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Ska Puerto Rico bli en amerikansk delstat?

Posted by sverigeidag på februari 9, 2012

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all apparently agree on one thing: if Puerto Rico votes for U.S. statehood, it should become a U.S. state.

Which may be about to happen. In late December of 2011, Puerto Rico’s governor Luis Fortuno signed legislation authorizing a referendum on statehood to be held on November 6, 2012— the same day as the U.S. presidential election—along with the regular Puerto Rican legislative and gubernatorial elections.

That referendum could lead to Puerto Rico’s becoming the 51ststate.

A lot of people think that’s great, or at least they say that. The Democrats stand to get two more congressional representatives andElectoral College votes, so why would they object?

But before making Puerto Rico the 51st state, shouldn’t we examine the issue and see how sensible it is? If Puerto Rico votes for statehood, are we duty-bound to grant it?

Shouldn’t Americans have a say in whether or not Puerto Rico becomes a state? And would it really be good for Puerto Rico itself, in the long run?

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, east of the island of Hispaniola. It has a land area of 3,515 square miles, which is bigger than Rhode Island but smaller than Connecticut. Its population is 3.7 million on the island, but there are about 4.6 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland U.S.A. (Puerto Ricans are technically U.S. citizens and thus immigration laws don’t apply to them).

Puerto Rico is a distinct society. The island has been a U.S. territory since 1898 (!) but it hasn’t been assimilated. Attempts to make it an English-speaking society have failed—and that was before the current era of “multiculturalism” and despite the fact that Puerto Rico isn’t too far from the mainland.

Puerto Rico is an island, and that’s significant. By its very nature, island dwellers have an island mentality. They are geographically differentiated from those who don’t dwell on their island.

Moreover, Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking society. Puerto Rican Spanish is considered a form of Caribbean Spanish and is rather distinct from Standard Mexican Spanish. So Puerto Rico’s language differentiates it from the traditional English-language culture of the United States, and even from the Mexican culture of the majority of today’s Hispanics in the U.S.

Puerto Rico also uses the Spanish dual surname system, unlike our English surname system.

Culturally, Puerto Rico has its own artmusicliterature and Puerto Rican cuisine (which, by the way, is different from Mexican food).

Christmas (Navidad) is quite a festive occasion, and the Puerto Ricans have a special way of celebrating it from November to January.

Puerto Rico has a number of endemic plant and animal species, including a bird called the Puerto Rican Amazon and the Coqui frogs.

The island sends a Miss Puerto Rico to such beauty competitions as Miss World and Miss Universe. A Miss Puerto Rico has won the Miss Universe pageant five times.

In international competitions such as the Olympics and the Pan American games, Puerto Rican athletes form their own team and compete under the Puerto Rican flag, not as part of the U.S. team.

And Puerto Ricans prefer it that way.

If it became a state, what would happen?

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