The following resolution was passed at the June 2007 National Convention of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
The Party for Socialism & Liberation stands resolute in support for Puerto Rico’s historic struggle for independence and self-determination.
The plight of the Puerto Rican people under U.S. colonial rule began with the Spanish American War, when the United States rose to be a world imperialist power. The U.S. military invasion of Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898, was part of a series of conquests in Cuba, Guam and the Philippines. With Spain’s defeat the United States gained control of these territories as “spoils of war.” Without the consent of the masses, a period of outright colonial domination has existed in Puerto Rico in which all matters concerning the economic and political life of the country is decided not by Puerto Ricans but by the U.S. rulers in Washington.
The colonizers occasionally conduct phony plebiscites and orchestrate dialog sessions to masquerade the fact that a state of foreign occupation exists in Puerto Rico and the people are denied by decree the most basic of the right of self-determination.
For example, U.S. law states clearly that no matter the outcome of any election in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Congress must approve the election results. The U.S. Congress has the legal jurisdiction to annul the results of a plebiscite. In other words, if the people of Puerto Rico were to vote unanimously for independence, that process could be rendered meaningless by the imperialist congress of the occupying force.
Poverty in Puerto Rico is worse than in the poorest U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of the most densely industrialized regions in the world. Puerto Rico produces an annual average of 26 billion dollars for U.S. capitalist manufacturers—one of the highest per capita in the world for a population of 4 million. Facts like these give us a glimpse of the criminality of colonialism.
Puerto Rico has a classic colonial relationship with the United State imperialist government . After the Second World War, Puerto Rico was rapidly industrialized under the U.S. created “Operation Bootstrap” plan. Its sophisticated economic infrastructure and the existence of a well- educated and technically-skilled working class partly makes Puerto Rico a modern day capitalist colony. Puerto Rico is undoubtedly a proletarian nation.
The form of domination exercised by the United States in Puerto Rico is the oldest in history which dates back to the Romans, the Greeks and through the conquest of the Americas, Africa and Asia by Europeans. For this naked and open form of foreign subjugation to be practiced in this day and age when the bourgeoisie itself generally favors disguising its colonial policy, points to the extremely hideous nature of the U.S. presence in Puerto Rico.
As a communist organization in the colonizing country, we aim to achieve the ultimate victory of socialism and smash capitalism in the United States, the principle oppressor of the world’s people. The PSL therefore, raises unconditionally the banner of independence for Puerto Rico and defends whatever means and tactics the national liberation movement of that country employs to expel the reigns of foreign oppression from its homeland.
Hence, we condemn the repression launched against the Puerto Rican independence movement throughout the time span of U.S. colonial rule. We condemn the killing and imprisonment of so many freedom fighters throughout the 20th century and, most recently, the assassination of Machetero leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios.
It is the capitalist system that has served as the root cause for the colonization of Puerto Rico and the racism experienced by the Puerto Rican diaspora which was forced to migrate and live in the United States. Our party therefore seeks to embrace, most especially, those forces which represent the revolutionary current and socialist perspective within the framework of the national struggle.
It is based on our deepest convictions that the greatest act of solidarity we can render the Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence is to weaken the position of the capitalist system in the United States and aim to establish a society where the people of both countries live in a world without capitalism and colonial oppression. Being a Leninist party, we view support for the struggles in the colonies as an integral part and an essential requirement for carrying out the proletarian revolution in an imperialist country like the United States.
For these reasons, the Party for Socialism & Liberation will uncompromisingly uphold the banner of independence for Puerto Rico— a historical demand which in every sense of the word is at the core of the peoples’ right to self-determination.
Onward with Socialist Revolution!
¡Que viva Puerto Rico libre!