Should Puerto Rico Choose Independence?

The idea of the “enhanced commonwealth” is not a valid option for Puerto Rico’s status. The U.S. government has said so repeatedly. However, Puerto Rico could choose independence.

Would independence be a good choice for Puerto Rico? Here are some facts to consider:

  • The people of Puerto Rico would no longer be citizens of the United States. The Philippines, which used to be called “the Commonwealth of the Philippines,” chose independence rather than statehood. People born in the Philippines are not citizens of the United States. They cannot travel to the U.S. without a passport. A recent court case confirmed that people born in U.S. territories cannot automatically have U.S. citizenship, and people born in other nations certainly do not have U.S. citizenship.
  • Puerto Rico would be responsible for its own military defense. The United States would not be respoonsible for defending Puerto Rico. The U.S. would also not be responsible for civil defense, police, or any other aspect of defense.
  • The U.S. would not be obligated to provide any financial support. The U.S. could provide support in the form of foreign aid, but Puerto Rico would be a separate country, and the United States would not supply Social Security, school funding, or any of the other kinds of support the federal government provides for states. Puerto Rico is currently heavily in debt, with a dwindling population and far fewer jobs than they had eight years ago. Is this a good time to try to go it alone?

If the people of Puerto Rico actually wanted independence, they might be willing to undergo the hardships it would bring. However, only 5% of voters chose independence in the last referendum. 61% chose statehood. There is no reason to think that Puerto Rico wants or would be willing to accept independence.

This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.



“There is no reason to think that Puerto Rico wants or would be willing to accept independence”

Possibly the most sickening thing I’ve ever read. Who on earth would choose slavery over freedom? Disgusting.

Sam Casteel

How on earth are you slaves? The definition of a slave is a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. The people of America don’t do this to you! You are simply part of a territory, but Americans don’t claim that they own the Puerto Rican people. Is it the best thing to have Puerto Rico as a territory of the US? No, I think that being a free country would be much better, however they are not enslaving you. I cannot believe that you have the audacity to call yourself a slave. Think about people who were really slaves back many years ago. You can’t claim to be something you’re not! I truly can’t believe you.
¡Las personas como tú deberían avergonzarse de sí mismas!

Kaleb Leathers

You mention that The Philippines opted for independence, and that they lack US citizenship, and require a passport to travel, but your connotation implies that that somehow is apparently a bad thing. As if without US citizenship, every human being is doomed to a life of poverty and discontent. However the rest of the billions of other human beings on this planet also require passports to travel, and those that wish to do so and they are just fine. As a side note, The Philippines since becoming independent have had a rather successful economy and are one of the best in Asia. No one expects Puerto Rico to be the worlds largest economy, that is simply unrealistic and quite childish to expect, but in the same notion there are plenty of smaller nations than Puerto Rico that are living quite comfortably.

The second point you make is military defense. First of all, the likeliness that Puerto Rico would be invaded in the twenty-first century is absolutely ridiculous, and sounds like the talk of someone lacking an education. Firstly, exist The United Nation, which, in accordance with its own doctrines, attempts to promote global peace, and we have seen them intervene in the political atmospheres of other sovereign nations. Most likely Puerto Rico would become a part of The UN, and other global organizations that would initiate defensive measures. This is a weak notion of yours that is obviously lacking a foundation of common sense and realism.

The third point you make regards the financials necessary to run a nation. The main reason Puerto Rico finds itself needing so much money to run many of the public institutions is become it has become a “welfare state”, in which the majority of the people are unemployed and dependent on government institutions. However, one must imagine the reasons and causes that provoked this. And those include many of the legislation the restrains Puerto Rico from manifesting and developing and advance and expansive economy. If the government of Puerto Rico were able to freely control its economy without US intervention, more than likely, Puerto Rico would look much different than today. In that same paragraph you mentioned that Puerto Rico was in a much fairer position than what it finds itself today, but you fail to mention why, and it was due to the fact that the very government you opt so much to be part of, removed the tax breaks that promoted the economic growth.

This organization attempts to promote statehood as the only means to saving Puerto Rico and its people, and you provide a list of ridiculous reasons to support that claim, however failing to acknowledge many of the reasons and causes which are the US government, for the failed state that is Puerto Rico at the moment. You claim statehood is a guaranteed solution, however if close attention is paid on the union itself, many of the states in the US are performing economically terribly. People suffering, poverty increasing, and debts increasing. There is no proof that statehood without any doubt is the cure to the wound that is Puerto Rico’s economy, but at least as an independent nation, we hold the future in our own hands, and WE are able to decide the kind of country that we want our kids to be a part of.

You even claim that Puerto Ricans want statehood for “most of them voted for statehood status”, but once again fail to fill in the gaps and continue to beat around the bush, not mentioning the percentage of representation that that vote had. Not even half of the population voted, because of the poor wording and lack of realistic options on that plebiscite, its simply laughable
I am not sure whether this author and his/her supporters are actually Puerto Rican, because for you to say that you want Puerto Rico to be a part of the very nation, that invaded its beaches, turned its back on its promises, stripped the people of the very inalienable rights it boldly proclaims for all human beings, performed horrific experiments on its women, bombed its shores, looked the other way when Maria came knocking, is disgusting. You lack dignity and pride, and should feel shameful to say Soy Boricua. Perhaps this organization has recieved some form of funding from an American source, who knows, but to claim that Puerto Rico should be a state, is a reflection of your ingnorance.

Si es necesario que traduzca este resumen, lo hare con solo pedirmelo.

Gabriel E. García Cardona

Esto es lo que el país y los Estados Unidos tienen que escuchar. Me enfurece pensar que seamos estado y parte de los Estados Unidos. La gente los ve como un país perfecto pero no lo son, y nos limitan a desarrollarnos porque tratan de controlarnos. Estoy completamente de acuerdo con usted.


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