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Greensboro News & Record


Letter to the Editor

April 8, 1999
©Copyright 1999 Greensboro News & Record

Being a Puerto Rican, I took interest in your April 5 editorial about statehood for Puerto Rico. Your editorial left many issues untouched, as this is certainly a more complex problem than you indicate.

You stated that Puerto Ricans rejected statehood in the last referendum, but you failed to mention that the island is about 50 percent pro-statehood. Independence has never been an option, as it is supported by only about 3 to 4 percent of the voting public.

You're right when you say we don't pay federal taxes, but we do pay a very high "state tax." And all goods entering the island are taxed at 6.6 percent, a cost that is then passed on to consumers.

As usual, statehood opponents stress the one-sidedness of the social benefits package. You again failed to mention the use of low-paid, educated workers who reap billions in profits for U.S. companies.

Isn't it ironic that we cannot vote for president or have a full voting member in Congress, but our young men and women are an integral part of the U.S. Army? My father was one of the few survivors of the 65th infantry in the Korean War.

He did not fight for Puerto Rico. He fought as a U.S. army officer, as many Puerto Ricans did in the Vietnam and now in Kosovo.

A bad idea? Take a look at the whole picture. Language difference, yes. Cultural differences, yes. But then again, wasn't this true in Hawaii and Alaska?

Raymond Natal, Greensboro, NC

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