El Futuro de Puerto Rico, Richard Thornburgh's new book, adds nothing to the status debate, except to further debunk the ELA/Commonwealth status of the island as a mere "impermanent colonial status". I do not mean to step on Mr. Thornburgh's masterpiece here, but give me a minute to put on some boots.
Richard Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania and ex-Secretary of Justice for the United States, presents his expertise on the matter and it turns out to be lacking. Mr. Thornburgh argues that the commonwealth system is a false status that has proven itself as veil of colonialism. This is such an obvious statement that even the pro-commonwealth PPD party agrees with it. In fact you will be hard pressed to find a single Puerto Rican who likes the current status. Of course the book's authority is only heightened by a introduction by former President George Bush, surely a recognized expert on the issue, who just so happened to never step foot on the island.
Perhaps the more intellectually insulting part of the book is its subtitle "Time to Decide". Yeah, thanks for the tip. I mean we didn't know it was time yet, wow.
This is essentially a pro-statehood book which ignores independence as an option and promotes greater integration into statehood as a means to correct the sins of the past, by simply creating whole new ones. Its a book meant for one audience only, Americans who would oppose statehood, and those people are not going to pick up any book about Puerto Rico. Those Puerto Ricans who look to this book as a source will only find a slanted American viewpoint that is ultimately irrelevant to the decisions that lay ahead for us Puerto Ricans.
The fact that independence for Puerto Rico is ignored as a solution is not an innocent mistake. It is either a purposeful attempt to narrow the debate, or a subconscious indication of the authors belief in Puerto Rican inferiority. Either way, without an honest presentation of the matter the book just serves as an excuse to kill trees for its printing.
by Michael Deliz