Hawaii’s Statehood Anniversary

As Hawaii celebrates the 60th anniversary of the State’s admission into the Union, there continue to be some observers who think statehood was a mistake. Look more closely at their reasons, however, and you will see arguments against annexation, not statehood. Hawaii was a kingdom from 1810 until 1893, and then became a republic in… Read more »

FOMB 2019 Annual Report

The PROMESA Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) has released its required fiscal year report. This is the third annual report from the Board, which was established in 2016 as part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act. The 81-page report was delivered with a letter from Chairman José Carrión, in which… Read more »

Understanding Free Association

Freely Associate States

Puerto Rico is currently a possession, or territory, of the United States. It could also become a State or a nation with its own sovereignty. As a nation, Puerto Rico could sign a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States, creating especially close ties as a Freely Associated State.  Either nation could unilaterally… Read more »

The Governors of Puerto Rico

After weeks of political turmoil in Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez became the island’s third governor in five days.  It appears that she may remain in office until the next gubernatorial election, which will be held in 2020. What is the history of the Governors of Puerto Rico? Governors under Spain The first Governor of Puerto Rico… Read more »

Health & Education Austerity Measures to Be Reevaluated

Several members of Congress have written a letter to the chair of the PROMESA Fiscal Oversight and Management Board requesting reconsideration of austerity measures instituted in Puerto Rico. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asked… Read more »

“Puerto Rico is back to normal,” says Resident Commissioner

In a press conference this week, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon rejected the idea that she will leave her current post to become Governor of Puerto Rico. She said that there is no constitutional crisis and “Puerto Rico is back to normal.” Gonzalez-Colon asked Governor Wanda Vazquez to join her in visiting the White House to… Read more »

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… Read more »

Statehood Is Not a Priority for Vazquez

Wanda Vazquez, the third Governor of Puerto Rico in a week, has told Noticias that statehood is “not a priority” for her. She doesn’t want politics to sully her governance, and wants only what is “favorable for all the citizens in Puerto Rico and that somehow can improve their quality of life.” She wants to… Read more »

House Advances Medicaid Funding, Senate Expresses Concerns

Congress is working on a bill to resolve inequity in federal healthcare funding between the U.S. territories and the States. Under the U.S. Constitution, all 50 States are “equal in power, dignity and authority,” and each new state has been admitted “on an equal footing” with all the other states since the 1700s. However, this… Read more »

Pedro Pierluisi’s Ascent to Governor on Hold

Pedro Pierluisi was sworn in as Governor of Puerto Rico as Ricardo Rossello stepped down from the post following weeks of protests. Complications When a governor leaves his or her position in Puerto Rico, the constitution says that the Secretary of State will step into that position. Failing the Secretary of State, the Attorney General… Read more »