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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Aponte Hernández presses Manchin to prioritize PR status issue

Rep. José Aponte Hernández

By The Star Staff

Rep. José Aponte Hernández sent a letter Thursday morning to the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. Senate, Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), in which he asks the senator to give priority to solving the problem of Puerto Rico’s political status.

“Puerto Rico is the oldest colony in the world. A fact that has prevented U.S. citizens living on the island from achieving sustainable economic and social growth, due to the lack of political power,” Aponte said in a written statement. “Resolving the issue of the political relationship between Puerto Rico and our nation, the United States, is paramount and should be at the forefront of his agenda as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.”

“The main problem of Puerto Rico’s economy is uncertainty about our political status and future,” added the pro-statehood leader and former speaker of the island House of Representatives. “Investors are nervous about our political path and rightly so. The current political status is a ‘limbo’ for investors. It is full of bureaucratic procedures and the impossibility of changing its fiscal and economic structure to attract national and international companies to our shores.”

Aponte noted further that “because of our colonial status, we cannot move forward on the economic front.”

“In addition, because of this limbo, we do not have full access to the entire field of federal economic aid that could be used to revive the economy, as it was in several territories that became a state and more recently in cities such as Detroit, Michigan,” the at-large legislator said. “U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico deserve much more than having our economy destroyed because of congressional inaction. That is where the problem lies and the solution is in Washington’s hands.”

“That is why I urge that resolving the status of the world’s oldest colony, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, is a pressing issue for the prestigious Committee you chair, as well as for this Congress,” Aponte concluded in his letter.

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