Santorum’s Misstep

Republican candidate Rick Santorum was busy wooing Puerto Rican voters in the primary when he remarked,“As in any other state, you have to comply with this and any federal law. And that is that English has to be the main language. There are other states with more than one language as is the case in… Read more »

Possible U.N. Vote on the Horizon

On June 20, 2011, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization called on the United States to expedite a process that would allow “Puerto Ricans to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence[.]” This was not the first time these nations highlighted the lack of democratic freedom in Puerto Rico to the United… Read more »

Self Determination for Puerto Rico

Statements by National, State and Grassroots Leaders on the Need to Honor Self Determination for Puerto Rico The obligation of the United States to honor a Puerto Rican status choice has been recognized many, many times over the years, from presidents of the United States to local veterans groups, whose members historically stood together with… Read more »

The United States Has an Obligation

The United States has an obligation to resolve Puerto Rico’s status as a territory of the United States The U.S. took possession of Puerto Rico through war.  Almost 110 years later, the United States citizens of Puerto Rico still do not have voting representation in a government that makes and implements their national laws.  The… Read more »

The Evolving Definition of the Puerto Rican “Commonwealth”

The Enactment of the Commonwealth Constitution:  The Confusion Begins Puerto Rico is often called a commonwealth, but “Commonwealth” is actually just a word in the formal name of its insular government.   In 1950, the Federal government authorized Puerto Rico to draft a local constitution for Federal approval (Public Law 81-600), specifying that any new local autonomy would… Read more »

An Issue for all Americans: Puerto Rican Self-Determination

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.  Its residents are United States citizens, but they have no voting rights or representation in the government that makes and implements their national laws, and they are not treated equally in federal programs.  This unequal treatment violates the most basic principles of equal citizenship in the… Read more »

Puerto Rico: A Territory of the United States

The legal foundation of Puerto Rico’s status within the United States can be found in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the “Territory Clause” — “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging… Read more »

George HW Bush’s First State of the Union Address (1989(

Delivered on February 9, 1989 Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, and distinguished Members of the House and Senate, honored guests, and fellow citizens: Less than 3 weeks ago, I joined you on the West Front of this very building and, looking over the monuments to our proud past, offered you my hand in filling the next… Read more »