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The Oldest Colony in the World

This week the governor of Puerto Rico asked once again if Puerto Rico could be considered for statehood. One of the things that stood out in the letter he wrote, to me, was the fact that Puerto Rico is the "oldest colony in the world."

Coming from an abusive marriage, I understand what it feels like to have no voice. I relate to Puerto Rico because just like I had no voice during my marriage, Puerto Rico has had no voice in this dysfunctional marriage with the United States. With years and years of suffering and asking for help, no one listening, I have to ask, why?

In 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico. Spain made it a colony where it remained under Spanish rule for 400 years. On November 25, 1897, Spain granted Puerto Rico its freedom, which lasted until July 25, 1898, not even a year.

Since then, Puerto Rico has been under the United States. On July 4, 1950, President Harry Truman signed Public Act 600, which allowed Puerto Rico to draft its own constitution as a common wealth, allowing Puerto Rico the right to govern its own affairs, but with severe limitations.

With crippling debt, an inability to vote for the president of the United States, and no respect, it's time we gave Puerto Rico the respect it deserves.

I think of the words of Pedro Albizu Campos when he said, "The U.S. cares more about the cage than the bird."

Free the bird; it's time to let Puerto Rico out of its gilded cage.

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