your response that 
the underlying assumption is that the State of Puerto Rico could 
include Spanish as an official language. 

Governor RossELLO. The State of Wisconsin has right now, as a 
matter of fact, 18-19 States have exercised the right to define their 
own official language. The State of Puerto Rico would have the 
same power, the same power of defining its State official lan- 
guages. And we have done that; it is both English and Spanish. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Underwood. OK. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Underwood has yielded to 
me for 10 seconds. 

Mr. Young. The gentleman is recognized. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Governor, Governor 

Governor RosSELLO. Yes. 

Mr. Abercrombie. For your information the State of Hawaii has 
two official languages, English and Hawaiian. 

Governor RosSELLO. There you go. There you go. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Abercrombie. Thank you. 

Mr. Underwood. While I still have some time left, just briefly, 
even though I respect the fact that Hawaiian is an official language 
of Hawaii, it is in large measure symbolic. And I don't know wheth- 
er — it's an issue that is of serious concern to me because I want 
to protect languages as well. 

And I'm just concerned that if someone makes it a part of the 
admissions act, in the other direction, not coming from Puerto Rico, 
but in the other direction. 

Governor ROSSELLO. Well, again, I must emphasize that Puerto 
Rico would come in as a State on an equal footing. And I must con- 
trast that with what Congressman Kennedy said, that now, now 
under Commonwealth Congress has the power to say that Puerto 
Rico's language is English or French or Russian. It has the power 
now. And it would not have that power of Puerto Rico as a State 
and that is very clear. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Rhode Island, have you been 
recognized already? 



32 

I want to thank the Governor for being able to sit there through 
a long period of time. And for the audience I want you to under- 
stand, we are going to go through the hearing until we finish. Keep 
that in mind. We don't have any race. 

Governor, thanks, thank you very much for being with us. 

Governor ROSSELLO. Thank you. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. We now have the honor of calling the Honorable 
Hector Luis Acevedo, President of the Popular Democrat party. 

[Applause.] 

STATEMENT OF HECTOR LUIS ACEVEDO, PRESIDENT, 
POPULAR DEMOCRATIC PARTY 

IMr. Acevedo. Good morning, Mr. President. You have- 



Mr. Young. Just a moment, just a second, I will recognize you 
officially. Just a moment, I'm trying to get everybody quiet. 

OK, Hector, you're on. Go ahead. 

Mr. Acevedo. Thank you, Mr. President, and welcome to San 
Juan. As you have on your own initiative provided for a simulta- 
neous translation, I am going to speak my, I am going to present 
my statement in the language of my people. I have submitted 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Acevedo. I have submitted the translation, so I will proceed 
if you may allow. 

Mr. Young. Go ahead. One thing I don't quite understand, who 
is running these mics here. I'm having a hard time hearing you. 
Maybe back a way, just a little bit. Yeah, try that. Try that. Go 
ahead. 

Mr. Acevedo. Hoy vengo a hablarles de nuestra nacion, de la 
democracia que iguala a los debiles con los poderosos. El sentido es- 
pecial de los seres humanos que nos hace entender que en esta vida 
ningun hombre es mas ni menos que otro. 

La lucha del pueblo puertorriqueno tan pronto toma consciencia 
de su ser colectivo ha sido de afirmar sus valores a traves de la 
accion politica. Laetica de mi pueblo no es de guerra civil, ni de 
confrontaciones, ni de sangre derramada, esetica de igualdad en la 
esperanza y en el respeto que cada ser humano se merece. 

Donde se juzgan las personas, no por el puesto que ostentan o 
las riquezas que acumulan, si no por su aportacion ante los retos 
de las vidas y las causas que defienden. En esa gestion historica, 
nuestro pueblo ha enmarcado su lucha centenaria en que se respete 
su identidad propia y el justo valor de sus votos. 

Bajo esas premisas de respeto propio, de compromise con el 
bienestar de nuestro pueblo y del reconocimiento de que debemos 
liberarnos de la emboscada de las formas tradicionales en que se 
han guiado las relaciones entre Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos. 

Parte principalisima de esa relacion es el respeto a la libre 
determinacion del pueblo de Puerto Rico. Evidenciado por las 
acciones, por la palabra comprometida del Presidente Truman, 
Einsenhower y Kennedy. Porque no se puede decir que se esta a 
favor de la libertad y la libre determinacion y no estar dispuesto 
a respetar su ejercicio. 

Por eso es que este proyecto de ley no encuentra razon en la 
democracia puertorriqueha, ni en la americana. Porque es producto 



33 

de actuaciones a las espaldas de nuestro electorado. Y aquellos que 
no respetan la voluntad del pueblo de Puerto Rico segiin fuera 
expresada libremente en las urnas, es producto de aquellos que 
solamente respetan la democracia cuando ganan. 

Y hoy aquellos que no pudieron convencer a nuestro pueblo 
despues de imponerle un plesbicito bajo sus propias reglas, le piden 
a ustedes que impongan soluciones que fueron derrotadas en 
nuestras urnas. Este proceso no se trata de formulas de estatus, se 
trata del respeto a la dignidad democratica de Puerto Rico y la 
dignidad democratica de los Estados Unidos. 

Aqui ya se contaron los votos. . . aqui ya se contaron los votos, 
ahora en la explicacion de los resultados se quiere alterar su 
voluntad. Esa actitud es ofensiva a nuestro pueblo. El voto 
constituye uno de los valores mas preciados del pueblo 
puertorriqueno. Asi lo ha demostrado nuestra gente una y otra vez. 
Y por eso es que tenemos una de las mas altas tasas de 
participacion electoral del mundo. Ciertamente uno . . . mucho mas 
alta que la de los propios Estados Unidos. Aqui el promedio de 
votacion son ochenta y cinco porciento. En los Estados Unidos, 
cincuenta porciento, con suerte. Por eso nuestra democracia es 
vigorosa y merece el mayor respeto. 

Por esa razon es que exigimos respeto para el Estado Libre 
Asociado. Porque al hacerlo estamos exigiendo respeto para la 
voluntad democratica de los puertorriquefios. El Estado Libre 
Asociado gano el plesbicito de 1967, gano el plesbicito de 1993. Los 
que perdieron vienen obligados a reconocer, a aceptar y a respetar 
esa decision de nuestro pueblo. 

Abusan del poder y ofenden la dignidad de los puertorriquefios 
cuando por la fuerza del dinero y el poder politico pretenden lograr 
por medios ilegitimos lo que no pudieron alcanzar en nuestras 
urnas. Quienes hace otras semanas atras proclamaban la perdida 
de la ciudadania americana y amenazaban con ella para empujar 
su ideal politico por encima de la voluntad de nuestro pueblo, hoy 
despues de ver la reaccion de nuestro pueblo indignado se retractan 
oportuniticamente mereciendo tambien nuestro repudio. 

Quienes han perdido una eleccion frente al Estado Libre 
Asociado y tienen que recurrir a pedir otro plesbicito comoiinico 
recurso para derrotarlo, le faltan el respeto a este pais. 

Corresponde tambien al Congreso de los Estados Unidos respetar 
y trabajar constructivamente en dialogo con los que ganaron, no 
con los que perdieron para hacer efectivo . . . (aplausos). 

No puede cumplirse con ese cometido si no se entiende que en 
virtud de la Ley 600 aprobada por el Congreso, Puerto Rico y los 
Estados Unidos efectuaron un convenio entre ambos pueblos. Si no 
se entiende que en el ano 52' se aprobo la Ley 4448 por este 
Congreso, dando virtud a la Constitucion del Estado Libre Asociado 
de Puerto Rico y respetando la Constitucion y el gobierno propio de 
nuestra gente. 

Si no se entiende que en el ano 1953 fueron los Estados Unidos 
los que presentaron la Constitucion del Estado Libre Asociado y el 
convenio concertado ante las Naciones Unidas para justificar la 
solicitud de que se eliminara a Puerto Rico de la lista de territorios 
coloniales, alii el Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Dwight David 
Einsenhower, cuya palabra y honorabilidad nosotros respetamos, y 



34 

su Embajador Henry Cabot Lodge informo que el convenio 
concertado entre el pueblo de los Estados Unidos y el pueblo de 
Puerto Rico era unilateralmente inviolable. 

Fue en virtud de esa representacion que las Naciones Unidas 
eliminaron a Puerto Rico de la lista de territorios coloniales. 
Reconociendo que Puerto Rico habia ejercido su derecho a la libre 
determinacion y habia alcanzado una forma legitima de gobierno 
propio. 

El proyecto objeto de esta vista declara que el Congreso tiene 
poderes plenarios sobre Puerto Rico. Que el establecimiento del 
Estado Libre Asociado no cambio en nada la relacion existente 
entre Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos. Que no existe acuerdo 
ninguno y que es constitucionalmente imposible lograrlo. 

Esas mismas exactas acusaciones fueron elevadas ante las 
Naciones Unidas en contra de los Estados Unidos por los 
principales enemigos de la democracia de aquel entonces, Cuba y 
la Union Sovietica. En todas las ocasiones los embajadores de los 
Estados Unidos ante ese foro, incluyendo al ex Presidente Bush, 
rechazaron con vehemencia esas alegaciones. 

Y reiteraron que desde el 3 de noviembre de 1953, contrario a lo 
que se dispone en este proyecto, Puerto Rico habia ejercido su libre 
determinacion y abandono la categoria de territorio colonial. 

Ustedes estan de acuerdo ahora con la posicion oficial ... no 
estan de acuerdo con la posicion oficial de los Estados Unidos. 
Entonces tienen que notificarle a las Naciones Unidas que 
cometieron un fraude monumental. 

No siendoesta la realidad, los fundamentos de este proyecto y la 
informacion que se ha traido ante ustedes, entonces representan un 
resultado profundamente colonial que es totalmente incorrecto. 
Este proyecto no le hace justicia al buen nombre de los Estados 
Unidos. Es mezquino en quererle restar voluntad a lo que el pueblo 
de Puerto Rico ha expresado libremente por casi medio siglo en 
apoyo al Estado Libre Asociado. 

Este proyecto presenta un gran pais, al cual admiramos y 
respetamos, titubeante en la biisqueda de respuestas que son 
fundamentalmente faciles y le respeta la igualdad de los pueblos y 
su autodeterminacion. El Partido Popular Democratico rechaza este 
proyecto por anti democratico y en la eventualidad de que pudiera 
ser aprobado, no participaria en un plesbicito amafiado como el que 
se trata de imponer a nuestro pueblo. 

No me pidan sugerir enmiendas a este proyecto, sus defectos no 
son salvables porque surgen de su intencion. Cuando alguien que 
dispara, importante no es la marca del revolver ni el calibre de la 
bala. Sepan ustedes Congresistas que este pueblo nuestro se le 
respeta. Que nuestra dignidad no esta a la venta ni mucho menos 
esta dispuesto a . . . 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Aqui estamos todos, sefiores Congresistas, este 
pueblo nuestro siempre respetuoso de los demas mira con igualdad 
en el mismo nivel a los hombres en la astas de la libertad. Sepan 
ustedes sean6ores Congresistas que Puerto Rico ni se rinde, ni se 
vende. Muchas gracias. 

[Applause.] 



35 

[The prepared statement of Hector Luis Acevedo may be found 
at the end of hearing.] 

Mr. Young. I thank you, Hector, for your testimony. Unfortu- 
nately I don't know whether it's your supporters or other support- 
ers that are playing great music outside and I'm about ready to 
dance. 

I don't have any questions at this time. I'm going to ask in that 
respect, because he has another appointment, the gentleman from 
Hawaii to have the first round of questions. Mr. Abercrombie, 
please? 

Mr. Abercrombie. No, its not me, I think ... 

Mr. Young. Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I take that back. You hand- 
ed me the note. OK, Mr. Kennedy, would you do it, please? 

Mr. Kennedy. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

I really feel that we share the same goals. We both want self de- 
termination for the people. It's a democratic goal that I think both 
sides of this issue share. Both want the dignity that comes from 
self determination. 

Where we differ is the manner and process through which we 
achieve this goal. We believe that this goal can only truly be 
achieved when you are a co-equal of the United States of America, 
and that is through as a State. 

It is difficult to think that under the current territorial relation- 
ship that you now have under our Constitution, that your power 
of self determination is fully realized under this territorial relation- 
ship. 

So let me first pay you the respect that you are due because I 
respect what you're trying to do very much. And let me just say 
in conclusion that I have been so enormously impressed with the 
fact that there is such a thirst for democracy here in Puerto Rico. 
That the people of Puerto Rico feel strongly about the issues of self 
determination. 

And you make a very excellent point. 

I only wish that in more places in the United States of America 
people felt as strongly about the issues as the people of Puerto Rico 
feel, whether on one side or the other. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Acevedo. Muchas Gracias. 

Mr. Kennedy. Let me just say, I think this is a healthy exchange 
here today, and I appreciate your positions, and I thank the Chair- 
man for having this testimony because I think this is a very impor- 
tant issue to be discussed. 

Mr. Acevedo. Muchas Gracias por sus expresiones. 

Mr. Kennedy. Y tambien muchas gracias pero no — necesita 
practicar mi espaiiol para mejorar mi espahol. Cuando voy a fijar 
toda la Puerto Rico, voy a aprender mas de la lengua. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Acevedo. Muchas gracias. Quisiera hacer unos comentarios 
al distinguido Congresista. En primer lugar, el Presidente Kennedy 
fue muy respetuoso . . . muy respetuoso de la voluntad del pueblo 
de Puerto Rico. Entendio que habia un convenio y que habia que 
respetar ese convenio. 

Y sobre todo. . . asi lo expreso en el 1961, el 25 de julio y el 24 
de julio de 1962. Porque entendia que ese convenio se basa en dos 



36 

fundamentos. Primero, en el respeto a la libre voluntad de nuestra 
gente. Porque no se puede decir que se cree en la determinacion y 
quererle imponer formulas contra la voluntad de nuestro pueblo. El 
Presidente Kennedy respeto esa voluntad y yo lo invito a que siga 
esa tradicion de la familia Kennedy. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Y en segundo lugar, yo quiero que me entienda 
porque entiendo profundamente que usted esta de buena fe 
tratando de entender al pueblo de Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico es un 
pueblo, un pueblo cuyo idioma en las escuelas es el espanol. Y lo 
es por votacion unanime de nuestra Legislatura, se enseiia en 
espanol por votacion unanime. 

Y es un pueblo que no es asimilable y que no quiere ser minoria 
de nadie pudiendo ser mayoria y defender su cultura en nuestra 
propia tierra. Como no quiere asimilarse, por eso han objetado esta 
vista. 

Mr. Kennedy. Under your territorial status, we have the power 
to regulate your immigration. We have the power in the United 
States Congress, to t^Il you that it is going to be English only. And 
as a territory you have to adhere to that. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. I would rather let you decide to have Spanish 
along with English, or whatever other language you'd like, but 
under the current territorial system, it is very difficult for you to 
do that. I would only respect that in this current Congress, and you 
only need to turn on C-Span to find out what's going on, that it 
is very important now that people hold on to their power because 
they need all the power they can get. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Eso es lo que estamos haciendo. 

Mr. Kennedy. And that's why I'm for the position that I've 
taken. But I respect the way you've come about doing this. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Lo que le quiero explicar es que en el Estado Libre 
Asociado, nosotros . . . parte del convenio es el respeto a la cultura 
de Puerto Rico. Esa fue la representacion que los Estados Unidos 
bajo presidentes democratas y republicanos le han hecho al mundo. 

Nuestra cultura, nuestro idioma espanol es propiedad del pueblo 
de Puerto Rico y no puede ... no puede el Congreso de Estados 
Unidos quitarnos el idioma que nuestro pais pago en la. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. Let me just say, when President Kennedy was 
President, he respected that. Unfortunately, under Commonwealth 
status, that is not determined by the law it's determined by the 
person. 

And I respect the fact that President Kennedy respected that 
through his many actions, and his friendship with Muiioz-Marin. I 
thought that was very — Munoz-Marin was a very good friend of 
President Kennedy's. 

But times are changing and . . . 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Kennedy. Not the friendship from President Kennedy. But 
these are now constitutional challenges. It's not simply persons, 
people themselves, personalities. We are now talking about the fun- 
damentals. 



37 

So, I agree with you. President Kennedy felt that way, and I ad- 
mire what he stood for, and I hope to carry on his legacy. And, 
again, but I respect what you say, and I think this is the healthy 
debate that should take place in a democratic process. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No hubo cambios para los principios y los valores, 
someternos 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. — de que los tiempos cambian pero los valores y los 
principios que animan el respeto entre los seres humanos se 
mantienen a traves del tiempo. Y esa es mi invitacion a ustedes. 

Mr. Kennedy. The final point I want to make is that times 
change but we live under a law. And that's what we need to 
change, because we cannot depend on people, we must depend on 
the law. 

Mr. Acevedo. Yo le invito a que lea la Ley 4448 y la Ley 600, 
son leyes hoy, el estado vigente del Derecho. Y la Resolucion 748, 
que es la ley internacional hoy. Y esa es la ley que yo invito a que 
se respete, la ley vigente. 

Mr. Kennedy. And, unfortunately, the Congress, through it's 
many changes to the laws of our bilateral relationship, has not re- 
spected that bilateral contract under Commonwealth status. And 
that is the point, but 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Acevedo. Si alguien no lo respeta, pues hay que ir a los 
tribunales que son los que determinan 

[Applause and booing.] 

Mr. Kennedy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Burton. First of all, Mr. Mayor, you are a consummate poli- 
tician. And I have to give you credit for that. But I must say that 
some of the remarks that you have made recently are quite inflam- 
matory and I don't think it serves you well. 

For instance, when you likened Congressman Young and his leg- 
islation to Hitler's move back in the thirties, I think you do your- 
self a disservice. And I don't think it serves your cause well. 

In addition to that, the last part of your opening remarks are 
quite inflammatory, I think, because it says, "Please be aware. 
Members of Congress, that the people of Puerto Rico must be re- 
spected." 

That's why we're here. We're here because we respect the people 
of Puerto Rico and we want to do the right thing. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Burton. You say "Our dignity is not for sale, nor is it willing 
to be humiliated." We are not here in any way to try to humiliate 
the people of Puerto Rico. We want to do what's right for Puerto 
Rico, and that's why this hearing is being held. 

In the last sentence you say, "Please be aware. Members of Con- 
gress, that Puerto Rico shall never be bought and shall never sur- 
render." That sounds like a declaration of war. We are not here to 
declare war, we are here to work things out. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Burton. Now, let me say, Mr. Mayor, that in your advertise- 
ment, which is in the paper today, you talk about the memoran- 
dum by the Government of the United States to the U.N. And in 
that it says very clearly, "Congress has agreed that Puerto Rico 



38 

shall have, under the Constitution, freedom from control or inter- 
ference by the Congress in respect of internal government and ad- 
ministration, subject only to compliance with applicable provisions 
of the Federal Constitution, the Puerto Rican Federal Relations 
Act, and the acts of Congress authorizing and approving the Con- 
stitution as may be interpreted by judicial decision. 

Those laws which directed or authorized interference with mat- 
ters of local government by the Federal Government have been re- 
pealed." 

So then we look into the law. And in the case of Harris v. 
Rosario, 446 U.S. 651 in 1980, and in the case of Puerto Rico v. 
Branstedt on June 23, 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled — the 
U.S. Supreme Court, which is in your advertisement — the U.S. Su- 
preme Court ruled that Puerto Rico never ceased to be a territory 
under U.S. sovereignty, and that Congress could treat Puerto Rico 
differently from the States of the Union provided there is a reason- 
able basis to do so. 

Then we'll go back to the testimony, back in March of 1950, of 
then Governor Muhoz when he said, "This project does not change 
the fundamental condition of Puerto Rico of non-incorporation, and 
only permits Puerto Rico to develop its own self government." 

Testifying at a subsequent hearing in the committee the same 
year, then Resident Commissioner, Antonio Fernos-Insern said, 
"The project will not alter the sovereign powers of Congress over 
Puerto Rico under the Treaty of Paris." 

Now, in a newspaper column you said, talking about my views 
of Puerto Rico, and bilateral pact, you said, "Well, Congressman 
Burton must read the laws of the United States. It is in 48 U.S. 
Code Annotated." 

So let me go on and read what that says. I have the annotated 
law here. 

"Fully recognizing the principle of government by consent. Sec- 
tion 731(b) and 731(e) of this title are now adopted in the nature 
of a compact so the people of Puerto Rico may organize a govern- 
ment pursuant to a constitution of their own adoption." 

But then you go into what the Congress said this meant. And if 
you look on page 48/73 Kb) it says, "It is important that the nature 
and general scope of S. 3336 be made absolutely clear. The bill 
under consideration would not change Puerto Rico's fundamental 
political, social, and economic relationship to the United States." 

It further says, " — and other matters of purely local concern over 
which you have control." 

But it is very, very clear that we do not cede constitutional au- 
thority to Puerto Rico on a bilateral basis. That's just not done. 

Now, I had another question. I had a question to ask you here. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. May I comment on that, on your remarks, sir? 

Mr. Burton. Now you said, I think, that because of this admoni- 
tion, or remarks we made to the United Nations, that we were 
ceding control or authority to Puerto Rico, at least on a bilateral 
basis. 

Let me get my question. One second. 

If the U.S. went back to the United Nations, and informed that 
body that it turns out that Puerto Rico has not become fully self 



39 

governing as we had hoped and expected in 1952, what do you 
think the United Nations would do if we ceded that to them? 

Would you think that they would give you the options of either 
statehood or independence? They certainly couldn't give you Com- 
monwealth status. They would have to give you one or the other, 
would they not? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No, no, no. 

Mr. Burton. How could the United Nations overrule the Con- 
stitution of the United States? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No, si es que lo que sucede . . . lo que sucede es 
que la Ley 600 ... y si usted lee la Ley 4448, que fue la que 
aprobo la Constitucion de Puerto Rico en el afio 52', se refiere por 
nombre y apellido a la palabra, "Commonwealth". Esa no me la 
invente yo, esa fue la aprobacion del Congreso. 

Y las palabras antes las Naciones Unidas no son palabras que 
me invente yo, fueron las palabras del Presidente Eisenhower, del 
Secretario. . . del Embajador Cabot Lodge y de la representacion 
de los Estados Unidos ante las Naciones Unidas. 

Y si ahora alguien aqui opina lo contrario, estaria diciendo que 
se cometio un fraude monumental por los propios Estados Unidos, 
donde la palabra, la honorabilidad y el 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Asi que las Naciones Unidas no tienen nada que 
disponer porque ya dispusieron. 

Si solamente quiero hacer un comentario si me permite el 
distinguido amigo, en cuyo distrito vivi un tiempo, en Indiana. Yo 
considero que el proyecto que usted. . . y por razones que yo no 
quiero catalogar, atenta contra el basico respeto a los votos en 
Puerto Rico. Contra lo que nosotros entendemos que son los 
fundamentos de los principios americanos, que es el respeto a la 
urna electoral. 

Por eso nos ofendio en lo masintimo de nuestro ser que personas 
que nos respetamos con su profunda vocacion democratica, 
quisieran invalidar e impugnar la voluntad expresada por nuestro 
pueblo. Es una voluntad que corresponde a la aprobacion por 
unanimidad en mayo de 1990 del Proyecto De Lugo y del proyecto 
firmado tambien por el Representante Young que disponia para la 
celebracion de un plesbicito en Puerto Rico y recoge las formulas 
del Estado Libre Asociado, la Estadidad y la Independencia. 

Y ese proyecto disponia casi junto a las palabras que se 
incluyeron en el 93', los mismos conceptos basicos del Estado Libre 
Asociado. Bajo esa confianza, bajo esa palabra continuada del 50' 
del Congreso de los Estados Unidos, del 52', del 53' de su gobierno 
ante las Naciones Unidas, de la palabra de ustedes en el 90', fue 
que nosotros fuimos al plesbicito en el 1993. 

Y ese respeto a la urna electoral, a la democracia es lo que yo 
vengo a pedir aqui. Yo no quiero ofender a nadie que no ofenda al 
pueblo de Puerto Rico. Pero quien no respete el valor de igualdad 
ante los seres humanos, entonces necesita ser confrontado con sus 
propios hechos de su propia historia. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Burton. Let me conclude because I see my time has expired. 
But I would like to read this real briefly. 



40 

The U.S. told the U.N. in 1953, very clearly, the U.S. Constitu- 
tion would still apply, and judicial rulings would apply, and the au- 
thority of Commonwealth was limited to local affairs. That is very 
clear. 

The Young bill is based on the Supreme Court ruling saying that 
Puerto Rico is still under the territorial clause, and we are trying 
to complete the decolonization process. 

And I go back to citing what was said in 1953, the case Harris 
V. Rosario, U.S. Supreme Court, on June 23, 1987 — and this is the 
law — ruled that Puerto Rico never ceased to be a territory under 
U.S. sovereignty and that Congress could treat Puerto Rico dif- 
ferently from other states of the Union provided there is a reason- 
able basis to do so. 

Finally, the letter which we sent down, requested by your legisla- 
ture, clearly defines what Commonwealth status is. And if the 
Young bill is passed, that definition should be the definition that 
is on the ballot, so the people of Puerto Rico clearly understand 
what Commonwealth status really means, instead of what your def- 
inition is. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. La designacion de . . . ime permite contestar? La 
definicion que nosotros pusimos en la papeleta es la misma 
definicion que Estados Unidos presento ante las Naciones Unidas, 
la que ustedes aprobaron en el 50', la que ustedes aprobaron en el 
52', la que la Comision de Estatus referendo en el 65'. Y todos y 
cada uno . . . todos y cada uno de los desarroUos propuestos tiene 
un precedente exacto en acciones previas del Congreso. 

Y si usted busca la Resolucion de mayo de 1990, aprobada por 
unanimidad por todos los que estan aqui, con excepcion del que no 
estaba alli, especificamente se refiere a los mismos conceptos que 
pusimos en la papeleta. 

Y esos conceptos refrendados, no por un plesbicito que nosotros 
propusimos, si no que nos impusieron y que entonces a solicitud de 
los que lo propusieron fuimos al mismo, ahora merece ese respeto 
de implementarse de buena fe y de manera constructiva los 
resultados de la urna electoral de Puerto Rico. Ese es el reclamo 
del respeto de nuestro pueblo. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Mr. Abercrombie. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Mayor Acevedo, aloha. Thank you for having 
us here in Puerto Rico. 

Mr. Mayor, I'm interested in the question — I'm interested in ex- 
pressing to you a question that comes from your testimony, that oc- 
curred to me in the course of reading your testimony and listening. 

One of the points you make — you say, "Here in Puerto Rico the 
votes were already counted. In explaining those results some wish 
to now rewrite history, and alter the will of the people. That behav- 
ior constitutes an offense to the Puerto Rican people." 

I won't dispute that that is your view. But the very fact that we 
are having a hearing and having a bill, to which you have to re- 
spond, and which causes you pain and difficulty, indicates to me 
that this Commonwealth status is always subject to reinterpreta- 
tion by the Congress. 



41 

So while I comprehend and fully understand and respect your 
point of view, is it not the case that you may be facing this situa- 
tion over and over and over again if the Congress chooses to rede- 
fine Commonwealth? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. En la politica, distinguido Congresista, no hay vic- 
torias finales. Y lo que a nosotros nos ofende es que aqui hubo un 
plesbicito y que aqui este proyecto es producto de la negociacion, 
no por los que ganaron el plesbicito, sino es producto de la 
iniciativa y de la negociacion con los que perdieron el plesbicito. Y 
esa es una falta de respeto a la dignidad de la dignidad de los 
puertorriqueiios. 

A nosotros nos impusieron ese plesbicito. En el 1989 a 1991, se 
establecio un procedimiento de dialogo con las tres formulas en 
Puerto Rico. De hecho, si usted revisa en el 90' se aprobo una 
resolucion por unanimidad por la Camara acogiendo las mismas 
definiciones sustancialmente que nosotros propusimos en la 
papeleta. Y que ahora luego que ganamos, vengan a excluirse las 
propias definiciones resulta en algo que no sigue la tradicion 
democratica de ese Congreso. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Yes, that's my point, Mr. Mayor. Are you not 
making then a case for independence for Puerto Rico? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No, yo no . . . 

Mr. Abercrombie. Because if you were independent, then this 
wouldn't, couldn't occur over and over again. It would seem to me 
an argument could be made both against Commonwealth and 
statehood, and then you would seem to be making an argument for 
independence with the last statement. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No mire, yo represento aqui la voluntad de mi 
pueblo. Y afirmar su identidad puertorriqueiia en una relacion es- 
pecial de mucha afirmacion puertorriqueiia y de mucho respeto y 
responsabilidad a la ciudadania de los Estados Unidos. 

La ciudadania, como alguien dijo aqui, hemos defendido desde mi 
padre y mi tios en el uniforme hasta este servidor. Y que yo cumplo 
mi responsabilidades con esa ciudadania al maximo. Pero mi 
responsabilidad con esa ciudadania no puede conllevar la disolucion 
y la asimilacion de mi pueblo y la falta de respeto a su democracia, 
de eso es que se trata. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Abercrombie. Mr. Mayor, Chairman Young has indicated 
that he is not unwilling, but looking with great interest at the idea 
of modifying this bill to include the concept of Commonwealth. But 
he, at the same time, has said that he believes that an accurate 
definition of Commonwealth should be included. 

Are you opposed to the bill if the Commonwealth concept was 
added to it with a definition which would incorporate some of the 
points that you just mentioned? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Yo le explico al distinguido Congresista que aqui 
un hubo plesbicito. El Congreso. . . ustedes expresaron en el 
1990. . . la Camara por unanimidad los parametros de las 
diferentes formulas. Y que si uno revisa lo que este proyecto trae, 
este es un proyecto de imposicion para la estadidad. Para que 
aquellos que quieran. . . que tengan algiin temor a la 
independencia, tengan que votar por la estadidad. 

Si ustedes quisieran . . . 



42 

Mr. Abercrombie. Mr. Mayor, por favor. . . 

Mr. ACEVEDO. . . . y respetar el plesbicito, podemos dialogar 
sobre eso, lo cual no ha sucedido al dia de hoy. Las puertas estan 
abiertas para dialogar sobre el resultado del plesbicito. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Well, may I take it 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Abercrombie. I'm asking that. . . I'm asking the question 
in good faith. May I take it that your answer is that if Common- 
wealth was added to the bill, with a definition that incorporated 
some of the ideas you were speaking about, that you would be will- 
ing to at least look at that, should Chairman Young put it forward? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Lo que yo he expresado es que estoy dispuesto al 
dialogo sobre la implementacion y el respeto a la voluntad 
expresada por nuestro pueblo, cosa que no ha sucedido. Aqui este 
proyecto desde sus primeros capitulos a terminar, van en una 
diatriva contra el Estado Libre Asociado, contra los compromisos 
contraidos de los Estados Unidos, yo no veo que se ha enmendado. 

Y si queremos empezar un proceso de buena fe, de dialogo y de 
respeto, las puertas estan abiertas. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Let me finish. . . let me finish by saying 
then that this is a legislative process, as the Chairman indicated, 
and legislation is all subject to modification. And I've known Mr. 
Young for a number years, both in the majority and now in the mi- 
nority, and I've never found him to be anything less than totally 
fair. 

So I can assure you that he will take into consideration, as a re- 
sult of this hearing, every point of view that has been put forward. 

Mr. Young. I thank you, gentlemen. The gentleman from Wis- 
consin, have you asked questions already? The gentleman is recog- 
nized for five minutes. 

Mr. Roth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mayor, I must say that I'm impressed with your courage. 
You are quite a fighter. You've been taking a lot of hits here, and 
you seem to give it back as well as you receive. And I respect that 
in a man. 

I want to say this, I feel that people are going to be treated fair- 
ly, because I know the Chairman of this Committee. I know Don 
Young, he is a neighbor of mine, and I've been serving with him 
for eighteen years, and he is a man of high integrity and that's why 
I feel you are going to have a fair hearing. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. Let me you ask you a brief question. In the last elec- 
tion Commonwealth won the election. You got more votes than any- 
one else. 

Was your party consulted about the wording of the context of 
this legislation? The reason I ask that is because when the mayor, 
I mean, when the Governor sat in you chair, Mr. Mayor, he said 
that he was involved in the drafting, or he came up to Capitol Hill 
and wanted to change some of the legislation, and so on. 

Now you won the election. I would like to ask you, were you in- 
volved in writing of this legislation? 

Mr. AcEVEDO. No hemos sido consultados, ni hemos participado 
en forma alguna en la redaccion, ni en la implementacion de este 



43 

proyecto. Por el contrario, aqui han participado y han venido a 
redactar este proyecto los que perdieron en el plesbicito. 

Esto uno. . . es, Senor Congresista, como si nosotros fueramos 
ahora a negociar con los que perdieron en su distritos respectivos, 
en el estado suyo. Como si los que perdieron fueran a negociar con 
los que ganaron. Y eso es lo que ha sucedido con este proyecto. Y 
por eso desde sus inicios hemos tenido que compartirlo 
geneticamente. 

Mr. Roth. Let me ask you this, because like the other members 
of this panel, or like most of them, I am, you know, just coming 
in from the outside. I do not know all the nuances here. 

Do you feel that the current governing arrangement between the 
United States and Puerto Rico is not consistent with the wishes of 
the Puerto Rican people, or the concept of Puerto Rican self govern- 
ment? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Yo entiendo que el Estado Libre Asociado es 
producto de la voluntad compartida entre el gobierno de los 
Estados Unidos y el pueblo de Puerto Rico. Y que el fundamento 
de esa voluntad lo es la democracia y la voluntad libre ejecutada 
en ese momento. Y yo por ello entiendo que mientras hay un 
fundamento de democracia, ese es el fundamento basico de una 
relacion legitima entre comuno. 

Mr. Roth. Well, let me ask you this question. Like I said to the 
Governor, I respect him very much, and I am just looking for a fair 
and honest answer. 

I respect you very much, Mr. Mayor. You strike me as a man of 
high integrity, and you certainly are a man that — you are really 
composed. I mean, I don't think you've got a nerve in your body. 

Let me ask you this. It seems to me that after the 93' election 
the people who lost were upset with losing, and now they want to 
nullify the election, and they are looking for ways to do it. Is that 
a fair analysis? Am I wrong? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Esta estrictamente correcto. Los que ganaron aqui 
las elecciones del 92' en su perfecto derecho han reclamado respeto 
para su mandato electoral. Ese mismo respeto en la democracia lo 
tienen que tener cuando pierden como perdieron el plesbicito. 

Aqui ese respeto se requiere para el triunfo del Estado Libre 
Asociado. El mismo respeto que cuando se pierden o se ganan unas 
elecciones. No se puede creer en la democracia solamente cuando 
se gana. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman, and I ap- 
preciate you yielding this time, and I appreciate the mayor for giv- 
ing me those answers. 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin. The gen- 
tleman from Guam, Mr. Underwood. 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I assume that, based on your testimony, that you accept Com- 
monwealth as a form of self determination, as being truly an ex- 
pression of self determination. 

Up on the wall here there is a series of territories, such terri- 
tories in which it was described that these were, that they were 
under U.S. tutelage, as it were, and eventually achieved a self de- 
termination. 



44 

And one of those is Palau. And in the case of Palau they had 6- 
7 elections before it was finally accepted. And in that process, or 
rather, you know, it wasn't best 4 out of 7, it was, people kept hold- 
ing elections until they got the decision they wanted, and then they 
stopped holding elections. 

And my question to you is, if you accept Commonwealth as a 
form of self determination, wouldn't it be logical that you would not 
have any more elections? 

Or under what conditions do you think that there should con- 
tinue to be plebiscites in the case of Puerto Rico? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No, el pueblo de Puerto Rico. . . el Estado Libre 
Asociado no es un estatus que encadena la voluntad del pueblo de 
Puerto Rico. Es un estatus tan permanente como lo quiera nuestra 
gente porque se va a hacer en su libre determinacion. 

Y por eso hemos participado en un plesbicito en el 1967 y el 
1993. Lo que no podemos tener, distinguido amigo, es plesbicitos 
aqui continuamente que dividan la familia puertorriqueha. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Ya el pueblo decidio ... el pueblo decidio, ya 
nosotros necesitamos a todos los puertorriquehos trabajando unidos 
por nuestro pueblo. Y no manteniendo continuas divisiones en 
nuestra gente. 

El futuro del pueblo de Puerto Rico siempre esta abierto a 
consultas democraticas porque el Estado Libre Asociado no cierra 
puertas a ninguna forma politica. Pero requiere del pleno ejercicio 
de la voluntad cuando tambien se decide a favor del Estado Libre 
Asociado. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Underwood. Then clearly under your definition and expla- 
nation of Commonwealth, it is conceivable to be continually in- 
volved in this process of confrontation. There was one point, and 
maybe it was the translator who interpreted this remark, but there 
was one point in which you said — and I'm trying to remember — 
that it was a free expression of the Puerto Rican people, and it was 
their determination, and that that is what is being respected in 
this process. 

It seems . . . am I misstating it? 

Mr. Acevedo. <i,En cual proceso? In which process? 

Mr. Underwood. The process of political status, the process of 
determining the political status. 

Mr. Acevedo. O sea, el pueblo de Puerto Rico se ha manifestado 
con libertad en la expresion de sus plesbicitos, de sus referendums. 
Y eso es el ejercicio de nuestra libre determinacion que merece 
respeto. 

Cuando vimos este proyecto que definitivamente denegaba . . . 
denegaba la historia del desarrollo de esta relacion e imponia una 
vision sobre nuestro pueblo dirigiendo el resultado antes de 
consultarnos, era algo que no respondia ni a la democracia, ni a la 
mejor tradicion americana, ni a la libre determinacion de nuestro 
pueblo. 

Mr. Underwood. OK. Aside from the issues that pertain to this 
particular bill, you said that the Commonwealth decision is the free 
determination of the Puerto Rican people. 

Mr. Acevedo. Si sehor. 



45 

Mr. Underwood. Yet, in the explanation of Commonwealth 
clearly we are talking about something that is either mutual or bi- 
lateral in tone. And I would submit that there is some disjuncture, 
or some disconnect between saying that it is the free determina- 
tion, when it is not possible to make that determination entirely on 
your own, because after all it is a bilateral or a joint arrangement, 
is it not? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. No, pero lo que sucede es lo siguiente, por 
determinacion de nuestro pueblo, nosotros queremos una union 
permanente con los Estados Unidos que nos permita mantener 
nuestra identidad, que nos permita una cultura de trabajo en Puer- 
to Rico. 

Y eso requiere un compromiso con los Estados Unidos, un 
convenio como el que se nos ofrecio en el 50', que fue aceptado 
directamente por nuestra gente en las urnas. El Congreso no 
legislo e impuso la Constitucion de Puerto Rico. El Congreso le 
permitio a Puerto Rico votar si queria forjar su propia constitucion. 
Y luego, con las urnas de Puerto Rico aprobo eso. 

Ese respeto a la democracia, a la forma constitucional de Puerto 
Rico, a establecer dos esferas de soberania, la Federal y la de Puer- 
to Rico en asuntos locales es lo que avalo nuestro pueblo en las 
urnas y aprobo el Congreso. 

Y ese acuerdo es lo que legitima la relacion de Puerto Rico y el 
ejercicio de su libre determinacion. 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Young. Thank you to the gentleman from Guam. The Gov- 
ernor, the delegate, Mr. Romero-Barcelo, is recognized. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Mayor, it's 
a pleasure to have you here and I think it's a wonderful oppor- 
tunity that we have to discuss 

Mr. Young. Point of order . . . 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. It's a wonderful opportunity we have here 
to discuss publicly an issue which is very dear to our hearts, and 
very important to Puerto Rico. And I think this is the stuff that 
democracy is made out of. 

Mr. Mayor, I just want to make sure for the record, you are here 
not as Mayor but as the President of the Popular party, am I cor- 
rect? 

Mr. AcEVEDO. Si senor. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. And the Popular party is a party that es- 
tablished, thought up the concept of Commonwealth as we know it 
in Puerto Rico, and has defended it, and defends the concept, the 
status of Commonwealth, is that correct? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Correct. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. And you are the spokesman for that, and 
the Commonwealth people here today also, am I correct? 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Es correcto. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. And, Mayor, as a spokesman for the Com- 
monwealth supporters — and I know that you have been vacillating 
and refusing to answer this question, I'm going to try to make it 
as simple as possible, and not for my sake, not for my sake please, 
but for the sake of the people of Puerto Rico, I wish you that you 
would answer. The question is going to be very simple. You would 
answer with a yes or no because I think it can be. 



46 

If the proposal that has been made by the Governor, that Com- 
monwealth be included in the ballot, and if the Commonwealth as 
it is, is included in the ballot, would you participate in the referen- 
dum then? Yes or no. 

If you want to go on a political speech again, go ahead, we you 
cannot stop you, but I wish, for the sake of the people of Puerto 
Rico, that you would answer yes or no. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Yo entiendo que usted cada vez que yo contesto y 
no le gusta la contestacion, dice que es un discurso politico y esa 
es su prerrogativa. 

Pero lo que yo voy a decir es lo siguiente 

[Applause.] 

Mr. ACEVEDO. — si usted tiene una diferencia con el Sr. 
Gobernador de su partido, ustedes la pueden dilucidar. Nosotros 
queremos que se respete la voluntad del pueblo de Puerto Rico. Y 
en esa voluntad del pueblo de Puerto Rico, usted participo del 
plesbicito y lo perdio. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. AcEVEDO. Y no tiene mandato ninguno para ir al Congreso 
a tratar de diluir o impedir el ejercicio de esa voluntad, que es el 
Estado Libre Asociado. 

Y en segundo lugar, defmir el Estado Libre Asociado bajo las 
premisas de ese proyecto no es una forma respetable para nosotros. 
Nosotros queremos que se implementen los resultados del plesbicito 
del 1993. Y a base de eso es que deben comenzar los procesos de 
conversaciones. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. In other words, your answer is no. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Acevedo. Yo nunca lo autorice a usted a traducirme a mi. 

Mr. Burton. I thank the gentleman for yielding. 

Mr. Mayor, sometimes I feel like we're going around in circles. 

The fact is, the fact is, Mr. Mayor, the state legislature down 
here, the Legislature of Puerto Rico asked the Congress for a defin- 
itive answer on what Commonwealth status meant. 

We went through the legal process, not one, not two, but four 
Committee Chairmen . . . four chairmen, and we had our legal 
staffs go through all of the documents concerning that plebiscite, 
and the definition of Commonwealth status. 

We sent a very definitive letter to the Legislature explaining 
what Commonwealth status is, and it did not coincide with what 
you put on the ballot. 

And so what was on the ballot in 1993 was a bogus Common- 
wealth argument. And until you put the correct language on the 
ballot the people of Puerto Rico will not be voting on what truly 
is Commonwealth status, according to the United States Constitu- 
tion and the Congress of the United States. 

That is the problem. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Acevedo. . . . eso fue lo que ustedes pidieron . . . 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Roth. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman 
yield? Before the Mayor answers I would like to ask the Chairman 
if the gentleman would yield for just a short question? 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. I'm running out of time, but I will. 



47 

Mr. Roth. Well, I thank you for yielding. The question I have of 
Mr. Burton is this: when did the Congress of the United States 
vote on that definition? 

Mr. Young. Gentlemen, gentlemen, please. You and I and Mr. 
Burton can discuss this issue between ourselves. We have a wit- 
ness before us right now who has been answering questions by Mr. 
Romero. 

Mr. Roth. Well, Mr. Chairman, I just had a question of you, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Mr. Young. You can have a question of the witness, please. Or 
make a statement, if you want. 

Mr. Roth. Mr. Mayor, the question I would have, my dear friend 
and colleague, Mr. Burton, said that Congress gave you the defini- 
tion. The question I ask — I know you are involved in this — I am a 
member of Congress, and I never remember voting on that. I don't 
know that Congress ever expressed in a vote — I know some com- 
mittee chairmen may have said something — but I never remember 
the Congress voting on that. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Let me reclaim my time, please. I just 
want to ask one question before my time is over. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. May I answer, may I answer the question of Mr. 
Burton? 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Excuse me. Let me, let me ask a question 
before my time is over. 

Let me just ask my question, let me ask my question before my 
time is up. 

I just want to say, to ask you: you were very concerned about the 
voting that constitutes one of the most precious values of our peo- 
ple, and that's correct. 

And you're concern about the fact that you are not being, you 
say, you're not being given an opportunity to vote. 

Now, if you're so concerned about not being given an opportunity 
to vote, Mr. Mayor, please explain. Are you not concerned about the 
fact that you and your party have been denied, and pretend to deny 
to the people of Puerto Rico, all of the 3,700,000 citizens, not just 
the minority but all of us, the right to vote, and the right to be rep- 
resented in the Nation that we are citizens of? Doesn't that concern 
you, Mr. Mayor? 

[Applause.! 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. You can answer. 

Mr. Acevedo. Tengo que contestar las dos preguntas. La del Sr. 
Burton para decir que todo lo que puso en esa papeleta es la 
expresion aprobada por el Congreso en el 1950, 52' y la posicion 
oficial de los Estados Unidos en el 1953 ante las Naciones Unidas. 

Y que no ha habido ninguna expresion del Congreso, aparte de 
una carta de algunos miembros del Congreso lo cual tienen su dere- 
cho, revocando . . . revocando la expresion y la ley vigente en el dia 
de hoy. 

Y en cuanto a la preocupacion del companero y distinguido 
miembro, Comisionado Residente, lo que quiero expresar es lo 
siguiente, no se puede hablar de democracia si no se estan 
dispuestos a respetar los resultados. La estadidad perdio el 
plesbicito 

[Applause.] 



48 

Mr. ACEVEDO. — no se hablar de democracia y no se respetan los 
resultados aversos cuando aun pierde las elecciones. 

Mr. Young. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, thank you for being here as 
a witness. 

Mr. ACEVEDO. Thank you. 

Mr. Young. The next witness. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Will the remaining audience please take their seats. 
Now we have the Honorable Ruben Berrios-Martinez, President of 
the Puerto Rico Independence party. 

Welcome. Thank you for being before us today, and thank you for 
coming to see me in Washington, D.C. You're on. And let's keep it 
quiet, please, in the back, until we hear this witness. 

STATEMENT OF RUBEN BERRIOS MARTINEZ, PRESIDENT, 
PUERTO RICAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY 

Mr. Berrios Martinez. Sehores Congresistas, despues de 
escuchar a los Presidentes del Partido Nuevo Progresista y del 
Partido Popular, me imagino que ustedes deben estar pensando que 
las perspectivas de que se logre un proyecto que cuente con un 
apoyo amplio en el pais son bastantes limitadas. Pero muchas veces 
el desafio produce las respuestas. 

Traigo ante ustedes una propuesta dirigida a lograr el mas 
amplio apoyo posible sin que nadie tenga que rendir sus principios 
fundamentals. Este proyecto bajo consideraciiin aunque tiene 
graves deficiencias que deben corregirse, tambien tiene grandes 
meritos. Y constituye un paso importante en el proceso de 
descolonizacion de Puerto Rico. 

El proyecto reinvindica la posicion historica del independentismo. 
Reconoce la existencia del cononialismo y propone que nuestro 
pueblo pueda escoger entre alternativas desconolizadoras. 

Por eso el proyecto perderia su gran medida si como propone el 
Gobernador incluyera como alternativa una opcion como la del 
estatus actual que el propio proyecto impugna como territorial y 
por ende, colonial. Ya no seria entonces un proyecto descolonizador. 

,i,Desde cuando existe en la democracia un derecho adquirido a 
optar por el colonialismo, una institucion de servidumbre, que al 
igual el "apartheid" y la esclavitud ha sido proscrita del mundo 
civilizado? 

Por su parte, el liderato del Partido Popular considera, como ya 
ha expresado aqui el Alcalde Acevedo, que el proyecto es uno de 
imposicion unilateral y antidemocratica y una trampa electoral. Es 
necesario por lo tanto, una propuesta que acople los legitimos 
intereses de los diversos sectores. Que mantenga el caracter 
desconolizador del proyecto y que garantice un proceso democratico 
y bilateral. 

Para lograr esos objetivos, propongo que el proyecto se enmiende, 
primero para establecer un procedimiento que garantice que sea el 
pueblo puertorriqueno quien democraticamente autorice el proceso 
de descolonizacion. Y segundo, para asegurar que las alternativas 
descolonizadoras se defman de forma justa y balanceada. 

Para que el pueblo autorice democraticamente el proceso de 
descolonizacion, propongo el siguiente mecanismo. Que el proyecto, 
luego de ser aprobado por el Congreso y firmado por el Presidente, 



49 

no entre en vigor hasta que el pueblo puertorriqueno le de su 
consentimiento mediante un referendum, Ley Young, si o no. A 
celebrarse en Puerto Rico con posterioridad a las elecciones del 
1996. 

Si lo que queremos es democratizar este proceso, esto no se logra 
trayendo una alternativa colonial como sugiere el Gobernador. Si 
no sometiendo la Ley Young despues de aprobada por el Congreso 
y el Presidente a la ratificacion del pueblo como condicion previa 
para que entre en vigor. 

Ademas mi propuesta deslinda el proceso de estatus de las 
elecciones generates pues el referendum se celebraria con 
posterioridad a las elecciones. 

Finalmente, se facilitaria la aprobacion del proyecto en el 
Congreso de los Estados Unidos, pues los enemigos de la 
descolonizacion no podran argumentar que el mismo es anti 
democratico. Si lo anterior fuera poco, Seno/es Congresistas, todos, 
ustedes y nosotros, nos evitamos la vergiienza de que el coloniaje 
se ofrezca como alternativa a los puertorriquenos. 

Debo aiiadir que el metodo que propongo tiene precedentes. Un 
procedimiento similar fue utilizado por el Congreso aqui en Puerto 
Rico para la aprobacion de la Ley 600 en el 1950. En aquella 
ocasion se utilizo para consolidar el colonialismo excluyendo las 
formulas descolonizadoras. 

En esta ocasion se utilizaria para promover la descolonizacion. 
En aquella ocasion se desvirtuo el consentimiento utilizandolo para 
colonizar. Y en esta se utilizaria el consentimiento para 
descolonizarla. 

Pero no basta con incluir en el proyecto el metodo de 
consentimiento previo que acabo de proponer. Tambien es preciso 
que se corrijan otras deficiencias que tiene la medida para 
garantizar su equidad y balance y para que Uegue a ser aprobada 
por el pueblo. 

Un defecto fundamental del proyecto es que esta a cargado a 
favor de la estadidad. El proyecto pinta esa alternativa en colores 
brillantes e irreales. Al mismo tiempo que pinta la alternativa de 
soberania separada de manera opaca, esquematica e injusta. 

Para corregir ese desbalance, sugiero que ustedes soliciten a los 
diversos sectores que sometan sus propias defmiciones. Pero de 
alternativas descolonizadoras para la consideracion de este comite. 
Pero en todo caso, hay que enmendar este proyecto para que diga 
toda la verdad respecto a la estadidad. 

Este proyecto deja la impresion de que Puerto Rico puede 
convertirse en estado, mantener el idioma espaiiol como idioma 
primario y conservar su identidad nacional como pueblo distinto y 
separado de los Estados Unidos. 

Sobre estos temas pocos han hablado con mayor claridad que el 
Presidente de la Camara, Newt Gingrich, co-autor de este proyecto. 
Recientemente luego de aseverarlo respecto a la nacion americana 
que, y cito, "La asimilacion es nuestra meta, el sinecuanon de 
nuestra supervivencia", cierro la cita. 

Concluyo que sin ingles como idioma comiin, cito, "No hay 
civilizacihn americana", cierro la cita. Sefialo ademas y cito, "El 
concepto mismo de los derechos de grupos contradice la naturaleza 
de America", cierro la cita. 



50 

Me refiero tambien a las palabras del Senador Democrata, Moy- 
nihan cuando planted ante el Senado y cito, " ,i,Quieren los 
puertorriquenos convertirse en americanos? Porque es lo que 
implica ineludiblemente la estadidad, eso es lo que trae la 
estadidad. lO quieren preservar su identidad separada"? y cierro la 
cita. 

Ese es el claro concenso bipartista. Deberia bastar para Uevarlos 
a ustedes a enmendar el proyecto para dejar claramente establecido 
que la estadidad implica una ruta de asimilacion cultural y 
lingiiistica. Debe por lo tanto enmendarse la seccion que se refiere 
al idioma para dejar claro lo absurdo que seria concebir la 
estadidad para Puerto Rico sin el ingles como el idioma principal 
en las escuelas publicas y en la rama judicial, legislativa y 
ejecutiva. 

No aclarar este asunto que es crucial, seria perpetuar falsas y 
peligrosas divisiones entre cientos de miles de buenos 
puertorriqueiios. 

Es necesario ademas, que el Congreso entienda que mientras la 
nuestra constituya una nacionalidad diferente a la americana, el 
pueblo de Puerto Rico tendra el derecho inalienable para la libre 
determinacion e independencia. Es decir, tendra el derecho a la 
cesacion. 

En cuanto al caracter supuestamente descolonizante de la 
estadidad, debo seiialar que cuando se trata de nacionalidades 
distintas, la extension de la franquicia electoral Federal de por si 
no tiene el efecto de hacer realidad para el pueblo colonial su dere- 
cho a la plenitud de gobierno propio. 

Pero como sehale con anterioridad, el proyecto esta 
desbalanceado no solo porque no dice la verdad respecto a la 
estadidad, si no por la manera en que describe la alternativa de 
soberania separada. El proyecto debe ser enmendado para corregir 
esa deficiencia. 

Por ejemplo, el trato que se da en el proyecto al problema de la 
ciudadania bajo la libre asociacion, al igual que la forma en que se 
trata el asunto del comercio entre Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico, 
para mencionar solo dos areas importantes, constituye una grave 
injusticia. Ya que en estos aspectos la propuesta ni guarda relacion 
con el estado de Derecho actual, ni recoge los reclames legitimes de 
los promotores de la libre de asociacion. 

Respecto a la independencia, basta decir que la descripcion 
escueta y rigida que de ella se hace es correcta en cuanto a sus 
elementos basicos. Pero incompleta en cuanto a su potencial de 
flexibilidad y dinamismo. 

Mas aiin, con respecto a la alternativa de soberania separada 
propongo que se enmiende para el poder que de optarse por esa 
alternativa, se convoque al pueblo puertorriqueho a una Asamblea 
Constituyente depositaria de nuestra soberania naciente. Que entre 
otras funciones, decidira la forma de soberania propia, libre 
asociacion o independencia que habra de negociarse con los Estados 
Unidos. 

Por ultimo, quiero confinarles porque yo promuevo con tanto 
entusiasmo un proceso de definicion del estatus mejorado ahi, que 
podri'a desembocar inicialmente en un triunfo electoral para una 
opcion que no sea la independencia. 



51 

El Partido Independentista esta firmemente convencido de que 
bajo las actuales y predicibles circunstancias, la ruta de la 
independencia es la ruta de la definicion. La que anticipo Don 
Pedro cuando hablo de la suprema definicion, o "yankees" o 
puertorriquefios. Y la que supone un proceso que involucre y 
confronte al Congreso por la necesidad de ponerle fin a la situacion 
colonial. 

Este proyecto si se enmienda, puede ser un importante agente 
catalitico de este proceso. Siempre esta por otro lado sentarse a 
esperar el proyecto perfecto o alegar que esta es una trampa. Pero 
no hay que olvidar que en los procesos politicos lo valioso se 
encuentra bien entrelazado con lo mezquino. 

Hay que aprovechar lo bueno y mejorar lo malo. Mai le 
serviriamos a nuestra causa si permitieramos que lo perfecto se 
convirtiera en enemigo de lo necesario. Y lo necesario es echar 
adelante el proceso de descolonizacion. Mas temprano que mas 
tarde, yo estoy convencido, Puerto Rico se encaminara hacia su 
propia soberania. 

Ya sea porque el Congreso responda a un reclamo de soberania 
separada o porque tenga que enfrentar respecto a Puerto Rico su 
propia suprema decision. <i,Estara el Congreso dispuesto a 
renunciar el principio de muchos unos de "E pluribus Unum?" en 
que se fundamenta la union norteamericana aceptando a otra 
nacion distinta como Puerto Rico como estado de la union? No 
tengo duda de que el Congreso reafirmara que los Estados Unidos 
es y continuara siendo una nacion unitaria. 

En el 1898, finalmente para concluir, el padre de nuestra patria, 
Betances, ante la enorme desproporcion de fuerzas existentes nos 
senalo el camino que estaria cerrado por tantos aiios. Cito a 
Betances, "Tratar pacificamente con los americanos para obtener 
una independencia. Es claro que esta es la solucion salvadora.", 
cierro la cita. 

Betances se adelanto un siglo, esa era la solucion salvadora que 
no se pudo hacer realidad entonces. Y esa es la solucion salvadora, 
tanto para Puerto Rico como para los Estados Unidos que como 
consecuencia de la nuevas circunstancias, se hace posible ahora. 
Muchas gracias. 

[Applause.] 

[The prepared statement of Ruben Berrios Martinez may be 
found at the of hearing.] 

Mr. Young. Mr. Berrios Martinez, on page 2 of your testimony, 
you criticized the legislation for the proposals, if we were to include 
Commonwealth in the legislation. 

And then on Page 3 you actually, page. . . it could be page 3. 
You say that the bill is a booby trap. I will commend you for offer- 
ing us some suggestions. But just answer my question. They don't 
coincide? is my question. 

Mr. Berrios IMartinez. Lo que digo es que otros alegan ... no 
que yo alego, que otros alegan que es una trampa. Yo lo que digo 
es que el proyecto es defectuoso, que necesita mejorarse de la forma 
a la que me refer! aqui en mi ponencia. Y que se necesita un 
mecanismo de consentimiento previo y no el mecanismo de incluir 
una alternativa colonial. 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Puerto Rico. 



52 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Mr. Berrios-Martinez, I understand the 
differences between you and I, and I don't think there's any point 
in discussing them, our differences are just differences of where we 
see our final path going, but we agree definitely in the fact that 
we are convinced Puerto Rico is a colony, and we have to decolonize 
it, and we have to start a process. And in that we agree with you. 

And I must say also that you are in agreement for the amend- 
ment of the bill, in respect to whether you would accept or not the 
referendum, once the bill is adopted in Congress, before we had the 
referendum which path to choose. It seems like a very interesting 
idea, which will be considered by the committee on this, as regards 
to that. I'm sure that the Chairman will see to it also. 

But we will give that very serious consideration. It's an interest- 
ing idea, to say the least, I'm not prepared to say anything else 
today, but ... 

Mr. Berrios-Martinez. La ventaja es, si me permite el Sehor 
Representante, la ventaja es. . . o mejor dicho, el Senor 
Comisionado Residente, la ventaja es que ya tiene un precedente 
en la historia politica puertorriquefia. Y que es el precedente que 
no pueden encontrar algunas personas que hoy en dia alegan que 
se les esta escondiendo de este proceso. Pero que en el 1950 y 52' 
excluyeron a los independentistas y a los estadistas. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Efectivamente, los que hoy se quejan de 
estar excluidos, no nos incluyeron nunca en el proceso del 52', eso 
que quede bien claro. Y hemos visto tambien que hoy el no quiso 
contestar la pregunta de si participaria o no. Una pregunta tan 
facil como esa porque quieren seguir jugando el juego de la 
indecision y de confundir la opinion publica, confundir al 
Congreso . . . 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Berrios-Martinez. Yo creo que hay muchisimas personas en 
Puerto Rico que creen en la autonomia y que deben tener su dere- 
cho mediante una enmienda a este proyecto para que se defina la 
alternativa de libre asociacion, consona con sus legitimos reclamos. 

