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Sun Jul 19, 2020, 04:31 AM

Can the Federal Government Sell Puerto Rico?

The New York Times published a claim last weekend that has resurfaced with some frequency over the years, drawing outrage each time: the notion that the U.S. has the power to sell Puerto Rico or otherwise “divest” its most populous territory, home to over three million U.S. citizens.

New York Councilman and congressional candidate Ritchie Torres responded with an op-ed piece, in the New York Daily News, reviving a popular Puerto Rican slogan from the past: “Puerto Rico Is Not for Sale.”

“How can the United States claim to be fully democratic when it openly denies equal representation to 3 million people who are citizens according to its own laws?” Torres asked. “There are two alternatives to the status quo of colonialism: independence and statehood. I am squarely on the side of statehood. Puerto Ricans are and have long been American citizens. Instead of depriving them of citizenship entirely, make Puerto Ricans equal under the law.”

Equal under the law

Torres points to the reality underlying the comments: the federal government does indeed have the legal right to “dispose of” Puerto Rico. As at least one commenter has pointed out, this is a problem because it’s true, not because the president mentioned it.

Read more: https://www.puertoricoreport.com/can-the-federal-government-sell-puerto-rico/#.XxQD0uHPzIU

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Reply Can the Federal Government Sell Puerto Rico? (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jul 2020 OP
mr_lebowski Jul 2020 #1
thucythucy Jul 2020 #2
no_hypocrisy Jul 2020 #3

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2020, 05:08 AM

1. I have a feeling this isn't true ...

Pretty sure Trump would've already sold it to Putin for $3.50 and a box of underage pronz vhs tapes.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2020, 10:06 AM

2. I don't think it's constitutionally possible to sell

land inhabited by American citizens to any foreign government.

If nothing else it would violate the due process clause of the 14th amendment.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2020, 10:12 AM

3. I've understood the federal government only had three options re. Puerto Rico:

1) Maintain its status as a territory, or
2) Make it a legitimate state of the United States (e.g., taxation, suffrage, congressional representation), or
3) Relinquish all claims to the country and let it be independent and autonomous.

I don't see the federal government having the right to "sell" land it doesn't own. We're simply occupying it, possessing it. We don't necessarily own it.

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