The GAO, General Accounting Office, of the United States Federal Government just released its report on the cost for the Federal Government of granting Federal Statehood to the nation of Puerto Rico, subordinated as she is,since 1898, to the will and whims of The United States Congress under the territorial clause of the Federal Constitution.
Unfortunately, but as expected, this report limits itself to the cost of extending to Puerto Rico the full implementation of various, but not all, of the welfare programs sponsored by the Federal Government. Other historical, linguistic, sociological, religious and otherwise transcendental consideration and facts are not taken into account. Let's talk about them, but first, considering just the financial cost of PR Statehood to the USA Treasury, we may highlight that:
Statehood for PR will bring, in the short run: more welfare and less jobs, with many USA companies leaving Puerto Rico, and may we add, the United States as well. Thus Statehood may turn Puerto Rico into a magnet for poor Hispanics in the USA who want/need to live on welfare, but also want to enjoy the benefits of a Spanish speaking society and tropical weather; while many professional and working people in general would be force to leave PR in search of jobs.
Under the present status quo most of the taxes paid in Puerto Rico go to the "State", Government, while under Statehood they will go to the federal Government. How then in hell would the state Government of Puerto Rico pay the service on its debt, which is staggering and bound to grow over the next few years?
Thus, Statehood would turn Puerto Rico, instantaneously, into a bankrupt welfare paradise State where the Federal Government and the Continental States would be strongly tempted to throw (dump) their welfare bound poors, primarily those of Hispanic descent. How convenient to them. How terrible for us, in Puerto Rico.
What Puerto Rico needs from Washington is not more welfare but more sovereignty to deal with its own problems in ways that do apply to Puerto Rico; without the destructive influence of Washington know-it-all: ignorants of the social, historical and economic reality of Puerto Rico. So-called experts that in their imperialistic arrogance insist on implementing in PR solutions made for the USA continental reality and the ghettos there in, not for the society,nation and realty of Puerto Rico.
The present situation in Puerto Rico is difficult, but more welfare will only makes matters worse. Even more, the real experts on Puerto Rico are not in Washington, but in Puerto Rico. Thus in PR what we really need is not more welfare or interference from Washington, but less. We need them to transfers to Puerto Rico the Sovereign rights and competences we need to design, develop and implement our own solutions to our own particular problems.
The transfer of Sovereign Rights to the nation of Puerto Rico can come in two ways. The sensible one would be to design and implement, in coordination with the authorities and experts in Puerto Rico, a step by step plan that will first transfer certain sovereign rights and competences to PR while removing the applicability in PR of a given set of Federal laws. The people of Puerto Rico will then have a grace period to implement new solutions based on this new reality. After that period, the federal transfers to PR would decrease a certain, predetermined amount or percentage; and a new set of Sovereign competencies would be transfer to PR, followed by another grace period. This cycle should be repeated as many times as needed.
This way in 10 to 20 years Puerto Rico would become a Free and Sovereign State. A successful, Independent Nation-State with strong ties to the USA. Both nations will benefit from this process. At the end of it the monetary transfers from the United States to Puerto Rico would be negligible, and the bonds of friendship and cooperation between both Sovereign Nations will be stronger than ever. The USA would have earned the respect of a New Democratic and Influential Member of the Latin American community of nations. An ally worth gold in the upcoming years when USA supremacy in the world would be a thing of the past.
The other way to transfer sovereignty to PR would be for the USA to relinquish its National Sovereignty over Puerto Rico in a sudden and final act (of Congress), effectively kicking Puerto Rico out off and disconnecting PR from the Union. This will create a very difficult situation in PR, for many institutions needed for PR to function as a Free State has not develop completely, due to the present imperial>colonial relationship between the USA and Puerto Rico.
Furthermore under the havoc of sudden Independence, many Puerto Ricans (all of whom are American Citizens by right of birth) will relocate to the United States within a very short period of time, probably less than a years after the arrival of the new Independent political reality.
The new Puerto Rico, With a much lower population (probably around 2 million people), will have no option but to renegotiate the service to its national debt of about 70 billions, mainly with USA based financial institutions, thus affecting their liquidity as well. A special period will have to be implemented where the salaries in Puerto Rico would have to be substantially lowered, perhaps to 70 to 50 percent of the minimum wage in the United States. Inevitably, Puerto Rico will have to seek new political Allies, the natural ones being her Caribbean Basin neighbors, primarily Cuba, Santo Domingo, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela. And among them, must likely than not, Cuba will come first for the friendship and loyalty between us have remain strong even if we are at polar opposites in the politico-ideological spectrum. The Dominican Republic is our next door brother/neighbor nation, Panama is vital for the importance of the Panama canal for commerce, Colombia and Venezuela for oil gas and energy would be essential. All in all, the cooperation and assistance of all of them would be needed and strongly requested.
Thus, the dream of a Caribbean Federation, advanced by Eugenio Maria de Hostos in the 19th Century, would become more than an alternative an imperative need of a suddenly free and Sovereign Puerto Rico. Also major World Powers like China, Europe/Germany, and Russia, may then consider Puerto Rico as a viable alternative to establish a territorial footing in the middle of the Americas, not by turning Puerto Rico into a new colony, but by establishing close partnerships, in all possible fronts, with the Government of Puerto Rico.
Thus, a sudden expulsion of Puerto Rico from the United States will result in a terrible crisis for Puerto Rico that will reshape Puerto Rico into an alien Caribbean nation, closely associated with other world powers and willing to push a Caribbean and Latin America political, economical and sociological agenda, separate, independent, and antagonist to the United States.
