We often see calls for independence for Puerto Rico, mostly in social media but sometimes in blog posts or articles. They don’t come from Puerto Rico, by and large. Voters in Puerto Rico have never chosen a governor or resident commissioner from the Independence Party, and independence has never gotten more than 5% in any status vote. It is obvious that Puerto Ricans do not want independence.

But calls for independence for Puerto Rico come from other nations as well. In meetings of the United Nations, foreign countries sometimes announce their preference for independence over statehood for Puerto Rico.

Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon responded in a speech on the House Floor to some of these. “It is no surprise that Cuba, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela, who are among the worst human rights violators and antidemocratic regimes in the world, are the ones calling for Puerto Rico’s independence in an attempt to advance their anti-American agenda and grow their influence in the region,” she said. “It is Congress, not the United Nations, and certainly not a committee made up of authoritarian regimes that has the ultimate responsibility to address Puerto Rico’s political status.”

Whose choice should Puerto Rico status be?

“Puerto Ricans have made it very clear through votes and democratic elections—something these nations will never learn—we want to join our fellow Americans on equal footing as a full State of the Union,” Rep. Gonzalez-Colon continued.

It is clear that this is true. There have been three status votes in this century. In each, the majority of voters chose statehood:

  • In 2012, 54% of voters rejected the current territorial status and 61% of voters chose statehood as their preferred status alternative.
  • In 2017, 97% of voters chose statehood in a vote which the losing party boycotted.
  • In 2020, 53% of voters chose statehood on a yes or no ballot.

Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to make new states. They do not have to consult the people living in a territory, but they usually do.

Right now, the Puerto Rico Status Act is being considered in both the House and the Senate. This bill will hold one more federally-sponsored status vote and give Puerto Rico voters a choice among viable status options. A permanent status for Puerto Rico is finally in view. Contact your legislators and let them know that you support the Puerto Rico Status Act.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

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

Sign up for our newsletter!

We will send you news about Puerto Rico and the path to statehood. No spam, just useful information about this historic movement.