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The governing New Progressive Party (NPP) announced Wednesday new actions to promote its strategy in favor of Puerto Rico’s admission to the United States as the federation’s 51st state.
The island, which is currently a commonwealth with its own constitution and some degree of autonomy, is in an ongoing debate over whether to perpetuate this status or opt for full annexation or even independence.
The NPP leadership, headed by the governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, agreed to establish a program of statehood talks around the island to convince the population of the benefits of annexation, according to a statement released today by the party.
This decision was adopted in a meeting last night in which also participated the NPP vice presidents, Carlos Méndez and Thomas Rivera Schatz; the secretary general, Carmelo Ríos; and the executive director of the Instituto de Misión Estadista, José Aponte, among others.
“Our party has only one ideological north: the admission of Puerto Rico as a state of the union. We are meeting to shape another effort to push for statehood,” Ríos explained.
According to the secretary general, “there is no doubt, and the numbers reflect it, that statehood is the option that the people want by absolute majority.”
In November 2020, a non-binding status plebiscite was held on the island to see if Puerto Ricans supported “statehood” with a “yes” or “no” vote.
The “yes” vote, in favor of the annexation of the island as the 51st state of the North American country, obtained 52% of the votes. However, it is the U.S. Congress that decides the admission of a state to the union and, for now, it does not seem very interested in taking this step.
The round of statehood talks, which will begin next March, will be conducted by Aponte and his team at the Institute for Statehood Mission, and will focus, among other points, on the alleged benefits of “statehood.”
“Our governor and president has been clear from day one, this party is going to work non-stop in order to achieve statehood and that is what we have done,” Ríos stressed.
The NPP, whose main political objective throughout its history has been the full incorporation of the island into the United States, also has a group of representatives lobbying the U.S. Congress in favor of annexation.