We recognize that substantial progress was achieved during the One Hundred Fourth Congress in establishing a federal policy to promote the decolonization of Puerto Rico. But today, at the commencement of the work of the One Hundred Fifth Congress, the reality of the situation is that after almost a century during which Puerto Rico has been under sovereignty of the United States, the Federal Government has never approved or implemented specific measures geared to promoting a process in a conclusive, binding manner, by which the American citizens of Puerto Rico may democratically express their wishes regarding their final political status.

We also recognize that even though important votes on the political status in Puerto Rico were carried out in 1967 and 1993 under the auspices of the Government of Puerto Rico. Other voting events will be required in order to resolve the status question once and for all, that Congress has still not defined the interests and responsibilities of the Federal Government regarding that process.

The need to resolve Puerto Rico’s political status persists. It must be carried out by means of an effective and enlightened process, whose legitimacy is acceptable to Congress, acting in the exercise of the sovereignty of the United States over Puerto Rico, pursuant to the full powers granted under the territorial Clause of the Constitution of the United States, Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 and which enables the People of Puerto Rico to achieve a sovereign political status through realistic and decolonizing alternatives.

Following the plebiscites carried out by local initiative in 1967 and 1993 and the corresponding results, the Congress of the United States has refused to accept and implement as permanent and binding the definition of Commonwealth that was presented to the voters in 1993. As a result, we must establish a process based on options defined in such a way that both Congress and the American citizens of Puerto Rico recognize that a choice based upon perpetuating that lack of political suffrage and the subordination to the plenary powers of Congress under the Territorial Clause does not represent the best interest of the residents of Puerto Rico nor the rest of the United States.

The final, permanent status of Puerto Rico should be consistent with the democratic principles of freedom, human rights and the goals of political, economic and social development that substitute the legacy of a century in which the political status of Puerto Rico has evolved within the flexibility allowed under the American constitutional framework. Although historical forces have caused the ongoing evolution of Puerto Rico towards self-determination to be delayed at sometimes and accelerated at others, now is the to take the final step. This historic moment requires the adoption of measures that are carefully pondered yet decisive. In order to solve the political status of Puerto Rico by the beginning of a new century and a new millenium.

In 1998 Puerto Rico must not complete one hundred years of colonialism under the American flag without at least being in an irreversible, inevitable process of decolinazation.



Section 1 -To request of the One Hundred Fifth Congress and the President of the United States of America to respond to the democratic aspirations of the American citizens of Puerto Rico, in order to achieve a means of guaranteeing the prompt decolonization of Puerto Rico through a plebiscite sponsored by the Federal Government to be held no later that 1998.

Section 2- It is hereby ordered that this Concurrent resolution be delivered to all members of the Congress of the United states of America to the President, the Hon. William J. Clinton, and to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Section 3- The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of Puerto Rico are hereby authorized to designate a Special Joint Committee made up of legislators from the three political parties of Puerto Rico, for the sole purpose of personally delivering the text of this Concurrent resolution to the speaker of the House of representatives and the President Pro-Tempore and the Majority Leader of the Senate, and to the leaders of the Minority delegation of the Congress.

Section 4- This Concurrent Resolution shall take effect immediately after its approval.

President of the Senate, Charlie Rodriguez

Speaker of the House, Edison Misla-Aldarondo

(Approved January 23, 1997)

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