A recent poll conducted by El Nuevo Dia resulted in 65% support for Puerto Rican statehood, 28% against, and 7% unsure.
This “poll” reminds us of the old adage: “There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics.”
The owners of El Nuevo Dia, the Ferré family, are well-known supporters of the statehood option. In addition, the size and demographics of the sampling universe for this “poll” were not clearly announced.
Most significant of all, statehood for Puerto Rico is an illusion.
It is a pipe dream.
The PNP should stop smoking that pipe, and here is why…
THE UNITED STATES OF ATTITUDE
In 1898, when the US first occupied the island, this was their attitude…what some of the “best and brightest” had to say about Puerto Ricans:
“They’re a heterogeneous mass of mongrels…savages addicted to head-hunting and cannibalism.” (Senator William B. Bate )
“God made us adept at government so that we may administer amongst savages and senile people.” (Senator Albert J. Beveridge)
“Puerto Ricans are uneducated, simple-minded and harmless people who are only interested in wine, women, music and dancing.” (New York Times, 2/22/1899)
Over 100 years later, in 2015, when someone won a Powerball ticket in Puerto Rico – the racist insults lit up the internet.
A few weeks later Ann Coulter published Adios, America – portraying Latinos as rapists, murderers and welfare cheats – and the book was an instant New York Times best seller.
A few weeks after that Donald Trump announced his candidacy for US president, trashed Latinos, recited portions of Coulter’s book – and is now the GOP candidate.
It is therefore clear – after 118 years, on the most basic levels – that the US has not come very far. Significant numbers of “patriotic Americans” still view Puerto Ricans as foreigners, and somehow inferior to them. They won’t come out and say it: they’ll just read Ann Coulter, vote for Trump, and quietly resent us.
When the issue of statehood for Puerto Rico comes up, that resentment will express itself in two words: Hell, No!
Puerto Rican debt is popular on Wall Street because the bonds are “triple tax exempt.” Bondholders and investors don’t have to pay any federal, state or local taxes on them. This tax benefit would disappear if the island were to become a state: so Wall Street has no interest in Puerto Rican statehood.
Thanks to Citizens United v. FEC, it will hire lobbyists and give unlimited sums of money – over and under the table – to congress persons who will oppose it.
Controlled Foreign Corporations (CFCs) who use Puerto Rico as a tax shelter – allowing them to pay a 2 percent tax rate, rather than the US corporate rate of 35 percent – will also hire lobbyists and pay congress persons to oppose Puerto Rican statehood.
The unions in Jacksonville, the four Jones Act carrier companies – Horizon, Crowley, Sea Star, National – and the American Maritime Partnership will also hire lobbyists and buy congress persons to oppose Puerto Rican statehood…since statehood could eventually lead to Jones Act reform and an end to the Cabotage Law in Puerto Rico.
Consumer products companies – particularly Proctor & Gamble, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, and every car manufacturer – will also oppose any Jones Act reform, since this would end their 20% price inflation in Puerto Rico. All of these companies will hire lobbyists, to oppose Puerto Rican statehood.
With a population of 3.6 million, Puerto Rico would send two US senators and four or five congress persons to Washington, D.C.
All of them would be Democrats.
Do you think the Republican Party will allow that?
So the only time a “Statehood for Puerto Rico” bill would pass is during a perfect alignment of all the following:
Even then – with opposition from Wall Street, the Jones Act carrier companies, the consumer goods companies and car manufacturers, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, the American Maritime Partnership, the Teamster and Longshoreman’s unions – this “perfect political alignment” would still not guarantee a congressional consensus for statehood.
Four or five states would have to give up a congressional seat, in order to accommodate the congressional delegation from Puerto Rico. Can you name even one state in the US, that would willingly give up a congressional seat?
PURO TEATRO…IN ORDER TO GET ELECTED
Thirty-six years ago the president of the Independence Party of Puerto Rico (PIP), Rubén Berríos, did something shocking: he told the world that the two major parties in Puerto Rico (PNP and PPD) were a complete fraud…because all their campaigns, and all their candidates, were based on one bi-polar question: whether or not Puerto Rico should be the 51st state of the United States.
