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Nation’s dirty little secret — Puerto Rico — longs for its star


Phillip Arroyo guest columns in the Orlando Sentinel about Puerto Rico, and its position, or lack thereof, within the national conversation. Arroyo is a juris-doctor student at Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando, former chairman of the Young Democrats of America Hispanic Caucus and a 2012 White House intern. Arroyo’s conversation is particularly interesting due to his experience as a White House intern, experience highlighted in the piece:

After a substantial number of questions regarding health care, immigration reform and the economy, one student seated at the back of the room raised his hand to ask a question regarding a topic that is hardly ever discussed within the national political dialogue.

“Mr. Vice President, as opposed to my fellow intern colleagues present here today, I will not be able to vote for you in four months …. You see, Mr. Vice President, I am Puerto Rican; and despite Puerto Ricans possessing American citizenship by birth, and thousands of brave Puerto Rican soldiers like my father having served and even died for our nation, many dying as we speak, we are denied equal voting and representation rights under the American flag,” stated the young man.

He would conclude by asking, “Mr. Vice President, do you think we are contradicting ourselves as a nation when we preach freedom and democracy abroad in countries within the Middle East, and yet, to this very day, we maintain 3.7 million American citizens on the island of Puerto Rico under a disenfranchised political status, where they are denied the most basic fundamental rights enshrined in our U.S. Constitution?”

The room became silent.

A good read that will hopefully help spread awareness of the issue of Puerto Rico’s status.