An independent country is self-governed by its government and is not afflicted by larger controlling units. For a long time, Puerto Ricans have wished to be their own country. A person who is governed by their government observes the rules that their government has created and passed, displays their flag in all public institutions, and elects their presidents. Puerto Ricans are sick of being referred to as a “territory” or “commonwealth.” They feel they should be allowed to be free and manage their own country since it provides them with untold benefits (Blocher and Gulati, 2018). They also feel that because they would not be confined, they will be able to soar to greater heights on their own.” This essay will clearly outline why Puerto Rico should be allowed to be an independent country and shape its destiny.
Puerto Rico is experiencing an economic struggle rooted in enormous debts that seem unpayable. Poverty in Puerto Rico has been a chronic issue. Many people are unemployed, some are uneducated, while the number of those working but receiving meager wages (Staudenmaier, 2009). These issues have made Puerto Rico to sink into more and more debts in order to keep moving. It is believed that if Puerto Rico becomes an independent state, the issue of poverty, debts, and unemployment will be easily be solved.
Firstly, I believe that the dwindling and poor economic states of Puerto Rico have, in one way or another, been rooted in its colonial status. As a colony of the United States of America, Puerto Rico cannot be declared bankrupt as that will ruin its colony’s image. The island cannot also ask or receive financial assistance from other international financial institutions, making it even harder to deal with its current economic status. Their economic status is dependent on the United States and limited by it. Puerto Rico Island is now stuck in a financial crisis as they are out of options to get out of the enormous debts. If given a chance to be an independent country, Puerto Rico will finally manage to solve their financial and economic crisis issues. They will no longer be limited on where to seek help. With the help of international financial institutions, Puerto Rico Island will manage to settle its debts and formulate steps to regain economic stability (Jonathan, 2008). It will be easier to run their economy rather than rely on their colony. With Puerto Rico being an independent country comes higher chances of financial stability. They will diversify their capital and export markets and create more employment opportunities. If they remain a commonwealth, Puerto Rico will have no such economic benefits to assist in their economic crisis.
Secondly is the statehood issue. Puerto Rico has no option on the statehood issue as they are termed unincorporated. This means that Puerto Rico belongs to the US, which is different from being part of it. The statehood issue has limited Puerto Rico in growth, governance, and its people’s well-being. In Congress, Puerto Rico is neither acknowledged nor represented. Therefore, most decisions are made for them and in favor of their colony (Cruz, 2014). Most of their issues go unresolved. This would not be the case if Puerto Rico were an independent country. With independence, Puerto Rico will choose its leaders to govern the country and address all issues that affect its country. That is why Puerto Rico needs to be an independent country.
Thirdly, all independent countries enjoy the right to vote for their chief of command. The colony of Puerto Rico prohibits Puerto Ricans from voting in presidential elections. They are only permitted to vote in the presidential primary and not in the finals. The commander of command, on the other hand, selects them to fight for the United States during the conflict. This is not just; it is an insult to the people of Puerto Rico and their generations (Jonathan, 2008). They also vote in elections to elect governors and other leaders to serve as representatives for the island. These leaders, on the other hand, have a limited role in making decisions that affect the people they represent.” Once Puerto Rico is independent, the Puerto Ricans will vote for leaders of their choice whom they believe will well represent them and their issues.
Fourthly, an Independent Puerto Rico will find it easy to protect the rights of its people and care for their well-being. As long as Puerto Rico remains unincorporated, their issues will never be solved. Neither will their welfare and well-being matter. This is because Puerto Rican leaders have no say in the decision-making and representation of issues concerning their people. So their leaders cannot do much as they are limited in all areas, and their hands remain tied. Independence will lead to accountable representatives in the government and transparency and power restoration to the people of Puerto Rico.
Lastly, Puerto Rico is at a high risk of losing its heritage and culture, which is the backbone of the people that hold them together. “The US has demanded that Puerto Ricans make English their national language. For many generations, these people have been speaking Spanish as their national and dialect language (Weiss and Setser, 2019).”The people have no choice rather than do what the US government says; the English language has started being taught in schools. They now have no choice but to recognize English and Spanish as their national languages. These people have the right to conserve their culture and heritage, but it has been taken away from them. An independent Puerto Rico would find ways of promoting, protecting, and preserving its culture and heritage instead of doing away with such.
In conclusion, Puerto Rico should be allowed to be an independent country, as with independence comes endless benefits. The Island has remained in poverty and financial crisis due to its unincorporated. They lack leaders who are accountable for them, who will represent their grievances and mind their welfare and well-being. Puerto Rico needs to be an independent country so that they decide their destiny and fate.
Weiss, A., & Setser, B. (2019). America’s Forgotten Colony: Ending Puerto Rico’s Perpetual Crisis. Foreign Alf, 98, 158.
Blocher, J., & Gulati, M. (2018). Puerto Rico and the Right of Accession. Yale J. Int’l L., 43, 229.
Cruz, M. A. (2014). Dream Nation: Puerto Rican Culture and the Fictions of Independence. Rutgers University Press.
Staudenmaier, M. (2009). Puerto Rican independence movement, 1898–present. International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, 2766-2774.