By Zayira Jordán Conde
The beginning of the Constitution reads: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”
When a group of men, the Founding Fathers of Our Democracy, signed the Constitution, they likely did not imagine they would be speaking for Americans precisely 2,193 miles away. Though they must have understood that their form of democracy and visions of liberty would extend beyond the limits of their foundations.
We the People of Puerto Rico are born American citizens. We understand the blessings our alliance with the United States have meant throughout our shared history. We understand this so well that, since 1917, the year in which we became American citizens by virtue of law, we have fought and died as Americans not only in World War I, but also in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In fact, we have fought and will continue to fight in every war in which the nature of democracy and liberty is at stake. Together, side by side with our brothers and sisters, citizens of the United States of America.
But this is not a question of war but a question of peace. And there is no greater peace than that of remaining faithful to the spirit of democracy.
In the Island of Puerto Rico, democracy has spoken more than once, and more than once have the voices of the majority joined in saying
- We want Democracy
- We want Liberty
- We want Order and Justice
- Above all, we want the United States of America to honor the shared vision which has brought us together since the beginning of our historical alliance.
The role of elected officials in a democracy is to implement democracy, not to obstruct the expressed will of We the People.
The American citizens in our Island have already spoken. We did not request political delegates to withhold the power in an empty fallacy of inclusion.
We want what all American citizens want and must have: Democracy, Freedom, and the Right to pursue our Dreams.
Therefore, we ask of you today, as human beings and as citizens of the great nation that stands as the beacon of Democracy, to see beyond the façade of empty words, the invisible; that of which the Founding Fathers wrote of so many years ago: Democracy, Liberty, Security, and Justice for all.
We, the People of Puerto Rico, in the principles of Democracy, have already spoken in majority for statehood.
The proposal which guarantees such freedoms, without a doubt, is the proposal introduced by Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González, the only official elected by We the People of Puerto Rico as Our Representative in Congress, and Representative Darren Soto.
We the People stand firmly with Democracy and with the President and Congress. We the People voted. We requested statehood. We the People request Our Representatives to honor their duty. We ask Congress to pass the Puerto Rico Admission Act. Now.
Dr. Zayira Jordán Conde earned her doctorate at the Iowa State University and is currently an Associate Professor at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She represented the Citizen’s Victory Movement party in the 2020 elections.
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