Puerto Rico’s Governor Tried to Make a Case for Statehood – This is What People Had To Say About It

Puerto Rico's Governor Tried to Make a Case for Statehood – This is What People Had To Say About It Belatina latine
Credit: Wiki Commons

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.  

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. 

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. 

Later on in the day, Pierlusi took to his Twitter to further make his case for statehood in response to Congressman Hice. 

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.”

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.  

Sadly, others led their tweets with racism and how many view Puerto Ricans – which is unacceptable.

And @FernandoCidra29 tweeted about a plan that they believe would benefit all Puerto Ricans.

Twitter user @DRJEnglish21 shared a similar sentiment.

For now, everything remains the same. But many Puerto Ricans are demanding change.