Today’s experiment in Puerto Rican Independence includes a proposed treaty of recognition of the newly formed Republic of Puerto Rico. The framework for this treaty was borrowed heavily from the Treaty of Manila as transcribed on Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. That however, was just the initial framework.
After reviewing the Treaty of Manila, (another former U.S. Territory that became an independent nation) I added what we might call a ‘wish list’ and adapted portions of the treaty to reflect the times, current law and to line it up with the proposed constitution of the Republic of Puerto Rico which we published earlier this week.
The Petition and Declaration of Independence for Puerto Rico (English, Spanish), the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of Puerto Rico and the (Draft) Treaty of San Juan, all are all tied together in a singular plan for independence. Each leads into the other and makes references to the other.
In the provisional constitution, references are made to a negotiating team appointed by the Chairman of the Governing Board. However, the United States is more than welcome to just ratify this treaty as it is written below without Amendment and we can get started on the transition to independence now.
One more thing before we get to the draft treaty text, isn’t if funny; that the Puerto Rico Independence Party has never done anything like this? They have never laid out a specific plan for independence? Why is that? No one really knows…
Please, read and comment below regarding this treaty. If I have left anything out, let me know. It is written in English as that is the language of the United States, which would need to ratify this treaty, this is open for comments (just like the proposed constitution) until July of 2016.
Treaty of San Juan
September 23, 2016
***Draft treaty of recognition between the United States of America and the Republic of Puerto Rico
TREATY OF GENERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF PUERTO RICO AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The republic of Puerto Rico and the United States of America, in order to promote a peaceful and prosperous long term relationship and ensure strong economic and military ties between our two peoples and nations and to recognize the independence of Puerto Rico agree to the following articles:
The United States agrees to withdraw, and surrender, and does withdraw and surrender, all right of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control or sovereignty existing and exercised by the United States of America in and over the territory and the people of Puerto Rico, except the use of such bases, necessary appurtenances to such bases, and the right incident thereto, as the United States of America, by agreement with the Republic of Puerto Rico, may deem necessary to retain for the mutual protection of the Republic of Puerto Rico and the United States of America. The United States of America further agrees to recognize, and does hereby recognize, the independence of the Republic of Puerto Rico as a separate self-governing nation and to acknowledge, and does acknowledge, the authority and control over the same of the Government instituted by the people of Puerto Rico under the Provision Constitution of July 19, 2015 and later under a permanent constitution once ratified by the people of Puerto Rico.
Section I: The diplomatic representatives of each country shall enjoy in the territories of the other the privileges and immunities derived from generally recognized international law and usage. The consular representatives of each country, duly provided with exequatur, will be permitted to reside in the territories of the other in the places wherein consular representatives are by local laws permitted to reside; they shall enjoy the honorary privileges and the immunities accorded to such officers by general international usage; and they shall not be treated in a manner less favorable than similar officers of any other foreign country.
The United States may; at its own discretion; retain ownership and usage of the Federal Building in the Hato Rey district of San Juan, Puerto Rico for use as its consular headquarters (Embassy) but it may not be retained for any other purpose.
Pending the final establishment of the requisite Puerto Rico foreign Service establishments abroad, the Republic of Puerto Rico and the United States of America agree that at the request of the Republic of Puerto Rico the United States of America will endeavor, in so far as it may be practicable to represent, through its Foreign Service the interests of the Republic of Puerto Rico in countries where there is no Puerto Rico representation. The two countries further agree that any such arrangements are to be subject to termination when in the judgement of either country such arrangements are no longer necessary.
The United States of America agrees to sponsor Puerto Rico’s request to join the United Nations as a founding member so that Puerto Rico shall be free to determine which treaties it shall sign, ratify and enforce. Should that request be denied, Puerto Rico shall be under no obligation, nor suffer any penalty by the United States; to join the UN.
The Republic of Puerto Rico agrees to sign, ratify and assist in the enforcement of:
- The Treaty of non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
- Chemical Weapons Convention
- Biological Weapons Convention
- The Geneva Convention as amended, but only as ratified and enforced by the United States of America.
