Puerto Rico: Overwhelmingly voted for U.S. statehood in non-binding referendum

Puerto Rico: Overwhelmingly voted for U.S. statehood in non-binding referendum

Al Jazeera

Puerto Rico’s governor announced the US territory has overwhelmingly chosen statehood in a non-binding referendum on Sunday held amid a deep economic crisis that has sparked an exodus of islanders to the US mainland.

“From today going forward, the federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” Governor Ricardo Rossello said, announcing the victory.

“It would be highly contradictory for Washington to demand democracy in other parts of the world, and not respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico’s governor announced the US territory has overwhelmingly chosen statehood in a non-binding referendum on Sunday held amid a deep economic crisis that has sparked an exodus of islanders to the US mainland.

“From today going forward, the federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” Governor Ricardo Rossello said, announcing the victory.

“It would be highly contradictory for Washington to demand democracy in other parts of the world, and not respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico.”

Nearly half a million votes were cast for statehood, more than 7,600 for free association/independence, and nearly 6,700 for the current territorial status.

The participation rate was just 23 percent with roughly 2.26 million registered voters, leading opponents to question the validity of a vote that several parties had boycotted.

It was the lowest level of participation in any election in Puerto Rico since 1967, according to Carlos Vargas Ramos, an associate with the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York.

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Puerto Rico: Overwhelmingly voted for U.S. statehood in non-binding referendum
The first family goes out to vote for statehood
Ricardo Rossello and his wife exercised their right to vote at the San José Academy

Por Alex Figueroa Cancel
El Nuevo Día

Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and First Lady Beatriz Rosselló voted this morning at the San José de Caparra Academy in Guaynabo.

Shortly before showing his ballots with the cross under the statehood column, Rosselló Nevares insisted on defending the status quo, even though he did not have the endorsement of the federal State Department.

“We decided that Puerto Rico could not wait any longer. But that we welcomed all the recommendations that they established, word for word, we already did, “said Rosselló Nevares.

“No plebiscite process in the past in the transition from territory to statehood had this kind of link need. It is the people … the people must be sufficient bond and the American citizens exercising their democratic right, “he added.

Meanwhile, the call for a boycott by organizations and political parties, Rosselló Nevares called it “absurd”.

“If you look at the 2012 plebiscite options, you have the same alternatives and no previous process had the (federal) endorsement,” said Rosselló Nevares. “It’s part of demagogy.”

For her part, the first lady said that “women come to vote, we are the majority. It does not take ten minutes and is the way to make our voice heard in democracy. ”
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Video:Puerto Ricans vote for statehood in referendum

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Video: Statehood Referendum Wins In Puerto Rico

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Video: Black and Puerto Rican

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Video: Not Spanish….Puerto Rican
Mother is Puerto Rican and Father is Dominican


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Video: Understanding Afro-Puerto Ricans and other Afro-Latinos

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