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It’s Been 50 Years Of Political Fantasy

By Arturo J. Guzmán

May 17, 2002
Copyright © 2002 SAN JUAN STAR. All Rights Reserved.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the local constitution the Popular Democratic Party, its proxies and colonialist collaborators will once again take advantage of the occasion to try and delay the effects of the terminal damage inflicted upon their deceitful misrepresentations by the Judicial, Executive, and Legislative branches of the federal government.

Recent actions by the U.S. Congress during and as a result of the "Young Bill" process, the hearings conducted by Congressman Doolittle on the P.D.P.’s official proposal for "Enhancements to Commonwealth" and the determining "Harris vs. Rosario" U.S. Supreme Court ruling have left the segregationists little recourse but to seek refuge in their ancient lies. The P.D.P.’s repeated historical failure to base their proposals within the terms dictated by the U.S. Constitution and international law has made their political and ideological survival dependant not upon the future but upon the past as evidenced by recent articles and letters recently published in the Star intent on reviving the myth of the existence of a "pact", "compact" or "bi-lateral pact" between Puerto Rico and the United States.

After close to thirty years of research here and in Washington I must confess that I join the ranks of all three branches of the federal government and thousands of other individuals who have failed to locate a copy of the notorious document for the simple reason that it never existed nor can it exist while Puerto Rico remains an un-incorporated territory of the United States subject to the plenary powers of the Congress under the "Territory Clause" of the U.S. Constitution.

To reach that truthful conclusion you need not be a lawyer or constitutional expert, although an understanding of basic constitutional law is almost as essential as knowing not only how to read but to understand what is being read. Additionally, the search for truth demands full impartiality, not the analysis of a few selective documents manipulated to accommodate a pre-conceived conclusion intended to suit a political agenda.

There has never been any proof that can be verified through historical documentation that a "compact" or "bi-lateral pact" did in fact exist in any form other than the mutual verbal agreement between the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government and local Puerto Rican officials led by Luis Muñoz Marin that committed both parties to the process which culminated with the enactment of Public Law 600.

All existing evidence confirms that after protracted negotiations, the President and Congress agreed with Muñoz only to introduce and enact legislation that would allow for the approval of a local constitution and limited internal self-government subject to the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution and federal statute. This legislation would be enacted without altering or changing Puerto Rico’s territorial political status a fact ascertained, conditioned, and acknowledged at the time by the Congress and by Muñoz himself.

Pacts, compacts, treaties etc. are contractual agreements. In much the same manner as an adult cannot enter into a contract with a minor, unless represented by a parent or legal guardian, countries cannot enter into agreements unless they are sovereign. Sovereignty to a country is the equivalent to an individual’s reaching the legal age that allows them to be responsible for their own acts. Puerto Rico’s sovereignty resides in the U.S. Congress as agreed by the terms of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, so in essence the Congress cannot pact with itself nor with a "minor’’ under its own custody. For Congress to enter into a pact, treaty or agreement with Puerto Rico or any other territory under its jurisdiction there must be a previous or simultaneous transfer of sovereignty and the creation of a new independent and sovereign body politic.

Another reason a pact could not exist under still prevailing colonial conditions, was the 1917 grant of U.S. citizenship to those Puerto Ricans that desired it and their eventual successors. The Congress of the United States is prohibited by the constitution to pact with its own citizens, and even states of the union that have more ample sovereignty than do territories cannot enter into pacts with the federal government.

In summary, the Congress has never acted nor will ever act beyond the framework of the Constitution, so those that seek a relationship with the United States that is based upon a pact or a treaty have no recourse but to seek independence. And that is as true today as it was fifty years ago when all the negotiators knew and accepted it as the truthful reality.

Arturo J. Guzman can be contacted at:

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