(Friday, December 18, 2020- Washington, DC) – The Puerto Rico Equality Commission (PREC per its English acronym) sent a letter to Congress and Democratic Candidate Jon Ossoff urging all members and the democratic candidate to support the will of the people of Puerto Rico. In the last ten years, the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico have consistently chosen statehood as a path forward. This past November 3rd was no different, after the statehood option won with over fifty-two percent of the votes during a general election. The people of Puerto Rico have once again declared that they do not want the current territorial-colonial status, nor do they support the option of independence.
In the letter sent to Congress, the PREC urged Members to “respect the will of the people of Puerto Rico and take immediate action to ensure equality with our federal citizens in the fifty states of the Union.” With this vote, the people of Puerto Rico exercised their right to choose their future democratically and choose equality, representation, and fair treatment. To deny them this right is to continue perpetuating an unfair and unequal treatment of the 3.2 million U.S. citizens that call the island home.
However, even after unequivocally choosing statehood, some have sought to undermine the will of the people of Puerto Rico by putting personal agendas forward to perpetuate the colony or promote independence. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congressman Luis Gutiérrez continue to push forward a bill that undermines the will of Puerto Ricans and seeks to erase their democratically cast votes towards statehood. These efforts should not come as a surprise since the 2020 Presidential elections have confronted the same situation of some challenging the will of the people. Together, Americans have fought a President who has fiercely tried to undermine and overturn democratically cast votes to tilt the election in his favor after Americans chose President -elect Biden. The PREC will continue to push back against these efforts and work for the equal treatment of the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico.
“We will continue to defend the will of the people of Puerto Rico and advocate for statehood, the option that Puerto Rico voted for on November 3rd. I am surprised that Congresswoman Velázquez continues to push against statehood after the people democratically choose this option. It seems to me that some claim that they represent Puerto Rico and have their best interest at heart but only when it’s convenient for them when those interests align with their agendas,” said Chairman Romero- Barceló. “But make no mistake, these people do not represent Puerto Rico, nor do they have its best interest at heart. In fact, I find it hard to believe that Former Congressman of Illinois Luis Gutiérrez is a Democrat after he pulled back his endorsement of Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff because the candidate supports statehood. I hope that this new Congress respects the will of the people of Puerto Rico and their desire for equality so that Puerto Rico can finally have a path towards statehood and ending the colonial status of the island.”