Political status of Puerto Rico: should it become the 51st state?

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Puerto Rico on 6 November 2012 is holding a referendum concerning their political status.

The referendum will ask two questions: the first question is whether Puerto Rico should remain a territory of the United States, what it currently is. The options are yes or no.

The second question asks, regardless of what their answer is on the first question, whether they’d prefer Puerto Rico to become the 51st state, a country or an associated state.

What does Serious Discussion think will occur in this referendum? And what, in your opinion, is the best option for Puerto Rico?

 
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Eh… ALOT of puerto ricans that I’ve met don’t like the idea…Personally I think they should be a free country but history is history.

 
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Hasn’t this been going on for a while? Most Puerto Ricans I know are really negative about the idea, but personally, I could care less. I’d rather have it stay a territory.

 
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In the past 3 referenda they’ve voted to remain a territory, and I honestly don’t expect that to change this time around.

 
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But then our perfect “50” states would be changed to 51.
We’d have to add 49 more states to reach the next even milestone, 100 states.

Seriously though, just like everyone else in this thread has said, they’ve chosen to stay a territory, why would that change now?

 
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The last referendum was in 1998 and passed by a minute difference. It is possible for the referendum this year (14 years since the last one—which essentially means that a lot has changed) to possibly be a no to staying as a territory.

I don’t get the point of them being a territory. Being a state, wouldn’t they have representation in Congress? I don’t see how that is a bad thing. What are the advantages of Puerto Rico being a territory and not a state?

 
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What about the people who want Puerto Rico to become an independent country?


Also, wouldn’t it becoming a state or an independent country require the approval of our Congress? Would Congress approve it?

 
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Originally posted by fma1:

What about the people who want Puerto Rico to become an independent country?


Also, wouldn’t it becoming a state or an independent country require the approval of our Congress? Would Congress approve it?

They would approve (besides USA is not gonna let go of puerto rico)
BUT many puerto rican people I’ve talked to say they want an independant country…

 
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They would approve (besides USA is not gonna let go of puerto rico)

i think they’ll have to. the USA forcibly maintaining a colony is hypocritical in many ways; and that just draws more light to the fact that even the permanent residence of European settlers’ offspring in the USA is entirely hypocritical. this would be a fiasco for USA’s reputation, which already is abysmal (and has always been bad).

but a 51st state? i mean, i realise Hawaii is even further away, but to have a third non-contiguous state passed the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominicans…

 
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They should decide. I can’t see any positives or negatives of any of the options for them.

 
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no because 51 is an odd number.

We should get another place owned by America to become a state at the same time to keep it even.

 
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Give Puerto Rico 10 years to itself, no American help. See how fast it turns into a craphole and they come back begging to be a state.

 
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Originally posted by QuabbinHiker:

Give Puerto Rico 10 years to itself, no American help. See how fast it turns into a craphole and they come back begging to be a state.

I can see your point here. Puerto Rico cannot realistically sustain an economy without federal aid from the United States—something it won’t be able to pursue if it becomes sovereign. I believe most Puerto Ricans realise this and for that very reason they won’t vote for becoming a nation.

If Puerto Rico were to become the 51st state, though, wouldn’t they receive more capital from the government? I don’t understand why Puerto Rico is against that—especially when added to a greater congressional representation.

 
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I don’t understand why Puerto Rico is against that—especially when added to a greater congressional representation.

If I remember correctly, most Puerto Ricans who vote to remain a territory do so because their culture, language, and identity is different from that of the rest of the United States, and they believe becoming a state could diminish that. So they vote against fully joining the US but for still being part of it.

 
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Originally posted by JaumeBG:
Originally posted by QuabbinHiker:

Give Puerto Rico 10 years to itself, no American help. See how fast it turns into a craphole and they come back begging to be a state.

I can see your point here. Puerto Rico cannot realistically sustain an economy without federal aid from the United States—something it won’t be able to pursue if it becomes sovereign. I believe most Puerto Ricans realise this and for that very reason they won’t vote for becoming a nation.

If Puerto Rico were to become the 51st state, though, wouldn’t they receive more capital from the government? I don’t understand why Puerto Rico is against that—especially when added to a greater congressional representation.

not a good understanding of humans, then.

anyway, i really doubt the USA will ever accept them as a state. that would mean that they wouldn’t cross a national border by flying or taking a boat to the USA, so they wouldn’t have to go through customs, or have a valid ID. this means that the USA will have to monitor everyone going in and out of Porto Rico. good luck with that.

 
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Simply answer. ummm…..NO!

 
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I hope they decide to, it’d be nice if they had more representation in addition to the responsibilities they have towards our government already.

 
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Puerto Rico votes in favour of changing their political status, as well as voting to become a state of the United States. Source.

 
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I think Puerto Rico should take a small step away from the US and become a vassal, rather than a loosely held territory. Something like the current relationship between France and Luxembourg. We don’t fit with them, and they don’t fit with us, but we still have control over them because of military conquest.

 
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I think Puerto Rico should take a small step away from the US and become a vassal

Should they pay tribute every year as well?