Lo que no podemos hacer ahora es asumir la actitud de aquellos 
profesores del siglo XV en Espana, que cuatro o cinco ahos despues 
de Colon haber descubierto a America, todavia daban conferencias 
en la universidad de porque el mundo era piano y no era redondo. 

Eso no se puede aceptar, seguir a la altura de casi el Siglo XXI 
argumentando que Puerto Rico no es una colonia y traer como 
argumento que en el 1950 con la oposicion de la Union Sovietica 
se aprobo para traer la guerra fria nuevamente a vigencia un 
proyecto que decia que Puerto Rico no tenia que someter 
informacion, no que no lo era colonia, es darse cuenta . . . es no 
darse cuenta que el mundo (inintiligible) totalmente en 
(initiligible). 

La Union Sovietica ni existe hoy en dia. Y el que esta diciendo 
que Puerto Rico es una colonia, son cuarenta y un Congresistas 
americanos, no es la Union Sovietica que no existe, son cuarenta 
y un Congresistas americanos. Y debo yo decir que la minoria del 
pueblo puertorriqueiio es la que no acepta eso porque yo estoy 
seguro que entre los votantes del Estado Libre Asociado hay 
muchisimos votantes que aspiran a una autonomia plena sin 
ningiin rezago colonial. 



53 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Con el permiso, queria sin enbargo 
senalar algo tambien, que al igual que esta cambiando el mundo 
como bien explica en cuanto los concepto de independencia, unos 
pudieran variarse. Tambien tengo que senalarle que tambien en 
cuanto a la union tambien esta cambiando el mundo. Y sobre todo 
los Estados Unidos, para el afio ya 2010 al 2020 la mayoria. . . la 
minoria mas grande en todos los Estados Unidos va a ser la 
Hispana. 

Y no hay a lugar a duda de que el idioma espanol va a jugar un 
papel mucho mas importante en la nacion americana, sobre todo 
ahora que . . . 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. . . . que estamos comerciando . . . se esta 
comerciando con America Latina. La importancia del espanol 
en . . . dentro de la Nacion, va adquiriendo cada vez mas impulse. 

Mr. Berrios-Martinez. El Senor Comisionado Residente sabe 
que el y o discrepamos. Al primero que tiene que convencer de lo 
que acaba de decir es a Newt Gingrich, el Presidente de la Camara 
que no cree como usted. 

Y despues de eso, explicarle a los Estados Unidos como tener una 
nacionalidad distinta, no ya un grupo de personas que hable 
espanol como una minoria, si no una nacionalidad indistinta, no 
pone en peligro la fibra de la esencia del federalismo 
norteamericano. 

For eso el Sr. Roth, que no esta muy lejos de Canada le tiene 
tanto miedo al proyecto. No es que le tema al proyecto, el a lo que 
le tiene miedo es a que pidan la estadidad. <i,Sabe por que?, porque 
el esta al lado de Quebec y obviamente sabe que si la estadidad 
alguna dia se pide, pues el Congreso norteamericano haria lo 
mismo que yo haria si fuera ellos y es votarle en contra. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Yo se que ...... "I'm never going to 

convince you, you're never going to convince me. So, "muchas 
gracias". 

Mr. Young. And the twain shall never meet. The gentleman 
from Indiana, Mr. Burton. 

Mr. Burton. I don't have any questions for this witness. 

Mr. Young. Thank you, Mr. Burton. The gentleman from Guam, 
Mr. Underwood. 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I find your suggestion about the, I find your suggestion about 
holding a referendum on a past Young bill a very interesting one, 
and I hope that it is entertained. 

But I do find part of your testimony very interesting. Earlier, in 
Governor Rossello's testimony, he had indicated in response to a 
question I had asked, that even the definition of Commonwealth 
were "status quo", that he would still be here asking for essentially 
the same thing. 

Mayor Acevedo kind of waffled on the issue of whether or not he 
would participate in any kind of process authorized by this legisla- 
tion. 

And in your testimony you say that you would never, you would 
accept the process but that if you, if the vote was for statehood you 
would maintain that you'd continue to have right to secede. 



54 

It seems to me that we are really in a fix here, Mr. Chairman. 
Nobody here is willing to concede anything. 

Mr. Young. Would the gentleman yield in that line? 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you. 

Mr. Young. That's not a new idea. In my great state we have 
twenty-nine percent of people who would like to secede from the 
union. So it is something that still is there. I went through this 
battle once before, and it never really goes away. It will always be 
there. 

The gentlemen from 

Mr. Berrios-Martinez. La diferencia alia es que alia son 
americanos y aqui somos puertorriquehos, esa es la diferencia. Que 
en Alaska eso es un problema politico, aqui esto es un problema 
sociologico, politico, cultural, lingiiistico e idiomatico. Es un 
problema de una nacionalidad distinta. 

Alaska en su mayoria no es una nacion distinta. Puerto Rico es 
una nacion distinta y por tanto seria un problema de naturaleza 
distinto. 

Mr. Young. OK, the gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Roth. 

Mr. Roth. Mr. Chairman I have no questions at this time. 

Mr. Young. I thank you. And I do thank you for your presen- 
tation, and being very sincere in your obligation to do what you 
consider right for Puerto Rico. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Berrios-Martinez. Gracias a ustedes. 

Mr. Young. Next we will have the Honorable Luis A. Ferre rep- 
resenting the New Progressive party. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Welcome, Governor, certainly glad to have you here 
with us today. And you may proceed. 

STATEMENT OF LUIS A. FERRE, FOUNDER AND REPRESENTA- 
TIVE OF THE NEW PROGRESSIVE PARTY OF PUERTO RICO 

Mr. Ferre. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the 
Committee. 

Mr. Young. Pull that, pull that mic a little closer to you, please. 

Mr. Ferre. Yes, my name is Luis A. Ferre. I'm a very young man 
who has been waiting for 92 years to see the Congress of the Unit- 
ed States give Puerto Rico the opportunity to get rid of being a col- 
ony, and becoming a State of the the Union. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Ferre. So that is why we are here. 

Now, I was rather amused to hear the mayor of San Juan saying 
that he was in love with a young lady, but that he was going to 
be the one that was going to determine how he is going to marry 
the lady. She will have nothmg to do with it. She has nothing to 
decide. He was the one who has to decide. 

So the mayor of San Juan wants to decide Puerto Rico's self de- 
termination only from the side of Puerto Rico, but he doesn't give 
Congress or the United States any chance to say anything about 
it. 

And that is what I think has gone wrong. 

Now, the New Progressive party stands firmly behind the Young 
bill, entitled "The United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Bill." 



55 

We're very happy that you have defined very clearly what Con- 
gress can do, and what Congress cannot do, in this bill. 

And we are very happy indeed that you all subscribed H.R. 3024, 
which finally opens the road for Puerto Rico to make a decision on 
its ultimate political status in a dignified manner, that becomes the 
United States Congress, and the people of the United States, in- 
cluding statehood as an alternative which was the implicit under- 
standing under which the people of Puerto Rico welcomed the 
American forces of General Miles in 1898. 

Upon landing, General Nelson Miles published a proclamation. 
This proclamation was considered, by our political leaders, and the 
Puerto Rican people, as a moral commitment by the United States 
to accept Puerto Rico eventually as a State of the Union with full 
U.S. citizenship. 

Accordingly, both political parties that participated in the elec- 
tions of 1900, under the leadership of the two most important and 
respected leaders, Barbosa and Muhoz Rivera, included statehood 
in their platforms. 

Unfortunately, and to everybody's disappointment, Congress en- 
acted the Foraker bill to establish the first civil government in 
1900, which did not grant United States citizenship to Puerto 
Ricans, acting in contradiction to the established policy of accepting 
territories only to become States. 

However, the people of Puerto Rico did not lose their confidence 
in the ultimate spirit of justice of the United States, and persisted 
in their demands for United States citizenship, as a step to ulti- 
mate statehood. 

We are now approaching 100 years from the date of the signa- 
ture of the Treaty of Paris, which bestowed upon Congress the 
power to determine the political destiny of Puerto Rico. It took Con- 
gress 19 years to grant United States citizenship under the Jones 
Act, and to establish an elected Senate. It took Congress 50 years 
to provide for an elected governor. 

It took an additional four years to allow us to draft and approve 
our own State like Constitution in 1952, through an elected Con- 
stitutional Convention to which I had the honor of being elected as 
a statehood advocate and spokesman. 

In 1950, Congress authorized the people of Puerto Rico to vote 
in a referendum to accept or reject Law 600, which provided for the 
adoption of the local Constitution, as well as the other amendments 
to the Jones Act of 1917. 

And this is what I want to point out. 

This authorization was described as one adopted in "the nature 
of a compact," in the nature, to make it clear that it did not con- 
stitute a constitutionally binding compact on Congress, and be- 
cause the voters in Puerto Rico were required to consent to or re- 
ject said authorization. 

The Federal Relations Act remained unchanged, maintaining 
Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory under the Territorial 
Clause of the United States Constitution and the full sovereignty 
of Congress. 

It was under the clear understanding that the Commonwealth, 
E.L.A., as defined by the constitution drafted by the convention, 
was to be a transitory status that kept the way open for Puerto 



56 

Rico to achieve statehood, or independence, at a future date, if the 
people so decided, that we gave our vote, as recorded in the min- 
utes of the convention, and as confirmed by Luis Muhoz Marin, 
chairman of the Popular Democratic party delegation, in its own 
words, in the proceedings. 

This was the position assumed by the P.P.D., when Luis Munoz 
Marin was authorized to fmd new ways to achieve either statehood 
or independence, the accepted fmal status solutions. 

He was not authorized to create a new status when he was com- 
missioned to ask Congress for the authority to draft a local Con- 
stitution under Law 600. 

In fact, Dr. Antonio Fernos, who chaired our Constitutional Con- 
vention, and served as Resident Commissioner, acknowledged be- 
fore Congressional committees that Puerto Rico's relation to the 
United States had not been altered, and that in fact the sovereign 
powers acquired by the United States over Puerto Rico in accord- 
ance with the Treaty of Paris, remained unaltered. 

To our surprise, shortly after the Commonwealth Constitution 
was approved by Congress, and taking advantage of the phrase "in 
the nature of a compact" out of context to mislead the people of 
Puerto Rico, the pro-Commonwealth leaders asked for further 
modifications which would establish Commonwealth as a final sta- 
tus by subscribing the Aspinal bill in 1957. 

But the bill was rejected by Congress, because it closed the door 
to real alternatives of self determination. 

Subsequently, they filed the Fernos-Murray bill in 1959, with the 
same intentions, but we fought it out, and it was defeated. 

In 1962, they attempted to obtain the same objective by asking 
President Kennedy for a letter to clarify the concept of "permanent 
union of Commonwealth," which failed again. 

When all attempts failed to amend Law 600, through all these 
devious ways to establish Commonwealth as a permanent status, 
trying to commit Congress through a "fait accompli" strategy, it 
was then decided to ask for the appointment of the United States- 
Puerto Rico Status Commission, in 1964, to try to arrive at the 
final definition of the Commonwealth status. 

The pro-Commonwealthers had been trying to deceive the people 
of Puerto Rico, claiming advantages for the Commonwealth status 
that we knew were clearly unconstitutional, and of which Congress 
was never made aware. 

These are the advantages of Commonwealth that they offered in 
the recent plebiscite of 1993. And I am speaking as a personal par- 
ticipator. 

At the same time they maintained that statehood was not attain- 
able, and that it would be economically disastrous for Puerto Rico. 

I was appointed member of the Status Commission, on behalf of 
the statehood position, and argued against these misleading state- 
ments. 

I further requested on several occasions that the pro-Common- 
wealth delegation spell out what they understood by "Culminated 
Commonwealth," but was unable to obtain any clarifying answer. 

Every time they insinuated that the Commonwealth status was 
outside the Territorial Clause of the Constitution, Senator Jackson 



57 

and Senator Javits, as others did before and would do after, would 
rebuke them. 

Finally, the Status Commission Report came out with the follow- 
ing conclusion, amongst others, and I quote: 

"Economic studies indicate that sustained economic growth, 
under the present status and continuation of the special arrange- 
ments, will make statehood with adequate but not extraordinary or 
unprecedented provisions for transition fully possible without se- 
vere risks." 

And further, "With respect to the nature of the compact agreed 
upon under Law 600, the Supreme Court of the United States is 
the fmal interpreter, and has not expressed itself, as yet, on these 
matters." That is a quote from the report. 

This was in 1966. 

Since then it has expressed itself in several instances, in particu- 
lar in 1980, in the case of Harris v. Rosario, in which it ruled that 
Congress had the authority to discriminate against the United 
States citizens of Puerto Rico, since Puerto Rico was held under the 
Territorial Clause of the Constitution. 

It is significant that this case was brought to the court by one 
of the members of the United States-Puerto Rico Status Commis- 
sion, Patricia Robert Harris. 

The growth of the statehood party has been overwhelming since 
1968. And by the way, the present Resident Commissioner Romero 
Bareclo was present with me in the Status Commission during this 
discussion. He will remember these things. 

And going ahead. The growth of the statehood forces has been 
overwhelming since 1968. 

In 1964, the Pro-Commonwealth party had 487,280 votes, or 59.4 
percent of the vote, and the Pro-statehood party had 284,627, or 
34.6 percent. 

In the last election of 1992, the statehood party had 49.33 per- 
cent of the vote, and the Pro-Commonwealth had dropped down to 
45.34 percent. 

The Pro-Commonwealth party in Puerto Rich has been mislead- 
ing the electorate in Puerto Rico by advocating a right to self deter- 
mination that is based on the principle that Congress is under obli- 
gation to grant whatever the people of Puerto Rico demand, wheth- 
er they are privileges or advantages that Congress cannot grand 
because of Constitutional constraints, such as permanent union, ir- 
revocable U.S. citizenship, tax exemption. Federal advantages in 
appropriations, transfer of power to control immigration, and so on. 

On the basis of these misleading advantages, which they incor- 
porated into their ballot in the last plebiscite, they have gained 
votes of those who were not properly informed. For the Common- 
wealth leaders, Congress does not have any right to exert its own 
self determination. 

For this reason we endorse H.R. 3024, which establishes clearly 
that "Congress will continue to respect the principle of self deter- 
mination in its exercise of Territorial Clause powers, but that au- 
thority must be exercised within the framework of the United 
States Constitution," so as to do away with all this wishful think- 
ing of the leaders of the Popular Democratic party, and stop their 
misleading arguments. 



58 

Furthermore, we oppose the inclusion of any formula of final sta- 
tus that is not decolonizing as an alternative in the proposed plebi- 
scite. And reject naming of any of the decolonizing alternatives 
under prefix E.L.A., which because of its use in describing a false 
decolonized status will be mislead the Puerto Rican voters. 

Congress cannot 

[Applause.l 

Mr. Ferre. Congress cannot be a party to a hoax in which Unit- 
ed States citizens of Puerto Rico will be offered the same colonial 
alternative under the Territorial Clause of the Constitution as a 
sovereign decolonizing solution. 

And I think, of course, that the history of Puerto Rico has shown 
that we have social forces bringing Puerto Rico to this decision. 

There are two million and a half Puerto Ricans now living in the 
United States. We feel that Puerto Rico is ripe to become a state 
after almost a hundred years of apprenticeship, and to assume its 
political rights and responsibilities. 

During all this century more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have 
served with distinction in all the wars that the United States has 
been involved, and in several cases with higher casualties than 
some states. 

More than 2,000 Puerto Rican soldiers served in the recent Gulf 
War, amongst whom was a grandson of mine in the Armored Divi- 
sion, the 1st Armored Division. 

Several, such as Fernando Luis Garcia, who gave their lives, he- 
roically, and have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

Amongst other distinguished leaders are Admiral Horacio Rivero, 
in 1968, Commander in Chief of NATO Forces in Southern Europe, 
and later Ambassador to Spain. And Admiral Diego Hernandez, 
who was in command of the Mediterranean Fleet; Major General 
Pedro del Valle, commanded the U.S. Marine Corps., First Division 
in the Pacific; General William A. Navas, Jr., who is Deputy in 
Command of the National Guard. 

Dr. Antonia Novello served as U.S. Surgeon General; and Dr. 
Enrique Mendez, Jr., as Deputy Surgeon General of the United 
States. 

Puerto Rico is participating successfully, and with distinction, in 
Mainstream America to enrich its economy and its culture. 

There are about 2,000,000 Puerto Ricans living throughout the 
nation, doing constructive and creative work as factory workers, 
and as professionals, in all fields of activity. Thousands of physi- 
cians and engineers, thousands of teachers and professors in 
schools and universities. 

In the arts and humanities, our rhythms and melodies have con- 
tributed to enrich American music. Our great actors, like Jose 
Ferrer and Raul Julia, have been American favorites. Justino Diaz 
and Pablo Rivera have been great voices of the Metropolitan Opera. 

In the area of civil government, amongst many others, Judge 
Juan Torruella, Chief Justice of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Ap- 
peals; Judge Jose Cabranes is a member of the U.S. Second Court 
of Appeals; and Maurice Ferre has served as Mayor of Miami. 

In the area of sports, we have contributed with many baseball 
players, amongst them Roberto Clemente who has been included in 
the Hall of Fame. Charles Passarell was the number one tennis 



59 

player in the United States in 1969, and now, Gigi Fernandez, a 
tennis champion, as well as Chi Chi Rodriguez, a golf professional. 

And last but not least, to show how much Puerto Rico is 
imbedded in American life, it was the Puerto Rican judge of the 
Southern District of New York, Sonia Sotomayor, who as a fearless 
jurist decided a few months ago to issue an injunction that could 
break the deadlock in the baseball strike and, by doing so, sent the 
baseball players back to give Americans, after more than a year, 
the enjoyment of their favorite sport. 

Nobody could be part of America more than this fearless and 
competent jurist of 40 years of age. She was the true image of the 
freedom and respect of law America stands for. 

Mr. Chairman, I think the time has come for Congress to live up 
to the commitment of equality under which we were brought into 
its fold. It is time to do justice to more than 3.7 million 
disenfranchised American citizens of Puerto Rico. 

We congratulate you for taking the proper step with H.R. 3024 
to comply with your moral duty as it becomes the United States 
Congress and our fellow citizens of the United States. 

Thank you very much. 

Mr. Young. Thank you very much, Governor. 

Mr. Ferre. Thank you. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. You are an inspiration to the Puerto Rican people, 
and the Congressman who stand at this table. 

Mr. Ferre. Thank you, sir. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. If I can do as well as you're doing when I reach 
those golden years, I'll be extremely pleased. And I notice with 
great interest you read your statement without any glasses. 

Mr. Ferre. Yes, I forgot them. 

Mr. Young. I loved it. He forgot it, but he has them. 

But anyway. Governor, as an example of where I'm coming from, 
this battle is a battle between the Puerto Rican people, but we play 
a role in the United States Congress, and have to be part of the 
solution. 

And that's really what these hearings are all about. 

I also noticed the contribution the Puerto Rican people made, you 
mentioned in your statement, but one of those that got my atten- 
tion the most, of course, is Chi Chi Rodriguez. I'm one that loves 
to pursue that little white ball around, and I can't hit it worth a 
darn, but I sure respect his capability. 

Mr. Ferre. [Laughs.] 

Mr. Young. The history of it is very clear. And I'm glad that you 
bring the institutional memory of what was decided in the years 
and the steps, and what was the Commonwealth definition, and 
what it was meant to be at the time of identification. 

And I think a lot of people have lost sight of that. It was an in- 
terim definition, prior to another standard. And as we go through 
these discussions I hope everybody keeps that in consideration. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo? 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I just want to congratulate you once again. Governor Ferre for 
your excellent statement. 



60 

Mr. Ferre. Thank you. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. And I just want to ask this one question 
because you've been through this process for so many years, and 
you know more than anybody else from first hand. 

Governor, what has been the experience — every time they have 
tried to get what they call enhancement or improvement for the 
Commonwealth, what has been the result? 

Mr. Ferre. They try to make Congress do things which are con- 
trary to the constitution, and they can't do it. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. So we're not going anywhere 

Mr. Ferre. We haven't gone anywhere. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you, thank you. Governor. 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Indiana. 

Mr. BURT9N. First of all . . . 

Mr. Ferre. Yes, Congressman Burton. 

Mr. Burton. Governor, if I should live to be 92, and be as 
healthy as you, I hope I can get rid of my glasses as well. They're 
a big burden to me. 

This is one of the best statements that I've read. And I want to 
commend you. 

Mr. Ferre. Thank you. 

Mr. Burton. It's very well thought out. 

There's one part of your statement on page 7 that I hope the 
media will pick up, and it's the last paragraph on page 7. I'd like 
to read it. 

And I don't mean to take positions in the electoral process down 
here, but I think this is a very salient point that needs to be made. 

It says, "The Pro-Commonwealth party in Puerto Rico has been 
misleading the electorate in Puerto Rico by advocating a right to 
self determination that is based on the principle that Congress is 
under obligation to grant whatever the people of Puerto Rico de- 
mand, whether they are privileges or advantages, that Congress 
cannot grant because of constitutional constraints. Such as perma- 
nent union, irrevocable U.S. citizenship, tax exemption. Federal ad- 
vantages in appropriations, transfer of power to control immigra- 
tion, etcetera." 

You're absolutely correct, and that's the point we've been trying 
to make all day long, that the plebiscite that was held in 1993 did 
not clearly delineate those issues. 

And that's why we sent this letter down in answer to the legisla- 
tive request to clarify those issues so that in 1998, if the Young bill 
passes, and becomes law, that there will be a very clear definition 
of Commonwealth should Mr. Young choose to put that in the bill. 

And I think that your comments there are right on the money, 
and I appreciate very much your intellectual attitude. 

Mr. Ferre. Thank you, sir. I agree with you because we've had 
too much of semantic playing. The Commonwealthers have been 
just playing with words. But they haven't gone down to facts. And 
the people of Puerto Rico are completely lost. And I think it's time 
Congress says, no. This is as far as we can go, and no more. 

Mr. Burton. Thank you, Governor. 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Roth. 

Mr. Ferre. Yes, Mr. Roth. 

Mr. Roth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



61 

Governor, I want to associate myself with the comments of my 
colleagues in the panel here today in complimenting you on your 
excellent statement. 

You have a real historic sense as to, you know, these issues. 

I wonder, is there some way that we could take a very serious 
issue like Commonwealth, statehood, independence, is there a way 
we could debate this out of election time? It seems it comes up in 
elections, and becomes part of an election. 

Is there any where that you can see that this could be de- 
bated 

Mr. Ferre. No. 

Mr. Roth. — away from an election? 

Mr. Ferre. I think the only way you can do it is by a plebiscite, 
a referendum. And that is why the Young bill is such a perfect oc- 
casion. In 1967 when I really defeated the Commonwealthers, even 
though I lost the referendum, because up to that time they had 
held the power in Puerto Rico for almost 30 years, complete power. 
But I broke that in 1967 with the elections of 1968. 

I wasn't able to change that. Because they kept on talking about 
Commonwealth, doing things that they couldn't do. 

Now I think that the only way you can stop that is by having 
a referendum in which you can define what are the alternatives 
that clearly are obtainable. 

It was an error, I think, for the government of Puerto Rico to ap- 
prove a plebiscite in 1993 that gave every party the chance to de- 
fine — it was wishful thinking, it was not a plebiscite. 

I would like to be in heaven. Well, you can't be in heaven; that's 
all there is to it. 

But if we have a plebiscite in which Congress has the respon- 
sibility — by the Treaty of Paris you are responsible for us. Now you 
tell us, you can have this, or you can have that. And then we make 
a decision on the basis of really obtainable solutions. 

Mr. Roth. Thank you very much. Governor. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Mr. Young. Thank you. Governor. I appreciate your testimony, 
and have a ^ood day. 

Mr. Ferre. Thank you. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. I was thanking the staff. I was just wondering how 
we were going to get three people over there in one chair. That 
would have been an exciting moment in this hearing. 

At this time I'd like to call Dr. Myriam Ramirez de Ferrer, presi- 
dent of the Puerto Ricans of Civic Action; Mr. Juan Garcia; Mr. 
Luis Vega Ramos. Please. 

I want to thank, not only the audience, but also the panel or pan- 
els for being so patient. This process which we go through called 
democracy is sometimes very cumbersome, and very slow. But I be- 
lieve it's the appropriate way to do it. And, as you've noticed, I've 
been very lenient with the gavel when it comes to time, because 
this is a very important issue. 

I would like to say I'm going to be just as lenient with this group, 
but bear in mind it's getting late in hour, so we will be as conven- 
ient as I can for you. 

And, Doctor, you're up first. 



24-926 - 96 - 3 



62 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. Thank you, Mr. Young. 

And I would like to start my statement by asking that my testi- 
mony be included for the record, my written testimony. 

Mr. Young. Without objection, so ordered. 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. OK. I welcome you to Puerto Rico. 

Mr. Young. It's great to be here. 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. You have no idea what a pleasure it 
is to see you here. Our group has worked for this for many years, 
and every time we see Congress interested in solving our issues, 
it gives us hope, you know, for the future, and gives a lot of 
strength to continue. 

First thing, you might have noticed a lot of enthusiasm in the 
people. This shows that the people of Puerto Rico want to solve 
this. 

You also might have noticed that it looks like we're divided. But 
actually it is because when this issue is brought into the political 
parties itself, elections, candidates, it becomes almost like a basket- 
ball team against each other. But it really is not what the people 
out there in Puerto Rico, in the majority feel. 

And, you know, the worst thing of it is that even if you sound 
confused by some of the different arguments that have been 
brought here, particularly from the Commonwealth representative, 
can you imagine what it's like out there, every day? We've living 
this thing every day; debates; media; analysis. 

I mean, we are subject to this every day of our lives, and have 
been working on this very, very, very strongly since 1984/85 when 
we delivered 350,000 petitions. 

My organization sends people from both sides. 

I don't think people are that confused. And I, you know, apolo- 
gize for some of my fellow citizens here, who are nice people, and 
they come here and speak in Spanish to you. I think they forget 
what a hearing is; you're hearing us. They're talking for people out 
there to hear them. And that's what they do every day of our lives. 
Talk to these people out there; argument. 

And you give us the opportunity to hear us. They both speak 
wonderful English. One of them is a lieutenant colonel in the re- 
serves. The other fellow? — I think he even studied in the States. He 
speaks good English. Their children go to school in schools that 
speak English, you know, that teach English. 

So I apologize for having them, for having to use the little things. 
Because they could understand what you were asking, but they 
would answer in Spanish. 

So mean it was really a waste of time. 

Keep that bill the way it is. Don't touch it. You don't have to 
touch it. As a matter of fact, you know, everybody knows that we 
only have two ways to go: either we become closer to you, under 
the U.S. Constitution that so many of us feel so proud about, and 
support so strongly; or we move the other way, to become a sepa- 
rate country. 

There's no, there's no middle of the road to that. 

If we can't make up our minds, you have a lot of provisions in 
the bill for us to stay just the way we are. 



63 

And I have a little comment for Mr. Roth, and I'm pleased to see 
you again. We saw each other a couple of weeks ago out there in 
Congress. 

I'm sure your constituents back home, even though you're not 
running for office again, would love to vote for United States citi- 
zenship, permanent union with the United States, they would love 
to vote for not taxes. You know, to have a tax gimmick like 936. 

Congress has already answered to that. They've given a sweat to 
936. But even worse than that, since you agree that Common- 
wealth is such a good option, you know, we really need $500 mil- 
lion for Medicaid. Perhaps you can start moving the, you know, the 
thing up there so we can get that money without paying taxes, be- 
cause we really need that money. 

The third thing I want to mention is the citizenship issue. The 
citizenship issue has become, you know, a little funny thing hap- 
pening down here. Well, we revised, you know, all our documents, 
and we saw, in the Jones Act — and by the way, as you see my testi- 
mony — you will be able to notice that we've put together documents 
way back from the Treaty of Paris, that sort of defines what Com- 
monwealth is or has been since this whole discussion began. 

And we were particularly interested to see in the Jones Act — the 
Jones Act mentions the fact that this citizenship that we're getting, 
by a legitimate action of Congress, is a citizenship that cannot be 
awarded to anybody from Puerto Rico who is already a citizen from 
another country. 

So if you were to give dual citizenship, or whatever somebody 
wants down here, I think you would have to repeal the Jones Act. 
Because the Jones Act that creates a different citizenship than that 
from the other States, that Jones Act doesn't allow you to give citi- 
zenship to anybody who is taking up another citizenship. 

And then, why would anybody want to become an independent 
country, and yet continue to be a U.S. citizen? I mean, it's mind 
boggling. I just can't understand that. 

Ajiother question I want to ask: why are they fighting for U.S. 
citizenship? What comes with U.S. citizenship that they can't guar- 
antee with Puerto Rico citizenship, or with Puerto Rico sov- 
ereignty? Could it be money? Are they looking for more money, you 
know? So that they can, you know, continue with the little game 
of Federal funding. 

How is anybody governing Puerto Rico with 3.8 million U.S. citi- 
zens? Or are you planning to make two American citizen republics? 
One big one, with 50 States? Or one little one, with 3.8 U.S. citi- 
zens? How are you going to handle that? 

I mean, how do we go and, you know, and work in the inter- 
national community with a little, tiny country of U.S. citizens. 

It's really absurd. You can't allow that to happen. 

But I also wanted to say something. Don't be misled by those 
who say that you are abusing your power, or that you have come 
here to impose something on us. My God, everything that has been 
Commonwealth has been basically imposed. 

We cannot respect an option that's a fraud to start with. If you 
take a look at our documents, I mean, do you know when Muhoz 
Marin sent a telegram to the president of the United States to call 
the U.N. we were something or the other, a couple of hours before 



64 

Eisenhower swore as president of the United States, have any of 
you been in the middle of an inaugural, presidential inaugural and 
see what goes on in the White House? 

I have had the opportunity to do so, and nobody is there in 
charge really. You can do a lot of little things during that time, but 
we're stuck with those things. 

The process was not done from the United States, it was right 
from here. The misleading was from here. And we're stuck with the 
problem that we are almost begging you to help us resolve. 

Don't touch the bill. It's fine. We've got a lot of safety nets to 
keep what we have. 

[Applause.] 

Mr. Young. Thank you, Doctor. I'm not going to say anything, 
but we appreciate your testimony. 

I believe the next one is Juan Garcia? Yes. 

I see four witnesses. Are there four witnesses up here? No. One? 
OK, Juan Garcia, you're up next. Esquire. 

STATEMENT OF JUAN M. GARCIA-PASSALACQUA, 
PRESIDENTE, ANALSIS INCORPORADO 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. My name is Juan Manuel Garcia- 
Passalacqua. I am a political analyst for newsmedia in Puerto Rico 
and the LFnited States, with 35 years experience in my profession. 

I'm a professor of political history of Puerto Rico and the Carib- 
bean at the Centro de Estudios Avancado de Puerto Rico del Caribe 
in San Juan. 

I appear before you today strictly in my personal capacity in sup- 
port of the bill under your consideration. 

I appear also to specify one of the key concepts of the bill, the 
nature of the Free Associated State, in Spanish, Estado Libre 
Asociado de Puerto Rico. 

As defined in it, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico was cre- 
ated in 1952/1953 by the administrations of the United States 
Presidents, Harry S. Truman and Dwigbt D. Eisenhower, together 
with Puerto Rican Governor Luis Mufioz Marin, for whom I worked 
as a special assistant during the years 1958 and 1962/1964. 

I would address the political and juridical intent of said creation. 
Since Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, is a historian, I am 
sure he will be interested in the historical intent of Luis Munoz 
Marin, speaking on behalf of Puerto Rico, in creating Estado Libre 
Asociado, that I must state at the outset is coincidental with a 
clear and precise definition included in the bill for the formula of 
free association. 

A series of citations from official documents issued by the found- 
er of Estado Libre Asociado, throughout his political life, will make 
this evident for the record of this hearing, and for history. 

Since some of these documents are still classified, or in 
unpublished archives, if the Honorable Chairman or the members 
so require at the end, I'm willing and able to be sworn. 

Let us examine the historical record of the alternative of free as- 
sociation for the people of Puerto Rico as defined by Luis Munoz 
Marin. 

In 1932 Luis Muiioz Marin forced the inclusion in the platform 
of his Liberal party of the demand for "the immediate recognition 



65 

of the sovereignty of Puerto Rico", with a transition period as a 
"Commonwealth", modeled on the Philippine Islands. 

In 1934, Mufioz proposed, in an editorial in his newspaper writ- 
ten in English a choice between only two options: "statehood on one 
side, and independence or autonomy on the other", as the question 
for the United States called to resolve in harmony with the people 
of Puerto Rico. 

Sixty years later Chairman Young has listened to Luis Mufioz 
Marin. 

In 1937, in a memorandum to the Secretary of Interior, Harold 
Ickes, Murioz assured that under independence the United States 
could have all the naval and military facilities that it may require 
for its National defense. 

In 1942, in his Historia del Partido Popular Democratico Mufioz 
again recognized only two tendencies: equality or difference. Equal- 
ity he defined as annexationism or statehood, and difference he de- 
fined as autonomy, independence, free community, or Estado Libre 
Asociado, in those same words. 

In 1944, in a Committee created by Washington to discuss the 
status issue, Mufioz demanded "sovereignty" for Puerto Rico, while 
Abe Fortas, then in the Interior Department, insisted sovereignty 
must remain in the hands of the United States. 

In 1946, in three articles in the newspaper El Mundo, Mufioz 
proposed the creation of the associated people of Puerto Rico as a 
transitory measure until economic self-sufficiency is achieved, to 
then opt between statehood and independence. 

In 1952, the Popular Democratic party adopted unanimously a 
platform for that year's election proposed by Mufioz that reads, "ob- 
tain the development of the potentialities of the Commonwealth 
through readjustments in the Federal relations that will be 
achieved by a bilateral compact" between Puerto Rico and the Unit- 
ed States. 

At that moment, gentlemen — and this is the important part of 
my statement — Dwight D. Eisenhower became President of the 
United States, in the ticket of the Republican party. 

Under his presidency, the United Nations began to consider the 
matter of Estado Libre Asociado created in 1952. 

Luis Mufioz Marin believed a "compact" had been established. 
The Eisenhower administration believed otherwise. The State De- 
partment favored that the issue "be determined ultimately by the 
courts", and that was the basis of the Eisenhower policy before the 
United Nations. 

In the case decided during the consideration of the matter, the 
United States District Court for Puerto Rico decided that a compact 
existed, and was confirmed by the U.S. First Circuit Court in Mora 
V. Mejias in 1953. 

However, after all these years, in United States v. Sanchez, 1992 
Federal 2nd 40 11th Circuit, 1993, the most adequate legal inter- 
pretation to date has been that Puerto Rico remains a territory of 
the United States. 

The cabinet of President Dwight D. Eisenhower met on Novem- 
ber 20th and discussed the matter of Puerto Rico. 

In a breakfast that morning, the President proposed to United 
Nations Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge that, instead of going 



66 

with the statement by the Alternate Delegate, the Ambassador 
himself offer independence for Puerto Rico. 

Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge made the announcement in the 
United Nations on November 27, 1953, and it was a resounding 
success. 

In 1953 — and this is the crucial point here — in a handwritten re- 
sponse to the offer of independence from President Dwight D. Ei- 
senhower, Governor Luis Mufioz Marin stated, "We must eliminate 
all functions that would not be exercised by an independent coun- 
try and that are unnecessary to the concept of free association with 
common citizenship," exactly the definition of free association that 
is included by Chairman Don Young in his bill. 

In 1954, Muhoz repeated that definition, stating that the United 
States would abandon their sovereign rights over Puerto Rico, exer- 
cising from then on only the powers delegated by Puerto Rico. 

On March 26, 1956, Ambassador of the United Nations, Henry 
Cabot Lodge wrote a letter to Chairman Adams, chief of staff in the 
White House, proposing that "Congress adopt a resolution offering 
independence to Puerto Rico." 

The documents of the exchange of letters — since my time is fin- 
ished — are accompanying my memorandum. They include the clas- 
sified, secret, and top secret documents that have the initials of 
Dwight D. Eisenhower here, on the top, right. It says "Secret D.E." 
that's Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

And in that particular top secret memorandum, Eisenhower ap- 
proved the following: page two of the top secret memorandum, it 
would also do no harm to hint at the almost certain honor which 
would attach itself to Governor Mufioz should he become the first 
president of Puerto Rico. 

That was the intent of the Eisenhower administration. Because 
of that, gentlemen, I wholly support the definition of free associa- 
tion as contained in this bill. 

[The prepared statement of Juan M. Garcia-Passalacqua may be 
found at the end of hearing.! 

Mr. Young. Thank you, sir. That was very good. I mean, I hope 
the rest of the members who follow this chronological, historical as- 
pect of what is before Puerto Rico. 

The next witness is Mr. Ramos, I believe. 

STATEMENT OF LUIS VEGA-RAMOS, PRESIDENT, PROELA 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. Mr. Vega-Ramos for the record. 

So that the Chairman be clear, I am joined today by Raul 
Mariani, Esq., who is the vice president of PROELA which is an 
organization that for 20 years has advocated for the development 
of the current status within the context of our lateral association. 

I will speak today to you in English so that you, our foreign visi- 
tors, understand me. 

Today, we speak on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Puer- 
to Ricans who in 1993 voted in favor of the Estado Libre Asociado. 

The U.S. acquired Puerto Rico as a war booty in 1898. Since Con- 
gress approved the last Puerto Rican status act in 1952, we have 
constantly struggled to attain a larger degree of self government, 
and full self determination. 



67 

In 1993 over 800,000 Puerto Ricans petitioned the United States 
to adopt — and I quote from the winning definition — "a bilateral 
compact that can only be amended by mutual consent." 

The people of Puerto Rico have pushed the envelope as far as we 
can. Now it is time for the United States to act rationally, fairly, 
and honestly to solve our mutual dilemma. 

It is your duty to act now. 

The U.S. has expressed its commitment to the most basic prin- 
ciples of democracy and self determination. Government should 
work by the consent of the governed. 

We believe that the best response to the 1993 plebiscite would 
be to present to Puerto Rico a bilateral compact act. 

Last October we urged you to do this. We do the same today. 

However, you have chosen to call for a new plebiscite between 
that of assimilation, and I mean assimilation, and sovereignty. 

Since this is truly a process of mutual determination, we are will 
to consider your proposal if, if you are willing to consider our 
amendments. 

In any attempt to structure a plebiscite Congress has to follow 
two important principles: fair play and good will. 

Fair play means that all three options are presented on the bal- 
lot on an equal footing. 

Good will requires that all the status options have the same 
guarantees in terms of access to the ballot, and that they are im- 
mune to demagogic manipulations that adversely affect them. 

If Congress acts with good will, and provides for fair play, you 
will have the support of everyone in Puerto Rico. 

If you don't, you not only miss another chance to break the sta- 
tus impasse, but you will also make the situation worse. 

H.R. 3024 does not need to discuss the legal nature of the cur- 
rent relationship. By adopting a position on that debate, one way 
or the other, you would alienate hundreds of thousands of Puerto 
Ricans. 

This is totally unnecessary. 

The House adopted unanimously in 1990 a plebiscite bill that did 
not dwell on this debate. Everyone here in Puerto Rico agrees that 
Congress has the authority to mandate a status plebiscite. 

To ascertain whether it is in light of the Treaty of Paris, the ter- 
ritorial clause, or Section 9 of the Federal Relations Act is irrele- 
vant and diverting. 

Just legislate a plebiscite and let the scholars and analysts de- 
bate the issue. 

Civic groups, such as PROELA must have the same rights that 
political parties to represent the various status options. We are as 
active on this issue as the political parties, as you well know from 
this hearing, so the law should grant us similar rights to the politi- 
cal parties. 

We now direct our attention to how H.R. 3024's offer for a bilat- 
eral pact should be improved to comply with international law, 
U.S. constitutional law, and the aspirations of Puerto Rico as ex- 
pressed in 1993. 

First, the options of a free associated State, in Spanish, Estado 
Libre Asociado. And independence should be separated. Inter- 



68 

national law recognizes them as separate options, and so should 
the bill. 

Not to do so would be against the principles of fair play and good 
will. 

Second, the language concerning the U.S. citizenship of Puerto 
Ricans living on the island, under the bilateral compact, should be 
identical to the section by section analysis of Section 172 of the 
compacts included in the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985. 

And that quote is in my written statement. 

We also submit a legal paper of citizenship issues prepared by 
PROELA vice president, the gentleman at my right, Raul Mariani- 
Franco. 

Regarding other aspects of the Estado Libre Asociado offer, we 
are filing a ballot text to be included in the law. We are ready to 
discuss that text in detail. 

But let us be totally clear. Estado Libre Asociado has to be one 
of the options of the Puerto Rican people, but not as it is today. 
Instead, it must be included as it should be, sovereign, clearly out- 
side the territorial clause powers, and associated to the United 
States by means of a bilateral compact. 

Your willingness to include this legitimate option would be the 
clearest indicator of the seriousness of your offer. 

The Congress is now considering H.R. 3024. The administration 
has expressed a clear position with regards to the inclusion of the 
1993 plebiscite's winning option, and the guarantee of Puerto 
Ricans' U.S. citizenship. 

We agree with the administration on both counts. 

You should revise H.R. 3024 to accommodate the present views 
to remove unnecessary diversions and to provide for a fair and just 
process that commits Congress irrevocably to a resolve of the plebi- 
scite. 

If you are not willing to do so, in a plebiscite that includes as 
statehood offers, then bite the bullet. Say so, say so to the leader- 
ships of the statehood party, say so to the Puerto Rican people, and 
be willing to remove statehood from the list of options. 

For almost 100 years the Puerto Rican nation has waited for 
Congress to fill its obligation, and provide us with a process that 
ensures final disposition of the political status issue. 

We have been ready for all these years. Now it is time to show 
that you in Congress, and in the United States, are ready too. 

Las generaciones pasadas, presentes y futuras de 
Puertorriquenos esperan por ustedes. El pueblo de Puerto Rico 
hablo y continua hablando hoy. La bola Senoras del Congreso, esta 
en su cancha. 

Muchas gracias. 

[The prepared statement of Luis Vega-Ramos may be found at 
the end of hearing.] 

Mr. Young. I thank you, Luis, for your testimony. 

Does anyone — Yes, go ahead. The gentleman from Hawaii. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Sr. Ramos 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. Mr. Vega would be the correct Spanish way of 
arranging names. It's that the first last name is the correct one. So 
I would be Mr. Vega. 

Mr. Abercrombie. I beg your pardon. 



69 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. No problem. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Sr. Vega, excuse me. What would you say 
then if Mr. Young submits the result of the plebiscite with the sta- 
tus definitions, as they were presented to the people of Puerto Rico 
in this plebiscite, to the Congress with the sense of the Congress' 
resolution to be voted up or down? 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. That could be a way to go. But I think that 
would be unnecessarily diverting. There is a core element on that 
definition that is a bilateral compact that can only be amended by 
mutual consent. 

We are asking, in our amendment, that if you are willing to offer 
a free association alternative, you incorporate the concept of Estado 
Libre Asociado into that alternative, and separate it from the op- 
tion of independence. 

If you would do so, and would do it in a fair process that guaran- 
tees equal access to all the options in the ballot, I would think that 
would be a fair response to the 93' plebiscite. 

Mr. Abercrombie. But that's not the question I asked. I asked 
a very simple question. 

You cite this plebiscite, the plebiscite came out with 48 point 
something, 46 point something. The claim by the Commonwealth 
people is that this constitutes the will of the people. Therefore, it 
could be put forward to the Congress. By resolution by Mr. Young, 
very simply a sense of the Congress resolution as to whether we 
accept it or not in the Congress. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. I was very clear on my oral statement that I 
thought that the correct way to answer to the plebiscite results was 
to file a bilateral compact act. 

However, you have chosen a different path. 

Mr. Abercrombie. That's right. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. I would love to see a bilateral compact act 
come before Congress and be considered. 

Mr. Abercrombie. I'm trying to explain something 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. Go ahead. 

Mr. Abercrombie. — in my question. 

What you think, and we should do, and what we're going to do 
may be two different things. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. I grant you that. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Now, in terms of the Commonwealth, believe 
me, I've been through this before, you don't have anything to say 
about it. 

I'm asking you, if the argument is — and I came down with no 
preconceptions, but I'm learning a lot at this hearing, I'll tell you — 
if the argument is that the vote taken previously in the plebiscite 
is the will of the people, then should we or should we not submit 
that to the Congress for its approval or disapproval? 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. The thing I think it should be done is that 
Congress should structure a response, and then vote on whether 
it 

Mr. Abercrombie. You can't have it both ways. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. No. 

Mr. Abercrombie. On the one hand I'm being told that I have 
to accept the results of this plebiscite. And now you're telling me 
I should restructure the results of the plebiscite. 



70 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. And the results of this plebiscite was to legis- 
late a bilateral compact for Puerto Rico. And you can do that out- 
side the territorial 

Mr. Abercrombie. That's not what it says in this definition. 

Because I can tell you right now, I believe if we submit this — 
and I'm becoming more and more to this conclusion — if we just sub- 
mit this as a sense of the Congress resolution, and vote on it, I'll 
bet the vote is 435 to nothing. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. Yes. 

Mr. Abercrombie. And then you're going to have to start all over 
again anyway. But maybe that's the cleanest way to do it. 

Because if the end result of this hearing is an endless debate 
over what the results of the plebiscite was previously, then it 
seems to me that we need to take then what was on the plebiscite, 
what people understood to be the status definitions, and submit it 
to the Congress. 

Because Mr. Burton, Mr. Young, and the others, Mr. Gallegly 
and Mr. Oilman have stated correctly — and I believe the quotation 
comes in Senator Berrios' statement, I believe he quotes the let- 
ter — it indicates very clearly that Congress defines the nature of 
the relationship. 

And so if this is, if this is the position of the people of Puerto 
Rico at the time the plebiscite was taken, then it seems to me that 
we should put it before the Congress and see whether it's accept- 
able. 

My guess is that it will not be. That's why I'm bringing it to your 
attention. That doesn't please me, and it's not something forward 
to, believe me. 

But — So I'm asking the question as to whether or not this would 
at least clear the decks for another attempt at trying to discern 
what should be done. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. Can I clear an aspect of what you've been ar- 
guing? 

Mr. Abercrombie. Yes, of course. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. I believe that the people of Puerto Rico voted 
in 1993, and it was the definition adopted in 1990, that the Com- 
monwealth had to be developed outside the territorial clause, and 
let me explain this to you. 

This international law is free association. We recognize that in 
Congressman's Young bill there is an offer for free association. We 
think it has to be clarified and it has to be worked on so that it 
reflects the proper parameters of the free association, in terms of 
international law, tl.S. constitutional law, and the aspirations of 
Puerto Rico for a bilateral relationship. 

Mr. Abercrombie. OK. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. If you want to go that way, then work within 
the bill, show good faith, and have an option that can be defended 
here. 

But I think that the offer of association, as presented right now, 
needs to be worked, and that's we are suggesting amendments the 
way that we did. It's up to you. 

Mr. Abercrombie. I appreciate that. 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. It's up to you to decide 

Mr. Abercrombie. Thank you very much. 



71 

Mr. Vega-Ramos. — if you are willing to structure the process 
that way or not. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Thank you. 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman from Hawaii. The gentleman 
from Indiana, Mr. Burton. 

Mr. Burton. Real briefly. The bottom line is what we covered be- 
fore, and that is the Congress of the United States, from a fiscal 
standpoint, is going to start making cuts in spending. 

The 936 program, I think, is in peril. It think it is going to be 
reduced and phased out over a period of seven years. 

I think the welfare benefits and other benefits that are received 
by Puerto Rican citizens, for which, much of which they're not 
taxed, are going to be reduced as time goes by as well. 

And benefits without taxation, I think, is going to be gradually 
phased out. 

I think this will provide a hardship on Puerto Rico unless they 
have some kind of really, truly elected representation in Congress. 
And the thing I'd like to get across today is, if you had two United 
States senators, one senator can tie up the Senate, if you've ever 
watched the U.S. Senate. 

If you had two elected senators, and six or seven congressmen, 
you would have a real voice in explaining to the people of the main- 
land, and the rest of the United States, the needs of Puerto Rico, 
and why certain things should be done. 

As it is right now you have one delegate who really doesn't even 
get to vote on the floor. 

And these programs as they are phased out, and they will be 
phased out many of them because of fiscal constraints in the Con- 
gress, when these programs are phased out, I think it will prove 
a hardship for Puerto Rico. 

So it seems to me if logic dictates that the best course of action, 
at least from my perspective, and I'm not getting into the internal 
politics of the island, it seems to me that logic would dictate at 
some point that statehood would be the logical alternative, because 
you would have elected representation that would lead to a real ful- 
fillment of the dreams and aspirations of the Puerto Rican people. 

Mr. Young. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Guam, 
Mr. Underwood. 

Mr. Underwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I would like to ask Mr. Garcia a question. 

A lot of — there's been a great deal of discussion about the nature 
of the Commonwealth, and its removal, the removal of Puerto Rico 
from the list of non-self-governing territories at the United Na- 
tions. 

And the legislation being proposed has a very unique dimension 
in it in that it recognizes the U.N. definitions of what constitutes 
ultimately the fulfillment of self determination. 

The creation of the Commonwealth actually occurred in the early 
fifties, and predated the definition that is made by the United Na- 
tions, which came in the succeeding decade. 

The question I have for you is if in fact it is your belief — and I 
assume it is — that Puerto Rico is non-self-governing, and that the 
Commonwealth arrangement is not a self governing form of govern- 
ment or relationship with the United States, would you seek to be 



72 

placed back on the list of non-self-governing territories? And why, 
or why not? 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. Well, I think it's very clear that Puer- 
to Rico is not self governing. And I think it's very clear that Puerto 
Rico is a colony of the United States. And I think it's very clear 
also that the intention of the United States when it appeared be- 
fore the United Nations was to let the judiciary decide a point in 
which there was very strong disagreement between Secretary of 
State Dean Atchison, and Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Muhoz 
Marin. 

Governor Luis Muiioz Marin thought that he had established a 
bilateral compact of free association with the United States. The 
Secretary of State, Dean Atchison said, no, this is not what hap- 
pened. They settled their disagreement by saying we will abide by 
what the courts say. 

On that issue, Congressman, I am offering to the staff of this 
committee, and I leave it with you, 65 secret documents of the 
United States Government that I am filing as part of my testi- 
mony, so that you can see all these letters between State and Jus- 
tice and Muhoz and everybody else, so that you will be — if the 
chairman agrees — that you will be, I'm sorry to say, educated on 
the question. 

Mr. Burton. Yeah, but in order to validate your point wouldn't 
it make sense to 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. Could I have a ruling from the chair, 
first? 

Mr. Young. Yes, you may submit it for the record, absolutely. 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Burton. But in order to validate your point wouldn't it make 
sense to seek restoring the status of Puerto Rico as a non-self-gov- 
erning territory, given that the fact that you endorsed the United 
Nations' definitions of what constitutes self determination, and 
that none of those have been met? 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. The question is if the United States of 
American should notify the United Nations that it is not in agree- 
ment with the resolution adopted in 52', that the United States has 
changed its mind? 

I think it's perfectly feasible for the United States to apologize 
to the United Nations and say, we had a disagreement then, we 
didn't bring it into the open, the documents are here, they have 
been declassified. Now we can explain to you what happened. 

Governor Luis Muhoz Marin, and President Dwight D. Eisen- 
hower had to different theories, and we opted not to bring that dif- 
ference open to the United Nations. 

Therefore, for that reason, we are hereby apologizing to the Unit- 
ed Nations, and asking that Puerto Rico be installed in the list of 
colonies again. No problem. 

Mr. Burton. OK. 

Mr. Young. Dr. Ramirez, do you want to comment, please? 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. Yes, I do. 

I don't think they have to clarify anything. Our documents — be- 
cause we have our own little share of documents as well^and our 
documents say that the United States definitely told the U.N. that 
we continue to be an unincorporated territory. 



73 

So we don't need to do anything. That was — and that's going to 
be included in my testimony, and you have it right here. Foreign 
relations with the United States, years 1952 to 54'. And it says 
very, very, very clearly that the people of Puerto Rico have attained 
a full measure of self government consistent with Puerto Rico's sta- 
tus as a territory of the United States. 

So, what needs to be clarified? 

The documents are clear. It's the interpretation and what has 
been done with them that has caused this confusion. 

Mr. Underwood. Well, I think what needs to be clarified is we 
have a definition of what constitutes self determination that came 
years after the creation of the Commonwealth, and what is happen- 
ing is that there is a great disjuncture here between how, whether 
people are maintaining that Puerto Rico is non-self-governing and 
it should be on the non-self-governing list, given the fact that this 
legislation proposes to accept that committee's definition of what 
constitutes self governing. 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. Congressman, my written testimony 
proves unquestionably, with at least 15 official quotes, in official 
memorandums from Luis Muhoz Marin, that the option that he fa- 
vored is the one defined by the United Nations in 1960. 

He foresaw that. That's what he wanted. A sovereign free associ- 
ated State of Puerto Rico with dual citizenship. So there is no prob- 
lem. I mean, the intent of Luis Muhoz Marin is exactly what Reso- 
lution 1541 Roman 15 says, free association. 

Mr. Underwood. But that isn't what he got. Is that what he got? 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. That's not what he got because there 
was a difference between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Luis Muhoz 
Marin. That's the record. 

Mr. Underwood. OK, thank you. 

Mr. Young. This is a learning process, believe me. 

The gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Roth. 

Mr. Roth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no questions other 
than to say that I appreciate the testimony of our witnesses today. 
I paid attention, and I appreciate the comments they made. 

I would like to ask Dr. Myriam, however. She is pro-statehood, 
and I know she studied this issue of statehood in great detail, I'm 
sure. 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. Yes, I definitely have, Mr. Roth. 

Mr. Roth. Let me ask you this. There is another area in the 
United States that has applied for statehood, and that is the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. Would you be in favor of statehood for the Dis- 
trict of Columbia? 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. Well, no, I'm not, because I see that the 
constitution decided to take away some land from all the States, 
and make the District of Columbia, and I have heard that these 
States are very willing to receive that land back, and give them full 
representation in Congress. 

It's not the same situation as Puerto Rico, sir. 

Mr. Roth. So you would not be in favor of statehood for the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. I would not be in favor of statehood for 
Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Roth. Thank you very much. 



74 

Ms. Ramirez de Ferrer. OK. 

Mr. Roth. One thing, Dr. Myriam, or Myriam, or Juan — I love 
your name, Garcia 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. Passalacqua. It's a Corsican name, 
Congressman. 

Mr. Roth. Passalacqua, Esquire. 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. It's a tough one. 

Mr. Roth. I love it. I mean . . . 

Mr. Garcia-Passalacqua. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Young. If the questions aren't asked, don't take offense. I 
happen to think that all the testimony, especially the indepth his- 
tory and the background is extremely important for the committee. 

Again, I want to stress to the panel, and those remaining in the 
audience on the media, that this is a process that takes a consider- 
able length of time. And every time we get some historical back- 
ground, what was intended, where we're going, the one thing I 
want to stress again and again, I expect to get us off the dime. 

We must do something. And I have not particularly decided what 
it would be, but we cannot have the status quo as we are being rec- 
ognized and talk about other countries and democracy and the 
right to vote, and all the other good things right next door. 

I do thank these witnesses, and I appreciate it very much. 

The next panel. Panel Two. We have a senator, Antonio Fas- 
Alzamora, Roberto Buso-Aboy, and Herbert Brown III; three peo- 
ple. 

Again, to the panel I apologize. Our audiences are dwindling 
quite rapidly. But it makes little difference because your testimony 
carries just as much weight as you give it orally. 

And those that were unable to give it orally, their testimony will 
be sent in also as part of the record, and will be analyzed to the 
best of our ability to come to a sound solution. 

Senator, in deference, you're up. 

STATEMENT OF ANTONIO J. FAS ALZAMORA, ESQ. 

Mr. Fas Alzamora. Good afternoon. 

Mr. Young. I like your pin, by the way. I had one the other day 
that looked similar to that. Go ahead. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Con- 
gressman. I am going to deliver my statement in Spanish. 

Mr. Young. Yes. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Con- 
gressmen. I am going to deliver my statement in Spanish. 

Mr. Young. If there is no objection. Approved. 

Mr. Fas Alzamora. Sehores Congresistas, soy legislador del 
Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico desde hace veinte anos y 
ocupo la posicion de portavoz alterno del Partido Popular 
Democratico en el Senado. 

Quiero dejar consignado en este distinguido foro mi firme 
oposicion al proyecto del Congresista Don Young por entender que 
atenta contra la libre determinacion de los puertorriquenos 
expresada en la consulta plesbicitaria del 1993 por ser un proyecto 
de estadidad. 

Ese plesbicito fue un proceso limpio, legitimado por el voto de 
uno punto siete millones de compatriotas que fieles a su tradicion 



75 

de pueblo, amante de la democracia decidio continuar siendo un 
Estado Libre Asociado y rechazo categoricamente la estadidad y la 
independencia. 

No hay nada mas anti democratico y anti norteamericano que no 
respetar la voluntad mayoritaria de un pueblo. Pretender Uevar a 
cabo otra consulta de estatus, irrespectivamente de las opciones 
incluidas en la papeleta electoral y de las defmiciones de cada 
formula, es un golpe bajo a la democracia puertorriqueiia. 

Estados Unidos se vanagloria como cuna de la democracia y como 
salvaguarda de los procesos y las decisiones de los pueblos. Asi lo 
ha hecho en los cinco continentes. ^Por que entonces no hace lo 
propio en Puerto Rico, por que un grupo de congresistas 
norteamericanos insisten en validar un proceso democratico 
convocando a otro ejercicio electoral para satisfacer el interes 
revanchista del gobierno pro estadista de Puerto Rico? 

Este ultimo es como volver a poner en practica la vieja filosofia 
del imperialismo. De aceptar un resultado electoral unicamente 
cuando le es favorable al gobierno y a sus aliados y desvalidarlo, 
anularlo o destruirlo cuando no le favorece. 

El tratar de imponernos el proyecto en cuestion del distinguido 
Congresista Young es una actuacion anti democratica de parte de 
quienes lo patrocinan. Estados Unidos como nacion y el Congreso 
como institucion respeta la democracia norteamericana. Debe 
tambien por tanto, respetar la democracia de la nacion 
puertorriqueiia. 

Nuestra condicion juridica fue (inintiligible) desde el 1952. Fue 
el gobierno de ustedes en el 1953 por voz del propio Presidente 
Einsenhower que defendio ante el mundo a traves del foro de las 
Naciones Unidas que Puerto Rico habia alcanzado su gobierno 
propio bajo el Estado Libre Asociado. 

Le pregunto, lie consta a ustedes que ha cambiado esas 
condiciones desde entonces para que concluyan como imperativo la 
necesidad de un cambio en nuestro sistema de gobernar la nacion 
puertorriqueha? 

Uno de los principales conceptos de la Constitucion del Estado 
Libre Asociado que entra en vigor precisamente con la aprobacion 
del Congreso de los Estados Unidos, establece que su poder politico 
emana del pueblo y que sera ejercido de conformidad con su 
voluntad. 

