Plebiscite Planned for June 11

Puerto Rico’s government has passed the “Immediate Decolonization” law, and the first federally funded status referendum in Puerto Rico will take place on June 11, 2017.

There are two options on the ballot, but the second one is a two-part question, so it basically comes down to three possible choices.

First, statehood. The statehood option explains that this is the only choice that will guarantee U.S. citizenship. The English version of the option is this:

Statehood

With my vote, I reiterate my request to the Federal Government to immediately begin the process fro the decolonization of Puerto Rico with the admission of Puerto Rico as a state of the United States of America. I am aware that the result of this request for Statehood would entail equal rights and duties with the other states, and the permanent union of Puerto Rico with the United States of America. I am also aware that my vote claiming Statehood means my support to all efforts towards the admission of Puerto Rico as a state of the Union, and to all state or federal legislation aimed at establishing equal conditions, Congressional Representation and the Presidential Vote for the American Citizens of Puerto Rico. I am aware that Statehood is the only option that guarantees American citizenship by birth in Puerto Rico.

As the 51st state in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people will have the full rights and responsibilities of a state. We believe that history shows this is the strongest and best option.

The second question offers two types of independence. First, free association:

Free Association: Puerto Rico should adopt a status outside of the Territory Clause of the Constitution of the United States that recognizes the Sovereignty of the People of Puerto Rico. The Free Association would be based on a free and voluntary political association, the specific terms of which shall be agreed upon between the United States and Puerto Rico as sovereign nations. Such agreement would provide the scope of the jurisdictional powers that the People of Puerto Rico agree to confer to the United States and retain all other jurisdictional powers and authorities. Under this option the American citizenship would be subject to negotiation with the United States Government;

It’s essential that voters understand that this is not a permanent relationship, and it is not an “enhanced commonwealth.” It is a negotiated agreement between two independent nations, the United States and Puerto Rico. It can be changed at any time by either of these nations. It would probably mean the end of U.S. citizenship and it is not possible to predict what kind of financial support the U.S. would offer Puerto Rico.

The final choice is independence:

Proclamation of Independence: I demand that the United States Government, in the exercise of its power to dispose of a territory, recognize the national sovereignty of Puerto Rico as a completely independent nation and the the United States Congress enact the necessary legislation to initiate the negotiation and transition to the independent nation of Puerto Rico. My vote for Independence also represents my claim to the rights, duties, powers, and prerogatives of independent and democratic republics, my support of Puerto Rican citizenship, and a “Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation” between Puerto Rico and the United States after the transition process.

This is the end of any relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, except the treaty or other agreement negotiated between the two nations.

The Department of Justice will have to approve these options for them to appear on the ballot, but this is the current plan. Once the vote is complete, Congress will have to take action. Contact your legislators now and let them know that you want them to respect the upcoming vote and take the necessary steps to support the will of the people of Puerto Rico.

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