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Puerto Ricans Who Voted On Sunday Overwhelmingly Voted For U.S. Statehood The Other 77 Percent Of Voters Stayed Home

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What the Puerto Rico Statehood Vote Means

Puerto Rico voted to become the 51st state but here's why it probably won't happen.

Posted by AJ+ on Monday, June 12, 2017

Over the weekend, Puerto Ricans took part in a non-binding vote, or plebiscite, to decide the island’s future on one key issue: whether or not to be become the 51st state in the United States of America. It was the second such vote within the last 5 years, with the previous plebiscite on the same issue occurring in 2012. In both instances, people voted in favor of statehood. Both referendums suffered from low turnout.

The 2012 referendum brought in over 800,000 voters, with 54 percent voting for independence. This last round of votes brought in a little over 500,000 — just 23% of the island’s 2.2 million eligible voter population — but this time 97 percent of those who voted chose statehood.

Feelings were mixed and have been on the island about the issue of statehood.

Many are hoping that becoming the 51st state will help turn around the island’s 45% poverty rate and $70 billion debt. Others think the vote was a waste, because the last vote in 2012 ended up with congress not making a determination on the island’s status. Even if the current plebiscite is indeed seen as legitimate, it would still be up to congress to decide whether or not to do anything about it.

The official word on what President Trump and his administration thinks about the vote was given by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Credit: The White House / Youtube

“This matter is something that’s going to be determined now that the people have spoken in Puerto Rico this is something that congress has to address, so the process will have to work it’s way out through congress.”

Texas congressmen Joaquin Castro made his feelings on the matter very clear.

Several congressmen made similar statements on social media.

Marco Rubio didn’t have an opinion one way or the other, but did encourage people on the island to go out and vote on the day of.

He took a bit of a hands-off approach.

However, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, vehemently opposed the vote.

The congressman called the whole plebiscite a farce and released a statement on his website addressing his thoughts. As a son of Puerto Rican migrants himself, he had very strong opinions about the vote. On his website his press release read:

“The supporters of statehood are selling a fantasy that a Latino, Caribbean nation will be admitted as a state during the era of Donald Trump; That states, many of which supported Trump, will accept a Spanish-speaking state that will receive just as many Senators and maybe even more House seats than they currently have; And all of this for an Island the U.S. has made deeply in debt with a sputtering economic engine that leaves Puerto Rico significantly poorer and more dependent than even our poorest states.  I do not point out Puerto Rico’s problems to denigrate my fellow Puerto Ricans, simply to point out the reality that what is being peddled by the supporters of statehood is a fantasy.

Let’s focus on job creation that showcases the talent and creativity of the Puerto Rican people.  That is the path forward towards a brighter economic future, which is the fundamental bedrock on which Puerto Rico survives and thrives and grows, regardless of its political status.

Those who advocate statehood in Puerto Rico will claim that this Sunday’s vote is a referendum on statehood.  That is a fiction, because it’s clear that only one party will participate in the one-sided election and because the U.S. Government has not made any sort of commitment to honor this vote.  So, regardless of how carefully the Statehooders dress it up to look like a legitimate democratic process, the June 11 plebiscite is a farce.”

It seems as if, just like before, folks are undecided left and right as to what to do about this vote. One thing is for certain, statehood won’t happen overnight and Puerto Rico needs help now.


[H/T] Associated Press

READ: The Final Vote To Determine Puerto Rico’s Future Is Coming And Trump’s Administration Wants To Sabotage It


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Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

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Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

badbunnypr / ricardorossello / ricky_martin / Instagram

Governors in the U.S. have tried and failed multiple times to enshrine discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community by passing “religious freedom” bills. At the heart of these bills is the idea that someone’s religion is enough to discriminate against those of different faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Puerto Rico tried to follow the same failed path as Indiana and the backlash was swift and victorious after Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny (Benito Martinez) spoke out against the bill forcing Governor Ricardo Rosselló to backtrack on his bill to discriminate.

In April, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló presented the Puerto Rican House of Representatives a “religious freedom” bill.

Credit: @lgbtpr / Twitter

The bill was months in the making and Gov. Rosselló showed his full support for the bill, House Bill 2069. The bill would have allowed for government employees to openly discriminate against people who went against their religious beliefs.

Ricky Martin spoke up against the measure and called out the Puerto Rican government and their willingness to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above and it encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality,” Martin wrote on his fan website. “It does so under a premise that undermines the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of race, sex or belief, and in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.”

“As a member of the LGBTT community, I join the constituency that affirms that there has never been a willingness among our LGBTT people to allow for the validation or legalization of discrimination against us.”

