Governor Of Puerto Rico Rejects Status Before The US

The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, rejected before the Natural Resources Committee of the federal House of Representatives, which is visiting the island to collect information for the possible rule on a change of political status vis-à-vis the United States, the inclusion of the current model of status within the options that are contemplated.

Pierluisi delivered this Friday a presentation to the members of the Natural Resources Committee, who are trying to gather information for a consensus draft on a new status project for Puerto Rico.

The head of the Executive of San Juan highlighted that the draft bill that federal legislators are working on not only asks Puerto Ricans what status they prefer for the island, but also commits Congress in Washington to implement the option of status chosen by the people.

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The committee that visits Puerto Rico these days is made up of its president, Raúl Grijalva, and legislators Nydia Velázquez and Alexandria Ocasio.

They are joined by the representative of Puerto Rico -without a vote- before Congress in Washington, Jenniffer González Colón.

Pierluisi argued that the current status should not be included, because, he indicated, “no one can deny that Puerto Rico lacks a full democracy.”

The governor appreciated that public hearings are held on the island to gather information regarding the legislative project.

He said that the members of the Committee on Natural Resources and the entire Congress “have a great responsibility to listen to our people so that once and for all they put an end to Puerto Rico’s territorial status.”

Grijalva stressed that he wants the federal House of Representatives to approve this month the legislation that will be presented in favor of a plebiscite on Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States.

The US legislator clarified that, however, the proposal is still a draft subject to amendments.

Grijalva said that he is confident that the measure will be approved in June, on a project whose main authors are Puerto Rican Democratic Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and the Republican-oriented representative of Puerto Rico in Congress.

US lawmakers arrived on the island Thursday to discuss a draft bill announced two weeks ago.

Grijalva indicated that the objective of being in Puerto Rico is to listen and make recommendations for future legislation.

He said that with this information and perhaps an additional visit to Washington, the project will be drafted, with the aim of debating it, approving it in the House and then taking it to the Senate.

The draft legislation proposes a plebiscite on the status of the island, on November 5, 2023, with a possible second round in March 2024 if no alternative obtains an absolute majority.

The measure proposes that the full annexation be proclaimed in a year, although the promoters themselves recognize that they would need other laws to start the transition.

Regarding the options of independence and free association, the draft offers a transition process that guarantees the same economic aid that currently comes from Washington.

Puerto Rico is currently a US Free Associated State, which allows it, thanks to its own Constitution, a certain degree of autonomy, although borders, defense and foreign relations are responsibilities reserved by Washington.

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