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Even Cuba Knows Better than Puerto Rico’s Spanish-First Ploy

By: Frank Worley-Lopez - Sep 9, 2015, 1:09 pm
The Popular Democratic Party wants to jeopardize the future of the island, particularly the young people, all for the sake of identity politics. (Melissa Wiese)
The Popular Democratic Party wants to jeopardize the future of the island, particularly the young people, all for the sake of identity politics. (Melissa Wiese)

EspañolNo sooner did the Cuban regime reestablish diplomatic relations with the United States than they went “all in” on English-language education in their schools. No sooner did Puerto Rico declare her debts “unpayable” than the Popular Democratic Party leadership in the legislature declared Spanish the primary language of the US territory.

Coincidence? I think not.

If there is some way to legislatively harm the people of Puerto Rico, the Popular Democratic Party’s leadership will find it and enact it.

Another example of the complete disconnect from reality that is so pervasive is the recent loss of PayPal person-to-person transfers. PayPal canceled services on the island after the legislature enacted a law to tax those transfers at 2 percent.

The idea was to “keep money on the island” by taxing transfers. It was such a bad policy that PayPal felt it better to just leave the market altogether for that kind of service. They would rather not try to keep up with the ever-changing regulations and laws that have dug the island into such deep a financial hole.

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So it should come as no surprise that the commonwealth government brought up such a divisive issue as Spanish first. Never mind that any attempt elsewhere in the United States to make English the official language of the obviously English-speaking nation is considered racist; never mind that the language of business in Puerto Rico is English; none of that matters.

Spanish first in Puerto Rico is discriminatory against 300 million English-speaking US citizens, and yes, it is racist. It is also a way for government officials to thumb their noses at the debt holders, most of whom are English-speaking US citizens and corporations.

It may seem odd for a guy who supports independence for Puerto Rico to rail against something like making Spanish the official language of the island. Under independence, if the people choose to do so, I would have no ethical problem with it. However, if I were in charge of an independent Puerto Rico, I would still keep English as an equal language on the island.

Why?

Because unlike the Puerto Rico Independence Party and the Popular Democratic Party, I actually want what is best for Puerto Rico and her people. By some estimates, there are more Puerto Ricans living on the mainland than on the island. Even under independence, those people would still be valuable to the nation, and many of those people have never learned Spanish.

Furthermore, the idea that independence will somehow mean an end to the island’s relationship with the United States is simply foolish. It is in the best interests of the people of Puerto Rico to maintain a positive working relationship with the United States, even under independence.

There is also the question of education. Why on earth would you establish a policy that inevitably will lead to less English-language education on the island when it is such an important language for nearly any future career option for any student? If you have two equally qualified candidates and one speaks both languages and the other only speaks Spanish, which would you hire?

Many of the problems in Puerto Rico stem from identity politics. The PDP has no real identity, so they must seek divisive issues to keep the voting public entertained and divided. Isn’t it time we all focus on the best for the island and stop with the suicide policies of the PDP?