San Antonio Express-News

"Puerto Rico must decide"


(03/02/98, Copyright 1998)

The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on whether to allow Puerto Ricans to choose statehood, independence or to remain a U.S. commonwealth.

A strong bipartisan coalition, ranging from House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, is backing the measure.

The House and the Senate should pass the bill. Puerto Ricans must be allowed to determine their own future.

If Puerto Ricans vote for independence or statehood, President Clinton will be required to develop a transition plan which must be approved by Congress and submitted to voters within 180 days.

Clinton joined the bipartisan coalition backing the measure in a speech at the recent meeting of the National Governors Association.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but they are not allowed to vote for president.

Puerto Rican voters are expected to choose statehood if they get self-determination.

On July 25, the United States will have occupied Puerto Rico for 100 years. The colonialism should end unless Puerto Ricans want to remain a commonwealth.

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