Archive for November, 2015

Ben Carson habla en la convención Rosselló

November 8, 2015

Carson says he will advocate for statehood for the island

November 8, 2015

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson traveled to Puerto Rico on Sunday to support the U.S. territory becoming the 51st state, saying that would strengthen the United States.

Carson attended a political rally of statehood supporters and pledged to advocate for statehood for the island.

He said Puerto Rico has done much to justify becoming a state, pointing to its century-long association with the United States and the participation of its residents in fighting U.S. wars.

“We probably have more patriotic Puerto Ricans than almost any other state. Look at all the contributions that have been made to America. So you know you have already paid your dues. When you look at all the other territories that became states, very few of them have met all of the requirements that Puerto Rico has. So there is really no reason that we should not be doing this,” Carson said.

He said the current financial problems of Puerto Rico’s government, which is trying to refinance $72 billion in public debt and spark an economy that has been in a slump for nearly a decade, is no reason to deny statehood.

“Puerto Rico’s current debt problems are the result of it being treated unfairly as a territory and the situation would improve once the island wins equal treatment under statehood,” he said

“The last two states, Hawaii and Alaska, also had a significant problem financially until they became states – then things took off and that will happen here as well,” Carson added.

His one-day trip to Puerto Rico follows visits to the island by fellow Republican candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
and Jeb Bush, who have also expressed support for statehood.

In four nonbinding referendums on the island’s status held over the past half century, the idea of statehood has never won a clear majority from Puerto Rican voters. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but those living on the island do not owe federal income taxes, paying only Social Security and Medicare taxes to the federal government. Their one member in Congress doesn’t have a vote.

Ben Carson Is Endorsing Statehood For Puerto Rico Tomorrow On The Island

November 7, 2015

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Ben Carson Is Endorsing Statehood For Puerto Rico Tomorrow On The Island

Carson is taking a stand on the divisive issue in Puerto Rico Sunday during an event with a gubernatorial candidate for the pro-statehood party.

Adrian Carrasquillo
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Ben Carson will endorse statehood for Puerto Rico tomorrow at an event with Ricky Rosello, a gubernatorial candidate for the pro-statehood party on the island, according to a source close to Rosello’s campaign.

The source said the condition for Carson speaking at the event was that he come out for statehood. A request for comment from Carson’s campaign on the endorsement was not immediately returned.

The issue of statehood for Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States, does not neatly breakdown along traditional Democrat and Republican lines on the island, which is also dealing with a financial and health care crisis.
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have previously said they support statehood if Puerto Ricans vote for it. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have endorsed bankruptcy protections for the island, but Rubio does not.

While Puerto Ricans can’t vote in the general election, 23 delegates will be awarded on the March 13 primary. Presidential candidates also use the island’s politics to signal to Puerto Ricans in the U.S., particularly in Florida where they are a fast-growing group, that they care about issues that matter to them.

Carson’s support of statehood comes a week before 13 Republican candidates are set to appear at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, where much of the Puerto Rican population growth is concentrated.

Clinton and the Obama administration have said they support bankruptcy protections and fiscal oversight that come short of a federal bailout. In senate testimony on October 22, Treasury counselor Antonio Weiss said Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis is escalating. “Without federal action it could easily become a humanitarian crisis as well,” he said.
Rossello, who is hosting the event Carson will attend, is a professor at the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico running against the incumbent Alejandro Garcia Padilla, and has proposed a plan counter to the Obama administration. Writing in Forbes, he said he wants to dismantle the current government system, implement free market reforms and create an “independent mechanism” to manage the debt, a collaboration between Puerto Rico and the federal government.

Adrian Carrasquillo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.