Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi has started one of the most important weeks in his career with what could be called a boring political statement that we have heard many times. The Resident Commissioner testified today in front of the United Nation’s decolonization committee and his testimony was a repetition of what he has been saying for the past two years. Pierluisi started by reminding everyone of our colonial status, a pretty obvious fact when you are presenting your case in front of the UN’s decolonization committee. He continued by presenting a summary of the 2012 plebiscite results, and the work he has done in Congress in order to hold another plebiscite that would determine if Puerto Rico becomes a state of the union. He ended his speech by asking the UN to include in its next resolution that Puerto Rico has the “inalienable right to self-determination and independence or integration as a state of the United States”.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that above all else this is politics, especially when we are talking about Puerto Rico, but didn’t you expect more from the Resident Commissioner? He spent more than half his speech outlining what he has done as the Resident Commissioner during the past three years, and in one particular moment of bravado, what he would do once he is the Governor of Puerto Rico. Again, this is all fine and dandy, but not the material I would’ve expected to be presented in front of the United Nations in an event that only happens once a year. I feel as if three-fourths of this speech could’ve been tweeted or written as background in a press release, and that Pierluisi missed an opportunity to say something different, like how a financial control board would undermine the only “self-determination” we have left. Or perhaps how it’s not ok for the world (with the exception of Cuba and Venezuela) to criticize our status without offering a helping hand. He could have even expressed himself on how Puerto Rico politicians have misused moments like these for self-promotion back home.
With everything that is happening we need leaders that know what needs to be said, when it needs to be said. Let’s just hope that Pierluisi can be that leader on Wednesday’s hearing before the subcommittee on Insular, Alaskan and Native Affairs of the Natural Resources Committee of the House of Representatives.