Skip to content

Letterman Suggests It’s Time for Puerto Rican Statehood

To the delight and approval of his audience, David Letterman began his Late Show opening monologue on January 9th with a quick plug for Puerto Rican statehood.

After welcoming his audience to the show, Letterman immediately asked the crowd, “Honestly, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t it about time Puerto Rico became a state?”  After pausing for audience applause and laughter, Letterman continued, “Isn’t it?  I mean, come on.”  This opening bit ended with Latin music and more applause.

Letterman’s mention of Puerto Rican statehood on popular nationwide television – and his no-nonsense attitude about it – reflects how far the United States and Puerto Rico have both come since the previous plebiscite was held in 1998.  In Puerto Rico, the 1998 vote was marked by confusion, while in the broader U.S. there was a general lack of awareness and concern over the un-American treatment of roughly four million U.S. citizens who lack democratic rights.

This time, with the 2012 plebiscite results, there is clarity that most people in Puerto Rico seek to move beyond their current undemocratic territorial status. On the mainland – and in popular culture in particular – there is now a growing awareness that, to paraphrase David Letterman, it’s about time to legitimize Puerto Rico’s relationship with the rest of the United States.  I mean, honestly.


19 thoughts on “Letterman Suggests It’s Time for Puerto Rican Statehood”

  1. Definitedly Puerto Rico should be the the next STATE of the USA. We Puertorricans are US citizens but cannot vote for the President. Yet we are eligible to fight in all wars since WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc… NICE.

  2. More than a 100 years being part of the United states.its time we become a state or be independent.we cannot continue to be a territory; like it used to be during the early 1800.we want to be a state..with full responsability.. its not fair we get all the benefits without contributing to the system.

  3. finally some one from the state side notice the need for Puerto Rican’s to have the same rights… we are Americans and we have fight for other country rights now is time to fight for our statehood

  4. Can you believe that if we move to a State we automatically get the right to vote for our Commander in Chief, and if any state resident moves to our territory looses this right? Our territory is colonial and undemocratic!

  5. How can live in a full Democratic enviroment in Puerto Rico? The answer for me is, becoming the 51 State of USA. Puerto Ricans deserve to be a Full American Citizens.

  6. It’s about time Puerto Rico became a state. We are US citizens that can’t vote for the President of the United States and this is not fair because many decisions that the congress make affects direct or indirectly our economy.

  7. Puerto Rico is a colony and it shouldn’t be. The last election results were a disgrace. Only 44.4% voted for statehood. How is that a mayority? Most either voted against statehood or left the ballot blannk for a total of 55%.

    So how can you say its time for statehood?

    1. Thanks for your comments. For more background on the 61% vote for statehood on the second part of the ballot, please check out our posts on: (1) a Columbia Law School Professor’s take on the vote, (2) Resident Commissioner Pierluisi’s analysis of then numbers, (3) the White House’s explanation, and (4) how “enhanced commonwealth” cannot be considered a viable “alternative” to the current territorial status of Puerto Rico when interpreting the vote. For a broader perspective on Puerto Rico’s referendum, read Kenneth McClintock’s remarks here.

  8. 4 million patriotic US citizens residing in Puerto Rico (USA) have been under colonial rule for 500 years (first Spain; and then, since 1998, under the US Congress). Having fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, haven’t we earned the right to first class non-colonial citizenshipo?

  9. Yes, this is what the majority of Puerto Ricans want. We reach out to Congress to make this happen as soon as possible. We want to be equal American citizens, and not to continue to be treated in an un-American way. President Obama, please take action.

  10. Statehood now. No more second class citizenship. The colony only serves the oligarchs on the island who are threatened by the rights of the majority of the 3.7 mm on the island to aspire to a better quality of life. Time for democracy and time for our share of the American Dream. We don’t want welfare. We want opportunities to succeed freely. 4.6 mm Puerto Ricans have voted for statehood with their feet (they live on the mainland). It’s time for us to access the American Dream on the island.

  11. We shoulb be a 51 state long time ago.Do you know we have paid with BLOOD for it Our boys and now girls go to war with the USA..and our soldiers are AMERICAN CITIZENS…so in size..compared to others natios we lost more guys know we are onlt 100×35 m in size.There are 3 congresman in Chicago, NydyaVELAZQUEZ..,Luis Gutierrez and another one I cant remember his name because of his insignificancethat they are from PR and are opposed for PR to be a state///and you know each electotal year they come to PR to ask for money for their campaing…They should be expelled from the face of the earth they are living like rich people have the benefits of an american living in the mainlang althuogh if they do noy know they are american citizens like us BY LAW>>of second cathegory,They are bad people and Chicaco cshould not elect then more the latinos from PR….Otherwise all of us is the USA do not accept us as STATE 51…the INDEPANDECE WILL COME//and alla of you there and us here we loose our citizenship. take those craps out od the Congress please..

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Magazine, and enjoy exclusive benefits

Subscribe to the online magazine and enjoy exclusive benefits and premiums.

[wpforms id=”133″]