Puerto Ricans Vote to become U.S. State

Thursday, November 08, 2012
51-state flag

The issue of Puerto Rico joining the United States as the 51st state has again resurfaced, following the passage of a non-binding referendum on the Caribbean island.

 

On Election Day nearly 54% of Puerto Ricans voted in favor of changing their island’s status vis-à-vis the U.S.

 

Among those favoring change, 61% voted for statehood, which represented the first time in the last 45 years that a majority supported such a move.

 

The remaining voters chose a sovereign free association providing more autonomy (33%), or complete independence (5%).

 

Some observers noted that the election outcome in Puerto Rico seemed to send a mixed message regarding statehood. While many voters said “yes” to joining the U.S., they also voted pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuno out of office and replaced him with Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who prefers to keep the island’s current political status.

 

The decision to become the 51st state ultimately rests with Congress, but it is unlikely lawmakers will approve statehood as long as Republicans are in charge of the House. This is because Puerto Ricans are viewed as more supportive of the Democratic Party.

 

President Barack Obama had expressed support for the referendum and his intention to respect the will of Puerto Ricans if a majority voted for statehood.

 

Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory for 114 years. Its inhabitants are U.S. citizens, but they cannot vote in presidential elections. Their representation in the House consists of a resident commissioner who can only vote on procedural matters and in committees.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Puerto Rico Vote Endorses Statehood With Asterisk (by Ben Fox and Danica Coto, Associated Press)

Despite Referendum, Puerto Rico Statehood Unlikely Until At Least 2015 (by Jason Koebler, U.S. News & World Report)

Puerto Ricans Opt for Statehood in Referendum (by Danica Coto, Associated Press)

Political Status of Puerto Rico (Wikipedia)

Will Puerto Rico Become the 51st State? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Comments

Jose Lopez 1 year ago
Dear Partner, Greetings! 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! Sincerely, José M. López Sierra For more information: www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com Compañeros Unidos para la Descolonización de Puerto Rico

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