“House Bill 2069, filed at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and promoted by Representative Charbonier, achieve nothing more than opening the doors to hatred towards anyone who doesn’t share the same ideology, who simply belong to the LGBTT community, or who don’t  have the same color skin, amidst many other discriminatory measures.”

“Authentic religious freedom calls for respecting everyone equally.”

Bad Bunny also used his platform to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Rico.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“While we ‘bad guys’ do out to unite people and try to send a message of respect and tolerance, the leaders of my country work to do the opposite,” he wrote on Instagram. “We cannot take steps backwards, NEVER! @ricardorossello you make excellent coffee, I know that you can also make an excellent decision.”

Calle 13’s Residente joined his Puerto Rican peers to call out the Puerto Rican government’s wishes to strip LGBTQ+ people of their humanity with the law.

These calls against the action came during Pride month when the U.S. is supposed to be celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, which still faces discrimination and violence.

After the outcry, Gov. Rosselló reversed his support for the bill and ordered the Puerto Rican House of Representatives to shelf the bill.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“WE WON! The recent years, Western countries have made significant advances in guaranteeing equal right for the LGBTT community,” Martin tweeted.

Martin celebrated the decision by educating his followers about what the measure would mean for the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“These advances were threatened recently in Puerto Rico, where the House fo Representatives passed legislation that endangered the progress won in the last decade and risked feeding the division, prejudice, and tensions between the communities.”

He did not sugar coat the true meaning behind the legislation.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“By granting government employees the power to act in accordance with their religious convictions, personal values, and principles, this regressive legislation would have sanctioned the practice of institutional discrimination on the part of those who committed themselves to a life in public service.”

Congratulations, Ricky!

Credit: ricky_martin / Instagram

It just goes to show that enough public outcry can make politicians listen to the majority instead of the vocal minority.

READ: After Delay Caused By Border Wall And Trump’s Feud with Puerto Rico, Congress Finally Passes $19.1 Billion Disaster Aid Package

Here’s How A Goth Makeup Company Is Helping Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Economy After Hurricane Maria

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Here’s How A Goth Makeup Company Is Helping Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Economy After Hurricane Maria

necromancycosmetica / Instagram

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, businesses all over the island were devastated by the destruction. Some were able to reopen months, to a year later, while others had to close for good. While more established businesses such as resorts and restaurants had backing to get back on their feet, it was the independent companies that struggled to reopen. Necromancy Cosmetica, however, is thriving after resuming business as usual.

Puerto Rico-based Necromancy Cosmetica a gothic makeup company was closed for four months after Hurricane Maria.

Instagram/@necromancycosmetica

In an interview with Remezcla, Necromancy Cosmetica owners Desiree Rodríguez and Salvador Pérez talked about their joint venture which has a large social media following. The couple launched the brand four years ago but they said they almost had to shut down their store after the hurricane.

“The store was full of mold. It was total chaos,” Rodríguez told the publication. She adds that they had “like two free days. We got to work before we even knew how our families were doing. My family is from the west side of the island, and I didn’t hear from them for almost three weeks.”

The couple said that they had help locally, and abroad during the rebuilding process. They were able to sell their product online while they continued to work on reopening.

Instagram/@hex_des

Like many local businesses after the hurricane, Necromancy Cosmetica has survived because of loyal and proud Puerto Rican customers. While many people might think of colorful and tropical scenes when they think of Puerto Rico but the goth community needs representation. Just because you live on an island doesn’t mean you will look like you live on an island.

Puerto Rico’s economy is struggling as the island continues to recover from a storm that devastated everything and everyone. As the Puerto Rican economy tries to build up, it is the local stores like Necromancy Cosmetica that are giving the island the support it needs. The company might not be donating money to the recovery effort but pumping their money into the local economy creating a stream of tax revenue that the government relies on.

The owners take pride that their makeup line is vegan and cruelty-free.

Instagram/@necromancycosmetica

If you need more reason to check out the company, how about their stance for animals?

“These and all other Necromancy Cosmetica brand lipsticks are made with 100% vegan materials that have never been tested on animals, that means you can rest easy knowing that your wicked lips will always be on the up-and-up if you decide to join the Necromancy cult,” reads the Necromancy Cosmetica website. “Des and Zal work hard from their crypt in Puerto Rico to fulfill all the orders themselves and have high hopes for their independently owned, produced, and distributed non-liquid lipsticks. So take a look at their witchy works and get inspired.”

Necromancy Cosmetica is located at 59 Calle Arzuaga Local #3 Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Click here for more information on the products.

READ: Here Are 13 Latino Innovators That Prove Latinos Can Do Anything They Put Their Minds To

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