Thursday, April 3, 2014

Should Puerto Rico Consider Joining The Russian Federation?

Ralph Benko

Puerto Rico’s biggest problem in dealing with Washington is of the same nature as that increasingly shared by too many Americans. We citizens much too often find ourselves in the position of supplicants to Washington rather than, at minimum, as dignified peers. Might there be a way to change this?

Puerto Rico is in the terribly awkward position of territorial status. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. Yet they are not entitled to vote for president. They have a “resident commissioner” to, not a full Member of, Congress. They have no Senators.

Some prominent Puerto Rican leaders are advocating recognition of Puerto Rico as America’s 51st State, with full dignity. Congress recently appropriated, and President Obama approved, $2.5 million to fund a referendum by Puerto Rico on whether its people wish for statehood.

There is something out there that really would snap Puerto Rico out of supplicant status and command Washington’s attention. It might actively consider affiliation with a sovereign entity other than the United States.

Such as Russia.

If the leaders of the Puerto Rican statehood movement reallywanted to galvanize America into making Puerto Rico the 51st state they could seek a dialogue with Vladimir Putin. Might Mother Russia, currently in an expansive mood, welcome Puerto Rico as its 86th political division. (Let us leave it to the Puerto Ricans whether they would prefer the status of oblast, republic, krais, autonomous oblast, or autonomous okrug.)

Imagine, if you will, the look on secretary of state John Kerry’s face one fine morning upon learning of a Puerto Rican delegation meeting with Vladimir Putin to open a conversation — just an inquiry, mind you — about whether Russia might wish to offer Puerto Rico statehood.

Should Puerto Rico Consider Joining The Russian Federation?: