A Spanish colony until 1890, the island fell under US control, becoming a commonwealth in the fifties of the last century.
One hundred and ten years after shifting from Spanish to American rule, some things indicate that something is changing in the Caribbean island. And that this something is not playing in favor of independence, but quite the contrary.
As Puerto Rico was the only colony of the Spanish Empire that did not proclaim its independence, one would tend to think that this would be the next chapter in its history. But this is not the case: Puerto Rico seems to march toward statehood.
CNN broadcast a survey revealing that 60 percent of voters would prefer statehood for Puerto Rico, a percentage that the local papers –The Voice of Puerto Rico and The New Day — reduced to 57 percent. But this is a historical first: it is possible that for the first time, Puerto Rico could become the 51st state in the Union.
If since the ‘80s the votes that advocated statehood never rose above 46 percent, now they have grown between 11 and 14 percentage points. Luis Fortuño (candidate for the PNP and supporter of statehood) has a support that surveys have estimated at around 64 percent.
As a member of the Spanish-speaking community, one would tend to think that Puerto Rico has a pending date with history, and that it should move toward independence.
But historical processes do not obey the wishes of those who write about them; they simply present the outcome of history, leaving us to adapt to it.
Everything suggests that Puerto Rico will become a full-fledged State of the Union.
And perhaps this is not the worst thing that could happen. When we think of the unusual association of Puerto Rico with the destiny of the Union (as a commonwealth), that it has been freed from suffering dictatorships like those of Duvalier, Batista, Fidel Castro, Somoza, and others, one sees that the citizens of the island have not had it half bad.
If we add to that list of names characters like Pinochet, Videla, Stroessner, Fujimori, Perón, Chávez and many others, it seems even harder to find arguments against Statehood.
Something I stumbled across. It's a different and interesting take on the Statehood question. The author is Javier Del Ray Morató, a professor of Political Communication and General Information Theory at the Complutense University of Madrid. I am sure that Noel probably knows more of him than I do...