Why I Refused to Join Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Team

(Paula Lively/Flickr)

(Paula Lively/Flickr)

An earlier version of this post appeared on my Facebook page last night.

I was just contacted by Florida Democratic Party officials and Hillary Clinton’s campaign team informing me that I am being considered to present Hillary Clinton during her rally in Orlando Wednesday.

I respectfully and politely declined…..

Although I am humbled by such an incredible opportunity, I must remain true to my conscious and integrity regarding my homeland of Puerto Rico. I have nothing against Hillary Clinton; she is an amazing public servant, I campaigned for her in 2008, I was a fan of her husband since I was a kid, and I have no doubt she would be a good president (much better than any Republican, thats for sure).

However, I am deeply disappointed with the silence from both national political parties of this nation, the White House and the U.S. Congress, all of whom have completely ignored the democratic will and the historic results of the 2012 political status referendum held on the island of Puerto Rico, where for the very first time in history, its 3.5 million disenfranchised American citizens clearly withdrew their consent to be governed under its current colonial undemocratic relationship with the United States, where they are deprived of the right to vote and deprived of equal representation in the U.S. Congress — despite thousands of Puerto Rican soldiers having sacrificed their lives in every major U.S. war for the “freedom and democracy.”

As a result of this slap in our faces, there is no other respectable option than to demand that the United States grant Puerto Rico’s inalienable right to be an independent, sovereign and truly free nation. I am sure any proud American would respect this demand, considering it is exactly how the United States came to be after having been under British colonial rule before eventually declaring its independence.

I cannot stand on a stage in Orlando tomorrow with a smile on my face while presenting the Democratic Party frontrunner at a rally, while U.S. corporations are exploiting my island of Puerto Rico as a tax haven, saving billions of dollars in U.S. corporate taxes, all while my fellow countrymen and women are suffering high poverty levels and ultimately, their worst economic crisis ever, while many remain silent.

I wish you the best, Hillary.


Phillip Arroyo is currently a Juris Doctor student at Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Arroyo was selected as the only Puerto Rican to serve in the 2012 White House Internship, having worked in the office of the Vice President Joe Biden, where he analyzed domestic and economics issues while at the White House. You can follow him on Twitter @PhillipArroyo.

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