Resident Commissioner files Puerto Ri...

Resident Commissioner files Puerto Rico status bill in Congress

There are 36 comments on the www.caribbeanbusinesspr.com story from May 19, 2009, titled Resident Commissioner files Puerto Rico status bill in Congress. In it, www.caribbeanbusinesspr.com reports that:

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi filed a Puerto Rico status bill in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday with the support of 86 co-sponsors.

The four-page Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009 authorizes the island government to hold a referendum in which voters will choose whether or not they think Puerto Rico should continue its current status.

If voters choose that Puerto Rico keep the same status, then the local government is authorized to hold a vote every eight years to determine if public opinion has changed.

If voters say they want a change in status, then a second vote would be held in which voters can choose between statehood, independence and a third option of sovereignty in association with the United States that is not subject to the territorial clause.

Pierluisi said that the costs of the vote would be assumed by the local government to avoid a potential roadblock to the legislation in Congress. The bill does not specify when the votes would be held.

Despite the apparent widespread support the three representatives who are Puerto Rican – U.S. Reps. José Serrano, Nydia Velázquez and Luis Gutiérrez – have not signed on to support the measure.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that status legislation needs “consensus” among Puerto Rican Democrats in the House in order to move forward.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.caribbeanbusinesspr.com.

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Factchecker

Indianapolis, IN

#21 May 24, 2009
MataConHacha wrote:
... with the House leader Pelosi saying she will not support the bill if there is not a full support in Puerto Rico for it then it might not be considered.
But this from the article:"U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that status legislation needs “consensus” among Puerto Rican Democrats in the House in order to move forward."

I believe that is what she meant: "If all three of the House members who are of Puerto Rican heritage don't support it, I won't call it up for a vote."

At least two of the House Representatives publicly support a constituent assembly (the position supported by the PPD) rather than a referendum (the position of the PNP.) Of course, the Speaker of the House has the power to keep a bill off the floor for a vote.

So, it appears that one of three particular members of the House can keep this coming to a vote. And Populares in Puerto Rico provide a LOT of campaign funds to those representatives.

So, you could write your congress member or the Speaker, but you have available a more direct alternative

You should write the German president of the Puerto Rican Senate and ask HIM to introduce a bill for the Referendum. You should write the the Republican Speaker of the House of Puerto Rico and ask HER to introduca bill for a Referendum. The bill in the US House of Representatives requires the government of Puerto Rico to pay for the referendum anyway.

The bill in the Puerto Rico legislature could state it: Do you want to be a State of the United States or do you want to be an independent country? That's as about as stacked as the question could be, because there are other alternatives. The PNP currently has so much power it doesn't even HAVE to offer these alternatives.

The PNP controls the Puerto Rico legislature and the governorship. They could arrange a referendum in Puerto Rico WITHOUT any assistance from the Populares. BUT THEY WON'T! This vote will NEVER take place because the PNP doesn't want it to take place. If they did, it could have already been scheduled.
Clarity

United States

#22 May 25, 2009
Upfront Yankee wrote:
<quoted text>
I will 81 on May 23. However, I have a mentality more like the younger generations. I refuse to become an old fussy fart. I love art films.
Happy belated birthday!

I wanted to thank you, Jorge, FC, Hatcha for always providing such insight with your posts. I am not as wise as you in years or experience but I do appreciate your wisdom.

I love reading your comments and find them helpful.

I was born on the mainland but I did live on the island as a child(2nd, 5th and 7th grade). I love that part of my childhood! The best! My last visit was in November 2006. I had the time of my life. But my heart broke as I went back to el campo to visit family. No longer did I see the beautiful fincas where I used to play. I saw a lot of neglect. Some of the barrios that were considered middle-class have detiriorated or just look abandoned. The tourist area looks great though.

I remember the statehood/no statehood arguement taking place in my family back then and it doesn't seem to have changed much in present day. My family is split on the issue. Oh, but abuelito (God rest his soul) was something else! He loved his politics, his machete and his Don Q. Not a good combination at times.

I hope something happens soon. My parents prefer statehood and being born on the mainland I'm partial to it also.(I know my opinion may not matter much.) But do I love mi Isla del Encanto.

So please keep sharing. There are a lot of us that don't post very much but like to read and learn from all of you.
Factchecker

Indianapolis, IN

#23 May 25, 2009
Clarity wrote:
<quoted text>

I hope something happens soon. My parents prefer statehood and being born on the mainland I'm partial to it also.(I know my opinion may not matter much.) But do I love mi Isla del Encanto.
Your opinion matters as much as any of us who live here on the island, or anywhere. We all love la Isla del Encanto. But sometimes we all dislike things about at, too.

