Some very short history notes about Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain during the late 1400s and early 1500s. The native people, the Tainos, were displaced from their land or assimilated into Spanish colonial life. In 1898 Puerto Rico was acquired by America from Spain via the Treaty of Paris, which marks the end of the Spanish - American War. In 1917 Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship, but were not given the right to vote. This did give them freedom to move across the border between the US mainland and the Island of Puerto Rico. In 1952, after 54 years of being governed by the US as a colony, and even though they were citizens for part of that time, Puerto Rico was given some self governance on a local level.Then they did get to elect a Governor, and form a local congress, so as long as their laws were not in conflict with Federal laws, they could regulate themselves.
So what is Freedom ? Is there really some form of benign monarchy? What if the "monarch" is itself a republic? Still, there isn't true participation for the citizens of that place. Now Puerto Rico has a "ghost representative" in the US Congress, as do the other 4 territories of the US. This phrase means that Puerto Rico has elected someone who can go and sit in the US Congress and listen to the debate, perhaps have some influence by speaking from the floor, but they cannot vote. This person's real title is Resident Commissioner , and at this moment Puerto Rico is constituted as a Commonwealth of the US. Another oddity is that while Puerto Ricans can participate in the process of primary elections that choose candidates for the Presidential elections, there are no electoral votes allotted to Puerto Rico, so they cannot vote for President and Vice President.
In March of this year legislation was launched to make Puerto Rico a state of the US. There have been at least 21 past attempts.
Will it succeed this time? "A benign government, designed and run for ALL the people, has been known to smooth the way:when such occurs, it deserves support." L. Ron Hubbard