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Other Sources on Puerto Rico Independence

Libre Puerto Rico!

Here is a New Yorker article speaking on the often-violent history of the Puerto Rican independence (and I renounce ALL violence in this regard) movement and it has some interesting facts:

In 1914, Puerto Rico’s nominal Congress—operating under U.S. jurisdiction—unanimously voted for Puerto Rico’s independence, but the gesture was ignored. Instead, in 1917, citizenship was imposed on Puerto Ricans, and the island was given an American governor appointed by Washington.

Here is an article on a law introduced by a Democratic Congressman (Luis Gutierrez – Dist 4 Illinois) that would have a plebiscite with only full independence and Free Association and the article defines free association:

Free association differs from complete independence in a few ways. If chosen, the Compact of Free Association will be determined by the two countries, and is therefore not set permanently. However, based on other contracts the United States has with their current free associated states, it can be expected for the US to maintain defensive capabilities, some economic assistance, and some other benefits. In return, the US would have access to Puerto Rican territory, and other countries would not be allowed the same access.

Our relationship with Puerto Rico has a fair amount of naked imperialism. Now it is benevolent for imperialism. For example we do not require the government of Puerto Rico to do all its business in English (check out this DOJ page with many legal materials in Spanish) for example and that would be a requirement for statehood. The income of Puerto Rico residents is exempt from Federal income tax. So it is benevolent. It could be argued it is paternalistic and that prevents a genuine political discussion on status.

So let’s have a serious discussion on status. Statehood should be off the table until Puerto Rico gets a handle on its enormous debt service (which drove it to bankruptcy) and makes English its sole official language.

But really – let’s get this where the goats get it. I respect the Puerto Rican people. They are a NATION – just like Scotland or Catalonia. A distinct people group. They ought to be a REAL nation. A seat in the UN. Official diplomatic relations but a defense pact with the US. Use the dollar for paper money but have their own coins. This NATION will not get that status through statehood. So Free Association: Libre Puerto Rico!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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