Francis Boyle with Rafael Cancel Miranda, the Nelson Mandela of Puerto Rico
Francis Boyle with Rafael Cancel Miranda, the Nelson Mandela of Puerto Rico
THE NAME OF OUR COUNTRY IS BORINKEN!
On November 19, 1493, Christopher Columbus reached the shores of our land and made a rare ceremony through which he said: “I take possession of this land in the name of the King and Queen of Spain.” In this way, that strange thief of other’s land, dared to perform such an act of stealing and looting of the sacred island of Borikén. In his first letter to the king and queen of Spain, on his return from his first voyage to the West Indies and after visiting several islands of the archipelago, Columbus tells the monarchs as follows: “… and all of them I have taken possession for their Highnesses by proclamation and extended the royal banner, and I was not contradicted”. And what else could Colón expect, if the Tainos did not know what he was saying in his Spanish language? Such daring, to say that he took possession of all the islands by proclamation, which means that he proclaimed verbally, or said it in a loud voice, and extended the royal flag, ie, the actual Spanish flag waving and nobody told him otherwise. This is actually a mockery of historical reality and under no circumstances this act could mean having acquired the land legally and legitimately. It is obvious that, Christopher Columbus, by just pronouncing that phrase in a foreign language to the inhabitants of our land, could never have acquired a legitimate title to it. The name of usurper would fit him better.
After the claim of Columbus, in the year 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the Bull “Inter Caetera”, through which he made a “donation” of the lands sighted by Columbus to him and to the Crown of Spain. In this Bull , Pope Borgia says: “ …by the authority of Almighty God, to us in Saint Peter granted and by the vicariate of Jesus Christ that we have on these lands, with all of the manors, towns, forces, villas, rights, jurisdictions and all their belongings, from the tenor of those present, I give, grant and assign them forever to you and the king and queen of Castille and Leon, your heirs and successors …” With this Bull, what has been historically known as “The Doctrine of Discovery “, was established. Through it, the invasion, dispossession and genocide of native peoples is blessed. Today it has been considered as illegal and immoral. Years later Fray Anton de Montesinos answered this bull from the pulpit of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, telling the “encomenderos”, including Diego Colón, Spanish Viceroy, this: “Tell me, by what right and with what justice do you keep these Indians in such cruel and horrible servitude? By which authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who were in their lands, calm and peaceful, where an infinite number of them, with unheard deaths and devastation have you exterminated? How do you keep them so oppressed and weary, without eating or healing them in sickness, which from excessive work become ill and die, or rather, you kill them, just to extract and acquire gold every day?” From the beginning of colonization, there were great voices, as well that of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, who questioned the legality of the same. Many others also spoke out against the “legitimacy” of the plunder, theft and exploitation that Spain exercised in America, therefore the colonists never had a legitimate title to our lands. It is obvious that neither Columbus nor the king and queen of Spain never had a legitimate title to the lands he sighted in his travels to the Caribbean and America. Especially so, when these lands were inhabited by a large and vast Taino nation stretching from much of the Lesser Antilles, to the Major, up to the Lucayas (The Bahamas today). Almost, all of the Caribbean islands were densely populated by the Taino Nation, and although each island was ruled by different governments, they entailed a social, economic, ethnic, cultural and spiritual unity. What Christopher Columbus did was to perform a vile act of usurpation of lands that had their legitimate sovereign owners, the Tainos.
Our original ancestors had been living on this land for over five thousand years before the Spanish invasion in 1508. The Taino people built a nation in every sense of the word. They had a stable population, a common language, a political system, its own culture, a defined territory, the ability to engage in international relations with other nations and genuine sovereignty. The latter was demonstrated when Agüeybaná the Great and Juan Ponce de León held a guaitiao ceremony through which a pact of mutual recognition, non-aggression and trade agreement was made. With this treaty the Spanish Crown – thru Juan Ponce de Leon, who was his representative in Borikén recognized all these elements that were defining of the sovereignty of the Taino Nation. The Taino Nation was the sovereign owner of the archipelago that is now comprised by Borinken Island, Vieques, Culebra and other adjacent ones. With the course of history, other ethnic groups settled in this area and the Taino merged with the originary arawk population. However, the main trunk of this integration was and is the Taino. This is indicative that there is historical and blood continuity. The Spanish invasion of 1508 marked an important milestone in the life of the Taino people because the style and normal ways of political, cultural and economic operation of the Tainos was interrupted. Nevertheless, the Taino Nation went on, despite the presence of foreign elements who tried to usurp their sovereignty and their ancient rights. With the historical evolution, the Taino Nation became the Boricua Nation, delegating to its heirs all sovereign rights over the land of the “borinkeño” archipelago. The hispanophile’s theory that the Taino Nation was wiped out by the settlers is totally false. Today it has been proven through serious scientific DNA testing that over 62% of the Puerto Rican people has Taino Indian blood in their veins from the mother line. This means that for that percentage to be so high , over 600 thousand Taíno women, survived the Spanish colonization only on the island of Borikén.
