Sun, 20 Jun 2021 Today's Paper

Puerto Rico votes to become 51st US State

12 June 2017 12:37 pm - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

The US island territory of Puerto Rico had voted overwhelmingly on Sunday in favor of becoming the 51st state, the Reuters reported.

However, it said the turnout was low and adding another star to the US flag likely faces an uphill battle in Congress.

A government website for the non-binding referendum, Puerto Rico's fifth such plebiscite since 1967, showed 97 percent supported statehood. Only 23 percent of the 2.2 million eligible voters participated in the vote.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello campaigned for statehood as the best avenue to boost future growth for the island, which has $70 billion in debt, a 45 percent poverty rate, woefully underperforming schools and near-insolvent pension and health systems.

"From today going forward, the Federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico," Rossello said.

"It would be highly contradictory for Washington to demand democracy in other parts of the world, and NOT respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico," he added.

Puerto Rico's hazy political status, dating back to its 1898 acquisition by the United States from Spain, has contributed to the economic crisis that pushed it last month into the biggest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

Those in favor of statehood for the island hope the new status would put the territory on equal standing with the 50 US states, giving them more access to federal funds and the right to vote for US president.

Under the current system, Puerto Rico's 3.5 million American citizens do not pay federal taxes, vote in presidential elections or receive proportionate federal funding on programs like the Medicaid health insurance system for the poor. The US government oversees policy and financial areas such as infrastructure, defense and trade.

Rossello will ask Congress to respect the result, but Puerto Rico is seen as a low priority in Washington.

The island's two main opposition parties boycotted the vote, which gave Puerto Ricans three options: becoming a US state; remaining a territory; or becoming an independent nation, with or without some continuing political association with the United States.

Puerto Rico's former governor, Rafael Hernandez Colon said "A contrived plebiscite fabricated an artificial majority for statehood by disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of Commonwealth supporters."

Rather than heading to the polls, some 500 Puerto Ricans marched on the streets of San Juan, waving Puerto Rico's flag and burning the American flag while chanting in support of independence.

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 10

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 
  • Hiran Shanaka Monday, 12 June 2017 01:19 PM

    Can we Sri Lankans have a vote to be part of the USA or UK or China please, please, please???

    Lord Wolfstein Monday, 12 June 2017 02:14 PM

    This chance has been lost in 1948

    lkboY Monday, 12 June 2017 03:13 PM

    No need vote. We are already like that. Oh, and add India to that list too.

    Varuna Monday, 12 June 2017 03:25 PM

    I may sound bit controversial here. Had the British rule continued, all Sri Lankans would have been better off now. We are governed by a group of simpletons where over 90 of them do not have even basic O/L qualification!

    pedro gonzales Monday, 12 June 2017 04:57 PM

    Aint gonna happen. But yes, we would LOVE to have to have Sri Lanka as a 51st.

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 12 June 2017 04:58 PM

    Varuna - absolute 100% truth. Since receiving independence, we locals just robbed the country left right and center while blaming everybody for our ills.

    Liberal One Monday, 12 June 2017 04:59 PM

    @VarunaThen Sri Lanka should have been better off in 1948. Was it?

    Leo Monday, 12 June 2017 05:01 PM

    A government cant develop a country alone. If you think Sri Lanka is not good enough please start a business and help the wealth creation process. That is what British people do.

    Citizen Ash Monday, 12 June 2017 05:31 PM

    can we be on the waiting list to be the 52nd state via DM Android App

    vote Monday, 12 June 2017 05:35 PM

    ok, lets see how many likes to being the 53rd state of USA..


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment


Statistical blunders expose administrative weaknesses

Information helps save lives and during a pandemic a free-flow of vital, accu

Vavuniya tusker’s demise DID TOO MANY ‘COOKS’ SPOIL JUMBO’S RECOVERY?

On June 11 Sri Lanka lost another one of its magnificent tuskers that succumb

Life and Times of Dynamic “Thamby” Arumugan Thondaman

Thamby”in Tamil means younger brother. It is also used widely as a pet name



See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.