(Some) Puerto Ricans vote for US statehood

People carry a large Puerto Rican flag as they protest looming austerity measures amid an economic crisis and demand an audit on the island’s debt to identify those responsible, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 1. (Danica Coto/AP)

Puerto Ricans who voted for US statehood in a non-binding referendum Sunday are “claiming our equal rights as American citizens,” Puerto Rico’s governor says.

Ninety-seven percent of the votes favored statehood but voter participation was just 23% after opposition parties called for a boycott of what they called a “rigged” process in part over the ballot language.

Congress, the only body that can approve new states, will ultimately decide whether the status of the US commonwealth changes.

“It will be up to this new generation of Puerto Ricans to demand and claim in Washington the end of the current improper colonial relationship, and begin a transition process to fully incorporate Puerto Rico as the next state of the Union,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party said in a statement Sunday.

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6 Comments

  1. Delicesinus
    June 13, 2017

    Here goes America. More babies to take care of and less people working.

  2. Emile Dominique
    June 13, 2017

    What does Dominica have to do with this. Or that the USA is broke. This is not a move for seperation its a move for unity and equal rights. The approach should be one of negotiation not confrontation. I cannot understand the stance of the opposition, and why only 23 % voted. They need at least, two thirds to negotiate, to convince the powers that be to take them seriously.

  3. Spike
    June 13, 2017

    Yes, they have “equal rights as US citizens,” if they move to the mainland, which 10% of them have done. But to simply vote themselves statehood is like your no-account uncle moving his clothing in and declaring that the sofa in the basement is his new bedroom. The government is bankrupt, cannot deliver any services except demands that its citizens either prove they paid their taxes 12 years ago or pay them again, and there is no reason anyone would take them in. (By the way, the US is bankrupt too except that there is still ink for the printing presses.) Boricua culture includes proudly speaking half English, but adopting a new state would mean saying yes to a new serving of race-based separatism.

  4. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    June 12, 2017

    The thought crossed my mind. Poor Dominicans. They cannot claim US Statehood, African Statehood nor Great Britain or Europe Statehood, the latter Dominica seceded from. I left Canada out of it. :)
    Dominica is on its own just as the other West Indian islands. A further spontaneous thought: You know, it is vulnerable to foreign takeover. This is cause for concern.
    If the Puerto Rico succeeds, the nationals will benefit from being US citizens. They will get more help from the US.
    I wonder how the US government feels about that and with Trump being the US President.
    Having stated that, it would be interesting to hear of and read about the US reaction. It looks like some excitement will follow. I can’t wait to hear/read more.

  5. zandoli
    June 12, 2017

    What does “(Some)” mean. That seem like a redundant and pretty obvious headline of you ask me. I am not sure if the author expected all or no Puerto Ricans to vote statehood.

    • WeNiceMan
      June 14, 2017

      I believe it was a stab at the 23% turnout. And that”s a major problem particlarly for a vote that is non binding. PR statehood already had a very steep uphill battle in the US congress anyway, so a turnout that low only lessens even further any political clout of this vote.

      The chance of PR statehood being advanced under this government in power, Congress and President, is probably zero.

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