The Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) since its beginnings has defended human rights, defended its ideal of independence and denounced the abuses of the US government. They have also been listed as revolutionaries, associated with the Puerto Rican National Liberation Armed Forces (FALN), associated with socialism and anti-Americanism. They have been, in a way, criminalized by other political parties and with this by a part of the people as well. Still, they remain a political party with clear and forceful ideals that not only seek independence but also the welfare of the people.
This party in 1952 won 20% of the vote and managed to reach 15 seats in the legislature as the main opposition in these elections. In the late 50’s the party lost a large part of the electorate becoming a minority party. The cause of this escape of electors has been both confrontations within the same party, as well as the persecution and campaign of fear carried out by the government agencies as the other political parties. In addition, the people of Puerto Rico see the party as a leftist. The people of Puerto Rico is compose mostly by a working-class and lower class, who would benefit by supporting a leftist party. Although this is so, thanks to Luis Muñoz Marín and his campaign “hands to work” instilled in the ideal village of right and fear for independence.
Since then, the people of Puerto Rico have been manipulated to abandon agriculture, fear independence, incentive to leave the country and became a country with a right Americanized. Next to this we do not forget the famous “maintain” or better known as the food stamps that keeps Puerto Ricans out of the agriculture and totally comfortable living by the government. This “maintenance” is used as a weapon to maintain conformism and incompetence in the face of the problems facing the country. So how can the Independence Party generate a force capable of breaking with stereotypes and conformity?
The party should create a right-wing movement aimed at attracting the working class who make up most of the electoral population. This would open the way for the sovereigntists of the Democratic People’s Party (PPD) to reintegrate into the PIP by attracting at least 40% of the PPD voters. They would also open to the possibility of attracting a lot of the electoral population who currently disagree with traditional parties. This was reflected in the over 400 thousand voters who gave the confidence to the independent candidates. If the party knows how to focus a right-wing movement within it, it will become a very strong opposition party in electoral terms. This can be achieved without betraying the ideals of social justice and its socio-democratic system. Evolution is the key to survival, and it’s time for the PIP to transform.