From: "John W." [Email him]
Having spent some time in Puerto Rico, I can wholeheartedly agree it needs its independence.
The US kept Puerto Rico in order to protect the Panama Canal. Thanks to Jimmy Carter, that is no longer an important feature, not to mention that Puerto Rico successfully shut down US Navy activities on Vieques, making it even more irrelevant.
If you drive around Puerto Rico, you will find much of it looks like the US, or perhaps how California will look in 20 years—all signage is in Spanish, although the general style is USA. The other salient feature is that only Puerto Rico flags are flown—I can count on one hand the number of US flags I have seen there.
The only people I met that could speak English well grew up in NYC. My overall impression is that they want to have their cake and eat it too, i.e. be independent and get mucho dinero de Estados Unidos.
I basically like the people of Puerto Rico and neighboring Dominican Republic—they have much of the open friendliness of the original easygoing Tainos and less of the arrogance I have experienced from the Spanish or even Mexicans. I suspect w/o US aid, Puerto Rico would look just like the Dominican Republic.
For any naive "pinche gringo" who thinks this is a good idea, I have two words: Luis Gutierrez. Letting Puerto Rico into the US is like adding Turkey to the EU—a demographic disaster. I think we should stand proudly with Puerto Rico and give them their freedom.