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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

‘The people have moved on’

Javier Molina Pagán

Senate candidate Javier Molina Pagán: ‘The colonial status of the PDP has been demolished’

By The Star Staff

With the 2024 elections getting closer every day, the discussion of the current status of the island is becoming more pitched. Many islanders believe statehood will give Puerto Rico more benefits and will help relieve the local economic situation in the short and long terms.

That perspective pits the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (NPP) against the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party (PDP), which believes Puerto Rico should keep the same relationship it has with the United States, as a territory. Lately the PDP hasn’t been successful in its campaigns for governor, having come up short in the past two elections.

The PDP does currently control both chambers of the Legislature, and NPP candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate have had some very particular comments to make in reference to the majority party. Take Javier Molina Pagán, the NPP candidate for the Ponce District seat in the island Senate, for instance.

“When we look at the comments made by [PDP stalwart and political commentator] Adolfo Krans this week, it makes us think and reaffirm that we become more and more convinced that different sectors of Puerto Rico treasure and value their American citizenship,” Molina Pagán said in a press release issued Monday.

The candidate went on to quote Krans in his mention of “the ideological disparity that has taken the PDP to the sad situation in which it finds itself.” Molina Pagán was referring to the various internal controversies that have arisen in the PDP.

“Krans also illustrated history, like the founder of the PDP and ELA [Estado Libre Asociado] Luis Muñoz Marín [Puerto Rico’s first elected governor], was able to distance himself from his ideological beliefs directed toward independence to put Puerto Rico first,” Molina Pagán said. “Today we can notice how the PDP and its colonial status has been demolished, because even though it was originally created to speed up at a certain time the causes of progress we can’t leave aside how leaders of this battered colonial party have not been able to define a clear and precise objective where we direct ourselves toward the people.”

The Senate candidate also made a call to the people of Puerto Rico.

“I invite all of you to continue reading and studying the content in Mr. Krans’ words,” he said. “In a nutshell, we Puerto Ricans treasure and want [to keep] our American citizenship. The last three plebiscites held on the island have indicated that statehood is the proper formula that Puerto Ricans want for their government and for Puerto Rico. That is the truth, and that has been the cause of why the PDP doesn’t project itself with any triumph, considering that in the 2020 elections, they only obtained 32% of all votes, which is obviously not enough to win.”

“Now, this electoral giant of the 1950s in Puerto Rico finds itself at its weakest point,” Molina Pagán continued. “However, this doesn’t mean that new movements that have wanted to put themselves out there, those being [electoral] minorities, will be in constant growth, because their voting numbers have been [supplemented] from the sovereign wing of the PDP. The faction that led to a drift of an electoral giant, it is not enough, and it won’t be enough to achieve or feed the separatist agenda of a small group of people who call themselves leaders and don’t treasure the will for citizenship that excludes the fear of a permanent and guaranteed union with the United States of America.”

In short, the candidate said, the people of the island have moved on and are not afraid of being part of the mainland U.S. as a state, which in turn leads to more people no longer voting for the pro-commonwealth party and the rise of many other parties, which have not helped the state of the PDP.

The NPP, meanwhile, hasn’t been without its fair share of controversies, as former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares was kicked out of office by a public uprising in summer of 2019, an event that many islanders will never forget. However, as Molina Pagán sees it, the 2020 elections showed that even though Puerto Rico residents were not happy with Rosselló Nevares as a governor, they still want statehood.

He appealed to all islanders who value statehood to vote for the right candidates.

“I urge all Puerto Ricans who treasure American citizenship at the time of going to the polls in the primaries and later in the 2024 elections, to choose candidates capable of speaking about, defending and taking the legislative and executive actions and processes that are binding with assimilation, so that we not only present before Congress the results of plebiscites, but also measures that sustain that we ourselves as a people are headed for true assimilation and therefore a transition that leaves out the governmental system we currently possess,” Molina Pagán said.

“The time has come to start seeing the world this way: democratic or autocratic governments,” he said. “The discourse must change. Democracy is the true system of government that allows people to be governed by rules protected by the power of the people and executed by the government. That security is offered to us by permanent union and not by separatist groups [that] seek to concentrate power in a few and power is not distributed, as happens in those countries that are ruled by autocratic governments that on the one hand are capitalist for the rulers, but socialist and communist for the people.”

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