March for Independence Falters

An anti-statehood march planned for August 15th in San Juan was postponed because of inclement weather conditions ahead of Tropical Storm Grace. No new date has been set.

Organizers claimed that they were marching “for anti-colonization and against statehood.” Puerto Rico is currently an unincorporated territory of the United States. The alternatives to the current territorial status of Puerto Rico are independence and statehood.

The Independence Party supported August 15th marches in the States, but these marches were not identified as pro-independence, perhaps in order to encourage attendance by those who support an impossible “commonwealth” arrangement.

The Independence party

Puerto Rico’s Independence Party, the PIP, was established in 1946. They fielded candidates beginning in 1948. They have never won an election:

  • 1948: 10.2% of the vote
  • 1952: 19% of the vote
  • 1956: 12.4%
  • 1960: 3.1%
  • 1964: 4%
  • 1968: 3.5%
  • 1972: 5.4%
  • 1976: 5.7%
  • 1980: 5.4%
  • 1984: 3.6%
  • 1988: 5.5%
  • 2004: 2.7%
  • 2008: 2%

In 2009, the PIP lost official recognition. 3% of the vote is required by law in Puerto Rico to be recognized as an official political party and to be on the ballot. In 2012 and 2016, the party once again garnered less than 3% of the vote. In 2020, they gained 13.58% of the vote, the second largest on the history of the party.

Independence has also been on the ballot for status votes in PuertoRico.

  • 1967: 0.6%    
  • 1993: 4.4%
  • 1998: 2.5%
  • 2012: 5.54%
  • 2017: 1.52%

However, at least one poll found that 19% of Puerto Ricans living in the States said they favored independence for Puerto Rico. The government of Cuba also supports independence for Puerto Rico. It is not, however, a popular position in Puerto Rico.

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