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The Nation

Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon, in an address in San Juan at the start of his second term, called for a plebiscite to give Puerto Ricans a choice of three alternatives: statehood, independence or more autonomy by expanding the present commonwealth status, granted in 1952. In a 1967 plebiscite, residents voted for more autonomy within the commonwealth, but it was never granted. The commonwealth agreement confirms Puerto Rico’s exemption from U.S. income taxes and provides for a locally elected governor. But other U.S. laws apply to Puerto Rico. Residents may not vote for President, have no senators and their only congressional representative is a resident commissioner who can vote in committee but not on the floor.


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