The idea of the “enhanced commonwealth” is not a valid option for Puerto Rico’s status. The U.S. government has said so repeatedly. However, Puerto Rico could choose independence.

Would independence be a good choice for Puerto Rico? Here are some facts to consider:

  • The people of Puerto Rico would no longer be citizens of the United States. The Philippines, which used to be called “the Commonwealth of the Philippines,” chose independence rather than statehood. People born in the Philippines are not citizens of the United States. They cannot travel to the U.S. without a passport. A recent court case confirmed that people born in U.S. territories cannot automatically have U.S. citizenship, and people born in other nations certainly do not have U.S. citizenship.
  • Puerto Rico would be responsible for its own military defense. The United States would not be responsible for defending Puerto Rico. The U.S. would also not be responsible for civil defense, police, or any other aspect of defense.
  • The U.S. would not be obligated to provide any financial support. The U.S. could provide support in the form of foreign aid, but Puerto Rico would be a separate country, and the United States would not supply Social Security, school funding, or any of the other kinds of support the federal government provides for states. Puerto Rico is currently heavily in debt, with a dwindling population and far fewer jobs than they had eight years ago. Is this a good time to try to go it alone?

If the people of Puerto Rico actually wanted independence, they might be willing to undergo the hardships it would bring. However, only 5% of voters chose independence in the 2012 referendum. 61% chose statehood. There is no reason to think that Puerto Rico wants or would be willing to accept independence.

This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.



17 Responses

    • Puerto Rico is better off becoming a state. First will have more rights financially and will be overseen my the us government.

  1. “There is no reason to think that Puerto Rico wants or would be willing to accept independence”

    Possibly the most sickening thing I’ve ever read. Who on earth would choose slavery over freedom? Disgusting.

    • RS,
      How on earth are you slaves? The definition of a slave is a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. The people of America don’t do this to you! You are simply part of a territory, but Americans don’t claim that they own the Puerto Rican people. Is it the best thing to have Puerto Rico as a territory of the US? No, I think that being a free country would be much better, however they are not enslaving you. I cannot believe that you have the audacity to call yourself a slave. Think about people who were really slaves back many years ago. You can’t claim to be something you’re not! I truly can’t believe you.
      ¡Las personas como tú deberían avergonzarse de sí mismas!

      • SamCasteel,
        You are totally wrong; I will ask you, where do you live?. If you don’t live here, do you will move to Puerto Rico when this became and independence from United States, and will give up your USA citizenship. I live in Puerto Rico and we don’t want to accept independence at all, politically talking, what percentage do you think the independence political party in the Island won; they even loose their registration as a political party few times. We wish to have the same right as any other nation states, that’s what we fighting for. Did you served in the Arm Forces at lease one tour in your life? Because I exposed my hole life in defending The United States of America (militarily speaking), I served 29 years, I joint the Army from Vietnam era and spent one year Iraq in 2003-2004 before retirement. We have the right to decide for what is best us (the people that live here), and we will not accept what so ever, that anyone that DO NOT live here, decide for us the people of Puerto Rico, no one even if they are puertorricans living it’s plain in one of the nation states enjoying their benefits; Que Bonito ah. Also I have the right to denied anything that we know will be very harmful to the future of Puerto Rico. If Puerto Rico become an independence Island, we will not last for long before another nation will take the Island, be it using the economic weakness we will possess because that (we can’t produce 100% of our own livelihood, we don’t have the amount of land nor the industry to supply the amount necessary for the livelihood of 3 millions plus of people living in the island, so we will depend of alliances with any country that want to have some advantages in the island) or even using the force; now with nation will do that, well to mention some: China, Iran, North Corea, etc, and any other nation that wish to have something, close enough to treat United State or to have political advantages against them when they will need it. Ahora te pregunto, de que me debo avergonzar también? por desear lo mejor que le conviene al Pais; dale una mirada to todos los paises que nos rodean, mira Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, en la situation en que se encuentran, tu crees que queremos eso también? estas totalmente equivocado, aun si vives aquí, si es así, tu lo sabes.

        • Puerto Rico is better off becoming a state. First will have more rights financially and will be overseen my the us government.

          I accept citizenship

  2. You mention that The Philippines opted for independence, and that they lack US citizenship, and require a passport to travel, but your connotation implies that that somehow is apparently a bad thing. As if without US citizenship, every human being is doomed to a life of poverty and discontent. However the rest of the billions of other human beings on this planet also require passports to travel, and those that wish to do so and they are just fine. As a side note, The Philippines since becoming independent have had a rather successful economy and are one of the best in Asia. No one expects Puerto Rico to be the worlds largest economy, that is simply unrealistic and quite childish to expect, but in the same notion there are plenty of smaller nations than Puerto Rico that are living quite comfortably.

