The United Nations, Jun 20.- On June 19, Puerto Rican independence leader, Oscar López Rivera, denounced the impact of U.S. colonialism on the Caribbean island since 1898.
Speaking during a UN Special Decolonization Committee session dedicated to the situation in Puerto Rico, López Rivera warned that depopulation has been a priority for the imperial power, with close to five million Puerto Ricans living abroad, while less than 3.5 million reside on the island, he noted.
According to the pro-independence fighter, unemployment, social insecurity and privatization have combined under U.S. domination to produce poverty and hopelessness, a situation which forces many professionals and skilled workers to emigrate.
This is an issue which threatens to see us lose our homeland, identity, culture and everything that makes up Puerto Ricans, emphasized López Rivera, who was recently released after serving 36 years in prison in the U.S.
He went on to reiterate that colonialism is a crime against humanity and must end.
The independence leader also criticized measures by the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board imposed by the U.S. to supposedly sort out the country’s 72 billion dollar debt, a mechanism whose objective is to squeeze every last cent from the Puerto Rican people, according to López Rivera.
He noted that the island is currently in worse condition than it was 36 years ago when he was arrested for his pro-independence activism.
According to the Puerto Rican patriot, the country needs global support now more than ever, and called on the UN General Assembly work to bring the island’s colonial status to an end.
López Rivera expressed his support for the decolonization of Puerto Rico, and hope that one day the country will be able to participate in the United Nations as a sovereign and independent nation.
Regarding his personal situation, the leader stated that almost 36 years in U.S. prisons has not weakened his struggle, because when you’re on the side of a just and noble cause, nothing is a sacrifice.
“Despite all these years, I returned home with my head held high, my honor, my dignity and my spirit stronger than when I went into prison,” he stated. (Granma) (Photo: Prensa Latina)