And ALL of us want something to happen soon!

Peace to you. Your comment about your abuelo gave me a laugh. My grandfather was a lovable character, too.
Jorge

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#24 May 25, 2009
Hi Clarity:

Thanks for your kind words. I try to put in my two cents on an issue that, not only have I studied formally (at an academic level-for more that 50 years), lived it thru my entire life (with all its ups and downs) but see a great future in it-Puerto Rico.

Regardless the perception of many, the problem is not our people (each and everyone of us know, feels, senses and wants what is best for our people), the problem is the territory we live in.

We are all American citizens, some of us have tried to renounce to that citizenship, but I didn't see millions of Puerto Ricans following that example and running "en masse", to the Dominican Rep. in order to follow that path. Which leads us to conclude that 99.9% of our people are content with their citizenship.

Then-why are we so obsessed with our relationship with the U.S.? Why is it that some of us feel the federal Constitution is not been implemented the way it is implemented in the other 50 states?
Why is this problem so unique and intrinsic to our island, and if we go to the Virgin Isls. it does not constitute a problem there, as they have told me personally?

In regards to your perceptions. While growing up in the fifties and sixties, my parents would take around the island (a lot)-I'm from San Juan, so it was a "must" to drive around, at least, once a month (and that was before the Highway System reach the island in 1968-some twenty years after the mainland).

My memories, of all of the small towns visited, are of an urban center surrounded by vast rural lands (with a few scattered houses, here and there).

Our island has been blessed with a huge mountain chain "smacked" right in the middle of it. Which, in the perception of many a topographyst, almost doubles (if not triples) our territory.

So, this geography and topography has been determinant in our history. Modern planning and urban expansion (from the 1940's on) has forced us to create a "round the island" highway system (in the coastal valleys)-where 50 towns are situated, and connect them (thru small highways) to the mountain's twenty six towns. This, in response to the fact that half of the island's population (two million plus) lives in a small piece of land (scarcely over 500 sq. miles) while the rest of the 3,100 sq. miles are almost deserted.

So, those vast rural farm areas have been impacted by such planning (and island reality), some may criticize it, but we also have to deal with the fact that most Puerto Ricans want to own a piece of land (due to our heritage and distinct history). It is now that upscale, upper middle class are learning the benefits of high rise living.

The results of that reality, has been a steady rebirth of urban centers (now called-historic cascos urbanos), surrounded by small suburban life (along with malls and all sorts of service oriented business and mainland concessionaries), and innumerous rural houses (90% of them in concrete) in the middle of small plots of lands (or parcels).

I have been pleasantly surprised by the towns I have visited (so far). Most of them have tried to "recreate" tropical city living around the historic nucleus. The reconstruction of these "hubs" is not as fast as we would like it to be (in some cases). Many govts., Sila's comes to mind, even had projects (and alloted funds) towards these means.

But, Rome was not built in one day-it took us forever (generations, if I may add) to reeducate ourselves on our own island (and Caribbean) reality, instead of recreating exotic ways and means of life (Northern and mainland that is), we still have a road to travel-down that path, but we are getting there.

Jorge
Clarity

United States

#25 May 25, 2009
Factchecker wrote:
<quoted text>
Your opinion matters as much as any of us who live here on the island, or anywhere. We all love la Isla del Encanto. But sometimes we all dislike things about at, too.
And ALL of us want something to happen soon!
Peace to you. Your comment about your abuelo gave me a laugh. My grandfather was a lovable character, too.
Thank you Sir.

It's an akward situation for those of us who have such emotional and cultural ties with La Isla but were born here. Especially the 1st and 2nd generation. As a teenager I felt I lived in two worlds.

Examples:

I remember abuelito called me a "gringa" once. I guess it may have been because I was born on the mainland, or spoke English, maybe it was all of it. I remember the kids in school telling me I wasn't a real Puertorrican because I wasn't born there.

Here at home, I remember a teacher asking me what my English name was. I was named (by the delivery doctor according to Mami) after the 1st Puertorrican Miss Universe. Not a hard name to pronounce.

