We recently had a comment on Facebook asking us to remove a post which the commenter felt raised false hopes for statehood.

We don’t believe that hopes for statehood are false.

Status options

The three options for Puerto Rico’s status are these:

  • Continue as a territory of the United States, with no sovereignty, limited participation in the American democratic process, and no chance for equal rights with other U.S. citizens. Any concession given by Congress can be undone by a later Congress, including U.S. citizenship.
  • Become an independent nation, an option which has never received more than 5% of the vote in Puerto Rico. An independent nation of Puerto Rico could negotiate a Compact of Free Association with the United States. However, this could not be done ahead of time, and either nation could change or leave the deal at any time. That’s the “free” part of free association. People voting for free association might not be happy with the COFA they end up with.
  • Become a state, with the same rights and responsibilities as the current 50 states.

The Department of Justice has said that “enhanced commonwealth” is impossible. Those who continue to claim that the current status can evolve into a special relationship — what Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) called the “free beer and barbecue option” — are lying. The current status is a territorial status, essentially a colonial status. The myth of enhanced commonwealth has been strong in Puerto Rico, but it has crumbled now, as all three branches of the federal government have made it clear that it is indeed a myth. It was not included in the Puerto Rico Status Act, which passed in the House in 2022.

Enhanced commonwealth is the false hope option. Click To Tweet

Independence is a possibility under the U.S. constitution. But Puerto Rico doesn’t want independence, and there is so far no indication that the Congress will force independence on the people of Puerto Rico. Congress has offered independence to Puerto Rico repeatedly, but Puerto Rico has not considered accepting the offers. New definitions of independence with and without free association are included in the Puerto Rico Status Act, which will be reintroduced this term. If the votes in favor of either of these plans jumped from less than 5% to 55%, it could happen. There is, however, evidence that the federal government will not pass such a bill without changes in those definitions.


Statehood looks like the best option.

None of the 32 territories which have become states reached statehood without controversy. Most of us have forgotten those controversies now.

We don’t believe that we’re raising false hopes. We think that statehood for Puerto Rico is nearer than ever. Please let your congressperson know that you support statehood for Puerto Rico.



4 Responses

  1. I would like for you people to read the article in this link: http://nlpc.org/2017/05/12/puerto-rico-declares-bankruptcy-sticks-u-s-mainland-bill/ It seems like this individual has the idea that they have liberated us and we have been awfully ungrateful of their kindness. He did a very good job avoiding the murders and persecution of the locals when they seeked Independence, the use of Puerto Ricans for their experiments, the use of the island to test nuclear weapons and the massive tax free profits that mainland companies have taken from the local islanders. It is because of individuals such as this one that I find it difficult to support an ideal such as Statehood.

    • This plebiscite is such a scam! They just change te law that we follow for voting! Reason for that is because the plebiscite is being boicot by most! The great majority is not voting and we did not want to spend 7 million dollars in this while we cut health, educación and we are broke! This is so frustrating!

  2. Everything political that has gone wrong or been done wrong by the federal and local government is attributable to 300 years of Spanish colonialism and 120 years of less than fully democratic and limited rights of local self-government due to territorial status instead of nationhood or statehood. If you want to keep U.S. citizenship the only status that provides full and equal democratic self-government is statehood. Without statehood “U.S. citizenship” in territories is defined by federal territorial statutes that can be repealed at any time. Only statehood provides constitutionally permanent and fully equal citizenship rights. To not support statehood because abuses in the past that statehood would have prevented or remedied is irrational, but if you don’t want statehood the only path to ending abuses due to territorial status is nationhood with separate citizenship. So don’t hide behind history or the territorial status quo. If you prefer the status quo just say so. The shortest path to the end of colonialism is self-determination leading to statehood or nationhood. Just my personal opinion but that is the truth and reality the options.

  3. Please make Puerto Rico the 51st state that it deserves to be, that has the right to be. We served our nation with pride and we we are Americans so please do us justice.

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