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  • Puerto Ricans demand their freedom at the U.N.

    Puerto Ricans demand their freedom at the U.N. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 June 2019

Puerto Rican activists called for their independence from the United States at the United Nations while denouncing exploitative U.S. corporations in the island. 

The request for independent Puerto Rico was re-iterated at the United Nations Monday as many petitioners from the island came for a hearing as part of a special committee of the international body. 

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Jocelyn Velasquez, one of the leaders of the resistance movement said the only solution to Puerto Rico’s problems is independence. 

“Every year we go to the UN Decolonization Committee to raise this problem, but there is no progress,” said Velasquez who is a member of the Socialist Front of Puerto Rico. 

They are against the U.S. Fiscal Control Board. In 2016, the administration of then U.S. President Barack Obama imposed a Fiscal Control Board on the island whose power, he called, is above any other institution in the region. 

According to Velasquez the board plunders the resources of Puerto Rico and leaves the population vulnerable.

Lourdes Garcia, an activist from the collective A Call to Action in Puerto Rico said people on the island are facing tremendous hardship. 

Two years after the powerful hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island, many people in Puerto Rico live in houses with improvised roofs made of awnings, due to the total indifference of the authorities, he said. 

After the hurricane, hardships grew so much that many Puerto Ricans were forced to flee the island which led many U.S. corporations to invest there, leading to exploiting resources and destroying the environment. 

Additionally, the closure of health centers is increasingly alarming while electricity and water supply services are interrupted continuously.

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