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)


Jose M Lopez Sierra 2 years ago
The Second Oscar – Mandela March in New York City 2015 We will be having our 2nd Oscar – Mandela Protest March on Monday, June 22, 2015. We will start marching peacefully at 9 AM from Hunter College on East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, to East 43rd Street and Lexington Avenue. We will then go East (turning left) to end up at the Ralph Bunche Park on First Avenue (across from the United Nations). We will be at the park until 5 PM. We will be giving out flyers and talking to people about who Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera is. We will also be educating the public about Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the government of the United States (US). Most people don’t know that every year, usually on the Monday after Fathers’ Day, the United Nations holds its hearing about the decolonization of Puerto Rico. The petitioners will usually join our protest after this meeting. The UN determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Since then, the UN has issued 33 resolutions asking for the US government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government has ignored these resolutions. What kind of democracy is that? The US government tries to keep these hearings a secret. What we are trying to do is to get them out of the closet. The UN is in its 3rd decade trying to make the world colony-free. Please help us! Most people also don’t know that the United States government takes out 14 times more money than what it invests in Puerto Rico. But, that is what colonies are for! This savage exploitation impedes Puerto Rico’s ability to provide opportunities for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico. That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans living away from Puerto Rico than in their homeland. Oscar López Rivera has been incarcerated for 34 years for his struggle to decolonize Puerto Rico. Since colonialism is an international crime, international law gives Oscar the right to use whatever means necessary to decolonize his homeland. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years for doing the same thing as Oscar. This is why we say, Oscar López Rivera is our Nelson Mandela! United Partners for Puerto Rico Decolonization invites the public to be part of the tsunami of people that will be necessary to make the US government comply with the UN resolutions. These annual protests in Puerto Rico and at the UN are absolutely necessary, because, those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for all! José M López Sierra 787-429-1981 www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
Jose M Lopez Sierra 3 years ago
After the United Nations (UN)ruled that colonialism is a crime, Puerto Ricans need not vote anymore for political status options since independence is the only while being a United States colony. This is what the UN refers to as decolonization. Should criminals be in charge of correcting the wrong they inflicted? Puerto Ricans vote in elections every 4 years at an 80% level of participation. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States (US) government for the past 116 years. If the US government has the final say in what happens in Puerto Rico, what is the purpose of these elections? The purpose is to fool the world that Puerto Rico is a democracy. The United Nations (UN) declared colonialism a crime against humanity in 1960. The UN has asked the US government 33 times to decolonize Puerto Rico immediately. The US government has refused. It says that Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States is none of the UN’s business. The US says that it is a domestic affair. To appear that the US government wants to decolonize Puerto Rico, it promotes the use of plebiscites to determine what Puerto Ricans want. Doesn’t that sounds innocent and democratic? So what’s the problem? To begin with, the international community already rendered its verdict and determined that colonialism is illegal. So to have a political status option in a plebiscite that favors maintaining Puerto Rico a colony of the United States is not permitted. To have a political status option of Puerto Rico becoming a state of the United States is also not permitted under international law. The problem goes back to the beginning of this article. In order to have free elections, the country must be free. So before these elections and plebiscite could be valid, Puerto Rico would have to first be an independent nation. What people must realize is that Puerto Rico is a colony of the US because the US government wants it that way. That is why it has used terrorism to keep it that way. That is why it refuses to release the Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar López Rivera. That is also why it is ridiculous to believe that decolonization is a US internal matter in which the UN has no jurisdiction over. If we allow the US government to decolonize Puerto Rico, she will remain a colony of the United States forever! José M López Sierra www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
Jose M Lopez Sierra 3 years ago
Dear Partner, After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’ resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the United States government to comply with it. The facts that the United States government has maintained Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33 years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico. Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply with the 33 resolutions. We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until we achieve our goal. The first one will be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of Slavery Day on March 22. The second will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. The third one will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all. Sincerely, José M López Sierra Jlop28vislophis@gmail.com Comité Timón del Pueblo United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
Jose Lopez 5 years 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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