Republican Party Platform Supports Statehood for Puerto Rico

In 1940, the Republican Party platform said this about Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico
Statehood is a logical aspiration of the people of Puerto Rico who were made citizens of the United States by Congress in 1917; legislation affecting Puerto Rico, in so far as feasible, should be in harmony with the realization of that aspiration.

In 2016, the Republican Party platform says this about Puerto Rico:

The Territory of Puerto Rico

We support the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state. We further recognize the historic significance of the 2012 local referendum in which a 54 percent majority voted to end Puerto Rico’s current status as a U.S. territory, and 61 percent chose statehood over options for sovereign nationhood. We support the federally sponsored political status referendum authorized and funded by an Act of Congress in 2014 to ascertain the aspirations of the people of Puerto Rico. Once the 2012 local vote for statehood is ratified, Congress should approve an enabling act with terms for Puerto Rico’s future admission as the 51st state of the Union.

Read the full platform.

The biggest change in the platform is the recognition that Puerto Rico’s voters chose statehood in the 2012 referendum.

The 2012 Republican Party platform phrased it differently:

We support the right of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state if they freely so determine. We recognize that Congress has the final authority to define the constitutionally valid options for Puerto Rico to achieve a permanent non-territorial status with government by consent and full enfranchisement. As long as Puerto Rico is not a State, however, the will of its people regarding their political status should be ascertained by means of a general right of referendum or specific referenda sponsored by the U.S government.

The new platform acknowledges that the will of the people has been ascertained, and that action should now take place.

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