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Should Puerto Rico become a US state or independent? Show more Show less
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Puerto Rico, one of five American territories, has limited power and rights under its territory categorization. Some mainland Americans argue Puerto Rico should become the 51st U.S. state. Activists in Puerto Rico go one step further—full independence.

Puerto Rico should be an independent country Show more Show less

Puerto Rico was seized by America after the Spanish-American War and has its own unique culture, heritage, and ingenious people separate from the US. Puerto Rico deserves to be given what it once had—autonomy and its own, localized government.
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Public pressure for independence

A growing movement on the island has been pushing back against the traditional statehood route. Instead, they’ve been calling for something bigger—autonomy.

The Argument

Puerto Ricans have been fighting for independence for over 100 years—nearly as long as they've been a US territory.[1] A new independence movement is growing and should be acknowledged by the Puerto Rico government and the US. As far back as 1898, there have been government initiatives to suppress the Puerto Rico independence movement. In 1978, two independence activists were killed in Puerto Rico. Years later, it was discovered that government agents pushed for the murders to happen.[2] Around the same time, the FBI operation known as COINTELPRO was going on. The FBI, among other things, was infiltrating and discrediting the Puerto Rican independence movement.[3] There were also carpetas, files the government was keeping on anyone involved in the Puerto Rican nationalist movement.[4] The US has been intentionally suppressing Puerto Rican independence for decades—not just from the public, but from the government. In 1914, Puerto Rico's Congress voted unanimously for independence from the US. Their vote was ignored.[5] Instead, in 1917, the US appointed an American governor to govern the island, and Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship. Now, there is a growing movement featuring very prominent Puerto Rican citizens calling for independence once again. The growing independence movement should be acknowledged by the US. The US should pull out of Puerto Rico and make it an independent nation.

Counter arguments

The independence of a nation should not be granted based on popular opinion. Independence is a cliff, and if a country does not have a proper plan, it will fall off of that cliff. Take recent examples of popular movements abroad, for example. Brexit has turned into a political dumpster fire and threatens to throw the UK into a depression.[6] In Libya, after the overthrow of Muammar al-Gaddafi, the country has been struggling to find a unified and peaceful government. Puerto Rico needs to have a plan for independence before it can properly demand to be a free and democratic country. [7]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/reference/united-states-history/puerto-rico-debated-statehood-since-colonization/
  2. https://www.latinorebels.com/2014/07/25/today-in-history-the-tragedy-of-cerro-maravilla-video/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/28/nyregion/new-light-on-old-fbi-fight-decades-of-surveillance-of-puerto-rican-groups.html
  4. https://waragainstallpuertoricans.com/carpetas/
  5. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-dream-of-puerto-rican-independence-and-the-story-of-heriberto-marin
  6. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/car-prices-rise-1500-no-15965400
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24985595
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 18:35 UTC

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