The United States agrees to sponsor Puerto Rico’s entry into the North American Free Trade Agreement, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and to have direct access to American markets, economy and financial instruments as though it were a state of the union, but in any case not less than that of any other nation. Both the United States of America and the Republic of Puerto Rico agree to levee no import/export tax or duty (or Tariff) on any product being shipped between the two nations. American companies shall be guaranteed the same level of access to Puerto Rico’s markets.
.Neither the United States of America nor the Republic of Puerto Rico shall be required, nor expected by the other; to fulfill any other ongoing treaty obligations referenced to Puerto Rico entered into prior to the independence of Puerto Rico. In any case, Puerto Rico shall be under no obligation to sign, ratify or enforce any treaty that has not been likewise signed, ratified and enforced by the United States of America.
Section II: All citizens of the United States born in and or residing in Puerto prior to the date of Independence shall retain their citizenship in the United States while being recognized as citizens of the Republic of Puerto Rico.
Section I: The Republic of Puerto Rico agrees to assume, and does assume hereby, all of the debts and liabilities of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its islands, municipalities and public corporations and all obligations for public debt previously entered into by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico prior to independence , The United States authorizes the Republic of Puerto Rico to renegotiate all of the debt to lower interest rates, penalties and fees into a singular regular quarterly debt payment that shall be made by the Republic of Puerto Rico to the government of the United States of America which shall then provide payment to individual debt holders.
In addition, the Republic of Puerto Rico shall provide payment to the United States of America beginning the first full calendar year after independence an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of all taxes collected within Puerto Rico and an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of all net earnings from the activities of the Puerto Rico National Trust on a quarterly basis for a period of ten years; after which, the payments shall reduce by one full percentage point each year until they reach zero at the end of year twenty (20).
In exchange for these payments the United States shall continue all existing Federal programs at existing funding levels in Puerto Rico for a period of 5 full calendar years after independence and then reduce those by twenty percentage points each year until they are closed at the end of year ten; except for social security. Puerto Rico shall receive half of the monies for these programs as a block grant and shall place mandatory work and/or service requirements in place as a condition for receiving all or part of such assistance for those able to work. All funds left over shall be deposited into the Puerto Rico national trust and may not be used for any purpose other than the purposes of the Trust.
All those American citizens residing in Puerto Rico who currently receive Social Security payments (including disability) or those who relocate to Puerto Rico after independence shall continue to receive full social security benefits; at a rate no lower than any state; until the end of their natural lives or because of fraud or conviction lose their rights to such payments.
All those residing in Puerto Rico at the time of independence and entitled to receive social security benefits who are 6 years or less below 62 years of age; (56 years of age or older) shall be allowed to retire and receive their full social security benefits upon reaching that age. Those residing in Puerto Rico at the time of independence that are entitled to receive social security benefits who are between the ages of fifty years and fifty-six years shall receive seventy-five percent (75%) of their anticipated benefits. Those persons residing in Puerto Rico who are entitled to receive social security benefits who are between the ages of forty-five (45) and fifty (50) years of age (at the time of independence) shall receive half of their anticipated benefits. Those persons below the age of 45, who were born in Puerto Rico shall not receive any benefits from Social Security.
This shall in no way prevent other American citizens not present at the time of independence from receiving their full social security benefits upon relocated to Puerto Rico after independence if they are entitled to such. No one receiving Social Security (or Disability) benefits in Puerto Rico shall be penalized in any way for receiving retirement or disability payments or other assistance from the Puerto Rico National Trust.
Section II: Puerto Rico shall comply with international banking regulations as ratified and enforced by the United States of America; and with sponsorship of the United States, seek membership in the International Monetary Fund. However, the United States and Puerto Rico agree that Puerto Rico and its banking and financial institutions; shall be exempt from any reporting requirements on banking and investment activities of the citizens of either country if those are conducted in or via Puerto Rico banks. Furthermore, Puerto Rico shall not establish a limit nor reporting requirement on cash deposits or cash transactions except for local tax and fee purposes. These exemptions shall continue for a period of twenty (20) years but may be extended by mutual agreement.
