Puerto Rican Political Campaign Calls to Reunite With Spain, Leave US
The Puerto Rico Reunification With Spain is a small group of Puerto Ricans who launched a campaign to relinquish that nation's political ties with the U.S. and realign itself with Spain.
Jose Nieves, the group's founder, told Fox News Latino that since the U.S. acquired the Caribbean island following the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Spanish and Puerto Rican culture has started to disappear.
"The U.S. distorted our history. Noboby here knows we were Spanish citizens with full voting rights until the 1898 invasion," Nieves said. "The United States denies us that right."
The 42-year-old history buff, who earned a criminology degree from the Caribbean University, also noted that his home was once a Spanish colony that received its sovereignty as a Spanish province in 1897. Puerto Rico, which is currently an unincorporated territory of the U.S., was a Spanish colony for more than four centuries.
Before contacting the Spanish Consulate and Spanish Government, Nieves said the group first plans to call a general assembly in the summer. Afterward the reunification group will register a movement with the Puerto Rico State Department, Fox reported.
"We want to become Spaniards again, to be autonomous community No. 18 of a country that we never wanted to abandon," Nieves said.
He added that the Partido Libertario de Espana has endorsed his group's initiative.
The PRRWS will contest the Treaty of Paris of 1898, which turned the island into an American territory, with the International Court of Justice in The Hague, according to Fox.
"Our priority is to have historic justice done, because Puerto Rico and Spain were forcefully separated," Nieves claimed.
In 2012 vote, 54 percent of Puerto Ricans were in favor of changing the island's territorial status but Nieves said the U.S. has continued to ignore the people's plea and discontent with the current situation.
"I knew we had to do something different to get (the U.S. authorities') attention," Nieves said.