Peter Lee Published on 05 November 2012
Category: English in the News
Puerto Rican voters will once again ponder the decades-old question over the island's political future when they go to the polls Tuesday: What kind of relationship do they really want with the United States?
Do they support the status quo? Or would they prefer statehood, independence or "sovereign free association," a designation that would give the island of nearly 4 million people more autonomy?
Puerto Rico reported a record 1,117 killings last year, and its 13.6 percent unemployment is higher than that of any U.S. state.
Both President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have said they support the referendum, with Obama saying he'll respect the people's will if there is a clear majority.
"We don't want to continue being a colony. We want the full rights that we're entitled to as American citizens," said Thomas Rivera Schatz, president of the territory's local Senate. "Because we're a colony, we have the misfortune of being first (in line) for federal cuts and last in line for handouts."
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