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The Question of Statehood or Independence for Puerto Rico

The recent powerhouse performance of J Lo at the 2020 Miami Super-bowl proudly unfurling the Puerto Rican flag under the U.S. flag, imploring her gente to "Get Loud," with daughter Emme simultaneously singing "Born In the U.S.A., had Puerto Ricans celebrating and debating the century old question: What are we really? Are we U.S. citizens or are we our own independent country with our own government???

The Trump administration has thrown daggers at Puerto Rico's politicians and leaders for allowing Puerto Rico to go under. Puerto Ricans themselves have been disgusted at leaders who did not distribute emergency supplies as needed, who have catered to U.S. demands and are fueled by their own financial greed rather than doing what is right for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans have a right to be disgusted at local leaders who have failed them, but who is the real culprit? Who truly governs Puerto Rico and when the Trump administration criticizes Puerto Rico, is the administration really just criticizing themselves? Does Puerto Rico have the ability to truly govern itself?

The answer is a loud and resounding NO!

On July 21, 1898, the U.S. government issued a press release stating, "Porto Rico [Puerto Rico] will be kept. Once taken it will never be released. It will pass forever into the hands of the Unites States. Its possession will go towards making up the heavy expense of the war to the United States. Our flag, once run up there, will float over the island permanently."

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Republican Senator Joseph B. Foraker exclaimed, "Porto Rico differs radically from any other people for whom we have legislated previously. They have no experience which would qualify them for the great work of government with all the bureaus and departments needed by the people of Porto Rico."

Was that true??? Did Puerto Rico not have leaders that could run it or was racism involved?

Under the constitution in 1898, even though slavery had been abolished, anyone who had been a slave counted as three-fifths of a person. Puerto Ricans being the wonderful mix of Taino, European, and African cultures were regarded as slaves.

Educated Puerto Rican leaders and politicians that had celebrated and welcomed relief from Spain were simply thrown out replaced by U.S. appointed leaders who were interested in exploiting and pillaging Puerto Rico’s natural resources. Don Pedro Albizu Campos once said “[The U.S.] cares more about the cage than the bird.”

Our cage is physical, mental, and spiritual. We are still in that cage. Puerto Rico is a United States Colony. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do not have voting representation in the United States Congress, and are not entitled to electoral votes for the President.

In article IV, sec. 3, of the U.S. Constitution, "In the U.S. House of Representatives, Puerto Rico is entitled to a Resident Commissioner, a delegate who is not allowed to vote on the floor of the House, but can vote on procedural matters and in House committees."

The current resident commissioner is Jenniffer González who is a member of the Republican Party. So is it in the best interest of the United States government to allow Puerto Ricans the ability to truly govern themselves? NO. That is why J LO is right. LETS GET LOUD.

Stop the fighting amongst ourselves and attacks on whether we are really U.S. citizens or not. We are UNITED STATES CITIZENS who are being denied full citizenship.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Instead of allowing the greater evil to have us divided and conquered let’s unite in doing what’s best for Puerto Rico.

Let’s GET LOUD, let’s get educated, AND demand Puerto Rico get equal representation.

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