Puerto Rican news outlet El Nuevo Dia reported last month that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was “avoiding” endorsing statehood for Puerto Rico.
An article in El Nuevo Dia from last Friday clarifies the Clinton camp’s position.
“In Puerto Rico I was asked if Secretary Clinton recognizes the result of the first question of the status plebiscite on the island of 2012 (which rejected the territorial political status of ALS),” said campaign manager Amanda Rentería. “We recognize the results.”
Rentería attached photos of the State Elections Commission (EEC) certification of the results as listed above.
In the plebiscite held in November, 2012, at the time of the last U.S. presidential election, there were two questions, listed below with their results:
- Do you agree that Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of territorial status?
- Yes: 46%
- No: 54%
- Irrespective of your answer to the first question, indicate which of the following non-territorial options you prefer.
Jorge Silva, Director of Hispanic Media for Clinton, contacted El Nuevo Dia after the initial report saying that Rentería had realized that her remarks were unclear, and wanted to make sure that the paper’s readers knew that Clinton does in fact accept the results of the 2012 vote as a clear expression of the voters’ views.
In a separate statement to the press, the campaign clarified that “[i]n 2008, Hillary said that everyone has the right to a system of government that is representative at all levels and that resolving the political status of the island would be a priority for her administration,” and that “[a] 2014 Federal law provides Puerto Rico with the resources to conduct a status plebiscite on options that can resolve the issue and that the federal Department of Justice considers compatible with the Constitution, laws, and policies of the United States.”
The Clinton campaign further emphasized: “Hillary is committed to working with Congress to honor the choice Puerto Ricans make and she will support the will of the people, whether this is statehood or any of the other options in the plebiscite.”