With news that a revised version of the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act will be submitted to both chambers of Congress today (March 18), Latino Rebels Radio host Julio Ricardo Varela welcomes one of the bill’s key sponsors and strongest advocates, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), to the show.
Born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Velázquez talks about the bill, her outreach efforts to statehood proponents and what she tells her more intense critics about her efforts.
Featured image of Rep. Velázquez (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)
Latino Rebels Radio produced by Harsha Nahata.
Music courtesy of La Plebe.
I support statehood for Puerto Rico and I have no major problems whatsoever with the Velázquez-AOC bill because I recognize that any serious attempt to solve the P.R. status issue must be fair and equitable in terms of substance (definitions) and procedure (mechanism) and must include ALL non-colonial options under Resolutions 1514 (XV) and 1541 (XV) of the UN General Assembly (1960), which is to say independence, free association and statehood, in order to be acceptable to all parties in both Puerto Rico and Congress. I know that statehood won the 2020 referendum in P.R. 52% in favor against 48% opposed but in my opinion that needs to be followed up by a federally-mandated initiative to clarify options because all reputable opinion polls show that that 48% opposition to statehood beaks down as 43% to 45% in support of commonwealth and 3% to 5% in support of independence and if the options are redefined as statehood, independence and free association WITHOUT the present territorial commonwealth as an option then support for statehood jumps to the 60% to 70% range which is actually better for statehood. In any case a territorial or commonwealth option shouldn’t be included as it was widely discredited by about 60% of P.R, voters of ALL persuasions in the 2012 referendum.
Armando: I respect you position and value that you accept the proposed process for trying to resolve the status question. However, numbers can be deceiving. Yes, Statehood received 52% of those that voted. However, If you take into account those that did not vote I believe that overall # of people who voted/desire statehood would be reduced below 50%.