Is Julian Castro for Puerto Rico Statehood?

2020 Presidential candidate Julian Castro started his campaign in Puerto Rico, but does he favor statehood?

His brother says so. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Julian Castro’s brother and campaign manager, told ThinkProgress that “if the island votes to becomes a state, Julian would, as president, wholeheartedly support that.”

If?

Puerto Rico’s voters have already voted to become a state twice. In 2012, 61% of voters chose statehood from among the viable options. In 2017, 97% of voters chose statehood.

In each case, anti-statehood factions worked hard to discredit the votes. This was necessary for one simple reason: they could not win the votes. “Enhanced commonwealth” has been soundly rejected by the federal government, the “commonwealth” party

But candidates who say that they will support statehood “if the island votes to become a state” are in a weak position, because the island has already voted — twice — to become a state. The government of Puerto Rico has officially requested statehood. Saying that a candidate will support whatever the voters choose is absurd after the voters have already chosen.

During his visit to Puerto Rico, Castro sidestepped the question of political status with an emphasis on “self-determination.” As Governor Rossello has said, “That’s beautiful that you believe in self determination but we have already self determined. It is time to take some action.”

Lester Aponte tells us, “I spoke to Secretary Castro and explained to him that the phrase ‘I respect Puerto Rico’s right to self determination’ has lost all meaning after 120 years of American colonialism. He listened politely and committed that, if the people of Puerto Rico choose statehood, he will fully support them in that aspiration.”

We reiterate that Puerto Rico has already chosen statehood. However, we appreciate Mr. Castro’s “full support” and will list him as a statehood supporter. Our thanks to Lester Aponte for bringing us this information.

4 Comments

Lester Aponte

I spoke to Secretary Castro and explained to him that the phrase “I respect Puerto Rico’s right to self determination” has lost all meaning after 120 years of American colonialism. He listened politely and committed that, if the people of Puerto Rico choose statehood, he will fully support them in that aspiration.

Reply
Howard Hills

Dear Lester. Thank you for your efforts with former Secretary Castro. We believe him when he says he’ll support equality if we ask for it.

The problem is we have been hearing that response from Democrats and Republicans for 75 years, ever since Congress approved a local constitution.

That should have led to statehood or nationhood through democratic self determination decades ago.

Since the PR constitution affirmed US citizenship nationhood would only be possible if the people voted to end US citizenship in favor of a PR nationality under a national constitution that replaced the US Constitution as supreme law if the land.

At the same time, equality for US citizens is possible only through statehood, because only citizens if a state can vote for equal representation in Congress and the Electoral College.

So what we need to ask Castro and other leaders asking us to trust them is whether believe less than equal citizenship is acceptable. Especially now that the majority have chosen statehood twice, is it really up to citizens of PR to decide in a vacuum?

Don’t Congress and the President have affirmative duty now to offer the choice of equality possible only through statehood.

In other words, does Castro believe it is acceptable to continue less than equal citizenship indefinitely? That is what we need to ask all leaders before we trust them to lead.

Please let us know if you have other encounters with the leaders we look to for moral and intellectual direction.

Reply
Jose Guasch

All BS FOR VOTES , DON’t let them fool you , after the vote they will put you in the Plantation and forget you exist , like they did with the Daca kids . TRUMP OFFER Democraps 1 MILLION AND A HALF deal on the Daca kids and they refused because they didn’t want Trump to look good . THEY WILL SACRIFICE THEIR MOTHERS FOR VOTES .

Reply

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