Jose Fuentes, former Attorney General of Puerto Rico, wrote that statehood is the obvious solution for conservatives.
When we so often hear that conservatives won’t allow Puerto Rico statehood, we might be surprised by this claim. But it may be more a question of how we define conservatism than anything about Puerto Rico that gives so many in the states this idea.
“Not only are Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly in favor of statehood,” Fuentes points out, “they also remain dedicated to conservative American ideals.” In their religious views, their social positions, and their commitment to defending the United States in the Armed Forces, Puerto Ricans show conservative attitudes.
Statehood is also the position that best supports a conservative economic plan, says Fuentes. Puerto Rico has had no voice in economic policies imposed on Puerto Rico by the federal government, and the result has been a fiscal struggle. “Statehood will provide a climate of stability that will allow Puerto Rico to attract new investors and provide security to current investors,” he writes. “It is the only solution that positions the island for tremendous economic growth without additional federal investment.”
Puerto Rico also holds an important strategic place in a world that is increasingly uncertain. “It’s time for Congress to provide Puerto Rico with a pathway to statehood that will add an important national security stronghold in the Caribbean, thriving economy, and conservative voice in the Union,” Fuentes concludes.