Puerto Ricans Are Americans, But That Doesn’t Matter To The U.S.
"Because when the U.S. bombed Jayuya and Utuado, it bombed U.S. citizens.
When the U.S. Navy used Vieques as a testing site for chemical weapons, it poisoned U.S. citizens.
When the U.S spearheaded and funded the sterilization of the island’s women, it sterilized U.S. citizens.
When the U.S. jailed, tortured and harassed Pedro Albizu Campos and many other Puerto Rican freedom fighters for years, it murdered U.S. citizens.
And when we ignore these and the countless other examples of state violence the U.S. has inflicted upon the small island, we slowly begin to absolve the government of the gross human rights violations it has and continues to commit against its own citizens in Puerto Rico.
It’s now time for the conversation about the crisis to include much more than the island’s relationship to U.S. citizenship.
Let’s remind ourselves that the United States invaded Puerto Rico; robbed its land; looted its natural resources; closed its schools; lowered its minimum wage; raised its retirement age; taxed its economy to death; destroyed any chance at self-determination; and tossed countless of its brilliant, beautiful and talented people into a pipeline that feeds directly into the U.S.’s military, private prisons, broken schools and underpaid labor force.
When we consider everything the United States has stolen from Puerto Rico, it owes the island a hell of a lot more than four months’ worth of bottled water and expired military meals. The time for repayment is long past due.
We must make room for a wider and more nuanced conversation that holds the United States responsible for completely rebuilding Puerto Rico ― not only because Puerto Ricans are American citizens, but also because the U.S. owes a great moral and historical debt to the island and its people for the past 120 years of colonialism."https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-agrelo-puerto-rico-citizens_us_5a981fa8e4b0e6a5230595f7