According to the New York Times, Donald Trump’s campaign team is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads against Ron DeSantis, saying he’s “insufficiently conservative, by accusing him of supporting statehood for Puerto Rico.”

There are some surprises in this claim. First, “accusing” someone of supporting statehood is a strange way to put it. We proudly support statehood for Puerto Rico, as most Americans do. People are normally accused of wrongdoing, not of favoring justice and equality.

Second, is rejecting the rights of three million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico “insufficiently conservative”? We don’t think so. As Cesar Conda points out, statehood for Puerto Rico has been part of the Republican platform since 1940, and Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico, is herself a Republican. Statehood has been supported by Republican presidents including Reagan and Bush.

“While Puerto Rico may be seen as a Democratic priority,” says an analysis of a 2022 survey, “Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R) and 18 other House Republicans have supported legislation for statehood. Additionally, many prominent Republicans have publicly supported Puerto Rico statehood, including Senators Marco Rubio [and] Rick Scott and President Donald Trump as well as the Republican Party platform.” The survey, which interviewed Puerto Ricans living in the states, found that 71% of those who had voted for Trump also supported statehood.

Does DeSantis support statehood?

DeSantis cosponsored the Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2018.

As a legislator for Florida, he had a responsibility to represent the people of his state. With more than one million Puerto Ricans living in Florida and 85% of them favoring statehood, DeSantis clearly had a responsibility to stand up for statehood for Puerto Rico. Considering that two thirds of all Americans favor statehood, it’s hard to see how he could do otherwise.

The New York Times reports that DeSantis recently said, “People are Americans and they should be treated as equal citizens” when asked about Puerto Rico statehood.

Does Trump support statehood?

Donald Trump has made several comments about Puerto Rico, including saying that statehood was off the table as long as the mayor of San Juan was Carmen Yulin Cruz, and that he would support statehood if then-Governor Rossello could deliver two Republican senators. But he only made one official statement:

“There are 3.7 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico. As citizens, they should be entitled to determine for themselves their political status. I am firmly committed to the process where Puerto Ricans might resolve their status according to Constitutional and Congressional protocols. I believe the people of Puerto Rico deserve a process of status self-determination that gives them a fair and unambiguous choice on this matter.  As president I will do my part to insure that Congress follows the Constitution. The will of the Puerto Rican people in any status referendum should be considered as Congress follows through on any desired change in status for Puerto Rico, including statehood.”

The photo below shows the document Trump’s staff handed out to journalists at the time.

Download the PDF.

The Trump ad, according to the New York Times, says, “Liberals have a plan to make Puerto Rico a state, adding two Democrats to the Senate, and Ron DeSantis sided with the liberals’ power play. Ron DeSantis sponsored the bill to make Puerto Rico a state.”

It seems to be a follow-up on Donald Trump Jr.’s September social media post asking why DeSantis  had cosponsored the bill.

Do you support statehood?

The majority of Americans — in Puerto Rico and in the states — support equal rights for Puerto Rico through statehood. If you are one of the millions who do, please let your legislators know. There is a lot of misinformation about Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico statehood out there, in Washington as well as in the rest of the nation. You can share your story and help your representatives get the accurate understanding that will cause them to choose the right side of history.



2 Responses

  1. Trump insults; discriminates against Puerto Ricans (US Citizens-US Veterans)!
    TRUMP treats fellow US Citizens-US Veterans in the US Territory of Puerto Rico (that are under Federal undemocratic control; don’t have “consent of the governed”…) differently than other US Citizens-US Veterans residing in the States…! When Trump or the Federal Government doesn’t treat all US Citizens-Equally, under just Laws—they DISCRIMINATE!

    FACTS are: TRUMP–INSULTS, SMEARS, & STEREOTYPES Puerto Ricans, by Generalizing-calling US Territory of Puerto Rico- “One of the most corrupt places on earth”! (2019-Twitter). Plus, says other biased things as an excuse to UNFAIRLY and unlawfully with-hold needed Disaster and other approved Federal Funds (that already come with Federal oversight measures)! ++Remember, corruption is NOT a Group Crime, but, an INDIVIDUAL crime that should be processed fairly- in our Justice System with proper evidence & due process…

