For many years, people have argued against statehood for Puerto Rico by announcing that a Republican Congress will never support it. Statehood, these commenters say, is an impossible pipe dream as long as the Republican Party is in charge.
Mr. Angel Pomales Crespo wrote to us with a counter argument. “My friends,” he said, “the time has come! PR state 51!”
President-elect Donald Trump, Mr. Pomales Crespo writes, will have a different attitude toward Puerto Rico from previous presidents. While we are used to hearing that a president supports statehood for Puerto Rico, or at least self-determination, Trump will have a new angle on the question.
“Believe it or not,” writes Pomales Crespo, “Donald Trump can work with congress to give PR statehood, he will see the island as a business opportunity, a de-valued stock (and a “buy” opportunity) so to speak.” Puerto Rico right now offers a chance to “buy low and sell high”.
“70 Billion in debt seems high but the reality is that PR is worth way much more than that; the key is to sell the island as the USA commercial bridge to the Americas…as the tourism paradise that it can be,” the writer continues. “From a historical point point of view PR was the key to the Americas for Spain (las llaves de las americas), for the USA we will be the “Hawaii of the Caribbean”.
Puerto Rico has not leveraged its tourism potential fully, any more than Hawaii did before statehood. Puerto Rico is closer than Hawaii to the mainland U.S., and has as much natural beauty to offer as Hawaii, if not more. With the only rain forest in the U.S. and a rich Caribbean culture, Puerto Rico has the potential to surpass Hawaii as a tourist destination.
“USA does not know what it has in PR,” Pomales Crespo continued. “It’s a devalued stock, but with great potential… If Trump can see PR as a potential dollar sign, statehood may have a chance.”
Pomales Crespo suggests that Trump will feel a kinship with President James Polk and his idea of manifest destiny, a nation stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic. “Risk = Opportunities,” he writes. “Believe it or not these “tough” times for the island is the right moment to push Statehood forward. Y para mis amigos independentistas….tranquilos…que las Estadidad es la “Independencia” dentro de la Union Permanente con los Estados Unidos. Remember the “Sovereign State”….o el estado soberano, that is what each state is, an independent state in permanent union with the others. No fear, No retreat, Statehood for PR. Now!”
Donald Trump as president may see the financial opportunity with Puerto Rico as other presidents have not. With a pre-statehood governor, a Resident Commissioner who is both a statehood supporter and a Republican, and a Republican Congress ready to support a Republican president, this could be the perfect moment for statehood.
Use the widget at the right to tweet to your congressional reps, send an email to your reps, sign the petition, and share the Case for Statehood with friends and family as you celebrate the New Year. 2017 is the year for Puerto Rico statehood.