Anti-statehood “commonwealth” party revisionists of history and law in Puerto Rico falsely claim that the U.S. territory’s participation in international sports competition constitutes a “semblance” of political sovereignty, separate and apart from the sovereign powers of the United States over its “unincorporated” territories. This fabricated make-believe “realization” or “expression” of sovereign “nation” or “country” status is all about local political party politics and the internal political status debate.
For decades the anti-statehood party has fraudulently justified its existence – and prevented true realization of the people’s aspirations for the right of sovereignty – by defending the myth that as a “commonwealth” Puerto Rico already somehow morphed into an emerging sovereign nation. That myth became a lie when the anti-statehood party junta (which also opposes true independent sovereign nationhood) issued its manifesto proclaiming that adoption of a local territorial constitution in 1952 secured greater “sovereign autonomy” for Puerto Rico than it had under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1901 definition of “unincorporated territory” status.
Ever since, the anti-statehood party has been desperate to sustain the flawed logic that calling the territory a “commonwealth” means it is converted legally and politically into something more than the “unincorporated territory” status Puerto Rico had before the current local constitution was adopted. That is why the “commonwealth” party asserts that having an Olympic team is a manifestation of national sovereignty. Yet, the anti-statehood “commonwealth” party knows better than to proclaim “sports sovereignty” outside Puerto Rico, because it is easily exposed as a dishonest ideological hoax.
Exhibit A in the overwhelming evidence revealing the “sports sovereignty” hoax is the inconvenient truth that the other U.S. unincorporated territories of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands and even American Samoa have Olympic team status recognized by the International Olympic Committee. These other “unincorporated” U.S territories also participate in other international sports competition, including basketball and baseball.
Like Puerto Rico, other unincorporated territories also participate in international pageants for women, including Miss World and Miss Universe. Still, the “commonwealth” party falsely cites Puerto Rico’s success in transnational women’s beauty pageantry as another “indicia” of sovereignty greater than that of other unincorporated territories. This deceptive assertion of beauty contest competition “Swimsuit Sovereignty” and “Evening Gown Nationhood” is yet another example of bad faith propagandistic tactics by the anti-statehood “commonwealth” party.
Similarly, under the good offices and auspices of the United States, like Puerto Rico all the small unincorporated territories of the U.S. participate in transnational regional and international forums to promote multilateral cooperation in humanitarian, educational, cultural, economic, commercial and law enforcement affairs. This confirms that the status of Puerto Rico is constitutionally indistinguishable from the status of the other unincorporated territories.
Like Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas is an unincorporated territory with a local constitution and a federal relations organic act that is a more autonomous form of “commonwealth” than Puerto Rico’s. Guam has as much or more “indicia” of “International personality” as Puerto Rico even though like U.S. Virgin Islands it does not have a local constitution and the local government operates under a 1950 territorial organic act.
America Samoa has never petitioned for U.S. citizenship, though its people are U.S. nationals and can acquire U.S. citizenship if residing in a state. Still, it participates as an unincorporated territory in the Olympics and all the other international activities and affairs discussed above in the same manner as Puerto Rico.
That makes the Puerto Rico “commonwealth” party claims of “sports sovereignty” a hoax. Lamentably, during periods of “commonwealth” party local government rule, its leaders have attempted to defraud other nations and International bodies by purporting to enter treaties and make commitments in its own name and right that had to be repudiated and rescinded.
Like those diplomatic fiascos, the attempt to exploit international sports competition to make false assertions of national political sovereignty diminishes and detracts from rather than upholding the spirit of an inherent human sovereignty for the people of Puerto Rico. As Puerto Ricans and U.S. citizens residents of the territory compete under the flag of Puerto Rico, without apologizing for its true true meaning while Puerto Rico remains in a less than perfect but still patriotic political union with the United States.
In contrast, the anti-statehood party seeks shamefully to use Puerto Rico’s participation in international sports back home to fly false colors of a fake instead of real and democratically determined political status. That flag of bad faith ideological intrigue upheld by the anti-statehood party includes the false meaning it attributes to the translation of “commonwealth” in Spanish to mean “Free Associated State.” The false assertion of sovereignty seeking to deny the people’s right to self-determination is the kind of propagandistic tactic expected in Cuba or Venezuela, not in a U.S. territory.Real free association is an internationally recognized form of sovereign nationhood based on independence and a voluntary alliance with another nation. Click To Tweet
That is a status the U.S. citizens of the territory have not chosen in a democratic act of self-determination, and which Puerto Rico can not attain through any form of “commonwealth” while it remains an unincorporated territory of the United States, as confirmed in 2016 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Sanchez Valle ruling.
That is why the U.S. Congress has sponsored and Puerto Rico’s Legislative Assembly has scheduled a political status vote on the legally valid options for Puerto Rico to attain fully democratic self-government under an ordered scheme of constitutionally exercised national sovereignty. Those options include statehood or nationhood the is fully independent or independent with a treaty of free association.
Since currently sports, beauty pageant and transnational cooperation for the U.S citizens of Puerto Rico are based on tradition and not “semblances” of sovereignty, the evolution of these traditions will occur once the democratization of Puerto Rico has reached full culmination.