In a televised speech Monday evening Gov. Rosselló announced
he had signed the bill authorizing a Puerto Rico status
plebiscite schedules for next Dec. 13.
Saying that settling the status issue once and for all is
crucial to the island's development, the governor
outlined the four options Puerto Ricans will be asked to
choose from when they go to the polls in December. "The
political situation in Puerto Rico requires a dose of
short-term decision and action to eradicate the daily
debate, this divisive and obstructive element, to be able to
give full rein to our capacity to progress without
limitations in a just and equitable manner", said Rosselló.
The governor claimed that the U.S. government "has clearly
expressed its commitment to listen to our demand".
But House Minority Leader Aníbal Acevedo Vilá disputed
Rossello's claim that the plebiscite's options
mirror those already approved by the U.S. Congress.
"Today, Rosselló said the status definitions were approved
by Congress but that is a lie because it was only one
chamber of Congress", he said. The definitions that are
being used are those contained in the Young Bill approved by
the U.S. House of Representatives in March by one vote. A
Senate version of a congressionally authorized plebiscite,
which will likely not be voted on before Congress adjourns
in October, provides for the island to become an
incorporated territory before becoming a state said Acevedo
"Why didn't they put that in their definition?" he
The PDP opposes the plebiscite saying its commonwealth
definition is not represented.
As outlined by the governor, the status options contained in
the plebiscite bill, passed the legislature last Thursday
along party lines, are as follows:
Recognition of a republic with full sovereignty
and authority over its territory, with its own
Constitution and the citizenship of the Republic
of Puerto Rico.
Concession of full sovereignty to Puerto Rico
along with the signing of a bilateral treaty of
association with the U.S. which would renounce
all its power over the island. Puerto Rico would
have its own citizenship and living Puerto
Ricans could retain U.S. citizenship, but
children born thereafter would not be U.S.
Maintain the island under U.S. sovereignty and
under the territorial control of the federal
government, conceding a government limited to
issues strictly under local jurisdiction and a
statutory U.S. citizenship conceded by Congress.
English would continue to be the official
language of U.S. agencies and federal courts.
Admission as a "sovereign state of the American
union" with the same rights, privileges and
obligations the prevail over the other 50
Rosselló said the a fifth option, "none of the above", will
be available to voters "to assure the free expression of
Acevedo Vilá said the governor is disenfranchising the
800,000 PDP voters who have no place to vote in the