Pro-independence non-party members urge full support for PIP candidates
By John McPhaul
Less than two weeks before the general elections, more than 100 non-members of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) endorsed a joint statement on Wednesday asking island voters to support of the party’s candidates and in particular PIP gubernatorial candidate Juan Dalmau.
“On November 3, we urge you to vote in full on the national ballot under the insignia of the PIP and its candidate for governor, Juan Dalmau,” said Manuel E. Meléndez Lavandero, a coordinator of the initiative and an independence leader both on the island and abroad, in a written statement. “We call on all the ‘independentistas’ and our people in the national territory and those in the diaspora who yearn to return to the homeland, to vote in that way.”
According to the statement, the signatories state that a full vote for the PIP is justified by its “consequent condemnation and repudiation of the Financial Oversight and Management Board, and the continuous defense of the environment and the struggles of women, students and the LGBTTQ community, as well as the claims that the [pro-independence] community has made against government corruption, among other reasons.”
“A full vote for the Puerto Rican Independence Party is also an endorsement of the anti-capitalist government program and [a vote] in favor of social justice as reflected in the comprehensive Patria Nueva platform,” said economist and professor Martha Quiñones in a written statement. Quiñones is an organizer, among others, of the aforementioned effort in support of the pro-independence community.
According to the group, the more than 100 signatories framed their endorsements taking into consideration the current historical situation, the difficult political and social situation that Puerto Rico is going through, and the need to take concrete steps to strengthen the movement for decolonization, independence, and social justice in all parts and fronts of struggle.
“We invite the thousands of ‘independentistas’ not affiliated with any community to join this effort in support of the only independence party in the country, recognizing that this initiative only symbolically collects a portion of our patriotic people,” Meléndez Lavandero said. “May the coming days be spent continuing to add to the best and noblest patriotic spirit that distinguishes us.”