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Aponte Hernández Demands Congress to Admit PR as 51st State

By on November 16, 2016

SAN JUAN—New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. José Aponte Hernández has called on the Republican majority in Congress to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st state of the United States, in accordance to the platform that the party approved last summer.

NPP Rep. José Aponte Hernández

NPP Rep. José Aponte Hernández

In a column published Tuesday on The Hill, the pro-statehood legislator noted that the GOP party platform clearly establishes that it will act upon the results of the 2012 plebiscite, in which voters rejected the island’s current colonial status by 54% and chose statehood by 61%.

“The newly reelected Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have a mandate to promote the admission of Puerto Rico as the new state of the union,” Aponte Hernández wrote. “The Republican platform, adopted at this summer’s National Convention, clearly states that the GOP will respect the will of the people of Puerto Rico, free and democratically expressed in the 2012 status referendum.”

Aponte Hernández also said that “the American citizens residing in Puerto Rico took another, major, step towards gaining admission as the 51st state with the overwhelming election of nearly all of the NPP candidates to the local legislature, as well as the victory of our candidates for governor, Ricardo Rosselló, and Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González.”

Considering the results, the representative said there is no reason for Washington not to act on the island’s admission as a state. He also stressed that Section 402 of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, better known as Promesa, “paves the way for a federal-backed referendum regarding the admission of Puerto Rico into the Union.”

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