By CRISTINA DEL MAR QUILES
Considering the proposed HR 2499 “an outrage, an insult and a joke to the people of Puerto Rico,” the Puerto Rican Independence Party said Sunday it would not collaborate to get it approved. “We decided to denounce and combat the abuse, both in Puerto Rico and internationally, with a reasonable proposal that fits all the interests involved to address this abuse by the U.S. Congress,” PIP President Rubén Berríos Martínez said.
The PIP’s proposal calls for holding a referendum through which Puerto Ricans would require and demand that the U.S. Congress fulfill its obligation to decolonize the island, the former senator said.
On the same day of the vote, there would be a second ballot for voters to choose between a constitutional assembly or a plebiscite as mechanism to submit proposals for decolonization.
This proposal is aimed mainly at the leadership of the governing New Progressive Party and its main political challenger the Popular Democratic Party, Berríos Martínez said.
“In the case that they do not accept our proposal and were to hold the sham plebiscite that has been announced, the PIP would conduct a collaborative non-militant campaign using all its resources, both nationally and internationally,” Berríos Martínez, leader of the Socialist International movement, said.
At the appropriate time, the PIP will begin contacting various sectors of the island that believe in decolonization to coördinate efforts and carry out a public campaign of non-coöperation with the bill being studied in Congress, he said.
“If the leadership of the PDP and the NPP respond to the insult and affront to the dignity of our people by working together [to get HR 2499 passed], they will have to do it alone and on their knees,” Berríos Martínez said.
The PIP has previously been involved in other status votes in which independence was among the status options.
In the opinion of the members of the PIP, HR 2499 — being pushed by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi — does not advance the decolonization and independence of Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Ricans can not collaborate. We can not be accomplices, and we must condemn and combat this colonialist hoax by the U. S. Congress,” he said, while proposing “facing this Congressional move [with] a course of action, a response that is worthy of our people.”