On June 20, 2011, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization called on the United States to expedite a process that would allow “Puerto Ricans to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence[.]” This was not the first time these nations highlighted the lack of democratic freedom in Puerto Rico to the United Nations – the Special Committee on Decolonization has approved text calling on United States to expedite Puerto Rican self-determination every year since 2006. Will a similar proposal be approved this June?
There are now only 16 “non-self-governing” territories left on the U.N. list of places that should have self-determination. The United States is in the company of historic imperial powers France, Spain, and the United Kingdom in owning one of these territories. The European nations can look to their history and claim that they have some leftovers from the age of colonialism to clean up, but the United States cannot.