Manataka American Indian Council
Decolonization of Puerto Rico
Statement by Professor Francis A. Boyle Before the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization on Behalf of the National Sovereign State of Borinken
In 1492, Columbus illegally invaded the indigenous Kingdoms of America and proceeded to exterminate the indigenous peoples living there including the Tainos in Puerto Rico starting in 1493. The story is told in graphic detail by Professor Howard Zinn in the first chapter of his classic book The People's History of the United States.
So in the interest of time I am not going to recount here that sordid history of serial aggressions and genocides perpetrated by Columbus and the other Conquistadors upon the Indigenous Peoples and Kingdoms of America at the behest of and as agents for Spain and Portugal.
Certainly Puerto Rico was not res nullius -- the land of no people. The Tainos lived there in a political community organized into their own Kingdom. Therefore, the supposed European doctrine of “discovery" did not justify Spain’s genocidal invasion, conquest, and occupation of Puerto Rico and the Tainos. Moreover, the Borgia Pope Alexander VI had no right to attempt to steal Puerto Rico from the Tainos and give it to Spain by means of his so-called Inter Caetera “Bull,” which is nevertheless appropriately called “Bull” in English. The invasion, conquest, and occupation of Puerto Rico and the Tainos by Spain grossly violated the prevailing customary international law rule at that time known as the Just War Doctrine that was legally binding upon Spain.
That is precisely why at that time His Holiness Bartolemé de Las Casas, the Bishop of Chiapas strenuously remonstrated against the Conquistadors with the Government of Spain because of their destructions of the numerous Kingdoms established by the Indigenous Peoples of America together with their extermination:
In one of the rules in his Confesionario, Bartolemé trenchantly maintains that everything that has been done in the Indies “has been against all natural law and the Law of Nations, as well as against all divine law,…and consequently, null, void, and without any validity or legal effect” (O.E. 5:239b)….
See Gustavo, Gutiérrez, Las Casas 369 (Orbis Books: 1995) (citing Obras escogidas by Las Casas).
Consequently, His Holiness Bishop Las Casas informed the Government of Spain that the Indians of the Americas were entitled to the public international law right and remedy of restitutio in integrum -- restitution of their Kingdoms:
…For Bartolemé, the Spanish sovereigns themselves are obliged to restitution, since they have ultimate responsibility for events in the Indies. In response to Sepúlveda he even declares that “the illustrious doctor or anyone else seeking to justify or excuse [those unwilling to make restitution] sin most mortally and are obliged to the same restitution” (Aquí se contiene, 1552, O.E. 5:343b). The injury to be repaired has been in goods both material and moral. Restitution, therefore, must include the restoration of the destroyed monarchial societies of these lands, in which the Indians had led a civilized life in conformity with their customs. This will require the rehabilitation of their legitimate political authorities….
Id. at 366 (emphasis added).
That is exactly what the National Sovereign State of Borinken has done. We have restored the Sovereignty of the Indigenous People of Puerto Rico pursuant to the international law right and remedy of restitution in integrum and the Sovereign Right of the Puerto Ricans to self-determination.
In 1897 Spain devolved the powers of self-government upon Puerto Rico sufficient to constitute Puerto Rico a de facto independent state. See José Trías Monge, Puerto Rico 12-15 (Yale University Press: 1997). Nevertheless, under completely bogus pretexts, the United States of America illegally invaded and conquered the de facto independent state of Puerto Rico the very next year, and proceeded to set up a regime of genocidal military occupation over our Homeland. In the 1898 Treaty of Paris ending the so-called Spanish-American War, Spain never had sovereign title over Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans in order to hand them over arbitrarily to the United States in the first place. The Spanish Genocidal Thief never had valid title or sovereignty over Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans to convey to the Yankee Genocidal Thief!
Since 1898 the United States of America has been nothing more than the illegal belligerent occupying power of Puerto Rico, subject to the international laws of war, including therein the international laws of belligerent occupation, which the United States has grievously violated and completely negated ever since 1898. Under the international laws of belligerent occupation, the illegal Yankee occupying power never obtained sovereignty over Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans. Thereunder, to the contrary, Sovereignty over Puerto Rico has always remained in the hands of the Displaced Sovereign of 1897 and the Puerto Ricans. The National Sovereign State of Borinken has restored the Sovereignty of the Puerto Ricans over Puerto Rico pursuant to our right of self-determination.
After 116 years of Yankee genocidal belligerent military occupation, it is now beyond time for the United States government to withdraw from and evacuate Puerto Rico immediately so that the National Sovereign State of Borinken can proceed to exercise the right of the Puerto Ricans to self-determination. In order to accomplish that sacred objective, we hereby respectfully request that the Special Committee on Decolonization officially accredit the National Sovereign State of Borinken so that we can proclaim our unique Voice and Vision to the entire world here.
Finally, we demand that the Yankees immediately release Borinken’s Freedom Fighter and Prisoner of War Oscar Lopez. Thank you.
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
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