Irrespective of whether or not Puerto Ricans want to be a state, does America want another state?
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Gov. Wanda Vázquez announced on Saturday that she will hold a nonbinding referendum in November to decide whether Puerto Rico should become a U.S. state, a move that comes amid growing disillusion with the island’s U.S. territorial status.
For the first time in the island’s history, the referendum will ask a single, simple question: Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted as a U.S. state?
It’s an answer that requires approval from U.S. Congress and a question that outraged the island’s small group of independence supporters and members of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party, which supports the status quo. But it’s a gamble that members of the governor’s pro-statehood party are confident will pay off given that Puerto Rico has struggled to obtain federal funds for hurricanes Irma and Maria, a string of recent strong earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic amid growing complaints that the island does not receive fair and equal treatment.