Este proyecto Young pretende convertir en retorica hueca la 
legitimidad internacional que ha dado el propio gobierno de los 
Estados Unidos al Estado Libre Asociado, tanto en la declaracion 
de las Naciones Unidas como en subsiguientes declaraciones ante 
la comunidad mundial. 

Es un tremendo contrasentido el proyecto pues esta opuesto a 
nuestra condicion juridica por considerarla inferior y colonial. Y 
busca cambiarla por otra, como la estadidad que representa la 
negacion total de lo que hemos alcanzado los puertorriqueiios como 
pueblo, como nacion caribeiia. 

Recordemos que la estadidad es sinonimo de anexion, 
incorporacion e integracion. Seria sin duda alguna, diluir nuestra 
nacion en la nacion norteamericana y como resultado, nuestra 
desaparicion como nacion del mundo. Pues una vez asimilados 
como estados de la union, no habria forma de dar marcha atras 



76 

convirtiendonos en colonia permanente de Estados Unidos y 
minoria en nuestra propia patria. 

Esto que promueve el proyecto si es inferioridad. Puerto Rico es 
una nacion con su particular y comun raza, historia, idioma 
espanol, literatura, cultura, territorio, valores y costumbres y 
tradiciones. Cualquier asunto entre el continente y la isla debe 
estar enmarcado en el contexto de que somos dos naciones distintas 
aunque asociadas mediante un pacto bilateral en la busqueda de 
un proposito comiin. 

Los puertorriquenos hemos contribuido durante los pasados 
noventa y ocho ailos al que ustedes puedan estar disfrutando del 
sueno americano. Ustedes por la forma en que comenzo nuestra 
relacion hace ese mismo numero de aiios, tienen la obligacion legal 
y moral de contribuir a que sigamos desarrollando el suefio 
puertorriqueno expresado democraticamente por la mayoria de 
nuestro pueblo. 

Atendiendo afirmativamente el resultado del plesbicito de 1993 y 
continuar desarrollando al Estado Libre Asociado al maximo de su 
autonomia compatible con nuestra relacion permanente con 
Estados Unidos. 

Asi ambas naciones podran seguir conviviendo con la misma 
dignidad, tal y como se acompaiian en la actualidad en igualdad de 
condiciones nuestra bandera puertorriquena y la bandera 
norteamericana. 

Las pretensiones del proyecto Young de desnacionalizar a Puerto 
Rico a traves de la estadidad es como lanzarle piedras a la luna. 
Ya el pueblo de Puerto Rico ha sido decidido en tres ocasiones 
cuando se ha enfrentado a la disyuntiva de dejar de ser lo que 
somos para convertirnos en otra cosa. 

Por lo tanto, no insistan distinguidos Sehores Congresistas, pues 
el verdadero y linico poder digno para la mayoria de los 
puertorriquefios es aquel que nace y se forja de nuestras propias 
entrahas. Muchas gracias. 

[The prepared statement of Antonio J. Fas Alzamora may be 
found at the end of hearing.] 

Mr. Young. Thank you, Senator. I don't know who is next in 
order. Let's go with Mr. Brown, let's start with Mr. Brown. 

STATEMENT OF HERBERT W. BROWN, III, CHAIRMAN, 
CITIZENS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION 

Mr. Brown. Mr. Chairman, I have a statement which I have sub- 
mitted. I would like to have it incorporated as part of the record. 

Mr. Young. Without objection, we'll put your whole statement in 
the record. 

Mr. Brown. I also have a brief statement that I would like to 
read. I have additional copies I'd like also to have included in the 
record. 

Mr. Young. Proceed. 

Mr. Brown. Thank you. 

Good afternoon, and welcome to Puerto Rico. My name is Herb 
Brown. I am a second generation Puerto Rican. My father was born 
here of American parents, and my mother, a Californian by birth, 
carre to Puerto Rico to teach in the public school system, prior to 
the outbreak of World War IL 



77 

My U.S. citizenship then, like that of many of us here in Puerto 
Rico, will be subject to statutory change in the event Congress de- 
termines to change Puerto Rico's current status from an unincor- 
porated territory to an independent Nation. 

For that, and for many other reasons, I have led the Citizens 
Educational Foundation's efforts to permanently secure U.S. citi- 
zenship for Puerto Ricans through statehood, which will also erase 
our current status as second class citizens, a status that denies us 
representation in Congress and the presidential vote, and, at its 
most insidious, allows the United States Government to legally dis- 
criminate against American citizens residing here. A situation that 
will continue if we don't embrace the historic opportunity presented 
by H.R. 3024 to attain first class U.S. citizenship through state- 
hood, or in the alternative, by choosing independence to replace it 
with Puerto Rican citizenship. 

In connection with these thoughts, I want to make three points 
today that are pivotal to these hearings. 

First, at the risk of respectfully disagreeing with you, I want to 
say that the 1993 plebiscite, far from being inconclusive, was defin- 
itive on at least one issue. That issue, which brings us together 
today, was that the present status quo must be changed. 

Second, that regardless of what 

Mr. Abercrombie. Mr. Chairman — Excuse me, Mr. Brown. 

Mr. BRO^VN. Yes. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Mr. Chairman, is there a copy of this testi- 
mony that you're reading in our files? I can't find it. 

Mr. Brown. It's contained — this is a summary of my statement. 

Mr. Young. It's probably in your packet. I mean, we'll get it — 
Go ahead. 

Mr. Roth. He submitted his full statement for the record. We let 
him give an abbreviated version. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Go ahead, sir. 

Mr. Brown. Thank you. 

Second, that regardless what some may say, Congress, through 
this proposed legislation, and the letter of February 29, 1996 to the 
leaders of the Puerto Rico Legislature, has addressed the results of 
the 1993 plebiscite and set in motion a process through which the 
Puerto Rican people can exercise their right to full self determina- 
tion. 

Third, that unless we take action, as outlined by this bill, to de- 
termine our destiny, then we will continue to run the risk that 
Congress, exercising its authority under the Constitution, will set- 
tle once and for all the status issue in a way that may further 
erode or end our rights as U.S. citizens and, most likely, create an 
independent Puerto Rico. 

Contrary to what some may argue. Congress did, indeed, address 
the 1993 plebiscite results. 

The response signed by the four chairmen of the committees and 
subcommittees responsible for Puerto Rico carefully analyzed the 
plebiscite results and the testimony given at hearings on the ballot 
on October 17th, 1996. The result was the bill now before us. 

Showing a keen knowledge of history and constitutional law, you 
have correctly concluded that the winning formula, enhanced Com- 
monwealth, was legally defective in that Congress was constitu- 



78 

tionally barred from implementing any of its provisions, including 
the guarantee of U.S. citizenship and permanent ties with the 
United States, provisions that can only be realized through state- 
hood. 

Having shown in 1993 that Commonwealth, or the status quo, is 
but an impermanent state of affairs, the people of Puerto Rico have 
the opportunity to determine the future status of the island, and 
its relationship, if any, with the United States. 

Congress has it in its power, constitutionally, to determine our 
status and our citizenship. The territorial clause specifically confers 
these powers on Congress, and it is within its authority, even its 
duty, to exercise them. 

We have it within our power to choose to retain our U.S. citizen- 
ship, and forever cement our ties to the United States, in whose de- 
fense of democracy we have made the supreme sacrifice since the 
First World War. This statehood offers. 

We also have it within our power to choose to become an inde- 
pendent nation, and exchange our U.S. citizenship for a Puerto 
Rican citizenship. A painful decision, yet one in keeping with inter- 
national norms. 

Finally, we have it within our power to abdicate our responsibil- 
ities and cede control to those who profit from the status quo by 
killing this bill, or failing to choose one of the two paths to full self 
government this legislation offers. 

These, then, are the choices available: statehood and U.S. citizen- 
ship, and the right to participate as equals in the American proc- 
ess; independence, and Puerto Rican Nationality and citizenship; 
the status quo, with its impermanence both as to political status 
and citizenship. 

And, if we choose the latter, then those who have been singularly 
unsuccessful in extending, enhancing, culminating, and perfecting 
our status will have been successful only in transferring back to 
Congress Puerto Rico's future. 

Are we finally open to the challenge that this bill hands us, or 
are we destined to allow political opportunism and short sighted 
economic interests to defeat our right to self government? 

For one, I believe that we are up to task Congress has laid out 
for Puerto Rico. In this belief I ask all Puerto Ricans to support 
this legislation, and then join together and exercise our right to full 
self determination. 

Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Herbert W. Brown III may be found 
at the end of hearing.] 

Mr. Young. Next is Mr. Roberto Buso Aboy of the Puerto Rican 
Bar Association. You're not a trial lawyer, are you? 

Mr. Buso-Aboy. I am. 

Mr. Young. Oh, boy. Go ahead. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Young. I say that in jest, so don't take me too seriously. 

STATEMENT OF ROBERTO BUSO ABOY, BAR ASSOCIATION OF 

PUERTO RICO 

Mr. Buso-Aboy. I answered in jest also. 



79 

Mr. Chairman and distinguished members, my name is Roberto 
Buso-Aboy 

Mr. Young. Roberto, could you pull the mic a little closer so we 
can hear you clearly? 

Mr. Buso-Aboy. My name is Roberto Buso-Aboy, chairman of the 
Puerto Rico Bar Associations's Commission for the Study of the 
Constitutional Development of Puerto Rico. 

With me in the audience is Attorney Angelita Rieckehoff, Execu- 
tive Director of the Bar. 

We appear before you in representation of the oldest professional 
institution in Puerto Rico, serving the country since 1840. 

The Colegio de Abogados, as it is known in Spanish, is unified 
and a compulsory Bar, with 9,600 members who are representative 
of all the ideological currents in Puerto Rico. 

The Bar Association has served as a forum for the multi partisan 
dialog on the legal and constitutional aspects of Puerto Rico's rela- 
tionship with the United States. 

It maintains a permanent and long standing commission for the 
Study of the Constitutional Development of Puerto Rico, composed 
of lawyers of all political persuasions, and we make sure that we 
do have lawyers of all political persuasions every time that we 
meet. 

The Commission, the Governing Board and/or the General As- 
sembly of the Bar have adopted important reports and resolutions 
on this issue. 

I am submitting as an addendum to this statement that I am 
reading to you copies of some of those reports and pronouncements 
which are adopted by consensus, and unanimous vote, in the cer- 
tainty that they will be very valuable to the study of the Congres- 
sional committee. 

As a matter of fact, I understand that you have been supplied 
with a booklet which includes all the different resolutions since 
1944. 

In the past half century our institution has approved and issued 
more than 18 reports on this issue. I'm not going to read the names 
of them, because they are included in the booklet that has been 
supplied to all the members of the committee. 

Our Bar Association has appeared repeatedly before the United 
Nations since 1972, where it has proclaimed the right of self deter- 
mination of the people of Puerto Rico. 

As we have said before, that forum, and we reiterate in this 
forum right now, it is not the role of our Bar Association to deter- 
mine which of the formulas of self government recognized by the 
international community should be preferred by the people of Puer- 
to Rico. 

That decision rests with the people, and it should be followed 
once they vote on it through a free and democratic expression of 
their will. 

We believe, notwithstanding, that it is the historic role of the Bar 
Association to assist in our people's constitutional process by point- 
ing out those minimum requirements that must be met in any of 
the formulas that could be preferred by them. 



80 

For that reason, since 1963, we have pointed out the minimum 
substantive requirements essential to each of the three formulas to 
establish a political system of self government in our country. 

After reiterating the requirement of sovereignty, and I make a 
point of sovereignty, necessary to all the status formulas, we have 
emphasized the minimum requirements that must exist in each of 
the formulas of association, integration into the United States, or 
outright independence. 

We have also affirmed the minimum procedural requirements es- 
sential to achieve full decolonization. And, of course, that's what 
this is all about. And that's why we're here today. 

The process of decolonization of Puerto Rico has been very slow 
and traumatic. 

In 1953, more than 44 years ago, based upon the fact that our 
country had become a Commonwealth, and that such a develop- 
ment had allegedly ended the colonial regime, the United States 
was relieved from delivering the annual reports to the respective 
organism of the United Nations about its administration of Puerto 
Rico. 

In spite of those commitments, after 44 years, there still exists 
the same restrictions to the freedoms of the people of Puerto Rico, 
as a consequence of our relationship with the United States. 

Puerto Rico lacks sovereignty and control over its own affairs. 

And as Mr. Brown so eloquently put it before, if anything the 
1993 plebiscite shows that everyone in Puerto Rico, at least all the 
voters that went to the polls, want change, some type of change. 

As the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and the 
conduct of Congress attests, Puerto Rico is subject, for all practical 
purposes, to the quasi absolute power of the territorial clause of the 
United States Constitution which vests upon Congress, and to the 
anarchic and accidental constraints of Federal administrative agen- 
cies, which are not of Congress's doing, but they happen against us 
anyway. 

It is imperative to renegotiate the relationship between the Unit- 
ed States and Puerto Rico. 

The Bar Association has urged the Legislative Assembly of Puer- 
to Rico to consult voters, through a referendum, to determine if 
they wish a Constitutional Convention, that can actually bring 
forth a proposal for anew status, and to revise the terms of the ex- 
isting relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. 

The Bar Association, looking at H.R. 3024, respectfully rec- 
ommends the following to the committee. 

First, it should reaffirm the inalienable right to self determina- 
tion of the people of Puerto Rico. In the manner it is stated right 
now, we understand it is not sufficiently strong, and I really think 
that the committee believes in self determination for Puerto Rico, 
and we are asking that it be reaffirmed clearly, without any doubts 
as to our rights. 

Second, reaffirm that for any form of free association between 
Puerto Rico and the United States to be acceptable, it must be at- 
tained in conditions of political equality and respecting inter- 
national law, recognizing once again the sovereignty of the people 
of Puerto Rico. 



81 

I may draw your attention to one of the documents in the booklet 
that we gave you with was approved in 1977, and it's a statement 
for the process of decolonization, which includes what should be in- 
cluded specifically with regard to each one of the different for- 
mulas. 

Fourth, we call for a decolonization process involving a transi- 
tional period that would guarantee the effective functioning of a 
constituent assembly. 

I know there is a minimum 10-year requirement, and contrary 
to what Dr. Rossello said this morning, 4 years is certainly not 
quite enough. 

I mean, if it were my own decision, I would have my new status 
right away. But we understand that politics and political processes 
do take time if they are going to be made conscientiously and cor- 
rectly. 

So the Bar Association calls for this proceeding to take place for 
a period long enough to have a functioning constituent assembly 
set up in Puerto Rico to try to build up the new status that will 
finally be adopted. 

Fifth, we think that H.R. 3024 should be amended so that it ad- 
heres faithfully to the minimum substantive and procedural re- 
quirements which the Bar Association has suggested. As I told you, 
there are 18 of them specifically set out in the adjoining document. 

We make these recommendations in our role as the traditional 
forum for the creative discussion by all political and ideological sec- 
tors in Puerto Rico, and I am sure that by this time today you real- 
ize that we are probably the only ones that have come forth with 
some sort of a consensus feeling of anything regarding the process 
of decolonization. 

And we understand that that process should be acceptable to the 
international community, because whether we like it or not, Puerto 
Rico is still a colony, Puerto Rico should be and is subject to the 
United Nations charter, and the United States, as the main signa- 
tory and actual safe guarder of the United Nations should abide by 
it. 

Actually everyone in Puerto Rico of the different political persua- 
sions has gone to the United Nations, and that includes all the po- 
litical persuasions on the Island. 

We commend this committee of the Congress for initiating an ef- 
fort to help solve the colonial problem of our country. We like that. 
I think it's late in coming, but it's here. I mean, maybe under the 
Treaty of Paris it should have been done 80 years ago. It wasn't. 
But it should start, and it should go forth from now on. 

We strongly support and commend its initiative to open a dialog 
that will protect the interests of both the United States and Puerto 
Rico. 

We are not a territory, except in legal terms, but we are a people, 
somos un pueblo, a people with our very own Hispanic and African 
culture, and that is the reality, the sociological reality of Puerto 
Rico, and that's the way we like it. We have our own Spanish lan- 
guage, traditions, and values. Among our values, we cherish our 
democratic tradition, and for the sake of the people, the people of 
Puerto Rico, the Bar Association of Puerto Rico invites this commit- 
tee to carefully consider the reports we are hereby submitting. 



82 

Most particularly, we ask that you study the substantive require- 
ments that our multi partisan membership has established four our 
Nation's self determination. 

We invite you to amend the current bill so as to clarify the terms 
under which the Congress of the United States is willing to initiate 
negotiations with the people of Puerto Rico on their political future. 

In the event that the final version of the bill is congruent with 
the traditional, long standing position of the Bar Association on 
this issue, we will support it. 

On the contrary, if the fmal version does not comply with the so 
stated minimum requirements, the Bar Association will reject the 
process. 

In the hope that everything will work out for the better future 
of both Puerto Rico and the United States, and with our sincerest 
offer of cooperation in your endeavor, we thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Roberto Buso-Aboy may be found at 
the end of hearing.] 

Mr. Young. Thank you, sir. 

The gentleman from Puerto Rico, Romero, do you have any ques- 
tions? 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. No, I have no questions. 

Mr. Young. No questions. The gentleman from Hawaii? 

Mr. Abercrombie. Yes. 

Mr. Fas, I'm a little bit at a loss to understand the rationale of 
your statement. If I did not know — you favor the Commonwealth, 
correct? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Si, senor. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Commonwealth status. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Si, senor. 

Mr. Abercrombie. But if I didn't know that, and I was looking 
at your testimony, it would seem to me you are favoring independ- 
ence. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. No. 

Mr. Abercrombie. No? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. No, lo digo claro en mi testimonio, Senor 
Congresista. Lo que sucede es que la estadidad en mi concepto 
disminuiria, por ser una condicion de anexion, disminuiria nuestra 
nacion. Por eso parto de la primer pregunta que hay que hacerse. 
<i,Que es Estados Unidos y que es Puerto Rico? 

Los dos somos dos naciones, Puerto Rico fue una nacion colonia 
de Espaiia, luego con la guerra Hispanoamericana pasamos a ser 
colonia de Estados Unidos en el 1898. Conforme a nuestra teoria, 
la teoria de ustedes que esbozaron ante las Naciones Unidas en el 
'52, dejamos de ser colonia y nos convertimos en un Estado Libre 
Asociado. 

La estadidad para mi no es una opcion digna para Puerto Rico, 
con el respeto de los companeros que la puedan respetar, <i,por que? 
porque al ser. . ., la estadidad, para mi no es una solucion digna 
al problema de estatus para los puertorriquehos porque 
conlleva . . . 

Mr. Abercrombie. No, I didn't. . . excuse me. . . excuse me. I 
didn't say statehood, I said independence . . . 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Por eso le digo. . .. 

Mr. Abercrombie. You state . . . 



83 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. O sea, si me explico . . . 

Mr. Abercrombie. You state, for example, that the United States 
is a nation with its own history, language, literature, territory, val- 
ues and traditions. Puerto Rico is exactly the same, a nation with 
it's own particular characteristics. Doesn't that mean that — 
wouldn't I conclude from that that you wish Puerto Rico to be inde- 
pendent? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. No, no. Yo me explicaba que cualquier 
solucion al estatus de Puerto Rico tiene que partir de la premisa, 
que es Puerto Rico y que es Estados Unidos. Puerto Rico es una 
nacion distinta a la nacion de Estados Unidos. 

La diferencia es que estamos dos naciones unidas en un pacto bi- 
lateral desde del 1952 tal y como ustedes mismos lo han dicho ante 
las Naciones Unidas consecuentemente a la comunidad 
internacional. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Alright. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Yo no respaldo la independencia, no respaldo 
la estadidad. Creo que las unicas dos opciones dignas que hay, 
es . . . 

Mr. Abercrombie. I accept that. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. r. .el desarrollo del Estado Libre Asociado, 
que conservaria la nacionalidad del pueblo puertorriqueno o la 
independencia, que los separaria. La estadidad disolveria la nacion 
puertorriqueha, seria la muerte de nuestra nacion. Por 
consiguiente la desaparicion de Puerto Rico de las esferas 
mundiales como nacion existente actual, por su cultura, por su 
territorio, por su raza, por sus costumbres, con todo lo que pueda 
ser las caracteristicas de una nacion. 

Mr. Abercrombie. Thank you. If that's the case ... if that's the 
case then, I will ask you the question I asked to Sr. Vega pre- 
viously. 

What if the suggestion was made to Chairman Young, because 
you also indicate in your testimony that Governor Rossello has not 
committed himself to accept the results of the 1993 plebiscite, and 
defend them before the United States Congress, on behalf of the 
people. 

What if. . .if Congressman Young then took the plebescite re- 
sults, with the definitions that appeared in the plebescite, and then 
presented that to the Congress of the United States in a resolution 
to see whether the Congress would approve or disapprove, would 
that be acceptable to you? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Ese es precisamente debio haber sido el 
primer paso, no a medidas del Congresista Young. El primer 
paso. . . lo mismo que esta haciendo un comite en Casablanca, 
haber establecido unos comites para defender en el Congreso el 
resultado del plesbicito que entonces era responsivo a la voluntad 
mayoritaria de la democracia puertorriquefia. 

Cada uno de esos puntos son . . . pueden ser negociables. Porque 
ahora mismo ustedes estan discutiendo la Seccion 936. El cafe tiene 
una proteccion, ,j,por que no extenderlo a otros productos agricolas 
puertorriquehos? Y asi cada una de las cosas podia discutirse. 

Mr. Abercrombie. No, no, no, excuse me. No, I'm not going to 
discuss everything. The testimony here today is that the plebescite 
which took place in 1993, regardless of the closeness of the vote. 



84 

nonetheless, the pluraUty of people spoke for the Commonwealth as 
defined in the plebiscite. That's true, is it not? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Eso es asi y lo que nosotros alegamos es que 
este proyecto esta demas. Y si se impulsa, le estaria faltando a la 
democracia puertorriqueha porque hubo un mandato. Lo correcto es 
comenzar con ese mandato, con . . . 

Mr. Abercrombie. Alright. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. r. . rabajarlo en el Congreso y no imponer 
un plesbicito hasta que no se le de contestacion al resultado del 
1993. De ahi adelante, empezariam 

Mr. Abercrombie. So the answer is. . .so the answer is that 
you would be favorable for Chairman Young presenting the results 
of the plebescite to the Congress to say yes or no as to whether we 
would be in agreement. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. No creo que sea tan simplista poder llevar 
eso al Congreso para contestar si o no. Porque esto requiere 
conversacion y porque tal como esta . . . tal como esta pues es muy 
facil uno poder llegar a la conclusion, donde hemos podido notar y 
por lo inicios de este mismo proyecto que hay unos miembros del 
Congreso favorecedores de la estadidad. Y nadie que favorezca la 
estadidad o pudiera favorecer la independencia van a favorecer 
estas cosas. Seria una cuestion de dialogo. 

Yo le diria una cosa con mucho respeto a ustedes miembros del 
Congreso. El pueblo puertorriqueiio debe tener la libertad de 
decidir cualquier asunto que tenga que ver con su estatus. La 
situacion actual es, en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos pues hay 
Congresistas que ya se han manifestado a favor de determinada 
formula. Entonces, causa cierta preocupacion y hasta cierto 
punto . . . 

Mr. Abercrombie. I have not stated that. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. No estoy diciendo usted obviamente. Causa 
preocupacion y tiende a causar hasta indignacion de que si los 
asuntos de Puerto Rico como termine yo mi mensaje, deben 
resuelto por iniciativa de los puertorriquehos, entonces sea en la 
direccion contraria. 

Y eso hay que impugnarlo, por lo menos desde mi punto de vista. 
Los asuntos de Puerto Rico deben ser iniciados por los 
puertorriquehos y no por el Congreso. Y sobre todo cuando la 
iniciativa del Congreso es contraria a la voluntad democratica del 
pueblo como ha sido la iniciativa del distinguido Congresista 
Young. 

Mr. Abercrombie. I appreciate that, "muchas gracias". 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Indiana, do you have any ques- 
tions? 

Mr. Burton. I have no questions. 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Wisconsin, do you have any 
questions? 

Mr. Roth. I just appreciate the excellent testimony, Mr. Chair- 
man, and I have no further questions. 

Mr. Young. The gentleman from Guam, Mr. Underwood? 

Mr. Underwood. I have no questions. 

Mr. Young. No questions? The gentleman from Puerto Rico. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Una sola pregunta. Entonces, Senador 
Faz-Alzamora, ,i,usted no esta de acuerdo con se le someta al 



85 

Congreso una propuesta de que si acepta o no lo que se pone que 
es el Estado Libre Asociado en la papeleta del 93' para que vote 
SI no, si lo acepta o no lo acepta, usted no esta de acuerdo con 
eso? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. No, yo no he dicho eso, Senor Comisionado 
Residente. Yo lo que he dicho . . . 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. ^Pues entonces esta de acuerdo? 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Pero estaba en mi contestacion. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. No, lo que quiero saber es 
unicamente . . . para que el pueblo de Puerto Rico entienda 
claramente si es que esta de acuerdo o no. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Pues fijese . . . 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Es que me parece que podriamos hablar 
claro si esta de acuerdo o no esta de acuerdo. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Para estar claro, yo le voy a dar mi 
contestacion. Yo estoy de acuerdo tal y como dice la formula que 
nosotros los de Puerto Rico, de que se haran gestiones en el 
Congreso. No es de la forma que usted dice que voten si o no 
porque esto no es un referendum. 

Es que se haran gestiones en el Congreso y esas gestiones 
conllevan dialogo, conversaciones, estudios economicos, viabilidad 
de la responsabilidad que tiene el gobierno de Estados Unidos para 
con Puerto Rico y su democracia, no se contempla con un simple 
si no. 

Eso es lo que ustedes quisieran porque obviamente bajo esas 
alternativas, pues usted tiene muy buenos amigos, los que no tengo 
yo que podrian favorecer su formula rechazando unos pedidos 
justos que hay de un pueblo puertorriqueiio como ciudadanos 
norteamericanos que somos. 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Para el record, estoy leyendo ahora de la 
misma papeleta. Dice, "Un voto por el Estado Libre Asociado es un 
mandato a favor de le garantizara si . . . 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Siga leyendo . . . 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. r. . al proponerse, etcetera, etcetera. Asi 
que, uso es lo que esta agui, tu no esta de acuerdo con esto.. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Lease las minutas . . . 

Mr. Romero-Barcelo. No hay problema, no hay problema. No 
esta de acuerdo. 

Mr. Fas-Alzamora. Yo le pido al Seiior Congresista. . . al Sr. 
Comisionado Residente que siga leyendo y dice, "un mandato para 
gestionar en el Congreso. . .". Nosotros no podemos fomentarlo 
porque si nosotros fueramos los que tuvieramos la decision aca, 
pues no habia que ir a solicitar nada al Congreso. 

Se trata de solicitudes de legislacion Federal que no estan 
incluidas en el pacto del Estado Libre Asociado y que el 
Congreso . . . por el convenio propio se le delego al Congreso sobre 
ese tipo de legislacion. Como es la 936, que no tienen que ver nada 
necesariamente con el Estado Libre Asociado y su pacto pero que 
no podrian existir bajo la estadidad del Comisionado Residente 
defiende. 

Mr. Young. I want to thank you for your testimony and your 
strong beliefs and your positions. And I also want to thank the au- 
dience again and all those participants. I want to thank the press. 



86 

For the first time I feel a little bit kinder to you because it's been 
hotter than the devil down here. You're all fanning yourselves. 

But as of now, this hearing is adjourned, and we will continue 
this later on down the road, and hopefully will arrive at a solution 
for the people of Puerto Rico. 

The hearing is adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 2:50 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.] 



87 



104th congress 
2d Session 



H. R. 3024 

To provide a process leading to full self-government for Puerto Rieo. 



IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

March 6, 1996 

Mr. Young of Alaska (for himself, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. 
Serrano, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Romero- 
Barcelo, Mr. GiLMAN, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. UNDERWOOD, Mr. 
Calvert, Mr. Longley, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. Deutsch, and 
Mr. Klink) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Com- 
mittee on Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a 
period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the com- 
mittee concerned 



A BILL 



To provide a process leading to fiiU self-government for 

Puerto Rieo. 

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

4 (a) Short Title. — This Act may be cited as the 

5 "United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act". 

6 (b) Table op Contents. — The table of contents for 

7 this Act is as follows: 



88 



Sec. 1. Short title. 

Sec. 2. Findings. 

Sec. 3. Policy. 

Sec. 4. Process for Puerto Rican fiill self-government, including the initial deci- 
sion stage, transition stage, and implementation stage. 

Sec. 5. Requirements relating to referenda, including inconclusive referendum 
and applicable laws. 

Sec. 6. Congressional procedures for consideration of legislation. 

Sec. 7. Availability of fluids for the referenda. 

1 SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 

2 The Congress finds the following: 

3 (1) Puerto Rico is an unincorporated and lo- 

4 cally self-governing territory of the United States, 

5 ceded to the United States and under this Nation's 

6 sovereignty pursuant to the Treaty of Paris ending 

7 the Spanish-American War in 1898. Article EX of 

8 the Treaty of Paris expressly recognizes the author- 

9 ity of Congress to provide for the political status of 

10 the inhabitants of the territory. 

11 (2) United States citizenship was extended to 

12 Puerto Rico in 1917, as well as partial application 

13 of the United States Constitution. 

14 (3) In the period 1950-1952, Congress author- 

15 ized, amended, and then approved a constitution for 

16 Puerto Rico's local government, which is now called 

17 the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico", without alter- 

18 ing the territory's fimdamental economic, political, 

19 and legal relationship with the United States. 

20 (4) In the 1989 State of the Union Message, 

21 President George Bush urged the Congress to take 

•HK S024 IH 



89 



3 

1 the necessary steps to authorize a federally reeog- 

2 nized process allowing the people of Puerto Rico, for 

3 the first time since the Treaty of Paris entered into 

4 force, to freely express their wishes regarding their 

5 future political status in a congressionally recognized 

6 referendum, a step in the process of self-determina- 

7 tion which the Congress has yet to authorize. 

8 (5) In November of 1993, the Government of 

9 Puerto Rico conducted a plebiscite initiated under 

10 local law on Puerto Rico's political status. In that 

1 1 vote none of the three status propositions received a 

12 majority of the votes cast. The results of that vote 

13 were: 48.6 percent commonwealth, 46.3 percent 

14 statehood, and 4.4 percent independence. 

15 (6) In 1994, President William Jefferson Clin- 

16 ton established the Executive Branch Interagency 

17 Working Group on Puerto Rico to coordinate the re- 

18 view, development, and implementation of executive 

19 branch administrative policy concerning Puerto Rico 

20 in hght of the November 1993 plebiscite in the is- 

21 lands. 

22 (7) There have been inconsistent and conflicting 

23 interpretations of the 1993 plebiscite results, and 

24 under the Territorial Clause of the Constitution (ar- 

25 tide IV, section 3, clause 2), Congress has the au- 

•HR 3024 IH 



90 

4 

1 thority and responsibility to determine Federal pol- 

2 icy and clarify status issues in order to advance the 

3 self-determination process in Puerto Rico. 

4 (8) On December 14, 1994, the Puerto Rico 

5 Legislature enacted Concurrent Resolution 62, which 

6 requested the 104th Congress to respond to the re- 

7 suits of the 1993 Puerto Rico Status Plebiscite and 

8 to indicate the next steps in resolving Puerto Rico's 

9 political status. 

10 (9) Nearly 4,000,000 United States citizens live 

11 in the islands of Puerto Rico, which have been with- 

12 in the American political system and the United 

13 States customs territory for almost 100 years, mak- 

14 ing Puerto Rico the oldest, largest, and most popu- 

15 lous United States island territory at the southeast- 

16 ern-most boundary of our Nation, located astride the 

17 strategic shipping lanes of the Atlantic Ocean and 

18 Caribbean Sea. 

19 (10) Pull self-government for Puerto Rico is at- 

20 tainable only through establishment of a political 

21 status either without or within United States sov- 

22 ereignty, under which Puerto Rico is no longer an 

23 unincorporated territory subject to the plenary au- 

24 thority of Congress arising from the Territorial 

25 Clause. 

•HR 3024 m 



91 
5 

1 SEC. 3. POLICY. 

2 In recognition of the significant level of local self-gov- 

3 ernment which has been attained by Puerto Rico, and the 

4 desire by both the United States and Puerto Rico to en- 

5 able the people of the territory to achieve full self-govem- 

6 ment through a self-determination process consistent with 

7 United States and internationally recognized standards, 

8 this Act is adopted with a commitment to encourage the 

9 mutual development and implementation of procedures to 

10 determine the political status of Puerto Rico. 

1 1 SEC. 4. PROCESS FOR PUERTO RICAN FULL SELF-GOVERN- 

12 MENT, INCLUDING THE INITIAL DECISION 

13 STAGE, TRANSITION STAGE, AND IMPLEMEN- 

14 TATION STAGE. 

15 (a) Initial Decision Stage. — ^A referendum on 

16 Puerto Rico's political status shall be held not later than 

17 December 31, 1998. The referendum shall be held in ac- 

18 cordance with the applicable provisions of Puerto Rico's 

19 electoral law and other relevant statutes, and approval 

20 must be by a majority of the valid votes cast. The referen- 

21 dum shall be on the following question: 

22 "Which path leading to full self-government for Puer- 

23 to Rico do you prefer to be developed through a transition 

24 plan enacted by the Congress and approved by the people 

25 of Puerto Rico? 

•HR 3024 IH 



92 

6 

1 "(1) A path of separate Puerto Riean sov- 

2 ereignty leading to independence or free association, 

3 in which — 

4 "(A) Puerto Rico is a sovereign nation 

5 with full authority and responsibility for its in- 

6 ternal and external affairs, exercising in its own 

7 name and right the powers of government with 

8 respect to its territory and population, lauguage 

9 and culture, and determining its own relations 

10 and participation in the community of nations; 

11 "(B) a negotiated treaty of friendship and 

12 cooperation or an international bilateral pact of 

13 free association terminable at will by either 

14 Puerto Rico or the United States, defii^s fu- 

15 ture relations between Puerto Rico and the 

16 United States, providing for cooperation and 

17 assistance in matters of shared interest as 

18 agreed and approved by Puerto Rico and the 

19 United States pursuant to this Act and their re- 

20 spective coiistitutional processes; 

21 "(C) a constitution democratically insti- 

22 tuted by the people of Puerto Rico, estai)lishing 

23 a republican form of full self-government and 

24 se<'uring the rights of citizens of the Puerto 

25 Rican natimi, is the supreme law, and ti*e Con- 

•HR 3024 IH 



93 



7 

1 stitution and laws of the United States no 

2 longer apply in Puerto Rico; 

3 "(D) Puerto Rico exercises the sovereign 

4 power to determine and control its own nation- 

5 ality and citizenship, and United States nation- 

6 ality and citizenship conferred on the people of 

7 Puerto Rico based upon birth in the territory 

8 during the period in which the United States 

9 exercised sovereignty and jurisdiction over 

10 Puerto Rico is withdrawn in favor of Puerto 

1 1 Rican nationality and citizenship, and the Unit- 

12 ed States Congress has authority to prescribe 

13 criteria for affected individuals to establish eli- 

14 gibility for retention of United States national- 

15 ity and citizenship or naturalization in the 

16 United States on a basis which does not create 

17 an exception to the establishment and preserva- 

18 tion of separate United States and Puerto 

19 Rican nationality and citizenship; 

20 "(E) upon recognition of Puerto Rico by 

21 the United States as a sovereign nation and es- 

22 tablishment of government-to-government rela- 

23 tions on the basis of comity and reciprocity, 

24 Puerto Rico's representation to the United 

25 States is accorded full diplomatic status; 

•HR 3024 IH 

24-926 - 96 - 4 



94 

8 

1 "(F) Puerto Rico is eligible for United 

2 States assistance provided on a government-to- 

3 government basis, including foreign aid or pro- 

4 grammatic assistance, at levels determined at 

5 the discretion of Congress and the President; 

6 "(G) property rights and previously ac- 

7 quired rights vested by employment in Puerto 

8 Rico or the United States are honored, and 

9 where determined necessary such rights are 

10 promptly adjusted and settled consistent with 

11 government-to-government agreements imple- 

12 menting the separation of sovereignty; and 

13 "(H) Puerto Rico is outside the customs 

14 territory of the United States, and trade be- 

15 tween the United States and Puerto Rico is 

16 based on a treaty. 

17 "(2) A path under United States sovereignty 

18 leading to statehood, in which — 

19 "(A) the people of Puerto Rico are fully 

20 self-governing with their rights secured under 

21 the United States Constitution, which is the su- 

22 preme law and has the same force and effect as 

23 in the other States of the Union; 

24 "(B) the sovereign State of Puerto Rico is 

25 in permanent union with the United States, and 

•HR 3024 IH 



95 

9 

1 powers not delegated to the Federal Govern- 

2 ment or prohibited to the States by the United 

3 States Constitution are reserved to the people 

4 of Puerto Rico or the State Government; 

5 "(C) United States citizenship of those 

6 born in Puerto Rico is guaranteed and pro- 

7 tected to the same extent as those born in the 

8 several States; 

9 "(D) residents of Puerto Rico have equal 

10 rights and benefits as well as equal duties and 

1 1 responsibilities of citizenship, including payment 

12 of Federal taxes, as those in the several States; 

13 "(E) Puerto Rico is represented in the 

14 United States Senate and the House of Rep- 

15 resentatives proportionate to the population; 

16 "(F) Puerto Rico is enfranchised to vote 

17 for United States presidential and vice-presi- 

18 dential electors proportionate to the population; 

19 and 

20 "(G) Puerto Rico adheres to the same lan- 

21 guage requirement as in the several States.". 

22 (b) Transition Stage. — 

23 (1) Plan.— Within 180 days of the receipt of 

24 the results of the referendum from the Government 

25 of Puerto Rico certifying approval of a ballot choice 

HR 3024 IH 2 



96 

10 

1 in a referendum held pursuant to subsection (a), the 

2 President shall submit to Congress legislation for a 

3 transition plan of 10 years minimum which leads to 

4 full self-government for Puerto Rico consistent with 

5 the terms of this Act and in full consultation with 

6 leaders of the three branches of the Government of 

7 P*uerto Rico, the principal political parties of Puerto 

8 Rico, and other interested persons as may be appro- 

9 priate. 

10 (2) Congressional consideration. — The 

11 plan shall be considered by the Congress in accord- 

12 ance with section 6. 

13 (3) Puerto rican approval. — 

14 (A) Not later than 180 days after enact- 

15 ment of an Act pursuant to paragraph (1) pro- 

16 viding for the transition to full self-government 

17 for P^ierto Rico as approved in the initial deci- 

18 sion referendum held under subsection (a), a 

19 referendum shall be held under the applicable 

20 provisions of Puerto Rico's electoral law on the 

21 question of approval of the transition plan. 

22 (B) Approval must be by a majority of the 

23 valid votes cast. The results of the referendum 

24 shall be certified to the President of the United 

25 States by the Government of Puerto Rico. 

•HR 3024 IH 



97 

11 

1 (4) Effective date for transition pi^an. — 

2 Upon receipt of the results of the referendum under 

3 this subsection certifying approval of the transition 

4 plan, the President of the United States shall issue 

5 a proclamation announcing the effective date of the 

6 transition plan to full self-government for Puerto 

7 Rico. 

8 (c) Implementation Stage. — 

9 (1) Presidential recommendation. — Not 

10 less than two years prior to the end of the period 

11 of the transition provided for in the transition plan 

12 approved under subsection (b), the President shall 

13 submit to Congress legislation with a reeommenda- 

14 tion for the implementation of full self-government 

15 for Puerto Rico consistent with the ballot choice ap- 

16 proved under subsection (a). 

17 (2) Congressional consideration. — The 

18 plan shall be considered by the Congress in accord- 

19 ance with section 6. 

20 (3) Puerto rican approval. — 

21 (A) Within 180 days after enactment of 

22 the terms of implementation for full self-govem- 

23 ment for Puerto Rico, a referendum shall be 

24 held under the applicable provisions of I*uerto 

25 Rico's electoral laws on the question of the ap- 

•HR 3024 m 



98 

12 

1 proval of the terms of implementation for full 

2 self-government for Puerto Rico. 

3 (B) Approval must be by a majority of the 

4 valid votes cast. The results of the referendum 

5 shall be certified to the President of the United 

6 States by the Government of Puerto Rico. 

7 (4) Effective date of full self-govern- 

8 me NT. — The President of the United States shall 

9 issue a proclamation announcing the date of imple- 

10 mentation of full self-government for Puerto Rico, 

1 1 upon receipt of the results of the referendum certify- 

12 ing approval of the terms of implementation. 

13 SEC. 5. REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO REFERENDA, IN- 

14 CLUDING INCONCLUSIVE REFERENDUM AND 

15 APPLICABLE LAWS. 

16 (a) Applicable Laws. — 

17 (1) Referenda under Puerto rican 

18 laws. — The referenda held under this Act shall be 

19 conducted in accordance with the laws of Puerto 

20 Rico, and voter eligibility for residents and non- 
21 residents shall be determined by the Puerto Rico 

22 State Election Commission. 

23 (2) Pederai^ laws. — The Federal laws appli- 

24 cable to the election of the Resident Commissioner 

25 of Puerto Rico shall, as appropriate, also apply to 

•HR 3024 IH 



99 

13 

1 the referenda. Aiiy reference in such Federal laws to 

2 elections shall be considered, as appropriate, to be a 

3 reference to the referenda, unless it would frustrate 

4 the purposes of this Act. 

5 (b) Certification op^ Referenda Results. — The 

6 results of each referendum held under this Act shall be 

7 certified to tie President of the United States and the 

8 Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 

9 by the Government of Puerto Rico. 

10 (c) Consultation and Recommendations for In- 

1 1 CONCLUSIVE Referendum. — 

12 (1) In general. — If a referendum provided in 

13 this Act does not result in approval of a fully self- 

14 governing status, the President, in full consultation 

15 with leaders of the three branches of the Govern- 

16 ment of Puerto Rico, the principal political parties 

17 of Puerto Rico, and other interested persons as may 

18 be appropriate, shall make recommendations to the 

19 Congress within 180 days of receipt of the results of 

20 the referendum. 

21 (2) Existing structure to remain in ef^- 

22 fect. — If the inhabitants of the territory do not 

23 achieve full self-governance through either integra- 

24 tion into the Union or separate sovereignty in the 

25 form of independence or free association, Puerto 

•HR 3024 IH 



100 

14 

1 Rico will remain an unincorporated territory of the 

2 United States, subject to the authority of Congress 

3 under Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the United 

4 States Constitution. In that event, t\^ existing Com- 

5 monwealth of Puerto Rico structure for local self- 

6 government will remain in effect, subject to such 

7 other measures as may be adopted by Congress m 

8 the exercise of it's Territorial Clause powers to de- 

9 termine the disposition of the territory and status 

10 of it's inhabitants. 

11 SEC. 6. CONGRESSIONAL PROCEDURES F(Ml CONSH>ER- 

12 ATION OF LEGISLATION. 

13 (a) In General. — The Chairman of the Committee 

14 on Energy and Natural Resources shall introduce legisla- 

15 tion providing for the transition plan under section 4(b) 

16 and the implementation reconnnendation u»der section 

17 4(e), as appropriate, in the United States Senate and the 

18 Chairman of the Committee on Resources sliall intixxk»ee 

19 such legislation in the United States House of Rej>resenta- 

20 tives, providing adequate time for the consideration of tlie 

21 legislation pursuant to the following provisions: 

22 (1) At any time after the close of tlie 180th eal- 

23 endar day beginning after the date of introduction of 

24 such legislation, it shall be in oixler for any Member 

25 of the United States House of Re{)resentatives or 

•HR 3024 IH 



101 

15 

1 the United States Senate to move to discharge any 

2 committee of that House from further consideration 

3 of the lei^slation. A motion to discharge shall be 

4 higWy priviteged, and debate thereon shaH be limited 

5 to not more than two hours, to be divided equally 

6 between those swpporting and those opposing the 

7 motion. As amendment to the motion shall not be in 

8 order, and it shall not be in order to move to recon- 

9 sider the vote by which the motion was agreed to or 

10 disagreed to. 

11 (2) At aay time after the close of the 14th leg- 

12 islative day beginning after the last committee of 

13 that House has reported or been discharged from 

14 ftirther cowsideration of such legislation, it shall be 

15 in order for any Member of that House to move to 

16 proceed to ttie immediate consideration of the legis- 

17 lation (si>eh motion not being debatable), and such 

18 motioH is herdby made of high privilege. An amend- 

19 ment to the motion shall not be in order, and it shall 

20 not be in ©rder to move to reconsider the vote by 

21 which the motio« was agreed to or disagreed to. For 

22 the purposes wi this paragraph, the term "legislative 

23 day" i»eans a day on which the United States 

24 Ho*ise of Representatives or the United States Sen- 

25 ate, as appropriate, is in session. 

•HR 3024 IH 



102 

16 

1 (b) Commitment of Congress. — Enactment of this 

2 section constitutes a conunitment that the United States 

3 Congress will vote on legislation establishing appropriate 

4 mechanisms and procedures to implement the political sta- 

5 tus selected by the people of Puerto Rico. 

6 (c) Exercise of RuLEiVLAiaNG Power. — The provi- 

7 sions of this section are enacted by the Congress — 

8 (1) as an exercise of the mlemaking power of 

9 the Senate and the House of Representatives and, as 

10 such, shall be considered as part of the rules of each 

11 House and shall supersede other rules only to the 

12 extent that they are inconsistent therewith; and 

13 (2) with full recognition of the constitutional 

14 right of either House to change the rules (so far as 

15 they relate to the procedures of that House) at any 

16 time, in the same manner, and to the same extent 

17 as in the ease of any other rule of that House. 

1 8 SEC. 7. AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR THE REFERENDA. 

19 (a) In General. — 

20 (1) Availability of AiMOUnts derived from 

21 TAX on foreign rum. — During the period begin- 

22 ning on October 1, 1996, and ending on the date the 

23 President determines that all referenda required by 

24 this Act have been held, the Secretary of the Treas- 

25 ury, upon request from time to time by the Presi- 

•HK 3024 IH 



103 

17 

1 dent and in lieu of covering amounts into the treas- 

2 uiy of Puerto Rico under section 7652(e)(1) of the 

3 Internal Revenue Code of 1986, shall make such 

4 amounts available to the President for the purposes 

5 specified in subsection (b). 

6 (2) Use of unexpended amounts. — Follow- 

7 ing each referendum required by this Act and after 

8 the end of the period specified in paragraph (1), the 

9 President shall transfer all unobligated and unex- 

10 pended amounts received by the President under 

1 1 paragraph ( 1 ) to the treasury of Puerto Rico for use 

12 in the same manner and for the same purposes as 

1 3 all other amounts covered into the treasury of Puer- 

14 to Rico under such section 7652(e)(1). 

15 (b) Grants for Conducting Referenda and 

16 Voter Education. — From amounts made available 

17 under subsection (a)(1), the President shall make grants 

18 to the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico for 

19 referenda held pursuant to the terms of this Act, as fol- 

20 lows: 

21 (1) 50 percent shall be available only for costs 

22 of conducting the referenda. 

23 (2) 50 percent shall be available only for voter 

24 education finids for the central iiiling body of the 

25 political party or parties advocating a particular bal- 

•HR 3024 IH 



104 

18 

1 lot choice. In the ease that more than one party is 

2 advocating a ballot choice, the 50 percent shall be 

3 apportioned equally among the parties. 

4 (c) Additional Resources. — In addition to 

5 amounts made available by this Act, the Puerto Rico Leg- 

6 islature may allocate additional resources for administra- 

7 tive and voter education costs to each party so long as 

8 the distribution of funds is consistent with the apportion- 

9 ment requirements of subsection (b). 

O 



•HR 3024 IH 



105 

The Prepared Statement of Juan M. Garcia-Passalacqua 

After four decades, this bill answers the question. 
However, John F. Kennedy won the Presidency in 1960. 

• In 1961. Muhoz filed a proposal of the future status in the White House that 
reads: "Upon certification by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to 
the President of the United States that the conditions specified in this Act have 
been fulfilled, the President shall proclaim that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
has become a fully sovereign state, in permanent association with the United 
States" 

• In 1962. A draft bill approved by Muhoz came out of the White House, reading: 
"That at the effective date of this Act the United States of American shall relinquish 
its sovereign rights in and to Puerto Rico and shall from then on exercise only such 
rights with respect thereto as may be delegated to it by the people of Puerto Rico 
and accepted by the government of the United States". 

In the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico, Muhoz got approval of a resolution 
that asked for: "The recognition and reaffirmation of the sovereignty of the people 
of Puerto Rico, so that there may remain no doubt as to its capacity to enter into 
a compact in juridical terms of equality". The PDP won big in 1964. 

Luis Muhoz Marin retired in 1964. This is his official record of all his official posi- 
tions regarding the status issue. 

• In 1978. Just two years before his death, Muhoz left his political testament in 
an interview in the newspaper El Mundo. In it, talking about political status, he 
gave his final word: 

"If Puerto Rico had obtained independence from Spain and had proposed to the 
United States to unite with them, in an autonomous union, the minimum of powers 
that we would have to developed autonomy" for Puerto Rico. 

This, gentlemen, is the official historical record. We are pleased that your bill hon- 
ors it. That is why I support it. 

Exhibits 

1. Letter from Henry Cabot Lodge to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 
28, 1953 ( 1 page): "Your idea about Puerto Rico turned out to be a ten-strike". 

2. Top Secret letter from Mason Sears to Henry Cabot Lodge of January 8, 1954 
with annotation by President Eisenhower: "Fine. Secret. DE" (2 pages. Declassified 
10/20/81): "It would also do no harm to hint at the almost certain honor which 
would attach itself to Governor Muhoz should be become the first President of Puer- 
to Rico". 

3. Memorandum to Senator Lodge from Mason Sears, March 23, 1956 re Puerto 
Rican Independence (2 pages): "Here is an idea about ultimate Puerto Rican inde- 
pendence which I think has much merit and which I which could somehow be 
brought to the attention of the appropriate Congressmen". 

4. Letter from Henry Cabot Lodge to Sherman Adams, March 27, 1956 (1 page): 
It is that Congress adopt a resolution offering independence to Puerto Rico on pre- 
cisely the same terms as the President offered it. If the offer were accepted, many 
problems would be solved". 

5. Memorandum fro Jerry Morgan from Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 17, 1959 (1 
page): "This is the memorandum handed to me by Governor Muhoz-Marin when you 
accompanied him to my office. When bother him so much, please give me a report." 



106 

United States Representative 

United Nations 
November 26, 1953 

Dear General: 

Your idea about Puerto Rico turned out to be a ten-strike. 

As you will have seen in the papers, I made the announcement in the General 
Assembly yesterday — one week to the day after you mentioned it at breakfast — and 
received an unprecedented burst of applause from the delegates. I was warmly 
thanked by the Puerto Rican Delegate in particular and the comment among the 
newspapermen was uniformly enthusiastic. The effect will be tremendous in Latin 
American and in all colonial areas and it will regain some of the ground which un- 
avoidably we lost earlier because of Tunisia and Morocco. The domestic reaction is 
good too. 

Enclosed is a copy of the statement I made. 

Enclosed also is a copy of a letter which I am using to some Jewish friends. I 
thought it might be useful to you in case any Jewish people come to talk to you 
about the Security Council resolution on Kibya. While the resolution was not as I 
would have written it myself, it is by no means as bad as some Jewish extremists 
say that it is. In fact the net long-term result should be helpful to Israel. I believe 
the enclosed is a balanced statement. 

Faithfully yours, 

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., 
Enclosures 
The President, The White House. 



January 8, 1954. 

The Honorable Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., 
White House, 
Washington, DC 

Dear Mr. Cabot: 

Last Tuesday you asked me to give some thought as to how it might be possible 
to stimulate the Puerto Rican Legislature to adopt a resolve requesting the United 
States to give full independence to Puerto Rico, here are some preliminary thoughts 
on the matter. 

To begin with, there are certain fixed factors in the situation. They are: 

1. The present compact between Puerto Rico and the United States cannot be al- 
tered without Puerto Rican approval. 

2. A rough breakdown of party strength among the electorate puts the Popular 
party, headed by Governor Muhoz, at 60 percent, the statehood party of 20 percent 
and the Independence party of 20 percent. As a practical matter this means that 
nothing can be done unless Governor Muhoz is able and willing to sell the idea to 
his own party. This will not be easy, considering that the principal reason for the 
existence of the Popular party has been the belief that as an independent Nation 
the Puerto Ricans could not enjoy the close integration with the United States econ- 
omy, which is necessary if they are to stand on their own feet economically. 

3. It should also be borne in mind that as soon as the possibility of independence 
becomes public in Puerto Rico it may have the result of the temporarily increasing 
the number of people who wish to migrate to the United States while it can be done 
without any restrictions. 

With these facts in mind here is a possible line of approach to governor Muhoz,: 

(1) It should be explained to the Government that it was recognized in Washing- 
ton The the establishment of Independence would be meaningless to Puerto Rico un- 
less its present economic arrangements with the United States were continued into 
the future: 

(2) In view of the fact that up to the present Governor Munoz has gone out of 
this way to emphasize that the present commonwealth relationship with the United 
States is far more beneficial to Puerto Rico than independence, some formula must 
be devised to permit him to make an about-face without risking a political loss-of- 
face. It might be suggested that this could be accomplished if the governor were to 
send a message to the legislature stating that operations of the Government under 
the 1952 compact had proved so much more successful than anticipated that it was 
apparent that if the United States were willing to extend into the future its present 
economic arrangements with Puerto Rico, the time had definitely come when there 



107 

would be great advantage to the Puerto Rican people if they were to become fully 
independent and on an equal footing with all other Latin American countries; 

(3) It would also do no harm to hint at the almost certain honor which would at- 
tach itself to Governor Muhoz should be become the first president of Puerto Rico; 

(4) It should be explained to the Governor that the establishment of independence 
in Puerto Rico in the near future would have an international impact in view of the 
colonial issue which is so red hot in most parts of the world. It would be received 
with great satisfaction by the Asiatic-African Nations and would enhance the influ- 
ence of the two American continents in world affairs. 

In conclusion it is my opinion that it is going to be difficult to persuade Governor 
Muhoz to accept this proposal. If he opposes the idea, there would, of course, be no 
chance of success. For this reason I believe that the proposal should be presented 
to him at a very high level, preferably by yourself or by the Secretary of State if 
he were willing. Toward that end I would suggest that a confidential communication 
be sent to Governor Muhoz inviting him to a private conference the next time it is 
convenient for him to be in the United States. 

Finally, let me say that this whole matter is fraught with danger and any misstep 
could easily lead to violence and bloodshed in Puerto Rico. 
Sincerely yours. 

Mason Sears 



MEMORANDUM 



March 23, 1956 



To: Senator Lodge 

From: Mason Sears 

Subject: Puerto Rican Independence. 

Here is an idea about ultimate Puerto Rican independence which I think has 
much merit and which I wish could somehow be brought to the attention of the ap- 
propriate Congressmen. It concerns the possibility of a Congressional resolution in 
support of a statement in favor of independence for Puerto Rico which you presented 
on behalf of the President to the General Assembly two years ago. At that time you 
said to the General Assembly: "I am authorized to say on behalf of the President 
that if at any time the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico adopts a resolution in 
favor of more complete or even absolute independence, he will immediately there- 
after recommend to Congress that such independence be granted." 

I believe that a parallel statement in the form of a Congressional resolution would 
be very beneficial to the United States in view of its anti-colonial traditions, which 
it is temporarily having to stifle in view of its NATO alliance with the colonial pow- 
ers. 

While I am not familiar with Congressional drafting procedures, I submit the fol- 
lowing idea for a resolution which could be altered in any way to meet the require- 
ments. It goes as follows: 

Whereas the President of the United States has stated that if at any time 
the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico adopts a resolution in favor of more 
complete or even absolute independence he will immediately thereafter rec- 
ommend to Congress that such independence be granted; and 
Whereas the present agreement between Puerto Rico and the United States 
is a compact which cannot be altered unilaterally; and 

Whereas the people of Puerto Rico have been in charge of their own govern- 
ment for many years and have been officially recognized as a self-governing 
people by the United Nations: Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved by the Senate and House of representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled. That if the Legislative Assembly of 
Puerto Rico adopts a resolution in favor of more complete or even absolute 
independence, and if the President of the United States were to recommend 
to Congress that such independence be granted, the Congress that such 
independence be granted, the Congress would desire to cooperate with the 
Legislative Assemble of Puerto Rico in an effort to reach a new agreement 
which would result in independence. 
I earnestly hope that something can be done to bring this suggestion to the atten- 
tion of the appropriate committees in the House and Senate. 



108 

March 27, 1956. 
Dear Sherm: 

You know how much thought has been given to this problem of Puerto Rico — with 
all its implications at home and abroad. 

You may also remember that two years ago the President authorized me to say 
to the United Nations that any time the Puerto Rican Assembly adopted a resolu- 
tion in favor of independence that the President would immediately recommend to 
Congress that such independence be granted. 

There was no reaction from Puerto Rico to this move. 

Mason Sears, who is our United States Representative on the Trusteeship Coun- 
cil, has evolved an idea which I think has a great deal of merit. It is that Congress 
adopt a resolution offering independence to Puerto Rico on precisely the same terms 
as the President offered it. 

If the offer were accepted, many problems would be solved. 

If the offer were rejected, our Congress would at the very least have taken a step 
which would be interpreted as "anti-colonial" and do us great good throughout the 
world — notably in Afro-Asian countries. 

As this involves so many different Departments, I am sending it to you. 

It is an idea that has real merit and I do not see what we could possibly lose 
by it. 

I enclose Sears' memorandum to me. 

Faithfully yours, 

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. 
End. Memorandum 3/23/56 

The Honorable Sherman Adams, 

The White House. 

THE WHITE HOUSE 

WASHINGTON 
JUNE 17, 1959. 

Memorandum for Jerry Morgan 

This is the memorandum handed to me by Governor Muhoz-Marin when you ac- 
companied him to my office. When you have examined into the "Commonwealth" 
question that seemed to bother him so much, please give me a report. 

D.D.E. 



109 



SUPPLEMENTAL SHEET 

My full name, complete address and telephone number are; 

JUAN M. GARCIA PASSALACQUA 
President, Analysis Inc. 
Condominio Parque de las Fuentes 
Apt. 503 
Hato Rey, PUERTO RICO 00918 

(758) 758-5029. 

The topical outline or summary of the testimony is: 



Libre Asociado of Puerto Rico was created in 

by the administrations of United States Presidents 
Truman and Dwight D. Eisehower together with Puerto 
Governor Luis Munoz Marin, for whom I worked as a Special 
Assistant during the years 1958 and 1962-1964. In that capacity I 
was privy to confidential information on his intent in creating 
the status as one of "free association". 



The Estado 
1952-1953 
Harry S. 
Rican 



President Dwight D. Eisenhower offered the people of Puerto 
Rico independence through Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge at the 
United Nations on November 27, 1953. 

To that offer, Luis Murtoz Marin responded, on behalf of the 
people of Puerto Rico proposing the following course of action: 
"We must eliminate all functions that would not be exercised by 
and independent country and that are unncecesary to the concept 
of free association with common citizenship". 

That concept, as proposed by Luis Munoz Marin to Dwight D. 
Eisenhower in 1953, is the one contained in H.R. 3024 as the 
definition of "free association". 

