Senator: Puerto Rico has two choices
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- (AP) -- Just 23 days before Puerto Ricans vote
the island's political future, Sen. Robert Torricelli said Friday that Puerto Rico must
ultimately choose between statehood or independence.
The question is not whether Congress will approve statehood but whether
allow the current commonwealth status to continue, Torricelli said at a press
conference with Gov. Pedro Rossello and the mayor of Perth Amboy, N.J.,
Joseph Vas, who was born in Puerto Rico and has family here.
The Democratic senator from New Jersey said the beginning of the end for
commonwealth status was the elimination in 1996 of a key federal tax break for
U.S. corporations with operations in Puerto Rico.
Most members of Congress and many Puerto Ricans consider Puerto Rico a
colony, but commonwealth supporters on the island say the relationship with the
United States should be improved, not scrapped.
On Dec. 13, voters will choose between four status definitions that describe
statehood, independence, free association and the current commonwealth status.
The political party supporting commonwealth has urged its followers to vote ``none
of the above'' to protest Congress' definition of commonwealth.