Puerto Rico, A self initiated referendum on the US territory becoming a state was held by citizens there. It was not federally run or sponsored. Nor was it monitored by the OAS or OSCE. In some ways Puerto Rico is similar to the Donbass or Transnistria regions, it awaits its day of recognition and possible integration.
There was a referendum held in the US’s oldest and largest colony, Puerto Rico. Where an overwhelming majority voted in favour of becoming the 51st state of the union, in a result instantly rejected as meaningless by opposition parties and US Federal authorities who denounced it as a publicity stunt.
95% of the vote has been counted, the option of formally joining the US as a fully fledged state was backed by 97.1% of those who cast their ballots. By contrast, full independence/“free association” with the US was supported by 1.5% and keeping the colonial status quo just 1.3%.
These results are amazing! As they nearly mirror those of the Crimean annexation or integration vote held when Crimea joined the Russian Federation in 2014. However it should be noted that in the past, Puerto Rican “separatists” have killed, bombed and attempted to kill a US President in search of independence from the USA also.
The ruling Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP), which controls the Puerto Rican governorship as well as legislature and organised the referendum, claimed the result marked a resounding victory for statehood.
But the leading opposition groups dismissed the vote as an irrelevance. The Partido Popular Democrático, which broadly advocates the continuation of the current colonial arrangement whereby the island’s 3.4 million people have US citizenship but cannot vote in federal elections, said the ballot was flawed from the outset.
The party’s elections commissioner, Miguel Rios Torres, told the Guardian that the turnout had been so low as to make a mockery of the organiser’s claim that it represented the will of the Puerto Rican people. “This vote will do nothing to help our island, and the US Congress has promised nothing in terms of responding to it.”
American political experts do not see anything coming of the vote, but foreign observers do see a land without self determination, independence or a future, given it is in bankruptcy with a former Ukrainian official-Natalie Jaresko, appointed to try and “refloat” the “hot mess” Puerto Rico has become.