But since the leadership of both parties knew that this was a practical impossibility (for all the reasons discussed in this article), then both the PNP and PPD were lying to the Puerto Rican people. They created a fake issue, in order to get elected.
In the words of La Lupe, it was all Puro Teatro.
Rubén Berríos was right. The “statehood question” is often used by people with no qualifications, political program or personal ethics, in order to get elected and put their entire family on the government payroll. This is part of the reason that Puerto Rico has 78 mayors, and a $72 billion public debt.
Here is that original speech from Rubén Berríos, as given in 1980:
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos.com
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We have been an American colony since 1898, 119 years. In that time, the United States has never once done or said anything that would lead a reasonable person to believe that they intend to do something permanent about our status. Just do a Lexus/Nexus search on all congressional records since 1898, and you’ll not find any shred of evidence that the US government intends to resolve our status. We know that our status as a colony is a bad thing, because for this very reason the original 13 American colonies went to war against England. So, instead of the US government constantly telling us that we need to indicate our status preference (remember, all the past plebiscites, as well as the one being pushed by Governor Rosello and the New Progressive Party, have always been non-binding), maybe what needs to happen is that the US should simply admit that colonialism is a bad thing, they apologize for keeping us as a colony, and they’ll give us our freedom for 10-20 years while we figure out what we want to do, then compensate us for all the economic losses we’ve suffered over the course of the past 119 years (the Congressional Budget Office has done several studies in this regard).
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so let me understand, the USA can accept peoples of all race, creed, color, born outside of the USA as American but Puerto Rico is not capable of the same line of thought…? what a bigoted outlook as Puerto Ricans are in line with the Trump mindset!
As Puertoricans…we could argue for ever and ever, about why ‘Independence’ would be best for Puerto Rico, versus Statehood. Independence would also create more immediate poverty and suffering for all Puertoricans, young or old. Statehood…will not immediately solve any hardships or suffering either. Nevertheless, the Island of Puerto Rico has become practically ‘all american’ anyway, over many years. To continue in the present status, would be the greatest injustice imposed on any human being on this earth. The People of Puerto Rico greatly deserve to ‘dream’ the same dreams that all americans dream. A genuine quality of life. Proper education for their children and for their adults too. The opportunity to improve their daily lives through better jobs. An economic system that welcomes the start-ups of small business. To avoid much blood shed, Statehood is the only intelligent option.
Let’s also add to that list the FBI Files, the FBI that followed and harassed many Puerto Rican political activist who wanted Independence for Puerto Rico.
With do respect Senator Warren, for I greatly respect you and have listen to your speeches and concern about minorities issues in the US, but I have in my family members with FBI Files on them for their political views as Independentistas!
Also, many members of my family are both Common Wealth believers and Independentistas and we speak wirh each other. We are a family disagree with each other but we are a close one.
But I was shock to find out that not only the Independistas had FBI files on them, also some of the Commonwealth believers had also! By association!
Let talk about the FBI FILES.
**GREG Medina Kinsman….. talk about that, include it in your List!
If I, by virtue of being of Puerto Rican descent, am a savage and a cannibal, beware of my bite.
Here I’m raising a new generation with Puerto Rican descent in America and they are completely clueless about the affairs from the island of Puerto Rico. In fact we strive as parents to educate them about our American history and there’s objectionable interest in that. I’ve always believed if you can’t beat the system, then join them. Work from within positions of authority. Why not put ones energy in that regard and maybe our voice will grow and not become complacent because suddenly we’re comfortable. I believe that’s the enemy. About the only change I really see since the 60’s which is when I come into the picture, is now the information is more readily available to even begin address these pertinent issues but at a higher level where change really happens. As Dr. Rex puts it, a “bumpy ride” is precisely what’s needed to confront these issues and finally lay them to rest and MOVE ON.
