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Feds Planted Landmine on Plebiscite Since December (analysis)

(AP Images)

Oscar J. Serrano
20/04/2017 09:02 pm

The accelerated march towards abstention on the plebiscite the 11th of June that is lead by sectors of the  opposition presents stateshooders with the serious challenge of mobilizing to an electoral exercise that, by design, will be completely ignored by the federal government.

The design is clear since at least December 2016, in a document that few read and that at the time the Resident Commissioner misrepresented in a press release.

This is the report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) entitled Political Status of Puerto Rico: Brief background and recent developments for Puerto Rico, published on December 28.

The CRS is the Congressional investigative body and usually issues reports at the request of congressmen who set out the angles around a controversy and that the federal legislative body uses as a basis for their projects and investigations. A CRS report on the 2012 plebiscite served as a basis for Dana Boente's, interim assistant Secretary for the Department of Justice of the United States, to dismiss the results of that exercise and conclude that the results of the plebiscite in favor of statehood did not justify omitting the territorial option from the plebiscite of June 11.

In the 2016 report, CRS concluds that monitoring the island's political status may be relevant to congressmen as long as they are looking at what results the implementation of the PROMESA Law in Puerto Rico has. He reiterates that "if Congress chooses to alter the political status of Puerto Rico, it can do so through legislation." And, more directly pertinent to the statesmen's options for abstention, the report concludes that "the future, if Congress decides to revisit the island's status as a central issue rather than as a contextual one, will depend on whether the results of the 2012 plebiscite and the 2016 elections are interpreted as a massive support for statehood and will depend on whether Congress believes it has an obligation to address additional status to related public policy issues such as PROMISE".

And federal justice has degraded and ruled out the result of the 2012 plebiscite. If governor Ricardo Rossello can not demonstrate in the plebiscite that his victory in 2016 was a sign of "mass support" to statehood, the issue of status Puerto Rico is over  in Congress for the immediate future.

Read report below:

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