I would like to believe that Luis Gutierrez is well intentioned about people of Puerto Rico’s right to vote freely on status.

However, his criticism of the November plebiscite plays right into the strategy of the @ppdpr— whose guiding principle is to defend the colonial status.
As a bit of context, under Obama’s presidency, Congress appropriated $2.5M for Puerto Rico to hold a status plebiscite— the local legislature would enact the bill for the vote, but DOJ would have to approve for funds to be disbursed.
The Governor of Puerto Rico at the time, @agarciapadilla of the pro-territory @ppdpr, decided not to use the funds.

This is typical of that party, who hasn’t held a status vote since 1967.

In fact, @BillClinton also approved funds for a plebiscite back in 1999— @ppdpr ignored.
Ok so back to 2016— the @ppdpr loses to the pro-statehood @pnp_pr, with a mandate for a plebiscite.

Since @agarciapadilla didn’t try to use the funds, they were re-appropriated by Congress in 2017.

The @pnp_pr government thus proposes a plebiscite— statehood v. independence.
Leaders from all parties signed on initially:

@juandalmauPR— Senator from @PIPtwitteando (now candidate for Gov.)

@AlexandraLugaro— Independent candidate for Gov. (now leader of @VictoriaPorPR)

@manuelnatal@ppdpr at the time (now candidate for SJ Mayor @VictoriaPorPR)
However, the @ppdpr opposes the plebiscite because of what @RepGutierrez just argued today— the plebiscite did not include all options.

Such was their opposition that they lobbied Trump’s DOJ to condition the release of federal funds to the inclusion of the territorial status.
The pro-statehood government was initially hesitant to budge— a plebiscite which included the territorial option wouldn’t ensure status resolution.

However, they eventually succumbed to DOJ’s pressure and amended the local plebiscite to include the “current territorial status.”
Despite this, the @ppdpr decides to boycott the plebiscite since it didn’t have the express approval of Trump’s DOJ (i.e. no federal funds.)

The @pnp_pr didn’t want to postpone the vote, so they decided they were going forward without DOJ approval.
To make matters worse, the pro-Independence coalition now decides to boycott the vote too, for different reasons:

Now that the current territorial status was an option, then the plebiscite wouldn’t definitely resolve the issue of status. They would only participate if it did.
I agree with them in that ideology, but the main reason they boycotted is because they were planning on drawing support from those who would vote for the current territorial status if it is available to them, but are otherwise sway-able to independence. (In 🇵🇷, “melones)
This led to a plebiscite which was boycotted from all sides except statehood— which obtained 97% of the vote.

This failed plebiscite was the direct result of the @ppdpr collusion with Trump’s DOJ— which they repeated in 2020 to block funds for the November plebiscite.
Here is @anibalacevedo bragging about colluding with Trump’s DOJ in 2017, and about how he was going to do it again in 2020.

Now, @RepGutierrez and @NydiaVelazquez are doing the @ppdpr’s dirty work and discouraging participation in the November plebiscite.

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More from @KevinMc51

15 Sep
Today's @Google homepage features Felicitas Méndez, a civil rights activist from Puerto Rico who fought segregation in California after her children were refused enrollment at a public school because of their skin color.

Hers is a legacy worth honoring #HispanicHeritageMonth🇵🇷
@Google She was born in 1916 in the town of Juncos, Puerto Rico before migrating to Arizona shortly after.

Here, her family faced dire conditions as cotton pickers and eventually revolted-- only to be denied recognition and protection by the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
She first married a Mexican man who was deported back to Mexico-- she decided to stay in the US as she did not know the Mexican way of living, and her folks were there too.

Eventually she settled in California, where a long civil rights battle ensued.
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