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Equality & Democracy Not a Priority?

August 8th, Puerto Rico’s new Governor said the day after she was sworn into office that statehood would not be a priority for her administration.

The statement by Wanda Vazquez Garced was obviously surprising since:

  • she got the job through the election of a governor who ran on statehood being the territory’s priority
  • statehood is the territory’s official goal based on two fair plebiscites that chose equality and democracy within the U.S. over the islands’ other political status options
  • the new Governor was Secretary of Justice when the second plebiscite was conducted and a law providing for the territorial government to seek statehood was enacted
  • she personally favors statehood and is a member of the political party that was founded to seek statehood, the New Progressive Party.

It was also surprising, however, for more important reasons.

  • The lack of statehood denies the three million Americans of Puerto Rico votes in the government that makes their national laws and that ultimately determines their local laws affecting finances – a democratic form of government at the national and local levels.
  • The lack of statehood enables Puerto Rico and these Americans to be treated worse than equally with their fellow citizens.
  • The different treatment has long hindered the islands’ economic and social development, contributed to an economic depression that lasted for 10 1/2 of the 11 1/2 years that only ended due to assistance for devastating hurricanes in September 2017, and promises bleak economic prospects for the future.
  • The lack of statehood means that Puerto Rico does not qualify for the disaster aid given States.
  • The lack of statehood has resulted in so many Puerto Ricans, Americans by birth, abandoning the territory for a State for equal opportunity that 65% of all people of Puerto Rican origin now live in a State.
  • The lack of statehood denies hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans in Puerto Rico Federal Medicaid assistance given to residents of the States and denies those who get Federal medical assistance many of the services and much of the benefit given to residents of the States, billions of dollars a year in health care.
  • The lack of statehood denies elderly and disabled Americans and medical providers in Puerto Rico all of the Medicare benefits provided in the States.
  • The lack of statehood denies hundreds of thousands elderly and disabled Americans who cannot possibly support themselves essential assistance for living, billions of dollars a year.
  • The lack of statehood denies millions of low-income Americans in Puerto Rico hundreds of millions of dollars in Earned Income Tax Credit payments.
  • The lack of statehood denies hundreds of thousands of low-income American families in Puerto Rico hundreds of millions of dollars in Child Tax Credit payments.
  • The lack of statehood denies hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans in Puerto Rico Federal food assistance and denies those who get it the same amount of food aid given residents of the States.
  • The lack of statehood denies Americans in Puerto Rico essential living assistance when the family breadwinner is temporarily out of work.
  • The equal representation that the lack of statehood includes two U.S. senators, four U.S. representatives, and six votes in the Electoral College that picks the president and the vice president of the United States.

Governor Vazquez’s statement would be more understandable if she wanted Puerto Rico to become a nation separate from the U.S. Her position, however, supports it unacceptably remaining a mere possession of the U.S. and continuing to fail as an unincorporated territory.

6 thoughts on “Equality & Democracy Not a Priority?”

  1. We keep saying that there are over 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the 50 States but I believe, we never count the millions of children of those Puerto Ricans. When we count the children of those, there are millions more. By counting them all, Puerto Ricans would be one of the biggest groups in the states. Let your senator and representative know.

      1. Further clarifying how many Puerto Ricans are there in the 50 states, there are four or five generations already here if we start counting only after the Second World War. I count my father, me, my sons, and their sons and daughters.

  2. I’m a retired auto repair shop owner so take my opinion for what it’s worth. Corruption appears to be at the heart of Porto rico’s troubles. Not statehood or independence. I can’t think of a country that has a solid middle class that is corrupt to the core, or a poor country that isn’t corrupt to the core. What came first poverty or corruption or corruption then poverty I can’t say but they do go hand in hand. I hope for the best for Porto Rico, but I’m not sure if the Govt. at the top or the police on the street of Porto Rico does.

  3. Research-Exposé (with Facts-Truth-Reason)
    **Equality for US Citizens-Veterans in US Territory of Puerto Rico (PR)!**
    “Patriots cry for Justice-a Call to Arms (Civic Action)-for Fairness-Equality!”
    SUM: Since, 1898 (for over 120 years)–fellow, but, 2d Class US Citizens-American Veterans (part of “We the People”), in the US Territory of PR (with more US Citizens than 22 States)–FACE FEDERAL- unfair Treatment; undemocratic control; institutional discrimination– DON’T have- all RIGHTS–Federal “consent of the governed” nor blood earned Benefits nor Parity in Federal Laws nor permanent statutory US Citizenship (even in a State)–that other US Citizens-American Veterans have, under our US Flag!
    o PR FACES a complex and epic historic CRISIS which major root COMPONENTS are–
    *Economic-Jobs; Fiscal-Debt; Infrastructure; Social-Humanitarian; Status-Equality*
    Where each PART affects the other; the Federal undemocratic Territorial (Colonial) Status affects everything–which ties Puerto Rican hands as there is no Federal Parity or a level Playing Field…!
    • The Federal Government (US President; US Congress; US Federal-Supreme Court)- has done some good things, but, incongruently doesn’t FAIRLY treat fellow US Citizens-American Veterans, in the US Territory of PR, the same as those in the States, even while Puerto Ricans are part of “WE THE PEOPLE”; nor has the Federal Government done anything for 120+ years to fix-remedy an unjust Federal undemocratic situation–per the trite Territorial Clause-1787, and US Supreme Court Insular Cases-1901-1925+ when institutional Racism was in vogue, but, is the Federal Governing Law today!
    • There is a big Exodus to the States that hurts PR’s Economy… as it taxes State-Local resources…
    • Loyal US Puerto Ricans sacrifice; make great contributions to our noble US, since 1513, when their Ancestors (1st Governor of PR) came to the now US–107 years before the Pilgrims; fought in the War of Independence (1776)… as today brave US Veterans-shed sweat, blood, and tears for our US Flag!
    Patriots of True Grit call for Civic ACTION to get the Federal Government to do Right– concurrently solve the root causes of the enormous Crisis; not make excuses, cover-up, generalize, speculate, distort, stereotype or misinform– that SUPPORTS discrimination or closet racism, since 1898!
    **See enclosed Research-Exposé based on Facts-Truth-Reason. Stand for JUSTICE-PROGRESS; as we ensure FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS; Guard against a “Tyranny of a Majority!
    SOLVE- The Federal Government should do its DUTY-provide FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL “WE THE PEOPLE” (not some)! Take concurrent ACTION-Fix, with PR Government–
    “Economic-Jobs; Fiscal; Infrastructure; Humanitarian; Status-Equality-Crisis”
    • Grant STATEHOOD; admit fellow loyal US Citizens-US Veterans– to our “UNION of STATES” with own — STATE- PR Identity; Constitution; Flag; and Sovereignty; United- under our US Flag.
    • ALTERNATIVE- do Referendum on NON-Territorial Constitutional defined OPTIONS:
    *NOTE: Those with a non-permanent statutory US Citizenship, even if residing in the States, should participate in any Status Plebiscite, because the outcome could affect them (can lose US Citizenship).
    UNITED-With Truth, Reason, Courage, and Civic Action-for the Good of ALL!
    “Canto Claro Como un Gallo Patriotico Boricua!”–the TIME is now for EQUALITY!
    Let the TRUTH liberate ignorance!

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