Elizabeth Warren was mocked by the Nazi Trump Organization for being an American Indian. Remember the uncalled for “Pochahantas” attack on her. The Indian in her is why her love for the Puerto Rican peoples’ interests comes out in her.
However, Puerto Rico, occupied or unoccupied, will always be unique in eternity. Puerto Rico is a State of Mind. It is safely hidden from the ordinary world, in or out of the Island. That’s why, metaphysically, Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans are, were and always will be Free. Thanks be to God, Boriquen’s Creator!
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We (so many of us!) greatly appreciate your personal and deeply human consideration of the Puerto Rican status issue. I agree that on a personal basis, there are many US citizens who would accept…perhaps even support…the potential statehood of Puerto Rico.
However, assuming arguendo that this sociological hurdle is met, it is only one of several current — and major — obstacles.
These obstacles are nearly insurmountable, and were discussed at length in the article. Here are a few bullet points:
*Two senators and five congresspersons from PR – all Democrats. The GOP will OPPOSE this.
*Triple-tax exempt municipal bonds – these would immediately cease if PR became a state. Wall Street will OPPOSE this.
*Jones Act repeal – PR congressional representatives would pursue this immediately. Jacksonville unions, shipping companies, auto manufacturers, consumer goods companies will OPPOSE this.
*In a contentious D.C. environment, it is difficult to envision four or five states that will readily concede a congressional seat to Puerto Rico (apart from the partisan GOP issue)
However Senator Warren, we greatly appreciate your strong humanitarian message. If there were many more such as you, and Bernie Sanders, we could reach critical mass on this and other national issues. Thank you so much!
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I would like to add my respectful dissent to the portrayal in this article of all U.S. citizens. Many of us are diametrically opposed to the bigoted attitudes and actions of Ann Coulter and Donald Trump. We do not believe that certain nationalities and/or ethnic groups are superior to others. We believe that all people are equal, and equally deserving of respect and a voice in their own government–period. Speaking for myself, my family, and the many American progressives with whom I work, who respect and value all humans and try every day to see that equal rights for all will one day be the norm, nothing could be further from the truth than what this article alleges. No one is a “master” over another. For anyone to think so is unequivocally wrong. Whatever Puerto Rico decides to do, we respect the will of the Puerto Rican people to determine what is to their own best advantage, tax status, etc. If Puerto Rico favors U.S. statehood, we, as American citizens, would happily welcome Puerto Rico as the 51st state, with open arms and open hearts. In peace and brotherhood, Elizabeth Warren.
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el companero Ruben dice la pura verdad. Comrade is ahead o his time but many colonized brothers and sisters are asleep. Wake up!
Absolutely, Dr. Rex.
Wow, what a way to describe my people – mongrels, savages, senile, uneducated, simple-minded – and cannibalism? Well, from these mongrels and savages the United States has seen Supreme Court Justices, Surgeon Generals, artists, painters, writers, astronauts, scientists, engineers, baseball stars, poets and the list goes on. What about all the Puerto Ricans that have fought for the United States in every conflict since World War I? I think we’re doing pretty good for being a bunch of mongrels and savages. Oh yes, we are very interested in music and dancing – that’s why we were voted happiest people in the world – and thank God the men are interested in wine and women!
Some time ago on two different occasions I was talking to two Puerto Rican men and they both said the same thing – “independencia para que ahora?” “Why independence now?” That seems to be the way the people feel after more than a century of being under the wing of the U.S. government and of course the United States did say “we are not pledged to give “Porto Rico” independence.” This is so mind-boggling because wanting freedom for an island that has been oppressed for more that four hundred years is not an option but a human right. Puerto Rico has been nothing but a money making machine for this greedy godless bully, this “leader of the free world.”
