The question of Statehood for Puerto Rico probably first popped up in 1898 when the United States took it from Spain. Since then the idea comes in and out of the spotlight. People talk about it and vote on it, but the question is never answered to anyone’s satisfaction. Puerto Rico is left in a perpetual legal limbo and her citizens, American citizens, pay the price of being born without full voting rights and representation.
Now months into a massive blackout, left on their own by Trump’s inept executive branch, the spotlight is brighter than ever… But still, the path forward to statehood looks very murky.
One thing that has always made the path to statehood difficult is that we asked the American citizens of Puerto Rico if they would rather not be American citizens anymore.
“Strong political divisions within Puerto Rico over the future of the island have made it easy for Congress to ignore the situation. There’s no general consensus among the island’s 3.5 million people about whether it’s better to join the United States, remain a commonwealth, or gain complete independence. And there’s another brewing movement advocating for a state of free association, which would make Puerto Rico an independent nation with a special relationship with the United States (like Micronesia and the Marshall Islands).”
Excerpt from Alexia Fernández Campbell excellent post: Puerto Rico’s most ambitious push yet for statehood explained
It sounds nice. Who can be against giving people a choice? We don’t want to force them to be Americans.
But remember, they ARE Americans.
We don’t grant Texans a choice. For every other citizen of America, in every other locality, independence from America is forever off the table.
On the other hand, most* other American citizens get to vote for our President, we get voting Congressmen and two Senators. Every citizen should have the right to be represented the same as every other. And the way to do that is to make Purto Ria a State, They shouldn’t have a choice…Just because some, even a majority of American citizens of a region might wish to sever their ties with us…that doesn’t mean that their rights as citizens should be less than full.
If the concern is truly for the rights of self-determination for those Puerto Rican-Americans who would rather keep the status quo or become independent, then grant them the right to make those choices as a State. Of course, that would open the door to let Texans decide those same questions…
It seems the universal right of self-determination is not a universal one. What’s right for Puerto Rico is not what’s right for Texas.