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Pierluisi won Puerto Rico's election with 33% of the vote. Photo; Gettyimages
Pierluisi won Puerto Rico's election with 33% of the vote. Photo; Gettyimages

Will Puerto Rico finally become the 51st State? Pedro Pierluisi thinks so

The new governor of Puerto Rico has made it his mission to put trust first in his administration.

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Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s 12th elected Governor, was recently sworn into office on Jan. 2, 2020. 

He won the Nov. 3 contest by capturing only 33% of votes.

Pierluisi, who is a Democrat, was previously the island’s Attorney General, and a representative in Congress for eight years. 

As part of his campaign, he promised Puerto Ricans that he can make the island the 51st State of the U.S. 

"I have listened to our people and acknowledged the needs for better governance," he expressed on Jan. 2, "I need everyone to battle our common enemies."Statehood was also on the ballot, and over 52% of Puerto Ricans expressed that the island should be added to the union by Congress.

It was the sixth time Puerto Rico has put the question on the ballot. 

Voters rejected the idea in 1967,1993, and 1998.

Although the island is in critical condition, many residents believe that if Puerto Rico does become a state, its economic crisis will subside and the island can have more democratic freedom.

In an interview with PBS, Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner spoke about the uncertainty that lies in the whole debate. 

“First of all, statehood is not going to be a magic wand to resolve all problems, but it will provide opportunities,” she said.

Puerto Rico is still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that occurred in 2017, and the island was struggling with financial hardships before the tragic hurricane took the lives of more than 2,975 residents.

Pierluisi has a lot of cleaning up to do in regards to the economic crisis, COVID-19, and consistent crime that has been filling up the streets of Puerto Rico. 

But he is making his mission to gain the trust of the Puerto Rican community.

“The people have made a clear statement and we are obliged to listen,” Pierluisi said in a statement to Bloomberg, “Statehood is just, dignified and possible.”

Past Governors of Puerto Rico have had an infamous reputation. 

Pierluisi’s predecessor, Wanda Vasquez, endorsed President Donald Trump for the 2020 presidential campaign on Oct. 6, 2020. There was also an investigation against her for alleged abuse of power as well as obstruction of justice claims.

Before Vasquez, there was Ricardo Roselló, who resigned when he came under fire when some of his chat messages were leaked to the public. 

In those conversations, he expressed vulgar, misogynistic, and homophobic remarks. The messages were sent in December 2018 and January 2019 to his top 11 aides as well as multiple cabinet members. 

The scandal led to endless days and nights of protest by the Puerto Rican people and Roselló finally stepped down in July 2020.

Given the cards that Pierluisi has been given, there is still hope for Puerto Rico’s request to make their island an official state of the U.S.

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