    TRUMP (per FACTS and Videos…)– has wrongly discriminated against Hispanics-Puerto Ricans; doesn’t want Equal Civil Rights or Statehood for Puerto Rico for biased and politically distorted reasons that are against our democratic foundation documents! TRUMP has-
    • Slashed or taken away NEEDED MEDICAID, HUD (Housing), Military-PR National Guard ($480 Million for the Wall) family and construction preparedness funds; other Federal Funds that FAIRLY correspond or are owed to Puerto Ricans… Besides, the only Case for Disaster Federal Funds corruption is from a TRUMP FEMA Employee! (Checked Fact)
    • Not treated Puerto Ricans EQUALLY during devastating Earthquakes (6.4; over 2,000 tremors); says that Puerto Rico has received enough corresponding Federal Funds when this is not true! (JAN 2020); (Trump remained publicly silent about the emergency, even though he often publicly comments on natural disasters.)
    • Signaled he will Veto a House bill that would provide more than $4.7 billion for education, transportation, infrastructure repairs, and disaster relief measures.
    • During the Pandemic, only mentions the States, never the US Territory of Puerto Rico that has MORE US Citizens-American Veterans than 22 States! THE LIST GOES ON!
    The Trump administration has taken action to deliberately marginalize and harm Puerto Rico; prevent the island from having any chance of rebuilding its economy or infrastructure. The following harms are listed in no particular order. (by Federico de Jesús):
    • The Trump administration imposed severe restrictions on billions of dollars in emergency relief to Puerto Rico that were not imposed to any State…
    • On January 31, 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it would stop distributing essential aid in Puerto Rico, reversing its decision only after widespread criticism.
    • In September 2018, President Trump falsely suggested that his political opponents artificially inflated the Hurricane María death toll “in order to make me look as bad as possible.”
    • In October 2018, President Trump falsely accused Puerto Rican politicians of using disaster relief funding to pay off the island’s debt.
    • In April 2019, the president falsely complained that Puerto Rico received “far more money than Texas & Florida combined” for disaster relief.
    • Under the Trump administration, FEMA awarded a $156 million contract for the distribution of 30 million meals for the island following Hurricane María; however, only 50,000 meals were delivered.
    • President Trump falsely claimed that “Congress had approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico,” when, in reality, Congress has so far appropriated only about $44 billion for Puerto Rico hurricane relief and reconstruction.
    • The Trump administration contributed to an estimated 2,975 deaths after Hurricane María because of its slow response and failure to provide Puerto Rico with adequate resources or properly trained emergency personnel to match the severity of the situation on the ground.
    • In a statement issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Trump administration wrongfully claimed that $600 million in additional disaster Nutritional Assistance Program funding that Congress allocated for Puerto Rico in fiscal year 2019 was “excessive” and “unnecessary.” After pressure from advocates, the administration relented—but only after months of delays for disaster bills that affected multiple U.S. states and Puerto Rico. The delay caused temporary cuts to more than 670,000 hunger-vulnerable beneficiaries.
    • In December 2019, President Trump personally intervened in budget talks to cut Medicaid funding to Puerto Rico by half.
    • In February 2020, President Donald Trump threatened to veto a $4.7 billion emergency aid package intended to help Puerto Rico recover from a series of damaging earthquakes.
    • President Trump tweeted in August 2019: “Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth.”
    • Thus far in 2020, President Trump has proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund budget by more than $100 million. These cuts would adversely affect Puerto Rico, which currently has 25 Superfund sites that were affected by flooding and other damages in the wake of Hurricane María.
    • Despite the decrease of mercury emissions by nearly 11 percent from 2011 to 2017, the Trump administration has weakened limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions that are allowed from power plants. The move will exacerbate existing pollution and clean air issues for Puerto Rico as the island recovers from natural disasters.
    • The Trump administration is attempting to eliminate the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This would directly affect Puerto Rico’s economy, which heavily relies on agriculture and tourism. These two sectors are heavily dependent on climate and weather conditions.
    • President Trump stated, in reference to himself, that he is “the best thing to happen to Puerto Rico.” When the truth is the very opposite!

    Besides, TRUMP has belittled or attacked many Members of his own Administration to include his Vice-President, Chief of Staff, Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (called him a Traitor), National Security Advisor, Attorney General, and many others-including World dignitaries like the Pope)! Trump undermines the Law; is a DIVIDER, whose improper conduct is below the dignity of the Presidency. Many of Trump’s own high level Staff have or are providing Testimony as to Trump’s bad character, flaws, incompetence, and possible crimes.

    TRUMP has been convicted, and is facing many felony charges in duly constituted Courts of Law (per US Constitution). Trump is a “TRUMPIST” (with blind fanatics); is for himself first or a RINO-Republican in Name Only..!

    RINO TRUMP is destroying the GOP; doesn’t reflect the highest values of our US Constitution or the Republican Party…; is against a Federal Plebiscite on equal US Citizenship-Rights or Statehood for Puerto Rico for no good reason. Thus, out with Trump (a Charlatan)!

    THE TIME IS NOW: demand our Federal Government take ACTION to ensure Equality; Democracy:
    (1) Do a PR Plebiscite on viable Non-Territorial Options—STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE vs
    INDEPENDENCE-Free Association PACT. Let the People VOTE to end the Colonial Status!
    (2) Revoke un-just Laws (like the racist “Insular Cases”, 1920 Jones Act…); Incorporate Puerto Rico.
    (3) Amend US Constitution to clearly protect Equal Civil Rights-Fairness for ALL “We The People”…
    (4) Update the Territorial Clause; provide more Rights & a Status limit; end unjust Federal domination…
    UNITED-with Truth, Reason, Justice, and Civic Action for the Good of All!

  2. Puerto Rico, invasion and USA government has done for more than 100 years (without an act of congress) against many Latin American countries is atypical of the imperialism. If the excuse they will liberate you. Once the invasion is in, then follows the rich or wealthy Americans to taken over their land and industries. That’s why USA has gained so much hate in the 60s, 70s, 80s. Once USA government leaves a puppet government controlled remotely by USA. Immigration starts to USA. Then USA complaints like the other European imperialists. UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium , etc. US economy is control my our own billionaires, not the US Government . War brings more wealth, facts have proven that. USA has barely 250 years as a country or new nation. Let’s see if it can survive 250 years more.

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