In his memory, and for that reason, I favor H.R. 3024. 

GIVEN, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 19, 11 




SALACQUA 
sis Inc. 




no 



JUAN M. GARCIA - PASSALACQUA 

PRESIDENTB 

ANAUSiS INCORPORADO 



PALUAREALtSZ 

RIO P1EDRAS, P.R. 0WZ7 

(•08)7W-0737 



CURRICULUM VITAE 



President of Anillsls Inc., a non-profit political analysis 
firm founded in 1969 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Graduate of the 
Harvard Law School, 1962. Visiting Profesor at Yale University 
Political Science Department (1987-88, 1990-91). Author of a 
dozen books, among them Puerto Rico: Equality and Freedom at 
Issue , Ho ve r / P r ae g e r , New York, 1984. Founder of the Harvard 
International Law Journal (1961). Founder of the National 
Association of Hispanic Journalists (1982). Member of the 
Hispanic Advisory Group to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, 1977- 
1980. Member of Jimmy Carter observer team to the Panama 
elections in 1989 and several other observer missions for the 
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Member 
of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York since 1989. At 
present political analyst for El Nuevo Herald in Miami. 



Born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico in 1937. Has degrees from the 
University of Puerto Rico (1957), Fletcher School of Law and 
Diplomacy of Tufts University (1958), Juris Doctor of Harvard 
University (1962), Tulane University (1967), and an Honorary 
Degree from Central University, Bayam6n, Puerto Rico (1972). 

Has served In the State Department of Puerto Rico (1958), 
the Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico (1962-1967), and the 
Ana G. MSndez Educational Foundation in Puerto Rico (1967-1987), 
where he is a member of the Board of Directors since retirement 
from his position as House Counsel, after twenty years. 

Has done political analysis for the last twenty five years 
on Puerto Rican, the Caribbean, Latin America and United States 
affairs for television, radio and newspapers in Puerto Rico. 

Has lectured at the Sorbonne, Harvard, Universidad Naclonal 
Auc6noma de M€xico, Universidad Men^ndez y Pelayo in Spain, 
Universidad de la Habana in Cuba, the Smithsonian Institution, 
the World Peace Foundation in Boston, the Friedrich Ebert 
Foundation in Germany, the Institute for European-Latin American 
Relations in England, and the Americas Society in New York. 

His latest publication is an essay in Colin Clarke (ed.). 
Society and Politics in the Caribbean , Ma cmi 1 lan/S t . Anthony's 
College, Oxford, England, 1991. 

Has traveled to fifty countries in Latin America, Europe and 
Asia. Speaks, reads and writes fluently in both English and 
Spanish. Reading ability in other languages. 

Is married to Ivonne Acosta and has three children. 



Ill 



TESTIMONY OF 

HECTOR LUIS ACEVEDO 

PRESIDENT 
POPULAR DEMOCRATIC PARTY 

BEFORE THE NATIVE AMERICAN AND 
INSULAR AFFAIRS SUB-COMMITTEE 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

HEARINGS ON H.R. 3024 

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 

MARCH, 23, 1996 



112 



Mr. President, Members of the United States House of 
Representatives. 

I come before you today to speak about democracy. Of the type 
of democracy that equates the weak with the powerful. Of the 
special sense that human beings have that make us understand that 
in this life no person is more nor less than any other person. 

The struggle of the Puerto Rican people, as soon as it gained 
consciousness of its collective self, has been to affirm its values 
through political action. 

The tale of my people is not about civil war nor about 
bloodshed; it is the tale of equality in hope and in the respect 
that each human being deserves. Where people are judged not by the 
position that they hold or the wealth that they accumulate, but by 
the contributions they make when faced with the challenges of life 
and the causes that they defend. 

In this historic epic, our people have framed their centennial 
struggle demanding respect for their identity. 

It is under those premises of self-respect, of commitment with 
the well being of our people and the recognition that we should 
liberate ourselves from the ambush of traditional ways, that the 
relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States has been 
guided. A principal part of that relationship is the respect to 
the free and self-determination of the people of Puerto Rico, as 
evidenced by U.S. presidents like Harry Truman, Dwight D. 
Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. No one can preach to be in favor 
of liberty and not be willing to respect its exercise. 

This is why this bill (HR 3024) finds no place in a aemocracy. 
It is the product of the actions of those who give their backs to 
our voters and who do not respect the will of the people of Puerto 
Rico as expressed freely in the ballot box. Of those who only 
respect democracy when they win. Today, those who could not 
convince our people to take a different course, after imposing a 
plebiscite under their own rules, ask you to impose solutions that 
were defeated in the ballot box. This bill is not about different 
status formulas, but about the respect owed to the democratic 
dignity of Puerto Rico and the United States. 

Here in Puerto Rico the votes were already counted. In 
explaining those results some wish now to re-write history and 
alter the will of the people. That behavior constitutes an offense 
to the Puerto Rican people. 

Voting constitutes one of the most precious values of our 
people. And we have showed it over and over; that is why Puerto 
Rico has one of the highest rates of electoral participation in the 
world. Certainly much higher than the rate in the United States. 



113 



That is the reason why we demand respect for the Commonwealth 
status; and by doing it we are also demanding respect for the 
democratic will of all Puerto Ricans. 

Commonwealth won the plebiscite; those who lost are obliged 
now to recognize, accept and respect that decision of our people. 
They abuse their power and in the process offend the dignity of 
Puerto Ricans when, using the strength of money and the political 
power, they pretend to obtain through illegitimate means what they 
could not advance in the ballot box. 

Those who a few weeks ago were celebrating the loss of 
American citizenship, but today, after seeing the outrage of our 
people, oportunistically retracted themselves, deserve our most 
powerful rejection. 

Those who have lost an election to the Commonwealth and have 
to resort to another plebiscite as their only means to defeat it, 
insult our people. 

The U.S. Congress must also respect and work constructively to 
make effective that decision. 

That goal cannot be accomplished if it is not understood that 
by virtue of Law 600 Puerto Rico and the United States entered into 
a compact between the two peoples; if it is not understood that in 
1953 the United States presented to the United Nations the 
Constitution of Puerto Rico and the concerted compact with Puerto 
Rico to justify the request that Puerto Rico be eliminated from the 
list of colonial territories. 

There, the U.S. Ambassador, Henry Cabot Lodge, informed that 
the compact between the people of the United States and the people 
of Puerto Rico could not be broken unilaterally by one of the 
parties and that is was stronger than a treaty. And that by virtue 
of that representation the United Nations eliminated Puerto Rico 
from the list of colonial territories, recognizing that Puerto Rico 
had exercised its right to self-determination and had achieved a 
legitimate form of self-government. 

The bill that you have before you and for which these hearings 
were called, declares that Congress still wields plenary powers 
over Puerto Rico, that the establishment of Commonwealth status did 
not in any way change the relationship between Puerto Rico and the 
United States, that there is no compact and that none is 
constitutionally possible. These were the very charges leveled at 
the United Nations, against the United States, by the principal 
enemies of democracy then, Cuba and the Soviet Union. Invariably, 
every time the issue was raised, the ambassadors of the United 
States before that body, including former President George Bush, 
vehemently rejected those allegations and reiterated that since 



114 



November 3, 1953, the contrary to what it stated in this bill is 
true: that Puerto Rico exercised its right to self-determination 
and ceased to be classified as a colonial territory. 

If you disagree now against the official position of the 
United States before the United Nations, there is something that 
respect for proper international behavior requires you to do 
immediately. You should inform the United Nations that everything 
said in 1953 and that has been repeated since, has been a 
monumental fraud. 

Not being this the true nature of Commonwealth, the premises 
of HR 3024, which is deeply colonial in spirit, are totally wrong. 

In conclusion, this bill does not do justice to the good name 
of the United States. It is meager and crabbed. It is disdainful 
of what the people of Puerto Rico has freely and overwhelmingly 
backed for almost half a century in support of Commonwealth. It 
portrays a great country as still fumbling for answers to what are 
fundamentally very easy questions, if respect for the equality of 
our peoples and the right to respect and self-determination are 
taken to heart. That is not the United States that we know and 
admire and are proud to be associated with. 

The Popular Democratic Party rejects this undemocratic bill, 
and, in the unlikely event that it be approved, shall not 
participate in any such sham plebiscite as is tried to be imposed 
here. 

Do not ask me either to suggest amendments to this bill. Its 
defecLs cannot be saved because they emanate from its intention. 
When someone intentionally takes a shot at you, the issue is not 
the make of the gun or the caliber of the bullet. 

Please be aware, members of Congress, that the people of 
Puerto Rico must be respected. Our dignity is not for sale nor is 
it willing to be humiliated. Our people, always respectful of 
others, look in equality to all men through the eyes of liberty. 

Please be aware, members of Congress, that Puerto Rico shall 
never be bought, and shall never surrender. 

Thank you. 



115 



SENATOR RUBEN BERRIOS MARTINEZ 
PRESIDENT OF THE PUERTO RICAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY 
TESTIMONY BEFORE THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIVE AMERICAN AND INSULAR AFFAIRS 

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 
MARCH 23, 1996 



116 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcomittee: 

After listening to the Presidents of the New Progressive and 
Popular Democratic Parties (NPP and PDP), I imagine that you, as 
well as a substantial number of our people, must be thinking that 
the prospects for a bill with wide support in this country are 
limited, indeed. Often, however, a difficult challenge provokes a 
good response. This is one of such instances. 

Today, I bring before you a proposal designed to achieve the 
widest possible support without forcing anyone to yield on 
fundamental principles. 

Although the bill under consideration, H.R. 3024, suffers from 
serious flaws which must be corrected, it also has great merit, and 
it constitutes an important step in our decolonization process. The 
bill vindicates the independence movement's historic position: it 
recognizes the colonial nature of Puerto Rico's status and proposes 
to enable our people to choose among decolonizing alternatives. 

Last Monday, however, the Governor and President of the NPP 
announced that he would make a proposal which, if adopted, would 
undo the very essense of the bill under consideration. H.R. 3024 
would lose its best attributes if it were to incorporate as an 
option the very status which it challenges as of a territorial, and 
hence of a colonial, nature. It would no longer be a decolonizing 
measure if, under the guise of a so-called basic principle of 
democracy, the people were asked to choose between colonalism and 
decolonization . 

Since when does democracy create a vested right to opt for 
colonialism, an institution of servitude which, like apartheid and 



117 



2 

slavery, has been outlawed in the civilzed world? Colonialism by 
consent is not -for us or for anyone- a decolonizing option. 

The PDP leadership, for its part, views H.R. 3024 as an 
unilateral and anti-democratic imposition, and an electoral booby 
trap. It is therefore necessary to put forth a proposal that 
harmonizes the legitimate interests of the various sectors, 
preserves the decolonizing nature of the bill, and guarantees a 
democratic and bilateral process. 

To achieve these ends. I propose that H.R. 3024 be amended. 
firstf to establish a mechanism that guarantees that the Puerto 
Rican people be the one to democratically authorize the 
decolonization process; and second, to ensure that the decolonzing 
options presented to the people are defined in a fair and equitable 
manner. 

To democratically authorize the decolonization process, I 
propose the following mechanism: The bill, after its approval by 
both Houses of Congress and the President's signature, would not be 
implemented until the people grant their consent to the process 
through a referendum in which we vote. Yes or No, to the Young Act. 
Such referendum would be held in Puerto Rico after the 1996 general 
election. 

If we mean to democratize the process, this would not be 
achieved by adding a colonial option, as the Governor has 
suggested, but by submitting the Young Act for ratification by the 
people as a condition for its implementation. The amendment which 
I propose will also establish the boundary between a status process 



118 



3 

and the general elections, since it would not take effect until the 
Young Act is ratified in a referendum after the 1996 general 
election. Finally, our proposal would facilitate the bill's 
approval in Congress, since the enemies of decolonization will not 
be able to argue that it is undemocratic as an excuse to oppose it. 
And as if all this were not sufficient, both you and we would all 
avoid the shamefulness of having colonialism offered as an 
alternative . 

I should add that the mechanism proposed is not without 
precedent. A similar one was devised by the U.S. Congress for the 
approval of Public Law 600 in 1950, although its goals were quite 
different. The referendum-for-ratification mechanism was then used 
to consolidate colonalism, and to exclude decolonizing options. 
This time it will be used to promote decolonization. On the 
previous occasion it served to accommodate the interests of the 
times; but the world has changed and now it accommodates today's 
interests. Previously, it degraded the mechanism of consent by 
using it to colonize; now it will be used to decolonize. 

To approve the proposed mechanism thus making the Governor's 
proposal unnecessary is not enough, however. It is absolutely 
necessary for the Puerto Rican people's approval that other 
shortcomings in the bill be corrected in order to guarantee equity 
and balance. 

One of the bill's greatest shortcomings is that it is front- 
loaded in favor of statehood. The bill paints that option in bright 
but unrealistic colors, while depicting the separate sovereignty 



119 



4 

options schematically and in shaded hues — and free association, 
specifically, unfairly by not endowing it with a minimum of the 
legitimate claims of its advocates. 

In order to correct that imbalance, I suggest that you ask of 
the various groups in Puerto Rico to submit for your Subcommittee's 
consideration their preferred definition of the decolonizing option 
which each advocates . 

Now, regardless of the proposals which the various status 
advocates may submit, the bill must be ammended to tell Puerto 
Ricans the truth about statehood . 

H.R. 3024 gives the impression that Puerto Rico may become a 
state, keep Spanish as its primary language, and preserve its 
national identity as a distinct and separate people from the Unites 
States . 

Few have spoken about the issues of language and national 
identity with greater clarity than the Speaker of the House, Newt 
Gingrich, primary co-sponsor of this bill. After recently affirming 
with regard to the American nation that, "our goal is assimilation" 
and "the sine qua non of our survival," he concluded that "without 
English as a common language, there is no . . . [American] 
civilization. " 

I would also refer you to the words of Senator Daniel Patrick 

Moynihan (D-NY) who, in 1990, articulated the heart of the problem 

before the U.S. Senate: 

In the end, the great issues before us are civic, not 
economic. Do Puerto Ricans wish to become Americans? For that is 
what statehood ineluctably implies. That is what statehood brings. 
Or do they wish to maintain a separate identity? 



120 



5 

This rare bipatrisan consensus should suffice to lead you to 
amend the bill in order to make it patently clear that statehood 
implies a path of political and cultural assimilation. 

In harmony with the above, the section referring to language 
should also be amended to clearly establish the absurdity of 
conceving statehood for Puerto Rico without English as the primary 
language in the public schools and in the judicial, legislative and 
executive branches. Not to clarify these crucial matters would 
perpetuate false and dangerous illusions among hundreds of 
thousands of fellow Puerto Ricans who still naively perceive no 
contradiction between statehood and a separate cultural identity. 

With regard to the statehood option, it is also necessary for 
Congress to understand that as long as ours remains a different 
nationality from that of the United States, the' people of Puerto 
Rico will retain their inalienable right to self-determination and 
independence -that is, the right to secede. A nation cannot self- 
determine itself out of self-determination. 

Regarding the allegedly decolonizing nature of statehood, I 
would remind you that, although statehood for Puerto Rico is 
juridically decolonizing on its face, it is not so in its 
application. Where nationalities are concerned, federal 
enfranchisement in and of itself does not result in a colonial 
people's right of full self-government. 

As previously noted, however, the bill is unbalanced, not just 
because of what it does not say about the true nature of statehood, 
but also because of the manner in which it describes the separate 



121 



6 

sovereignty option. The bill must be amended to correct that flaw. 

Let me give an example. The treatment which H.R. 3024 affords 
the matter of citizenship under free association, as well as the 
manner in which free trade between the United States and Puerto 
Rico is dealt with -to mention only two neuralgic issues- 
constitutes a very serious flaw. Such treatment bears no relation 
to the present state of the law or to modern-day commercial and 
economic reality. 

As far as independence is concerened, suffice it to say that, 
in juridical terms, the summary and rigid definition provided in 
the bill is reminiscent of those found in early 20th century 
textbooks: correct as regards the basic elements, but incomplete as 
to the current potential for flexibility and creativity. 

As regards the separate sovereignty option, H.R. 3024 is 
silent as to which modality should be implemented, if that were the 
prevailing option. I therefore propose that the bill be amended to 
provide that, upon choosing separate sovereignty, the People of 
Puerto Rico be convened in a Constituent Assembly to which our 
nascent sovereignty would be entrusted, an which would, among other 
things, decide the form of Puerto Rico's sovereignty -free 
association or independence- to be negotiated with the U.S. 
Government . 

Lastly, I wish to conclude by explaining what to some may 
appear to be a paradox: why do I so enthusiastically promote a 
status process definition which could initially lead to an 
electoral victory for an option other than independence? 



122 



7 

The Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) firmly believes 
that, under present and foreseeable circumstances, the road to 
independence is the road of the "supreme definition" advanced by 
Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos -"Either Yankees or Puerto Ricans"- and 
which presupposes a process that engages and confronts the U.S. 
Congress with the need to put an end to Puerto Rico's colonial 
condition. If this bill is properly amended, it could become an 
effective catalyst for that process. On the other hand, there is 
always the alternative of sitting and waiting for the perfect bill. 
However, one should not forget that in political processes, 
valuable aspects often intertwine with pettiness; but to write the 
bill off as a mere booby trap is no more than an excuse for not 
confronting Puerto Rico's colonial problem. One should take 
advantage of the good and improve on the bad; but it would be a 
disservice to our cause if we were to allow perfection to become an 
enemy of what is necessary. And it is necessary to move a 
decolonization process forward. 

Sooner, rather than later, Puerto Rico will march towards its 
own, separate sovereignty, either because Congress responds to our 
clamor for sovereignty, or because it is forced to confront - 
because of Puerto Rico- its own supreme definition. Will Congress 
repudiate the fundamental principle of the American Union, E 
pluribus unum ("from among many. One"), by admitting a distinct and 
separate nation as a state of the Union? I haven't the slightest 
doubt that Congress can only respect the very essence of the one 
nation it represents. 



123 



8 

In 1898, the Founding Father of our Homeland, Dr. Ramon 
Emeterio Betances, under more difficult circumstances than those 
confronting us today -16 days before the American invasion- had 
pointed the way that was closed for so long. He counseled us then: 
"Deal peacefully [with the Americans] in order to attain 
independence." Betances, the prophet, spoke a century before his 
time. For that was the redemptive solution which could not 
materialze then; and that is the solution -for Puerto Rico as well 
as the United States- which in light of the new circumstances in 
our world becomes possible now. 

Thank You. 



124 



THE PREPARED STATEMENT OF LUIS VEGA RAMOS 



Luis Vega Ramos 

President and designated representative 

PROELA 

Tel. (787) 724-1309 

Siimtnary of Statement to the Siibcoimnittee on Native American and Insular 

Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives Regarding H.R. 3024, the United 

States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act 

On November 14, 1993, Puerto Ricans voted for the development of their 
present status, the Estado Libre Asocindo, through a "bilateral compact that can only 
be amended by mutual consent." 

The best response to the 1993 plebiscite would be to present a "Bilateral 
Compact Act" that would define the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 

However, your response is to call for a new plebiscite and to legally commit 
the U.S. to enacting its results. Since this is truly a process of mutual-determination, 
we are willing to consider your proposal, if you are willing to consider our 
amendments. 

In any attempt to structure a plebiscite. Congress has to follow two important 
principles: Fair Play and Goodwill. 

Fair play means that all three status tendencies are presented to the people on 
equal footing. It does not mean that they look the same, but rather that they are 
presented as they truly are, taking into account the applicable principles of both 
International Law and U.S. Constitutional Law and the expressed aspirations of the 
Puerto Rican people. 

Goodwill requires that all status options have the same guarantees in terms 
of access to the ballot and that the definitions adopted are immune to demagogic 
manipulations by opposing forces. There cannot be covert manipulations to 
adversely affect any of the options or actors who represent them. 

If Congress acts with goodwill and provides for fair play, you'll have the 
support of everyone in Puerto Rico. If you don't, you'll not only miss another 
chance to break the impasse, but you will also make the situation worse. 



125 



PROELA 

RO. Box 2864 
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902 



Statement of Luis Vega Ramos, President of PROELA, to the Subcommittee on 

Native American and Insular Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives 

Regarding H.R. 3024, the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act 

San Juan, Puerto Rico 
March 23, 1996 



PROELA is a civic organization that for twenty years has advocated in Puerto 
Rican, federal and international forums for the development of the current political 
status within the context of a bilateral association. We took active part in the status 
plebiscite campaign of 1993. 

Today, we come before this Subcommittee on behalf of the hundred of 
thousands of Puerto Ricans who voted in favor of the Estado Libre Asociado. 

I. The Duty to Respond 

The United States acquired Puerto Rico as a war booty in 1898. Fifty-two years 
later, Congress approved its last status act, recognizing Puerto Rico's faculty to write 
and adopt its own constitution and granting a measure of internal self-government. 

For the next four decades, Puerto Ricans constantly struggled to attain a larger 
degree of self-government and a full exercise of self-determination. In November 
1993, more than 823,000 Puerto Ricans petitioned the Congress and the President to 
adopt a "bilateral compact which can only be amended by mutual consent." 

We have patiently waited for your answer. Now this Congress is considering 
H.R. 3024, a bill that would authorize a new plebiscite sometime before the end of 
1998, with a choice between two options: 1) a path leading to statehood and; 2) a path 
leading to separate sovereignty. 

The people of Puerto Rico have pushed the envelope as far as we can by 
ourselves. Now it is time for Congress and the Administration to act rationally, 
fairly and honestly to solve our mutual dilemma. It is your duty to act now. 

II. Fair Play and Goodwill 

The U.S. has expressed, domestically and internationally, its commitment to 
the most basic principles of democracy and self-determination. Government should 
work by the consent of the governed. We believe that the best response to the 1993 



24-926 - 96. 



126 



plebiscite would be to present to Congress and the Puerto Rican people a "Bilateral 
Compact Act" that would define the relationship between the Republic of the U.S. 
and the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico. Last October, we urged you to consider 
this alternative. We do the same today. 

However, you have chosen a different path. Your response is to call for a new 
plebiscite and to legally commit the U.S. to enacting its results. Since this is truly a 
process of mutual-determination, we are willing to consider your proposal, if you 
are willing to consider our amendments. 

In any attempt to structure a plebiscite. Congress has to follow two important 
principles: Fair Play and Goodwill. 

Fair play means that all three status tendencies are presented to the people on 
equal footing. It does not mean that they look the same, but rather that they are 
presented as they truly are, taking into account the applicable principles of both 
International Law and U.S. Constitutional Law and the expressed aspirations of the 
Puerto Rican people. 

Goodwill requires that all status options have the same guarantees in terms 
of access to the ballot and that the definitions adopted are immune to demagogic 
manipulations by opposing forces. Also, there cannot be covert manipulations on 
the part of the sponsor of the vote to adversely affect any of the options or actors 
who represent them. 

If Congress acts with goodwill and provides for fair play, you will have the 
support and cooperation of everyone in Puerto Rico. If you don't, you'll not only 
miss another chance to break the impasse, but you will also make the situation 
worse. 

III. The Process 

H.R. 3024 does not need a discussion as to the current legal nature of the U.S.- 
Puerto Rico relationship. As you should know, that is one of the main points of 
controversy in Puerto Rico. By adopting a position on the debate, one way or the 
other, you would alienate hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who would view 
you as their enemy. This is totally unnecessary. In fact, the House adopted 
unanimously in 1990 a plebiscite bill (H.R. 4765) that did not dwell on this debate. 
Everyone agrees that Congress has the authority to mandate a status plebiscite. To try 
to ascertain whether it is in light of the Treaty of Paris, the Territorial Clause or. 
Section 9 of the Federal Relations Act of 1950 is irrelevant and diverting. Just 
legislate a plebiscite and let the scholars and analysts debate this issue. 

You should also make sure that the provisions in Section 5(a)(1) and (2) are 
harmonized. We agree that the vote should be held in accordance uith Puerto Rican 



127 



law and that the State Electoral Commission (SEC) should determine voter 
eligibility. However, we are worried that 5(a)(2) requires the application of federal 
laws related to the election of the Resident Commissioner. Our main concern is that 
these laws might impair the authority of the SEC to have final say on voter 
eligibility. We insist that the SEC have that authority. 

Another procedural point is that civic groups, such as PROELA, must have 
the same rights the political parties do to represent the status options. We are as 
active on this issue as the political parties, as you well know, so the law should grant 
us similar rights. 

IV. The Free Associated State (or "Estado Libre Asociado") Oprion 

The specifics of what PROELA believes a bilateral compact of association 
should include were presented to this Subcommittee last October 17, 1995. We now 
concentrate on how H.R. 3024' s offer of a bilateral pact should be improved to 
comply with International Law and U.S. Constitutional Law criteria and with the 
aspirations of Puerto Rico as expressed in 1993. 

First, the options of Free Associated State, in Spanish "Estado Libre Asociado," 
and independence should be separated. International Law and the Puerto Rican 
debate recognizes them as separate options and so should the bill. Not to do so 
would go against the principles of fair play and goodwill. 

Second, the language concerning the U.S. citizenship of Puerto Ricans living 
on the island upon enactment of the bilateral compact should be identical to the 
section-by-section analysis of Section 172 of the compact between the U.S. and three 
former U.N. Trust Territories included in the "Compact of Free Association Act of 
1985": 

"[a] United States citizen who becomes a citizen of the FAS and who does not 
renounce his United States citizenship, would retain his United States 
citizenship and continue to be entitled to the same rights and privileges as 
any other United States citizen." 

In terms of our position regarding citizenship issues in the bilateral compact, 
we submit a legal paper prepared by PROELA Vice President Raul Mariani-Franco 
Esq., that has already been sent to the White House Interagency Working Group on 
Puerto Rico. 

Regarding the other aspects of the Free Associated State offer, we are filing as 
part of our suggested amendments a ballot text to be included in the law. We are 
ready to discuss it in detail. 



128 



V. The Need for Compromise ... and Acrion 

The Congress is considering H.R. 3024. The Clinton Administration has 
expressed an extremely clear position with regards to the inclusion of the 1993 
plebiscite winning option and the guarantee of Puerto Rican's U.S. citizenship. We 
agree with the Administration on both counts. This Subcommittee should revise 
H.R. 3024 to accommodate the President's views. 

In order to include and commit all sectors in Puerto Rico, the Subcommittee 
should revise H.R. 3024 to remove unnecessary diversions, provide for a fair and 
just process and be willing to commit irrevocably to the results of a congressionally 
mandated plebiscite. If you are not willing to do that in a plebiscite that includes 
statehood then, bite the bullet --say so- and remove it from the list of options. 

For almost one hundred years, the Puerto Rican nation has struggled and 
waited for Congress to fulfill its obligations to us and provide us with a coherent 
process that ensures a final disposition of the political status issue. We have been 
ready for all these years. Now it is time to show that you are ready too. 

Las gcneraciones pasadas, presentes y futuras esperan por ustedes. El pueblo 
dc Puerto Rico hablo y continm hablando hoy. La bola estd en su cancha. 

Muchas gracias. 



129 



PROELA 

p. O. Box 2864, 

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902 

Tel. (809) 724-1309 

Suggested amendments on H.R. 3024 

After reviewing the text of the United States — Puerto Rico Political Status 
Act (H.R. 3024),, we suggest that the following amendments be included. These 
would not alter the spirit or intention of the bill but would facilitate our 
participation in the prescribed process in defense of the Free Associated State 
alternative. 

We are limiting our suggestions to the substantive and procedural aspects of 
the bill. However, we should express our concern that the language of section 2 
("Findings") is one that unnecessarily exacerbates ongoing debates in Puerto Rico. 

Here are our suggestions: 

Section 3 

On page 5, line 20; insert after the word "cast" the phrase "unless Congress 
establishes a different threshold for the statehood option." 

Section 4 

From line 1 of page 6, to line 16 on page 8: the bill should separate the options 
of Free Association an Independence, hiternational Law recognizes them as separate 
options, not variations of one of them. 

The new (a)(1) should read: 

"(1) A path of Puerto Rican sovereignty leading the current commonwealth 
status towards a full free association with the United States to be defined by means 
of a bilateral compact which can only be amended by mutual agreement. The 
bilateral compact shall — 

"(A) recognize Puerto Rico as a sovereign nation organized in a Free 
Associated State (in Spanish, Estado Libre Asociado) with full authority and 
responsibility for its internal and external affairs, exercising in its own name 
and right the powers of government with respect to its territory and 
population, language and culture, determining its own relations and 
participation in the community of nations, and exercising all the attributes of 
sovereign political entity, except those specifically delegated to the 



130 



Government of the United States in the text of the bilateral compact; 

"(B) define all future relations between Puerto Rico and the United 
States, providing for cooperation and assistance in matters of shared interest 
as agreed and approved by Puerto Rico and the United States, and shall only 
be amended or terminated by mutual agreement pursuant to the procedures 
contemplated in the bilateral compact and to the respective constitutional 
processes of the United States and Puerto Rico; 

"(C) provide for a constitution democratically instituted by the people 
of Puerto Rico, establishing a republican form of full self-government and 
securing the rights of the citizens of Puerto Rico to be the supreme law of the 
Free Associated State, and the Constitution and laws of the United States no 
longer apply to Puerto Rico, with the exception of those included as part of 
the bilateral compact 

"(D) recognize Puerto Rico the power to determine and control its own 
nationality and citizenship. A United States citizen who becomes a citizen of 
the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico and who does not renounce his 
United States citizenship, would retain his United States citizenship and 
continue to be entitled to the same rights and privileges as any other United 
States citizen.' 

"(E) upon recognition of Puerto Rico by the United States as a 
sovereign Free Associated State and establishment of government -to- 
govemment relations on the basis of comity and reciprocity, Puerto Rico's 
representation to the United States is accorded full diplomatic status; 

"(F) Puerto Rico's eligibility for United States assistance to be provided 
on a block grant government to government basis, including foreign aid or 
programmatic assistance, at levels similar, but never superior, to the present 
ones. Individuals will maintain the federal entitlements, such as social 
security, that they have earned as United States citizens. 

"(G) honor property rights and previously acquired rights vested by 
employment in Puerto Rico or the United States, such as those of federal 
employees and veterans, and where determined necessary, such rights are 
promptly adjusted and settled consistent with government to government 
agreements implementing the bilateral compact. 

"(H) treat Puerto Rico as if it were part of the customs territory of the 
United States in those areas that are beneficial to Puerto Rico and are included 
within the terms of the bilateral compact. 

' The language is taken from the section-by-section analysis of Section 172 of the compact approved 
by Congress as part of the "Compact of Free Association Act of 1985" (P.L. 99-239; 99 Stat. 1770). 

6 



131 



"(I) guarantee that the terms of the bilateral compact of the Free 
Associated State can only be terminated or amended by mutual agreement 
and that the People of Puerto Rico will give its consent or agreement in 
accordance to the terms of the compact and the applicable constitutional 
processes."^ 

On page 8, line 17; a separate (2) should be included to define the terms of 
statehood (as is done in the draft) and a separate (3) to include the terms of 
independence. 

On page 9, line 20; (2)(G) should be amended to include the word "English" 
between the words "same" and "language". 

On page 10, line 12; insert after the period (.) the following: 

"If after the 180 day period has expired, the President has not submitted a plan 
to Congress, any legislation presented by a Member of Congress which leads to 
full self-government for Puerto Rico consistent with the terms of this Act and 
in full consultation with the leaders of the three branches of Government of 
Puerto Rico, the principal political parties of Puerto Rico, and other interested 
persons as may be appropriate, shall receive the same congressional 
consideration outlined in section 6." 

Section 5 

On page 14, line 13; Insert before the word "The" the phrase "Not later than 30 
days after the President has submitted legislation to the Congress," and replace the 
capital "T" with a small "t". 

Section 7 

On page 17, line 25; eliminate the word "or" and replace it with a comma (,) 
and insert after the word "parties" the word "or recognized citizen groups". 

On page 18, line 1; insert after the word "party" the word " and/or recognized 
citizen group". 

These are our suggested amendments. We urge the Subcommittee to amend 
H.R. 3024 to accommodate them. 



^This language is taken from Section 441 of the compact approved by Congress as part of the 
"Compact of Free Association Act of 1985" (99 Stat. 1771, at 1829). 

7 




132 



PROELA 

P.O. Box 2864 
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902 



MEMORANDUM 

To: Luis Vega Ramos 

President, PROELA 

From: Raul S. Mariani Franco, E 
Vice-president, PROELA 

Re: Bilateral Compact Analysis II -- Viability under U.S. 
Constitutional and International Law of a dual citizenship 
arrangement between the federal government and the government of a 
non- territorial Free Associated State. 

Date: February 10, 1996 



In view of the fact that on January 30, 1996 Congressperson 
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) requested an official opinion from Mr. John 
Killian, Senior Specialist of the American Law Division of the 
Library of Congress, on the existence and implications of dual 
citizenship in the case of the United States, I submit to you the 
following . 

I. The Facts: 

The facts pertinent to the instant query are as described in 
paragraph 3 of Congressperson Nydia Velazquez' letter of January 
30, 1996. 

II. Issues: 

1. Is dual citizenship permitted by the Constitution of 
the United States? 

2. Can there be a dual citizenship arrangement between the 
Federal government and the government of a non- territorial Free 
Associated State? 

III. Discussion: 

Issue 1 . There is no prohibition on its face from the text of 
the Constitution of the United States to the possibility of the 
citizens of the United States also being citizens of another 
sovereign state. This means that if such prohibition existed it 
would had to be found in a Supreme Court opinion or enacted in a 
Congressional statute. 



i 



133 



To this day Congress has never enacted a law prohibiting dual 
citizenship for U.S. citizens. The only statutory provision that 
explicitly dealt with dual citizenship, even if it later was 
repealed was section 350 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act 
of 1952. 

Said section, which dealt with dual citizens at birth, 
established that if those citizens sought the benefits of a foreign 
citizenship, they will lose their U.S. citizenship after residing 
in a foreign country for three (3) years after the age of twenty 
two (22), unless they took an oath of allegiance to the U.S. 
Section 350 was repealed in 1978 by P.L. No. 95-432. 

The House report on the aforementioned law stated that: 

"The primary effect of this section 
(sec. 350) is to cause needless 
anxiety among American citizens 
residing abroad. In addition, it is 
difficult to administer and has 
caused confusion within the 
Departments of State and Justice." 

With the repeal of section 350, there is no longer any 
provision prohibiting the exercise of dual citizenship by U.S. 
citizens in the U.S. statutes. Since Congress has chosen not to 
exercise its constitutional authority on dual citizenship, we most 
turn to the Supreme Court opinions to find out whether there has 
been found in the Constitution any impediment for the exercise of 
dual citizenship by U.S. citizenship. 

The Supreme Court has recognized the longstanding principle 
of International Law that "it is the inherent right of every 
independent nation to determine for itself, and according to its 
own constitution and laws, what classes of persons shall be 
entitled to its citizenship." United States v. Wong Kim Ark , 169 
U.S. 649, 688 (1898). Therefore it might be possible that a 
citizen of the United State may be considered a citizen of another 
country iinder that country's laws. 

This was the case in Kawaklta v. United States . 343 U.S. 717 
(1951) . 

In said case the Court stated; 

"The concept of dual citizenship recognizes 
that a person may have and exercise rights 
of nationality in two countries cuid be subject 
to the responsibilities of both. The mere 
fact that he asserts the rights of one 
citizenship does not without more mean 



134 



that he renounces the other." Id. at 723-724. 

Later, the Court went on to say: 

"As we had said dual citizenship presupposes 
rights of citizenship in each country. It 
could not exist if the assertion of rights 
or the assumptions of liabilities of one 
were deemed inconsistent with the maintenance 
of the other. For example, when one has a 
dual citizenship, it is not necessarily 
inconsistent with his citizenship in one 
nation to use a passport proclaiming his 
citizenship in the other." Id. at 725. 

The closest the Supreme Court has come to putting some 
limitations on dual citizenship is found in a two paragraph dictum 
in Rogers v. Bellei . 401 U.S. 815 (1971) . It states: 

"There are at least intimations in the 
decided cases that a dual national 
constitutionally may be required to make 
election. In Perkins v. Elg . 307 U.S. 325, 
329 (1939) , the Court observed that a 
native-born citizen who had acquired dual 
nationality during minority through his 
parents' foreign naturalization abroad 
did not lose his United States citizen- 
ship 'provided that on attaining majority 
he elects to retain that citizenship and 
return to the United States to assume its 
duties' . In Kawakita v. United States , 
343 U.S., at 734, the Court noted that 
a dual national 'under certain circumstances' 
can be deprived of his American citizenship 
through an Act of Congress. In Mandoli v. 
Acheson . 344 U.S. 133, 138 (1952), the Court 
took pains to observe that there was no 
statute in existence imposing an election 
upon that dual national litigant. 

These cases do not flatly say a duty to 
elect may be constitutionally imposed. They 
surely indicate, however, that this is 
possible, and in Mandoli the holding was based 
on the very aisence of a statute and not on 
any theory of unconstitutionality. And all 
three of these cases concerned persons who 
where born here, that is, persons, who 
possessed fourteenth amendment citizenship; 
they did not concern a person, such as 



135 



plaintiff Bellei, whose claim to citizenship 
is wholly, and only, statutory. " 



The aforementioned quote only states that Congress might at 
some time impose a duty to elect to dual citizens. It doesn't say 
that it has to impose that duty. To this date, Congress has 
elected not to impose such a duty, in any instance whatsoever. 

Even if Congress choose to enact legislation imposing that 
duty, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile that 
legislation with the Supreme Court's opinion in Afroyim v. Rusk . 
387 U.S. 253 (1967). This case proclaims the irrevocability of 
U.S. citizenship of a fourteenth amendment citizen unless there is 
a voluntary and intentional action by the citizen that constitutes 
a renunciation. Id at 268. 

There is an ongoing debate as to the nature of the U.S. 
citizenship of the persons born in Puerto Rico. Some say this 
citizenship is of a statutory nature, while others contend that it 
is now a fourteenth amendment nature. Even if you accept that it 
is of a statutory nature, such as plaintiff Bellei 's was, the 
dictum in said case is innaposite to the case of U.S. citizens born 
in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans contrary to Bellei, weren't required 
to comply with any condition to attain or retain their status as 
birth citizens. 

We agree with Professor Jose J. Alvarez Gonzalez' conclusion 
to the effect that (even assuming that the U.S. citizenship of 
Puerto Ricans is of a statutory nature) said citizenship is 
protected by the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The 
law that granted citizenship to persons born in Puerto Rico (39 
Stat. 951 (1917)) did so without imposing any conditions for 
attaining or retaining it. 

Accordingly, any enactment of legislation that would strip the 
persons born in Puerto Rico of their U.S. citizenship would 
constitute a violation of "long-standing principles of United 
States constitutional law." Alvarez Gonzalez, J.J., The Empire 
Strikes Out: Congressional Ruminations on the Citizenship Status 
of Puerto Ricans, 27 Harv. J. Leais . 308 (1990) . 

In view of all of the above, we conclude that there is no 
constitutional impediment to dual citizenship within the U.S. 
constitutional system. Furthermore, we conclude that there is no 
statutory prohibition to dual citizenship at this time and Congress 
has been consistently moving toward the elimination of any possible 
limitation. See Ortiz Guzman Angel J. El Derecho Constitucional 
Estadimidense y el Pacto Bilateral entre Puerto Rico y los Estados 
Unidos, 29 Rev. Jur. UIA 297 at 316 n. 80 (1995) : 



136 



Mr. Seiberling: 

Now, section 172 provides that citizens 
of Micronesian states not residing in the 
United States shall be entitled to the 
same rights and privileges as any other 
nonresident alien and that they shall be 
treated as persons within the meaning of 
the Administrative Procedure Act and the 
Freedom of Information Act. 

But in the section by section analysis of 
section 172, it is noted, and I am quoting: 

" [a] United States citizen who becomes 
a citizen of a FAS and who does not 
renounce his United States citizenship, 
would retain his United States citizenship 
and continue to be entitled to the same 
rights and privileges as any other United 
States citizen. " 

This doesn't appear pertinent to the subject 

matter of section 172. 

Does this contemplate dual citizenship? 

Mr. Berg: 

It could contemplate a situation whereby an 
individual would have both American citizen- 
ship as well as freely associated states 
citizenship. But if a person does acquire 
American citizenship, or is an American 
citizen, and has taken no act that would 
otherwise strip him of his American citizen- 
ship, then his rights would be those of an 
American citizenship versus those of a resident 
alien, which are the rights spoken to in 
section 172. 

Mr. Seiberling: 

But he could also have a dual citizenship? 

Mr. Berg: 

The United States has a particular position 
with respect to dual citizenship. Often- 
times, however, an individual act that may 
or may not be considered dispositive with 
respect to the continuation of U.S. citizen- 
ship continues. 

We don' t want a situation where a provision 
of the compact might be construed to strip 
an American citizen of his rights as citizen 



il 



137 



as long as he is a citizen. 

'emphasis in citation) . 

Moreover, the consistency of Congressional actions towards the 
elimination of any possible limitation as to dual citizenship is 
quite apparent from two very pertinent examples. First, Congress 
moved in that direction when as part of the amendments made by P.L. 
95-432 (1978) it elected to eliminate sub-part 5 of Section 349 
which read: 

"Sec. 349 (a) From and after the effective 
date of this Act a person who is a national 
of the United States whether by birth or 
naturalization, shall lose his nationality 
by- 

(5) voting in a political election in a 
foreign state or participating in an 
election or plebiscite to determine the 
sovereignty over foreign territory" 
66 Stat. 268 (1952) . 

The second example was so recently as 1994 when Congress 
enacted P.L. 103-417 (1994) which, consistent with our 
interpretation, facilitates the transmission of U.S. citizenship to 
descendants of a citizen born and living outside the United States. 
See Addendum #1, Proela, Bilateral Compact Analysis #1. 

Issue 2 . Having found that there is no prohibition against 
dual citizenship, then no impediment exists for an arrangement of 
dual citizenship between the United States and a non- territorial 
Free Associated State. 

Pursuant to contemporary International Law, under a bilateral 
compact of Free Association, the parties could agree to any 
citizenship arrangement that they deem appropriate, United States 
V. Wong Kim Ark . 169 U.S. 649, 688 (1898). 

Thus, it seems apparent that the granting of dual citizenship 
status to persons born in Puerto Rico is a matter of policy making 
to be addressed by Congress and the Executive Branch, and not a 
matter of legal or constitutional constraints. A Congressional 
grant of dual citizenship included as part of a bilateral compact 
of free association could not be judicially reviewable under the 
political question doctrine. Marbury v. Madison . 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 
137,164 (1803) . 

As a matter of fact, federal courts have refrained from 
reviewing "the policies that underlie the very recognition of 
another sovereign by our own." Antolok v. U.S. . 873 F. 2d 369, 383 
(D.C.Cir. 1989) . 



138 



Furthermore, the Supreme Court has been extremely consistent 
in finding that "the political question doctrine excludes from 
judicial review those controversies which revolve around policy 
choices and value determinations constitutionally committed for 
resolution to the halls of Congress or the confines of the 
Executive Branch. " Japan V?halinq Ass'n v. American Cetacean Soc'y . 
478 U.S. 221, 230 (1986) . 

This case follows a consistent line of cases ending with U.S. 
V. Pink . 315 U.S. 203 (1942) where the Supreme Court explained to 
further lengths the limitations imposed by the policy making powers 
of the political branches on the courts. In Pink at 229 the Court 
underlined that: [the] "authority [of recognition] is not limited 
to a determination of the government to be recognized. It includes 
the power to determine the policy which is to govern questions of 
recognition. Objections to the tmderlying policy as well as 
objections to recognitions are to be addressed by the political 
departments and not to the courts." 

IV. Conclusion: 

Dual citizenship is permitted by the Constitution and legal 
practice of the United States and a dual citizenship arrangement is 
fully possible in a bilateral compact outside of the Territorial 
Clause of the United States Constitution as a policy determination 
by the political branches. 



139 



THE PREPARED STATEMENT OF ANTONIO J. FAS ALZAMORA, ESQ. 

Good Morning Mr. Chairman and members of the Conunittee: 

I appear before you in my personal capacity, even though I 
have been a legislator of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for 
twenty years, four as a member of the House of the Representatives 
and sixteen in the Senate, where I am the Deputy Minority Leader of 
the Popular Democratic Party. From 1985 to 1989, I was Secretary 
General of my Party, whose founder Luis Munoz Marin, is the framing 
father of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. 

As an active participant in our island's electoral processes 
to elect our elected officials, as well as in those which pose 
fundamental issues, such as the status plebiscite, held on November 
14, 1993, I want to express to this distinguished subcommittee my 
strong opposition to this bill, since it attempts against the right 
of self determination of the People of Puerto Rico. The 1993 
plebiscite was a clean process legitimized by the vote of 1.7 
millon of my fellow citizens; who faithful to their democratic 
traditions favored the continuation of the Commonwealth status, and 
rejected statehood and independence. This act undoubfully is the 
result of a democratic, free, and voluntary process. 

There is nothing more undemocratic and unamerican than to 
ignore the will of the majority. We learned this from the Framing 
Fathers of the Constitution of the United States, and we have 
proudly applied it in our daily lives as an organized society. 

The proposal to hold another status referendum, regardless of 
the options included on the ballot or the definitions of each 
formula, is an attempt against the democracy and against the 
decision adopted by most Puerto Ricans, less than three years ago. 

The United States proudly boasts about being the custodian of 
democracy, as zealous guards of the decisions of the people to 
democratically choose its elected officials and status, and as a 
defferent of freedom of speech. 

It has done so in all five continents, in many nations of this 
hemisphere. Why, then, is doesn't do the same in Puerto Rico? Not 
doing so is like reviving the old imperialistic philosophy, to 
accept an electoral result when it is favorable and to invalidate 
it when it is unfavorable. 

Governor Pedro Rossell6 imposed the 1993 status plebiscite, 
committing himself publicly to accept the results and defend them 
before the United States Congress on behalf of the People of Puerto 
Rico. What was done? Nothing. Quite the contrary, he did not 
respect the results, turned his back to the people's mandate in 
favor of the Commonwealth, and then appealed before you seeking 
help to invalidate the plebiscite results, alleging our current 
status relationship is colonial. Now he is favoring a bill 
introduced by Congressman Young, a statehood bill. 

The United States as a nation and its Congress as an 



140 



institution, respects the American democracy. It should also 
respect, as well, the democracy of Puerto Rico. 

You, Congressmen, are the result of a democratic exercise; 
Governor Rossell6 and the Resident Commissioner Carlos Romero 
Barcel6, as well, are a result of a majority with regards status, 
such an exercise hs b een engaged in the ocassions in 1952, 1967 
and 1993. 

The Commonwealth status has imperfections, as any political 
formula might, and needs to move forward toward more autonomy. 
But, why Congress can not decide to enhance the Commonwealth status 
as expressed by the people of Puerto Rico? Why should sore losers 
get it their the way? Being faithful to your democratic beliefs as 
members of Congress, which you represent today, is respecting the 
mandate of the People of Puerto Rico and addressing responsibly 
such will. 

Our political relationship is not colonial since July 25, 
1952. It was precisely on 1953, when President Dwight Eisenhower 
affirmed before the United Nations that Puerto Rico had achieved a 
level of self government under the Commonwealth status, by virtu^ 
of which the United States ceased transmitting information oh 
colonial territories. 

I ask you, have the conditions changed since then, or you feel 
a necessity to change the way to govern the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico? Or do you favor statehood over Commonwealth, strictly for 
political or financial reasons? 

If the reason is the first use, the speak clearly and state 
where are we mistaken so we can fix the problem. If it is the 
second one, affirm clearly you wish to add a new star to the United 
States flag, whether it is going to be Puerto Rico or the District 
of Columbia. Lastly, if the reasoning is economic to favor 
statehood, I considerly it an injustice, since our people has 
contributed to the United States as much as it has received. Among 
the many economic contributions of Puerto Rico to the United 
States, rank, being one of the top ten markets for United States 
goods, investments in Puerto Rico generate thousands of jobs in the 
mainland, and the military bases, which do not pay a cent to the 
Commonwealth. This represent millions in savings to the United 
States. Equally has been our significant contributions in the 
military, Puerto Rican soldiers have fought courageously overseas 
when call upon to serve America, in every single war and conflict 
in which the United States has been involved since World War I . 

Puerto Rico is a nation which seeks through the Commonwealth 
status to develop to a higher limit its self Government. This has 
been recognized by the United States memorandum on the cessation of 
trasnmmiting information with the establishment of the Commonwealth 
of Puerto Rico. "The people of Puerto Rico have achieved a full 



141 



level of self government therefore the government of the United 
States has decided that is no longer necessary to transmit 
information with regards to Puerto Rico in light of Article 73 (e) 
of the United Nations Charter. This conclusion acknowledges the 
level of self government attained in the Commonwealth. One of the 
main elements of the Commonwealth Constitution, as ratified by the 
United States Congress, establishes that the political power 
emanates from the people and excersised in conformity with its 
will, as agreed in the compact between the people of Puerto Rico an 
the people of the United States. 

International and national legitimation that the government of 
the United States gave to the Commonwealth at the United Nations on 
the fifties and in the following statements before the 
international community. Likewise, this bill puts you in an 
uncomfortable position, hard to explain and even harder to 
understand, because while you recognized the Constitution of the 
United States as the sovering authority of the American nation, on 
the other hand you are deat and refuse to accept ours on those same 
terms. In addition, you are against what yourselves vigorously 
defended, back in 1953 before the United Nation. 

• 

The Young bill is an awesome contradiction, because it is 
against and rejects our natural condition considering it inferior 
and colonial, and seeks to change it for another one like statehood 
which represents the total denial of what the Puerto Rican people 
have achieve as a country and as a Caribbean nation. That which is 
promoted by the Young Bill it is, indeed, inferiority. 

So, if is a colonial issue, then give a look to statehood, the 
denial of the Puerto Rican nation, which is the most colonial 
status option among the others. Our theory, even though it is of 
the minority, its holding is that the statehood is a political 
complex of inferiority, which would establish a relationship 
without dignity. Do you think you can achieve political dignity 
with seven congressmen, two senators and voting for the President 
of the United States and also paying federal taxes in exchange for 
welfare? 

That is a very narrow minded vision, way too simplistic. The 
dignity of the Puerto Rican people, proud of its history, of is 
struggles and achievements, goes beyond a mere political 
representation or an economic contribution proportional to the IS 
treasury in order to enjoy some benefits. It has more to do with 
our deepest values, with those which give sense and praise our 
existence as a democratic country, freedom lover and respectful of 
man's fundamental rights. 

The United States is a nation with its own history, language, 
literature, territory, values, and traditions. Puerto Rico is 
exactly the same, a nation with its own particular characteristics. 
Any issue between the mainland and the Island should be clear in 



142 



the fact that they are different nations, although associated in a 
search for a common purpose. 

During the last 98 years we have contributed to the American 
dream. In light of the nature of our political relationship with 
the United States, you have the legal and moral obligation to 
contribute to the development of the "Puerto Rico dream" expressed 
democratically by the majority of our people to address 
affirmatively the 1993 results, and to enhance the Commonwealth 
status to the highest degree of autonomy compatible with our 
permanent relationship with the United States. This way both 
nations will continue co-existing with the same dignity, just like 
the way the United States Flag and the Puerto Rican Flag fly next 
to each other, at the same level. We have a self government, which 
was born by virtue of the compact agreed by the people of Puerto 
Rico and the United States, and have entered an era of new 
developments. The pretensions of the Young bill of denationalizing 
Puerto Rico through statehood is "like throwing rocks to the moon". 
The people of Puerto Rico has decided on three occasions when has 
been confronted with the possibility of becoming something which we 
are not. To those members with such contemplations, I would ask, 
do no insist. Congressmen, because the only dignified authority foB 
the majority of the Puerto Ricans is the one which is born and 
raised from our own entrails. Thank you. 



143 

THE PREPARED STATEMENT OF HERBERT W. BROWN III 



1) PUERTO RICANS VOTED IN 1993 TO CHANGE THEIR STATUS 

PUERTO RICANS, REGARDLESS OF WHICH STATUS OPTION THEY CHOSE IN 
THE 1993 PLEBISCITE, VOTED 100 PERCENT FOR A NEW STATUS. THEY 
UNANIMOUSLY AGREED THAT OUR CURRENT STATUS AS AN UNINCORPORATED 
U.S. TERRITORY DID NOT MEET THEIR ASPIRATIONS OF FULL SELF- 
GOVERNMENT. 

WE NO LONGER WANT TO DEPEND ON THE GOODWILL OF CONGRESSMAN AND 
SENATORS FROM DISTANT STATES BEHOLDEN TO THEIR OWN CONSTITUENCIES 
AND SPECIAL INTERESTS. WE NO LONGER WANT TO BE SHUT OUT OF WHITE 
HOUSE POLICY MATTERS AFFECTING OUR ISLAND BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE 
ANY ELECTORAL VOTE POWER. WE NO LONGER WANT TO BE CAPITOL HILL 
SUPPLICANTS, DEPENDENT ON THE LARGESSE OF OTHERS. 

WHAT WE WANT IS A VOICE IN OUR FUTURE. A VOICE THAT HAS BEEN 
DENIED FOR 500 YEARS. 

WHAT WE COULDN'T AGREE ON WAS THE APPROPRIATE OPTION TO TRANSFORM 
THE CURRENT COLONIAL STATUS TO ONE THAT REFLECTED OUR SELF- 
DETERMINATION GOALS. MUCH OF THE ROOT OF OUR INABILITY TO CHOOSE 
THE RIGHT VEHICLE FOR SELF-GOVERNMENT WAS, AND IS, CONFUSION AS 
TO THE CHOICES THAT ARE LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE U.S. 
CONSTITUTION. 

2) CONGRESS RESPONDED TO THE PLEBISCITE'S RESULTS 

CONTRARY TO WHAT SOME MAY ARGUE, CONGRESS DID INDEED ADDRESS THE 
1993 PLEBISCITE RESULTS. THE RESPONSE SIGNED BY THE FOUR 
CHAIRMEN OF THE COMMITTEES AND SUBCOMMITTEES RESPONSIBLE FOR 
PUERTO RICO, CAREFULLY ANALYZED THE PLEBISCITE RESULTS AND THE 
TESTIMONY GIVEN AT HEARINGS ON THE BALLOT ON OCTOBER 17, 1996. 
THE RESULT WAS THE BILL NOW BEFORE US. 

SHOWING A KEEN KNOWLEDGE OF HISTORY AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, YOU 
HAVE CORRECTLY CONCLUDED THAT THE WINNING FORMULA - ENHANCED 
COMMONWEALTH - WAS LEGALLY DEFECTIVE IN THAT CONGRESS WAS 
CONSTITUTIONALLY BARRED FROM IMPLEMENTING MANY OF ITS PROVISIONS 
INCLUDING THE GUARANTEE OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND PERMANENT TIES 
WITH THE U.S.- PROVISIONS THAT COULD ONLY BE REALIZED THROUGH 
STATEHOOD . 

FORTUNATELY, CONGRESS WITH ITS PLENARY POWERS UNDER THE TERRITORY 
CLAUSE DID NOT LEAVE THE MATTER STANDING. IT HAS SEEN FIT, UNDER 
HR 3024, TO DEFINE THOSE STATUS OPTIONS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO 
PUERTO RICO AND WHICH CAN BE CONSTITUTIONALLY IMPLEMENTED. THAT 
IS CONGRESS' RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND UNDER THE 



144 



TREATY OF PARIS - AND IT IS A RESPONSIBILITY IT HAS ADMIRABLY AND 
COURAGEOUSLY CARRIED OUT IN PROPOSING THIS LEGISLATION. 

YOUR INITIATIVE -WHICH HAS BEEN THE TARGET OF MISPLACED CRITICISM 
BY SOME- HAS BEEN WELCOMED BY ALL CLEAR THINKING PUERTO RICANS. 
FOR THE SAME AUTHORITY THAT GIVES RISE TO THIS BILL COULD WELL 
HAVE BEEN EXERCISED TO UNILATERALLY DETERMINE THE ISLAND'S STATUS 
AND THAT OF ITS RESIDENTS. NOTHING PREVENTS CONGRESS FROM 
DECLARING BY FIAT PUERTO RICO'S INDEPENDENCE - IN WHICH CASE OUR 
STATUTORY AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP WOULD HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY A NEW 
PUERTO RICAN EQUIVALENT. 

YOU HAVE PROVIDED US THE VEHICLE TO EXERCISE OUR RIGHT OF SELF- 
DETERMINATION WITH A CORRESPONDING CONGRESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO 
IMPLEMENT THE CHOICE SELECTED. WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FULLY 
AND FINALLY ATTAIN, AFTER 500 YEARS, COMPLETE SELF-GOVERNMENT - 
EITHER AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION, WITH OUR OWN LAWS AND 
CITIZENSHIP - OR, AS THE FIFTY-FIRST STATE IN THE UNION, WITH 
FULL AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP, EQUAL WITH ALL OTHER AMERICANS, AND 
WITH ALL THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS THIS STATUS ENTAILS. 

GIVEN YOUR COMMITMENT TO IMPLEMENT OUR CHOICE, WE MUST NOT LET 
INTERNAL RANCOR OR PETTY JEALOUSIES DENY US OR OUR WELL EARNED 

DESTINY. 

3) UNLESS WE ACT ON STATUS, CONGRESS WILL ACT FOR US PERHAPS TO 
OUR DETRIMENT 

HAVING SHOWN IN 1993 THAT COMMONWEALTH OR THE STATUS QUO IS BUT 
AN IMPERMANENT STATE OF AFFAIRS, THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO HAVE 
THE OPPORTUNITY TO DETERMINE THE FUTURE STATUS OF THE ISLAND AND 
ITS RELATIONSHIP, IF ANY, WITH THE U.S.. 

BUT IF THIS BILL IS DERAILED OR IF FULL SELF-GOVERNMENT IS 
REJECTED AND THE STATUS QUO PREVAILS - THE REAL LOSERS WILL BE 
THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO. WHY? WE HAVE A CHANCE TO DETERMINE 
HOW AND UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS 500 YEARS OF COLONIALISM WILL BE 
SHED. IF WE DON'T MAKE THIS DECISION FOR OURSELVES THEN WE RUN 
THE RISK THAT CONGRESS WILL MAKE IT FOR US. 

HAVING DECIDED THAT COMMONWEALTH IS TRANSITORY AND THAT PUERTO 
RICO'S PATH TO FULL SELF-GOVERNMENT IS THE ONLY WAY OF ENDING THE 
LAST VESTIGES OF COLONIALISM, CONGRESS WILL ACT IF WE FAIL TO 
EXERCISE OUR RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION. 

CONGRESS HAS IT IN ITS POWER, CONSTITUTIONALLY TO DETERMINE OUR 
STATUS AND OUR CITIZENSHIP. THE TERRITORIAL CLAUSE SPECIFICALLY 
CONFERS THESE POWERS ON CONGRESS AND IT IS WITHIN ITS AUTHORITY, 
EVEN ITS DUTY, TO EXERCISE THEM. 

WE HAVE IT WITHIN OUR POWER TO CHOOSE TO RETAIN OUR U.S. 
CITIZENSHIP AND FOREVER CEMENT OUR TIES TO THE U.S. - IN WHOSE 



145 



DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY WE HAVE MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE SINCE THE 
FIRST WORLD WAR. THIS STATEHOOD OFFERS. 

