Puerto Rico Could Become 51st State

Statehood for Puerto RicoPuerto Rico’s new Progressive Party has voted unanimously to introduce legislation in Congress which could make their country the 51st member of the United States.  Presently, the country is a United States Commonwealth.

On November 6th, the citizens of Puerto Rico were asked to vote on the referendum concerning status quo, U.S. statehood, or something else.

There were two questions on the ballot.  The first question was whether they were satisfied with the country’s present relationship with the United States.  52.4% said they were not.

The second question asked if voters wished to become a U.S. state, an independent country, or a freely associated sovereign state; a type of independence in close alliance with the United States.  On this question, statehood did receive the largest number of votes.  However, 480,000 ballots were left blank on question number two, giving statehood only 44.9% of the total number of votes cast.

Wednesday, The Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act was introduced to the House of Representatives.  It must first be passed by the Natural Resources committee before it can go to a full vote.

The measure will simply ask: “Do you want Puerto Rico to be admitted as a state of the United States?”  If it passes, the president is directed to introduce legislation within 180 days requesting Puerto Rico’s statehood, “on an equal footing” with the other 50 states.

“The government of the United States is a champion of democracy and self-determination, and it has to adhere to these principles with respect to its own citizens,” Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi said after introducing the bill. “Puerto Rico has been called the shiny star of the Caribbean, and it’s time that our state shines, together with the other states, on the flag of the United States of America.”

The United States and Puerto Rico have enjoyed a firm relationship for over a century.  Since 1967, there have been four referendums introduced to the government of the commonwealth.  Many of those who have been campaigning for statehood are “tired of the plebiscite requirement”.  They are asking for a “yes”, or “no” vote.

President Obama is uncertain of the results of the November 6 ballot questions.

In March, Mr. Obama introduced a 2.5 million dollar proposal, which would allow a U.S. sanctioned vote that would allow Puerto Ricans to decide their future.

Pierluisi said his bill is “distinct” but “consistent” with the president’s proposal and serves as a model of how the vote called for by the president can be structured.

There is, and has been, divisiveness among the Puerto Rican voters.  The current commonwealth arrangement gives them some protection from the United States, while continuing to retain a certain autonomy.  Others say that the country is no more than a United States possession, and the American Congress can change their situation at any time.

The island country became a U.S. possession at the end of the ‘Spanish-American War’ in 1898.  Puerto Rican’s residents became U.S. citizens in 1917, and Puerto Rico was granted a larger degree of autonomous rule under commonwealth status in 1952.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Obesity Society Recommends Kids Drink Fewer Sugar Sweetened Beverages April 24, 2014
    The ever-expanding line of sugary drinks may actually be contributing to the obesity epidemic, especially when it comes to kids. Even one sugary drink per day can contribute to weight gain, which is why The Obesity Society is now recommending fewer sugar sweetened beverages for kids. This includes soda, sports drinks and any other beverages […]
    Tracy Rose
  • Christians Faced With New Dilemma April 24, 2014
    Many who consider themselves Christians are finding themselves faced with a new dilemma. These so-called “Christ-followers,” except for a few hiccups, have tried to follow Jesus (who they see as the Son of God) as much as their limited selfish condition will allow. But lately, they find themselves encountering people or groups of people who are ready and […]
    Rick Hope
  • Kaley Cuoco Chops Hair for Real This Time April 24, 2014
    Kaley Cuoco has chopped of her hair for real this time. It is not quick Miley Cyrus short, but it is much shorter than the Big Bang star is used to. To make it clear that this time is was not a prank at the expense of her fans, she shared a photo of herself […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Avril Lavigne New ‘Helly Kitty’ Song Racist? April 24, 2014
    Hundreds of people recently took to Twitter to complain about Avril Lavigne’s new song Hello Kitty being racist. However, others have defended the decision to use the colorful, girly, cupcake style entertainment in her new music video. For many, the new track is just downright terrible. The new music video involves four deadpan Japanese girls […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • HBO and Amazon Team Up Against Netflix April 24, 2014
    HBO has teamed up with Amazon Prime against Netflix to allow Prime members the ability to watch HBO classics like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under as well as some of the newer popular shows like True Blood. However, Amazon Prime members should not get too excited as their, nearly, $100 per year subscription fee […]
    Michael Smith

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 629 other subscribers

Quantcast