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Legislation introduced could make Puerto Rico 51st U.S. state

Posted: 8:37 PM, Mar 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-28 20:37:47-04

Legislation introduced Thursday could make Puerto Rico the 51st U.S. state.

Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) cited a 2017 vote by Puerto Ricans. Nearly half a million votes were cast for statehood, but opnly 23 percent of eligible citizens voted.

“It’s time to end 120 years of colonialism for Puerto Ricans,” Soto tweeted.

Ricardo Rossello, governor of Puerto Rico, backs the move.

“From today going forward, the federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” Rossello said after the 2017 vote. “It would be highly contradictory for Washington to demand democracy in other parts of the world, and not respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz criticized the move toward statehood.

“If Rossello supports that Puerto Rico becomes a state WITHOUT CONSULTING THE PEOPLE – as the US news says – it will reveal what it is: an aspiring dictator who wants to get something people didn’t vote for,” she tweeted in Spanish.