Democrats, Republicans, and Puerto Rico Statehood

Republican and Democratic symbols

Before we say anything new on this subject, we have two important reminders.

  • Both Republican and Democratic Party platforms support statehood for Puerto Rico.
  • Both Democrats and Republicans support statehood for Puerto Rico as cosponsors for statehood bills, and have done so for decades.

In other words,

Statehood for Puerto Rico has bipartisan support. Click To Tweet

But now, as we move closer to the presidential election and the statehood vote in Puerto Rico, Republicans and Democrats alike are speaking up on statehood for Puerto Rico.

Democrats reject Velazquez/AOC bill

Nydia Velazquez and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed a bill for a status convention which would push self-determination for Puerto Rico years out into the future. Their bill intends to take the place of the plebiscite which the government of Puerto Rico has arranged, and would have a small number of representatives plan a new plebiscite with a yes/no vote on whatever they choose.

Puerto Rico Democratic Party Chair Charles Rodríguez on Friday called on the Democrats in Congress to reject this bill. “The proposed legislation allows a group of delegates to decide and impose an option. In a democracy, we should trust the people to make their own decisions rather than rely on a selected few to decide for the people,” wrote Rodríguez.

“We agree with them that Puerto Rico’s current unequal and undemocratic status is simply unsustainable,” he acknowledged. “We urge you to encourage voter participation in the upcoming referendum called by the elected officials on the island who ran on a platform that guaranteed the people their right to vote to determine their future political status… The upcoming referendum will provide a voice to our people and constitutes a valid form of self-determination.”

Many Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have also spoken out against the bill, including Jose Serrano, Stephanie Murphy, and Darren Soto, among others.

A new poll from Data for Progress shows that 76% of Democratic respondents (all mainland U.S. voters) now support statehood for Puerto Rico. So the Democrats who introduced ed the “self-determination” bill are not only ignoring the will of the people of Puerto Rico and indeed the Democrats in Puerto Rico, but are also ignoring the views of their party on the mainland as well.

Republicans call Puerto Rico statehood “radical”

Mitch McConnell has identified Puerto Rico statehood with “the radical Democratic agenda,” in spite of the fact that statehood for Puerto Rico is actually part of the Republican Party platform. He even has associated statehood with “socialism” in a confused and confusing statement. Other Republicans have claimed that Puerto Rico would be a blue state and therefore they don’t want to allow statehood, even though Puerto Rico would probably be a swing state.

The position that 3.2 million U.S. citizens should not have equal rights in case they vote Democratic should embarrass the Republican Party, but there are plenty of Republicans out there taking that view. Republican Senator Martha McSally told NBC News that Republicans would “never get the Senate back again” if Puerto Rico became a state.

Republicans should watch out — they could end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Which side of the aisle?

So we have Republicans associating statehood with Democrats and Democrats actively fighting against statehood. We can’t rely on one party or the other for this important matter.

Help your lawmakers understand the importance of statehood for Puerto Rico, whichever party they choose.

6 Comments

AA AA

“ Words do have a limited range of meaning, and no interpretation that goes beyond
That range is permissible” Justice Antonin Scalia

Beware of well orchestrated promises during an election cycle.

Joe Biden- US Senator for 36 years and US VP for 8 years. Attitude towers PR in all those years?
Kamala Harris – under an unexpected Harris presidency – What will be her Stand towards PR Statehood?
President Trump – Names the undeniable local PR endless corruption and lack of Republican support/ GOP presence as a hurdle for Statehood. Lacks the understanding that the unincorporated territorial status is to blame for PR economic failures and poor administrative decisions.
US Congress: 100 Senators/ 435 members in the House of Representatives – how many truly understand the depth of the PR unincorporated Colonialism Status?

Congress has the power – Democrats and Republicans.

How do the US citizens of PR can constitutionally and Legally Claim to Congress Permanent equality while counteracting the opposing forces with powerful economic and lobbyists
connections?
1- Unity of all multiple groups of pro equality supporters – locally and nationwide.
2- Extensive education in PR of Democrats and Republicans parties platforms. The GOP in particular should have a wider local representation to address issues and inform the average Citizen. Education of local voters is key to the equality movement.
3- Organize a powerful citizen based Congress approach to advocate for equality until it becomes a reality.