During the centuries after the Spanish invasion ie 16, 17 , 18 and 19 centuries, in those 400 years, the Boricua people’s resistance against the illegal presence of the settlers on our land did not cease. Indigenous resistance went on thru the 16th century. This is demonstrated by historical documents. Eventually, with the integration of “Criollos”, African and Taino descendants, the Boricua Nation, natural heir of the Taino Nation, developed. Therefore, the natural sovereignty possessed by the Taino Nation was transferred to the Boricua Nation, by blood inheritance. In the nineteenth century the latter successfully matured socially, politically, culturally and economically, reaching its highest expression of strength in the Grito de Lares, held on September 23, 1868. Although this heroic effort failed to end the illegal Spanish intervention in our country, it was a landmark of high moral and political significance, since our Nationality and our First Provisional Independent Government were established.
Subsequently, the Boricua Nation continued to fight for its sovereignty, human and civil rights to achieve the abolition of slavery on March 21, 1873. With this achievement, the human rights of a large segment of our population that were kidnapped and brought to our land against their will and were subjected to the ignominy of the brutal practice of slavery for centuries, were protected. By the late nineteenth century, after the tenacious struggle of our people, to get rid of foreign control over our land, the Spanish Crown had to admit the establishment of our political autonomy. With this act, Spain recognized the international legal personality of our people. On July 25, 1898 , following the Spanish-Cuban-American War, the troops of the Army of the United States illegally invaded our land, usurping our sovereignty and imposing a new colonial regime in violation of all our civil and political rights. As a result of this war, the U.S. government imposed the Treaty of Paris on Spain in the same year, through which it forced the Crown to hand over our islands to the dominion of that country. However, this Treaty is invalid for several reasons:
1. Because Spain could not “dispose” of what was not hers,
2. Because our people was already a nation with established international legal personality, which prevented the metropolis to deliver us to the new empire as war booty,
3. Because our people was an indispensable part of any negotiations that involved our territory and our sovereignty, and we were not taken into account,
4. Because the U.S. threatened Spain with continuing the war, taking the Canary Islands and even invade their territory, which invalidates the Treaty because it was been made under threat.
Besides, this colonial regime was rejected by the vast majority of the intellectuals and politicians of that time. Since that moment, a new resistance struggle took shape in the social and political movements that repudiated this action by the U.S. government. The strongest resistance of that time, was made by the Nationalist Party, led by Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos. Since the 1930s, a real war began between the nationalist forces and the colonial powers, which consisted of the colonial police and the government of the United States. As a result of this war, dozens of Puerto Ricans were killed or imprisoned for decades, among them Don Pedro Albizu Campos, who spent nearly three decades of his life imprisoned by the colonial regime. On October 30, 1950, the Nationalist Party held an uprising against the colonial dominance of the foreign invader, U.S. government and their domestic allies. As a result of this uprising The Second Independent Government was declared. Later on, a nationalist command attempted to execute President Harry S. Truman at Blair House in Washington, D.C. In 1954, another nationalist command opened fire on several congressmen in the Congress of the United USA as a way to bring attention to the world of our colonial status. These Puerto Rican patriots were arrested and endured long prison sentences in the dungeons of that country. In an effort to maintain control over our territory illegally, since 1948, the government of the United States, led out a spurious process in the United Nations and with our people, through ruse and deception, by which it succeeded in circumventing the decisions of that body on international law. In 1952, the U.S. government promoted a referendum where our people would approve an alleged constitution, whose origin and final decision was in the hands of the colonial power. At that historical moment, our country was occupied by more than 15 thousand troops of the United States and much of our territory was plagued with military bases. Under such conditions of military occupation, which were obviously intimidating, the alleged referendum, whose results were to be expected, was carried out. As a result, the so-called Commonwealth was established. The Free Associated State (Commonwealth) is actually a historical fiction, created with the sole purpose of duping the United Nations and the Puerto Rican people. The U.S. government used this trick to get the UN approval in 1953 through Resolution 748, which took out our country from the list of colonial territories. This colonial monstrosity has demonstrated that it no longer works and that the serious crisis facing our people is essentially due to the maintenance of a colonial regime that has lasted illegally for over a century.
