PUERTO RICO: The 51st State?

Giving in after a dogged resistance, Governor Luis Muñoz Marin last week agreed to a plebiscite on Puerto Rico's future relationship with the U.S. Choices: statehood, independence or continued Commonwealth status.

The concession reversed seven years of continued insistence by Muñoz that the status issue was settled once and for all in 1952 when 81% of the voters endorsed the Commonwealth constitution. As recently as a fortnight ago, Muñoz firmly maintained that statehood and the accompanying obligation to pay federal taxes would be "the ruin" of Puerto Rico.

What changed Muñoz' mind was an upsurge of statehood sentiment after admission to the...

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