WE ALSO HAVE IT WITHIN OUR POWER TO CHOOSE TO BECOME AN 
INDEPENDENT NATION AND EXCHANGE OUR U.S. CITIZENSHIP FOR A PUERTO 
RICAN CITIZENSHIP. A PAINFUL DECISION, YET ONE IN KEEPING WITH 
INTERNATIONAL NORMS. 

FINALLY, WE HAVE IT WITHIN OUR POWER TO ABDICATE OUR 
RESPONSIBILITIES AND CEDE CONTROL TO THOSE WHO PROFIT FROM THE 
STATUS QUO BY KILLING THIS BILL OR FAILING TO CHOOSE ONE OF THE 
TWO PATHS TO FULL SELF-GOVERNMENT THIS LEGISLATION OFFERS. 

SINCE NO TERRITORY HAS EVER ENTERED THE UNION WITHOUT ITS VOTERS 
FIRST APPROVING STATEHOOD, OUR OBSTRUCTIONISM, INACTION OR 
INABILITY TO ACT ON STATUS WOULD CEDE THAT DECISION TO CONGRESS 
WHICH WOULD OFFER UP, UNILATERALLY, ONE ENFORCED OPTION, 
INDEPENDENCE. 

WHETHER ONE IS FOR INDEPENDENCE OR NOT, FOR STATEHOOD OR NOT, FOR 
THE STATUS QUO OR NOT, THIS REAL POSSIBILITY PRESENTS ALL THE 
WORST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS. 

A WORLD IN WHICH OUR SLOWLY ERODING RIGHTS UNDER THE U.S. 
CONSTITUTION WOULD CONTINUE AND PERHAPS ACCELERATE AS CONGRESS 
FINALLY GETS FED UP WITH OUR UNWILLINGNESS TO DEAL WITH STATUS 
AND DECIDE TO SETTLE THE MATTER ON THEIR OWN. 

A WORLD WHERE OUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE OUR DESTINY HAS BEEN REPLACED 
BY CONGRESSIONAL FIAT AND OUR BARGAINING POWER REDUCED TO A 
SUPPLICANT, ONCE MORE. 

THESE THEN ARE THE CHOICES AVAILABLE. STATEHOOD AND U.S. 
CITIZENSHIP AND THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE AS EQUALS IN THE 
AMERICAN POLITICAL PROCESS. INDEPENDENCE AND PUERTO RICAN 
NATIONALITY AND CITIZENSHIP. THE STATUS QUO WITH ITS 
IMPERMANENCE BOTH AS TO POLITICAL STATUS AND CITIZENSHIP. 

AND, IF WE CHOOSE THE LATTER, THEN THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SINGULARLY 
UNSUCCESSFUL IN 'EXTENDING', 'ENHANCING', 'CULMINATING', AND 
'PERFECTING' OUR STATUS WILL HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL ONLY IN 
TRANSFERRING BACK TO CONGRESS PUERTO RICO'S FUTURE. 

WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ESCAPE US. WE HAVE IT WITHIN 
OUR CONTROL TO DETERMINE OUR FUTURE. CONGRESS HAS GIVEN US THE 
CHANCE, A CHANCE THAT IF ALLOWED TO SLIP AWAY, MAY BE LOST 
FOREVER. 

ARE WE FINALLY OPEN TO THE CHALLENGE THAT THIS BILL HANDS US? OR 
ARE WE DESTINED TO ALLOW POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM, AND SHORT TERM 
ECONOMIC INTERESTS TO DEFEAT OUR RIGHT TO SELF-GOVERNMENT? 



146 



FOR ONE, I BELIEVE WE ARE UP TO THE TASK CONGRESS HAS LAID OUT 
FOR PUERTO RICO. IN THIS BELIEF, I ASK ALL PUERTO RICANS TO 
SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION AND THEN JOIN TOGETHER AND EXERCISE OUR 
RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION. 

THANK YOU. 



147 



TEN-POINT ANALYSIS OF H.R. 3024: 



1. Under U.S. law and practice as well relevant resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly, there are 
three recognized political status options available to the people of territories which have not yet completed 
the transition from a previous colonial status to full self-government: integration into a sovereign nation, 
independence, or a sovereign-to-sovereign treaty with another nation consistent with the status of free 
association. H.R. 3024 provides for a self-determination process through which the people of Puerto 
Rico can become fiilly self-governing by approving a change in Puerto Rico's current political status in 
order to achieve one of the three recognized forms of fiill self-government. 

2. H.R. 3024 bill does not address the proposed changes to the existing "commonwealth" regime as set 
forth in the "Definition of Commonwealth" presented by the PDP on the 1993 status plebiscite ballot. 
This is because the alternatives for instituting full self-government are the legitimate subject-matter of a 
formal self-determination process, rather than mere proposals for legislative measures within the scope of 
the existing "commonwealth" framework for local government operations while unincorporated territory 
status continues. Should the voters reject a change of status in favor of a recognized form of full self- 
goverrunent, new or different measures to modify the current "commonwealth" structure for local 
government administration still can be proposed to Congress. To avoid confusion between legislative 
proposals to modify the current "commonwealth" structure and the options for a fully self-governing 
status. Section 5(c)(2) of the bill expressly recognizes that the current "commonwealth" unincorporated 
territory status will continue in the event voters reject a plan for transition to full self-government 
proposed in accordance with the act - subject to the authority' of Congress under the Territorial Clause at 
Art. IV, Sec. 3, CI. 2 of the U.S. Constitution. To reiterate in the most clear and straight-fonvard 
terms possible: H.R 3024 is a measure which presents the people with the full range of known 
options for changing the present status of Puerto Rico to achieve a recognized form of full self- 
government. The present status of the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" as an unincorporated 
territory under the Territorial Clause is not — and constitutionally never can become — a form of 
full self-government. Therefore, H.R. 3024 does not address the current status, which simply will 
continue as may be permitted by Congress if Puerto Ricans do not approve a recognized form of full 
self-government . 

3. Contrary to the newspaper headlines, the Clinton Administration's brief policy statement of March 
1 1, 1996 on Puerto Rican self-determination is not inconsistent with H.R. 3024. Both the 
Administration spokesman's policy statement and the bill affirm the long-standing bipartisan U.S. 
position respecting the right of the people of Puerto Rico to choose a future political status which ~ upon 
acceptance by the U.S. Congress - would transform the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" into a 
recognized form of full self-government based on separate sovereignty or statehood. Both the 
Administration policy statement and H.R. 3024 also recognize that the voters may prefer to remain a 
"commonwealth," in which case the status quo will continue based on voter disapproval of a status 
change. That means continuation of the current unincorporated "commonwealth" territory status under 
the Territorial Clause. This is why the White House statement is very precise and carefully written to 
accommodate a result in which the voters' "aspirations for self-determination" can be "fiilfilled" by 
continuation of the current "commonwealth" status quo. It is critical to note that the Administration 
statement does not state that the "aspirations of the people for full self govenmient" can be achieved 
through a determination by the voters in favor of "commonwealth" status. Nor does the Administration 
statement make any commitment to changes in the "commonwealth" structure consistent with the 
"Definition of Commonwealth" on the 1993 plebiscite ballot. This is because the White House knows 
that the natiu-e of "commonwealth" will still be subject to the authority of Congress under the Territorial 
Clause until Puerto Rico becomes a state or a separate sovereign nation. Changes or "improvements" to 
the existing commonwealth status quo are a matter of Congressional discretion, not something that can be 
achieved through self-determination by the people. 



148 



4. The view that the March 1 1 statement by an Administration spokesman rejected the approach 
embodied in H.R. 3024 has no basis in the language of the policy' statement itself. Only if the 
Administration asserts that voter approval of the current "commonwealth" unincorporated territor>' status 
under the Territorial Clause will constitute full self-government would there be a diflference between the 
Administration position and H.R. 3024. However, as issued by the White House inclusion of 
"commonwealth" in the Administration statement has the same meaning as recognition of the ability of 
the voters to reject change in favor of continued "commonwealth" in Section 5(c)(2) of H.R. 3024. Like 
so much of what has been done for the last four decades by those federal and local oQlcials who have been 
ambi\alent about ending the colonial era for Puerto Rico, the March 1 1 Administration statement was 
ambiguous enough to allow all parties in Puerto Rico to read what they want to in the statement. The 
time for ambiguity is over, and the time for moral courage and intellectual honesty finally has arrived. I 
call on the Administration to issue a clear statement that full self-government can not be achie%ed as long 
as the Territorial Clause applies. It is appropriate to affirm that the U.S. will respect the wishes of the 
people, but honesty requires that commitment to be understood in the context of the reality that Congress 
will continue to have the discretion and authority to alter, modify or otherwise dispose of the territory and 
determine the status of the population in accordance with the Treafy of Paris. Partial application of the 
U.S. Constitution includes certain rights against fundamental abuses of Federal powers, but that does not 
secure permanent union, equal legal and political rights or guaranteed citizenship for the inhabitants of 
the territory. H is deceptive to allow people to belioe thcv are secure in rights which, in reality, can 
be restricted, modified or c\cn taken awav in the future. This will be the case until the transition to 
self-government that began in 1952 is completed bv transforming the "Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico" into a nation with separate sovereignty or a state of the union as defined in H.R. 3204 . The 
approval process and voting procedures through which the wishes of the people regarding these options 
are expressed can vary, and will be determined by Congress in any federally-sanctioned self-determination 
process. The Administration may have views on the proposed mechanism which differ from H.R. 3024, 
and that can be debated. But as long as the procedure is one in which the voters understand how to cast 
a ballot in order to approve a change in the current status, or reject change in favor of preserving the 
status quo, the process of democratic self-expression will be valid under norms for self-determination. 

5. H.R. 3024 recognizes that as long as unincorporated territory status continues the "Commonwealth 
of Puerto Rico" will not achieve a recognized form of full self-government. Misguided policies intended 
to establish that unincoporated territory status is consistent with full self-government have failed, despite 
the best efforts of certain U.S. and Puerto Rican political and commercial interest groups to preserve the 
status quo out of self-interest at the expense of progress toward a recognized form of full self-government. 
Such measures as partial e.x-tension of the U.S. Constitution under the Insular Cases , the extension of a 
limited form of U.S. citizenship based on birth in the territory, and the establishment of local 
constitutional government during the current territorial era have not created a permanent, legally 
enforceable, or fully self-governing status for the territory and its inhabitants. What one Congress may 
give to Puerto Rico, a future Congress can take away as long ai the Territorial Clause applies. It is 
dangerous for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico to believe other^vise, because even the well-intentioned 
federal officials who may sincerely wish unincorporated territorial status could become permanent and be 
based on an enforceable govemment-to-govemment mutuality will not be around if and when a ftitiu^e 
Congress exercises its discretion to gradually or summarily alter, modify, amend, reduce, restrict or 
eliminate the legal rights and political status the territorial population has come to take for granted at 
their own peril. We should never forget that under U.S. constitutional law Puerto Ricans continue to be 
classified legally as "inhabitants" of a "territory" of which Congress may "dispose" through the exercise 
of its "plenary power" over unincorporated "possessions" such as the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico." 
Puerto Ricans have "civil rights and political status" conferred at the discretion of Congress under Article 
IX of the Treaty of Paris. 

6. Although the United States ceased transmitting information to the United Nations in 1953 based 
upon adoption of a local constitution approved by Congress and the inhabitants of the territory, Puerto 



149 



Rico has not been fully integrated into the United States. Nor does Puerto Rico exercise the necessary 
indicia of separate sovereignty and nationality to constitute free association. The historical and legal 
record which supports this conclusion includes the fact that both before and since local constitutional self- 
government was instituted the legal, political and citizenship status of the population of Puerto Rico has 
been determined unilaterally by the U.S. Congress, a national legislative body in which the people of the 
territory have no voting representation. The legal and political status of the population provided and 
continued at the discretion of the U.S. Congress does not include equal rights with other U.S. citizens 
in the states, is a limited form citizenship which is not guaranteed, and the political status of the 
"Commonwealth of Puerto Rico." still an unincorporated territory, is not permanent. Although 
the principle of consent was respected in establishing the local constitution in that the voters of the 
territory gave approval, the constitution was authorized, approved and amended by Congress. The 
Federal courts have interpreted the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" structure for local 
constitutional self-government as merely a delegation of Congressional authority over local affairs 
pursuant to the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution . In addition, both the 1961 "Kennedy 
Memo" on Puerto Rico's status, and the "Bush Memo" of 1992, the most recent formal Presidential policy 
document relating to Puerto Rico's status, explicitly state that the authority of the local constitutional 
goverrunent is limited to "internal affairs and administration" at the territorial level. 

7. Numerous acts of Congress and Federal court decisions applicable to Puerto Rico establish beyond 
doubt that the attempt to establish a commonwealth status during the current territorial era based on 
mutual consent has failed both legally and politically, and has not resulted in decolonization. Contrary to 
recent dangerously misleading statements by certain federal and territorial officials, the precedent of the 
Northern Mariana Islands and Guam territories, as well as free association for Micronesia, Palau and the 
Marshall Islands, make it clear that the attempt to carve out a status falling somewhere between 
permanent \inion and separate sovereignty - the so-called best of both worlds solution - is doomed to 
failure due to the purposeful design of the framers of the U.S. Constitution. The boundaries of the 
possible have been established, and the bottom line is this: a non-state area under U.S. sovereignty is 
subject to the Territorial Clause and a pact based on the principle of consent or mutuality is not 
legally enforceable to the extent that such an area can become fully self-governing. As to free 
association, creative arrangements are possible as the Micronesian treaties demonstrate, but with 
separate sovereignty there is separate nationality and citizenship . Liberal alien immigration p)olicies 
have been provided but not dual citizenship, and the relationship is not permanent or binding, but rather 
is terminable at will on the same terms by either govenmient. 

8. The preceding discussion reminds us that the current nationality and citizenship status of Puerto 
Ricans under 8 U.S.C. 1402 does not arise under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution based on birth 
or naturalization in the United States. Like the previous status of "citizens of Puerto Rico" under the 
Forakcr Act, the current U.S. citizenship of the people of Puerto Rico is a statutory arrangement 
which was conferred at the discretion of Congress under the Territorial Clause and does not arise 
from an exercise of sovereign self-determination by the people of Puerto Rico . The current limited 
and less-than-cqual U.S. citizenship status of people bom in Puerto Rico during the territorial period was 
prescribed by Congress to implement U.S. sovereignty and nationality established imder Article IX of the 
Treaty of Paris. It is easy for those with constitutionally guaranteed citizenship rights in the U.S. to 
insist that Congress could only restrict or eliminate the current citizenship status based on birth in Puerto 
Rico if there were some compelling Federal purpose which satisfied the due process equal protection test. 
These "friends of Puerto Rico" are simply missing the point that Puerto Ricans want the same rights as 
other U.S. citizens, and will stand for nothing less if Puerto Rico is to remain within the U.S. political 
system. Of course, if Puerto Ricans choose separate sovereignty Puerto Rico will control its own 
nationality and citizenship status, and U.S. nationality and citizenship will end on terms prescribed by 
Congress. A legal analysis of the Congressional Research Service dated November 15, 1990, has been 
cited by those who argue that U.S. citizenship can not be lost without the consent of the people of Puerto 
Rico. That is not what the CRS opinion concludes. Rather, the memo points out that as long as Puerto 
Rico remains an unincorporated territory Congress must have a legitimate purpose that would justify 



150 



termination of U.S. citizenship. However, the memo explicitly recognizes that the "possibility of 
revocation in the event of independence" would not involve the same difficulty of identifying a "legitimate 
reason" for ending U.S. citizenship for those who acquired it during the territorial period based on being 
bom in Puerto Rico (See, CRS Document on "Questions in re Citizenship Status of Puerto Ricans," 
November 15, 1990, p. 4). A vote for separate sovereignty would be consent by the people to withdrawal 
of U.S. nationality and citizenship, and majority rule would prevail and affect the entire population unless 
Congress provided othenvise. The concept of mass dual citizenship is a fantasy which will never come 
true. As discussed below, Congress will never agree to dual citizenship because it is incompatible with 
and would undermine both U.S. and Puerto Rican sovereignty. 

9. The self-determination procedure proposed by H.R. 3024 very simply asks the people concerned 
which of the paths to full self-government would be preferred, and then requires the U.S. Congress ~ after 
failing to do so during a century of colonial rule ~ to inform the people of the specific terms under which 
the Congress would be willing to approve the preferred future political status constituting fiill self- 
government outside the Territorial Clause. If the voters do not accept, agree with or approve the 
terms offered by the U.S. Congress for achie\ing the recoenized form of full self-government 
preferred bv the population, the power to preserve the status quo by rejecting the U.S. offer 
remains with the people under the terms of H.R. 3024. Voting on the option of preseryjng the 
status quo would be redundant, because the status quo is what Puerto Rico automatically will get if 
the voters reject change . While expressly including the option of preserving the unincorporated 
territory status quo on the ballot would not be legally objectionable, it is not required or even relevant to 
the choice between the three recognized forms of full self-government. In the history of post W.W. II 
decolonization, the norm has been for non-self-governing people to choose between the recognized forms 
of full self-government, and remaining in colonial status generally has not been an option w hich needed to 
be included on a self-determination ballot in most cases. For example, in U.S. decolonization practice the 
voters in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Republic of the 
Marshall Islands were not given the option of remaining in a non-self-governing status under the U.N. 
trusteeship system. 

10. Similarly, there is no logic or purpose in voting again on the changes to the status quo which 
were proposed under "improved" or "enhanced" version of the "Definition of Commonwealth" as 
presented on the 1993 ballot. For as long as the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" remains an 
unincorporated territory such changes will be at the discretion of Congress rather than something 
that can be implemented through an exercise of sovereign self-determination by the people of Puerto 
Rico. Again, only the options for full self-government are the legitimate subject matter for a valid 
act of self-determination in which the U.S. Congress would agree to recognize an exercise of the 
inherent sovereignty of the people of Puerto Rico as the basis for decolonization for the first time in 
500 years . A vote to remain in the present colonial status has little value or meaning in the context of a 
process intended to determine if the U.S. and Puerto Rico wil) be able to agree on a process for 
democratically instituting one of the recognized options for full self-government. H.R. 3024 represents 
the most authoritative and definitive proposal regarding the status of Puerto Rico formally introduced by a 
Member of Congress since the Treaty of Paris was taken up by the Senate almost 100 years ago. As a 
matter of constitutional and international law, this bill goes beyond the proposals considered by Congress 
in 1991 because it recognizes that a vote to preserve the status quo and continue unincorporated territory 
status will never resolve Puerto Rico's status permanently, and that continuation of the present 
"commonwealth" status is what will occur automatically and by default if the people of Puerto Rico arc not 
yet ready for full self-government. Having said that, if Congress chose to include some ballot pro\ision 
relating to continuation of the present status it would not be wTong to do so as long as it is made clear that 
the unincorporated commonwealth status is not a form of full self-government and is not a path to 
decolonization. 



151 



AUTHORITIES, CITATIONS AND COMMENTS IN SUPPORT OF PRECEDING ANALYSIS: 



I. INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR SELF-GOVERNMENT 

As a party to the Charter of the United Nations, the United States has administered its territories 
and possessions in the context of the U.N. decolonization process. In addition to Article 73 and other 
provisions of the U.N. Charter relating to termination of the non-self-governing status of people in 
territories governed by administering powers. Resolution 2625 (XXV) of October 24, 1970 is the most 
recent relevant General Assembly measure comprehensively addressing the framework for completing the 
transition from a previous colonial status to a recognized form of full self-govermnent. Preceding 
measures included G.A. Res. 1541 and G.A. Res. 1514 of 1960. The three status options of 
independence, integration or free association set forth in Section 4 of H.R. 3024 are consistent with these 
U.N. measures and previous U.S. practices relating to decolonization. 

Although the U.N. General Assembly adopted Res. 748 (VIII) in 1953, recognizing that Puerto 
Rico had achieved a new constitutional status, and accepting the U.S. determination to stop transmitting 
information to the U.N. regarding Puerto Rico, in 1996 it is clear that the new constitutional status 
instituted in 1953 has not led to full self-government consistent with integration, independence or free 
association. As an unincorporated territory Puerto Rico has not been integrated into the United States, 
including citizenship with equal civil and political rights or full participation in the constitutional process 
of government. The legislative history of the 1950 revisions of the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act 
authorizing a commonwealth constitution make it clear that full integration was not contemplated or 
intended. 

For example. Congressional policy documents included in the Historical and Statutory Notes at 48 
use. 73 lb exp'icitly state that establishment of a local constitution and commonwealth structure of 
government "...would not change Puerto Rico's fundamental political, social, and economic relationship to 
the United States." Notwithstanding the language in 48 U.S.C. 73 lb "...fully recognizing the principle 
of consent" and adopting a federal-territorial relationship "...in the nature of a compact," House Report 
No. 2275 cited at 48 U.S.C. 73 lb states that the Congress retains authority over Puerto Rico's political, 
social, and economic relationship to the U.S., including application of laws enacted by Congress and 
Federal judicial jurisdiction in Puerto Rico, and the point is driven home by the statement that the 
provisions of the earlier organic laws governing the territory repealed upon the establishment of the 
commonwealth were limited to "...matters of purely local concern" (48 U.S.C. 73Ib Historical and 
Statutory Notes) 

It is difficult to reconcile the contents of the Congressional measures defining the nature of the 
commonwealth structure for local government with the representations made by U.S. diplomats in the 
United Nations in 1953, except to note again that G.A. Res. 748 was adopted in 1953 prior to the 
establishment of recognized criteria for full self-government under the later relevant U.N. resolutions 
adopted in 1960 and 1970, as discussed above. Nevertheless, the conclusion seems inescapable that the 
U.S. representatives in the U.N. and the foreign goverrunent representatives who accepted the U.S. 
decision to stop reporting on Puerto Rico did not have a meeting of the minds on the nature of the internal 
U.S. constitutional law governing the status of unincorporated territories subject to the Territorial Clause, 
even after local constitutional government is established. 

Perhaps the only explanation based on the assumption that all parties were acting in good faith is 
that the U.N. accepted that with the establishment of constitutional self-government Puerto Rico no longer 
was in the category of completely non-self-governing peoples, and that the general expressions regarding 
adherence to the principle of consent satisfied all concerned at the time that Puerto Rico actually had 
achieved a post-colonial status. With the blush still on the new constitutional arrangement, the parties 
may sincerely have believed it to be true. 



152 



This also explains why ihe U.N. has accepted the U.S. position to suspend reporting on the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands based on establishment of an unincorporated territor>' 
status consistent with the Puerto Rico commonwealth model. This suggests that once the people of an 
unincorporated territon.' have freely expressed a preference to be integrated into the U.S. and a new local 
constitutional status has been established, the U.N. will accept suspension of reporting by the 
Administering Power with so%ereignty over the previously non-self-governing area. It really does appear 
that the U.N. is not overly concerned about the reser\ed authority of Congress under the Territorial 
Clause, or the fact that as long as the Territorial Clause is in effect the formal process of full integration 
leading to full self-government has not been completed. 

Perversely, the fact that the U.N. accepted the U.S. decision to suspend reporting in 1953 based on 
the establishment of local constitutional government is cited by supporters of the current "commonwealth" 
status as evidence that Puerto Rico is fully self-governing. To the contrary, if the U.S. were to adopt the 
position that the current unincorporated "commonwealth" status has become permanent then there 
arguably would be a basis for the U.N. to request the U.S. to resume reporting on Puerto Rico due to the 
fact that equal legal and political rights have not been extended to the people of Puerto Rico. Certainly, if 
the Clinton Administration were to assert that unincorporated "commonwealth" status constitutes full self- 
government and that the decolonization process has been completed on the basis of the status quo. that 
would fall short of U.N. standards for terminating the non-self-governing status of previously colonial 
areas. 

It is precisely for this reason that the March 1 1 White House statement reiterated the U.S. position 
that the people of Puerto Rico still have a right to self-determination. If the U.S. could sustain the 
argument that unincor]X)rated "commonwealth" status constitutes full and complete integration, or that 
the people of an unincorporated territory can be viewed as fully self-governing and decolonized, there 
would be no requirement to recognize the right of the people to change their status through an additional 
self-determination process. 

Still, there are those who suggest Puerto Rico has achieved a degree of "distinct" sovereignty, quasi- 
nationality or de facto free association under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act. But this view is 
predicated only on ambiguities associated with the establishment of local constitutional govenunent, and 
is categorically nullified by the fact that U.S. sovereignty and constitutional supremacy continues. In 
addition, under U.N. and international legal practice to which the U.S. has adhered in its free association 
treaties with Pacific island nations a free association status must be terminable by both go%emments party 
to the treaty on the same terms (See, J. Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law, 
Uni\ersity of Adelaide. Australia (1979)). Since the constitutional government of "Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico" docs not have the authority to terminate or "dispose" of its relationship with the U.S. in the 
same manner that Congress may do so under the Territorial Clause, this is just one of the several criteria 
for free association which are not satisfied by the existing "commonwealth" arrangements. Thus, there is 
no plausible argument that Puerto Rico acquired sufficient sovereignty under the Puerto Rico Federal 
Relations Act or the local constitution to consider the current status as the result of a "bilateral pact" to 
which the U.S. Congress is bound, or which is unalterable without consent by Puerto Rico. The current 
Spanish language translation for "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" may imply "free association," but that 
is just a symptom of the pathology of the current colonial status. 

There have been some highly irresponsible and misleading statements made recently about the 
nature of free association between the U.S. and the three Pacific island mini-nations, the Federated States 
of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. Specifically, it has been 
asserted that the citizens of these nations have dual U.S. citizenship. This is false. Under Section 141 of 
U.S. Public Law 99-239 the citizens of the free associated states under the Compact of Free Association 
have separate nationality and citizenship. These free associated states citizens are treated as aliens under 
U.S. immigration and nationality laws. The Compact of Free Association grants a limited and 
temporary waiver of \ isa requirements to enable Micronesian citizens to enter the U.S. for fifteen years. 
However, this waiver expires in five years and Congress has discretion to renew or terminate the ability of 



153 



this class of aliens to enter without a business or visitor visa, and any time spent in the U.S. during the 
fifteen year waiver period does not count for naturalization purposes. 

After 2001, the citizens of the Pacific island free associated states can be required by Congress to be 
treated the same for travel and immigration purposes as citizens from every other foreign nation. This 
clarifies that U.S. legal practice relating to free association is based on the determination by Congress that 
separate sovereignty requires separate nationality and citizenship. The formulation of nationality and 
citizenship options under the separate sovereignty scenario defined in Section 3(1) of H.R. 3024 is 
consistent with the Micronesian free association legal precedent, and the practical requirements of U.S. 
immigration and nationality law which make this approach an inevitable result of separate sovereignty. 

This would not be something the U.S. would be doing to the people of Puerto Rico. It is something 
the people would be doing to themselves if they chose separate sovereignty, and it is imperative that this 
be made very clear so that the misinformation that has been disseminated in the past does not mislead the 
voters about what the real consequences will be if they vote to separate form the United States. For 
under a separate sovereignty scenario the allegiance, nationality and citizenship of the inhabitants of the 
territory and those whose U.S. citizenship is based on birth in the territory during the colonial period will 
be transferred to the new sovereign, just as it transferred from Spain to the United States under Article IX 
of the Treaty of Paris. This is by operation of international law and U.S. legal and historical precedent, 
including the transition regarding U.S. nationality held by citizens of the Philippines when separate 
sovereignty was proclaimed by President Truman in 1946 (See, 22 U.S.C. 1394). 

Of course, the prospect of losing U.S nationality and citizenship only arises if the voters decide they 
do not want to be under U.S. nationality. Renouncing U.S. nationality and citizenship and demanding 
to keep that status is an absurd notion. Those who want to have it both ways need to recognize that H.R. 
3024 is entirely consistent with the legal practice of the U.S. and the international community in these 
matters (See. American Insurance Company v. Canter . 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511, 542 (1828); United States ex 
rel Schwarzkopf V. Uhl . 137 F. 2d 898, 902 (2d Cir. 1943); O'Connell. The Law of State Succession 246 
(1956). 

In addition to the clear legal precedents on citizenship, one of the clearly established requirements 
of a status consistent with free association is that the neither sovereign government may have undue power 
or ability to interfere in the other's internal affairs. As the Department of Justice noted in its February 
1991 testimony on S. 244, the "Puerto Rico Status Act," mass dual citizenship under a separate 
sovereignty scenario, including free association or independence, "...potentially could lead to significant 
United States intervention in Puerto Rican affairs in the exercise of the President's responsibility to protect 
the safety, rights, and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad." No doubt current Administration officials would 
dismiss the idea that the President would ever act in a manner inconsistent with Puerto Rican national 
sovereignty if Puerto Rico were to become independent or enter into a free association status, but Puerto 
Rican willingness in 1996 to leave these matters within the discretion of the U.S. President and Congress 
may have consequences in 2075 which can not be imagined at this time. 

If Puerto Ricans are serious about independence or separate sovereignty, then they owe it to their 
grandchildren to ensure that Puerto Rican nationality will be respected as a matter of right under 
international law rather left to the discretion of other nations, including the U.S. as the nation which 
would be the former colonial power if the voters choose a separate sovereignty option. If Puerto Ricans 
are not ready to go down that road, then the only other way to secure human rights and dignity is through 
a sovereign act of the people through which the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico takes its place alongside 
the other commonwealths and states which are full and equal sovereign states permanent in the union 
under the constitution, with guaranteed and permanent U.S. nationality and citizenship. 

Those who continue to suggest that the Covenant to Establish the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands (U.S. Public Law 94-241) somehow sets a precedent for a bilateral pact which is 
enforceable on a govemment-to-govemment basis need to understand that the international law and 



154 



constitutional basis for the CNMI Covenant is fiindamentally different than that which governs 
Congressional measures relating to Puerto Rico. For the U.S. adopted a negotiating procedure and 
entered into the agreement with the Northern Mariana Islands in a maimer consistent with the fact that 
the U.S. did not have sovereignty over the Northern Mariana Islands during the period of U.N. trusteeship 
prior to implementation of the CNMI Covenant. The Territorial Clause did not apply in the case of the 
Northern Mariana Islands until the CNMI Covenant entered into force based on a U.N. observed act of 
self-determination in which the non-U.S. citizens approved entering into the status of an unincorporated 
territoo'- Because U.S. sovereignty and the Territorial Clause were to be extended to the CNMI under 
the agreement, it was approved by the U.S. Congress in the form of a joint resolution passed by a majority 
vote in both Houses of Congress instead of being ratified by the Senate in the conventional treaty approval 
procedure. 

The meaning of these significant legal and constitutional factors has been recognized by the Federal 
courts, including the U.S. Claims Court which observed that: 

"The United Stales has not administered the Trust Territory [including the Northern Mariana 
Islands) under the authority conferred in Article IV, Section 3, concerning regulation by 
Congress of territories or other property belonging to the United States." 6 CI. Ct. 441, 456 
(1984) 

When the voters in the Northern Mariana Islands approved the CNMI Covenant that act of self- 
determination process was accepted by the U.N. as a basis for the U.S. to stop transmitting information 
about the CNMI as part of the former Trust Territory. This was because the choice of the voters in favor 
of integration into the U.S. was understood to be a choice in favor of U.S. sovereignty. Howe%er, as in 
the case of Puerto Rico, the vote for integration and establishment of local constitutional government has 
not resulted in completion of the process of integration for the CNMI. The CNMI has the same basic 
model of unincorporated "commonwealth" territory status as Puerto Rico, except that the CNMI mutual 
consent provision is far stronger than the "principle of consent" language in the Puerto Rico Federal 
Relations Act. As discussed below, that arrangement is subject to the authority and discretion of 
Congress under the Territorial Clause. 

The preceding discussion makes it clear that Puerto Rico has not achieved a recognized form of fiill 
self-go%emment consistent with integration, free association or independence. It therefore is ironic that 
H.R. 3024 has become a lightening rod for criticism in Puerto Rico precisely because it comes closer than 
any pre\ iously proposed federal or territorial government measure to defining the bedrock legal and 
political realities facing the U.S. and Puerto Rico with respect to self-government and the future political 
status issue. After nearly a century of mutual U.S. and Puerto Rican acquiescence in an impermanent, 
imperfect and incomplete political relationship based on legal ambiguities, the gates to the only real paths 
to full self-government have been thrown open by H.R. 3024. 



II. THE NATURE OF COMMONWEALTH UNDER THE TERRITORIAL CLAUSE 

To understand why the straightforward approach of H.R. 3024 has generated so much debate, it is 
important to realize that for o\'er forty years inventive but unsustainable status theories have been 
advanced by those federal ofTicials, Puerto Rican leaders and corporate interests who have benefited from 
preservation of the present order. Too often Puerto Ricans have been asked to pretend that tax 
exemptions justify separate and unequal treatment in the U.S. legal, political and economic system. Too 
often residents of the territory have allowed themselves to pretend that their status is "special" and 
"unique," when it actually is just colonialism dressed up and masquerading as local autonomy. Too 
many of us have been seduced into believing we should be grateful for what we have, and that this is the 
best of both worlds, when it actually is the most insidious form of colonialism for the veiy reason that it 
has been made to seem comfortable, permanent and safe when it is not. 



155 



The view which idealizes the current status is nothing more than a collective shared fantasy that 
Puerto Rico's colonial condition and the second-class citizenship status established in 1917 actually 
constitutes a permanent status based on mutual consent. Our current status exists at the discretion of 
Congress. After four decades of being subject to laws passed by a national legislature in which we have 
no voting representation, we know that there is no real mutuality' or permanence in the "Commonwealth 
of Puerto Rico" territorial status. 

This reality was already obvious, but it has been confirmed once again by a July 28, 1994 U.S. 
government legal opinion. In a memorandum of law and policy from the Deputy Assistant Attorney 
General of the United States in the Federal Department of Justice to the Clinton Administration's Special 
Representative on Guam Commonwealth negotiations, the following statement is made regarding 
mutuality and the principle of consent in the case of Puerto Rico: 



"The Department [of Justice] revisited this issue in the early 1990's in connection 
with the Puerto Rico Status Referendum Bill in light of Bowen v. Agencies 
O pposed to Soc. Sec. Entrapment . 477 U.S. 41 (1986), and concluded that there 
could not be an enforceable vested right in a political status; hence the mutual 
consent clauses were ineffective because they would not bind a subsequent 
Congress." DOJ Memo, footnote 2, p. 2. 

The Department of Justice memo goes on to state that inclusion of a ballot option in a political status 
plebiscite in the form of an unalterable pact predicated on the principles of consent and mutuality 
"...would be misleading," and that "...honesty and fair dealing forbid the inclusion of such illusory and 
deceptive provisions..." in a statute or agreement creating a commonwealth structure for constitutional 
government in an unincorporated territory. The memo also states that unalterable mutual consent pacts 
"...raise serious constitutional issues and are legally unenforceable." Finally, the Justice Department 
memo opposes formulation of a status option in a self-determination process sponsored by the Congress 
based on the notion of unalterable mutuality or a binding consent requirement "...unless their 
unenforceability (or precatory nature) is clearly stated in the document itself." 

Curiously, the Department of Justice memo states that it intends to honor the principles of consent 
and mutuality in the case of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) as a matter of 
policy since the CNfMI Commonwealth Covenant contains an express mutual consent clause. Even if 
Department of Justice officials had the authonty to honor a provision it has determined to be "legally 
unenforceable," this meaningless gesture is irrelevant because the Federal courts already have ruled in 
U.S. ex rel. Richards v. De Leon Guerrero , C. A. 9 (N. Mariana Islands) 1993, 4 F. 3d 749, that Congress 
can intrude into local CNMI affairs in a manner inconsistent with the plain language of the CNMI 
Commonwealth Covenant. E\en though the CNMI is internally self-governing under the terms of the 
Commonwealth Covenant and Congress agreed in 1976 not to act inconsistent with that status without 
consent, in the Guerrero case the Court of Appeals ruled that a Department of the Interior audit of local 
government tax returns and regulation of purely local budget matters did not unduly affect the right of 
local self-government. 

Instead of respecting the CNMI Commonwealth Covenant as an unalterable bilateral pact in 
accordance with its terms, the court treated the 1976 CNMI status agreement as a statute enacted by 
Congress pursuant to the Territorial Clause. While recognizing that the statute defines the relationship 
between the "commonwealth" and the Congress and provides limits on the ability of Congress to change 
the relationship, instead of treating these limits as unalterable and enforceable, the court adopted a 
balancing test between the right of mutual consent with the authority of Congress to protect and promote 
Federal interests. The words of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals can best tell the story: 

"Even if the Territorial Clause provides the constitutional basis for the Congress' legislative 

10 



156 



aulhorit>' in the commonwealth, it is solely by the Covenant that we measure the limits of 
Congress' legislative power ...the United States must have an identifiable federal interest that 
will be served by the relevant legislation... At the center of this dispute, however, is 
the.. .sentence. ..limiting the United States' legislative authority 'so that the fundamental 
proNisions of this Covenant... may be modified only with the consent of the... Govenmient of 
the Northern Mariana Islands' The Governor asks us to read this provision. .as carving out 
an area of 'local affairs' immune from federal legislation. We decline to adopt such an 
expansive interpretation of the. ..mutual consent provision... we think it is appropriate to 
balance the federal interest to be sened by the legislation at issue against the degree of 
intrusion into local affairs." U.S. v. De Leon Guerrero. 4 F. 3d 749 (1993) 

Translation: Congress can not bind a future Congress to an unalterable pact based on mutual 
consent. Pedantic ideologues pretending to be constitutional and international legal scholars can delude 
themselves and the public by plaving clever word games about these issues, but the result will be the same 
as long as the Territorial Clause applies. 

The same result applies to Puerto Rico under the Supreme Court case Harris v. Rosario. 446 U.S. 65 1 
(1980). The legal and political meaning of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Harris was followed and 
more fully revealed in the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case of U.S. 
v. Sanchez . 992 F. 2d 1 143. Describing the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" structiue for local self- 
government under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act as merely a limited and discretionary delegation 
of Congressional authority under the Territorial Clause, the Court, quoting from 831 F. 2d at 1 176, found 
that: 

"'With each new organic act, first the Foraker Act in 1900, then the Jones Act in 1917, and then 
the Federal Relations Act in 1950 and later amendments, Congress has simply delegated more 
authority to Puerto Rico over local matters. But this has not changed in any way Puerto Rico's 
constitutional status as a temtory, or the soiu-ce of power over Puerto Rico. Congress 
continues to be the ultimate source of power pursuant to the Territory Clause of the 
Constitution.' Congress may unilaterally repeal the Puerto Rican Constitution or the 
Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act and replace them with any rtiles and regulations of its 
choice." ILL v. Sanchez. 992 F. 2d 1 143 (1993) 

Just as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized in the Guerrero case that the Territorial 
Clause is the constitutional basis for the CNMI commonwealth pact, the Eleventh Circuit opinion in 
Sanchez makes it clear that the notion of an unalterable bilateral pact based on an enforceable principle of 
consent and mutuality for Puerto Rico will and ultimately must fail. There is no reason to believe that 
the "fiscal autonomy" element in the "Definition of Commonwealth" on the 1993 plebiscite ballot in 
Puerto Rico would fare any belter under the "unalterable bilateral pact" which was proposed in that ballot 
option than "internal sclf-goverrunent" has under the CNMI pact. As long as the "commonwealth" 
remains an unincorporated territory, the Federal courts be hard pressed to overturn any act of Congress 
which are consistent with a legitimate federal piupose. 

During inconclusive Congressional consideration of Puerto Rico status legislation in 1991, the 
former Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico attempted to argue that random language in the case of U.S. v. 
Ouinones . 758 F. 2d 40, (1st Cir. 1985) supports the expansive view of commonwealth as something more 
than unincorporated territory status. In response the Department of Justice submitted written statements 
to the GAO rejecting the court's comments in Quinones as "dictum" which was not part of the actual 
ruling in the case. It was also pointed out that the court in the Ouinones case upheld a statute which 
altered the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act without mutual consent. See, Appendix IV, GAO/HRD- 
91-18, The U.S. Constitution and the Insular Areas, April 12, 1991 letter to GAO from Assistant Attorney 
General of the United States. Thus, reading the Ouinones case as a defining or authoritative case with 
respect to the nature of the current "commonwealth" status is just another attempt to perpetuate ambiguity 
and deny the colonial nature of the status quo. 



11 



157 



Puerto Ricans know this by now. For even though they have a measure of local constitutional self- 
government, it has been modified by federal law to which they did not consent. The status and rights of 
Puerto Ricans under federal laws and policies regulating local economic and social affairs are determined 
by a Congress in which they should have seven voting members, and by a President who should need the 
vote of the residents of the island to be elected. Those who have sought to advance Puerto Rico's political 
evolution by pretending that Puerto Ricans have justice, equality, mutuality and self-government when 
they do not have these rights are merely the defenders of an anti -democratic status quo. 

The more hysterical the cries of opposition to this bill, the more shrill, absurd and hyper-technical 
the arguments against the definitions of full self-govenunent under the bill, the more clear it becomes that 
this proposal has shattered the myth that full self-government was achieved in 1952 by a sleight-of-hand. 
Liberty and equality under a system of full self-government is not something a people can misappropriate 
through cleverness, it is not something that can be stolen when the colonial power is not looking, it is not 
something we achieve without effort and pain. 

The genie is now out of the bottle, all the worid can see that the Emperor has no clothes. H.R. 3024 
exposes the naked truth that Puerto Rico can not have separate sovereignty and nationality and at the same 
time enjoy permanent union and guaranteed citizenship. Puerto Rico can not be a nation-within-a- 
nation. The honor and dignity of the Puerto Rican people as individuals rather than a body politic 
demands that the people do the hard work and make the difTicuIt choices required to achieve full self- 
goveniment in the second century since monarchy was ended in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican self- 
determination must be understood as a collective act of individuals seeking freedom, equality and 
democracy, not a rally or celebration of unity by members of a political party. 

If Puerto Ricans are to become a separate nation they need to separate from the U.S. and establish a 
govemment-to-govemment relationship based on real mutuality and autonomous authority and 
responsibility the same way other societies in our region have separated from former colonial powers. If 
Puerto Ricans are to achieve a permanent and equal status as a sovereign state in union with the U.S. 
under the national constitution, then they need to rise to the occasion offered by H.R. 3024. 

Either way, Puerto Ricans need to take control of their destiny and commit themselves to the legal, 
political, economic and cultural imperative of becoming fiilly self-governing. This is not a drill, this is 
not a game. This is for real, the time for pretending is over. The people of this island homeland need 
to set aside party affiliation and stand up as individuals to redeem their sacred honor by ending the 
colonial regime. 



12 



24-926 - 96 - 6 



158 



%- 



I . S. Drpartini-iit ot .liistiic 



Office of Legal Counsel 



Oflltc .•! Ihc 

De|>ul\ ANiiMnal All*trii«\ Geiierjil 



Ua.i/i/fiem/1. D C ;».<.«■ 



July 28, 1994 



MEMORiySDUM FOR 

THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE 

FOR GUAM COMMO>rWEALTH 



^ 



From: Teresa Wynn Roseborough 

Deputy Assistant Attorney General 

Re: Mutual Consent Provisions in 

The Guam Commonwealth Legislation 

The Guam Commonwealth Bill, H.R. 1521, 103d Cong., 1st Sess. (1993) contains 
two sections requiring the mutual consent of the Government of the United States and thQ 
Government of Guam. Section 103 provides that the Commonwealth Act could be amended 
only with mutual consent of the two governments. Section 202 provides that no Federal 
laws, rules, and regulations passed after the enactment of the Commonwealth Act would 
apply to Guam without the mutual consent of the two governments. The Representatives of 
Guam insist that these two sections are crucial for the autonomy and economy of Guam. Tlie 
former views of this Office on the validity or efficacy of mutual consent requirements 
included in legislation governing the relationship between the federal government and non- 
state areas. Le^ areas under the sovereignty of the United States that are not States,' have 



' Territories that have developed from the stage of a classical territory to that of a Commonwealth with a 
constitution of their own adoption and an elective governor, resent being called Terrilones and claim that thai 
legal term and its implications are not applicable to them. We therefore shall refer to all Territories and 
Commonwealths as non-state areas under the sovereignty of the United Stales or briefly as non-state areas. 



159 



not been consistent.- We therefore have carefully reexamined this issue. Our conclusion is 
that these clauses raise serious constitutional issues and are legally unenforceable,' 

In our view, it is important that the text of the Guam Commonwealth Act not create 
any illusory expectations that might to mislead the electorate of Guam about the 
consequences of the legislation. We must therefore oppose the inclusion in the 
Commonwealth Act of any provisions, such as mutual consent clauses, that are legally 
unenforceable, unless their unenforceability (or precatory nature) is clearly stated in the 
document itself. 

I. 

The Power of Congress to Govern the Non-State 

Areas under the Sovereignty of the United States 

is Plenary within Constitutional Limitations 

All territory under the sovereignty of the United States falls into two groups: the 
States and the areas that are not States. The latter, whether called territories, possessions, or 
commonwealths, are governed by and under the authority of Congress. As to those areas, 
Congress exercises the combined powers of the federal and of a state government. These 
basic considerations were set out in the leading case of National Bank v. County of Yankton . 
101 U.S. 129, 132-33 (1880). There the Court held: 



- To our knowledge the first consideration of the validity of mutual consent clauses occurred in 1959 in 
connection with proposals to amend the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act. At that time the Department took 
the position that the answer to this question was doubtful but that such clauses should not be opF>osed on the 
ground that they go beyond the constitutional power of Congress. In 1963 the Department of Justice opined that 
such clauses were legally effective because Congress could create vested rights in the status of a territory that 
could not be revoked unilaterally. The Department adhered to this position in 1973 in connection with then 
pending Micronesians status negotiations in a memorandum approved by then Assistant Attorney General 
Rehnquist. On the basis of this advice, a mutual consent clause was inserted in Section 105 of the Covenant 
with the Northern Mariana Islands. The Department continued to support the validity of mutual consent clauses 
in connection with the First 1989 Task Force Report on the Guam Commonwealth Bill. The Department 
revisited this issue in the early 1990's in connection with the Puerto Rico Status Referendum Bill in light of 
Bowen v. Aeencies Opposed to Soc. Sec. Entrapment . 477 U.S. 41, 55 (1986), and concluded that there could 
not be an enforceable vested right in a political status: hence that mutual consent clauses were ineffective 
because they would not bind a subsequent Congress. We took the same position in the Second Guam Task 
Force Report issued during the last days of the Bush Administration in January 1993. 

' Mutual consent clauses are not a novel phenomenon: indeed they antedate the Constitution. Section 14 of 
the Northwest Ordinance contained six "articles of compact, between the original States and the people and 
States in the said territory, and [shall] forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent." These articles 
were incorporated either expressly or by reference into many early territorial organic acts. Clinton v. 
Englebrecht . 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 434, 442 (1872). The copious litigation under these "unalterable articles" 
focussed largely on the question whether the territories" obligations under them were superseded by the 
Constitution, or when the territory became a State, as the result of the equal footing doctrine. We have, 
however, not found any cases dealing with the question whether the Congress had the power to modify any duty 
imposed on the United States by those articles. 



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160 



It is certainly now loo iaie to doubt the power of Congress to goveni 
the Territories. There have been some differences of opinion as to the 
particular clause of the Constitution from whicii the power is derived, but that 
it exists has always been conceded/ 



All territory within the jurisdiction of the United States not included in 
any State must necessarily be governed by or under the authority of Congress. 
The Territories are but political subdivisions of the outlying dominion of the 
United States. Their relation to the general government is much the same as 
that which counties bear to the respective States, and Congress may legislate 
for them as a State does for its municipal organizations. The organic law of a 
Territory takes the place of a constitution as the fundamental law of the local 
government. It is obligatory on and binds the territorial authorities; but 
Congress is supreme, and for the purposes of this department of its 
governmental authority has all the powers of the people of the United States, 
except such as have been expressly or by implication reserved in the 
prohibitions of the Constitution. 

Yankton was anticipated in Chief Justice Marshall's seminal opinion in American 
Insurance Co. v. Canter . 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511, 542-43, 546 (1828). The Chief Justice 
explained: 

In the mean time [i.e. the interval between acquisition and statehood], 
Florida continues to be a territory of the United States; governed by virtue of 
that clause in the Constitution, which empowers Congress "to make all needful 
rules and regulations, respecting the territory, or other property belonging to 
the United States." 

Perhaps the power of governing a territory belonging to the United 
States, which has not, by becoming a state, acquired the means of self- 



■' Some derived that power from the authority of the United Stales to acquire territory, others from the mere 
fact of sovereignty, others from the Territory Clause of the Constitution of the United States (Art. IV, Stc, 3, 
CI. 2) pursuant to which Congress has "Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations 
respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States". See e.g. American Insurance Co. v. 
Canter . 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511. 542(1828): Mormon Church v. United States , 136 U.S. 1, 42-44(1890); 
Downes v. Bidwell , 182 U.S. 244, 290 (1901). 

At present, the Territory Clause of the Constitution is generally considered to be the source of the 
power of Congress to govern the non-slate areas. Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt , 324 U.S. 652, 673-674 
(1945): Examining Board v. Flores de Otero . 426 U.S. 572. 586 (1976); Harris v. Rosario , 446 U.S. 651 
(1980): see also Wabol v. Villacrusis . 958 F.2d 1450. 1459 (9th Cir. 1992), cert, denied sub nom . Philippine 
Goods. Inc. v. Wabol , U.S. . 113 S.Ct. 675 (1992). (Footnote supplied.) 

-3- 



161 



jiovemniem, may result necessarily from the facts, that it is not within the 
jurisdiction of any panicular state, and is within the power and jurisdiction ot 
the United States. 



"In legislating for them [the Territories], Congress exercises the combined 
powers of the general, and of a state government." 

Id. at 542-43, 546. 

The power of Congress to govern the non-state areas is plenary like every other 
legislative power of Congress but it is nevertheless subject to the applicable provisions of the 
Constitution. As Chief Justice Marshall stated in Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat) 1, 
196 (1824), with respect to the Commerce Power: 

This power [the Commerce Power], like all others vested in Congress is 
complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no 
limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitution . (Emphasis added.) 

This limitation on the plenary legislative power of Congress is self-evident. It 
necessarily follows from the supremacy of the Constitution. S^ e^., Hodel v. Virginia 
Surface Mining and Reclamation Assoc . 452 U.S. 264, 276 (1981). That the power of 
Congress under the Territory Clause is subject to constitutional limitations has been 
recognized in County of Yankton . 101 U.S. at 133; Downes v. Bid well . 182 U.S. 244, 290- 
91 (1901); District of Columbia v. Thompson Co. . 346 U.S. 100, 109 (1953). 

Finally, the power of Congress over the non-state areas persists "so long as they 
remain in a territorial condition." Shively v. Bowlbv . 152 U.S. 1, 48 (1894). S^ also . 
Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt . 324 U.S. 652, 675 (1945) (recognizing that during the 
intermediary period between the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippine 
Islands and the fmal withdrawal of United States sovereignty from those islands "Congress 
retains plenary power over the territorial government"). 

The plenary Congressional authority over a non-state area thus lasts as long as the 
area retains that status. It terminates when the area loses that status either by virtue of its 
admission as a State, or by the termination of the sovereignty of the United States over the 
area by the grant of independence, or by its surrender to the sovereignty of another country. 



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162 



n. 

The Revocahle Nature of Congressional Legislation 
Relating to the Govemmeni of Non-State Areas 

While Congress has the power to govern the non-state areas it need not exercise that 
power itself. Congress can delegate to the inhabitants of non-state areas full powers of self- 
government and an autonomy similar to that of States and has done so since the begirning of 
the Republic. Such delegation, however, must be "consistent with the supremacy and 
supervision of National authority". Clinton v. Englebrecht . 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 434. 441 
(1872); Puerto Rico v. Shell Co. . 302 U.S. 253, 260, 261-62 (1937). The requirement that 
the delegation of governmental authority to the non-state areas be subject to federal 
supremacy and federal supervision means that such delegation is necessarily subject to the 
right of Congress to revise, alter, or revoke the authority granted. District of Columbia v. 
Thompson Co. . 346 U.S. 100, 106, 109 (1953).' See also. United States v. Sharpnack . 355 
U.S. 286, 296 (1958), Harris v. Boreham . 233 F.2d 110, 113 (3rd Cir. 1956), Firemen's 
Insurance Co. v. Washington . 483 F.2d 1323, 1327 (D.C. Cir. 1973). The power of 
Congress to delegate governmental powers to non-state areas thus is contingent on the 
retention by Congress of its power to revise, alter, and revoke that legislation.* Congress 
therefore cannot subject the amendment or repeal of such legislation to the consent of the 
non-state area. 

This consideration also disposes of the argument that the power of Congress under the 
Territory Clause to give up its sovereignty over a non-state area includes the power to make 
a partial disposition of that authority, hence that Congress could give up its power to amend 
or repeal statutes relating to the governance of non-state areas. But, as shown above, the 
retention of the power to amend or repeal legislation delegating governmental powers to a 
non-state area is an integral element of the delegation power. Congress therefore has no 



' Thompson dealt with the District of Columbia's government which is provided for by Art. 1, Sec. 8. CI. 
17 of the Constitution, rather than with the non-state areas as to whom the Congressional power is derived from 
the Territory Clause. The Court, however, held that in this area the rules relating to the Congressional power 
to govern the District of Columbia and the non-state areas are identical. Indeed, the Court relied on cases 
dealing with non-state areas, e^.. Hombuckle v. Toombs . 85 U.S. (18 Wall.) 648, 655 (1874), and 
Christian son v. Kins County . 239 U.S. 365 (1915). where it held that Congress can delegate its legislative 
authority under Art. 1, Sec. 8. CI. 17 of the Constitution to the District, subject to the power of Congress at any 
time to revise, alter, or revoke that authority. 

* Congress has exercised this power with respect to the District of Columbia. The Act of February 21 . 
1871. 16 Stat. 419 gave the District of Columbia virtual territorial status, with a a governor appointed by the 
President, a legislative assembly that included an elected house of delegates, and a delegate in Congress. The 
1871 Act was repealed by the Act of June 20. 1874, 18 Stat. 116. which abrogated among others the provisions 
for the legislative assembly and a delegate in Congress, and established a government by a Commission 
appointed by the President. 

-5 - 



163 



authority to enact legislation under the Territory Clause that would limit the unlettered 
exercise of its power to amend or repeal. 

The same result flows from the consideration that all non-state areas are subject to the 
authority of Congress, which, as shown above, is plenary. This basic rule does not permit 
the creation of non-state areas that are only partially subject to Congressional authority. The 
plenary power of Congress over a non-state area persists as long as the area remains in that 
condition and teniiinates only when the area becomes a State or ceases to be under United 
States sovereignty. There is no intermediary status as far as the Congressional power is 
concerned. 

The two mutual consent clauses contained in the proposed Commonwealth Act 
therefore are subject to Congressional modification and repeal. 

m. 

The rule that legislation delegating governmental powers to a non-state area 
must be subject to amendment and repeal is but a manifestation of the general 
rule that one Congress cannot bind a subsequent Congress, except where it 
creates vested rights enforceable under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth 
Amendment. 

The rule that Congress cannot surrender its power to amend or repeal legislation 
relating to the government of non-state areas is but a specific application of the maxim that 
one Congress cannot bind a subsequent Congress and the case law developed under it. 

The rationale underlying that principle is the consideration that if one Congress could 
prevent the subsequent amendment or repeal of legislation enacted by it, such legislation 
would be frozen permanently and would acquire virtually constitutional status. Justice 
Brennan expressed this thought in his dissenting opinion in United States Trust Co. v. New 
Jersey , 431 U.S. 1, 45 (1977), a case involving the Impairment of the Obligation of 
Contracts Clause of the Constitution (Art. I, Sec 10, CI. 1): 

One of the fundamental premises of our popular democracy is that each 
generation of representatives can and will remain responsive to the needs and 
desires of those whom they represent. Crucial to this end is the assurance that 
new legislators will not automatically be bound by the policies and 
undertakings of earlier days.... The Framers fully recognized that nothing 
would so jeopardize the legitimacy of a system of government that relies upon 
the ebbs and flows of politics to "clean out the rascals" than the possibility that 
those same rascals might perpetuate their policies simply by locking them into 
binding contracts. 



164 



Nonetheless, the maxim that one Congress cannot bind future Congress, like e\er\ 
legal nile. has its limits. As early as 1810. Chief Justice Marshall explained in Fletcher \. 
Peck . 10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 87. 135 (1810): 

The principle asserted is that one legislature is competent to repeal any 
act which a former legislature was competent to pass; and that one legislature 
cannot abridge the powers of a succeeding legislature. 

The correctness of this principle, so far as respects general legislation, 
can never be controverted. But. if an act be done under a law, a succeeding 
legislature cannot undo it. The past cannot be recalled by the most absolute 
power. Conveyances have been made, those conveyances have vested legal 
estates, and if those estates may be seized by the sovereign authority, still, that 
they originally vested is a fact, and cannot cease to be a fact. 

When, then, a law is in its nature a contract, when absolute rights have 
vested under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot devest (sic) those rights. 

The powers of one legislature to repeal or amend the acts of the preceding one are 
limited in the case of States by the Obligation of Contracts Clause (Art. I, Sec. 10, CI. 1) of 
the Constitution and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and in the case 
of Congressional legislation by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. This 
principle was recognized in the Sinking-Fund Cases . 98 U.S. 700, 718-19 (1879): 

The United States caimot any more than a State interfere with private 
rights, except for legitimate governmental purposes. They are not included 
within the constitutional prohibition which prevents States from passing laws 
impairing the obligation of contracts, but equally with the States they are 
prohibited from depriving persons or corporations of property without due 
process of law . They cannot legislate back to themselves, without making 
compensation, the lands they have given this corporation to aid in the 
construction of its railroad. Neither can they by legislation compel the 
corporation to discharge its obligations in respect to the subsidy bonds 
otherwise than according to the terms of the contract already made in that 
connection. The United States are as much bound by their contracts as are 
individuals, (emphasis supplied.) 

See also Bowen v. Agencies Opposed to Soc. Sec. Entrapment . 477 U.S. 41, 54-56 (1986). 



-7 



165 



IV 

The Due Process Clause does not Preclude Congress from 
Amending or Repealine the two Mutual Consent Clauses 

The question therefore is whether the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment 
precludes a subsequent Congress from repealing legislation for the governance of non-state 
areas enacted by an earlier Congress under the Territory Clause. This question must be 
answered in the negative. 

The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides: 

No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due 
process of law. (emphasis supplied.) 

This Clause is inapplicable to the repeal or amendment of the two mutual consent 
clauses here involved for two reasons. First, a non-state area is not a "person" within the 
meaning of the Fifth Amendment, and, second, such repeal or amendment would not deprive 
the non-state area of a property right within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. 

A. 

A non-state area is not a person in the meaning of the Due Process Clause of the 
Fifth Amendment. 

In South Carolina v. Katzenbach . 383 U.S. 301, 323-24 (1966), the Court held that a 
State is not a person within the meaning of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. 
See also . Alabama v. ^A, 871 F.2d 1548, 1554 (11th Cir.), cerL denied . 493 U.S. 991 
(1989) ("The State of Alabama is not included among the entities protected by the due 
process clause of the fifth amendment"): and State of Oklahoma v. Federal Energy 
Regulatory Comm. . 494 F.Supp. 636, 661 (W.D. Okl. 1980), affd, 661 F.2d 832 (10th Cir. 
1981), cert, denied , sub, nom. Texas v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comm. . 457 U.S. 1 105 
(1982). 

