Puerto Rico ¿51er Estado de la Unión?


Puerto Rico es un territorio de los EE.UU. desde hace 114 años, y sus habitantes son ciudadanos estadounidenses desde 1917. Los puertorriqueños no pueden votar en las elecciones presidenciales de Estados Unidos, no tienen representación en el Senado y se les otorga una limitada representación en la Cámara de Representantes.

El pasado martes 6 de noviembre los puertorriqueños participaron en un referéndum para decidir si querían convertirse en el Estado número 51 de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica. Con 61% de votos a favor, consideran que es momento de poner fin a esta relación neo-colonial de Estado Libre Asociado. El voto tuvo dos etapas. Se les pidió primero a los votantes decir si estaban a favor de la situación actual de Puerto Rico. Después tenían que elegir entre tres opciones: convertirse en un Estado de EE.UU., independizarse o ¿conservar el estatus actual?

Plebiscito Puerto Rico, 2012

La victoria de este referéndum a favor de la Estatidad me parece un poco “artificial”, pues se necesita en realidad de la aprobación del Congreso de la Unión para que esta integración se pueda llevarse a cabo. Es como si sólo hubiese servido de barómetro.

Lo que procede ahora es que los resultados se enviarán a los líderes del Congreso. Ellos dirán si se inicia o no el proceso de integración de Puerto Rico. Barack Obama dijo que apoyaría la voluntad de los puertorriqueños sobre la cuestión de la relación entre la isla y Estados Unidos.

Un comentario en “Puerto Rico ¿51er Estado de la Unión?

  1. I received this by e-mail and I’d like to share it as a comment:

    Guest Observer
    Puerto Rican Statehood Defeated Again
    Governing party’s misleading ballot obscures fact that the majority rejects statehood
    By Rafael Hernandez Colon
    Roll Call (December 5, 2012)

    Please forgive me, but as we are pleased to be putting this year’s campaign season behind us, I’d like to paraphrase one of the most cynical political quotes of all time: “It’s not the people who vote that count; it’s how the votes are counted.”

    No, I’m not trying to raise conspiracy theories about Ohio, North Carolina or even Florida. The beauty of our democracy is that once the final tallies are compiled and certified, win or lose, we accept the results as the will of the people. Voters are thanked. A concession speech is (eventually) given. We prepare for the next time.

    Official election results – no matter how slim the margin of victory – are accepted as objective facts.

    In Puerto Rico, we just elected a dynamic new governor. Gov.-elect Alejandro Garcia Padilla defeated the incumbent by 13,000 votes out of more than 1.8 million cast. It may not have been a landslide, but facts are facts.

    Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case in the Puerto Rican election that made bigger headlines on the American mainland. For the fourth time in the last 55 years, Puerto Ricans voted on the status of our relationship with the United States federal government. All the votes have been tallied and the official results have been released. But neither side is conceding in this one. How the votes are counted makes all the difference.

    So what actually happened Nov. 6? For the fourth straight time, the Puerto Rican electorate defeated statehood. A 46-percent minority voted in favor of becoming the 51st state and a 54-percent majority opposed it. Of course, you would not know this based on the “official” results because the plebiscite was deliberately structured to validate one point of view.

    Advocates for statehood know that support for their position has not grown since the 1980s, when I led the pro-commonwealth party. (Puerto Rico has been a commonwealth under a compact with the United States since 1950, with complete local self-government, subject to U.S. federal law.) In Puerto Rico’s two most recent status referendums, in 1993 and 1998, support for statehood was the same 46 percent we saw this year.

    Both Republicans and Democrats in Washington have declared they will respect the political will of the Puerto Rican people. Before the vote, President Barack Obama said, “If the plebiscite, or the referendum, that takes place in Puerto Rico indicates that there is a strong preference from the majority of the Puerto Rican people, I think that will influence how Congress approaches any actions that might be taken to address status issues.”

    The fact remains that there is not a strong preference from the majority of the Puerto Rican people for statehood.

    Faced with this reality, the pro-statehood governing party prepared a misleading two-part ballot and didn’t present voters with adequate alternatives to statehood – such as remaining a commonwealth. Commonwealth supporters were advised to leave that portion of the ballot blank. Instead of counting the blank ballots in the anti-statehood tally, Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood-party-controlled election board invalidated all 472,674 of them. Another 17,764 ballots were thrown out for other reasons.

    How those votes are counted is the difference between Puerto Rican statehood winning 46 percent or 61 percent of the vote.

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