PRicans have a conservative, family oriented culture. It is a grave mistake and misunderstanding to think PR will be a democratic State. Most likely a Republican or purple state based on nationwide economic and public policies.

Given an equal chance as the other 50 States under the same rules, responsibilities and opportunities -PR can climb to be among the top States within one lifetime. PR has the island beauty, the resilience of its citizens, great professionals in all fields supported by strong family units. PR needs permanent equality in order to move forward and stop the indignant injustice of colonialism which is beneath the principles of our US Constitution.

It is up to each member of Congress to ensure their individual and collective legacy towards the US citizens of PR will be one honoring our constitution and not the political and economic avarice of special interests. It is up to congress to admit PR as the 51st State in 2021.

Reply
Dennis O Freytes

TO: US House, Natural Resources Committee
RE: Written Testimony for Hearings-25 SEP 2020- on “Puerto Rico’s Federal Un-democratic
Territorial Status”—for the Record

25 SEP 2020
Testimony on Puerto Rico’s Federal Un-democratic Territorial Status
Dennis O. Freytes-Florida Veterans Hall of Fame
“SILENCE TO DISCRIMINATION; SUPPORTS INJUSTICE!”

Research-Exposé (with Facts-Truth-Reason)
**Equality-Fairness for US Citizens-Veterans in US Territory of Puerto Rico (PR)!**
“The Federal Government should be the Servant of ALL the People; NOT the Master of some!”
SUM: Since, 1898 (for over 122+ years)–fellow, but, 2d Class US Citizens-American Veterans (part of “We the People”), in the US Territory of PR (with more US Citizens than 22 States) — have made many valuable contributions to our USA! But, until TODAY Puerto Ricans face FEDERAL unfair Treatment/Institutional Discrimination/ Undemocratic Control—NO Federal “Consent of the Governed” (NO vote for US President; NO just representation in US Congress; NO Parity in Federal Laws-Programs-Funds; NO permanent statutory US Citizenship-even in a State) that other US Citizens have, under our US Constitution; noble US Flag- that Represents all diverse “WE THE PEOPLE”!
o As Puerto Ricans face a complex MAGNA CRISIS which major ROOT components are–
*Economic-Jobs; Fiscal-Debt; Infrastructure; Social; Status-Equality*
*Where each PART affects the other; the Federal undemocratic Territorial (Colonial) Status affects everything. Federal discrimination ties Puerto Rican hands to fairly compete on a level Playing Field! The Federal Government, with the Territorial Government, needs to resolve the Magna Crisis, now! (See FIX). Other Facts are:
• The Federal Government (US President; US Congress; US Federal-Supreme Court)- has done some good things, but, incongruently has not taken any action (since 1898) to redress a wrong against Puerto Ricans which face undemocratic Federal control for over 122+ years, per the outdated Territorial Clause and the racist Insular Cases…
• The US Supreme Court Insular Cases-1901-1925+ are based on racism, and discrimination, until today! They STATE–“US Congress can “discriminate” in applying the US Constitution to a “non-incorporated US Territory…” **NO other US Territory-State, before Puerto Rico, had to suffer this misinterpretation…; an un-just wrong!
• The Historic Exodus of Puerto Ricans to the States– hurts PR’s Economy; the State, where they settle, resources…
• Loyal US Puerto Ricans (9+ M strong: 3.2 M in PR; 6-M in the States=2d largest Hispanic Group in our USA)– sacrifice; make great contributions to our noble US, since 1513, when their Ancestors (1st Governor of PR) came to the now US–107 years before the Pilgrims. Puerto Ricans fought in the War of Independence (1776)… as today brave US Veterans-shed sweat, blood, and tears for our US Flag (WWI; WW-II; Korea; Vietnam; War on Terrorism)…; cherish US Citizenship; our US Flag!
• Puerto Rico’s Status is Territory, per the Territorial Clause…. Puerto Rico is not a political distorted “Commonwealth” or ELA-Free Associated State (which is the misname of the Territorial Government; not a Status) or Free Association (which is the name of a PACT between Independent Nations)…, and are distorted Political Terms NOT found in the US Constitution, but, used to fool or confuse People as to Puerto Rico’s true constitutional Status… Any Government Page or Plebiscite must address Puerto Rico by its constitutional name—US Territory; provide defined Constitutional Options.
• The only Constitutional NON-Territorial Options are: STATEHOOD or INDEPENDENCE (Without or With a PACT of Free Association). The US Congress is NOT above the US Constitution or can it relinquish a power given to it nor can it create a new Status…