Similarly it has been held that creatures or instrumentalities of a State, such as cities 
or water improvement districts, are not persons within the meaning of the Due Process 
Clause of the Fifth Amendment. City of Sault Ste. Marie. Mich, v. Andrus, 532 F. Supp. 
157, 167 (D.D.C. 1980); El Paso. County Water Improvement District v. IBWC/US . 701 F. 
Supp. 121, 123-24 (W.D. Tex 1988). 

The non-state areas, concededly, are not States or instrumentalities of States, and we 
have not found any case holding directly that they are not persons within the meaning of the 
Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. They are, however, governmental bodies, and 

- 8- 



166 



the rationale of South Carolina v. Katzeiihach . 383 U.S. at 301. appears to lie that such 
liodies are not protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Moreover, it is 
well established that the political subdivisions of a State are not considered persons protected 
as against the State by the provisions of the Founeenth Ainendment. See. e.<;. . Newark v. 
New Jersey . 262 U.S. 192, 1% (1923): Williams v. Mavor of Bahimore . 289 U.S. 36. 40 
M933): South Macomb Disposal Authority v. Township of Washinpton . 790 F.2d 500. 505. 
507 (bth Cir. 1986) and the authorities there cited. The relationship of the non-state areas to 
the Federal Govemment has been analogized to that of a city or county to a State. As stated. 
supra , the Court held in National Bank v. County of Yankton . 10! U.S. 129, 133 (1880): 

The territories are but political subdivisions of the outlying dominion of the 
United States. Their relation to the general govemment is much the same as 
that which counties bear to the respective States ... 

More recently, the Court explained that a non-state area is entirely the creation of 
Congress and compared the relationship between the Nation and a non-state area to that 
between a State and a city. United States v. Wheeler . 435 U.S. 313, 321 (1978). It follows 
that, since States are not persons within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment and since the 
political subdivisions of States are not persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth 
Amendment, the non-state areas are not persons within the meaning of the Due Process 
Clause of the Fifth Amendment. 

B. 

Legislation relating to the governance of non-state areas does not create any rights or 
status protected by the Due Process Clause against repeal or amendment by subsequent 
legislation. 

As explained earlier, a subsequent Congress cannot amend or repeal earlier legislation 
if such repeal or amendment would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. 
Le^, if such amending or repealing legislation would deprive a person of property without 
due process of law. It has been shown in the preceding part of this memorandum, that a 
non-state area is not a person with the meaning of the Due Process Clause. Here it will be 
shown that mutual consent provisions in legislation, such as the ones envisaged in the Guam 
Commonwealth Act, would not create property rights within the meaning of that Clause. 

Legislation concerning the governance of a non-state area, whether called organic act. 
federal relations act, or commonwealth act, that does not contain a mutual consent clause is 
clearly subject to amendment or repeal by subsequent legislation. A non-state area does not 
acquire a vested interest in a particular stage of self govemment that subsequent legislation 
could not diminish or abrogate. While such legislation has not been frequent, it has occurred 
in connection with the District of Columbia. See District of Columbia v. Thompson Co. . 
346 U.S. 100, 104-05 (1953); supra n.6. Hence, in the absence of a mutual consent clause. 



-9 



/ 



167 



legislation concerning the covernmeni ot a non-siaie area is subject to amendment or repeal 
hy subsequent legislation. 

This leads to the question whether the addition of a mutual consent clause. Le^ of a 
provision that the legislation shall not be modified or repealed without the consent of the 
Government of the United States and the Government of the non-state area, has the effect of 
creating in the non-state areas a specific status amounting to a property right within the 
meaning of the Due Process Clause. It is our conclusion that this question must be answered 
in the negative because (1) sovereign governmental powers cannot be contracted away, and 
(2) because a specific political relationship does not constitute "property" within the meaning 
of the Fifth Amendment. 

1 . As a body politic the Government of the United States has the general capacity to 
enter into contracts. United States v. Tingey . 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 115, 128 (1831). This 
power, however, is generally limited to those types of contracts in which private persons or 
corporations can engage. By contrast [sovereign] "governmental powers cannot be 
contracted away," North American Coml. Co. v. United States . 171 U.S. 110, 137 (1898). 
More recently the Supreme Court held in connection with legislation arising under the 
Contract Clause (Art. I, Sec. 10, CI. 1) of the Constitution that "the Contract Clause does 
not require a State to adhere to a contract that surrenders an essential attribute of its 
sovereignty." United States Trust Co. v. New Jersey . 431 U.S. 1, 23 (1977).'' In a similar 
context Mr. Justice Holmes stated: 

One whose rights, such as they are, are subject to state restriction, 
cannot remove them from the power of the State by making a contract about 
them. Hudson Water Co. v. McCarter . 209 U.S. 349, 357 (1908).' 

Agreements or compacts to the effect that the Congress may not amend legislation 
relating to the government of a non-state area without the consent of the latter, or that federal 
legislation shall not apply to Guam unless consented to by the Government of Guam would 
unquestionably purport to surrender essential powers of the federal government. They are 



y 



■ Cases arising under the Contract Clause holding that a State cannot contract away a sovereign power are 
also applicable to the contracts made by the federal government because the Contract Clause imposes more 
rigorous restrictions on the States than the Fifth Amendment imposes on the federal government. Pension 
Benefit Guaranty Corp. v. R.A. Grav Co. , 467 U.S. 717, 733 (1984); National Railroad Passen ger Corp. v. 
A.T. &. S.F. R. . 470 U.S. 451. 472-73 n.25 ( 1985). Hence, when state legislation does not violate the 
Contract Clause, analogous federal legislation is all the more permissible under the Due Process Clause of the 
Fifth Amendment. 

" Cited with approval with respect to federal legislation in Norman v. B. &. OR. . 294 U.S. 240. 308 
(1935). 

- 10- 



168 



thcretorc iioi biiuiiii}: on the United States and cannot conlcr a property inieiesi proitMcd In 
the Fifth Amendment." 

More generally, the Supreme Coun held in Bowen v. Agencies Opposed to Soc. Sec. 
Enirapment . 477 U.S. 41. 55 (1986), that the contractual propeny rights protected by the 
Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment are the traditional private contractual rights, 
such as those ansuig from bonds or insurance contracts, but not arrangements that arc part ot 
a regulatory program such as a State's privilege to withdraw its participation in the Social 
Security system with respect to its employees. Specifically, the Court stated: 

But the "contractual right" at issue in this case bears little, if any. 
resemblance to rights held to constitute "property" within the meaning of the 
Fifth Amendment. The termination provision in the Agreement exactly 
tracked the language of the statute, conferring no right on the State beyond 
that contained in § 418 itself. The provision constituted neither a debt of the 
United States, see Perry v. United States , supra , nor an obligation of the 
United States to provide benefits under a contract for which the obligee paid a 
monetary premium, see Lynch v. United States , supra . The termination clause 
was not unique to this Agreement; nor was it a term over which the State had 
any bargaining power or for which the State provided independent 
consideration. Rather, the provision simply was part of a regulatory program 
over which Congress retained authority to amend in the exercise of its power 
to provide for the general welfare. 

Agreements that the Guam Commonwealth Act may not be amended without the consent of 
the Government of Guam, or that future federal statutes and regulations shall not apply to 
Guam without the consent of the Government of Guam clearly do not constitute conventional 
private contracts; they are elements of a regulatory system. 

In the past the Department of Justice at times has concluded that a non-State area may 
have a vested interest in a specific status which would be immune from unilaterial 
Congressional amendment or repeal.'" We cannot continue to adhere to that position in 



' Cases such as Lvnch v. United .States . 292 L'.S. 571 (1934). and Perrv v. L'niled States . 294 U.S. 330 
(1935). are not contrary to this conclusion. Both cases involved commercial agreements ( Lynch : insurance: 
Perrv : Government bonds) In Lynch the Court held that Congress could not amend the contract merely to save 
money "unless, indeed the action falls within the federal police police power or some other paramount power.' 
292 L'.S. at 579. Perrv involved bonds issued by the United States under the authority of Art. I. Sec. 8. CI. 2 
of the Constitution, to borrow money on the credit of the United States. The Court held that Congress did not 
have the power to destroy the credit of the United Slates or to render it illusory by unilaterally abrogating one 
of the pivotal terms of the bonds to save mone> . While the Court held that the United States had broken the 
agreement, it nevertheless held that plaintiff could not recover because, as the result of regulations validly issued 
by the United States, he had not suffered any monetary damages. 

•" Cf. n.2. 

- 11 - 



169 



view of the rulings ot tlie Supreme Coun that legislation concerning the governance of a non- 
state area is necessarily subject to Congressional amendment and repeal: thai goveninienul 
bodies are not persons within the meaning of the Due Process Clause: that governmental 
powers cannot be contracted away, and especially the exposition in the recent Bowen case, 
that the property rights protected by the Due Process Clause are those arising from private 
law or commercial contracts and not those arising from governmental relations." 

Sections 103 and 202 therefore do not create vested property rights protected by the 
Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.'^ Congress thus retains the power to amend 
the Guam Commonwealth Act unilaterally or to provide that its legislation shall apply to 
Guam without the consent of the government of the Commonwealth. The inclusion of such 
provisions, therefore, in the Commonwealth Act would be misleading. Honesty and fair 
dealing forbid the inclusion of such illusory and deceptive provisions in the Guam 
Commonwealth Act.'^ 

Finally, the Department of Justice has indicated that it would honor past commitments 
with respect to the mutual consent issue, such as Section 105 of the Covenant with the 
Northern Mariana Islands, in spite of its reevaluation of this problem. The question whether 
the 1989 Task force proposal to amend Section 103 of the Guam Commonwealth Act so as to 
limit the mutual consent requirement to Sections 101, 103, 201, and 301 constitutes such 
prior commitment appears to have been rendered moot by the rejection of that proposal by 
the Guam Commission. 



" It is significant tiiat the circumstances in which Congress can effectively agree not to repeal or amend 
legislation were discussed in the context of commercial contracts. Bowen . 477 U.S. at 52. 

'- Bowen . it is true, dealt with legislation that expressly reserved the right of Congress to amend, while the 
proposed Guam Commonwealth Act would expressly preclude the right of Congress to amend without the 
consent of the Government of Guam. The underlying agreements, however, are not of a private contractual 
nature, and. hence, are not property within the meaning of the Due Process Clause. We cannot perceive how 
they can be converted into "property" by the addition of a provision that Congress foregoes the right of 
amendment. 

" The conclusion that Section 202 of the Guam Commonwealth Act (inapplicability of future federal 
legislation to Giiam without the consent of Guam) would not bind a future Congress obviates the need to 
examine the constitutionality of Section 202. In Currin v. Wallace . 306 U.S. 1, 15-16 (1939), and United 
States v. Rock Royal Co-op. 307 U.S. 533, 577-78 (1939). the Court upheld legislation that made the 
effectiveness of regulations dependent on the approval of tobacco farmers or milk producers affected by them. 
The Court held that this approval was a legitimate condition for making the legislation applicable. Similarly, it 
could be argued that the approval of federal legislation by the Government of Guam is a legitimate condition for 
making that legislation applicable to Guam. Since, as stated above, a future Congress would not be bound by 
Section 202, we need not decide the question whether the requirement of approval by the Government of Guam 
for every future federal statute and regulation is excessive and inconsistent with the federal sovereignty over 
Guam. 

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170 



APPENDIX TO THE TESTIMONY OF HERBERT BROWN, III 
CITIZENS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION 

Historical record of the debate on P.L. 600 and the Puerto Rico Constitution between 1950- 

1952: the record clearly indicates that the intent of Congress was not to create a unique 

status for Commonwealth, a position on which its advocates in Puerto Rico agreed. 

• Hon. Luis Munoz Marin, Governor of Puerto Rico, (1948- 1964): 

"You know, of course, if the people of Puerto Rico should go crazy, Congress can 
always get around and legislate again. But, 1 am confident that the Puerto Ricans will not do that, 
and invite congressional legislation that would take back something that was given to the people 
of Puerto Rico as good United States citizens." Hearings before the Committee on Public Lands, 
House of Representatives, Eighty First Congress, 2"''., page 33. 

• Hon. Antonio Femos- Isem, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico in Washington: 

"As already pointed out, H.R. 7674 would not change the status of the island of Puerto 
Rico relative to the United States: It would not commit the United States for or against any 
specific future form of political formula for Puerto Rico. It would not alter the powers of 
so\ereignty acquired by the United States over Puerto Rico under the Treaty of Paris." Hearings 
Before the Committee on Public Lands, House of Representatives, Eighty First Congress. I"**., 
page 63. 

• Hon. .Antonio Femos- Isem, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico in Washington: 

"This bill does not change the fundamental situation of non- incorporation in which 
Puerto Rico is now, but it allows Puerto Rico to develop along the lines of self- government in a 
parallel line with a Territory that attains statehood. That would be the situation under this bill. 

"In other words, it is development into self- govemment on the part of a non- 
incorporated area of the United States, without virtually changing its position relative to the 
United States." Hearings Before the Committee on Public Lands of the U.S. , Eighty First 
Congress. Second Session on H.R. 7674 "A bill to provide for the organization of a 
constitutional govemment by the people of Puerto Rico." March 14, 1950. Serial No. 26. 

• Hon. Luis Munoz Marin, Governor of Puerto Rico (1948- 1964): 

"This bill does not change the fundamental situation of non-incorporation in which 
Puerto Rico is now. but it allows Puerto Rico to develop along the lines of self- govemment in a 
parallel line with a territory that attains statehood. That would be the situation under the bill. In 
other words, it is development into self-govemment on the part of a non- incorporated area of the 
United States, without virtually changing its position relative to the U.S." Hearings Before the 
Committee on Public Lands, House of Representatives, House of Representatives, on H.R. 7674, 
81st Congress. March 14, Washington Govemment Printing Office, 1950, page 17. 

• Congressman Crawford of Michigan: 

". . .and the people of Puerto Rico are still definitely tied in under the supervision of the 
Congress and under the protection of the provisions of the Federal Relations Act." Congressional 
Record. May 28, 1952, page 6180. 

• Congressman Meader of Michigan: 



171 



"We are creating a Commonwealth. That has never been done in U.S. history before. 
We have admitted 35 states into the union. The legal effect of that is clear. The legal effect of 
creating a Commonwealth is not clear. 

Under the Organic Act now in effect it is clear that that Congress retains fiill power to 
amend or repeal that act. The delegation of authority for local self- government is clearly 
revocable. 

The questions in my mind are these: May the Congress amend or repeal the Constitution 
of Puerto Rico or laws enacted pursuant thereto? If the Congress in the future passes laws 
applicable either to territories and possessions generally, which are inconsistent with the Puerto 
Rican Constitution or laws enacted pursuant thereto, which law shall take precedence? Is the 
delegation of authority irrevocable? That is the question. 

The legislative counsel was unable and unwilling to give me a written opinion on the 
subject. The Library of Congress opinion which I obtained says that: While the adoption of this 
Constitution, with the approval of Congress, may create a moral obligation not to override the 
compact made with the people of Puerto Rico pursuant to Public Law 600, Eighty- First 
Congress, it would not diminish the constitutional power to deal with this territory as it deems 
best. 

This seems the consensus of the legal opinion I was able to assemble within the limited 
period I had namely, that the approval of the Puerto Rico Constitution does not constitute an 
irre\ocable delegation of the authority of the Congress under article IV. section 3, of the Sates 
Constitution." Congressional Record . May 28, 1952, page 6183. 



• Congressman Homer H. Budge of Idaho: 

"A better approach might have been to have the people of Puerto Rico to write their own 
Constitution without limitations and looking towards either independence , Or at least, 
incorporation in the U.S. in a higher plane than that of a Commonwealth which under the 
proposed Constitution seems to be a mere colonialism." Congressional Record , May 13, 1952, 
page 5127. 

• Senator O' Mahoney , chairman of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee: 

"It will be easy to assume that in granting this authority the Congress has placed no 
restraints upon the action of the people of the island. Such is not the case however. The 
authority granted in Public Law 600 was carefially drawn to make it apply only to 
matters of local self- government... Those sections not repealed (of the Jones Act) by 
specific legislation remain in full force and are to be known as the Puerto Rican Federal 
Relations Act. So the whole purpose of this authorization was to extend to the people of 
Puerto Rico the opportunity of drawing a charter of local self- government within the 
scope of the Constitution and the laws of the U.S..." Congressional Record . June 3, 
1952. page 7832. 



172 

THE PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROBERT BUSO ABOY 

In the past half century our Institution has approved and issued more than 18 
reports on this issue: 

—On the Political Problem of Puerto Rico (1944); 

— On the Minimum Substantive Requirements for each of the Three Formulas to Be Considered in 
a Plebiscite (1963); 

— On the Juridical Relations Between Puerto Rico and the United States (1972); 

--On the Decolonization of Puerto Rico (1973); 

-On a New Compact Between Puerto Rico and the United States (1975); 

-On the Essential Procedural Requirements for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico (1977); 

— On the Decolonization and Self-Determination of the People of Puerto Rico ( 1 978) and (1979); 

— On the Decolonization of Puerto Rico ( 1 980); 

— On the Present Stage of the Process of Decolonization of Puerto Rico and on the Inclusion of the 
Case of Puerto Rico in the Agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations (1981 and 1982 
and 1983); 

— To Recommend that the Voters in Puerto Rico Be Consulted on the Desirability of Convening a 
Constitutional Convention and on the Desirability of Revising the Terms of the Existing Relations 
between Puerto Rico and the United States (1985); 

— On the Compact of Free Association of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of 
Micronesia with the United States of America (1985); and; 

— On Two New Constitutional Initiatives (1985). 



173 



Memorandum on the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 

November 30, 1992 

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive 
Departments and Agencies 

Puerto Rico is a self-governing territory of 
the United States whose residents have been 
United States citizens since 1917 and have 
fought valorously in five wars in the defense 
of our Nation and the liberty of others. 

On July 25, 1952, as a consequence of 
steps taken by both the United States Gov- 
ernment and the people of Puerto Rico vot- 
ing in a referendum, a new constitution was 
promulgated establishing the Common- 
wealth of Puerto Rico. The Commonwealth 
structure provides for self-government in re- 
spect of internal affairs and administration, 
subject to relevant portions of the Constitu- 
bon and the laws of the United States. As 
long as Puerto Rico is a territory, however, 
the will of its people regarding their political 
status should be ascertained periodically by 
means of a general right of referendum or 
specific referenda sponsored either by the 
United States Government or the Legislature 
of Puerto Rico. 

Because Puerto Rico's degree of constitu- 
tional self-government, population, and size 
set it apart from other areas also subject to 
Federal jurisdiction under Article TV, section 
3, clause 2 of the Constitution, I hereby di- 
rect all Federal departments, agencies, and 
officials, to the extent consistent with the 
Constitution and the laws of the United 
States, henceforward to treat Puerto Rico ad- 
ministratively as if it were a State, except in- 
sofar as doing so with respect to an existing 
Federal program or activity would increase 
or decrease Federal receipts or expenditures, 
or would seriously disrupt the operation of 
such program or activity. With resf>ect to a 
Federal program or activity for which no fis- 
cal baseline has been estabhshed, this memo- 
randum shall not be construed to require that 
such program or activity be conducted in a 
way that increases or decreases Federal re- 
ceipts or expenditures relative to the level 
that would obtain if Puerto Rico were treated 
other than as a State. 



If any matters arise involving the fun- 
damentals of Puerto Rico's status, they shall 
be referred to the Office of the President. 

This guidance shall remain in effect until 
Federal legislation is enacted altering the 
current status of Puerto Rico in accordance 
with the freely expressed wishes of the peo- 
ple of Puerto Rico. 

The memorandum for the heads of execu- 
tive departments and agencies on this sub- 
ject, issued July 25, 1961, is hereby re- 
scinded. 

This memorandum shall be published in 
the Federal Register. 

George Bush 

Note: This memorandum u:as released by the 
Office of the Press Secretary on December 
1. 



174 



Don Young, Chairman 



la.^. BouBE of fieprEBEntatiuefi 

Committee on Eefiourccg 
liBa^tington, 1B€ 20515 



February 29, 1996 



The Honorable Roberto Rexach-Benitez 

President of the Senate 

The Honorable Zaida Hernandez-Torres 

Speaker of (he House 

of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901 

Dear Mr. Rexach-Benitez and Ms. Hernandez-Torres: 

The Committee on Resources and the Committee on International Relations are 
working cooperatively to establish an official record which we believe will enable the 
House to address the subject-matter of Concurrent Resolution 62, adopted by the 
Legislature of Puerto Rico on December 14, 1994. While the specific measures 
addressing Puerto Rico's status which the 104th Congress will consider are still 
being developed, we believe the history of the self-determination process in Puerto 
Rico, as well as the record of the Joint Hearing conducted on October 17, 1995 by 
the Subcommittee on Native American and Insular Affairs and the Subcommittee 
on Western Hemisphere, lend to the following conclusions with respect to the 
plebiscite conducted in Puerto Rico on November 14, 1993: 

1. The plebiscite was conducted under local law by local authorities, and the 
voting process appears to have been orderly and consistent with recognized 
standards for lawful and democratic elections. This locally organized self- 
determination process was undertaken within the authority of the constitutional 
government of Puerto Rico, and is consistent with the right of the people of Puerto 
Rico freely to express their wishes regarding their political status and the form of 
government under which they live. The United States recognizes the right of the 
people of Puerto Rico to self-determination, including the right to approve any 
permanent political status which will be established upon termination of the current 
unincorporated territory status. Congress will take cognizance of the 1993 
plebiscite results in determining future Federal policy toward Puerto Rico. 

2. The content of each of the three status options on the ballot was determined by 
the three major political parties in Puerto Rico identified with those options, 



II 



175 



respectively. The U.S. Congress did not adopt a formal position as to the feasibility 
of any of the options prior to presentation to the voters. Consequently, the results 
of the vote necessarily must be viewed as an expression of the preferences of those 
who voted as between the proposals and advocacy of the three major political 
parties for the status option espoused by each such party. 

3. None of the status options presented on the ballot received a majority of the 
votes cast. While the commonwealth option on the ballot received a plurality of 
votes, this result is difficult to interpret because that option contained proposals to 
profoundly change rather than continue the current Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
government structure. Certain elements of the commonwealth option, including 
permanent union with the United States and guaranteed U.S. citizenship, can only 
be achieved through full integration into the U.S. leading to statehood. Other 
elements of the commonwealth option on the ballot, including a government-to- 
government bilateral pact which cannot be altered, either are not possible or could 
only be partially accomplished through treaty arrangements based on separate 
sovereignty. While the statehood and independence options are more clearly 
deflned, neither of these options can be fully understood on the merits, unless 
viewed in the context of clear Congressional policy regarding the terms under which 
either option could be implemented if approved in a future plebiscite recognized by 
the federal government. Thus, there is a need for Congress to define the real options 
for change and the true legal and political nature of the status quo, so that the 
people can know what the actual choices will be in the future. 

4. Although there is a history of confusion and ambiguity on the part of some in 
the U.S. and Puerto Rico regarding the legal and political nature of the current 
"commonwealth" local government structure and territorial status, it is 
incontrovertible that Puerto Rico's present status is that of an unincorporated 
territory subject in all respects to the authority of the United States Congress under 
the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As such, the current status does 
not provide guaranteed permanent union or guaranteed citizenship to the 
inhabitants of the territory of Puerto Rico, nor does the current status provide the 
basis for recognition of a separate Puerto Rican sovereignty or a binding 
government-to-government status pact. 

5. In light of the foregoing, the results the November 14, 1993 vote indicates that 
it is the preference of those who cast ballots to change the present impermanent 
status in favor of a permanent political status based on full self-government. The 
only options for a permanent and fully self-governing status are: 1) separate 
sovereignty and full national independence, 2) separate sovereignty in free 
association with the United States; 3) full integration into the United States 
political system ending unincorporated territory status and leading to statehood. 



176 



6. Because each ballot option in the 1993 plebiscite addressed citizenship, we want 
to clarify this issue. First, under separate sovereignty Puerto Ricans will have their 
own nationality and citizenship. The U.S. political status, nationality, and 
citizenship provided by Congress under statues implementing the Treaty of Paris 
during the unincorporated territory period will be replaced by the new Puerto 
Rican nationhood and citizenship status that comes with separate sovereignty. To 
prevent hardship or unfairness in individual cases, the U.S. Congress may determine 
the requirements for eligible persons to continue U.S. nationality and citizenship, or 
be naturalized, and this will be governed by U.S. law, not Puerto Rican law. If the 
voters freely choose separate sovereignty, only those born in Puerto Rico who have 
acquired U.S. citizenship on some other legal basis outside the scope of the Treaty of 
Paris citizenship statutes enacted by Congress during the territorial period will not 
be affected. Thus, the automatic combined Puerto Rican and U.S. citizenship 
described under the definition of independence on the 1993 plebiscite ballot was a 
proposal which is misleading and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of 
separate nationality and non-interference by two sovereign countries in each other's 
internal affairs, which includes regulation of citizenship. Under statehood, 
guaranteed equal U.S. citizenship status will become a permanent right. Under the 
present Commonwealth of Puerto Rico government structure, the current limited 
U.S. citizenship status and rights will be continued under Federal law enacted under 
the Territorial Clause and the Treaty of Paris, protected to the extent of partial 
application of the U.S. Constitution during the period in which Puerto Rico remains 
an unincorporated territory. 

7. The alternative to full integration into the United States or a status based on 
separate sovereignty is continuation of the current unincorporated territory status. 
In that event, the present status quo, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
structure for local self-government, presumably could continue for some period of 
time, until Congress in its discretion otherwise determines the permanent 
disposition of the territory of Puerto Rico and the status of its inhabitants through 
the exercise of its authority under the Territorial Clause and the provisions of the 
Treaty of Paris. Congress may consider proposals regarding changes in the 
current local government structure, including those set forth in the "Definition of 
Commonwealth" on the 1993 plebiscite ballot. However, in our view serious 
consideration of proposals for equal treatment for residents of Puerto Rico under 
Federal programs will not be provided unless there is an end to certain exemptions 
from federal tax laws and other non-taxation in Puerto Rico, so that individuals and 
corporations in Puerto Rico have the same responsibilities and obligations in this 
regard as the states. Since the "commonwealth" option on the 1993 plebiscite 
ballot called for "fiscal autonomy," which is understood to mean, among other 
things, continuation of the current exemptions from federal taxation for the 
territory, this constitutes another major political, legal and economic obstacle to 



177 



implementing the changes in FedernI law and policy required to Tulfill the terms of 
the "DeHnition of Commonwealth." 

8. In addition, it is important to recognize that the existing Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico structure for local self-government, and any other measures which 
Congress may approve while Puerto Rico remains an unincorporated territory, are 
not unalterable in a sense that is constitutionally binding upon a future Congress. 
Any provision, agreement or pact to the contrary is legally unenforceable. Thus, 
the current Federal laws and policies applicable to Puerto Rico are not unalterable, 
nor can they be made unalterable, and the current status of the inhabitants is not 
irrevocable, as proposed under the "commonwealth" option on the 1993 plebiscite 
ballot. Congress will continue to respect the principle of self-determination in its 
exercise of Territorial Clause powers, but that authority must be exercised within 
the framework of the U.S. Constitution and in a manner deemed by Congress to 
best serve the U.S. national interest. In our view, promoting the goal of full self- 
government for the people of Puerto Rico, rather than remaining in a separate and 
unequal status, is in the best interests of the United States. This is particularly 
true due to the large population of Puerto Rico, the approach of a new century in 
which a protracted status debate will interfere with Puerto Rico's economic and 
social development, and the domestic and international interest in determining a 
path to full self-government for all territories with a colonial history before the end 
of this century. 

9. The record of the October 17, 1995 hearing referred to above makes it clear 
that the realities regarding constitutional, legal and political obstacles to 
implementing the changes required to fulfill the core elements of the 
"commonwealth" option on the ballot were not made clear and understandable in 
the public discussion and political debate leading up to the vote. Consequently, 
Congress must determine what steps the Federal government should take in order to 
help move the self-determination process to the next stage, so that the political status 
aspirations of the people can be ascertained through a truly informed vote in which 
the wishes of the people are freely expressed within a framework approved by 
Congress. Only through such a process will Congress then have a clear basis for 
determining and resolving the question of Puerto Rico's future political status in a 
manner consistent with the national interest. 

Ultimately, Congress alone can determine Federal policy with respect to self- 
government and self-determination for the residents of Puerto Rico. It will not be 
possible for the local government or the people to advance further in the self- 
determination process until the U.S. Congress meets its moral and governmental 
responsibility to clarify Federal requirements regarding termination of the present 
unincorporated territory status of Puerto Rico in favor of one of the options for full 
self-government. 



178 



The results of the locally administered 1993 vote are useful in this regard, but 
in our view are not definitive beyond what has been stated above. The question of 
Puerto Rico's political status remains open and unresolved. 




Sincerely, 



Don Young / / 

irman / / 

imittee/On Resources 




Cha 
Com 



2<v-/^ 



Cn Gilman 
Chairman 

Committee on InternntionnI 
Jations 



ia 



Elton Gallegly 
Chairman 

Subcommittee on Native American 
and Insular Affairs 




Dan Burton 
Chairman 

Subcommittee on the Western 
Hemisphere 



cc: Hon. Hector Luis Accvedo 
Hon. Ruben Berrios 
Hon. Pedro Rosseilo 



179 



Don Young, Chairman 



1&3. Jixmae of fiepreHentatiucB 

Committee on i&e£(ources( 

fflaairtimgton.B<£ 20515 March 4. 1996 



Dear Colleague: 



Under the "United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act" which we are sponsoring, for 
the first time in nearly a century of U.S. administration there will be a Congressionally recognized 
fi-amework for the inhabitants of Puerto Rico to freely express their wishes regarding the options 
foi full self-government. If this self-determination process does not result in voter approval of 
one of the recognized options for full self-government, then by democratic choice of the voters - 
instead of by Federal mandate ~ the status quo will continue and Puerto Rico will remain a locally 
self-governing unincorporated territory under Congressional administration. 

Under the U.S. Constitution and applicable principles of international law, the three 
recognized options for flill self-government are independence, separate sovereignty in free 
association with the U.S. and full integration into the US. leading to statehood. In order for 
Congress to determine how to respond to the aspirations of the people of Puerto Rico regarding a 
permanent, future political status in a manner which promotes and preserves the U.S. long-term 
national interest, we need to address the status question based on clearly defined principles and 
standards. This is what our bill does. 

Locally conducted plebiscites have been inconclusive, and were unduly influenced by 
vested interests exploiting the status quo. It is time for the U.S. Congress to meet its 
responsibility under the Constitution to provide for a self-determination procedure in which the 
U.S. national interest in resolving the status issue is taken into account, rather than allowing the 
issue to be dominated by local political rivalries and interference from those who thrive 
opportunistically on the present territorial status. The United States also has a right of self- 
determination, and this process requires action by both the U.S. and Puerto Rico in order to 
advance towards a full self-government relationship. 

After 400 years of colonial rule by Spain ended in 1898, it should not have taken another 
100 years of American administration for the U.S. Congress to define the options for full and 
permanent self-government. The Governor of Puerto Rico and our colleague Resident 
Commissioner Romeo-Barcelo support this bill. We hope you will co-sponsor the measure and 
support its early enactment 

Enclosed is a copy of the bill and summary To co-sponsor, call 226-7393. 

Sincerely, 



^1 ^^^ <^-<^K 

DON young/ ELTON GALl 




Chainhan / Chairman 

Comhiittee on Resources Subcommittee on Native American 

' and Insular Affairs 



180 




Congressional 'Record 



th 



PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE ] 04 CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION 



Vol. 142 



WASHINGTON, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 1996 



No. 29 



UNITED STATES-PUERTO RICO 
POLITICAL STATUS ACT 



HON. DON YOUNG 

OF AL.\SKA 
IN TIIE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

Wednesday. March 6. 1996 

Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Speaker, today, 
the introduction of the United Stales-Puerto 
Rico Political Status Act will, (or the first time 
in nearly a century of U.S. adminislration, pro- 
vide a congressionatty recognized framework 
(or the inhabitants of Puerto Rico to (reely ex- 
press their wishes regarding the options for 
full selt-governrrwnt I want to acknowledge 
the insightful leadership of Speaker Newt 
Gingrich in working with the committee to for- 
mulate a process to advance the United 
States-Puerto Rico relationship toward a con- 
clusive one of full self-government. A number 
of Members have been supportive and instru- 
mental in the development of the legislation, 
including Elton Gallegly. chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Native American and Insular 
Affairs of the Committee on Resources. Ben 
Gilman. chairman of the Committee on Inter- 
national Relations, and Dan Burton, chairman 
of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemi- 
sphere who cochaired with Mr, Gallegly the 
October 17, 1995, joint heanng on the 1993 
Puerto Rico status plebiscite. There also has 
been substantial input from Members on the 
other side of the aisle. 

This matter o( tremendous importance to the 
United States and the nearly 4 million United 
Stales Citizens in Puerto Rico can only be re- 
solved by adhering to constitutionally arxj 
internationally based pnrx:iples and standards 
(or lull self-government. While many may mis- 
construe this legislation to be designed to ben- 
efit one local Puerto Rico political party over 
another, it is, in (act, a serious bipartisan effort 
to enact into law a pragmatic process with the 
long-term objective of resolving the Puerto 
Rico status dilemma. The legislation divides 
the process into three manageable stages 
which follow historical precedent set by the 
Congress in providing (or final political 
statuses ol territories and trust temtories dur- 
ing this century. 

The (irst step in the process is the initial de- 
cision stage m which voters are asked which 
fundamental relationship they prefer with the 
United Stales— one o( separate sovereignty 
leading to independence or free association or 
under United States sovereignty leading to 
statehood. 

The second and Hnat steps are the transi- 
tion arxJ implementation stages which follow 
the historical patterns of enabling and admis- 
sion acts for territories becoming Slates and 
Simitar measures for insular areas becoming 
separate sovereigns. 

If this self-determination process does not 
result in voter approval of one o( the rcogmzed 
options for full self-government, then by demo- 
cratic choice of the voters — instead of by Fed- 



eral mandate— the status quo wilt continue 
arKl Puerto Rico will remain a locally self-gov- 
erning unincorporated territory under congres- 
sional administration. 

Under the U.S. Constitution and applicable 
principles of international taw. the three recog- 
nized options for full self government are mde- 
pcrxJence. separate sovereignty in free asso- 
ciation with the United States, and full integra- 
tion into the United Slates leading to state- 
hood. In order lor Congress to determine how 
to respond to the aspirations of the people of 
Puerto Rico regarding a permanent, future po- 
litical status in a manner which promotes and 
preserves the U.S. long-term national interest. 
we need to address the status question based 
on clearly defined principles and standards. 
This is precisely what the bill does. 

Locally conducted plebiscites have been irv 
conclusive, and were unduly influenced by 
vested interests exploiting the status quo. It is 
time (or the U.S. Congress to meet its respon- 
sibility under the Constitution to provide for a 
self-determination procedure in which the U.S. 
national interest in resolving the status issue is 
taken into account, rather than allowing the 
issue to be dominated by local political rival- 
ries and intertererKe from those who thnve 
opportunistically on the present territorial sta- 
tus. The United Stales also has a right o( self- 
determination and this process requires action 
by both the United States and Puerto Rico in 
order to advance toward a full self-government 
relationship. 

After 400 years of colonial rule by Spain 
ended in 1898. it should not have taken arv 
other 100 years of Amencan administration (or 
the U.S. Congress to define the options lor full 
arxJ permanent self-government. The United 
States-Puerto Rico Status Act permits full self- 
government to be realized in Puerto Rico in 
definitive steps, with a smooth transition to 
whatever form of full self-government the peo- 
ple choose: independence, separate sov- 
ereignty in free association with the United 
States, or statehood. 

There is an important event which took 
place recently which is relevant to the intro- 
duction o( this legislation. On February 29. 
1996, I joined three other House committee 
and subcommittee chairmen from the Commit- 
tees on Resources and International Relations 
in responding to Concurrent Resolution 62 of 
the Puerto Rico Legislature. 

In 4he Concurrent Resolution the legislature 
asks the l04th Congress to respond to the re- 
sults of the November 14, 1993, status plebi- 
scite m Puerto Rico, wherein the Common- 
wealth ballot proposition received a plurality of 
48.6 percent votes cast, and to indicate the 
next steps in resolving Puerto Rico's political 
status. After extensive research, oversight, 
and a joint hearing, a substantial record was 
developed enabling a concise response to 
Concurrent Resolution 62. 

Following is the text ol the response to the 
President of the Senate and Speaker of the 
House o( the Puerto Rico Legislature: 

HOUSE OF RErRESENTATIVES. 

COMMITTErON RESOURCES. 
WashmQton. DC. February 29. !996. 
Hon. Roberto Rexach-Benitez. 
president of the Senate. 
Hon. Zaida Hernanoez-Torres. 
Speaker of the House of Corrimortu'palth of Puer- 
to Rico. San Juan. Puerto Rtco. 
Dear Mr. Rrxach-Benitez and Ms. Her- 
NANDEz-ToKREs: The Committee on Re- 
sources and the Committee on International 



Relations are working cooperatively to es- 
tablish an official record which we believe 
win enable to House to address the subject- 
matter of Concurrent Resolution 62. adopted 
by tho Legislature of Puerto Rico on Decem- 
ber 14. 1994 While the specific measures ad- 
dressing Puerto Rico's status which the 104th 
Congress will consider are still being devel- 
oped, we believe the history of the self-deter- 
mination process in Puerto Rico, as well as 
the record of the Joint Hearing conducted on 
OctoDer 17. 1995 by the Subcommittee on Na- 
tive American and Insular Affairs and the 
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, lead 
to the following conclusions with respect to 
the plebiscite conducted In Pertro Rico on 
November 14. 1993: 

1. The plebiscite was conducted under local 
law by local authorities, and the voting proc- 
ess appears to have been orderly and consist- 
ent with recognized standards for lawful and 
democratic elections. This locally organized 
self-determination process was undertaken 
within the authority of the constitutional 
government of Puerto Rico, and Is consistent 
with the right of the people of Puerto Rico ~ 
Ireely to express their wishes regarding their 
political status and the form of government 
under which they live. The United SUtes 
recognizes the right of the people of Puerto 
Rico to self-determination. Including the 
right to approve any permanent political 
status which will be established upon termi- 
nation of the current unincorporated terri- 
tory status. Congress will take cognizance of 
the 1993 plebiscite results In determining fu- 
ture Federal policy toward Puerto Rico. 

2. The content of oach of the three status 
options on the ballot was determined by the 
three major political parties In Puerto Rico 
Identified with those options, respectively. 
The U.S. Congress did not adopt a formal po- 
sition as to the feasibility of any of the op- 
tions prior to presentation to the voters. 
Consequently, the results of the vote nec- 
essarily must be viewed as a an expression of 
the preferences of those who voted as tw- 
tween the proposals and advocacy of tho 
three major political parties for the status 
option espoused by each such party. 

3. None of the status options presented on 
the ballot received a majority of the votes 
cast. While the commonwealth option on the 
ballot received a plurality of votes, this re- 
sult Is difficult to Interpret becAuse that op- 
tion contained proposals to profoundly 
change rather than continue the current 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico governmeot 
structure. Certain elements of the common- 
wealth option, Including permanent union 
with the United States and guaranteed U.S. 
citizenship, can only be achieved through 
full Integration Into the U.S. leidlng to 
statehood. Other elements of the common- 
wealth option on the ballot, Including a gov- 
ernment-to-government bilateral pact which 
cannot be altered, either are not possible or 
could only be partially accomplished 
through treaty arrangements based on sepa- 
rate sovereignty. While the statehood and 
Independence options are more clearly de- 
fined, neither of these options can be fully 
understood on the merits, unless viewed Id 
the context of clear Congressional policy re- 
garding the terms under which either option 
could be Implemented If approved In a future 
plebiscite recognized by the federal govern- 
ment. Thus, there Is a need for Congress to 
define the real options for change and the 
true legal and political nature of the status 
quo. so that the people can know what the 
actual choices will be In the future. 

4. Although there Is a history of confusion 
and ambiguity on the part of some In the 
U.S and Puerto Rico regarding the legal and 
political nature of the current "common- 
wealth" local government structure and ter- 
ritorial status. It Is Incontrovertible that 



181 



E300 



CONGRESSIONAL RECORD— Extensions of Remarks 



March 6, 1996 



Puerto Rico's present status Is that of an un- 
incorporated territory subject In all respects 
to the authority of the United States Con- 
gress under the Territorial Clause of the U.S. 
Constitution. As such, the current status 
does not provide guaranteed permanent 
J union or guaranteed citizenship to the Inhab- 
itants of the territory of Puerto Rico, nor 
does the current status provide the basis for 
recognition of a separate Puerto Rlcan sov- 
ereignty or a binding govemment-to-govern- 
ment status pact. 

5. In light of the foregoing, the results the 
November 14, 1993 vote Indicates that It Is 
the preference of those who cast ballots to 
change the present Impermanent status In 
favor of a permanent political status based 
on full self-government. The only options for 
a permanent and fully self-governing status 
are; (1) separate sovereignty and full na- 
tional Independence. (2) separate sovereignty 
in tree association with the United States: 
(3) full Integration Into the United States po- 
litical system ending unincorporated terri- 
tory status and leading to statehood. 

6. Because each ballot option In the 1993 
plebiscite addressed citizenship, we want to 
clarify this Issue. First, under separate sov- 
ereignty Puerto Ricans will have their own 
nationality and citizenship. The U.S. politi- 
cal status, nationality, and citizenship pro- 
vided by Congress under statutes Implement- 
ing the Treaty of Paris during the unincor- 
porated territory period will be replaced by 
the new Puerto Rlcan nationhood and citi- 
zenship status that comes with separate sov- 
ereignty. To prevent hardship or unfairness 
in individual cases, the U.S. Congress may 
determine the requirements for eligible per- 
sons to continue U.S. nationality and citi- 
zenship, or be naturalized, and this will be 
governed by U.S. law, not Puerto Rlcan law. 
If the voters freely choose separate sov- 
ereignty, only those bom in Puerto Rico who 
have acquired U.S. citizenship on some other 
legal basis outside the scope of the Treaty of 
Paris citizenship statutes enacted by Con- 
gress during the territorial period will not be 
affected. Thus, the automatic combined 
Puerto Rlcan and U.S. citizenship described 
under the definition of Independence on the 
1993 plebiscite ballot was a proposal which Is 
misleading and inconsistent with the fun- 
damental principles of separate nationality 
and non-interference by two sovereign coun- 
tries In each other's internal affairs, which 
includes regulation of citizenship. Under 
statehood, guaranteed equal U.S. citizenship 
status will become a permanent right. Under 
the present Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
government structure, the current limited 
U.S. citizenship status and rights will be 
continued under Federal law enacted under 
the Territorial Clause and the Treaty of 
Paris, protected to the extent of partial ap- 
plication of the U.S. Constitution during the 



period In which Puerto Rico remains an un- 
incorporated territory. 

7. The alternative to full Integration into 
the United States or a status based on sepa- 
rate sovereignty is continuation of the cur- 
rent unincorporated territory status. In that 
event, the present status quo, including the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico structure for 
local self-government, presumably could 
continue for some period of time, until Con- 
gress in its discretion otherwise determines 
the permanent disposition of the territory of 
Puerto Rico and the status of Its inhabitants 
through the exercise of its authority under 
the Territorial Clause and the provisions of 
the Treaty of Paris. Congress may consider 
proposals regarding changes in the current 
local government structure, including those 
set forth in the "Definition of Common- 
wealth" on the 1993 plebiscite ballot. How- 
ever, in our view serious consideration of 
proposals for equal treatment for residents 
of Puerto Rico under Federal programs will 
not be provided unless there Is an end to cer- 
tain exemptions from federal tax laws and 
other non-taxation In Puerto Rico, so that 
individuals and corporations In Puerto Rico 
have the same responsibilities and obliga- 
tions In this regard as the states. Since the 
"commonwealth" option on the 1993 plebi- 
scite ballot called for "fiscal autonomy," 
which is understood to mean, among other 
things, continuation of the current exemp- 
tions from federal taxation tor the territory, 
this constitutes another major political, 
legal and economic obstacle to implementing 
the changes In Federal law and policy re- 
quired to fulfill the terms of the "Definition 
of Commonwealth." 

8. In addition, it is Important to recognize 
that the existing Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico structure for local self-government, and 
any other measures which Congress may ap- 
prove while Puerto Rico remains an unincor- 
porated territory, are not unalterable in a 
sense that is constitutionally binding upon a 
future Congress. Any provision, agreement 
or pact to the contrary is legally unenforce- 
able Thus, the current Federal laws and 
policies applicable to Puerto Rico are not 
unalterable, nor can they be made unalter- 
able, and the current status of the inhab- 
itants is not irrevocable, as proposed under 
the "commonwealth" option on the 1993 
plebiscite ballot. Congress will continue to 
respect the principle of self-determination in 
its exercise of Territorial Clause powers, but 
that authority must be exercised within the 
framework of the U.S. Constitution and in a 
manner deemed by Congress to best serve the 
U.S. national interest. In our view, promot- 
ing the goal of full self-government for the 
people of Puerto Rico, rather than remaining 
in a separate and unequal status, is in the 
best interests of the United States. This Is 
particularly true due to the large population 



of Puerto Rico, the approach of o new cen- 
tury in which a protracted status debate will 
interfere with Puerto Rico's economic and 
social development, and the domestic and 
international Interest in determining a path 
to full self-government for all territories 
with a colonial history before the end of this 
century. 

9. The record of the October 17, 1995 hear- 
ing referred to above makes it clear that the 
realities regarding constitutional, legal and 
political obstacles to implementing the 
changes required to fulfill the core elements 
of the "commonwealth" option on the ballot 
were not made clear and understandable in 
the public discussion and political debate 
leading up to the vote. Consequently, Con- 
gress must determine what steps the Federal 
government should take in order to help 
move the self-determination process to the 
next sta^e, so that the political status aspi- 
rations of the people can be ascertained 
through a truly Informed vote In which the 
wishes of the people are freely expressed 
within a framework approved by Congress. 
Only through such a process will Congress 
then have a clear basis for determining and 
resolving the question of Puerto Rico's fu- 
ture political status in a manner consistent 
with the national Interest. 

Ultimately. Congress alone can determine 
Federal policy with respect to self-govern- 
ment and self-determination for the resi- 
dents of Puerto Rico. It will not be possible 
for the local government or the people to ad- 
vance further In the self-determination proc- 
ess until the U.S. Congress meets its moral 
and governmental responsibility to clarify 
Federal requirements regarding termination 
of the present unincorporated territory sta- 
tus of Puerto Rico in favor of one of the op- 
tions for full self-government. 

The results of the locally administered 1993 
vote are useful in this regard, but In our 
view are not definitive beyond what has been 
stated above. The question of Puerto Rico's 
political status remains open a^d unre- 
solved. 

Sincerely. 

Don Youno. 
Chairman, Committee 
on Resources. 
Elton Galleoly, 
Chairman. Subcommit- 
tee on Native Amer- 
ican and Insular Af- 
fairs. 
Ben Gilman, 
Chaimuin, Committee 
on International Re- 
lations. 
Dan Bukton, 
Chairman. Subcommit- 
tee on the Western 
Hemisphere. 



182 



Don Young, Chaiaman 



Committee on S^tiomtti 

aaa0t)inBton, BC 20515 



Chronology for Implementing the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act 
Action by Congress, the President, or the people of Puerto Rico Projected Date 



Congressional enactment of the United States-Puerto Rico 

Political Status Act before the end of 1996 

Initial Decision Referendum by the people of Puerto Rico 

on the question of which path toward flill self-government, 

to be held no later than 12/31/98 

President submits Transition Plan legislation for full self- 
government to Congress within 180 days of referendum 6/30/99 

Congressional enactment o/Transition Act to full 

self-government within 180 days of receipt of President's 

proposal 12/31/99 

Transition Act Referendum by the people of Puerto Rico 

on approval of Transition Act within 180 days of referendum 6/30/00 

Presidential proclamation begins the Transition toward full 

self-government July, 2000 

President submits Implementation legislation to Congress 

2 years prior to end of Transition period July, 2008 

Congressional enactment o/Implementation Act for 

full self-government for Puerto Rico within 1 80 days of 

receipt of President's proposal 6/30/09 

Implementation Act Referendum by the people of Puerto Rico 

on approval of Implementation Act within 180 days of enactment 12/31/09 

Presidential proclamation implementing full self-government 

for Puerto Rico July, 2010 



183 



^ifar 'BarSosa be ^osario 

Historiadora Oficial de Puerto Rico 



Condominio El Ponce 
Suite 404 
274 Canal Street 
Santurce, PR 00907 



>\c^.^a.H^ic^ c^4^ 



I A_-o£X.jv«»-jt 



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Pbepared Statement of Dr. Mduam J. Ramkez de Ferhm 

Puerto Ricans in Civic Action 

Puertorriquenos En Accion Ciudadana 

PO BOX 3225, MAYAGUEZ, PUERTO RICO , 00681 (787) 8.34-0726 



4 




TESTIMONY OF MIRIAM J. RAMIREZ de FERRER, MD* 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES 

US. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ON H.R. 3024 

"UNITED STATES-PUERTO RICO POLITICAL STATUS ACT 

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 

MARCH 23, 1996 



• Miriam J. Ramirez de Ferrer is president and founder of Puerto Ricans in Civic Action, a non-partisan 
organization who delivered 350,000 individually signed petitions for statetiood to Congress and works to 
secure political and economic equality for ttie 3.7 million United States citizens resident on the island. Since 
1982. Dr. Ramirez has spearheaded the lobbying efforts of the group in the US. Congress. 

Dr. Ramirez maintains a gynecological medical practice in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. 



193 



Mr. Chairman, committee members and staff, welcome to Puerto Rico and thank you for the honor 
of inviting me to present our organization's views on this historic legislation. While you are here, we 
hope you have the opportunity to visit with your fellow United States citizens in Puerto Rico, and 
see the historic sights and modem dynamic society we have created here in the Caribbean, truly 
making our island its Shining Star. 

All this progress has been possible with our nearly 100 year old relationship with the United States. 
A relationship that now must be taken one fmal step beyond territorial links to one another and unites 
our two destinies together forever, etemally preserving our cherished American citizenship, or 
creates an independent Puerto Rico with its own sovereignty, nationality and distinct citizenship. 

Your courageous efforts to resolve our mutual relationship dilemma is highly appreciated. You have 
exercised your responsibility under the Territorial Clause of the US Constitution and so have defmed 
the status options available to Puerto Ricans who, through the process of self-determination, will 
ch<6se a fmal status for Puerto Rico. 

It's sad that we need to place in your hands this issue of status choices, rather than to resolve it 
ourselves, due in part to our own political leaders who have failed over the past almost 100 years to 
candidly address the realities of the options available under the US Constitution. It's not that we did 
not have appropriate guidelines to help us present the permitted choices but rather for political 
expediency most of our leaders have opted to maintain the fiction of the status quo in order to 
preserve their own power, and assure their elections. 

As you have so eloquently stated, Puerto Rico remains an unincoiporated territory of the United 
States. You reached this conclusion after carefiil research and examination of the historical records 
as well as your own extensive hearings last October 17, 1995. At those hearings proponents of all the 
stams options were heard and their arguments weighed. ■ 

Through the last 12 years, our organization has acquired many historical documents dealing with the 
political relationship of Puerto Rico with the United States. Our group delivered 350,000 individually 
signed petitions to Congress for statehood and has worked hard with Congress to solve the status 
problem of Puerto Rico. We hope these historical documents and our years of research will help 
clarify many misconceptions regarding the present relationship of Puerto Rico and the United States. 

The following facts, supported by official documents included at the end of my testimony, will be 
useful to set the record straight on what the present relationship between Puerto Rico and the United 
States is. In other words what is this thing called "Commonwealth". 



1. TREATY OF PARIS: December 10, 1898 (Extffl^itf ^^ 

The Treaty signed by Spain and the United States after the Spanish-American War. 

• Article II - Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States. 

• Article IX - " In case they (Spanish subjects) they remain in the territory they may preserve 
their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making before a court of record, within a year from 

2 



194 



the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to 
preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be held to have renounced 
it and to have adopted the nationality of the territory in which the may reside. The civil rights 
and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United 
States shall be determined by the Congress. " 



2. FIRST ORGANIC ACT OF PUERTO RICO - 1900 - 1917 (Exhibit B) 



The United States said this act was meant to "Temporarily to provide revenues and civil government 
for Puerto Rico, and for other purposes." for the inhabitants of Puerto Rico. 

• Section 7: "That all inhabitants continuing to reside therein who were Spanish subjects on the 
eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine (April 11, 1899) and then resided in 
Puerto Rico, and their children bom subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and held to be 
citizens of Puerto Rico, and as such entitled to the protection of the United States, except such 
as shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain on or before the 
eleventh day of April nineteen hundred, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of peace 
between the United States and Spain entered into on the elex'enth day of April, eighteen 
hundred and ninety nine; " 



3. ORGANIC ACT OF 1917, As Amended ( Jones Act ) (Exhibit Q 



• Section 5: "That all citizens of Puerto Rico, as defined by section seven of the Act of April 

12th, nineteen hundred. and are not citizens of any foreign country, are hereby declared, 

and shall be deemed and held to be, citizens of the United States. " 

NOTE; This section of the Jones Act would prohibit Congress from allowing Puerto Ricans 
to remain citizens of the United States if they are citizens of another country. So how could 
dual citizenship be awarded under separate sovereignty if the Jones Act prevails? 



4. ROOSEVELT ADMINISTRATION: (1933-45) 



As a result of a personal relationship between then Senator Muiioz Marin (the "creator^' of 
Commonwealth ) and a reporter by the name of Ruby Black, and in turn through this reporter's 
close relationship with Mrs. Roosevelt, they convinced President Roosevelt back in the 40's, that 
Puerto Rico was on the verge of a revolution. Muiioz enlisted the support of then Secretary of 
Interior, Harold Ickes to influence the President. (Exhibit D) 

• March 3, 1943, Harold Ickes sent President Roosevelt a memo urging him to announce the 
decision to order arevision of the Organic Act so as to provide for the election of a governor 
and recommended Muiioz Marin as the leader of the Puerto Rican group. (Exhibit E) 

• March 5,1943, President Roosevelt sends a letter to Congress urging the revision of the 
Organic Act. (Exhibit F) 

• In 1947, Congress authorized the people of Puerto Rico to elect their own govemor. 



195 



5. TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION: (1945-52) '^'jfSW^^B^mr- IW^^'i'^'^^ 



Note: By now Munoz Marin is the man with good ties to Washington. He succeeds in convincing 
President Truman that the people of Puerto Rico be allowed to adopt a Constitution. 

• 1949 - Munoz Marin became the first elected governor of Puerto Rico. (Exhibit G) 

• A bill, S3336, was introduced in Congress to authorize the people of Puerto Rico to adopt 
their own Constitution and to organize a local government. 

• Senate Report No. 1779 and the House Report No. 2275 of S3336 : said the following: 

(pg.2682-2683) "It is important that the nature and general scope o/S.3336 be made 
absolutely clear. The bill under consideration would not change Puerto Rico's 
fundamental, political, social and economical relationship to the United States . Those 
sections of the Organic Act of Puerto Rico pertaining to the political, social, and economic 
relationship of the United States and Puerto Rico concerning such matters as the applicability 
of United States laws, customs, internal revenue. Federal judicial jurisdiction in Puerto Rico. 
Puerto Rican representation by a Resident Commissioner, etc.. would remain in force and 
effect, and upon enactment of S. 3 3 36 would be referred to as the Puerto Rican Federal 
Relations Act. The sections of the Organic Act which section 5 of the bill would repeal are the 
provisions of the act concerned primarily with the organization of the local executive, 
legislative, and judicial branches of the government of Puerto Rico and other matters of 
purely local concern ". (Exhibit H) 

(pg. 2684) "Puerto Rico is unincorporated territory" The report in Law 600 specifies that the 
present commonwealth is an unincorporated territory. (Exhibit H) 

(pg. 2684) Sen. Joseph C.O'Mahoney said : "Nor will it in any way preclude a future 
determination by the Congress of Puerto Rico 's ultimate status. The bill merely authorizes the 
people of Puerto Rico to adopt their own constitution and to organize a local government" . 
(Exhibit H) 

Note: This clearly states that Puerto Rico continues to be an unincorporated territory of the United 
States after Law 600. 

• 1950 - Public Law 600 - Approved by the 81st Congress July 3, 1950 

• 1951 - President Truman writes Governor Munoz: " // gives me great pleasure to receive 
word from you that the overwhelming majority of the voters of Puerto Rico desire to draft their 
own constitution. " .. "It seems to me in fairness to the people of Puerto Rico, that only when 
these economic and social goals are clearly in sight can they decide as to what ultimate 
relationship with the United States they desire. " (Truman recognizes that Puerto Rico had not 
achieved a final status.) (Exhibit I) 

• "The appointment of the first Puerto Rican Governor was the first step and the election of the 



196 



Governor was the next step, and now the adoption of the Constitution which gives Puerto Rico 
the status of a state in the Union is a wonderjiil step in the right direction. " 

Note: This seem to show Truman's inclination towards statehood. (Exhibit J) 

• 1952 - Resolution 22: The Puerto Rico Constitutionai Convention approves the erroneous 
translation of Commonwealth into " Associated Free State" (Estado Libre Asociado). 
(Exhibit K) 

Note: This continues to be a confusing issue of since many in Washington are led to believe that 
we actually are a Free Associated State, just by this erroneous translation. 

• March 4, 1952: Munoz sent a telegram to President Truman "Once more the heartfelt thanks 
of Puerto Rican people for your support and leadership in achieving this new form of political 
freedom and equality within the American Union . " : He celebrates the relationship of Puerto 
Rico within the American Union. (Exhibit L) 

• January 16, 1953 : Gov. Muiioz sent a telegram to put pressure on President Truman, before 
he leaves the Presidency on January 19, 1953, to inform the United Nations that Puerto Rico 
should not be included among the non-self governing areas. Truman does this a few hours 
before leaving The White House, on the eve of Eisenhower's swearing in ceremony. (Exhibits 
M) 

. 1952-54 : Foreign Relations of the United States: Vol III - UNITED NATIONS AFFAIRS 

(pg. 1429) - October 9, 1 952 "/ am pleased to report that with the establishment of the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on July 25,1952, the people of Puerto Rico have attained a Jull 
measure of self-government, consistent with Puerto Rico 's status as a territory of the United 
States. " ^Northrop, Acting Secretary of State) 

(pg.l431) "The Constitution of the Commonwealth is markedly similar to that of a State. " 

(pg.l432) "All public officials must take an oath to support the Constitution of the US. " 

(pg.l433) " Puerto Rico has not become an independent nation: neither has it become a 
State of the Union. It remains a territory of the United States. " 

Note: These things were being monitored from Puerto Rico during the days before the 1952 elections 
and continued after the elections when Eisenhower took office. Personal experience tells us that those 
times in Washington are usually very confusing since a Democrat administration was leaving office 
and a Republican is entering on January 19,1953 

• January 17, 1953: Governor Muiioz Marin sent a letter to the President of the United States: 

(Was it meant for President Truman, who received it a few hours before he left office, or 
for President Elect Dwight Eisenhower, who swore office on January 19th.) 



