Puerto Rico’s status was questioned during a session with the federal House of Representatives.
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi spoke about pressing issues affecting La Isla del Encanto before the Natural Resources Committee of the federal House of Representatives.
Pierlusi took the opportunity to detail what’s happening with Puerto Rico’s electrical system, and infrastructure, and how Puerto Ricans need to be treated equally.
During his speech, he is heard saying how Puerto Rico is emerging from a period of great challenges and entering a stage of stability and economic growth.
He continues: “We are committed to moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as turning our fragile and integrated electric grid into a modern, resilient, and interdependent one that can serve, without blackouts, the residents and businesses on the Island.”
Pierluisi also spoke about the projects in development and how it would be imperative to request proposals for additional renewable energy projects. This is an attempt to help Puerto Rico rectify their shortcomings with electrical support for the island.
Pierluisi includes statehood in his speech
However, before his allotted time ended, he stressed the importance of Puerto Ricans being treated equally.
“We have shown that when we are treated with equality, as happened with the COVID pandemic, we respond the same or better than any state. I am not here asking for more, I am asking that they treat us as what [who] we are: American citizens who deserve equality and democracy,” he said.
— Gobernador Pierluisi (@GovPierluisi) November 17, 2022
He reminded the committee that thousands of Puerto Rican soldiers have lost their lives in defense of American rights and freedom as well.
Congressman Hice was not having it
His speech at the Congressional hearing, however, was not well-received by U.S. House Representative Jody Hice.
After hearing Gov. Pierluisi, Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) said that every time there’s a hearing on Puerto Rico, one of two topics is always mentioned.
“It is coming here with hands out asking for more money and/or asking for statehood.” That’s what we deal with here.” Then, he went on to express his disapproval of Puerto Rico’s statehood and claimed that he is “certainly not alone in that position.”
He added how they are not even close to having a serious discussion about statehood considering there are other issues that require more prioritization at the moment.
"We are not even close to having a serious discussion about statehood," Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) said regarding #PuertoRico.
He added that there are other topics related to the island that are a priority including the reconstruction process and PROMESA.
— Cristina Corujo (@cristina_corujo) November 17, 2022
After Hice’s remarks, Jenniffer González, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, used her time to explain how Hice has no idea what Puerto Ricans need since he doesn’t live on the island. Her rebuttal also included how she’s a Republican and status is a determining factor in Puerto Rico’s success.
No me puedo quedar callada cuando alguien, quien sea, no respete la voluntad del pueblo de Puerto Rico que ha votado en más de una ocasión rechazando el estatus actual colonial que es la raíz de los problemas básicos de la Isla . pic.twitter.com/UcoJAnyZFj
— Jenniffer González (@Jenniffer) November 18, 2022
Later on in the day, Pierlusi took to his Twitter to further make his case for statehood in response to Congressman Hice.
— Gobernador Pierluisi (@GovPierluisi) November 17, 2022
People’s reactions were all over the place
Twitter user @LuisAcostaAcos3 tweeted, “ Your pro-statehood party won the governorship with 32% of the vote, stop begging, you don’t represent us all and you are shaming all Puertorricans both on the island and abroad.”
Your pro-statehood party won the governorship with 32% of the vote, stop begging, you don’t represent us all and you are shaming all Puertorricans both on the island and abroad.
— Luis Acosta Acosta (@LuisAcostaAcos3) November 18, 2022
Meanwhile, @Yosoykinglao sent out a pro-independence Tweet, which undermines Puerto Rico’s current stance on status.
Independence polled higher than usual in the most recent elections where Juan Dalmau, former candidate for Governor of Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rican Independence Party, resulted at 13 percent favorability.
Que viva la independencia!!! ✊🏼🇵🇷
— King (@Yosoykinglao) November 17, 2022
Sadly, others led their tweets with racism and how many view Puerto Ricans – which is unacceptable.
Second class citizens.
— Luis R Couto (@lrcctasador) November 18, 2022
And @FernandoCidra29 tweeted about a plan that they believe would benefit all Puerto Ricans.
You are, absolutely right, Mr. Hice, Sir. It is insulting. Ever since your country invaded and occupied our Puerto Rican nation in 1898, that is our history. A significant number of us feel that is time for our nation, Puerto Rico, go our own way. Lets work on that plan.
— Fernando Maldonado (@FernandoCidra29) November 17, 2022
Twitter user @DRJEnglish21 shared a similar sentiment.
You are, actually right, @JodyHice. It is insulting. Ever since the US invaded and occupied Puerto Rican since 1898, that is their history. A significant number of Puerto Ricans feel that is time for PR, go their own way.
Puerto Ricans deserve political and economic freedom! https://t.co/mQFd9izjrH
— 🌻De'Narde English🌹🏳️🌈 (@DRJEnglish21) November 17, 2022
For now, everything remains the same. But many Puerto Ricans are demanding change.For Image credit or remove please email for immediate removal - email@example.com