Does Joe Biden Support Statehood for Puerto Rico?

Joe Biden is running for president in the upcoming election. He has made some statements in the past that suggested he supported statehood, and has quite recently said that he personally favors statehood. Scroll down to see the video.

2012

Joe Biden said in 2012 that Puerto Rico needed to “fight hard for statehood.” This was in answer to a question from an intern. The Orlando Sentinel reported the exchange.

“Mr. Vice President, as opposed to my fellow intern colleagues present here today, I will not be able to vote for you in four months …. You see, Mr. Vice President, I am Puerto Rican; and despite Puerto Ricans possessing American citizenship by birth, and thousands of brave Puerto Rican soldiers like my father having served and even died for our nation, many dying as we speak, we are denied equal voting and representation rights under the American flag,” the intern began. “Mr. Vice President, do you think we are contradicting ourselves as a nation when we preach freedom and democracy abroad in countries within the Middle East, and yet, to this very day, we maintain 3.7 million American citizens on the island of Puerto Rico under a disenfranchised political status, where they are denied the most basic fundamental rights enshrined in our U.S. Constitution?”

“I must say, that is a very good question,” said Biden, who was Vice President of the United States at the time. “I have always found Puerto Rico’s current political status as something very bizarre. My word of advice to you, and all Puerto Ricans, is that you continue to fight hard until you reach your goal of equality, and we shall act.”

Was “we” in that case the White House? Congress actually makes the decision whether or not to admit a new state. Perhaps “we” meant the federal government as a whole.

Biden was Vice President when Puerto Rico voted for statehood in 2012. The White House at that time said that the 2012 vote was “a clear result.” However, Congress took no action.

2020

Biden said, “I will work with representatives who support each of the status options in Puerto Rico in a fair and binding process so that they can determine their own status. I happen to believe that statehood would be the most effective means of ensuring that residents of Puerto Rico are treated equally, with the same representation at the federal level. But the people of Puerto Rico must decide, and the United States federal government must respect their decision and act on it,” Biden said, according to the official translation of the campaign.”

We consider this a clear statement favoring statehood for Puerto Rico. We would like to remind Mr. Biden that the people of Puerto Rico have already decided, and have voted twice for statehood. Let’s make sure that we have a massive turnout to vote YES in November. That should be the reminder the president and the Congress need.

2 Comments

Angelo

Biden may very well be Puerto Rico’s savior. He will win in 2020 and democrats will retain congress, the senate will stay republican but there are enough republican senators to align with the democrats voting for PR statehood. Biden will sign Puerto Rico’s State declaration by 2024.

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