Status Issue in Historical Perspective CREATEDATE 04/21/09 7:56 AM Today at 6 pm 206 Ingraham Tomorrow in social sciences, Extra credit for a critique or reaction paper if you go and see it Today: the status issue in historical perspective 1952- 1991 From the Commonwealth to the 1967 Status Plebiscite Plebiscite: (is a consultation, is a referendum that the people vote on a choice that is given to them, and they indicate in a public show of support what is their preference) Recently held 1993 and 1998 Going to discuss those on Thursday The two party system and its effects Congressional attention 1989- 1991 The Puerto Rican Status Question was a very hot question in congress From the Commonwealth to the 1967 Status Plebiscite The UN takes PR off its colonial list 1953 The United States for awhile had to report what it was doing (to decolonize) Puerto Rico to make it acceptable under the United Nations Puerto Rico was described as a ?perfumed colony? In satisfaction with Commonwealth ( the Fernůs Murray bill 1959- 1960 No longer a U.S. territory Liberating Puerto Rico from the stigma of territorial status would have been a great achievement Bilateral compact PR would pick up federal expenses on the islands In other words the US would not have to pay for the federal governments operations there Major federal responsibilities would be transferred to the island government For example the enforcement of immigration laws Laws that had to do with tariffs Direct participation in federal decisions on treaties tariffs Failure: Why? It established a new kind of appendage or relationship for the US that called for more rights and responsibilities than the states had themselves sunder the US constitution. Basic discourse that opposed it was this: We cannot give you rights that the States do not have, (we cannot arrogate those powers when in fact the states do not have them. ) (Shows a photo of Luis Munoz Marin presidential medal of freedom 1963, JFK and Puerto Rico) From the Commonwealth to the 1967 Status plebiscite continued Kennedy- Munoz Bond ( appointments Upon a PR request ( US ? Puerto Rico Commission on the Status of Puerto Rico 1964 ( all three options are valid 1967 Plebiscite called for by the commission on the status of Puerto Rico was health Common wealth obtained 60 percent of the vote Notice that it is already a decline in support comparative to the electoral vote the Munoz Marin got. Statehood obtained 39 percent of the vote Independence establish less than 1 they abstained from going to this plebiscite, they thought that it was a colonial trap The two-party system and its Effects The end of populism Social bases on realignment Commonwealth= PPD Statehood =PPD (NPP) With a new leadership fresh out look. Old PPD Coalition frayed New PNP NPP in English coalition formed new middle class and marginalized groups ( perception of the US as guarantor of prosperity Electoral parity between the PPD and PNP Disillusionment with the challenge to commonwealth International pressures n after 1978 Havana Conference of non- aligned nations 1979 PNP emboldened End of PR miracle Congressional attention 1989- 1991 Pres George H W Bush calls for a plebiscite 1988 Three party agreement on colonial status of commonwealth 1989 and desirability of a plebiscite Congressional bills 1989 Senate clear definitions, self execution House bill is much more generic no clarity on mechanisms, there will be status but we haven?t figured that out yet The house bill passes on to the general house Goes from committee to full house to where it will be voted down Hearing 1898 1900 senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources fails to pas bill 1991 Senate basically said that they will throw money at Puerto Rico when it becomes a state, therefore it would cost the government a lot of money to make Puerto Rico a state Why Failure in 1989- 1991 Why congressional opposition to statehood and enhanced Commonwealth? Statehood costly Nationhood an issue Meanwhile independence with treaty on bases not difficult But the support of independence is shallow it was only supported than less than five percent of the people While cultural nationalism is on the rise E.G support for an official Spanish bill Why is commonwealth not acceptable while it is defined in this bill? Because it violated the uniformity clause of the constitution It it?s the same old 1959 objection to commonwealth with greater powers if we giver Puerto Rico certain powers why not have them in the states how we can have a member of our republic that actually have greater power than the other 50 members The commonwealth is basically shot down
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