The United States of America, in order to promote the Puerto Rico economy shall levee no taxes on American corporations conducting business within Puerto Rico or for business activities conducted in or via Puerto Rico, also for a period of twenty years. The United States shall require all banks and credit card companies to authorize purchases of Tainos and purchase of dollars with Tainos; and shall impose no restrictions on credit card purchase of Tainos via the internet regardless of the purpose or future use of those monies.
Puerto Rico shall cooperate with the United States and the United States with Puerto Rico in all investigations and prosecutions for identity theft and internet based fraud; as well as the hacking of financial institutions and government. Puerto Rico and the United States shall also coordinate and support each others efforts in investigation and prosecution of banking and financial fraud.
The United States understands that Puerto Rico shall establish and promote internet gaming and lotteries for the purpose of generating income for the Puerto Rico National Trust and the government of Puerto Rico and the United States shall in no way interfere with these operations nor deny its citizens access to them, but shall prohibit internet gambling for a period of no less than 5 years within the United States by companies in the United States or from any other country.
The United States understands that Puerto Rico will experiment with the legalization of all recreational narcotics and prostitution for a period of no less than twenty (20) years and will in no way interfere with these activities so long as they are limited to the territory controlled by Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico shall cooperate in anti-human trafficking investigations and prevention and support efforts to curb the illegal drug trade between the two counties.
All Tabaco products shipped to, from or via Puerto Rico shall be exempt from all taxes and fees in the United States and any of its other jurisdictions including, but not limited to states, counties, parishes, cities, towns and townships. Puerto Rico shall have the right to ship Tabaco products to individuals with a limit of 4 cartons of cigarettes and two boxes of cigars per person, per month. Those shipments may be made via Puerto Rico’s Postal Service; which may be operated by a private company into the United States and via the United States Postal Service. The United States agrees not to interfere with these shipments in perpetuity.
Puerto Rico shall not ship (nor allow the shipment of) products to or import products from the United States that are illegal under U.S. law.
Section I: In order to promote peace and security, the Republic of Puerto Rico and the United States of America shall enter into a mutual defense compact. Any attack by a foreign power upon either, shall be considered an attack on the other and shall require the full support of the other in defense of the first.
Puerto Rico agrees not to develop, deploy or use weapons of a nuclear, chemical or biological nature as prohibited in the conventions on Chemical and Biological weapons. This is done with the understanding that Puerto Rico shall officially be considered under the nuclear umbrella of the United States of America and that the United States shall respond with nuclear weapons against any state that attacks the Republic of Puerto Rico with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
This shall not be construed as to restrict or limit the Republic of Puerto Rico from conducting biological or medical research and development, chemical or industrial research and development or from designing, building and or maintaining one or more nuclear power plants or the development or use of nuclear materials or products for medical or other programs and purposes. Puerto Rico agrees to keep such facilities open to inspection by the United States and only at the request and or concurrence of the United State by such international organizations that by treaty have such authority to inspect.
The United States agrees to transfer at no cost to the Republic of Puerto Rico for the purpose of joint defense within a period of 5 years after independence:
- Four (4) AEGIS Combat System Equipped destroyers and or cruisers;
- Two (2) Littoral Combat or Amphibious Combat ships
- Four (4) Coast Guard cutters equipped with anti-submarine warfare capabilities
- Two (2) fast attack submarines;
- Two (2) military transport vessels convertible to medical ships and or disaster relief duties
- One (1) squadron each containing no less than 6 aircraft of the; F-15c or later model; F-16 (latest model), FA-18 (latest model), F-22 (Latest Model), A-10, Attack helicopters, Blackhawk Helicopters, and troop/equipment transport helicopters
- 10 M1 Abrams tanks, 20 Bradley armored fighting vehicles (half with heavy gun attachment) and 40 other military transport vehicles of other types.
