This article has been translated from the original article at El Nuevo Dia.
WASHINGTON – Republicans will take to their presidential convention next week in Cleveland, Ohio, an electoral program that includes a strong message that Puerto Rico will be supported by the U.S. as the 51st state.
In its election platform, adopted yesterday, the Program Committee of the Grand Old Party (GOP) not only supports a proposal for statehood, but also recognizes the local plebiscite held in November 2012.
“We support the right of American citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state. We also recognize the historical significance of the local referendum in 2012 in which 54% voted to end the current relationship of Puerto Rico as a territory, and 61% chose statehood among options for national sovereignty” is the language, as released yesterday by the president of the Republicans on the island and representative of the New Progressive Party (PNP), Jenniffer González.
In turn, the document — which is not binding on elected GOP officials –, said that Republicans support “the referendum on political status authorized and financed by an act of Congress in 2014 to determine the aspirations of the people of Puerto Rico “.
“Once the results of the local vote in 2012 in favor of statehood are ratified, Congress must pass an enabling act that contains terms for future admission of Puerto Rico as the 51st state of the Union,” she adds.
From Cleveland, Gonzalez yesterday celebrated the language that leaves behind the traditional text from earlier Republican conventions which supported statehood only on the condition that Puerto Rico demanded statehood.
Congressional Republicans have been reluctant to be linked with statehood for Puerto Rico and the House of Representatives in 1998 and in 2010 voted overwhelmingly against federal status projects promoted by the PNP.
But the Republican organization now expresses “a recognition of the plebiscite of 2012” and its clear expression in favor of statehood. Gonzalez said in an interview after participating, together with lawyer Jorge San Miguel in the meetings of the RNC (Republican National Committee), which began on Monday and ended yesterday.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Government Reform, Gonzalez worked on drafting the document, which was approved by a majority vote in the subcommittee and then the full committee.
As a candidate for resident commissioner in Washington — in tandem with NPP President and gubernatorial candidate, Ricardo Rossello — Gonzalez still plans to come to Congress to win the November elections, to present a project that guarantees a referendum admission of Puerto Rico, including the conditions for the island to be the 51st state.
But the document gives the RNC flexibility if the government of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) decides to convene a status consultation with the November elections.
Instead of proposing an immediate call for a referendum admission, the language of the RNC prefers a re-vote on the island using the law of 2014 that allows the federal government to help fund a new referendum on status alternatives, as long as the definitions on the ballot are approved by the Department of Justice.
“The Republican National Party has supported the decolonization of Puerto Rico via statehood, as presidents and presidential candidates have expressed. We live in a historical moment. The three branches of federal government have denied the fallacy of the bilateral pact and exposed the shameful colonial reality of the island. The time to act is now and the Republican Party, which will be the majority in the next Congress, has chosen a decolonizing path “said Gonzalez.
Republicans today begin discussions on the rules that will govern during the presidential convention starting Monday in Cleveland, where mogul Donald Trump will be retified as a candidate for the White House.
But there are still sectors in the RNC seeking to establish new rules that would choose another candidate or impose a vice presidential candidate on Trump.
Gonzalez has ruled out supporting Trump, saying that he is not representative.
And the 23 delegates from Puerto Rico Republican Party who may vote in the presidential convention next week remain committed to Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida), who did not attend the meeting but has not released the delegates he won during the primary. “As of yesterday, Rubio has not freed us and the delegation,” said Gonzalez, “has not met to make a determination if that should change.”