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Campaign Updates

03/18/2021 | Organizing for a Just Recovery in Puerto Rico and Beyond

Center for Popular Democracy Network Statement on the Introduction of the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act

Statement issued by Julio López Varona, Co-Director of Community Dignity Campaigns

March 18, 2021

Marly Valiente
(201) 838-5457 

“Today, we celebrate the introduction of the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021 by Representative Nydia Velazquez, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bob Menendez.  If passed, the legislation would empower Puerto Ricans with a democratic, just mechanism to determine their own political future.

For over 120 years, Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States.  It has extracted wealth from Puerto Rico, persecuted political dissidents, used its land for military testing and treated its people as human guinea pigs for big pharma experiments.  More recently, its failed economic policies have left the island suffering through a debt crisis, exacerbating the harms resulting from natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This Congress and the Biden-Harris administration now have a historic opportunity to take a serious look at the impact colonialism has had on Puerto Rico and finally change course. The Self-Determination Act provides a clear path to decolonization through self-determination that could put an end to Puerto Rico's colonial status and ensure that its people have a voice in their future.  Now is the time for Congress to pass this legislation and take an important step in addressing the human rights abuses that have been inflicted on the island.”
The Center for Popular Democracy is a national network of more than 50 community organizations dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice through local grassroots organizing. CPD trains and supports leadership, staff, and members to grow base-building organizations to scale and leverage that strength to win cutting-edge policy victories at the federal, state and local level.