If you’ve ever worked on a puzzle you know to start with the outside edges first. Those are the easiest pieces to put into place. Once you have the ‘frame’ of the picture, then you can start filling in the middle.
The middle of the puzzle is the real goal, it is the ultimate truth of the puzzle.
So it is with Puerto Rico and the leadership of the Popular Democratic Party. The state of affairs in Puerto Rico is nothing new. It has been in decline for some years now and it is a society and economy in collapse as I spoke of earlier this week. Yet as I continue to follow and write on the state of the Commonwealth I keep getting back to one fundamental question: are the leaders truly incompetent or is this intentional?
That terrible gut feeling or ‘inner voice’ tells me, it has to be intentional; but to what end? What is the true goal of the PDP? What is their ‘ultimate truth?’
Once you ask yourself this question the answer becomes clear. The Popular Democratic Party is led by ‘Chavista’ Social Democrats. For the uninitiated, a ‘social democrat’ is a socialist in sheep’s clothing. Many social democrats don’t even realize they are socialists or at least they act like they don’t know.
Since its inception, the ‘populares’ have always leaned towards independence or what is now often referred to as free association. Its a sort of, kind of; ‘independence lite.’ This is because the majority of Puerto Ricans enjoy having U.S. citizenship and do not want to lose it or the financial benefits that come with being American citizens.
Aside from independence leaning, they also want one other thing: to stop statehood by any means necessary. Statehood would end the status debate and cause a major shift in local politics. It would also end any realistic chance of independence or free association.
So the PDP’s primary mission is to keep Puerto Rico out of the union in order to continue to push for its ultimate goal: independence under any official status name. To be clear, I am not opposed to independence for Puerto Rico, I am opposed to the same dirty politicians being in charge of Puerto Rico without any federal oversight. That would be a disaster for the island. Independence done right, could be amazing.
In order for the PDP to achieve their goal they have to maintain a tense political relationship with the U.S. without completely undermining the relationship. That’s why you get the bipolar nature of the PDP’s relationship with the United States.
They also have to do what ever they can to make sure that the island is so unattractive to the U.S. Congress that statehood could never be achieved. Why would the U.S. Congress ever approve statehood for 3.6 million people, most of who refuse to speak English and are so poor that they would drain the U.S. treasury even more than it already is? Especially given the open hostility towards anything American displayed by many on the political left in Puerto Rico.
This ultimate truth is why the current administration continues to take actions to destroy the island’s economy. Regardless of any promise, regardless of any new legislation; regardless of any so called reform; the ‘populares’ want Puerto Ricans to suffer. They want the island’s economy to be in such a sad shape that then they can offer the United States a Free Association deal like the one proposed by former PDP governor Anibal Acevedo Vila where the island has all debts forgiven in exchange for the change of status and an end to federal programs.
Acevedo Vila once publicly rejected a suggestion for Free Association while he was governor, which was proposed by the late mayor of Caguas William Miranda Marin. Yet, suddenly when he leaves office, he is supporting essentially the same thing. In other words, what they say while in office has little or nothing to do with what they actually believe.
Once you look at the puzzle from this perspective it becomes clear why the PDP does what it does, why they make the decisions and statements they do and why they keep doing things that hurt the island and its people.
It isn’t incompetence, it is malicious, determined and malevolent choice.