Puerto Rico residents won’t be voting in the presidential election, but they will be voting for a new governor. El Nuevo Dia shared the reactions of the candidates for Puerto Rico’s next governor on the Sanchez Valle case, the Supreme Court case which confirmed that Puerto Rico has no sovereign power of its own. As Congress and the White House have said all along, Congress has plenary power over Puerto Rico.
Ricardo Roselló Neváres (PNP), the son of former governor Pedro Roselló, is running against former Puerto Rico Secretary of State David Bernier (PPD) for the governorship of Puerto Rico, along with less well-known candidates María de Lourdes (PIP), Rafael Bernabe (PPT) Manuel Cidre (Independent), and Alexandra Lúgaro (Independent).
Rosello made a statement on the decision. “The case of Valle Sanchez again demonstrates the fallacy of our current status and the perceived collapse pillars of the Commonwealth. The federal Supreme claims that Puerto Rico remains a colony,” he said. “It is time to unite to enforce the will of the people expressed at the polls and reach the only option that guarantees a status equal to other American citizens: statehood.”
Bernier was quoted as saying that Sanchez Valle case amounted to “an essential revision of the structure of the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States,” though the decision simply confirms what all three branches of the federal government have said about Puerto Rico for decades. Bernier also said that he will be “acknowledging the reality” exposed by the Supreme Court, and this is an essential step toward solving the status issue.
The illusion of the “enhanced commonwealth” must be rejected so that real change can be accomplished.
Roselló said as much in an open letter to Bernier, saying, “Ambiguity is what has us under colonial inequality. Ambiguity and being afraid to be defined is the problem. Indecision can not be part of the solution.” Proponents of statehood and of independence, he pointed out, have been clear all along about the status they want. Now it is time for the commonwealth party to take an equally clear stand. The Supreme Court decision, he said, “unmasked the myths of the Commonwealth and destroyed the theory of the covenant that propelled those who wanted to maintain our colonial and territorial status.”
Rafael Bernabe, gubernatorial candidate for the PPT, said, “This decision confirms what many have always said, that the Commonwealth remains a colonial relationship, that Congress has plenary power over Puerto Rico. This increases the urgency of the decolonization of Puerto Rico. “