    The second point you make is military defense. First of all, the likeliness that Puerto Rico would be invaded in the twenty-first century is absolutely ridiculous, and sounds like the talk of someone lacking an education. Firstly, exist The United Nation, which, in accordance with its own doctrines, attempts to promote global peace, and we have seen them intervene in the political atmospheres of other sovereign nations. Most likely Puerto Rico would become a part of The UN, and other global organizations that would initiate defensive measures. This is a weak notion of yours that is obviously lacking a foundation of common sense and realism.

    The third point you make regards the financials necessary to run a nation. The main reason Puerto Rico finds itself needing so much money to run many of the public institutions is become it has become a “welfare state”, in which the majority of the people are unemployed and dependent on government institutions. However, one must imagine the reasons and causes that provoked this. And those include many of the legislation the restrains Puerto Rico from manifesting and developing and advance and expansive economy. If the government of Puerto Rico were able to freely control its economy without US intervention, more than likely, Puerto Rico would look much different than today. In that same paragraph you mentioned that Puerto Rico was in a much fairer position than what it finds itself today, but you fail to mention why, and it was due to the fact that the very government you opt so much to be part of, removed the tax breaks that promoted the economic growth.

    This organization attempts to promote statehood as the only means to saving Puerto Rico and its people, and you provide a list of ridiculous reasons to support that claim, however failing to acknowledge many of the reasons and causes which are the US government, for the failed state that is Puerto Rico at the moment. You claim statehood is a guaranteed solution, however if close attention is paid on the union itself, many of the states in the US are performing economically terribly. People suffering, poverty increasing, and debts increasing. There is no proof that statehood without any doubt is the cure to the wound that is Puerto Rico’s economy, but at least as an independent nation, we hold the future in our own hands, and WE are able to decide the kind of country that we want our kids to be a part of.

    You even claim that Puerto Ricans want statehood for “most of them voted for statehood status”, but once again fail to fill in the gaps and continue to beat around the bush, not mentioning the percentage of representation that that vote had. Not even half of the population voted, because of the poor wording and lack of realistic options on that plebiscite, its simply laughable
    I am not sure whether this author and his/her supporters are actually Puerto Rican, because for you to say that you want Puerto Rico to be a part of the very nation, that invaded its beaches, turned its back on its promises, stripped the people of the very inalienable rights it boldly proclaims for all human beings, performed horrific experiments on its women, bombed its shores, looked the other way when Maria came knocking, is disgusting. You lack dignity and pride, and should feel shameful to say Soy Boricua. Perhaps this organization has recieved some form of funding from an American source, who knows, but to claim that Puerto Rico should be a state, is a reflection of your ingnorance.

    Si es necesario que traduzca este resumen, lo hare con solo pedirmelo.

    • Esto es lo que el país y los Estados Unidos tienen que escuchar. Me enfurece pensar que seamos estado y parte de los Estados Unidos. La gente los ve como un país perfecto pero no lo son, y nos limitan a desarrollarnos porque tratan de controlarnos. Estoy completamente de acuerdo con usted.

