Statehood wins questioned Puerto Rico referendum
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 13, 2017,
Jun 13, 2017, 1:41
Puerto Rico is in an economic crisis.
Puerto Rico's referendum has sparked dozens of memes that turned viral, including some showing the tropical island covered in snow. For the U.S.to take on a new state with that degree of fiscal irresponsibility is neither appealing nor beneficial to the country at large. He is drafting the bill with Rep. Don Yong (R-Alaska) who was on the island Sunday night to observe the results of the vote.
Isaac says he also made surprising discoveries about the rights of Puerto Ricans. They have one congressional representative to the United States Congress who has limited voting rights. Although they don't pay federal income tax, they do pay Social Security, Medicare, and local taxes - but they don't receive the same kind of federal support as states do.
But the so-called "Caribbean Greece" found easy relief in United States municipal bond markets, where investors could get attractive tax-exempt bonds that provided ready cash but sank the island deeper into debt.
What options does Puerto Rico have for its future?.
The island has roughly the population of Iowa and while residents are USA citizens, they have limited representation in congress and no vote for the president. "If the advocates for statehood for Puerto Rico want to address the results to the U.S. Congress.then the results may appear weak, particularly when five years ago 834,000 voters supported statehood for the island".
The overwhelming margin of victory in the nonbinding vote is undercut by the knowledge on the ground that Puerto Ricans are far more divided on the notion of becoming a US state than the election would otherwise indicate, experts on the subject told ABC News.
Political analyst Maria Padilla points out that the results of the weekend election, which suffered from low turnout, are not enforceable.
People walk past murals in San Juan protesting the state of the economy. The United States owes the people of Puerto Rico that much.
Just 23 percent of the island's 2 million eligible voters turned out for the referendum to cast a ballot in favor of the territory becoming a US state, AFP reported. That started a process for Puerto Rico to seek legal protection from its creditors through a form of bankruptcy. It was the largest such filing by a municipality in the U.S., owing its creditors $73 billion. The island has lost 10% of its population in the past decade. In 2015, nearly 90,000 Puerto Ricans moved to the continental US.
"We will go before global forums to defend the argument of the importance of PuertoRico being the first Hispanic state in the United States", Rossello said. But statehood would also lower the price of goods on the island.
The flags of Puerto Rico and the U.S. fly side-by-side in San Juan.
But becoming a state won't magically solve the island's deep problems.
The vote was conducted in the hope of convincing the US Congress to reconsider its relationship with Puerto Rico. The ballot was revised after these criticisms, but the skepticism in Puerto Rico remained. Still, Governor Rosselló plans to use the victory to press Congress to Admit Puerto Rico to the union.
The territory's governor Ricardo Rossello said of the vote, "In any democracy, the expressed will of the majority that participates in the electoral process always prevails".