197 



Note: The facts on Puerto Rico's relationship with the United States are totally misconstrued in 
Gov. Munoz' letter. His purpose was to mislead the President on what Puerto Rico had become, so 
as to move forward with his agenda on "commonwealth" at the United Nations . Among other 
things he said (Exhibit N) 

"On July 25, 1952, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was formally installed in response to 
the wish of an overwhelming majority of the people of Puerto Rico pursuant to a compact 
between them and the Government of the United States. Puerto Rico became a 
Commonwealth in free and voluntary association with the United States,... " 
False: The United States did not create a status pursuant to a compact with Law 600. 

"In the 1948 elections the three alternatives were fully presented to the electorate by the three 
main political parties ". The preference of the people, expressed in an election which was as 
democratic as any in the world, was unmistakably expressed in favor of the third alternative: 
a free commonwealth associated with the United States on the basis of mutual consent. 
False: - No plebiscite on the status formulas was ever held in Puerto Rico until 1967. The 
1948 election was a general election, authorized by Congress, where the people were 
given for the first time the opportunity to elect a governor in Puerto Rico. 

'■ Their choice is aptly summed up in the Spanish name for the new body politic, "Estado 
Libre Asociado". "On July 3, 1950, the 81st. Congress enacted Public Law 600. This was in 
effect, an offer by the Congress to the people of Puerto Rico, which we might accept or reject, 
to enter into a compact defining the status of Puerto Rico and the relationship between the 
respective communities. " 

False: The Constitutional Convention specified that Free Associated State would signify 
Commonv.ealth, not a compact of free association. No public hearings were held for Law 
600, and the House and Senate Reports on Law 600 specifically say that Puerto Rico's 
status would not change. 

"Our status and the terms of our association with the united States cannot be changed without 
our full consent" 

False: Law 600 in no way precluded a future determination by the Congress of Puerto 
Rico's ultimate status 

"The government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will be ready at all times to cooperate 

with the United States in seeking to advance the purposes and principles of the United 

Nations. " 

False: The United States citizens in Puerto Rico do not " Cooperate with the United 

States" we are part of the United States and as such, have fought in all wars since World 

WarL 

Note: As you can see, it is no wonder that people in Washington and in Puerto Rico are confused 
about the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. Governor Muiioz Marin, having 
administered the funds and federal programs from Roosevelt's New Deal, was too powerful among 
the people of Puerto Rico for anyone to doubt his words and statements. 



198 



6. EISENHOWER ADMINISTRATION: (1953-^50) 



Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner, at Munoz' urging, introduces the Femes-Murray bill to 
culminate Commonwealth. Its pretentious demands were so outrageous that it was defeated in 
Congress. 

Note: Munoz's clout with a Republicans President was limited since there was a Pro-Statehood 
Republican party in Puerto Rico that kept an eye on him. 



7. KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION: (1961-63) 



Munoz and his party pushed for a "new compact" with greater powers for Puerto Rico, when 
this was proposed to the Kennedy Administration, Harold F. Reiss, a member of Robert 
Kennedy's staff said: " If that's what you want, ask for independence and we'll favor it " 
(Puerto Rico " Whither Commonwealth? J.Garcia Pasalacqua, Orbis, Vol 15 #3, 1971) 
According to Pasalacqua, all efforts between 1959 and 1969, to make permanent the creation 
of Commonwealth permanent, failed. (Exhibit O) 

1961: The political relationship of the Munoz administration with President Kennedy paid off. 
He issued a Presidential Memorandum in 1961, based on information given to him by Munoz, 
which called Puerto Rico's relationship with the United States "unique" and in the nature of a 
"compact." 

Note : From that moment on, the information on Puerto Rico became very confusing, both for 
members of the United States Congress and for the Executive branch. 



• 



8. JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION (1964-68) 



• September, 1966: Under the leadership of Statehood Republican Party of PR leader , Miguel 
A. Garcia Mendez, many bills for the admission of Puerto Rico in the Union, were 
introduced in the House of Representatives. Among them.... 

H.R.17917- Mr. O'Brien H.R.17920- Mr. Craley H.R. 1 8009 - Mr. Rivers 
H.R. 1 79 1 8 - Mr. Saylor H.R. 1 7944 - Mr. Morton H.R. 1 8096 - Mr. Mosher 
H.R. 179 19 - Mr. Carey H.R. 17971 - Mr. Wright H.R. 18277 - Mr. Halpem 

• As a result, Munoz used his influence in Washington to have a Commission on Status created 
to look into the status issue. This Commission was composed of members of Congress and 
appointed individuals from Puerto Rico. 

Note: During the Commission's work, the Congressmen noted in their fmdings, that PR Law 95 
would be a safety net for the people since it provided for a plebiscite by petitions from the people, 
if the people wanted a change in status, when the Law calling for a plebiscite in 1967 was passed 
by the local legislature, they derogated Law 95 so as to take away that right from the United States 
citizens in Puerto Rico. All our efforts to have the law reintroduced and passed have failed. A 
plebiscite was held in 1967 where even though commonwealth was defmed with all the privileges 



199 



of a state of the Union, and the statehooders boycotted the process, statehood received a good 
number of votes, it won easily although statehood 

• 1967 Plebiscite Ballot: To stop these efforts, and thus control the self determination of the US 
citizens in Puerto Rico, a plebiscite was called by Gov. Muiioz Marin. He and his party, the 
PPD, described the Commonwealth option with US citizenship and Permanent Union with the 
United States. It was described in the ballot in 4 full sentences. Statehood and independence 
were described with one line. The Republican party boycotted the plebiscite. (Exhibit P) 



9. NIXON AND FORD ADMIMSTRATIONS",^g|^^^.: "fSpflf?!':-"'''-- .■ •""^ 

When the Republicans are in power, not many mischievous events take place to culminate 
commonwealth. President Ford submitted a project for statehood as he leit office. 



10. REAGAN ADMINISTRATION: 1981-88:, ; 5^ 



During Reagan's administration, the PPD governed Puerto Rico and Hernandez Colon was the 
govemor. His administration was characterized by attempts to have Puerto Rico act de facto as if it 
were an independent country. Hemandez Colon even attempted to sign a tax sparing treaty with 
Japan. The argument used with the United States agencies to get authorization to do these thing was 
the Kennedy Memorandum. Without the vote of the people, they were making Puerto Rico a 
sovereign country step by step. It became necessary to revise the Kennedy Memorandum to prevent 
this from happening behind the people's backs. 



1989 - Just as Muiioz pre-empted Garcia Mendez, hiistory repeated itself Gov. Hemandez 
Colon initiated a plebiscite process in the Senate with Sen.Bennett Johnson to pre-empt 
President George Bush from taking an initiative for self-determination. That process was also 
aborted. 

January 1, 1989 : Govemor Hemandez Colon invites the leaders of the three parties to begin 
a plebiscite process in the Senate under the leadership of Sen. Bennett Johnson, preventing 
President George Bush from initiating the process, thus keeping tight control. This process 
was also aborted. 

January, 1989 President Bush mentions statehood for Puerto Rico in his State of the Union 
message at our request. 

1992 : Bush Memorandum: President Bush sent a Memorandum to all the Federal Agencies, 
where he specifies that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and should be treated as 
such in decision made by the Executive branch. (Exhibit Q) 



200 



• 1993: Plebiscite Ballot: Governor Rossello calls for a plebiscite in Puerto Rico and has 
admitted publicly that he made the mistake of asking the three political parties to define their 
options. Commonwealth is again defined with all the benefits of statehood and no obligations. 
(Exhibit R) 

Note : Outrageous publications against statehood were placed as inserts in local newspapers and 
shopping brochures. Some of these seem to have been influenced by Section 936 beneficiaries. 
(Exhibit S) 

1996: HR 3024: The Chairmen of four Congressional committees send an official reply the Puerto 
Rico Legislature regarding the results of the 1993 plebiscite. The Commonwealth option is found 
unacceptable. As a result, Congressman Don Young, Mr. Newt Gingrich, the Speaker of the 
House and their colleagues, have assumed their responsibilities to help their fellow citizens in 
Puerto Rico and introduced a bill for the self determination of the people of Puerto Rico. 

We believe that the alteration of the historical facts regarding the political relationship of 
Puerto Rico >vith the United States has created the turbulent atmosphere from where we stand 
now to solve this status question and has created confusion on what is Commonwealth. We 
need your help. Our people depend on you, and the authority vested upon you by the United 
States Constitution and the Treaty of Paris to help sort this out 

Puerto Rico's status has not changed since 1898 regardless of how our island today may be called. 
Yet for some forty plus years, commonwealth proponents have insisted that their status was 
legitimate, a status that sought all the benefits of statehood without its burdens. They preached no 
taxation but full US benefits, sovereignty without responsibility and American citizenship without 
integration into the American system. 

That is why this bill is so important. The options are honestly and clearly defined, and will lead the 
way for the people of Puerto Rico to be well informed so as to be able to choose a path for self 
deteraiination. Besides, it also constitutes a classical document in the sense that no matter what 
happens with this bill, its contents will serve as a model for all future discussion on status. However, 
already some of our higher ranking politicians are trying very hard to steer this process the wrong 
way, as they and their predecessors have done in the past. We find no logical reason to explain why 
Puerto Rico's highest ranking statehood politician is asking that our present territorial relationship be 
included in a process of self determination, when that possibility has been addressed by this bill. That 
will remain if we cannot make up our minds on a final stauis. We urge our fiiends in Congress not to 
allow this to happen and to please give us a hand so that this effort will not end up becoming another 
futile attempt towards self determination, such as those in the past. 

For this reason your committee was well advised to find that the commonwealth option on the 1993 
plebiscite was not entitled to ftill credence, given that these promises including guaranteed American 
citizenship and permanent union with the United States, could only be achieved under statehood. 

Your decision to enumerate the status choices which are constitutionally permissible shows your 
rectitude. The choices you have made in this bill are the only ones comporting with both the 
Constitution and international law, the only ones that can definitively achieve a process of self 



201 



determination for Puerto Rico, the only ones the people of Puerto Rico can choose from, and the only 
ones that Congress can act on. 

First, I wish to make some comments concerning independence or free association. You rightfiilly 
recognize that any relationship between a sovereign Puerto Rico and a sovereign United States must 
be the product of negotiations between the two, which would be formalized in a pact between the 
two nations. Similarly, replacing the US Constitution and its laws with a Puerto Rican Constitution, 
is a natural consequence if Puerto Ricans vote for either full independence or free association. 

Finally, the matter of US citizenship being replaced by Puerto Rican citizenship is very simple 
to solve. We refer you to the Jones Act which gave us US citizenship. (Exhibit C). It specifies 
clearly that this type of US citizenship cannot be given to any Puerto Rican who already has 
another citizenship. 

Second, how could the United States allow for an independent Puerto Rico to be inhabited by nearly 
4 million residents with American citizenship? How independent would Puerto Rico truly be if the 
United States, is obliged to protect Americans wherever situated? Of course, it's hypocritical that 
independence proponents would want their Puerto Rican citizens to also be American citizens. 

This brings me to something else on the question of US citizenship. Just what are the motives or 
intentions of supporters of the status quo and independence, when they fight to have US citizenship 
for all Puerto Ricans regardless of the relationship of Puerto Rico with the United States? 

Perhaps they want to retain dual American and Puerto Rican citizenship as a means to obtain 
American aid and funding of federal programs here in Puerto Rico ? 

The drafters of H.R. 3024 ably dealt with this issue.. Your bill makes it abundantly clear that the 
price of independence is, among other things, both the loss of American citizenship and the attendant 
federal aid and fiinding that such an honor bestows on citizens, who must bear, in return, the price of 
government through federal taxation. 

In conclusion, let me say that by your courageous act and faith in the process of self-determination, 
you have presented us with an opportunity to fmally fiilfill our destiny. 



10 



202 

Prepared Statement of Pilar Bahbosa de Rosario 

Puerto Rico's Litmus Test 

in Colonialism: 
Formerly and Presently 



Puerto Rico has been and still is a trial and error test in colonialism. It 
was so under Spain and it is so under the United States of America. Until 
1898 we looked up to Madrid in order to solve our problems. Today we 
look up to Washington. 

In order to understand our present we must learn about our past 
struggles for political equality. Under the Spanish monarchy this was called 
Colonial or Provincial Autonomy. Under America and her Federal Repub- 
lican Union it is called Statehood. 

As any other people, our history has continuity and we may state that 
our main effort -politically, economically and socially- has been the struggle 
to attain our sovereignty. It was so under Spain, during the XIX century, 
and it is so under the United States of America since 1900. Political equal- 
ity as Spanish subjects was our goal until 1898, political equality as Ameri- 
can citizens has been our goal since the outcome of the Spanish American 
War. 

Our XIX century leaders never accepted an inferior relationship to 
Spain, they fought to obtain what monarchial Spain could not grant: popu- 
lar and representative democracy. (Spain could not grant that which she 
herself lacked). 

If Colonial or Provincial Autonomy was a valid option under the King- 
dom of Spain, only through Statehood may we be fully integrated into the 
United States of America at present. The only other option is for Puerto 
Rico to become a republic, be it as an independent or associated one, under 



203 



a protectorate or fully on its own. 

Under Spain our struggle was settled in November 1897, with the 
Moret Decree granting autonomy (although partially and belatedly as a 
desperate effort to avoid the American intervention in Cuba and the Span- 
ish American War). 

The 1898 Spanish American War was the last expansionist war fought 
by the United States of America and it brought the Manifest Destiny to a 
close. 

Colonial or Provincial Autonomy failed both in Cuba and Puerto Rico, 
although under different circumstances. Spain lost the war, Cuba was de- 
clared a republic under the American protectorate (Piatt Amendment) and 
Puerto Rico was relinquished to the United States of America by the Treaty 
of Paris. Congress, ever since, has had the power to determine its native 
inhabitants' civil and political rights 

Close to a century under American sovereignty we are still under Ar- 
ticle 9 of the Paris Treaty. We are a territory that belongs to but is not a part 
of the United States of America. We are, in sum, an unincorporated terri- 
tory under the American Constitution. 

Nevertheless, our struggle for political equality has been easier under 
the American sovereignty. Yet, we are still a trial and error test in colonial- 
ism. 

The 1952 Commonwealth ("in the nature of a compact") is a territo- 
rial form of government. It is the most advanced organic law given by 
Congress ever to an unincorporated territory but it is still colonial in na- 
ture. 

Its uniqueness is dependent upon its peculiarity. It has given all that it 
is capable of giving. It has outlived its usefulness. It can not be enhanced. 

After November 14, 1993, reacting to the status' consultation about 
our reality as a people, former local Supreme Court Chief Justice J. Jose 



204 



Trias Monge, one of Commonwealth's founders said: "Puerto Rico is among 
the longest colonial societies in the world. A sad distinction, which has left 
indelible traces upon our values and attitudes." 

The eleventh hour has come for Congress and for the Federal Govern- 
ment to face their responsibility and express inequivocally if Common- 
wealth is "a status of full political dignity, based upon Puerto Rico's per- 
manent union to the United States Amcnca., joined by a bilateral compact, 
which can not be ammended unless done so by mutual consent, granting 
irrevocably American citizenship to the Puerto Ricans" or if the 1950 Fed- 
eral Relations Law and the 1898 Paris Treaty's 9th Article are still in effect. 
The quoted Commonwealth definition was touted -and voted- as the best 
of both worlds by the Popular Democratic Party and its followers on No- 
vember 14, 1993. 

Lately, a proposition to extend the United States of America Constitu- 
tion has been floated. It tantamounts to make an Incorporated Territory of 
the island. That is better than Commonwealth, but after close to a 100 
years under the American flag (in which Puerto Rico has demonstrated 
fully her capacity for democratic self-government, it sounds as too little, 
too / late. Besides, the republics of Texas and California plus the Nevada 
territory were admitted as states into the Union, without having been incor- 
porated previously. National interest was the deciding factor in the afore- 
mentioned cases. 

Fellow Puerto Ricans: let's not wait for Congress to decide for us. 
Those of us that believe in statehood should unite ourselves, so that in the 
next status consultation (the centennial of our being a colonial test under 
Old Glory) we could liquidate our inferior political status before the XX 
century comes to an end. Let us join the Union as partners in full equality, 
something which we deserve after having shown Annerica our loyalty. 

On June 11, 1993, the Atlanta District Court of Appeals, ruled: 



205 



"Puerto Rico is still a territory constitutionally. Congress is still the source 
of power under the United States Constitution's Territorial Clause" (U.S. 
vs. Rafael and Luis Sanchez). 

The-Atlanta Court based its judgement upon an opinion by Puerto 
Rican bom Judge Juan Torruellas (Boston District Court of Appeals). 
Torruellas had ruled in U.S. vs. Andino (1987) that: "Congress simply del- 
egated additional authority in local matters to Puerto Rico by the Foraker 
Law (1900), the Jones Law (1917) and the Federal Relations Law (1950) 
but in no way did Congress alter or change Puerto Rico's constitutional 
status as a territory, nor Congress relinquished any of its sovereign power 
over Puerto Rico. " 

Should we add anything else? 

My last question is: if Judge Torruellas' definition is our juridical real- 
ity what aie we going to commemorate in 1998? That's THE question! 

Fellow Puerto Ricans, I address you free from any partisanship, urg- 
ing you to think about our less fortunate societ's members; I address you 
free from any social constraint and ask you: How come are we not to liqui- 
date Colonialism in the light of the global transformation we see looming 
as the XXI century approaches our planet? 

Crime, drug addiction, health and education, main concerns of our 
times will not fade away as if by magic in the next ten or fifteen years. All 
we have to do is look around to see that mere political independence is not 
the cure it all for everything. It doesn't even guarantee a better life nor does 
it guarantee democracy and freedom! 

No matter the tribulations Puerto Rico has endured as a trial and error 
test in colonialism under Congress' tutelage, we have enjoyed democratic 
rights and freedom under the American flag and we have developed our 
own institutions patterned after those of the Federal Union. 

The New Progressive Party is the only political party that toils toward 



206 



full political equality under statehood. Its innovative program is totally 
geared to full participation by the people, the true power in a real democ- 
racy. 

Fellow Puerto Ricans, let's solve our status problem in the next four 
years. Our goal has been always political equality. It was so under Spain 
(until 1898) and it has been so under the United States of America (after 
1898). 

Fellow Puerto Ricans: "Forward, always forward" as Dr. Barbosa used 
to say! Let's not forget Martinez Nadal's words: "So long as Puerto Ricans 
remain true to their own personality, traditions and language the Puerto 
Rican soul will not fade away." To end let me quote the beloved Baldorioty's 
thought: 

I hate colonialism because it embodies the death of 

spirituality, being the degradation of man by man himself. 



English version by: 
Rene Torres Delgado 
Associate Professor of Fine Arts 
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras 



FINAL PUBLICATION BY 
LA OBRA DE JOSE CELSO BARBOSA 



207 




Prepared Statement of Wilson M. Loubriei. 



INGENIERIA 




HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STATUS SINCE 1938 

It was through the mass media that I learned that Con^essman Don Young will be 
holding hearings in San Juan, Puerto Rico to solve the Wand Status. I undefstand that R Is 
necessary for your Commission to have an overview o( the developmeni of the Puerto Rico status 
since 1938. 1 want to share wHh you notes of how Influential has been the role of the different 
polMcal parties in the solution of this cnjcial problem for the wil being of Puerto Rico. 

I must say that one of the forces behind this proooM hti aKwyi been alnca 1038 the 
Popular DemoCTstte Party. The Popular f)emocfaHe Party grew out of an Independent mowement 
known as the Independen t Sodal Action (Acci6n Social IrtdependitMata) that was formed from a 
division of the Liberal Party under the leadership of MuftoK Marin and otfnr Independence advocates 
such as Dr. OHberto Concepcl6n de Orada, Dr. Franciaoo SuaonI, Eaqra. BataJEir QuHtdnez Ellas, 
JosA L. Fenu Pesquera, VIoerte Oelgel Polanco, Emeato Ramot AnIonM, Samuel R. QuMS6nez, 
Mr. Antonio Colorado, and others wefl known IndependanUalas of the Unas. They beleved In the 
dlsapperance of tfw cotossus of trte sugar oine Incwalfy. 

The Popular DemeoiBtto Party won the 1940 gatwnt atodkint; tNs aooounted to the fid that 
Esq. Oarda fiMndec and Mr. Piudende Rivera Marttnoz fl«n the SodaNst RepubNcan CoaWkm 
atorig with Eaq. Ramirez Santbaftai orgMiind tht TripNlMi Party, Tbay won the Senate and 
needed one vole to a)ntrd the House of RflpraMnlillvN aivd Or. Arriigi Totrana, eleded by the 
Tripartisia Party (SooiaHst faction), dU nd keep hit MMt. IfMlNd ht pamd k on to the Popular 
DernooFBtto Party thus giving tha Papular DatTMoratlQ Party taW oortlrd o( tha l^lalat^ 
flrat, few years of the forty years they hiM been In power all by themaafMS-Basldes thoy also had 
ooritrd of the Senate Ibr eIgM addUonai yaais.awBn tiwugh the gowtnar belonged to the New 
Progress Party. 

The Popular DemooraUo Party look power In spKa of the tad thai the Sodaht RepubHcan 
Party CoaRtton; statehooders advocates for Puerto Rtoo, had the minority of the vdes and had eleded 
Esq. Bolivar Pagin, ResMer« Commissionar in Washlnglon. During this period the governor of 
Puerto Rkx) was appointed by the United States Conyreaa. 

As soon as they came In power a eatatuM known aa the FNa Hundred Aotm Law was 
passed and then they expropMed the land owned by the people on ttw sugar cane ktdustiy thus 
bifHcting hann to an bxiiBtiy thai oouM haw been another aaaat to our economy at presenL 

By 1944, the PPD had already (fistrlbuled the tend they sMpreplated from the sugar cane mills 
adMniiMion to ihe PuMte rueo peaaania, M«h tht hu0» amouii cf monay IM 
of the Puerto Rico Treasury DefMrfment dbring IfM Second WorM War, Iha Party won the efedJone 
by a hndrtd w«i the atogan The aialus Is nd an laaua*. 



. .«"J<y.MiAgMarinprodafcnedffwtne<f>efafatehoodafsnBrlndependentad>(oca(e> 

ur. umene ConcapcMn de Ofada, Esq. Batacar QuiA6nac EUaa Em JmA Palbi rumsuiMim 
DrJF^j^^-S^^am,^^ 

Democratkj Party. A ye» liter they ofBanbrt Ih. Puerto Rhan Independenoe Party XL 



208 



punxne to openty begin the stiuggie for Mependenco. Only MuAoz Marin, Esqrs. Ge«ge< Poianco, 
Samue) R. QuiA6nes, Ernesto Ramos Antonini, Or. Fem6s Isem, Mr. J. Font SaidaAa, Mr. Antonio 
Cokxado. Esq. Jaime Benttez, among others, continued the struggle for lrxieper)derx:e without 
the consent of the people of Puerto Rico. 

The foiiowing actions are the most significart dues of the struggle for independerice as per 
my interpretetion: 

1 .They established a poficy to make Spanish the only medium of instruction in al schools 
in Puerto Rico. English became a second langiage. 

2 The ResMent Commisk>ner by that time, Dr. Femos Isem, of the Popular Democratk: 
Party, joined efforts with Congressman Murray to present the Femos-Murray Bil ^dch had the 
purpose to determine the final poliih^al destiny of Puerto Rk», Alaslca and Hawaii. 

Reforms of this nature dealkig with the Agenda on ttw sovereignly of Puerto Rkx> like the 
MuAoz-Femos Bill provoked Senator Johrtson's expresskm, and I quote "That If Puerto Rk» ever 
achieves an kieperxient status, It will have to face its polltkal responsibitty honorably eithers urvJer 
Statehood or Indeperviertce. Any other status wouM mean lack of self respect or else wouU be 
deceitful to its people". 

3. In order to keep the kleal of Independertce alive, the Popular Derrwcratk: Party passed 
and approved the Minority Partk:ipatk)n Act. It aimed at earmarking pubUc funds to minority parties. 
There was and stM is only one minority party we krKw of wtdch has existed for 40 years In Puerto 
Rkx>, the Independence Party. 

In 1956, the Congress a9«ed to grant the Puerto Rkan cokxiy the opportunity to self- 
govemment under ttw commonwealth status. The leaders of the Popular Party translated this 
concept as Free Associated State, in Spanish 'Estado Ufore Asociado*. Ever since this date the 
Popular Democratk: Party leaders dainied that there is a bilateral pact betw«an the Commonwealth 
Puerto Rkx> and the United States of Amerka. They also guaranteed at this time that this status 
wouM pave the way to Puerto Rkx>'s future polltk:al devek>pment, either as a State or as an 
Independent courrtry. However, as of this date the Popular Democratk: Party leaders have made 
no effort akxig this line although they have been in power for over forty years and they have had 
mandates to do so. 

On the contrary, they have sustained the farce of the Free Associated State. 

Naturally, we are no state, but with the appikatkxi of the terni 'state' In this concept they 
have kept statehooders in their rank and fBes. Likewise they have done the same wHh the 
Indeperidence advocates wAien they insist on using the term free*. In Spanish free' is equivalent 
to lOire*. 'Libre' also means 'no strings attached" arxl this comept is meaningful to the foBowers of 
the IndependerKe movement on the Islartd. That is why we find statehooders as well as 
Independence Party foHowers casting baHots in favor of the Popular Democratk: Party. We must 
put an end to this piay-uporv words. We must also put an end to subUmal messages whk:h carry 
the ambivaierKe whk:h makes us neither a State nor a free country. It Is ttiis ambivalence whbh 
keeps us standing still wfwn It comes to unraveling our politk:al status. How k>ng v4l Puerto Rkx> 
stand this poiltkal maneuvering? 

In the 60^s a new I n depetKten t mowemettf developed in the University of Puerto Rk». It was 
better known as the Twenty two' (22) Independent University studerte'. Leaders and member s of 
this organizatkxi were amorxi others Rafoel Hemindez Col6n (former governor of Puerto Rkx>), 
Mrs. Vkitoria MuAoz Mendoza (daughter of MuAcz Marin), Esq. Cokxado (Fomwr Reskient 
Commisskxier), Esq.Marcos RIgau (stn a member of the Senate), Esq. Juan Garcia Passalacqua 
(former apecWakle to Roberto SAnchezVMIa ex- Oowemor of Puerto Rteo), I iermenegikto Ortiz 



209 



QuJMnea (former Secretary of Transportation & Public Depa i tmetil), Sarnuel De la Rosa, Esq. 
Luis F. Camacho (fbnner President of the Lawyere Association), Esq. Noel Col6n Martinez (weH- 
icnown SociaQst Party Leader), Samuel Sllva Gotay and Fufi Sartori (who recently rejected the 
American citizenship), and others. 

In 1970, the AguasBuenas Document was enacted bfy Celeste Benitez, Resident 
Conunisioner Carv&late mnning at present for ttw Popular Democra ti c Party, also favoring 
E.LA.(the free associated state for Puerto Rico). 

In 1972 Rafael Hernandez CoMn was elected Governor of Puerto Rico. He Icept his tnain 
washing strategy in ^vor of an independent assodeted republic. From that moment on, he began 
to use the term 'nationaT In all aspects of the Puerto Rican endeavor espedafly in sports activities 
when he referred to Puerto Rican teams representing the colony in diffeiwit parts of the Wortd 
wtiere they participated. 

During the governorship of Esq. Carios Romero BarceM, there was an outpouring of 
written articles authored by Independent Party advocates and also foliowers of the Popular 
Democratic Party some of them refer to ' The New Thesis' by Rafael Hernandez Col6n in 1 980 Is 
nothing but a description and attempt to an Associated RepuMc for Puerto Rico. 

Popular Democratic Party Senator Marco Rigau's testbnony in favor of the Associated 
Republic before the U.SA. Congress on the ' Compact of Association, Defining the Associated 
Reput>lic of Puerto Rico's relationship with ttte Untted State ' is a shinning exampte of this 
nationalistic feeling. 

According to the Puerto Rican Electoral l.awthe validity of the challenged votes is 
determined by the Supreme Court if they decide an election. So it happened in 1 980 and the 
Popular Democratic Party obtained control of the House of Repre s eritattves. 

When Hernandez Col6n came back to power in 19843s Gowerrwr of Puerto Rico he 
continued his indoctrination process toward the Independent movement. He even Interxled to 
establish commercial contracts with Japan thus resuUng in a reprimand letter from the Secretary 
of State of the United State of America advising him that Puerto Rico was stlO a territory of the 
U.S JV. and bOateral pacts could only take place between i n dependent nations and this was not 
the case of Puerto Rk». 

To further move away from the Amerfean scenario he dM not attended the meetings held by 
the NatkxnlAssociatkxi of Governors representing the various states of the U.S A Instead he 
estabfished relatkins with Central and South America and Spain governments. A Fair was hekl In 
SeviHa, Spain and a Paviiikxi was built to represent Puerto Rk» at a cost of over thirty miBkxis 
dollars ($30,000,000) and was later soM for four mifflon dollars (K000,000). The King of Spain 
visited Puerto Rteo on an invitatkxi of the governor of Puerto Rkx>, however, the PresMent of the 
United States was never equally invited. 

He eliminated the use of English as an offfcial language of Puerto Rkx> with the approval 
of the Legislature controlled t>y the Popular Democratk: Party leaving only the Spanish as the 
oflfeial language of Puerto Rkx>. 

In 1988 the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico mled in favor of the actual Mayor of San Juan 
Hector Luis Acevedo as a result of the challenged votes on the general elections. 

In 1991 Governor Hemdndez Col6n conducted a referendum whfch only hinted at leading 
the people of Puerto Rkx> to a Republk: status. It highlighted the fdkwving: 

1- The inalienable right to determine our politkal status on a free and democrats basis. 



210 



2- The right to choose a status wflh fid political dgnity without any cokxiial or territorial 
subordination to the fuN powers of Congress. 

3- The right to vote for the three status altematives El^., Statehood or Independence 

4- The \Mnnlng formula in a status consultation to the people of Puerto Rico would require 
ever fitly (50) percent of the votes casted by registered voters. 

5- To guarantee under any status formula our right to maintain our culture.our language, 
self Identity, including our international representation in sports. 

6- The right to our American citizenship under any status formulae. 

As you can infer from the aforementioned , none of the rights offered by the Popular 
Democratic Party established the option of permanent union with the U.SJV. This by itself was 
the basis for their defeat in the refererxium. The Puerto RIcan people have always struggled on 
behalf of their American Citizenship and Permanent Union with the U.S A Eviderv:e of this 
struggle is dearty depicted in the drafting of many Puerto Rlcar^ wtw have joined arid given their 
Hves along with other U.S. mainland sddiefs in the batbefleids of Europe, Corea, Vietnam, Middle 
East arxl others. 

In 1983 during the plet>isctte process, the Popular OerrMxxatic Party indoctrinated the 
American citizens of Puerto Rico with the slogan ' E.LA. is the best of two worlds" The best of 
Statehood? Must tt be because wtiat else except Statehood can guarantee the people of Puerto 
Rico: 

1- American citizenship 

2- Permanent union with the USA. 

3- Parity of Federal funds withoul fling tax responsability. Even wKh Statehood you 
must pay taxes. 

4- Extension of the suppiemenlary Social Security benefit. 

The best of the IndependefKe: 

1- Bilateral pact with the U.S A. to guarantee fiscal autorvxny for Puerto Rioo. 

2- Protection to the agricultural products of Puerto Rico. 

3- Restablishment of fuD tax exempt benefits to 936 enterprises. 

At this moment I have to ask : Are these offeririgs of the Popular Party possible? Under 
what relation with the U.S>V. this play with words win lead us to? Is K possible that the people of 
Puerto Rico can vote for the President of the U.SA. with the best of two worids? 

Faithfull to their tradition after obtaining the best of two worids an special E.LJV. 
48 percent of the votes in contrast to the 46 percent obtained by the statehooders the leaders of 
the Popular Democratic Party such as Ms. Celeste Benltez, Senator Anibal Acevedo Vll^, Senator 
Faz Alzamora, Cor>gressman Severe Colberg, Mayor of Porwe Chummtta Cordero among others 
have already forgotten wtiat they have offered to the good people of Puerto Rico during their 
campaining activities for the best of two worids arxi switched to their recurrent play-uporv words 
strategy, with the same repetitive cliches arvi polKical Jargon like culture.language.setf-Mentity. 
They have not taken in conskleration that there are voters among tt»eir rank and file wt» are 
statehooders. 



211 



Once again the status agenda remains stancHng stffl in the hearts and minds of the Puerto 
Rican people. Fixxn the psychologic a l point of view, H dbtutba our collective aetf Image and at the 
same time it constitutes our never ending problem. Furthemfiore K is part of our daily or everyday 
agenda at home , at VKxk, in our leisure time. It enshrowds us in a continuous division as brothers 
and sisters of this Enchanted piece of land. 

In order to stop all this continuous manipulation of circumstances and people, Ibelieve 
that ttwfe is ordy one way to finnaly cope with ttw F>uerto Rico status problem, t suggest that the 
plebtecite process which constitutes the purpose of this hearing late into consideration Statehood. 
Independence or the Associated Republic as the only options or unique alternatives in the process. 
The last option is the so much protected one by leaders of the stature of Mrs. Celeste Benhez 
(President of the National Democratic Party), Mr. H6ctor Luis Acevedo (Mayor of the Capital 
city), Esq. Rafael Hernandez Col6n (Former governor of Puerto Rico), Mr. Hermenegiido Ortk 
(Former Transportation Administration Agency Oliector), Mr. Marcos RIgau (Senatorial Leader), 
Mr. Rafael (Churumba) Cordero ( Present Ponce city mayor) and others. Besides in 1990 at the 
Popular Democratic Party Convention held at Ponce, Puerto Rico it was approved the Amendment 
presented by present Congressman Carlos VizcarrorKlo; in those days President of Pro-E.LA, to 
withdraw Puerto Rtco from the colonial and territorial subordination to the U.SA. Congress in other 
words the Associated Republic. 

Since 1938 the Popular Democratic Party has been woridng at first tcwvards Independence 
and from 1952 tin today for the Associated Republic, as had been demostrated in this Historical 
Backgrourxl of the Puerto R ico's Status without the conseiTt of the Puerto R lean people. The leaders 
of the Popular Democratic Party are saying they won the 1 993 pleblsdte which cannot be tnje. In the 
ballot they promised ONLY what they consider the best of both the Statehood and the Independence 
this is not only unreal but also unconstitutional. 

I strongly believe that the present ELA cannot be included In the decolonization process. 
Since there is no way to benefit from the statehood without accepting our responsibilities as full- 
fledged citizens, tike our feltow americans in the mainland do when they pay their dues and taxes 
everyyear. I can neither understand American citizenstiip under any of these two formula- the 
Associated Republic or the Independence. 

I respectfully suggest that the fonnula which obtains over fifty percent (50%) of the votes in 
the polling places in the 1998 Plebiscite become the winning folmula and that it be accepted as the 
will of the Puerto RIcan people. 

Finally, I respect fu lly recommend the United States Congress to mate the petition a reality 
for the sate of this already politicaUy exhausted colony. Othenvise the U.S A wU continue to be 
immersed and entangled with the colonial status of Puerto Rico the only existing colony in the worid; 
where three million U.S A citizens are living, in spile of the fact that the U.SA is the finest 
Democracy presently in existence worldwide. 

I hope that this IHistorical Background of the Status of F>uerto Rk» wifl help the Commisskm 
to prepare a Bill that is constitutional and also just for all options so in the 1908 plebiscite we Puerto 
Ricans will vote for the kind of government that to our believe will be better for our betaved island. 

Pueitofiteo deserves a better future. 

/' 
'1. Sincerely, 




Wilson M. Loubriel 

President 

Pro-statehood Engineers Association 



212 



Prepared Statement of Angel Israel RIVER.^ Ortiz 

My name is Angel Israel Rivera Ortiz, university professor having a PhD. in 
Political Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1976. Although I 
currently chair the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Social Sciences 
of the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, I am submitting this statement on 
my own name and, therefore, it should not be taken as representing the views of 
other faculty members in the Political Science Department. 

First of all, I wish to express my overall support to the initiative of the House of 
Representatives Subcommittee on Native Americans and Insular Affairs to begin a 
new process for Congressional discussion and for consultation to the people of 
Puerto Rico regarding the future political and juridical status of the Puerto Rican 
nation. On my view, however. Bill H.R. 3024 needs important amendments in 
order to secure a fair play for all political options and groupings concerned. 
Similarly, some revisions are needed in order to guarantee a high probability of 
success in its aim to propitiate full self government for Puerto Rico through a 
process of ^ee self-determination in accordance with US and international law. 

On Sovereign Free Association 

In the first place, the wording referring to the option oi free association should be 
amended and clarified. In its present form, H.R. 3024 conveys the idea that free 
association and independence are two forms of separation from the United States. 
Although such language is based upon the reality that each of these options entails a 
distinct sovereignty and an international status for the Puerto Rican nation, it fails 
to incarnate their full socio-political and economic implications within the context 
of globalization and free trade agreements. i 

In fact, in the coming 21st Century both, free association and independence, will 
be framed within the context of ample interdependence between sovereign entities. 
Therefore, even what has been labeled «complete independence» will not 
exclude close economic and political associations among certain states. These 
relationships constitute, in reality, the opposite of separation. Unfortunately, 
therefore, H.R. 3024, in its original form, adopts a separatist language more 
compatible with international relations prevalent in the 19th Century and the early 
20th Century than with the international climate of the 1990's. 

Such language does not seem to be neither realistic nor appropriate in view of 
present international conditions or of those that might probably develop 
throughout the first decades of the 21sf Century. Even nowadays, for example, 
although Mexico is legally defined as an independent country it is not, by all means, 
separated from the United States. Rather, the Mexican State is now moving 
continuously in the direction of close economic interdependence and association 
with the United States, a process which brings about important political 
implications regarding the actual content of so-called separate sovereignty. 



Hi 



213 



In order to confer to the bill a more contemporary and realistic language, it 
should refer, in my view, to «a distinct sovereignty for Puerto Rico» under both, 
independence and free association, instead of using the phrase «separate 
sovereignty». This may also be expressed by declaring that under any of these two 
options Puerto Rico would be a «distinct autonomous political unit with 
international recognition as a sovereign State». It may be further clarified that the 
relations of the new Puerto Rican State with the United States shall be conceived 
«as those of an entity which is not within the internal political system of the 
U.S.A.» Federal statehood, on the other hand, will be differentiated from the other 
two by conveying the idea that it shall be the only option within the US internal 
political system. 

There is another critical reason for excluding from the bill a separatist language. 
As any one having in-depth knowledge about the political culture of most Puerto 
Ricans will confirm, the labeling of free association as a form of «separation from 
the United States» is bound to produce the political miscarriage of that formula. 
Free association, defined as a form of separation, will not be adequately 
differentiated in the minds of most Puerto Ricans from the status of 
«independence». This will be particularly so if free association is presented as 
devoid of any mechanism to permit Puerto Ricans who desire to continue being 
citizens of the United States to do so after free association is implemented, either 
through exceptional procedures or by means of a dual or reciprocal citizenship 
clause to be included in the Bilateral Compact of Sovereign Free Association 
Between Puerto Rico and the United States of America. 

I have participated, together with Professor Ana Irma Seijo, from the Political 
Science Department, in a national Puerto Rican survey on the political culture of 
Puerto Ricans conducted during the late 1980's. I have also been codirector of the 
Puerto Rican component of the World Values Study together with Jorge Benitez 
Nazario, another faculty member. The latter study was conducted late in 1995 under 
the coordination of Ronald Inglehart, Program Director the Center for Political 
Studies of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. From my knowledge about the 
analyses prepared so far on the basis of survey data related to political status 
questions on both studies, I would expect that free association, if defined as a form of 
separation or of «independence», will most probably be derailed ab initio, 
impeding its serious and objective consideration as a realistic alternative for the 
Puerto Rican people. 

On the other hand, however, if free association is defined as a sort of improved 
Commonwealth, un Estado Libre Asociado culminado, it might be a significant 
formula in any status related referendum. «Estado Libre Asociado», the official 
name in Spanish for the current non-sovereign Commonwealth status, is, in fact, a 
more appropriate denomination for Sovereign Free Association than for a non- 
incorporated and non-sovereign Commonwealth of the United States under the 
jurisdiction of the territorial clause of the US Constitution. Hence, to retain the 
name Estado Libre Asociado under sovereign free association is not only reasonable 



214 



but also will secure fair play for the formula, distinguishing it from independence. 
Of course, the wording utilized in the final law approved by Congress should 
distinguish free association — the real Estado Libre Asociado — from the current 
non-incorporated territory to avoid other confusions. 

As you know, the pro-statehood New Progressive Party succeeded in defeating a 
referendum on Puerto Rico's Democratic Rights supported by the Popular 
Democratic Party in 1991 with the slogan: Dile no a la separacion («say no to 
separation» from the United States). Therefore, to retain the separatist language in 
H.R. 3024 may probably result in accusations that the bill was worded in that fashion 
with the malicious intention of structurally castigating Free Association through 
metropolitan steering of its political failure in any referendum. The proposed law 
would then lose legitimacy in the view of many Puerto Ricans who would claim 
that it impairs fair play and is biased in favor of the statehood option. Whether 
those supposed intentions have been actually present or not will not be as 
important as the fact that the bill might be denounced as illegitimate in the United 
Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), an occurrence which does 
not seem to be, of course, in the U.S. national interest. My concrete proposal is to 
offer in the bill three distinct paths: one leading to full independence, one leading to 
sovereign free association with a specific wording that distinguishes it clearly both 
from current Commonwealth status and independence, and one leading to 
statehood. 

In order to prevent political groupings in Puerto Rico to misrepresent the 
content of any formula during the pre-referenda election campaigns, it should be 
made clear that rights earned as US citizens by individual Puerto Ricans, notably 
veterans' benefits and Social Security benefits, to which we are entitled because xue 
have contributed to the US Social Security System through compulsory salary 
deductions, shall be preserved and protected under any one of the three formulas. 

On Independence: 

Regarding the independence formula, I think that H.R. 3024 might be 
significantly improved if its definition is placed within the context of regional free 
trade and economic integration processes. If international processes ripen during the 
21st Century as they now promise to evolve, independence for Puerto Rico shall 
definitely mean a separate or distinct sovereignty with reference to the US internal 
political system but not separation regarding the external economic and political 
system that may develop in America if the United States leads an effort to create an 
hemispheric free trade zone or American Common Market, something that shall 
behoove US interests vis-a-vis the new economic competition with Asia and 
Europe. Particularly, 1 think Puerto Rico could play an interesting role as an actor 
propitiating the integration of the whole Caribbean Basin zone to a Western 
Hemisphere Free Trade association (WHFTA) led by the US. Although this could 
happen under any of the three political status scenarios, it would be easier under 
independence or free association because, then, as a distinct sovereign, Puerto Rico 



215 



could be a member of NAFTA on its own right and could also belong to other 
regional integration international organizations such as the Organization of 
Caribbean States. As a distinct sovereign entity, Puerto Rico would be accepted by 
Caribbean and Latin American countries as an actor in itself, not as a US official 
representative. This will not be possible under federal statehood for obvious 
reasons, as federated states do not have an international status allowing them 
separate membership in international organizations and in free trade agreements. 

Hence, my suggestion is that descriptions about the status of independence in the 
Bill H.R. 3024, besides other clarifications, should make explicitly open the notion 
that the United States might contribute to the process of admission of the new 
republic to the NAFTA agreement. Of course, the same elucidation may be included 
with reference to the free association option. 

Both under independence and free association bilateral US-Puerto Rico free trade 
should be maintained even if Puerto Rico is excluded from a customs union with 
the United States. But a customs union might be desirable and practicable, however, 
under both free association and independence. This could be left to be worked out 
between both sovereign entities (the US and Puerto Rico) rather than specifically 
describing Puerto Rico, both under independence and free association, as being 
outside the US customs territory, as is presently done in H.R. 3024 Section 4.a.l.G. 

On the Path Towards Statehood: 

Some people in Puerto Rico — perhaps many — think that H.R. 3024, in its 
original version, is a sort of dream bill for statehooders. As it is now, the only 
political status in which Puerto Ricans may retain US citizenship is statehood. In 
stipulating this, the bill completely ignores that, as an international status, free 
association is flexible enough as to permit dual and reciprocal citizenship accords 
between any two associated sovereigns. Furthermore, the bill in its present form 
defines both independence and free association as forms of separation, thus 
contributing to ignite inveterate fears and psychological conditionings which could 
negatively affect the probabilities for massive voting in Puerto Rico favoring any of 
the two alternatives, as already mentioned above. Moreover the "path within the 
sovereignty of the United States leading to statehood" is too flexible, ambiguous and 
imprecise enough as to grant credence to the suspicion that the bill is quite biased in 
favor of statehood. If this scenario is maintained, Puerto Rican society is bound to 
polarize itself with the consequent instability, something which is undesirable for 
all parts involved, particularly if viewed within the context of the insecure political 
situations prevailing in Cuba, Haiti and the Domican Republic. 

Ambiguity concerning statehood is particularly evident regarding Section 4.a.2.G 
which states that «Puerto Rico shall adhere to the same language requisite as the 
other states». This phrase may be read as having the following different meanings 
in Puerto Rico: 



216 



1. Puerto Rico shall adhere to the same language requisite that Congress in the past 
has demanded from other states, i.e. that English should be the principal 
language for conducting government proceedings in the state and recording 
public documents and trials in state courts, as well as the main vehicle for public 
education, public broadcasting and the like. 

2. Puerto Rico shall adhere to the same language requisite that Congress is inclined 
to demand nowadays from a new state: none. Because there is no official 
language at the federal level, the state of Puerto Rico, or any other new state, 
may adopt whatever official language the majority of the people wish to adopt as 
the main means of communication in government, the state courts, public 
schools, universities and public broadcasting on radio and TV stations. 

3. Puerto Rico as a state could have the right to determine its own official language, 
but if the US English movement subsequently succeeds in having the federal 
government adopt English as the only official language for all public activities 
throughout the United States, then Puerto Rico shall adhere to the same 
language requisite as the other states; i.e. English only. 

Given the ambiguity of this section in H.R. 3024 everyone should expect that, if 
not amended, during the referenda campaigns the New Progressive Party (pro- 
statehood) will claim that Puerto Rico shall have full powers to determine that both 
English and Spanish will be official languages and that Spanish may be adopted as 
the main vehicle for education. The Popular Democratic Party and the Pro 
Independence Party will for sure claim that this is not true and that Puerto Rico 
shall have to adhere to English. Confusion is bound to reign supreme. 

My recommendation is, therefore, that H.R. 3024 be amended so that section 
4.a.2.G. includes a clear definition on this issue. Among the many possible 
wordings, I propose the following two. Which of them better reflects the intentions 
of H.R. 3024? 

G. The U.S. Congress recognizes the Puerto Rican People as a distinct Hispanic 
nationality and a distinct society with a cultural background which differs from the 
dominant culture in the other fifty states. Hence, as a sovereign federated state in 
the American Union, Puerto Rico shall have the right to adopt Spanish as the main 
vehicle for state government proceedings and I'or public education at all levels. Of 
course, English will be required as a second official language in the state and as the 
legal means of communication between the state government and the federal 
government. The federal district court will continue to use English as the main 
language for all trials and proceedings. State courts may either use English or 
Spanish but English should be used in civil cases in which one of the parts is not 
conversant in the Spanish language. Of course, citizens shall enjoy the same 
freedom they enjoy in the other fifty states to conduct private communications, 
public broadcasting and family life in the language of their preference. 



217 



or 



G. The U.S. Congress recognizes the Puerto Rican People as a distinct Hispanic 
nationality and a distinct society with a cultural background that differs from the 
dominant culture in the other fifty states. However, because the English language is 
the main vehicle for official communications of the federal government and of the 
other fifty state governments, the Puerto Rican state shall adhere to the use of 
English as the main official language for all state governmental proceedings, 
including the state legislature, state courts, and public schools and universities. This 
shall not impair the freedom of the Puerto Rican People to use the Spanish 
language or any other language besides English in conducting private activities, in 
oral communications in the work-site in both public and private jobs not related to 
classroom teaching, or as the principal language in mass media broadcasting and in 
family life. State laws shall also protect this same right to all residents of Puerto Rico 
who do not speak Spanish as their main language. 

As you may easily deduct from the above alternative propositions, I am 
convinced that, to be workable in practice, and to avoid the sort of problems facing 
Canada in its relations with Quebec, any statehood scenario for Puerto Rico should 
assume that U.S. federal structures must be flexible enough as to admit into the 
American Union a state whose population constitutes a distinct — though not so far 
sovereign — nation, and a distinct society different from American society. The 
quebecois secessionist movement has been stimulated precisely because the national 
government in Canada has denied Quebec official governmental recognition as a 
distinct, different society within the Canadian federation. Any serious consideration 
of statehood for Puerto Rico would have to be viewed within the context of a U.S. 
Federal System which is not opposed in principle nor practice to multiculturalism 
or plurinationalism. Within that framework, however, the US Congress should 
formulate very clearly what are the specific language or culture-sharing 
requirements that the Union wishes to request of Puerto Ricans if they really want 
their Island to be incorporated to the United States as the fifty-first state of the 
Union. Solving the Puerto Rico status problem is, therefore, an exercise in free-self- 
determination not only for Puerto Rico but also for the United States, for the 
American People. The latter must have the right to decide whether or not they want 
to open-up — at least theoretically — their Federal Union to American nations of 
Hispanic language and culture by establishing an important precedent in that sense 
in the case of Puerto Rico. On the other hand, whether statehood within the U.S. 
federal system presupposes or not that a different nation must abandon its own 
essential traits in order to assimilate to the U.S. mainstream cultural milieu prior to 
admission into the Union, should be made known with optimal clarity and fairness 
to the Puerto Rican people if the U.S. wishes to prevent future predicaments such as 
an after-statehood massive secession movement. 

We have collected in the University of Puerto Rico some survey data which 
clearly demonstrate how most Puerto Ricans do cherish their Puerto Rican distinct 
national identity. 



218 



In a question asking for group identity in the Puerto Rican national survey of the 
World Values Study (N= 1,164 respondents) the alternatives that were most 
frequently mentioned were: "Puerto Rican, and that's all, first, second and third," 
and "Latin American and Puerto Rican." 

Another alternative labeled as "North American of the Puerto Rican Ethnic 
Group" was only chosen by a very small minority, even among pro-statehood 
Puerto Ricans. Among the latter, 51.2% identified themselves as "Puerto Ricans and 
that's all, " and 20.4% identified themselves al "Latin American-Puerto Ricans." 
Only an additional 6% of them chose to identify themselves as "North American of 
the Puerto Rican ethnic group" and 4.4% chose the "Caribbean and Puerto Rican" 
reference-group. The rest distributed themselves among different categories with 
racial or ethnic preponderance ( "white and Puerto Rican," "black and Puerto Rican," 
"mulatto and Puerto Rican"). Among respondents saying they support 
Commonwealth status, 60.5% identified themselves as "Puerto Ricans and that's 
all," and 18.2% recognized themselves as "Latin American-Puerto Ricans." Only 
3.8% were self-identified as Caribbean-Puerto Rican and 3.8% as "North Americans 
of the Puerto Rican Ethnic Group." Among pro-independence respondents 56% 
identified themselves as "Puerto Ricans and that's all," 16% as "Latin American- 
Puerto Ricans," 6.6% as "Caribbean-Puerto Ricans, " and 0.0% as North Americans of 
the Puerto Rican ethnic group." 

When asked whether they value more their national identity (being Puerto 
Rican) or their citizenship (being a U.S. citizen) responses were distributed among 
pro-statehood, pro-commonwealth, and pro-independence respondents as shown in 
Table 1. The Table excludes those not identifying themselves with any one of the 
traditional status formulas so that N=959. 

Table 1 (see final page) shows that although U.S. citizenship is very important for 
Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rican national identity is even more intensely valued by 
many. After almost 100 years of U.S. sovereignty, and many billions in U.S. federal 
transfers, 76% of pro-independence Puerto Ricans, almost 60% of pro- 
commonwealth people and even 43% of pro-statehood respondents definitely 
expressed that they consider more important in their lives being Puerto Ricans than 
being U.S. citizens. Only 26% of those who commit their votes to statehood within 
U.S. sovereignty do regard their U.S. citizenship as more important than their 
Puerto Rican nationality! 

What these data suggest, in my view, is that Congress, in considering a path 
leading to statehood should take into account the wishes of most Puerto Ricans 
concerning the maintenance of a different nationality as well as our commitment to 
adhere to our own nationhood and to the Spanish language as our preferred means 
for communication among Puerto Ricans. A failure to recognize lh\sreality by 
Congress could only mean self-deception as well as deceiving the American People 
regarding the Puerto Rican issue. And if the aforementioned reality is, in fact, 
deemed by Congress as incompatible with federated statehood within the US 



8 



219 



Federal Union, Congress should state so very clearly. Not to do so before the 
celebration of a referendum under the auspices of the US Congress in pursuance of 
H.R. 3024 would be tantamount to deceiving the Puerto Rican people and the 
"Puerto Rican Statehood Movement". If errors are committed in this area of US- 
Puerto Rico relations, instead of attaining a solution to the Puerto Rican status 
problem a new nationality problem will ensue for both the US and Puerto Rico 
even if «full self-government» is formally conceded to the Island through a 
status change from Commonwealth to Statehood. Such a new problem might be 
further compounded in the future through Puerto Rican leadership linkages with a 
possible movement led by Hispanics within the continental territory of the United 
States seeking for "Latino Power" within the US political system. 

Inclusion or Exclusion of the Non-incorporated Territory (Current Commonwealth 
Status) in the Referendum Proposed by H.R. 3024 

My first preference is that the extant Commonwealth status should not be 
included in the ballot as an alternative because it is not a political status leading to 
full self-government nor decolonization. In its present form, H.R. 3024, in Section 
5.C.2. clearly states that if referenda turn out to be inconclusive, then the current 
Commonwealth status shall be maintained as an non-incorporated territory under 
the territorial clause of the US Constitution (Article FV, Section 3, Clause 2). The 
Congress, then, could exercise its powers to decide the disposition of the territory 
and the condition of its inhabitants. 

Just in case the subcommittee or the Resources Committee finally resolve the 
inclusion of Commonwealth status in the ballot as defined by H.R. 3024, I would 
like to add another specification to its definition. Not only should it be clearly 
defined as a non-incorporated territory under the territorial clause, but it should 
also be clearly stated in the ballot that, if it occurrs that the majority or a plurality of 
the votes cast are in favor of the current status, this will imply that the US Congress 
could decide the disposition of the territory and the condition of its inhabitants. 

I think we Puerto Ricans have a right to express our preference and to decide 
our future. But if there is no majority, or a plurality or majority of the people opt for 
the present situation in which Puerto Rico does not enjoy full self-government, 
after several referenda are celebrated, then Congress should exercise its powers to 
determine the disposition of the territory according to the Treaty of Paris of 1899 and 
Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the US Constitution. Perhaps one way to do it 
without excluding some form of Puerto Rican participation would be for Congress 
to trasfer sovereignty to a democratically elected Constitutional Convention 
empowered to conduct negotiations with the US Congress. The Convention could 
then proceed to work out a mutually acceptable solution which, after approval by 
both the Convention and the US Congress, could be submitted for ratification by the 
Puerto Rican people in a referendum. 



220 



On the Distribution of Funds for the Referendum 

In Section 7.b.2, H.R. 3024 refers only to political parties as instruments for 
campaigning or providing for the education of the voters regarding the ahernatives 
to be presented in the ballot in the political status referendum. I would like to 
suggest an amendment to the wording of this section so that there is a possibility for 
distributing a fraction of the funds to bona fide movements organized precisely with 
the purpose of educating the people with reference to the status alternatives to be 
presented to the voters or as defenders of any particular formula. The emergence of 
new groups is foreseeable in view of the elimination of the existing Commonwealth 
as an alternative and the inclusion of Free Association, as well as ensuing from a 
possible decision by any one of the three existing parties not to participate. 
Therefore, H.R. 3024 should include a provision defining bona fide movements 
given the fact that the existing process for formal inscription of new political parties 
is costly and time consuming. Congress could require a minimum of signatures by 
members of any political movement in order to grant official recognition and each 
of the alternatives could be permitted a top limit of not more than three distinct 
political parties or political entities (movements) to officially support and 
propagandize the formula with access to public funds. These provisions would add 
flexibility to H.R. 3024 and could be extremely importance to promote ample 
democratic participation as well as to avoid a monopoly of the process by the three 
traditional Puerto Rican political parties. 

On procedure: 

Just a final word on procedures. Although, as mentioned above, any process for 
defining a full self-government status for Puerto Rito implies mutual self- 
determination and everyone directly involved in discussions or negotiations — or 
public hearings — , both from the American and Puerto Rican sides, should have the 
right of expressing his or her sincere feelings, appropriate care should be taken in 
order to avoid projecting the image or appearance that US Congressmen are 
inclined to harangue the Puerto Rican people in favor of any one formula or 
solution. Failing to do so, could only complicate the process unnecessarily and 
provoke claims on the basis of international law, particularly in the case of 
statehood. If a majority vote is obtained for incorporation to the metropolis which is 
suspect of not being a wholesome, free exercise of self-determination by Puerto 
Ricans because US politicians have been propagandizing statehood on the grounds 
that federal funds cuts are going to have a very negative impact on the lives of the 
inhabitants of Puerto Rico and, hence, the only way to avert an economic 
catastrophe is for Puerto Ricans to choose statehood, the whole process might be 
considered illegitimate according to international law standards. 



10 



221 



Therefore, exercising prudence and self-restraint is the best antidote against such 
an unfortunate outcome. Right now, the fact that the sub-committee has produced 
H.R. 3024 at a time so close to the 1996 general elections is affecting the credibility of 
the seriousness of this initiative. Hence, posposition of this process to the next non- 
election year is highly recommended. 



11 



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223 



MOVIMIENTO DE RENOVACION NACIONAL 

M O R E N A 

Apartado Postal 7772 

Ponce, P.R. 00732 

February 9, 1996 

The Hon. Don Young 
House of Representatives 
Washington, D.C. 20515 

■Sir: 

Having been notified of your pronouncements with 
regard to the Puerto Rican status problem it is our wish 
to inform you the facts about the Independence Movement 
situation in Puerto Rico and our position with regard to 
the subject. 

First of all: No matter what electoral results may 
inform you or anybody, there are no less than half a 
million Puerto Ricans who not only want, desire, and have 
a right to Freedom and Independence but who will also 
oppose any and all efforts, by whoever and to the last 
consequences, to continue denying us those inalienable 
rights . 

Second: Regardless of any and all convenient political 
posturing, the United States has no right whatsoever to 
continue occupying the land History and Life have given 
our people to grow, live, develop, and enjoy life in. 
Dispassionately stated, the United States, due to its own 
history, should be the least imperially minded nation in 
the world. 

Therefore: The United States should, in all conscience 
and decency and as soon as possible, divest itself of this 
colony and withdraw from our national life. 