Today is Memorial Day. My greatest pride and greatest heartbreak, when it comes to the relationship between the main land and the island is that our men and women in the military (on the island) are unable to vote for the President although they fight, serve, and have left life and limb honorably to protect America. Yet I am so proud of them because they sign up voluntarily, they answer the call and they give it their all! If for only this reason the relationship must improve. Sometimes I feel it's like having an arguement with a family member that you (actually) love.
Clarity

United States

#26 May 25, 2009
Jorge wrote:
Hi Clarity:
Thanks for your kind words. I try to put in my two cents on an issue that, not only have I studied formally (at an academic level-for more that 50 years), lived it thru my entire life (with all its ups and downs) but see a great future in it-Puerto Rico.
Regardless the perception of many, the problem is not our people (each and everyone of us know, feels, senses and wants what is best for our people), the problem is the territory we live in.
We are all American citizens, some of us have tried to renounce to that citizenship, but I didn't see millions of Puerto Ricans following that example and running "en masse", to the Dominican Rep. in order to follow that path. Which leads us to conclude that 99.9% of our people are content with their citizenship.
Then-why are we so obsessed with our relationship with the U.S.? Why is it that some of us feel the federal Constitution is not been implemented the way it is implemented in the other 50 states?
Why is this problem so unique and intrinsic to our island, and if we go to the Virgin Isls. it does not constitute a problem there, as they have told me personally?
In regards to your perceptions. While growing up in the fifties and sixties, my parents would take around the island (a lot)-I'm from San Juan, so it was a "must" to drive around, at least, once a month (and that was before the Highway System reach the island in 1968-some twenty years after the mainland).
My memories, of all of the small towns visited, are of an urban center surrounded by vast rural lands (with a few scattered houses, here and there).
Our island has been blessed with a huge mountain chain "smacked" right in the middle of it. Which, in the perception of many a topographyst, almost doubles (if not triples) our territory.
So, this geography and topography has been determinant in our history. Modern planning and urban expansion (from the 1940's on) has forced us to create a "round the island" highway system (in the coastal valleys)-where 50 towns are situated, and connect them (thru small highways) to the mountain's twenty six towns. This, in response to the fact that half of the island's population (two million plus) lives in a small piece of land (scarcely over 500 sq. miles) while the rest of the 3,100 sq. miles are almost deserted.
So, those vast rural farm areas have been impacted by such planning (and island reality), some may criticize it, but we also have to deal with the fact that most Puerto Ricans want to own a piece of land (due to our heritage and distinct history). It is now that upscale, upper middle class are learning the benefits of high rise living.
Jorge
Hi Jorge.

I just finished typing a reply to you that somehow got lost!(LOL)

But basically it was about how I felt about the status of the island. I will do it again but I have to go.

I also wanted to tell you how I admire your passion for knowlege and education. You posts are always informative.

A great evening to all!

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#27 May 25, 2009
"The PNP controls the Puerto Rico legislature and the governorship. They could arrange a referendum in Puerto Rico WITHOUT any assistance from the Populares. BUT THEY WON'T! This vote will NEVER take place because the PNP doesn't want it to take place. If they did, it could have already been scheduled."

The PNP has done it in the past and it got nowhere. Remember the fiasco of "None of the above" pushed by the PPD with the approval of the PPD stacked Puerto Rico Supreme Court? Congress will not do anything with a local vote because it lacks real power. Read up on the waste of time local referendum of 1967 if I remember correctly, the current status won by 60+ percent requesting more powers and guess what? Nothing, zilch and nada! If Congress gives its blessing to a Federally mandated vote then the island might be able to get something done with the PPD forced to define what it really wants PR to be in relations to the U.S. That is why I will write to the Speaker and express my disgust with her reasoning of not supporting the bill based on her warped reasoning.

I need not write anyone on the island because they do not have the power. I do, I am a voting Citizen of the U.S. in a Sovereign State with rights that is guarantee by the Constitution the very document that I swore to defend with my life for 30 years and would gladly do if asked again. I might not get too far, but by God as my witness I will express my displeasure with her statements about playing politics with the rights of American Citizens to be consulted. I am a Citizen and will get my say and I request all islanders living in the States to write and request a full support to the bill no matter what their ideology is! It is our RIGHT to do so!
Factchecker

Indianapolis, IN

#28 May 27, 2009
[QUOTE who="MataConHacha"
The PNP has done it in the past and it got nowhere. Remember the fiasco of "None of the above" pushed by the PPD with the approval of the PPD stacked Puerto Rico Supreme Court?[/QUOTE]

Not a problem now. Even the PR Supreme Court is packed with PNPs.
If Congress gives its blessing to a Federally mandated vote then the island might be able to get something done with the PPD forced to define what it really wants PR to be in relations to the U.S. That is why I will write to the Speaker and express my disgust with her reasoning of not supporting the bill based on her warped reasoning.
I need not write anyone on the island because they do not have the power.


