Oh God. When will the issue of political status on the island be resolved? Bueno, here's yet another step. It will probably not lead to a real change in the island's political status, but it is a step at least.
Today, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi for Puerto Rico introduced the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009. Here's an excerpt from Pierluisi's speech today:
"The bill I have introduced today is simple and it is fair. It first authorizes the government of Puerto Rico to conduct a plebiscite. Voters will be asked whether they wish to maintain Puerto Rico’s present form of political status or whether they wish to have a different political status. If a majority of voters cast their ballots in favor of a different political status, the government of Puerto Rico will be authorized to conduct a second plebiscite among three options: independence, statehood, and sovereignty in association with the United States.
The bill does not exclude any status option, and it does not favor any status option.
It enables the people of Puerto Rico to express their wishes regarding the Island’s
political status in a series of democratic votes. It will thus ensure that the views of all the people are heard on this fundamental question. The results of these votes
will be certified to the President and to Congress.
I am optimistic that this bill will receive a fair hearing in committee, that it will be brought up for a vote before the full House, and that it will ultimately be approved by this chamber with strong bipartisan support. I am likewise confident that the Senate, having witnessed these events in the House, will also approve the bill. And I believe that President Obama, who has promised to address the question of
Puerto Rico’s status within his first term in office, will sign the bill with pride
when it reaches his desk."
For the full speech, go to