To this effect, during the next few months, we shall 
be presenting each and every member of the Senate and the 



224 



House of Representatives of the United States, each and 
every State Governor, and the People of the United States 
through the main national newspapers with a plan for the 
transfer of all political powers to Puerto Rico and the 
eventual recognition of our right to Liberty and Freedom. 
This proposed plan will include the following: 

1- A proposal for a Joint Resolution of Congress 
establishing the Independence of Puerto Rico as Public 
Policy of the United States and the establishment of a 
process by which the People of Puerto Rico will advene to 
their independence within five (5) years; 

2- The process will entail the election of a Puerto 
Rican National Assembly that will, through its specialized 
committees and in close cooperation with the Congress 
appointed standing committees, handle the transfer of all 
political powers to Puerto Rico in an orderly, just, and 
sensible manner within the time frame set for such 
process ; 

3- At some previously established time during that 
process, all Puerto Ricans will be given the choice to 
either remain U.S. citizens or to opt for the Puerto Rican 
citizenship. This is the only fair process for neither 
should the right to U.S. citizenship of those who want to 
keep it, nor the rights of us Puerto Ricans to Liberty and 
Freedom be subjected to plebiscites and/or majority 
decisions . 

We think it fair for you to be duly advised of our 
position and resolve for, sometime soon, you may soon be 
called upon to discharge your duty as a freedom loving 
american. For the Movement of Puerto RijEr$?i National 
Renewal I remain. 




w.c. to Hostosian National Congress 



225 



Prepared Statement of Noel Colon Martinez 

Distinguished members of the Committee on Native American and 
Insular Affairs 

My name is Noel Col6n Martinez and I am here representing the 
Congreso Nacional Hostosiano, a coalition of organizations and 
individuals favoring the independence of Puerto Rico. Attached to 
this written statement you will find a list of the organizations 
and individual members of said Congreso. 

You have before you a translation of a text originally 
submitted in Spanish, Puerto Rico*s sole national language. It is 
not possible to assert that you want to advance a process of 
political self-determination, while at the same time you are using 
English in these proceedings, a language which over 60% of the 
population does not understand. 

We now wish to point our several observations regarding 
project H.R. 3024, titled "A Bill to Provide a Process Leading to 
full self-governement for Puerto Rico", submitted on March 6, 1996. 
We acknowledge that said Bill, co-sponsored by the Houses President 
Newt Gingrich and a substantial number of Congressmen, represents 
an initiative which could contribute to the process geared to free 
Puerto Rico of its colonial relationship with the United States. 

The Congreso Nacional Hostosiano takes favorable note of the 
fact that this Bill finally recognizes that Puerto Rico is at 
present an unincorporated territory of the United States. Said 
admission will be a piece of evidence in the international 
deliberations and consultations regarding Puerto Ricos status. In 
the language of international law it constitutes and unequivocal 
admission by those signing athis Bill that Puerto Rico is still a 



226 



colonial territory. 

Even though neither the United States nor England supported 
resolution 43 47 (1988) of the United Nations, declaring that the 
1990 *s would be the International Decade for the Eradication foe 
Colonialism in the World, this does not imply that the United 
States Congress can refuse to comply with such a clear-cut mandate. 
Futhermore, this historic vote is a reflection of the solid 
consensus of the international communitty regarding this matter. 

The United States Goverment should not start the coming 
centuiry without solving the Colonial status of Puerto Rico. Its 
moral leadership will continue being questioned. Its own 
international callings to respect other peoples self determination 
will go on being mocked if the United States Government can not put 
into practice what it preaches outside. In the near Latin American 
and Caribbean context, the presence of a colonial enclave is still 
a thorn hurting the democratic sensibilities of the peoples and 
leaders of the region. 

Acceptance by those signing the project that the Puerto Rican 
archipelago is still subject to congressional powers under the 
Territorial Clause (Art III, Sec. 3, Clause 2) has significant 
international consequences. This statement is inconsistent with 
the representation given by the United States delegation to the 
United Nations in 1953. Therefore, Congress should instruct the 
United States delegation at the United Nations to permit the 
corresponding bodies of the forum designated to resolve 
international disputes, to again assume jurisdiction over the case 
and to participate in the elaboration of a decolonizing process 



227 



which complies with the requisites established by said forum. 

Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris and the jurisprudence 
established in the so-called Insular Cases, The United States 
Congress is the one called to implement the decolonization process. 
Bill H.R. 3024 does not comply with that international 
responsability. Once Congress accepts, as the signatories of this 
Bill have, that this is a matter of colonial status, what 
immediately follows is to transfer political powers to the country 
subjected to the indignation of colonialism. 

In such cases where a majority of those concerned favor 
independence, said transfer implies immediate recognition of the 
new republic. Although the Congreso Nacional Hostosiano favor 
independence, we believe that it will be the product of 
deliberation and a democratic process. We acknowledge, just as was 
declared by the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations in 
1978, that free sovereign association is also a decolonization 
option for Puerto Rico. Both are viable options based on the 
recognition of a different sovereignty which would allow Puerto 
Rico full participation in the international community. 

We believe Congress should facilitate a process in which 
Puerto Rico will choose from among the options the international 
community has found to be useful for getting out of the move of 
colonialism. 

On the other hand. The Congreso Nacional Hostosiano does not 
acknowledge the political integration of Puerto Rico to the United 
States as an option for decolonization. To us, statehood would be 
the culmination of a long colonial period. We believe, however, 



228 



that those Puerto Ricans favoring statehood should be given full 
participation in the process of transfering powers. If at the end 
of the process the statehood option wins and Puerto Rico is 
admitted as a state, as independence advocates we reserve our right 
to opt for secession and to continue fighting for independence by 
all means deemed necessary. 

Bill H.R. 3024 does not provide a procedural solution to the 
present impasse. With the threat of the loss of U.S. citizenship, 
this Bill strives to force Puerto Ricans to vote for statehood, an 
option rejected by 53% of the electorate in 1993) to then make the 
United States deny what it does not want to offer: statehood 
proper. By the absurd logic of this bill, the decolonization 
process must go through that disagree able and dangerous stage. 
That is a mistaken approach. 

Besides, Bill H.R. 3024 seeks to condition the exercise of the 
right to self-determination to the future actions of a Congress 
which has historically given very little time and interest to the 
solution of a problem of which it is ignorant and about which it 
has stated imperialist positions on more than one occasion. 

The right approach was proposed by Representative Ronald 
Dellums some years ago. His project was titled "Bill to Confer 
Sovereign Powers to the Commonwealth and to Provide for The Self- 
Determination of Puerto Rico". We include a copy of said document 
along with this statement for your consideration and we formally 
request that it be part of the official records for the 
deliberations of this Committee. 

According to the terras of Section 1 of said project, it is 



229 



declared that it will be the policy of the United States Congress 
to respect the sovereign rights of the Puerto Rican nation. 
Congress also acknowledges that Puerto Rico is a Caribbean and 
Latin American nation with full rights to its political sel- 
determinat ion . 

In Section 2 of said project it is established that Congress 
shall proceed to transfer the political powers which the three 
powers of the United States Government hold over Puerto Rico at 
present. Said powers, as described in Title II of the project, 
would be bestowed to a Constituent Assembly. The Constituent 
Assembly is empowered to deliberate and approve the political body 
which will later negotiate with the United Sates Government all the 
aspects of the chosen procedure required by the bilateral agreement 
of both nations. 

Title III of the project instructs that a Negotiating 
Commission of the United States and Puerto Rico be created. The 
negotiators for Puerto Rico would be designated by the Constituent 
Assembly, while the United States counterpart would be chosen by 
the President of the United States, in counsel with the 
congressional leaders. 

The Congress of the United States cannot carry out processes 
of free political determination in a territory under its absolute 
power and control as the present bill points out. Since 1977 the 
Puerto Rican Bar Association concluded that "the inconditional 
presence of United States military bases in Puerto Rico, the 
massive federal aid through programs of social wealfare, and the 
lack of powers of the people over its natural resources, such as it 



230 



stands today, decidedly affect the process of free 
determination. . . " 

If we are truly talking about and act of free determination 
and acknowledgement of Puerto Rico^s sovereignty, then it follows 
that the liberation of the Puerto Rican political prisoners is in 
order, and that it be clearly established that only the persons 
born in Puerto Rico, and the off spring of parents born in Puerto 
Rico currently living in Puerto Rico shall have the right to vote. 
Finally, and adequate international supervision must be guaranteed 
throughout the process of self-determination. 

If the avove is not adequately attended to, the Puerto Rican 
community the international community, and the democratic 
conscience of the United States people will conclude that this is 
a fake process which merits no respect. 

The members of The Congreso Nacional Hostosiano have a firm 
and unwaivable compromise to achieve Puerto Rico*s independence, 
and we are absolutely sure of our final victory, with the support 
of the United States Congress, or without it. 

We Puerto Ricans would like that the imperialist prepotency 
and arrogance which accompany in the acts of this sub-committee 
will not bring further division and anxiety to our country. 



« 



i 



231 




■^■^>^ i ' .iit 



Government of Puerto Rico 
House of Representatives 



Honofoble 
Zaido Hernandez Torres 

Speaker 



March 1-1996 

Hon. Elton Gallegly 

Chairman 

Subcommittee on Native American 

and Insular Affairs 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Hon. Congressman: 

I have had the opportunity to peruse your Committee response to Concurrent 
Resolution 62. I wish to express my deep appreciation of the effort made to respond 
to the Legislature and people of Puerto Rico, and of the obvious dedication and hard 
work that was put into analyzing the alternatives to solving Puerto Rico's status 
problem. 

With Concurrent Resolution 62 the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly was 
seeking precisely to address to Congress our people's just claim, to be told whether 
our aspiratiotis for self governement will be granted, and how will it happen. 

Your Committee have acted responsibly and performed a sterling service to the 
people of Puerto Rico and to American Democracy, under the Right to Redress for 
Citizens' Grievances. 

We are pleased that the analysis of the claims for "enhancements to 
Commonwealth " has yielded the obvious result that the proposal presented before the 
voters was misleading and Utopian. It was highly unfair to the people of Puerto Rico 
to promise them an ideal status full of privileges and prerrogatives, without the 
corresponding responsibilities, and without any sense of what the possible 
consequences might be. 

The process proposed in this bill is highly fair open and honest. It provides 
realistic alternatives and an implementation procedure that ensures the self- 
determination of the Puerto Rican people. We will be able to choose between the 



Capitol, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901 tel; 725-3449 • 721-6040 exis. 247 • 297 



232 



Permanent Union to the United States and a separate full Puerto Rican sovereignty. 
It provides for consultation of the people as the transition process goes along. The 
alternatives offered will be permanent, valid under the United States Constitution and 
International Law, and will invest our people with true sovereignty, unlike the current 
so-called Home Rule under Commonwealth. 

As speaker of the House, I welcome this response on behalf of the Legislative 
Assembly. We stand ready to work hand in hand with your Committee in all activities 
necessary to carry out the proposals in this bill and initiate the definitive solution to 
Puerto Rico's colonial problem. 



Sincrely, 




I 



Hon. icaida Hernanqlez Torres 

Speaker 

Puerto Rico House of Representatives 



233 



AA<. 



v. .<. ,-.■' 



Cyan luem, K.yu«t/e> K^A!ttMf 



■jTo/ime^ ^aaejvioj^ o/^ cyuej^Oy ,yuco 



March 12, 1996 



The Honorable Don Young 

Chairman 

Committee on Resources 

U, S. House of Representatives 

Washington, D. C. 20515 

Dear Congressman Young: 

Thank you for your letter of February 14, 1996 enclosing 
the recent published book, "Hispanic Americans in Congress", which 
certainly shows that Puerto Rico has been close to Congress for 
many years, demanding, first, Puerto Rico's right to U. S. 
citizenship and, next, its incorporation as a state of the Union. 

This was the original position of Commissioner Federico 
Degetau, representing the Republican Party of Puerto Rico in 1900. 

Later on. Commissioner Tulio Larrinaga raised the issue of 
the non-compliance of Congress with its promises and insisted in 
requesting U. S. citizenship for Puerto Rico. Commissioner Mufioz 
Rivera, also, insisted in maintaining that Congress had not kept 
the promises for Puerto Rico and, finally, voted for U. S. 
citizenship, which was granted in 1917. Puerto Ricans understood 
that this was an implicit promise for statehood. Later, Santiago 
Iglesias introduced a statehood bill. Finally, Bolivar Pagan, 
Jorge Luis Cordova Diaz, and Baltasar Corrada del Rio were all 
statehood advocates. 

We are very happy and, indeed, deeply grateful to you for 
drafting Bill, H.R. 3024, which you have introduced in Congress, 
as Chairman of the Native American Insular Affairs Subcommittee, 
which finally opens the road to Puerto Rico to make a decision 
on its ultimate political status, including statehood as an 
alternative, which was the implicit understanding under which the 
people of Puerto Rico welcomed the American forces of General Miles 
in 1898. 



0^€ 3^a3> 366^08 ^cuv Jouzrv 0{oejcA> ^uui^ 00936-ff^OS 3^e// Sf9 j793-JfPMr 



234 



The Honorable Don Young 

Page 2 

March 12, 1996 

Thank you very much. Congressman Young, for your brilliant 
leadership in trying to settle the status problem of Puerto Rico 
in the dignified manner that becomes the United States Congress 
and the people of the United states. 



Sincerely, 




LuAs A. Ferre 



I 

1 



4 



235 




'UKfi^^ mb 



March 13, 1996 

The Honorable Elton Gallegly, M.C. 

Chairman, Subcommittee on Nat've American and Insular Affairs 

U.S. House of Representatives 

1522 Longworth House Office Building 

Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

Thank you for your letter of March 8, and please accept my congratulations for your co- 
sponsorship of H.R. 3024, the UniXed States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act. This bill, I 
believe, constitutes a clear and commendable response to my October 17, 1995 testimony in 
Washington, DC. before a joint hearing of your Subcommittee and the House 
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. 

You may recall my exhortation on that occasion; I spoke the following v\/ords, in reference 
to Puerto Rico's political status plebiscite of November 14, 1993: 

/ urge that you reaffirm the long-standing commitment of the Congress of the United States 
to Puerto Rican self-determination; reaffirm that commitment by formally advocating that 
self-determination be exercised without delay, in a permanently definitive manner. 

Just five months later, that call has been emphatically answered. 

I salute you for the leadership and for the statesmanship that you have exhibited by co- 
sponsoring legislation that upholds the highest principles of authentic self-determination: 
H.R. 3024 offers the people of Puerto Rico a responsible, dignified, eminently-viable 
mechanism for emerging at last from the bottomless quagmire of indefinition with which we 
have grappled throughout the entire 98 years of United States sovereignty over our territory. 

In accepting your invitation to present testimony when your Subcommittee on Native American 
and Insular Affairs conducts its March 23 hearing on the United States-Puerto Rico Political 
Status Act, I extend kindest regards and shall look fonvard to greeting you personally next 
week in San Juan. 

Sincerely, 



■idcoSy^Jd 



Pedro Rossello 



236 



WlS^^ui^bt 



p. 0. Box. ;447 

Ponce, PueAXo iUco 00 733 -J 44 7 

UoAch 4. 1996 



Hon. Hep. Elton GaZzgly 

U. S. Hoii6z oi RepAuejUivtivz 

fiki&IUnaton, VC 20515 

Hon . Kep. : 

(lie oAz pfLoud to p/LUuit ouA. MnceAz uttih thaX. thz pzoptz' a 

cho-icz be cUvtded into thuz thxeje. poLLU.c£di concZiiux)ni ioA. the. 

tnue. expneAiiion oi oux democnaof: 

Statehood 

KitJiOCAJVted Republic 

Complete Independence 

Thank you. 

SinceAely yoau. 



yp^^C^^/,O^.H^ /TTZ^^^^^'^ C}^^^^ 



inJ<^^ 





























I 



• 



237 











238 



REPUBUCA ASOCIADA 

PUERTO RICO "PRIMER A REPUBLIC A 

ASOCIADA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS" 

CUARTA OPCION AL STATUS EN ISSUE 

UNICO CREADOR : MANUEL E. ROMAN VALENTIN - REPUBUCANO 

APARTADO 417 MAYAGUEZ, PUERTO RICO -00681 TEL. (809) -834-2764 



January 23. 1996 

The honorable Don Young 

United states House of 

Representatives ^ 

Washington, D. C. * 

Sir: 

RE: Hearings for February 1 996 
Puerto Rico's Political Status 
in Puerto Rico 

I respectfully request an opportunity to express the concepts of the ASSOCIATED 
REPUBLIC, the only democratic independence, to be included in this Congressional Hearings. 

Resolution 23 of Puerto Rico's Conventional Constitution of 1952 , the people of Puerto 
Rico retains the right to propose and to accept modifications in mutual consent between the people 
of Puerto Rico and the United States of America in our relationship with the United states. 
Public Law 600 of 1950 recognizes our right toward the maxim of self government. 

As the Chairman of this Congressional Hearings and Congress consider the 
appropriate course of action to a future plebiscite on Puerto Rico's political status, it is 
essential that the dignity and self respect of the people of Puerto Rico be a matter of the 
highest consideration to our future relationship with the United states. 




ALENTIN 



CANDIDATO A GOBERNAE)OR 1996 y PRESIDENTE DE PUERTO RiCO 

NONflNACION DIRECTA 



239 



REPUBLICA ASOCIADA 

PUERTO RICO " PRIMERA REPUBUCA 

ASOCIADA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS " 

CUARTA OPCION AL STATUS 

UNICO CREADOR: MANUEL E. ROMAN VALENTIN - REPUBUCANO 
APARTADO 417-MAYAGOEZ. PJL 00681- 417 - TEL. (787) 834-2764 



10 de maizo de 19% 



Honorable Repfesenlante Don Young 
Presideole de la Comision de Recursos 
de la Camara de Represwitantes 
de los Estados Uiiuk)s 
Vistas en San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Estimado Representanle Dchi young: 



FcHiencia en espanol sobre d status politico 
de Puerto Rico d 23 de maizo de 1996 



1) 



INTRODUCX30N 



Muy buenos dias senor Presidente de la Comision de Recuisos de la Camara de Representantes 
de los Estados Unidos de Amerira y senores amgresistas de esta Comision. 

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico, ' LA ISLA DEL ENCANTO ' para cdetnar vistas sobre d status 
politico de Puerto Rico en mtestras reladones politicas con los Estados Unidos de Amenca. 

TRATADO DE PARIS DEL DL\ 10 DE DIOEMBRE DE 1898 
Los Estados Unidos de Amenca le pagaron a Espana VEINTE MILLONES DE DOLARES FOR 
PUERTO RICO Y POR OTRAS BLAS POSEIDAS POR ESPANA (Leyes 
Fundamenlales de Puerto Rico, Nueva Edidrai Revisada. Pagina 1 18) 



Kfi nombre es MANUEL E. ROMAN VALENTIN. Aguadeno, Repubbcano. veterano de Korea 
y Vietnai. Pensionado oon veinlocho (28) anos de sercacio militar y Guardia Nadonal Aerea de 
Puerto Rico Y UNICO CREADOR DE LA REPUBUCA ASOCIADA. UNICA INDEPENDENCL\ 
DEMOCRATICA. 

El 6 de octubre de 1996 notifique a la ComisiOT Estatal de Elecdones mi CANDIDATURA 
para GOBERNADOR, NOMENAQON DIRECTA, Y PRESIDENTE DE PUERTO RICO. ' PRIMERA 
REPUBUCA ASOCL\DA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS. CUARTA OPQON AL STATUS, de ser 
la Hbre detenmnadon dd pueblo de Puerto Rico en las decd on es de noviembre de 1996. 



240 



Hofxxable Represeulante Don Young Pagina 2 10 de maizo de 1996. 

2) El Estado IJlnB Asodado de Puerto Rico tiene forma de gobienio REPUBLICANA DE 
REPUBLICA: Poder Ejecutivo, Legisladvo y JudidaL Tiene soberania intema, derecbos de 
coosdtucidn. de I^islacion, de gobiecno.y de jurisdiccirai.. jj 

3) DEFINiaON DE " COMMONWEALTH ", REPUBUCA 
■ THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO ', REPUBUCA DE PUERTO RICO pero en 

asodacion permanenle con los Estados Unidos. Obligaciones y debeies, como puertoniquenos y 
chidadaDOS americanos, en nuestras lelaciraies politicas con los Estados Unidos. 

4) El concepto de la REPUBLICA ASOCIADA es sometido a ustedes para sa coosideraciaa j set 
inchrida en d (Hoximo plebisdto. La soberania actual (REAL) de Puerto Rico estara en los Estados 
Unidos como dudadadanos americanos hasta que d pueblo de Puerto Rico la remmde. 
5 DEFINiaON BASICA DE LA REPUBUCA ASOCL\DA EN " ISSUE ' EN EL 96 



PUERTO RICO " PRIMERA REPUBUCA ASOCIADA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS 
UNICA INDEPENDENCL\ DEMOCRATICA, HASTA QUE PUERTO RICO SEA ESTADO 51 
O HASTA QUE SE RENUNCIE LA CIUDADANL\ AMERICANA HACIA UNA INDEPENDENCL\ 
ABSOLUTA. CUARTA OPQON AL STATUS EN LAS ELECOONES DE NOVHMBRE DEL %. 

H GOBERNADOR SE CONVERTDUA EN PRESIDENTE DE PUERTO RICO. ELECOONES 
PRESIDENCL\LES CADA CUATRO (4) ANOS). EL VOTO PRESIDENCL\L Y VICEPRESIDENTE DE 
LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE SER APROBADO POR EI. CONGRESO. 

NUESTRAS DOS NAQONES . PRESIDENTES. CONSTTTUaONES . IDIOMAS. 
OUDADANIA COMUN. MONEDA, MERCADO. SEGURIDAD Y DEFENSA COMUN. BASES 
MIUTARES. EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOdADO A SU MAXIMO DESARROLLO POLITICO Y 
ECONOMICO. DE SER LA LIBRE DETERMINAQON DEL PUEBLO DE PUERTO RICO. 

6) OTRAS DEFTNiaONES 

El derecho politico del pud)lo de Puerto Rico a letener o a remmdar la cuidadania de los Estados 
Unidos de America. D derecho politico de los dudanos de los Estados Unidos con residenda en 
Puerto Rico por un ano a reteocr o a icnundar la CUIDADANIA PUERTORRIQUENA. Ley Jones de 
1917). Articuk) 5, Nucvo articulo incertado por Ley dd Congreso de 4 de marzo de 1927) 



{ 



241 



Honorable RefHesenlante Don Young Pagina3 lOdeoctubiede 1996 

7) RESOLUaON^O^^ERO 23 DE LA CO^^VENaONCONSTITUYENTEDE PUERTO RICO 
de 1952: 

El pu^lo de Puerto Rico r^ene el d«echo de proponer y ac^tar modificacioneis en los 
tenninos de sus leladones cxm los Estados Unidos de America, de modo que estas en (odo tiempo sean la 
expiesion de acuerdo Ubiemente concertado enlie el pueblo de Pu»to Rico y los Estados Unidos de 
America. 

8) La Ley PubHca 600, aprobada el 3 de julio de 1950 aut(»iz6 al pueblo de Puerto Rico a 
oiganizar una forma republicana de gobiono de acuerdo con una consdtudon de su propia selecdon. 
con la natuialeza de un * convenio *. Tambiai leconocio el doecho que el pudblo de Puerto Rico 
tiene al gobieno propio. Fue aprobada por el pueblo de Puerto Rico en el referendum de 4 de junio de 
1951. La Ley 600 fue firmada por el Piesidente de los Estados Unidos Hairy S. Truman. 

9) Eh 1952 PUERTO RICO, El ESTADO LIBRE ASOCLMK) DE PUERTO RICO, se 
convirli6 en una REPUBLICA ASOCIADA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS bajo las definidones de 
REPUBLICA y de "comoKxiwealtfa". como pueitoniquenos y ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos . 

10) DEFlNiaONES DE REPUBUCA (ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA ( pagina 391, vohimen 23) 

a) Forma de gobiemo en que el poder de soberania reside en d pueblo sea un cuerpo inl^ro de 
cuidadanos activos o con mayoria de ellos. Cuaquier gobiemo organizado de esta forma es considerado 
una repubtica. El pueblo puede toier soberania formal y no soboania actual (REAL 

b) La forma de gobiano republicana puede existir con un minimo de libertad actual e igualdad. 
(Puerto Rico tiene forma de gobiemo republicana: Podo* Ejeculivo, Legislativo y Judicial). 

c) REPUBLICA. Tambien se refiere a cualquier estado que fue commonwealtfa.( Encyclopedia 
Americana, a,b y c) pagina 391, vohimen 23. inchiyendo la definicion de COMMONWEALTH)) 

d) Pais o r^ion en ei cual el pods' qecutivo del estado y los miembios de la legislatiira soa 
elegidos por d pueblo. Acualmente la mayoria de la naciones del mundo. inchiyendo a los Estados 
Unidos y Rusia, son rqniblicas ( NUEVA ENQCLOPEDIA STANDARD, pagina R. 173) 

11) La investidura de la dudadania americana no ahao el 'treaty status* de Puerto Rico ni 
tampoco tuvo como consecuencia su incorporacion a la Union. Su ^ecto recayo sobre las 
personas no sobre d tenitorio DecisiMi dd Tribunal Supremo, Caso Balzac VS. people of Puerto 

258. U.S. 298 (1922). 



242 

H(MKKable Represoitante Don Young pagina 4 10 demarzode 1996 

12) PROJECTO DE LEY DE INDEPENDENCIA PARA PUERTO RICO DE 1 936 

REFERENDUM: INDEPENDENCIA SI O NO en noviembre de 1937. 

El 24 de febrero de 1936 el Senador Tydings presento en el Senado de los Estados Unidos este 
piojecto ofieciendole a Puerto Rico la independencia en attemtiva con el status quo coloniaL 

a) De triunfar U indqjoidencia se crearia un "COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO " 

b) A los seis (6) meses de inaugurado cl " commonweabfa los chidadanos de los Estados 
Unidos residentes en Puerto Rico y todos los naturales de Puerto Rico naddos en Puerto Rico, tendrian 
que escogCT entie ser cuidadanos de Estados Unidos o de Puerto Rico. 

c) despues de cuatro (4 ) anos de establecido el * commonweahb de 1937 se reconoceria a 
Puoto Rico como una tepublica indqxaidiente: PRIMER REFERENDUM ABORTADO. 

13) ACTA DE LA ESTADIDAD PARA PUERTO RICO DE 1977 Y OTROS PROPOSITOS 

Se som^io el 14 de enero de 1977 por d Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Gerald ILFonL 
Fue aprobada por El Senado y la Camara de Repiesentantes o&eciendole al pueblo de Puerto Rico la 
estadidad , bajo la Constitucidn de los Estados Unidos, si el pueblo la deseaba y de ser la libie obcion 
del pueblo de Puerto Rico. ( se incluye) 

14) Desde 1952 al presoite todas las elecciones genaales ban sido plebiscitarias. Los Piesidentes 
de los paitidos politicos de la estadidad, estado libre asociado e independencia (socialista o comunista) 
ban sido los unicos candidatos para gobemador de Puerto Rico. Solicitan donativos para sus formulas 
de status. Dichas fonnulas no ban estado en " ISSUE * desde 1952 al piesente. 

15) El puebto de Puerto Rico ha expresado su libre d^enninacion hacia las ties foimula de status, 
en las elecciones desde 1952 al piesente. Cualquier independencia lenundandosc la 
ciudadania de los Estados Unidos seria rechazada por la gian mayoria del pueblo de Puerto Rico. 

16) PLEBISOTO DE 1993. 

a) Fue un cngano al pueblo de Pueblo de Puerto Rico y al Congreso de los Estados Unidos y 
discriminacion politica. No sc incluyo la unica independencia democratica. REPUBUCA ASOCIADA, 
PUERTO RICO " PRIMERA REPUBUCA ASOOADA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIIXXS ". CUARTA 
OPCION AL STATUS. 



243 



Hongnble Represenlante Den Young Pa^oa 5 10 de tnaizo d 1996 

b) No fue tm mandaln al Coogreso de los los Estados Unidos. No obtuvo mayoria del 
dncuenthmo pcvcienlo ( 51 %), o mas. 

c) Fue una violadon a la RESOLUaON NUMERO 23 DE LA CWNVENQON CONSTITU- 
YENTEDE PUERTO RICO. NO SE INCXUYO LA CUARTAOPaON AL STATUS 

16) PUERTO RICO ES UNA NAQON CON SUCIUDADANL\PUERTORRIQUENA. 

NAQON: Conjunto fwinado ptv individuos a los que la unidad de temtoiio de cxigen e histcxia. 
de cultura, de costumbres o de idioma inclina a la comiinmidad de vida y ciea la conciencia de un 
destino comun. ( THrnrmann Encickq>edico VOX 

17) CUIDADANL\ PUERTORRIQUENA RECONOODA POR LA LEY JONES DE 1917 
Todos los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos que ban residido o que en lo sucesivo lesidieren, en 
la isla por un ano, seran ciudadanos de Puerto Rico.( Aiticulo 5, nuevo articulo inrjrtadn par Ley 
del Ccngreso de 4 de marzo de 1927) 

18) CIUDADANL\ DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS, LEY JONES DE 1917 

Toda peocxia nadda en Puerto Rico en o despues del 11 deabrflde 1899, sujelaalajuiisdicdon 
de los Estados Unidos. que en la fecha en que esta Ley entie en vigcx lesida en Puerto Rico u otro 
tetdtorio bsgo la sobentnia de los Estados Unidos y que no sea cuidadana de los Estados Unidos, bajo 
nialq iiW otra ley, se declara por la presente cuidadana de los Estados Unidos ( Ley de Nacionalidad 
de 1940-Publica N° 853- Congreso 76-^Hobada d 14 de octubre de 1940. para comenzar a legir 
noventa dias despues-Artiiculo 202)) 

Miirhisimas gradas por habenne concedido este tumo para deponer sobre el status pofitico 
en nuestras idaciones pofiticas con los Estados Unidos. ^ . 

DEPONENTE, MANUEL ROMAN 
CREADOR DE LA REPUBUCA ASOCIADA 



244 



REPUBLIC 



391 



Hmfaen of tropical genera or of tropical 
lamlici. Some migrant genera that once ei)- 
je^ an almost cosmo|>olitan diitribution. failed 
• lorvive in northern climes where only their 
bail remains acquaint us with the extent of 
ha former range. 



Poot, C. H., 
tmti tnJ CtHoda (New York 



llklUrnohr— Po 



Greece. — ^Tlie title of the first work in system- 
atic poBtical philosophy, Plato's Pulitcia (writ- 
ten in me first half of the 4th century B.C.) is 
translaied as Refiiblic. In this work, Plato de- 
velops his conceiiiion of a good society : a ripdiy 
or^auiied cify siaic, rviai liy a miliury and tn- 
tellcctiuil aristocracy, culminating in a philosopher- 
kiiig. The people, those who have lo work for 
the necessities of life, liave no |>oliiical rights. 
Nothing could lie farther removed from the mod- 
ern idea of a rcpuhlic — and itill, tlie title is justi- 
fied, for the whole rigid hierarchy is devised to 
insure the Stability aiul the welfare of tlie whole 
rather than of any S|>ccific group or person. Cich 
mcuilicr of the stale is siipix)»cd to jierform only 
that fuiiclion which is licsl suited to his cluir;4Clcr 
aiul ability. P<iliti«il ine<|ualiiy to Plato corres- 
REPUBLIC, a f^rrp nf fovfrnmenl in wliic li.i ponds to the naiiinil inc<|ualiiy of human faculties 

BUTtign power rests with the people, "ciiiicr vi'i lTT /' and needs. The hitler justifies the former and 

it tniire body ot active atiiens or wlin i riLlJui 



. N.y., IS 



Turllri tf Iht Unitrd 
I9J9): Smith, H. M.. 
Unitrd SlUfl n>d Ctmoda 
Ittet. N.y., l9-)6)- Schmidi. K. P., ind I>avi«t, D. 
It, fifU Book ai Snstri of the Umiird Slain »nd 
(mtdt (.Vcw York 1941): Bocert. C il., "Am^>hiliiani 
ai Intiki of Ihe World." vol. 2. The Atiimtl kimgdom 
{in York I9S4): l.ord. R. L. E., BrilUh RefKlet and 
impUktiu (London 1954): Rok, W., RrMilri lod 
isM^Miu */ Soullirrn Afriea (lumdon 1Vi4): l'0|«, 
t\L,KttiiU Wvrld (Untlun |056). 

AkTHUK I.nVEKIICE. 




m of it On the basis of popular sovereignty, 
:it lovemment is exercised by directly or nidi- 
ftnly e!ect«l magistrates or representatives. Any 
■prtrnment which is orpaniied in this form is 
gtti dtred a republic even iliough th e people may 
B only lormjil And noCatTTITn yjvi;n!i|jii iy 
Ihe degree oi popular sovcrcitTliy .lllilT^ 
(Btidpation of the people in llie govcrnnienial 
'Pncess varies considerably from one republic 
femother and even within the same republic at 
it different periods of its developnieiit. The 
a^lican form of government may exist with a 
■nnim of actual freedom and equality; suf- 
ffijt ind franchise may be confined to s rel.-iri%-e!y 
nail leaion of the population, and the repub- 
.ku institutions (assemblies, parliaments, cotin- 
'ah, elections, etc.) may in reality l« dnminnted 
!k powerful factions, social classes, even indivi- 
Lk. A republic, therefore, may or may not be 
'idotweracy. 

\ Chancing Meanings of Republic. — Tn the 
isfiiial tradition of the West, prior to the 
'Wrican and French revolutions, t he term re - 
jiiic could referjo a ny stale which "w 'as a cnni- 
•prwealth. That is to say, wTTlCIl W.ns MOI rtitrtTTTy 



I tynfi[ or""despot but was governed in the com 
Da interest rather than in the interest of one 
jnon or clique. In this sense of commonwealth, 
^nnarchy or an aristocracy could l>e c.illcd u 
k^lic if the government created and prumoied 
^4i common interest and welfare, and ihe term 
{Mid be applied to states in which political rights 
iSDt jTtatly restricted. Thus Jean Ootlin, one 

W tbe most influential political tlieorists of the . .... , . -. ... .. 

'Ski century, discussed under the title "republic" \ creaied the idea 
jkoiorMrchy, the aristocratic, and the popular, republic as a speci 
m. Barot) de La Brede el de Xfontesoiiieu, in ' 
hL'Ejpr^i des Lois (Spirit of Ihe Lau-i, I7J8), 
Ifaed a republican government as a state in 
'either tl>e collective body of the people, 
pnicular families should be possessed of the 
power." It is only at the time of the 
and French revolutions that republic 
the connotation of a free state with con- 
Alionally defined and guaranteed civil rights 
UlVrties of the indix'idual, and only during tlie 
|l and early 20tli century were the manifold 
■riaioni of the suffrage IcKally aliolished in 
ttinnced countries of the \Vejiem uorld. 
uk° change in the meaning of ilie term re- 
If^rtflecit the development of freedom in I 
dvilizaiion. The fo/louing historical' 
m»y illa^irate this process hj- discussing 
stages and types of republicanism. 



the few who know how to rule liest must rule tlie 
many in the interest of all. Plato's Refmblic is 
therefore a critique of tlie egalitarian Athenian 
democracy of the Periclean fieriod where the com- 
mon people ruled, according to Plato, such a 
st.ite could not projierly be called a republic, for 
iJie welfare of all could not tlius be preserved. 

The classical Greek city states of the Sih and 
4lli centuries B.C may lie called republics iniofar 
as the government was normally and directly 
elected by "the people." but within this jfeneral 
framework surli wi<le differences prevailed as 
that between the egalitarian democracy of Peri- 
clean Athens and the aristocratic-military oli- 
garcliy of Si>arta. Everywhere, "the people " con- 
stituted only a part of the adult population — a 
minority even in democratic Athens — slaves, 
resident aliens, and -women were not considered 
citizens with political rights. The fact that the 
Greek city stales developed on the basis of an 
uiifree pO||iilation sliarpeiied the conflict among 
Ihe various factions of the small citizen body, 
es|ieci:dly lictwcen the aristocratic and democratic 
groups, and added inlrrnal to national disunity. 
Violent competition for the hegemony of Greece 
and for power within the cily State led to constant 
warfare, until the Greek city-states succumlied 
to the Maccdoni:in conquerors (338 B.C). The 
weak remnants of local independence granted by 
the M;iceiloni:in kings were finally lost when the 
Romans defeated the last alliance of Greek states 
in 146 B.C 

Rome. — At the very time of the Roman con- 
quest of Greece, ihe Roman republic itself entered 
the |>liase of its final crisis. It was Rome which 
as well as the reality of the 
fie form of the state. 'The word 
IS derived from Ihe Latin res publico, meaning 
something which pertains (belongs) to the people. 
uliicli is the common concern (cause) of the 
people. The term thus contrasts with res privaia 
or familiaris. that which is a private or family 
matter and concern. The fact that the Roman 
Siaie in its history-making form emerged after 
the overthrow of the early kingship (about 510 
B.C) determined the definition of "republic" as 
opposed 10 monarchy and despotism: the rule of 
the kings was regarded as governmeni in the 
interest oi a f|irixaie) [icrs/'m or famil}- railier 
thin in the common inlcrest of the |«:«|/lc I!ul 
the repul.lif. w/iicli orii-inaterl in the ovtrihr'.w 
of the monarch>' and which l«came the (iride and 
greatness oi Uttmt did not ha\e any dt-mf<raiic 
connoiaiion. The kingship was overilirown l>y the 
aristocracy, and during its almost four hundred 



245 



rrprooi 

dtictd, rtprodueatf. To produce again 
or anew; to renew the production of; 
to generate, tj offspring; to portray 
or represent; to bring to the memory 
or imaginaiion. — reproducer, re— 
pro-du'ier, n. One who or that which 
reproduces.— reproduction, rf-pro— 
duk'shon, n. The act or proetsi of 
repnxiutang; the process whereby 
new individuals are generated and 
the perpetuation of the spedea en- 
sured; inat which is produced or pre- 
sented anew. — reproducilre, tl— 
pro-duJt'tiv, a. Periainuig to repro- 
duction; tending to reproduce, 
reproof, rj^rtJf, n. (O.F. rtprutvt, 
reproof.) The expression of blame 
or censure addressed to a person; 
blame expressed to one's face ; censure 
for a fault; reprehension; rebuke; 
reprimand. 
reprove, ri-prdir', v.t. — rtpravid, rt- 
provmg. [Fr. riprauvtr, to blame, to 
censure; O.Fr. rtpravtr, from L. 
reprobart. KCPROBATZ.] To chide; 
to reprehend; to express disapproval 
of (to rtprovt sins); to serve to ad- 
monish. — rcprovablc, ri-prtJ'va-bl, 
a. Worthy of being reproved ; deaerr- 
ing reproof or censure. — reprovml, 
h-pril'val, n. Aa of reproving; ad- 
monition; reptoo f. ■ r ep ro ver, ri— 
prd'ver, n. One that reproves, — 
reprovingly, ri-pr<5'ving'li, adv. In 
a reproving maruer. 
reptile, rep'tn, a. (Fr. nttilt, from 
L. rtptilu, creeping, mm rtpo, 
rtptum, to creep; akui to iirpo, to 
creep. SDtPtKT.J Creeping; moving 
on the belly, or with smail, short 
legs; groveling; low; mean; vile. — n. 
In a general sense, an animal that 
moves on iti belly, or by means of 
small, short legs; a crawling creature; 
specifically, zool. an animal belonging 
to the dais Repulia; a groveling, 
abject, or mean person. — rcptUlao, 
rep-til'i-an, a. Belonging to the class 
of^ reptiles. — n. An animal of the 
class Repulia; a reptile. 
\f/ republi c ri-pub'lilc, n. (Fr. r(lpu- 
tliqut, L. rupublica — ru, an anair, 
interest, and publica, fem. of pubHcui. 
...^^public RlAl, PimucJ A commog- ^/ 
— i|«~ wealth j" a political cbmmunitfi n 
wnjch the supreme power in ine 
state is vested either in certain 
privileged members of the com- 
munity or in the whole community, 
and thus varying from the most 
exclusive oligarchy to a pure democ- 
racv. — Federal reouklici. of which 
the United States and ;>witzerlancl 
are examples, consist of a number 



of separate states bound together 
by treaty, so as to present the aspect 
of a single state with a central gov- 
ernment, without wholly renouncing 
their individual powen of internal 
self-Bovemment. — republican, ri— 
pubU-kan, a. Pertaining to or having 
the charaaer of a republic; eon- 
sonant to the principles of a republic. 
— «. One who favora or prefers a 
republican form of government; 
[cap.] a member of the Republican 
party in U. S. politic}.— Rid Rt- 
publican. R£0. — rcpubllcuilsm, ri» 
pub'li-kan-izm, n. Republican system 
of government ; [cap.] principles and 



policies of the Republican party 
(U.S.); republican principles, 
republication, re-publi-ki'shon, n. 
The act of republishing; a new 
publication of something before 
published. 
republish, ri-pub'lish, v.t. To pub- 
lish anew; to publish again, as in a 
new edition. 
repudiate, ri-pu'di-af, ti.r. — rtpudi- 
attd, rrpudiatmf. [L. repudiOt repU' 
diatum, to divorce, to cast off, from 
rtpudium, a casting off, a divorce.) 
To cast away; to reject; to discard; 
to disavow; to divorce; to refuse 
to acknowledge or to pay, as debt.— 
repudlailoo, ri-pii'di-a'shon, n. (L, 
rtfudiatio.] The act of repudiating; 
rejection ; disavowal ; divorce ; refusal 
on the pan of a government to pay 
debts contracted by a former gov- 
ernment. — rcpudlaior, ri'pu'dfa*- 
ttr, n. One who repudiates. 

repugnance, repuynmncv, ri*pug'- 
nans, ri-pug'nan-si, n. [Fr. ripu- 
pianct; L, rtpufnantia, from npugno, 
to resist— re, against, and pugno, to 
fight. PUCNAaot/s.) The state of 
being opposed in mind; feeling of 
dislike lor some action; reluctance; 
unwillingness; oppositicm in nanue 
or qualities; contrariety. — repug> 
nant, ri-pug'nant, a. [L, rteufnaru, 
rtpufnaniii, ppr. of rtpufno.] Stand- 
ing or being in opposition; contrary; 
at variance: usually followed by lo 
(a sutement repiitnant to common 
seme); highly distasteful; offensive 
(a course repugnant te him). — repug- 
nantly, ri-pug'nant-li, adv. 

repulse, ri-puls', n. (L, ripulsa, from 
reptlh, repulium — r«, back, and ptllo, 
to drive. MTU..] The condition of 
being repelled or driven back by 
force; the act of driving back; a 
check or defeat; refusal; denial. ^^.i. 
— repuiitd, repuliing. To repel; to 
drive back; to refuse; to reject.—' 
repuUcr, ri-puls'ir, n. One that 
repulses. — repulsion, ri-pul'shon, n. 
(L. ripulsio.] The act of repelling; 
phyiia, a term often applied to the 
action which two bodies exert upon 
one another when they tend to 
increase their mutual distance. — 
repulsive, ri-pul'siv, a. Acting so 
as to repel; exercising repulsion; 
tending to deter or forbid approach 
or familiarity; repellent; forbidding. 
— repulilvcly, ri-pul'siv-li, adv. In a 
repulsive manner. — repuldvcncta, 
ri-pul'siv»nes, n. 

repurchase, re-p<r'chei, v.t. To buy 
back; to regain by purchase. — n. The 
act of burring again; a new purchase. 

repute, ri-put', v.t. — reputed, reput- 
ing. (Fr. riputer, from I_ repuio, to 
count over — re, and puto, to reckon, 
10 estimate (as in compute, impute, 
etc.). ptTTATlvi.) To hold in thought; 
to reckon, account, or coiuider aa 
such or such; to deem.^^. Reputa- 
tion; character, attributed by public 
report, especially good charaaer; 
honorable name. — reputed, ri-pu'- 
ted, p. and a. Generally considered; 
commonly believed, regarded, or 
accounted. — reputedly, ri-pu'ted-li, 
adv. In common opinion or estima- 
tion^— reputablej^rep^u^ta^blj^a. 



Being in good repute; held in 
esteem; not mean or disgraceful,— 
reputably, rep'u*ta*bli, adv. In 
a reputable manner. — reputation, 
rep-u-ta'jhon,n. (L. rrpuraiio.) Char- 
acter by report; opinion of character 
generally entertained; character at- 
tributed; repute; ia a good or bad 
sense; often favorable or honorable 
regard ; good name. 

request, ri-kwest', n. (O.Fr. rejueiti 
(Fr. requite), from L. requinta, • 
tiling required, a want, from requiro, 
requuttum re, again, and quaere, 
quatnium, to seek. qt;EST.] The 
expression of desire to some person 
for something to be granted or dor.e; 
an asking; a petition, prayer, ec- 
treaty; the thing asked for or re- 
quested; a sute of being esteemed 
and sought after, or asked for (an 
article in much request). .'. Requeit 
expresses less eameatnesi than <r- 
treaty and wpplication ; and supposes 
a right in the person requested to 
deny or refuse to grant, in this 
differing from demand.— v.t. To 
make a fequest for; to solicit or 
express desire for; to express a 
request to; to ask. 

Requiem, ri1twi>em, n. [Ace case 
of L, requies, rest, respite, relaxation 
— re, again, and quia, rest, repose.) 
[usually cap.] A funeral dirge or 
service, containing the words '/?<• 
quiem aeternam', etc., sung for the 
rest of a person's soul; a grand 
musical composition performed in 
honor of some deceased person. 

require, ri-kwir', v.t. — required, re- 
quiring. (O.Fr. requerre, reqtderre, 
requirre (Fr. requerir), from L. re- 
juiro, requ'rere, to ask for. RZQUZrr.J 
To detnand; to ask as of right and 
by authority; to insist on having; 
to ask as a favor; to call upon to act; 
to request; to have need or necessity 
for; to need or want (the matter 
require} great care, we require fcxxi); 
to find it necessary; to have to: with 
infinitives (you will require to go). — 
requirement, ri-kwir'ment, n. The 
act of requiring; demand; that which 
requires the doing of something; aa 
essential condition; something re- 
quired or necessary. — requisite, rek'- 
wi«rit, a. [L. reqmtituj, from requrro.] 
Required by the nature of things or . 
by circumstances; necessary. — it. 
That which is necessary; something 
indispensable. — requiiitely, rek'wi— 
zit-li, adv. In a requisite manner; 
necessarily. — requlsltenesa, rek'wi— 
zit-nes, n. — requiiitlon, rek'wi'Zish'- 
on, n. (L, requiiitio.] An application 
made as of a right; a demand; a 
demand for or a levying of neces- 
saries by hostile troops from the 
people in whose couintry they are; 
a written call or invitation (a requiii- 
lion for a public meeting); state of 
being required or much sought 
after; request. — v.t. To make a 
requisition or demand upon. 

requite, ri-kwit', v.t.^equited, re- 
quiting. (From re, back, and quit. 
qurr.J To repay either good or 
evil: m a good sense, to recompense 
or reward: in a bad sense, to retaliate 
on. — requlier, ri-kwi'tdr, n. One 



f3te, fSr, fire, fat, f^U; mi, met, hir; pine, pin; note, not, mdvc; tube, tub, bull; oil, potmd. 



246 



FOd ir.u'ihL'lATE RELEASE JANUARY 14, 1977 

Office of the White House Press Secretary 

THE WHITE HOUSE 

TEXT OP A LETTER FROM THE 
PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE . 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE 

JANUARY 14, 1977 

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) 

I submit herewith to the Congress the Puerto Rico 
Statehood Act of 1977. 

The purpose of the Act is to extend to the people of 
Puerto Rico the opportunity to achieve the status of 
statehood if they should so desire. • r 

Since 1900, Presidents and Congresses have debated the 
question of statehood for Puerto Rico. 

Some progress has been made in providing the people of 
Puerto Rico with greater autonomy and a greater measure • 
of self-government. But these great people are still 
not represented with a vote in either the House or Senate 
They are still not represented in the election of a 
President. 

Full equality for the people of Puerto Rico cannot come ■ 

without full representation. 

The social and economic progress to which they aspire 
cannot come without the political equality of statehood. 



("Any change in the status of the Commonwealth must be 
/ accomplished by the mutual consent of the people of 
^Puerto Rico and the United States. 



? 



As Congress considers the appropriate course of action ^^ 
relating to the permanent status of Puerto Rico, it is ^ 
essential that the dignity and self-respect of the greaty 
people of Puerto Rico be a matter of the highest 
consideration. 

Accordingly, the legislation I propose would establish, 
within the framework of the United States Constitution 
and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 
a sequence of steps reflecting the historic procedures 
by which present states entered the Union, while recog- 
nizing the special circumstances of the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico and the aspirations of the citizens of the 
Commonwealth. 

First-, -In recocnitlcn_of- t.hfr ■-fact--thart-statehcmcir •"" 
for Puerto Rico would require the resolution of' 
many complex issues. Congress would establish a 
Joint U.S. -Puerto Rico Commission to enable the 
people of Puerto Rico to participate effectively 
in determining the terms and conditions for Puerto 



247 



•Rico-' 3 proposed admission to statehood. By pro- 
viding a forum for the reaching of a broad under- 
standing of the Issues and Implications Involved 
in admission to the Union, this Act would ensure 
that the advantages and disadvantages and the 
rights and responsibilities of statehood are fully 
presented to the people of Puerto Rico — before 
deciding whether their Commonwealth should become" 
a state. 

Second, Congress, after receiving the Commission 
Report, would set the terms -and conditions of , .; . 
statehood. ■ ■. - •• " '_ * . '^i. ... 

Third, the Act provides "for an island-wide 

referendum among the people of Puerto Rico on 

whether the Commonwealth should become astate. .■";.■ 

Fourth, the Act proposes that "If the referendum 
passes, delegates to a Constitutional Convention 
will meet to frame a Constitution for the proposed. 

state. • ■ ■ ■ ■ ; ' - ■ • 

Fifth, the new constitution would be presented to 
the people of Puerto Rico' for ratification. : ,. • 

Sixth, the proposed State constitution/ if ratified/ 
would be submitted to the President of the United ' 
States and to Congress for approval. • — '• 

Seventh, upon approval of the proposed Constitution, 
the voters of Puerto Rico wouldelect two Senators 
and five Members of the House of Representatives. 



Eighth, "the Governor of Puerto Rico would certify 
the results of the election to the President, and 
the President v/ould proclaim Puerto Rico a state. , 

After more than three-quarters of a Century of discussion 
about Puerto Rico, it is time to act and act positively. 
By passage of this Act the representatives of the people . 
of the 50 States wlll'say to the people of '-Puerto Rico : ' 
Join .us as equals. •■ "■- /'' '• ■".:'.;!■;'' .'"''■.■• 

I urge the Congress to act. ' ■'•■•• 

Sincerely, ' • ■ ._.... 



GERALD R. FORD 



248 



m ■ r m"^ WW* •_ T\ O • ^ — — ' 



Hearing Weighs New Plebiscite on Puerto Rico 



%j n» N*« van r.mr* 

SAN JUAN, PR. March 23 - 
Opening another chapter In the long 
and complex relailon.^hlp between 
Ihls Island territory and the United 
Slates, a Republican Congressman 
led a hearing today on a bill he said 
could bring cither sovereignly or 
statehood to Puerto Rico by 2010 

Several hundred Puerto Rtcans 
demonstrated outside the hearing at 
the Government Receptions Center 
In Old San Juan, waving (lags and 
holding placards, ranging Irom 
"statehood now" to "commonwealth 
forever ' Inside, their political lead- 
ers defended their status preference 
before the often heated session of the 
House Subcommittee on Native 
American and Insular Affairs. 

The hearing, led by Representa- 
tive Don Young, Republican of Alas- 
ka, focused on a bill he filed two 
weeks ago to call a referendum in 
Puerto Rico before the end of 1998. 
the year that will mark a century of 
United States rule over the Island. 
and ask vtiters to choose among 
statehood, sovereignty or free asso- 
ciation Free association would In- 
volve a pact between Pueno Rico 
and the United States, which could be 
terminated by either side 

The governing New Progressive 
Party, which favors statehood, has 
hailed the bill, which has the support 
of some 36 representatives. Including 
Speaker Newt Gingrich 

Guv l*edru J Russcllo. the leader 
of the statehood movement, urged 
the subcommittee to remove the 
"stigma" of territorial status from 
Puerto Rico 

"Literally, (or generations, we 
have been exerting nursclves — ear- 
nestly and In ttnud falih — nnly lo 
discover, again and again, that our 
body politic has been going around In 
circles. ' the Governor said In testi- 
mony hclore the sutKommlitre 

But the opposition f^pular Demo- 
cratic I'nrty, which (avors Improv- 
ing upon the existing commonwealth 
status, mounted an embittered re- 
sponse to the measure. Party leaders 
have accused Mr Young, who Is 
openly pro-statehood, of filing .1 bill 
that IS weighted heavily in favor of 
the New Progressive Party 

Popular DcmtKrats voiced anger 
at a bill calling for a new plebiscite 
when a plurality of voters chose com- 
monwealth over statehood in a No 
vember 1993 status plebiscite held by 
the New Progressive Pany Govern- 
ment. Commonwealth got 48.6 per- 
cent of the vote, narrowly defeating 
statehood by two |>ercentage points. 
Independence finished third with 4.4 
percent of the vote. 

The president of the Popular Dem- 
ocratic Party. Hector Luis Acevedo. 
refused to participate In a new plebi- 
scite In spite of Mr Young's willlng- 
ncs*" lo include a commonwealth dcf- 
Init.un. set by Congress, m u luturr 



rclerendum 

"The Popular Democratic Party 
rr|ecls this undemocratic bill, and In 
the unlikely event that II be ap- 
proved, shall not participate In any 
such sham plebiscite as Is tried to be 
Imposed here." said Mr Acevedo. 
who icstllled In Spanish belore ihe 
English speaking committee mem- 
tiers "because it is the language o( 
my people * Committee members 
listened via simultaneous transla- 
tion 

The subcommittee held public 
hearings In Washington on the 1993 
plebiscite results last (all But In 
February Mr Young and three other 
representatives said the relerendum 
lelt the status issue "open and unre- 
solved." 

Mr Young and other members o( 
the subcommittee said they ob)ected 
to the winning commonwealth dellnl- 
tlon because several aspects o( It 
cannot be entorced. Among other 
things. Ihe winning definition called 
for "Irrevocable" United Slates citi- 
zenship, permanent union with the 
United Slates, and fiscal autonomy 

Commonwealth advocates gener- 
ally hold that a bilateral agreement 
exists bemeen Pueno Rico and the 
United Stales, under which the Island 



Is self-governing, retains a scpar.nic 
cultural Identity, and Is exempt (nun 
paying federal taxes, among other 
points 

Statehood and Independence advo- 
cates say the existing common- 
wealth status Is tantamount to colo- 
nialism Residents of Puerto Rico 
are governed also by federal law and 
couns. are subject to the military 
draft, and are sllll Ineligible to vote 
In the presidential elections. The Is- 
land of nearly four million residents 
elects one non-voting representative 
to Congress, the resident commis- 
sioner 

The Young bill makes clear that 
only statehood carries the guarantee 
of continued American citizenship 
and a permanent link to the United 
States 

If passed, the Young bill would 
enact the United States-F>uerto Rico 
Political Status AcL calling on Puer- 
to RIcans to choose statehood or sov- 
ereignty, either through free associa- 
tion with the United States or inde- 
pendence. If one of the options u ins a 
ma)orlty of the vote, the Islaml will 
undergo a transition phase nf .-it luast 
ID years during which the status 
change must be ratlllcd Iwitc by 
Puerto RIcan voters and Congress 



249 



Sunday, March 24, 1996 Houston Chronicle 



Bill to bring sovereignty or statehood 
to Puerto Rico by 2010 is introduced 



New York Times 



SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Open- 
ing another chapter in the long and 
complex relationship between this 
island territory and the United 
States, a Republican congressman 
led a hearing Saturday on a bill he 
said could bring either sovereignty 
or statehood to Puerto Rico by 2010. 

Several hundred Puerto Ricans 
demonstrated outside the hearing 
at the Government Receptions Cen- 
ter in Old San Juan, waving flags 
and holding placards, ranging from 
"statehood now" to "commonwealth 
forever." 

Inside, their political leaders de- 
fended their status preference be- 
fore the often heated session of the 
House Subcommittee on Native 
American cind Insular Affairs. 

The hearing, led by Rep. Don 
Young, R-Alaska, focused on a bill 
he filed two weeks ago to call a 
referendum in Puerto Rico before 
the end of 1998, the year that will 
mark a century of United States rule 
over the island, and ask voters to 
choose among statehood, sover- 
eignty or free association. 

Free association would involve a 
pact between Puerto Rico and the 
United States, which could be termi- 
nated by either side. 

The governing New Progressive 
Party, which favors statehood, has 
hailed the bill, which has the sup- 
port of some 36 representatives, 
including Speaker Newt Gingrich. 

Gov. Pedro J. Rossello, the leader 
of the statehood movement, urged 
the subcommittee to remove the 
"stigma" of territorial status from 
Puerto Rico. 

"Literally, for generations, we 
have been exerting ourselves - 




Associated Press 



Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has 
filed a bill calling for a referendum 
in Puerto Rico betore the end of 
1998 that would ask voters to 
choose among statehood, sover- 
eignty or free association. 

earnestly and in good faith - only to 
discover, again and again, that our 
body politic has been going around 
in circles," the governor said in 
testimony before the subcommittee. 

But the opposition Popular Demo- 
cratic Party, which favors improving 
upon the existing commonwealth 
status, mounted an embittered re- 
sponse to the measure. Party lead- 
ers have accused Young, who is 
openly pro-statehood, of filing a bill 
that is weighted heavily in favor of 
the New Progressive Party. 

Popular Democrats voiced anger 
at a bill calling for a new plebiscite 



when a plurality of voters chose 
commonwealth over statehood in a 
November 1993 status plebiscite 
held by the New Progressive Party 
government. Commonwealth got 
48.6 percent of the vote, narrowly 
defeating statehood by two percent- 
age points. Independence finished 
third with 4.4 percent of the vote. 

The president of the Popular 
Democratic Party, Hector Luis 
Acevedo, refused to participate in a 
new plebiscite in spite of Young's 
willingness to include a common- 
wealth definition, set by Congress, 
in a future referendum. 

"The Popular Democratic Party 
rejects this undemocratic bill, and in 
the unlikely event that it be ap- 
proved, shall not participate in any 
such sham plebiscite as is tried to be 
imposed here," said Acevedo, who 
testified in Spanish before the En- 
glish-speaking committee members 
"because it is the language of my 
people." Committee members lis- 
tened via simultaneous translation. 

The subcommittee held public 
hearings in Washington on the 1993 
plebiscite results last fall. But in 
February Young and three other 
representatives said the referen- 
dum left the status issue "open and 
unresolved." 

If passed, the Young bill would 
enact the United States-Puerto Rico 
Political Status Act, calling on Puer- 
to Ricans to choose statehood or 
sovereignty, either through free as- 
sociation with the United States or 
independence. 

If one of the options wins a major- 
ity of the vote, the island will under- 
go a transition phase of at least 10 
years during which the status 
change must be ratified twice by 
Puerto Rican voters and Congress. 



o 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 05984 180 7 



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ISBN 0-16-05351 




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0000