Well, your circular reasoning has brought us back to where we started. The Speaker has said she will not move the bill unless all three of the Democratic Representatives in the House who call themselves Puerto Rican agree. Since 3 Puerto Ricans can never all agree, I guess the colony will have to wait until the Republicans are back in power like they were for 6 of the last 8 years when they did...nothing.

No, US Congressional representatives are never going to answer this question and the PNP don't want a referendum even if the cards on the island are stacked completely in their favor this time. They know that there is no way they can blame the PPD for the results this time.

Besides, as I have expressed my opinion over and over, if the PNP were to win statehood, it would disappear. The quest for the status of statehood is the only reason the PNP exists.
Jorge

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#29 May 27, 2009
Who owns the colony?

Is it "constitutional" for the U.S. to have colonies?

Where does the power rest? In the Master or the colonist?

Then, who's to be accountable, the owner of the bullets, arms and military might or the occupied colony, held captive by that same strength?

In my opinion, it is a matter of duty of the U.S. govt. to American citizens in Puerto Rico to put an end to the colony, not the other way around. Puerto Rican born, American citizens have to demand it.

Jorge

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#30 Jun 2, 2009
Folks, This is the letter I emailed Speaker Pelosi. I am still waiting for a reply, which I suspect will not be forthcoming, but hey I got it off my chest. For those on the mainland I suggest you also write her.

Honorable Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi,

I write to you this letter to express my concern with recent reports and articles stating that you will not support HR 2499 which was recently filed by Congressman Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico. I have found out that if the 3 Representatives of Puerto Rican heritage do not support the bill you will not allow it to move forward. Madam Speaker as you well know the 3 Representatives (Serrano (D-NY), Velazquez (D-NY) and Gutierrez (D-IL) do not represent the American Citizens of the island, but the constituents of their respective districts. Their absents in supporting the bill lacks their professed belief in their oath to defend the United States Constitution that provides for all Citizens to express their grievances through the process of petition and HR 2499 would allow all Americans living in Puerto Rico to petition the Congress to a possible change in political status.

Supporting HR 2499 will allow Puerto Rico and its Citizens the chance to understand what Congress expects from us. We cherish our American way of life to the point of giving up our young men and in recent times our young women to support a constitution that is not fully applied in whole to those residing on the island with their very lives. How can we, Americans who profess to live in a democracy, a land of freedom and believers in that all those that come to our shores have an opportunity to share in the pursue of happiness when the very government that controls the island refuses to take into account the desires of its American Citizens?

Madam Speaker, I respectfully request that the Citizens of Puerto Rico be given a chance to put into action their constitutional right to petition the very Congress that has for 111 years control the island. If HR 2499 is not allowed to be voted on and passed the enemies of our nation will point this out to us as they have in the past in claiming that we are hypocrites! How can anyone not be in favor of putting democracy to work? How can the hopes of 3.8 million American Citizens be dashed again if HR 2499 is not given support by all Americans who honorably serve in the House of Representatives? How can I still feel proud of a nation that I had served for 30 years as a member of the armed forces when my family and friends on the island are not allowed to vote to decide what their political future will be?

Madam Speaker, the very biography on the White House’s web page states that our President believes in and I quote “unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose.” HR 2499 would allow us to put into affect the very beliefs President Obama wants to accomplish. If the Citizens of Puerto Rico are not given the chance to decide the very beliefs of President Obama then his words would be wasted rhetoric. If Congress refuses to approve the bill it would be a 180 degree turn on the very foundation this nation was established on and stride to be; a shinning example of democracy to all humanity. It is time to put into action the President’s desire to accomplish uniting the people of this great nation which in the end would leave a legacy of justice for all Americans no matter where they reside.

Madam Speaker I urge you to support HR 2499. I implore you to allow all proud Americans in Puerto Rico to show their loyalty to a nation that has given others who have seek freedom, righteousness and hope the opportunity to choose. I know Madam Speaker that you will do the right thing and support HR 2499 to be favorably voted on.