If Puerto Rico will never be a state for the reasons given above, and if it will never acquire independence, it’s future is very grim. The status quo will continue and our Borinquen will continue to be the slave of the United States of America, and like the book states “the battered spouse of the Caribbean.” How very sad. America has gotten away with these unspeakable crimes for years but I believe its downfall is coming. My people are intelligent, strong, resilient. I am PROUD of my people and PROUD to be Puerto Rican.
The citation on the new York Times 1899 statement, was that of Miguel de la Torre, a former Spaniard Governor whose governing tactic was as the statement reads.
I was born, raised and currently reside in the island, given the actual state of things, how can the Island become an independent country? Because once independent how will the economy support the federal welfare support living individuals, which I’ve got to say is a very large group of people?
There’ll be no more “cupones”, WIC, “Plan 8,” subsidies of the AAA and AEE amongst other welfare amenities. Or do you guys think the US will keep sending money just because we’re BFF?
Oh and don’t forget the grants for school and learning specially the student grants for higher education (UPR people can chime in now).
All along this last 500 years all the island’s government’s involved, instead of getting everyone ready for independization we’ve been getting ready for assimilation hence the actual state of affairs and psyche we have today.
I think Ferré and his family should stop smoking Muñoz Marìn’s left over opium and stop lying like Muñoz Marìn did for so many years. It’s a new century and the truth is out. I suggest Ferré and his family smoke ganja and drift off to space. As for statehood keep dreaming but don’t hold your breath.
The Ferrer, yes, they are supporters of statehood for PR. One problem though, if statehood is even considered, or if it someday be approved by the House or the Senate, it will be 60 years until it will even be called a state. Why sixty years? Until Puerto Rico accumulate enough money paying, local, state and Federal Taxes. Their newspaper will be out muscled from the other newspapers like the Washington Post, NY Times, Miami Herald etc. and any other newspaper that will want to dominate the market. But in reality, this doesn’t worry me. It is not the people who vote, it’s the people who count the votes that worry me. For example this recent poll conducted by El Nuevo Dia. Especially if they are electronically submitted or the once that keep track of this poll. Wakeup people, do you think the Americans really even want PR for a state?
Yes, there are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics.
But let us look at those lies and statistics in an irrefutable, undeniable historical context.
In every insular plebiscite in the history of Puerto Rico (1967, 1993, 1998 & 2012), the “Independence” option has never, never, never garnered more than dismally LOW single digit percentages of support by REAL Puerto Ricans IN Puerto Rico for the “Independence” option.
NEVER were there throngs of Puerto Ricans burning their American-issued passports in any of the Island’s 77 town plazas either. Should there have been? That is the decision of the insular population and not that of anonymous cyber-monos hiding in their internet “cuevas of convenience” in the USMainland, of all places.
These results have not been not surprising, since at each of these historical benchmarks, Islanders and Off-Islanders alike have grown more and more accustomed with being US Citizens and not citizens of “Atlantis”, “Chupracabraville”, “Nuyoricaville” or members of the current and toxic “Mainland-Minority-Mogoya-Macaca” demographic so prevalent in these immature swamps of pseudo-political “Generic-La-Tino-Ville”. No one in Puerto Rico identifies themselves as “minority”…that cultural subjugation brainwash flows through the entire US and washes away authentic socio-ethnic-cultural identity that Islanders DO NOT buy into and after a CENTURY still DO NOT embrace.
Yet somehow this GLARINGLY inconvenient political and pragmatic fact, seems to be ignored by rabid “independentistas” who just coincidentally and IRONICALLY live on the US Mainland, in plump suburbs, hugging their US-American-issued Passports and writing in English, attending Ivy League schools on full scholarships and even faux-teaching at them in their 3rd-rate, generic “La Tino Studies-Because-I-Tell-You” classes.
The irony and idiocy of the ‘mumbo-jumbo-contempo-we-are-the-world-because-I-said-so-independista” at this point begs for caricature, cartoon depiction and at this point ironically sad cliché and offers as much philosophical veracity and “back- story” as a Tex-Mex cactus, nodding donkey and sleeping papier-mache Chihuahua back-drop in a junior high school production of “Worst Side Story” in Utah.