As a result of maintaining the colonial regime, promoted by blood and fire by the U.S. government, the Puerto Rican people have lived under a psychological state of subordination and intimidation. They has been led to believe that since it is a small island, it lacks natural resources for our sustenance and that, therefore, we have to depend
for our survival on the “gifts” offered by the foreign government. This, even though we know there are islands smaller than Borinken in the Caribbean archipelago, which are free, sovereign and independent. Furthermore, the government of the United States, through its repressive forces, has carried out a systematic campaign of persecution and repression of the forces that have fought consequently for the national liberation of our country. They have established a colonial police force, controlled by their intelligence agencies, which serve as a contention wall to the desire for freedom of our people. This colonial police have gotten to the point of murdering young pro independence Boricuas, just for wanting to liberate their homeland from colonialism. They have established a systematic persecution campaign against those who defend and profess the ideal of independence and sovereignty.
The Government of the United States has plunged our people into a grave and serious social, political, economic, cultural, psychological and spiritual crisis, of historical character, as a result of having subjected our people under a colonial regime for 114 years. It is due to the colonial rule that the foreign government over our country, that it is subjected to a constant blood bath, produced by uncontrollable social violence. This social violence has left a balance of more than 4,000 people dead in the last four years. Unemployment is rampant due to the control that U.S. transnational corporations exert on our economy, which is a colonial enclave economy. The Government of the United States has declined during those 114 years, to allow our people a genuine selfdetermination process, with the sole purpose of keeping us under the thumb of their colonial control. In addition, it has refused to comply with Resolution 1514 (XV) of the United Nations , adopted on December 14, 1960 which states, inter alia, the following: 5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or color, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.
6. Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
7. All States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.
THEREFORE, FOR ALL THE AFOREMENTIONED AND IN VIEW OF THE GRAVE CRISIS SITUATION IN WHICH OUR PEOPLE HAS BEEN IMMERSED AS A RESULT OF THE EXISTENCE OF AN ILLEGAL COLONIAL REGIME, WE DECLARE THAT WE HOLD THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES RESPONSIBLE OF:
1. Having illegally invaded our country on July 25, 1898.
2. Have denied us the right to our sovereignty and having left us out of the negotiations with the imperial Spanish metropolis, even when at that date we were an independent and not belligerent People.
3. Having installed a tyrannical, totalitarian and dictatorial government in our country against the wishes of our fellow citizens from 1898 to 1948.
4. Having subjected our people to a system of colonial exploitation and political repression, chasing and imprisoning those who aspire to the freedom of our country.
5. Having established racist policies against our people by determining, unilaterally, to convert us an “Unincorporated territory” of the U.S. without the consent of the Puerto Rican citizens.
6. Having imposed imperial courts and laws without our consent since the invasion to date.
7. Having usurped our territory without the consent of our people.
8. Having compulsorily recruited thousands of our young and taking them to fight and die, like cannon fodder, in wars that have not been declared by our people and with which we have not had anything to do.
9. Having used some of our homeland for bombing practices, military exercises and chemical weapons testing, even though Puerto Ricans live in these municipalities. Many of these citizens were dispossessed and forced to migrate elsewhere.
10. Having converted us into a captive market for enterprises and corporations with the sole purpose of extracting from us the greatest possible economic benefit and having destroyed most of the Puerto Rican entrepreneurs.
11. Having deceived our people and the United Nations by establishing a fake self government, with the sole purpose of erasing the name of our nation from the list of colonial territories of that organism, and thus deny us the sacred right to self determination and independence.
