Thursday, November 8, 2012

Puerto Ricans want their island to become a U.S. state

Puerto Ricans want their island to become a U.S. state

Puerto Ricans, divided for more than half a century on the political status of their island, voted overwhelmingly Tuesday, November 6, for their territory to become the fifty-first American state. The results of the referendum non-binding, were announced Wednesday by the electoral authorities.

Asked about their desire to see the current status of prolonging the island in force since 1952, that of a free state associated with the United States, Puerto Ricans have voted no to almost 54%, according to data released by the commission election. Then interviewed the new status they wanted for their territory, 61% voted to become the fifty-first American state, 33% for a status of "free associated state sovereign" and 5.5% for independence.


According to the electoral commission, about 2.4 million Puerto Ricans went to the polls, out of a population of 3.7 million. The referendum on the initiative of Republican governor, Luis Fortuño, who was running for a second term, but was defeated, was the fourth in forty-five years. In 1967, 1993 and 1998, the status "Free Associated State in the United States" which was acclaimed.

Puerto Rico ("rich port") was ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898. The inhabitants of this small Caribbean island are U.S. citizens since 1917, but do not have the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections, unless they live in one of the fifty U.S. states. They have not elected to Congress, with the exception of members of the House of Representatives, who do not have the right to vote.

Any change in political status must be approved by the U.S. Congress. During a visit to the island in June 2011, Barack Obama, elected to a second term Tuesday night, promised that his administration "would stand" Puerto Ricans once known result of this consultation. Each year, the U.S. federal government pays the Caribbean island of billions of dollars in subsidies. Approximately 4 million Puerto Ricans also live in the United States, especially in Miami and New York.

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