Having been born IN Puerto Rico, lived in the US, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East I have NEVER met any Puerto Rican ANYWHERE in the world who doesn’t recognize the political, philosophical, physical and even poly-morphic cancer that the current “Un-Common-Wealth” status has had on all of us, but primarily and most perniciously on the lives of the almost 4 million Island-living Puerto Ricans.
But NONE of them ever suggested that the ONLY choice for INSULAR (not those in Noo Jersey, Chicago, Cambridge, Washington,DC or “El Brong”) Puerto Ricans is that of the misguided notion of “Independence” for a 4 MILLION souls that have walked in the world as American citizens (albeit 3rd class) and even died in WW1, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War and Iraqi Wars over the last CENTUR…a status that MILLIONS of others from all over the planet, risk life and death in their often futile attempts to enter the US illegally every year.
Even my Mallorca-born grandfather and his 7 brothers (with their 3rd-grade educations) in turn-of-the-century Puerto Rico, who clawed the soil with their bare-hands to cultivate sugar, tobacco, avocado trees and citrus crop on the hillsides of Utuado, Lares, Moca, Yauco, San Sebastian, Quebradillas, Hatillo, Barceloneta, Camuy and Arecibo acknowledged their American citizenship after 1917.
And while it was not in a particularly positive context, even they knew THEN what apparently some today still can’t grasp…that Puerto Rico will never be an “independent” entity any more than the “Commonwealths” of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will ever be.
It is time to offer intelligent, informed and insightful strategies for solving Puerto Rico’s political status conundrum of standing politically naked on the world stage looking for support and succor from the planet’s other democracies and not any more hysterical, hyperbolic rhetoric for bumper-stickers on a La Tina Barbie’s pink and plastic mo-ped.
And incidentally, abuelo never became a generic “La Tino”. He held on to his authentic “Puerto Rican” identity and never sold it out to an opportunist identity con-job on the US Mainland…never!
We could all learn a lot from him today, but we would have to put down our plastic banderitas and smart-phones first and take-off our Che Guevara MADE-IN-KOREA neon-orange T-shirts first.
To offer some historical context, the following are the REAL numbers of “Independence” voters on the Island:
1967 — .06% (less than 1%)
1993 — 4.4%
1998 — 2.5%
2012 — 5.5%
NOTE: the results have never even reached a low double-digit percentage.
And while I am not pleased with the results necessarily, it is a bit presumptuous of anyone OFF-Island to “presume” to know better than the very people who would be most directly affected by their democratically-processed and sanctioned “voice” on the matter and not those on the USMainland who very frequently think the Bronx is the Capitol of Puerto Rico and J-Lows’s ass is the governor.
And again, not surprisingly, these cyber-Riquenos de pura sepa just happen to have US-Mainland zip-codes and NOT insular ones.
What next? J-Low, Marc Anthony, Rosie Perez and Rita Moreno weighing-in from the backseats of their limousines? They are irrelevant and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too busy selling US Mainland stereo-types of us ’cause that makes them even wealthier.
The REAL people of Puerto Rico HAVE spoken.
It is time to give them respect and to regard THEIR voice as valid and not ascribe to them arrogant and ignorant notions that they are just coconut tree-climbing “confused” “natives” because they don’t share your “opinion” or posh US Mainland zip-code. The historical facts have spoken. They are NOT “my” facts.
De vera’ que aqui se encuentran 4 payasos siempre buscando su circo y su guisito politico tan sabroso.
Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
I’m a proud Puerto Rican! All my life I believed/hoped the American intention to “chose” Puerto Rico as a state. Little did I know my view would completely change. Puerto Rico should be a sovereign nation! The USA doesn’t deserve Puerto Rico!! If allowed by the “master”, the Island should stand on its own. It would be a “bumpy ride”, lots of work, starting from zero …. It’s time to give up the colony/possession … after returning all of what has been taken and robbed!
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