The 51st State?

Puerto Rico’s future might be statehood, independence or more of the status quo, but change is unlikely to be won through voting alone. 

Ben Jones
Ben Jones

On 3 June 2022 representatives from the US Democratic Party, Raúl Grijalva, Nydia Velázquez and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, travelled to Puerto Rico, where they joined the island’s resident commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, a Republican, to discuss the Puerto Rico Status Act. This concerns Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States. If passed, it would authorise a plebiscite for Puerto Ricans to express their wishes on the island’s political future and bind US Congress to act on their mandate. ‘Getting to this point has not been an easy process’, said Grijalva. All four members of the bipartisan group support the act; others, both within Puerto Rico and the US, vehemently do not. 

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