12. Having lied to the nations of the world by keeping a colonial regime that is proscribed by international law in force.
13. Having refused to transfer sovereign powers to our people, under Resolution 1514 (XV) of the United Nations, adopted on December 14, 1960 and, therefore, keeping our people subjected to a colonial rule.
14. Having curtailed our trade with all other nations of the world.
15. Having controlled our customs and immigration services, deriving great economic benefits that have not been delivered to our People and also limiting the access of different people and personalities to Puerto Rican land when it pleases them, and in a unilateral way.
16. Having tried multiple defenders of our liberty in their territory, far from their homeland and their loved ones, and keeping several of them in foreign jails.
17. Having imposed taxes on us without our consent.
18. Having imposed their laws arbitrarily without our People s approval, including the alleged 1952 Constitution, which was altered by the U.S. Congress.
19. Having being banned of the use of our maritime rights, including the right to the Territorial Sea 200 nautical miles.
20. Having unconstitutionally placed the military and naval authorities over the civil colonial power and authorities of the country before, during and after the epic struggle of the Puerto Ricans to free the town of Vieques of the abuses of such military naval authorities.
21. Having imposed on our people the entry and stay of foreigners on our land and placing them in a position to unduly influence Borinken’s internal processes and against and above our best national interests.
22. Having irresponsibly fostered an extremely colonized mentality, with the purpose of molding the Boricua People into a dependent nation, subjugated and conditioned to despise themselves and think and live as slaves, incapable of wanting to take control of their destiny.
23. Having encouraged a deep political division within our Boricua Nation and having fueled such division with its attendant wars between Puerto Ricans, in order to establish their hegemony and political ascendance on our people.
24. Having encouraged the most comprehensive economic and psychological dependence in our People with their cash transfers, risking our Boricua Peoples real economic and social catastrophe at the eventual and inevitable cessation in such cash flows, given the instability of their national fiscal policy.
25. Having institutionalized anti-democracy in the Boricua Nation by imposing a regime of political subordination in which we lack equality with other peoples of the world.
26. Having used a portion of our population, especially our women as guinea pigs in birth control experiments and others of unknown nature.
For all the exposed and under the rights that are granted to all free and sovereign peoples of the world, we, the representatives of the Holy Nation of Borinken, meeting in General Assembly , appealing to the heritage that our ancestors have bequeathed on us and to the Creative Forces of the Universe, with the International Community and especially the nations of our continent as witnesses, with the authority that comes from being the sole legitimate heirs and owners of this land, solemnly declare that:
The lands comprising the islands of Borinken, Vieques and Culebra, inhabited by Borinken citizens are free and sovereign;
From this moment on, there are no colonial ties that bind us and subordinate to the laws and plans of the Government of United States of America;
We do not recognize the authority nor the legality of the Colonial Government imposed and maintained by the Government of Spain, during the 400 years of their rule over our land, nor the one established by the Government of the United States over the last 114 years;
Neither do we recognize the authority, or the legality of the Government of Spain in those 400 years, nor the United States government upon us from 1898 to the present day; We demand the Government of the United States of America, the Government of Spain and the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, for reasonable compensation for all damages suffered by our people as a result of having been submitted to their respective colonial regimes in the last 500 years;
Given the social meltdown and severe economic and political crisis in which our people is as a result of the colonial regime that oppresses us, we decided to establish a sovereign government free from interference and intervention by the United States, protected by existing international law which shelters all peoples, victims of colonial rule in the world;
Like all free and sovereign states in the world, We take our own sovereignty, with full rights to enter into alliances and treaties with whom We so deem appropriate, establish trade relations with all countries of the world, request recognition of all international organizations, particularly those operating in our continent as ALBA, UNASUR, CELAC, CARICOM, OAS and others;
And so that it is on record, we issue this statement, with firm reliance on the positive forces of the universe, and the commitment to not stop or falter until we have achieved our main purpose to establish a Sovereign Motherland, without interference from outside forces that limit us in exercising our freedom and sovereignty; so today we decided to assert our inalienable right to the establishment of the National Sovereign State of Borinken, who’s structuring and final organization will take place eventually.
Adopted today September 21, 2012, at 11:49 a.m. at Rio Piedras, Borinken.
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