In Puerto Rico, there is now a movement for secession from the United States and reuniting with Spain
“Puerto Rico Reunification with Spain (MRE)” was founded in 2013, but held a constituent meeting on September 1st this year. The founder José Nieves is a 42 year old criminologist and security guard and officially today the group consists of about 40 people. But popularity is growing for the idea that Puerto Rico should become Spain’s eighteenth autonomous region.
The movement started after a referendum in November 2012, where it was asked whether voters were satisfied with the current status as a self-governing territory of the United States. To this question, 54% responded that they were dissatisfied with the current status. The second question was the status that was preferred by the approximately 1.3 million voters. The answer to this question were very mixed, but most did not want to remain a colony and 500,000 gave a blank vote.
Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony for more than 400 years, and was ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War in 1898.The United States invaded Puerto Rico on 25 July 1898 in Guanica Bay under the command of General Nelson A. Miles who then forced the Spanish governor to resign. To succeed in freeing up the movement must make the Paris Treaty of 1898 annulled, which they believe could be possible since there was no representative from the government of Puerto Rico present when the treaty was signed. MRE are planning to take the matter to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
MRE has also started a blog, where they claim that 95% of the comments are positive about the movement’s goals. The next step is to hold a major conference to develop guidelines for the future, will they also designate a “foreign minister”.
José Nieves believes that despite the economic crisis in Spain, it will be financially beneficial to join Spain. First, the euro is worth more than the dollar so that imported goods will be cheaper. Second, they want to get rid of the Jones Act laws (Merchant Marine Act of 1920) that complicates trade with other Latin American countries. But he also points out that the main reason is that they really are Spaniards and want to “come home”.
Source: MRE, PanAmPost, Radio Intereconomia, Free Republic och Caribean Business