Thursday, November 08, 2012

Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood

Puerto Rico has voted this week for statehood ... or have they?

"The two-part referendum asked whether the island wanted to change its 114-year relationship with the United States. Nearly 54 percent, or 922,374 people, sought to change it, while 46 percent, or 786,749 people, favored the status quo. Ninety-six percent of 1,643 precincts were reporting as of early Wednesday.

The second question asked voters to choose from three options, with statehood by far the favorite, garnering 61 percent. Sovereign free association, which would have allowed for more autonomy, received 33 percent, while independence got 5 percent."

Still, the PR governor who wanted statehood, Luis Fortuno, was ousted and replaced by Alejandro Garcia Padilla of the Popular Democratic Party, which wants Puerto Rico to remain a semi-autonomous U.S. commonwealth.

The issue will have to be decided by the U.S. Congress, but the outcome is fairly murky - and murkiness surrounds the vote in Puerto Rico too:

"Statehood won a victory without precedent but it's an artificial victory," said Angel Israel Rivera Ortiz, a political science professor at the University of Puerto Rico. "It reflects a divided and confused electorate that is not clear on where it's going."

Divided, confused, and lost ... sounds like it's already a U.S. state.

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