I won’t swear any loyalty to the USA’s Republic and flag. I suspect these words should be of the several Puerto Ricans who are living on the island. These people wish, and one day their country or island will free itself and become independent from the US settlement. Puerto Rico has been under the US command and control for the past 92 years, and according to historians, it is the last country in South America (Latin America) under the US domination (Acosta-Belén and Carlos Enrique Santiago). The people of that country want to get rid of the US control, and they want to right to vote for their government and president. They want their currency and identity. They want to raise their flag on every building. They want to feel the taste of being getting independent instead of being termed and called as a commonwealth state. High and mighty nations and countries should not deny the right to smaller nations for their vested interests. In fact, the strong nations should help the developing nations to become independent.
There are several advantages of being democratic and independent. The one major benefit is that the citizens should be able to choose their command in chief. But in the case of Puerto Rico, the people cannot vote to elect their leader because it is a US commonwealth state, the Puerto Ricans can’t vote for their president. In this view, despondency and disappointment are rampant within the Puerto Rico’s youth (who are mostly recruited and send off to fight US wars in several parts of the world). If declared independent, they can elect their leader, members of the assembly/cabinet and governors. These elected leaders will decide the fate of the island but now, instructions from Washington are considered as final, and no one can challenge them (Acosta-Belén and Carlos Enrique Santiago). This is the reason the movement to gain independence is gaining moment in this small island, and it might be possible it can turn into a massive and violent movement in the future which could be disastrous to tarnish the US image towards the outer world.
As the struggle is gaining momentum, it has a bad impact on the ability of the Puerto Ricans to export to other countries and carry out the trade. Being under US dominant, the US authorities keep a tight eye on the states with which they do business. If given independence, Puerto Rico will be able to broaden its economy and enhance its business capacity to a greater extent. It will also enable them to broaden its export market and reduce financial dependency. According to Eric Negron, the independence party’s tax advisor, “Puerto Rico has been blessed with many resources, and if it becomes an independent state, Puerto Rico will gain strength, and it can be a breeding ground for foreign investors” (Duany). Being a dominant state, it can’t reap the benefits from its existing resources and Puerto Rico will never become economically independent. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the Puerto Ricans that they should be granted the right to vote and freedom.
The heritage and culture are the pride of nations across the world as it serves as the backbone of each in the society. The history of the nation is reflected in the language just like the DNA of the people. Puerto Rico could face the danger of losing the national language as serves as a commonwealth. Since the discovery by Spanish conquistadors in 1492, the national language of the island has been Spanish. Although there are concerns of the United States that are influencing Puerto Rico to change the language to English or in another way make both English and Spanish as the national languages. This approach has been adopted by many schools in the island where both languages are taught.
It is seen that there are some benefits for those who are born in Puerto Rico as many of my fellows showed satisfaction from being the commonwealth. An important benefit that they enjoy is the right to the citizenship of America upon birth. Puerto Recons born on the island are regarded as the American citizens and possess freedom of entrance to the mainland of America (Duany). The status of Puerto Rico as a commonwealth will bring advantages to the coming generations. The people of this island have been exempted from paying federal taxes and also enjoy the aid given by the United States.
Considering the benefits that Puerto Rico received from America remained helpful the island in attaining development and growth that it holds today. Apart from all these perks, the island pays a costly price of it by attaching the words like “commonwealth” and “territory” with it. The heritage that a nation holds is important to its people, and no nation is the ready compromise it merely for financial aid and tax exemptions. Rather, Puerto Rico should retain the independence and run its operation by conducting economic trade with other countries. This independence would help it to stay connected to its heritage such keep Spanish as the main language for its people and involve in the government matters for the benefits of its people. Although, Puerto Rican is enjoying many perks still it needs to take steps to stand by the culture, roots, and independence. They should develop such situations so that importance is given to the voice of the people living on the island and making Puerto Rico a free, independent nation.
Acosta-Belén, Edna, and Carlos Enrique Santiago. Puerto Ricans in the United States: A contemporary portrait. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006.
Duany, Jorge. The Puerto Rican nation on the move: Identities on the island and in the United States. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2003.