Patriots of True Grit call for Civic ACTION to get the Federal Government to be truthful; do Right, provide EQUALITY for all “WE THE PEOPLE”—should include Puerto Ricans! NOT make Excuses that discriminate or Generalize or misinform…

Puerto Ricans (integrated born US Citizens-American Veterans) want Statehood; cherish their US Citizenship; have voted in CERTIFIED Plebiscites (that constitutionally count) for STATEHOOD (2012 & 2017); are against Independence (which only got 2-5% of the vote) in the last six Plebiscites; elected a Government for Equality through Statehood.

Puerto Ricans sacrifice; shed sweat, blood, and tears for our noble US! Plus, Polls (Gallop and others) show majority support (both in the States and Territory)—Puerto Rican EQUALITY+PROGRESS=STATEHOOD with DIGNITY!

**FIX ROOTS- THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (US PRESIDENT; US CONGRESS; US SUPREME COURT)-stop the “Band-Aids” on oppression, but, start to FIX the PR Crisis- ROOT issues; ensure Fair Treatment-Equality for all-
• DO PLEBISCITE: STATEHOOD “YES” or “NO”–admit fellow loyal US Citizens- to our “UNION of STATES” with OWN– STATE Identity; Constitution; Flag; and Sovereignty as other STATES have; UNITED for the Good of All–under our noble US Constitution-US Flag-that represents “WE The People”–States and Territories.
*In Local Plebiscites–Independence has received ONLY 2-5% of the Vote…
*Alternative–do a Referendum on NON-Territorial Constitutional defined Options, which only are: STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE (Without or With PACT= “Free Association… Let the People decide!
**Best Option: PR EQUALITY + PROGRESS = STATEHOOD with DIGNITY!
• US Supreme Court–Revoke the racist Insular Cases-that oppose FAIR Treatment-Equal Civil Right for All…
• Amend US Constitution- with a “Citizen’s Protection-Equality”, and a “Territory Rights” Clauses– that are FAIR for all People! Don’t leave to wrong interpretation!
WE must “Guard against a Tyranny of a Majority”!
“Patriots cry for Justice-a Call to Arms (Civic Action)-for Fairness-Equality!”
XXX

Reply
Sam Ramirez

Puerto Rico should become a state. They have paid there dues in all aspects of what is wanted>

Reply
Howard Mark

There is no question that Puerto Rican’s have suffered unduly by the United States since becoming a Territory so many years ago. It is high time that this designation should be abolished and that state hood be attained. The people have suffered much for no good reason for too long!

Reply
Emiliano Zapata

Puerto Rico should be the 51st State. The citizens of the US without representation have been asking for statehood for many years and they have been promised by several previous presidents that they support the action, but are only promises like most politicians do. A very small group of residents (aprox 15% voters) oppose to statehood and ask for liberty, but the island does not have the resources to maintain its own Government that will result in another Cuba, Haiti or Venezuela, dieying of hunger. Statehood will continue the services received now and will increase the opportunities to participate in key decisions for the entire country and will allow the residents to have equal representation in Congress and representatives in all areas of law and government administrations. Restrictions on comercial operations will result in a lowering of the cost of products used in the island. No change in the military support, since we have been proud members of all Military Branches in the defense of our Nation. Refusing to make the Islan a State will continue to degrade the residing citizens, for the lack of representation, the right to vote and improve comercial operations with equal treatment to all. The change will end the present hold on activities related to controls created by the use of Colony management by both the US and the Island. Realizing that present US Administration is lead by the Hate and prejudice of an irresponsible leader, feel the change needs to be now to stop the pressure from this leader and others to come with downgrading comments/actions against citizens of the US that were born or move to the Island and deserve a better treatment. We request the change on the status immediately after the referendum YES/NO scheduled for Nov 2020. Thanks.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.