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Politics & Public Policy

The Future of Puerto Rican Statehood

Friday, October 6, 2017
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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This forum is canceled. Congressman Gutierrez and Oscar Lopez Riveria will remain in Puerto Rico to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

In January 2017, President Obama commuted the sentence of perhaps the most recognizable Puerto Rican nationalist, Oscar Lopez Rivera. Lopez walked free in May after 35 years in prison for “seditious conspiracy” during his time as a member of the militant group FALN. In those 35 years, much changed in Puerto Rico, but one visible movement remained constant - the independence movement, first from the Spanish Empire and then from the United States.

In a June plebiscite, 97 percent of Puerto Rican voters overwhelmingly voted for statehood. Puerto Rico has held four plebiscites in the past 20 years gauging public sentiment surround independence and statehood. The current government in Puerto Rico is pro-statehood and has adopted “The Tennessee Plan,” modeled after Tennessee’s 1796 expedited path to statehood. What are the challenges and opportunities of both statehood and independence?

Join us as WCPN host Tony Ganzer talks with Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera on the future of Puerto Rico's statehood and independence movements.

Photo credit: Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez

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