Posts Categorized: Archives

“Commonwealth” is Unconstitutional

In 1998, the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) of Puerto Rico (not affiliated with the Democratic Party of the U.S.) adopted a blueprint for a new relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.  This plan, which was re-endorsed in the Party’s platforms in 2000 and 2004, by resolutions of its Governing Board in 2009 and… Read more »

The Origin of the “Commonwealth” Label

Puerto Rico is often called “a commonwealth” but “Commonwealth” is actually just a part of its formal government title.   Four States (Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania) and another territory (the Northern Mariana Islands) also label themselves “Commonwealth”s in their constitutions. In 1950, the Federal government authorized Puerto Rico to draft a local constitution for Federal approval… Read more »


(I) Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a state of the United States of America so that all United States citizens residing in Puerto Rico may have rights, benefits, and responsibilities equal to those enjoyed by all other citizens of the states of the Union, and be entitled to full representation in Congress and… Read more »

Sovereign Free Associated State

(III) Sovereign Free Associated State: Puerto Rico should adopt a status outside of the Territory Clause of the Constitution of the United States that recognizes the sovereignty of the People of Puerto Rico. The Sovereign Free Associated State would be based on a free and voluntary political association, the specific terms of which shall be… Read more »


 (II) Independence:Puerto Rico should become a sovereign nation, fully independent from the United States and the United States Congress would be required to pass any necessary legislation to begin the transition into independent nation of Puerto Rico. If you agree, mark here:   As a sovereign country, Puerto Rico would sever all ties with the United States. 

Nick Rahall

Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, Opening Statement, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs Legislative Hearing, March 22, 2007, p. 10.  In going back to the 1970s, at least 40 separate measures have been introduced in Congress to resolve or clarify Puerto Rico’s political status.  In addition, Congress has held at least 10 hearings, and four measures… Read more »

Richard Thornburgh

Richard Thornburgh, Attorney General, Statement before the Senate Energy Committee, February 7, 1991, pp. 188-89.  The administration’s goal is to assist in providing a fair and just vehicle through which the Puerto Rican people can express their will.

Edward S.G. Dennis

Edward S.G. Dennis, Acting Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Testimony before the Senate Energy Committee, July 11, 1989, p. 18.   So long as Puerto Rico remains under the sovereignty of the United States, it is essential that this fact be made clear beyond peradventure.  Any statements that the island is autonomous . . …. Read more »

Mary V. Mochary

Mary V. Mochary, Department of State Principal Deputy Legal Adviser, Testimony before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, July 11, 1989, pp. 153-155.  The proposal for an enhanced commonwealth . . . would create an unprecedented political status for Puerto Rico.  It would grant to Puerto Rico significant attributes of sovereignty which would be… Read more »

Robert Dalton

Robert Dalton, Assistant Legal Advisor for Treaty Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Oral Testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee and Written Testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee, October 4, 2000, pp. 19-21.  We are concerned about the foreign relations aspect of the [Enhanced Commonwealth proposal], particularly the proposed provisions regarding Puerto Rico’s ability to enter… Read more »