Statehood would bring equality to Puerto Rico. It would bring greater political power (two U.S. Senators and six Congressional Representatives). It would bring economic benefits, both in the short term with equal federal funding and in the long term through the benefits of Statehood, which have made so much difference for Hawaii and Alaska, as well as for the other 35 states that were territories once.
But Joaquín A. Márquez added something else that Statehood would bring to Puerto Rico: energy.
Perhaps the biggest boon of Statehood for Puerto Rico to both the island and the United States is the energy that it would bring to the island. Freed from the inequalities of colonial status, instead of expending all their energies in the age-old political battles over ultimate political status, the island’s residents would be able to dedicate all their energies to a singular purpose – the economic development of the island and the well-being of its residents.
Márquez identified several areas in which he could see new energy entering Puerto Rico:
- Tourism, which is not as strong in Puerto Rico as it could be, would get a jump-start as visitors from the mainland come to visit the newest state.
- People who left Puerto Rico might choose to return.
- Retirees from the States would feel as comfortable retiring to Puerto Rico as they now do retiring to Florida or Arizona.
- Businesses from major banks to local entrepreneurs would come to Puerto Rico with confidence.
The United States is a nation of energy, creativity, and innovation. Puerto Rico has the same capacity. Without the restrictions of inequality, Puerto Rico will have the opportunity to channel new energy toward a bright new future.