- Advanced anti-aircraft and missile detection and intercept systems; and a limited supply anti-ship and surface to surface missiles and anti-submarine warfare weapons systems.
- Advanced air and ground based radar systems.
- Nuclear, Chemical and biological rapid response equipment and materials; and equipment and supplies for two mobile/field medical units.
The United States shall also provide all initial equipment, weapons, training and ordinance as required for each of the above listed units, future such provisions may be at a cost established by the United States, but in an amount no greater than that of any other nation. This shall be in addition to any military equipment currently residing in Puerto Rico at the time of independence.
In exchange for this, Puerto Rico Army, Navy and Air Force combat units shall deploy in support of UN sanctioned use of force activities in strict coordination with American Military forces. Furthermore, Puerto Rico shall deploy units in support of disaster relief emergencies within the Caribbean and Latin American regions in support of and in coordination with such support units from the United States. This shall not restrict Puerto Rico from deploying units in support of disaster relief elsewhere in the world or independent of the actions of the United States.
Puerto Rico Army, Navy and Air Force combat units shall deploy in defense of the United States of America at the request of the President of the United States if the United States is ever attacked, while retaining no less than fifty percent of its forces; to defend Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico shall provide support to United States military units in in the Puerto Rico region in case of any war to include but not limited to food, fuel, medical supplies and services and other equipment or services as available and reasonable at no cost to the United States.
Puerto Rico agrees not to sell or provide any such equipment, supplies, designs or other information to any other country without the expressed written consent of the United States. The United States of America recognizes the neutrality of Puerto Rico in all other international conflicts.
Section II: The Republic of Puerto Rico shall assist the United States in intelligence gathering for the purpose of joint security and the United States shall provide Puerto Rico daily information regarding any existing threats to Puerto Rico’s security. Puerto Rico shall likewise provide a daily report to the United States intelligence services regarding any threats uncovered by Puerto Rico to the United States.
However, the United States agrees that it will not conduct any surveillance on the general population of the people of Puerto Rico in any form. Should a threat arise, that requires the monitoring of a specific person or group, depending on the nature of the threat; the U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of Defense or State, shall request such monitoring be conducted by the government of Puerto Rico within the restraints of its laws and constitution. Puerto Rico shall be entitled to make the same requests of the United States government under the same circumstances.
The Republic of Puerto Rico shall assist the United States with interdiction or inspection on the high seas as allowed under international law and the United States agrees not to interfere with any vessel of any kind in route to or flying the flag of Puerto Rico in international waters without the expressed written consent of the President of Puerto Rico or the Head of State.
Section III: Puerto Rico shall provide support at no cost to U.S. Hurricane Hunter aircraft including fuel, medical treatment and mechanical support and repairs for aircraft on training or operational missions. Both nations agree to coordinate information regarding hurricanes or other weather disturbances and climate information and statistics with the other.
The Republic of Puerto Rico and the United States shall keep each other advised of space exploration activities. A secure, direct and emergency communications system shall be established between the United States and Puerto Rico for the purpose of being able to communicate during disasters, war or other emergencies.
Section I: The United States and Puerto Rico agree to extradite; at the request of the Attorney General of each nation any person charged with or convicted of a felony or higher crime within the nation issuing the extradition request. This shall not apply to any person who commits a legal act in one country, that may be construed as an illegal act by the other and both countries agree not to attempt to enforce their own laws on their own citizens or the citizens of the other nation; or their actions while residing in or visiting the other if such actions are legal in the nation in which they occurred.
Requests for extradition shall not apply, nor be enforced against; any elected or appointed official for actions taken while in office in the exercise of their duties by the other country. At no time, under any circumstances, regardless of any other treaty obligations; shall the United States of America or the Republic of Puerto Rico seek to extradite, investigate, charge or prosecute or assist other countries, courts or organizations in the same activities; the current or former President or Vice President of either nation or the current or former (Cacique) head of state of Puerto Rico at any time for any reason.
