Democrats Commit to Permanent Status, Presidential Vote
SAN JUAN – Norma Burgos, the platform committee delegate for the Puerto Rico Democratic Party, said Sunday that the party committed to achieving equality for Puerto Ricans as U.S. citizens as well as pushing for the ability to vote for those who can pass laws affecting the island.
She noted that the commitments approved as part of the Democratic platform at the national level ahead of the November elections are “an important step in the process of decolonizing Puerto Rico and achieving the equality we all long for.”
The platform committee approved a series of commitments that include supporting permanent, non-territorial status solutions for Puerto Rico; achieving the presidential vote for Puerto Ricans; and attaining parity in Medicaid and Medicare program funds as well as in family benefit programs for island residents.
An attempt to introduce an amendment to indicate the island had autonomy under its commonwealth status was rejected.
Burgos further said that what was approved was not only an important step in the decolonization of Puerto Rico, but also sets up the conditions for Puerto Rico to achieve statehood.
“The language on Puerto Rico in the new Democratic Party platform adopted [Saturday] is a victory for all who aspire to solve the eternal colonial-territorial problem with a permanent non-territorial status that conforms to the Constitution of the United States,” she said.
“The only way to elect our senators and representatives to Congress is becoming the 51st state of the American nation. This is an important achievement in the fight to achieve equality, which only statehood guarantees,” Burgos emphasized.
Meanwhile, New Progressive Party (NPP) President and gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló said he hopes “that what was approved does not stay as just words but affirmative steps be taken so that, under the Hillary Clinton administration, these commitments are carried out respecting the will of Puerto Ricans and achieving statehood.”
For Rosselló, the approved platform commitments can only be fulfilled if the island becomes a U.S. state.
“The only permanent option that would allow voting for the president and elected officials who pass laws affecting Puerto Ricans is statehood. What was approved [Saturday]…is part of the establishment of mechanisms for Puerto Rico to become a state. This is an important step, and together with the affirmative actions we will take, I have no doubt we will achieve that equality,” he said.
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