Federal Statehood within the USA, as previously said, will result in a welfare state, ideal place to dump USA poors, mainly of Hispanic descent. Yet on that environment the Spiritual, collective, entity known as the Nation of Puerto Rico, will continue to grow and develop, once again in opposition to the Federal System that would be inevitable bound to limit her development and growth.
Eventually, this nationalistic spirit, harbor and nurtured in Puerto Rico will inevitably spread, as a virus, to other states of the Union, fomenting the development of similar movements, collective, national spirits, in other States.
Short of nuking out PR, There is very little the Federal Government would be able to do to stop this development. Sure they could try a billions things, but once The Nation of Puerto Rico is accepted as a State of the Union, the replication of the Puerto Rican National Spirit in other States of the Union would be inevitable. Like a virus this sentiment and conviction will spread and as a result of it, the Union will either change of explode.
On the positive side The Union may develop into a Federation of Sovereign Nation States where each State will have the natural national right to legally foster and protect its own NATIONALITY, up to, if necessary, seceding from the Union. Secession in other words will become a natural, legally accepted and codified right of each and every state; and the Federal Constitution would be amended to recognize and regulate the exercise of that right.
Under this new Federational model the final sovereignty and authority upon a given State will not be in Washington or in the Federal Court, but on the free will of the residents/nationals of that State express in a referendum. If for example, they decide (in a properly conducted referendum) that a given federal law will not apply in their State, then that would be the final decision on the subject. No court of appeal, no higher authority will ever be set above the free will of the residents of a given State freely expressed in a referendum. The most the federal Government would be able to do under such circumstances would be to expel the State from the Union, and this in accord with the new process of expulsion that must be set out set in the new Federal Constitution and approved by all the States of the Union.
If the residents of a given state were to decide to leave the Union altogether, then, they would have to follow a given process set out in the New Constitution of the Federation. A sensible way to formalize and ratify the will of the people would be the celebration of two consecutive referendums set apart by a predetermined period of time, (lets say two years) where the Secessionist option would have to be ratify by more than 55 percent of the voters of the State as certified by the State electoral authorities. Only those voters who are nationals of that State (as recognized by international law) would be allowed to vote. This would be done to prevent the federal Government, having lost the 1st referendum, from flooding the State with residents from other States, to dilute and nullify the free will of the people.
These changes and many more will be push by Puerto Rico, if it were to become a Federal State. Eventually, the Federal Constitution will have to change to accommodate the will for change that THE SECESSIONIST STATE of Puerto Rico will bring into the Union. That WILL FOR CHANGE will force the Union to change or explode in the process.
Part of me would like to be optimistic and envision a new United States where true sovereignty would be bound to the will of the people at the state level. Where each and every State will be truly Sovereign, and where each and every nation, a sociological collective entity, existing or emerging inside the Union will have the space to grow, mature and obtain the natural sovereignty it needs to exist. Where my nation of Puerto Rico will have the room, space and sovereignty to grow, mature and fulfill her own destiny. Yet, pardon me if most of me is not that optimistic.
I do believe that if Puerto Rico were to become a Federal State of the Union, the Collective Entity known as the Nation of Puerto Rico will enter into a battle with the Collective Entity known as the Federal Government, Washington, or Uncle Sam, each one trying to overcome the other. Eventually only one will survive. The Nation of Puerto Rico will end up leaving the Union, or, most likely be officially expelled from it, and the Union will have to remake itself under a new historical and ideological reality.
That's why I am opposed to Statehood. It is bad for Puerto Rico and bad for the Union. A move toward Political Sovereignty for Puerto Rico, on the other hand, would only benefit the Union if it is done thru a step by step process that takes into account and balance out the needs of the Union and the needs of Puerto Rico. Otherwise, if Puerto Rico is just declared independent, with no plan or transition worth mentioning, then PR will go thru a difficult and painful transition that (1) will send over a million Puerto Rico born US Citizens to the mainland in a very short period of time, (2) will foster an anti-American sentiment in PR that will move Puerto Rico to seek the formation of a Caribbean Union antagonistic to the United States and finally, (3) will open the door for other world power, most likely China, Russia or Europe/Germany to establish close relations with Puerto Rico, opening a door for them into what the United States has always consider its backyard: the Caribbean Basin.
So, Uncle Sam, if you would be humble and wise, please, make your decision on the destiny of Puerto Rico based on what is best for the Union, your own national interests, and Puerto Rico. Choose to move Puerto Rico toward national sovereignty thru a careful, step by step process. Officially discard Statehood as an option for Puerto Rico. PR is a nation, a transcendental nation, and to incorporate a transcendental nation into a federational yet so-called indivisible, nation, like the United States, would only guaranteed a permanent conflict leading to the eventual dissolution of the Union .
To put it graphically, and pardon me if I sound crude: PR is a big, sharp, pointed, living, growing diamond covered with milk chocolate. You might be tempted to swallow it, but if you do, it will eventually find its way out; remaining a sharp, pointed, living, growing diamond. Rain will wash away any blood and feces that may have stuck to us; While you, dear uncle Sam: will be left behind to deal with the inner bleeding, bacterial and viral infections that would came as a result of your arrogant imperial appetite. If it comes down to that don't blame us, for it. You have been warned: Don't swallow us.
As a transcendental nation having a transcendental purpose to fulfill we will survive and come out to fulfill that transcendental purpose. If you try to stand in the middle and oppose our destiny as a free and sovereign nation, forces much greater than you (some of which you are fully aware of) will simply push you aside. Paraphrasing a former PR Governor: Don't push us, uncle Sam, don't push us. Deep inside you, at the most secret level of your national security institutions, you do have an idea of what you will be pushing against, but believe you me, the one behind us is even greater than that, much, much greater. God's Will, will be done. May He bless and guide you in your decision making process. Amen.