By Josué E. Rivera / November 30, 2009
Former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain was born in a civilian Panamanian hospital in Colón, Panama, just outside the Panama Canal Zone. The son of American parents, he acquired American citizenship at birth but could have also claimed Panamanian citizenship, since he was born on Panamanian soil. He was nevertheless considered a“Zonian”. Those born in the Canal Zone were granted U.S. citizenship by an act of Congress, just like all Puerto Ricans born in the island after 1917.
Senator John McCain ran for President, and although the issue of birth was forced into the discussion, it never went very far. American citizens residing in Puerto Rico are natural born US citizens, and contrary to McCain, could not claim any other citizenship, and there is no reason why we can’t run for President other than the selfish and bad faith attitude of those that don’t dare to expand their horizons.
Governor Fortuño has been in office for only 11 months and he has had to work under the burden of a 55 year-old political system created to keep the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico separated from the mainstream of the continental United States. After 400 years of Spanish colonial subjugation, and over 100 years of manipulation by Congress and corporate America, we deserve much more. All the negative statistics mentioned by others are a reflection of what the colonial Commonwealth has to offer.
The pro-commonwealth or pro-colonial party spent the last eight years in government spending billions of dollars with nothing to show for it. Governor Fortuño now faces the difficult task of fixing that particular mess. The time has arrived for all Americans in Puerto Rico to evaluate the past, judge the present, and look to the future. We must decide where we want to go. STATEHOOD is the best alternative and Governor Fortuño is a great candidate for President or Vice President of the United States, if he were to run.
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