The elected governor of Puerto Rico occupies the highest public office on the island. It’s classified as an “unincorporated territory,” meaning the island is controlled by the U.S. government but is separate from the mainland. […] Numerous legal documents, from 1952 until now, say that there was no change in Puerto Rico’s political status in 1952. Do you ever think anyone needs help? They have been offered statehood before and … However, the nature of the “compact” between Puerto Rico and the United States has been disputed from its inception. This legislation was meant to declare that Puerto Rico, though still under overall control of the United States, had self-rule. The answer to the first part of this question is clear: some people began to call Puerto Rico a commonwealth in 1952 after Congress approved its local constitution, the “Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.”  At the time, Congress was explicit that its gift of local power did not lessen federal control over the Island or change its status as a territory. Puerto Rico Is a Commonwealth Congress granted Puerto Rico the right to elect its own governor and exist as a U.S. territory with commonwealth status in 1952. No, Puerto Rico is not a state, but rather a Commonwealth of the United States. Puerto Ricans can't agree on whether they want to join the union, remain a U.S. commonwealth or (as a small percentage argue) go it alone as a sovereign country. However, even with move, Puerto Ricans, along with residents of areas such as the US. On Election Day in November 2020, Puerto Ricans voted in favor of a referendum to become a state. A commonwealth is effectively the same thing as a state. In a 2002 poll, 60 percent of those interviewed on the Island identified Puerto Rico as their nation; about 17 percent considered both Puerto Rico and the United States to be their nation; and only 20 percent chose the United States alone. In October 1950 President Truman signed the Puerto Rico Commonwealth Bill, which enabled the island’s people to establish their own constitution. And the U.S. would be permanently bound to a specific governing arrangement for the islands. In effect, elevating Puerto Rico to a “new commonwealth” would give the island the benefits of sovereignty without sacrificing the benefits of U.S. governance. They would retain that right under statehood but probably lose it after independence. Since Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States, it follows the United States' customs duties and import tariffs. If you are from the U.S., it is easy to travel to Puerto Rico because the Commonwealth is a U.S. territory. Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico it self is mired in corruption and low wages. Required fields are marked *. So why are we continuesoly bailing them out with financial aid and from what I have seen a inordinate number of their citizens commit crimes in the US then bail back to PR to avoid being charged. The United States first colonized Puerto Rico in 1898. It is a territory of the United States organized as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with its own elected Governor and legislature. Why Is Puerto Rico a Territory? The US governs its economy, currency, international trade relations, import/export quotas, shipping, consumer prices, judicial code, military, postal system, FCC licensing, and the US congress has plenary jurisdiction (veto power) over any law or regulation passed by the insular legislature. Those who claim Puerto Rico is still a colony argue that Puerto Rico was vested with the commonwealth status by the U.S. Congress to give the appearance of self … Like other citizens, Puerto Ricans do not need work visas (or green cards) to work or live in America. Today, Commonwealth also means a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the United States. The 2012 referendum confirmed this, with 54% of voters voting against the status quo. Although they have little say in how the federal government treats them, they have a lot of freedom to govern themselves within a few federal constraints. […] I will rant that I wish some news commentators would refer to Puerto Rico as a commonwealth rather than a territory, even though commonwealth status is just plain […]. Puerto Rico Is a Commonwealth Congress granted Puerto Rico the right to elect its own governor and exist as a U.S. territory with commonwealth status in 1952. Most important, the vast majority of Puerto Ricans imagine themselves as distinct from Americans as well as from other Latin American and Caribbean peoples. This legislation was meant to declare that Puerto Rico, though still under overall control of the United States, had self-rule. ... State Agencies State Government Official Name: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, to this day are neither allowed to vote in the American presidential nor the American senatorial election. What Everyone Needs to Know series on the OUPblog, So when do we talk about this? The President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico. It seems to me that wealthy corporations utilize Peurto Rico as a safe heaven for tax purposes. The What Everyone Needs to Know (WENTK) series offers a balanced and authoritative primer on complex current event issues and countries. In a 2017 plebiscite, 97% of voters again chose statehood. If Puerto Rico remains a commonwealth this is a benefit that future generations will continue to enjoy. The territories are the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico (which, in Spanish, officially calls itself the 'Free Associated State of Puerto Rico').. In 1952, Puerto Rico officially became a Commonwealth of the United States. The Island possesses many of the symbolic attributes of modern nations, including a national flag and anthem; national heroes and rituals; a national system of universities, museums, and other cultural institutions; a well-developed national tradition in literature and the visual arts; and national representation in international sports and beauty contests. Puerto Rico is not a state, and thus, federal taxes do not apply generally to income generated within the commonwealth; Puerto Rico corporations are treated for federal tax purposes as foreign corporations and are not generally subject to U.S. corporate taxes. If Puerto Rico were to change its official administrative title from the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico” to the “Official United States Property of Puerto Rico,” how would Puerto Ricans react? Commonwealth status represented a greater degree of political autonomy for Puerto Rico in local matters, such as elections, taxation, economic development, education, health, housing, culture, and language. The Commonwealth formula did not substantially alter the Island’s legal, political, and economic dependence on the United States. How did Puerto Rico become a US Commonwealth? All of the regulations and articles of the federal laws that ruled relations between Puerto Rico and the United States since the 1898 Treaty of Paris remained intact. As a commonwealth, they get many national protections, but don't have to pay any federal taxes, which makes it an attractive place for businesses and wealthy people who want to avoid taxes. 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