Political Status of Puerto Rico

The current political status of Puerto Rico is the result of various political activities within both the United States and Puerto Rican governments. Politically, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States which according to the U.S. Supreme Court's Insular Cases is "a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States." The basic question regarding this issue is whether Puerto Rico should remain a U.S. territory, become a U.S. state or become an independent country.

American and Puerto Rican political activities regarding the status question have revolved around three sets of initiatives: presidential executive orders, bills in the U. S. Congress, and referenda held in Puerto Rico. U. S. Presidents have issued three executive orders on the subject, and Congress has considered some four major bills related to the Puerto Rico political status question. Puerto Rican status referenda have been held four times to determine the desired political status of Puerto Rico in relation to the United States of America. At the November 6, 2012, non-binding referendum on the status question, 54% of respondents voted to reject the current status under the territorial clause of the U.S. Constitution, while in a second question 61% favored statehood as the preferred alternative.

In 2006, and again in 2009 and 2011, The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization called for the United States to expedite the process to allow self-determination in Puerto Rico. Internationally, the people of Puerto Rico are often considered to be a Caribbean nation with their own national identity.

Read more about Political Status Of Puerto Rico:  Background, Status Questions, United Nations Classification, Position of US Political Parties, Controversies, Stateside Puerto Ricans and Status, U.S. Public Opinion On The Status of Puerto Rico, See Also, Additional Reading

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