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Puerto Rico To Consider Statehood

Puerto Rico To Vote On Statehood, Independence

Puerto Rico is considering statehood during the 2012 election for the fifth times since 1967. The territory’s citizens have long debated on their political status with the United States.

The US territory will vote on Tuesday if they will seek to become the 51st US state, reports Reuters. The debate over the island’s political status has dominated politics in Puerto Rico for years.

Political parties are formed around the preference for or against statehood, whether they support independence or their current status as a self-governing commonwealth. The territory has voted to remain as they are in four other votes, though the margin of victory decreases each time.

The proposal to ask for statehood was put in by Republican Governor Luis Fortuno, the president of the New Progressive Party. It has also been viewed as an opportunity for Puerto Rico to improve the island’s economic future and a chance to shake off the memories of the island’s colonial past.

The vote for potential statehood comes on the same day as the gubernatorial and municipal elections. Those who support the current stats believe that it is a bilateral pact, which will allow the island some autonomy while still enjoying status as a US territory. Critics of it say that the law will mean that Puerto Rico comes under the complete authority of the US Congress.

The Huffington Post notes that the ballot measure’s first question will ask voters if they are happy with the current status, while a second question offers the option to have statehood, independence, or sovereign free association.

The US Congress will still have to agree on any change made to the territory’s status. Noel Colon Martinez, a political analyst and one-time candidate for governor in Puerto Rico, stated that the referendum is confusing voters because it is forcing them to choose between three options that they may not favor.

Luis Delgado, the head of an organization that supports increased autonomy for the territory, believes that voter turnout will probably be high. He added, “It’s a tiny country of 4 million people coming face-to-face with the world’s biggest political and economic empire.”

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One Response to “Puerto Rico To Consider Statehood”

  1. Jose M. Lopez Sierra

    Dear Partner,


    Those who accept colonialism do not believe in justice for all! Now that we know that.
    the political parties will not solve this problem; I invite you to join the non-violent protest to demand that the United States (US) decolonize Puerto Rico (PR) immediately. It will be on Monday, June 17, 2013 from 8 AM to 5 PM outside the United Nations (UN) visitor’s entrance located on 46th Street and First Avenue in New York City.

    The UN has determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity in 1960 under Resolution 1514 (XV). That’s why the UN celebrates every year a hearing about Puerto Rico decolonization. Every year the UN puts forth a resolution asking the US to decolonize PR. Despite 30 of these resolutions, PR is still the oldest and most populated colony in the world! It is obvious by now that the US is not going to decolonize PR just because the UN asks.

    Through education, we must create a domestic and international solidarity with this cause to pressure the US to do what historically she has refused to do. This is why we need everyone who also believes that colonialism is a crime against humanity to join the protest to demand compliance to international law!

    Puerto Rico has been a colony of the US for 114 years. The US’ intention is to keep PR a colony forever unless we do something about it. It is important to note that: democracy isn’t what a government does. Democracy is what people do!
    President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.” These ideas, of course, are the reasons why the United Nations was created after World War II.

    It is up to us to defend the fundamental human rights that promote world peace. The tragedy of doing nothing is that we will have the kind of government that we deserve!


    José M. López Sierra

    For more information:
    Compañeros Unidos para la Descolonización de Puerto Rico.

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