“ For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.” - Audre Lorde
Today, November 3rd, there is a plebiscite happening in Borikén on whether or not our country should become a state within the United States of Amerikkka and we must vote NO! This year’s plebiscite (Ley 51-2020) was put forth by el Partido Nuevo Progresista de Puerto Rico (PNP), which is the pro-statehood party. Under Ley 51-2020, PNP is proposing a condensed and disgusting question: Statehood “Yes” or “No”? This is an attempt from the bourgeoisie to strengthen ties with the capitalists and ignore the inhumane conditions of Boricuas, both in Borikén and in the U.S. Voting “No” is a vote in solidarity with Boricuas that have been fighting for independence from imperialism for 122 years.
This attempt by the PNP to promote statehood as a cure-all for the exploitation of our people, land, and culture is deceitful. It’s a capitalist truco (trick) to give the impression that there’s hope for advancement for us within imperialism, but we’ve always been treated like second class citizens and exploited. The lies that have been forced down our throats since childhood is that life in the U.S. is “better” and if we become a state they will respect us and treat us better. The PNP has been attempting to appease the U.S. since its creation in the 1960’s. It’s party has pushed for policies like "Mano dura contra el crimen" ("Strong hand against crime"), which worked with the National Guard and U.S. military to attack mostly Black, Brown, and poor neighborhoods. More recently, PNP candidate Ricardo Rosello was kicked out of office after being exposed as: corrupt, misogynistic, homophobic, and making jokes about victims of Hurricane Maria. Capitalists have their boots firmly on our necks and a greedy bourgeoisie class to do their dirty work. Furthermore, they would lose too much money, being that Borikén supposedly owes $74 billion and is forced to be one of the largest consumers of U.S. goods through policies we have no control over. Under the U.S. constitution we are a territory, property of the U.S. After 122 years of occupation by the United States of Amerikkka, why would they make us a state? Capitalists can exploit our people and land more if we are a territory, so what incentive is there to change our status?
Across the archipelago the people have been and are protesting against the colonial conditions forced upon us under capitalism. Though Borikén has been fighting for independence, the necessity for it is growing as material conditions worsen. Working class Boricuas are having much needed conversations on independence and our deeply rooted history of mass movements against capitalism. The most recent campaign for independence was a collaboration between Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH) along with Friends of Puerto Rico Initiative. They launched the first International Day of Solidarity for the Independence of Puerto Rico on the 70th anniversary of the Jayuya Uprisings, led by the Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico (PNPR) that fought for independence despite the consequences.
There should be no plebiscites on statehood, only organized struggle towards independence. International solidarity is necessary as both the plebiscite and presidential “elections” move forward; we can no longer afford to take on the material burdens imposed on us by the capitalists. When something bad happens in the U.S., the territories it owns always take on the brunt of the damage and debt. This vicious capitalist cycle will not be resolved by a U.S. president (puppet) nor will Ley 51-2020 end our colonial status. Through the uprising of Boricuas for independence, both in Borikén and abroad, and international solidarity we can work towards an independent Socialist Borikén!