Puerto Rico to Vote Sunday on Statehood

by
June 10, 2017

Puerto RicoVoters in Puerto Rico head to the polls Sunday to decide whether to back a bid to make the U.S. territory the 51st state, at a time when the island is gripped by an economic crisis that is creating stiff challenges for such a proposal.

The nonbinding plebiscite in the island of 3.4 million people presents three options: statehood, independence or a continuation of its current status as a territory. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a member of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, has made the push for statehood a centerpiece of his administration since assuming office in January.

“The people of Puerto Rico cherish our relationship with the United States,” said Jenniffer González, the island’s nonvoting member of Congress and a member of the pro-statehood party. “We hope to strengthen that relationship” by becoming the 51st state.

But the opposition Popular Democratic Party—which supports keeping the island’s current status, though with more autonomy—has urged voters to boycott the vote. It calls the referendum rigged in support of statehood, in part because the governing party had initially sought to exclude the territorial option from the ballot. The smaller Puerto Rican Independence Party has also called for a boycott.

Sunday’s vote will be the fifth plebiscite since 1967 on the island’s status, an issue that has divided Puerto Ricans for decades. Under the current status, Puerto Ricans are born U.S. citizens, but those living on the island can’t vote for president and have only one representative in Congress, a resident commissioner who cannot vote.

  • Rodney Steward

    We just got through BAILING their sorry a$$es out not long ago, of course they want to be a state, all will be on welfare, free medical, just name it! This will be like making mexico a state! This is CRAZY!!!!!!

  • CBUJAN

    No way in hell should Puerto Rico become a state.

  • exoticdoc2

    Yeah, that’s all we need, another whole island of welfare recipients to house, feed, and provide medical care and education for.

  • Scorpion

    They are bankrupt. Give them full Independence and cut off all US funding. The USA does not need a financially broke 51st state. They have already been a severe monetary drain on our country. Statehood will only increase our national debt.

    • FIRE1949

      Puerto Rico, just another example of what happens when corrupt liberals control an entity. …….total failure……….

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      • Bob

        We could re-name it “East California”.

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