    • Según tus palabras, se ve que no vives en Puerto Rico ni conoces tanto. Para tu información, la mayoría de los puertorriqueños no están desempleados y menos del mantengo de las agencias del gobierno, como yo hay miles y miles que hemos estado sosteniendo el pais por medio de las contribuciones y no tenemos ningún derecho a beneficios aunque los pidamos, se nos niegan los mismos. otros ya han prestado muchos de sus años y ya están retirados disfrutando del retiro que aportaron; por consiguiente no puedes estereotipar diciendo que la mayoría o que todos los puertorriqueños estemos en esa situación. Ademas la economía de Puerto Rico esta asi por culpa de la ley Foraker Act, Pub.L. 56-191, 31 Stat. 77, de 12 de abril del 1900 (léelo), si esa ley se enmienda entonces podemos económicamente crecer aun siendo un commonwealth y no como tu nos dices despectivamente un “Welfare State”, el cual no lo somos, si nunca has venido aquí, ven de vacaciones a la isla y mira lo equivocado que estas. que fácil es hablar así como lo haces desde la comodidad en que te encuentras, “How nice”. We have living in Puerto Rico (more than 3 millions puertoricans) many more population than 15 states of the nation (but we have more than 4 millions of puertoricans spreaded all over the nation without counting those who live all over the world); is much easier to maintain a healthy economy within the contiguos states of the nation, that support each other and cost a lot less to import from their neighbores their needs; than here that everything need to be imported, like Alaska and Hawaii (that have less population than us but also Hawaii is a smaller island than Puerto Rico). Is easier to talk about when you have everything you need in great amount; you look at us like parasites, because you may have something agains us, but I will asked you, What did you did in favor to the government of United State to deserve what you have? Did you served in the Military? so do I; I was 29 years of military service defending the freedom of United States of America, I fought even for your freedom, did you? As I did thousands and thousands of puertoricans did, and because they choose to live here in the Island they’re treated as a second class citizenship, do you think this is fair?, how about the project that is running to take away the US citizenship from those who are not “Americans” even if they borned in United States, I think if they apply that, everybody even those who vote for, will loose their US citizenship but the native Americans. Are you a Native American? do you believe yourself as “American” or your ancestors from Europe? or only apply to Central and South America? if you are not, you may loose your too, or your son or your grandson. I am not talking about only US citizenship right, I am talking of what is fair. I can move to any of the 50 states of the nation and have all the privileges but, that is not the bottom point. We want the same treat to Puerto Rico as any other state of the nation so we can survive, and also we need more fiscalization to take away those corrupt politicians that brought us to this situations. For your information, more than the 75 percent of the puertoricans are voters and about 90 percent of them axert their votes; here in the Island, we have 3 main political parties, 2 of them fight for the descolonization of the Island; one to be independent and another to be statehood; the remaining political party is The Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), this one are who don’t want any change, they are the actual status held (The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). they love the power and one of the biggest responsables of our debts, they keep their followers blindfolded to keep their privileges, those are the one who boycott most of the Status elections; (they did the same way Alaska did for the statehood status elections, those against that status didn’t exert their votes, nevertheless, with the less than half of voters exerting the vote in Alaska, the congress granted the status the people of Alaska who vote for), (of course Alaska have oil and natural gas in great amount) but recently was discovered in Puerto Rico waters, oil and natural gas in a healthy amount, but because the law that I mentioned above, we can’t exploded nor commercialized those resources.). The political party (PPD) neither want the independence status for the Island; but keeping the status the way it is til now. If you have the right to vote, but you decide to boycott instead of vote against the government that are seeking whatever you don’t want, what you did was to vote indirectly in favor for that formula you don’t want. So that was what happened in the last status were you mention that the half of people of Puerto Rico don’t vote. We are not ignorants.

    • Dear Kaleb,

      The only one lacking common sense of realism is you. For you to suggest the UN will protect Puerto Rico is the farthest thing from reality I can think of. Other countries are dying to come in and tan over. China, Russia and the drug cartels have already occupied many territories that they should not and the United Nations have done nothing because they are unable to. The UN is not powerful enough. We are Americans and a US citizenship is so important to us. It allows us to go to school and maintain our Universities and graduate programs. Our social security would be cut off. Look at Dominica, they have to sell citizenship to Europeans in exchange for resort building because Tourism is their main income. We would be forced to have majority foreign students if we were Independent to maintain financial income. We need a military, whether you like to live in a bubble or not is up to you. A very small percentage voted for Independence because they know the disasters it would bring.

    • The amount of poverty in the surrounding islands is a much larger percentage.

      You should read about the China influence on the surrounding islands. It is terrifying. They do it quietly and place them in debt in the exchange of being in their control. Just as they are doing to Nigeria. Why dont you spend some time to read about it.

    • The amount of poverty in the surrounding islands is a much larger percentage.

      You should read about the China influence on the surrounding islands. It is terrifying. They do it quietly and place them in debt in the exchange of being in their control. Just as they are doing to Nigeria. Why don’t you spend some time to read about it.

    • Kaleb you are talking to a bunch of (those among the minority of) PNP’s : the ones who hope to give their statehood dreams a hope by spreading fear about Puerto Rico as an independent nation. What they don’t mention is the US ain’t even the richest country in the world anymore..Luxembourg (a microstate slightly smaller than Puerto Rico) is! Puerto Rico can survive economically as an independent country, specially now that oil was discovered!

  3. We want to protect our citizenship. If we become independent, it will have disastrous consequences. On the surrounding islands, they have to sell citizenship to Europeans to invest in resorts and other businesses (at least $220,000 to be exact in Dominica). That is the only way they can survive because Tourism is their main profit. The islands are more difficult to maintain than the States and European countries. The other islands also have massive China/Russia and drug cartel from Latin American influence. Independence will place so many Puerto Ricans at risk. The healthcare on the other islands are not as advanced as PR. Also, it will allow for the Universities and Graduate programs in Puerto Rico to loose US accreditation and Financial aid, and also social security payments will no longer occur. Therefore, that will lead to the government needing to accept majority of foreign students for their schools in order to maintain financial income. Independence is not possible. We can restructure the Jones Act and improve ourselves.

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