Those persons, who act in violation of the law in the usage of Federal Funds, may be charged in U.S. courts if Puerto Rico fails to commence prosecution of those persons within 6 of formal charges being filed; while such federal programs exist within Puerto Rico.
Section II: The United States of America and the Republic of Puerto Rico agree that the courts of the United States shall finish resolving any existing civil or criminal case existing at the time of independence that are before courts of the United States, but that all criminal and civil cases before the courts of Puerto Rico shall be resolved in Puerto Rico.
Section I: The Republic of Puerto Rico shall continue to use the U.S. dollar as its primary hard currency for a minimum of ten years. Puerto Rico shall assist in investigation, prosecuting and prevention of the counterfeiting of U.S. currency.
The United States of America shall upon independence of Puerto Rico, recognize the existence of the ‘Taino;’ which shall be the electronic currency of the Republic of Puerto Rico. The U.S. shall cooperate in investigating, prosecuting and preventing counterfeiting of Tainos as an electronic or hard currency. After ten years, Puerto Rico shall transition to and add a hard currency version of Tainos.
Both countries shall conduct all transactions in U.S. dollars except those transactions made via the internet or information network systems. In those cases, all purchases made from Puerto Rico of products or services in or from the United States shall be conducted in dollars; while all transactions from the United States to Puerto Rico shall be conducted by dollars in automatic electronic exchange for Taino units of equal values; which shall then be used to purchase products or services from Puerto Rico. The United States shall accept Tainos for the purchase of U.S. dollars. It is agreed that the Taino shall be pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar for the first ten years and then allowed to float in the international currency markets at the price the market determines.
Section II: To ensure the stability of both currencies, Puerto Rico shall not print or create any amount of currency in excess of the total value of the holdings of the Puerto Rico National Trust or for the purpose of immediately acquiring assets or investment instruments within the United States of America only. In any case, Puerto Rico shall not create nor print more currency than the total value of the previous year’s Puerto Rico Gross Domestic Product, or any amount in excess of the totaled averages of the GDP over the first ten years.
Puerto Rico may, upon treaty arrangements with other nations exchange newly created Tainos, for assets or currencies in those other nations.
Section III: To ensure the long term economic and political stability of Puerto Rico, the United States agrees to supervise and fund at no cost to Puerto Rico the design and construction of at least one nuclear power plant for Puerto Rico on an outer lying island; provide funding for updating and improving Puerto Rico’s water resources and other infrastructure of no less than one billion dollars per year for 5 years; and supervise the design and construction of several water desalination plants and waste water treatment, disposal and or recycling plants to augment Puerto Rico’s water supply needs.
Puerto Rico will provide the United States twenty-four hour a day monitoring and inspection rights of the nuclear facility and comply with international inspections and rules.
Except as noted above or in any case where such matters conflict with the constitution of the United States or the provisional or future constitution of Puerto Rico; all other claims by other parties shall be resolved in accordance with existing laws of both countries where jurisdiction is appropriate.
The Puerto Rico National Trust, its officers and chairman shall be immune to any lawsuit filed by any person, organization or government within the United States for the activities of the Trust considered legal under Puerto Rico law.
In any case, the Cacique; shall retain special immunity from all suits in law and criminal investigation or prosecution of any kind, at any time, for any reason; whatsoever.
All current citizens or affiliates of Puerto Rico currently held in prison by the United States of America for crimes committed in the struggle for independence shall be hence forth released and returned to Puerto Rico at no cost to either Puerto Rico or the prisoners and shall be immune from any future prosecution or civil claim.
This treaty shall be considered ratified by Puerto Rico, upon signature of the Cacique of the Republic of Puerto Rico and shall be submitted for ratification by the United States in accordance with its constitution.
If amended by the United States during the process of ratification, it must be approved again by the Head of State of Puerto Rico under the provisional constitution and by 8 members of the newly established governing board.
Upon ratification by both parties; this treaty shall enter into full force and effect.