ISA

Since: May 07

New York - born and raised

#31 Jun 3, 2009
Clarity wrote:
<quoted text>
Happy belated birthday!
I wanted to thank you, Jorge, FC, Hatcha for always providing such insight with your posts. I am not as wise as you in years or experience but I do appreciate your wisdom.
I love reading your comments and find them helpful.
I was born on the mainland but I did live on the island as a child(2nd, 5th and 7th grade). I love that part of my childhood! The best! My last visit was in November 2006. I had the time of my life. But my heart broke as I went back to el campo to visit family. No longer did I see the beautiful fincas where I used to play. I saw a lot of neglect. Some of the barrios that were considered middle-class have detiriorated or just look abandoned. The tourist area looks great though.
I remember the statehood/no statehood arguement taking place in my family back then and it doesn't seem to have changed much in present day. My family is split on the issue. Oh, but abuelito (God rest his soul) was something else! He loved his politics, his machete and his Don Q. Not a good combination at times.
I hope something happens soon. My parents prefer statehood and being born on the mainland I'm partial to it also.(I know my opinion may not matter much.) But do I love mi Isla del Encanto.
So please keep sharing. There are a lot of us that don't post very much but like to read and learn from all of you.
Clarity: amusing post...enjoyed it.....we all have similar experiences with our families, don't we? ISA

ISA

Since: May 07

New York - born and raised

#32 Jun 3, 2009
Upfront Yankee wrote:
<quoted text>
I will 81 on May 23. However, I have a mentality more like the younger generations. I refuse to become an old fussy fart. I love art films. I can be really intellectual and a heavy thinker. I also enjoy the illogical, off-the-wall films enjoyed by the younger generation both in the states and here in Puerto Rico.
Recently, I saw "Angels and Demons" and "Star Trek" at Plaza Las Americas. Over seventy-five percent of the audience were teenagers and in the twenties year olds. They were the younger generation and Puerto Rican.
Despite the Spanish sub-titles, this audience of the younger generation of Puerto Ricans were more American than I am especially during Star Trek. This younger generation represent the future political leaders of Puerto Rico. In another ten years or so, Puerto Rico will be governed by Puerto Ricans with mentalities more American than Spanish.
There is no "Spanish Culture" among young Puerto Ricans. They are truly American to the core. They love American movie stars, baseball players, pop singers, American Idols, etc., etc., etc. The fruitless battle to keep Puerto Ricans Spanish is lost or on the way to being lost. They want to be American all the way!!!
Happy Birthday, Yankee and many more......ISA
Jose Torruellas Iglesias

United States

#33 Jun 12, 2009
Before it's too late Puerto Rico should become the 51st state of the Union. Leaving this decision for other generations, it is not fair . By that time, Puerto Rico will be the "New York" of the Caribbean, where Puerto Ricans and Dominicans will live together, while in the mailand puertoricans will struggle to avoid being mainstreamed by the "Hispanic Melting Pot"
Factchecker

Indianapolis, IN

#34 Jun 12, 2009
Jose Torruellas Iglesias wrote:
Before it's too late Puerto Rico should become the 51st state of the Union. Leaving this decision for other generations, it is not fair . By that time, Puerto Rico will be the "New York" of the Caribbean, where Puerto Ricans and Dominicans will live together, while in the mailand puertoricans will struggle to avoid being mainstreamed by the "Hispanic Melting Pot"
Don't Puerto Ricans and Dominicans already live together in Puerto Rice, especially Santurce in San Juan? Won't becoming the 51st state increase the speed at which Puerto Rico is 'Anglicized' into another Hawaii where the local culture is overwhelmed by the summer home mainlanders?

You want statehood? Demand that the PNP hold the referendum NOW! They currently control every branch of the Puerto Rican government and can easily make it happen. They can even design the vote to favor statehood.

Demand that the PNP present their petition for statehood to Congress. Congress ONLY acts when forced to do so. Otherwise they go to their private gym, take junkets to Europe and Asia, vacation in government houses provided in St. Johns, USVI and other similar locations, and fly home every weekend to raise funds for their next campaign.

No one is coming to save Puerto Rico. We must do it or it won't EVER get done. 110 years under the US flag and we have moved from colony to colony with an oligarchical, semi-autonomous but corrupt government.
SioNo

Hammonton, NJ

#42 May 8, 2011
Just keep it simple. Just put it on the ballot Yes or No to statehood. Why even bother voting on keeping things the same?
Jorge

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

#43 May 8, 2011
SioNo wrote:
Just keep it simple. Just put it on the ballot Yes or No to statehood. Why even bother voting on keeping things the same?
Do you really think that "a ballot" is necessary?

Was the currect status requested by Puerto Ricans (to congress) thru a ballot????

If so, which other status was included in such "ballot"????

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