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波多黎各公投赞成成为“美国第51个州”  

2017-06-12 15:30:24|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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波多黎各公投赞成成为“美国第51个州”

位于加勒比海的波多黎各岛于当地时间11日就与美国之间的地位关系举行第五次全民公决。据美国全国广播公司6月11日报道,波多黎各岛公投赞成向美国国会申请“成为美国的第51个州”。

美联社消息称,波多黎各总督表示,在该州的不具约束力的公投中,赞成成为美国第51个州的投票占压倒性多数。

Puerto Rico votes in favor of US statehood amid low turnout

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello (C) celebrates after the economically struggling US island territory voted overwhelmingly on Sunday in favour of becoming the 51st state, in San Juan, Puerto Rico June 11, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

SAN JUAN - The economically struggling US island territory of Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly on Sunday in favor of becoming the 51st state, although turnout was low and adding another star to the US flag likely faces an uphill battle in Congress.

A government website for the non-binding referendum, Puerto Rico's fifth such plebiscite since 1967, showed 97 percent supported statehood. Only 23 percent of the 2.2 million eligible voters participated in the vote.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello campaigned for statehood as the best avenue to boost future growth for the island, which has $70 billion in debt, a 45 percent poverty rate, woefully underperforming schools and near-insolvent pension and health systems.

"From today going forward, the Federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico," Rossello said in a statement.

"It would be highly contradictory for Washington to demand democracy in other parts of the world, and NOT respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico," he added.

Puerto Rico's hazy political status, dating back to its 1898 acquisition by the United States from Spain, has contributed to the economic crisis that pushed it last month into the biggest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

"I voted for statehood," Armando Abreu, a 74-year-old retiree, said after voting. "Even if it's still a long way off in the distance, it's our only hope."

Those in favor of statehood for the mainly Spanish-speaking Caribbean island hope the new status would put the territory on equal standing with the 50 US states, giving them more access to federal funds and the right to vote for US president.

Under the current system, Puerto Rico's 3.5 million American citizens do not pay federal taxes, vote in presidential elections or receive proportionate federal funding on programs like the Medicaid health insurance system for the poor. The US government oversees policy and financial areas such as infrastructure, defense and trade.

Rossello will ask Congress to respect the result, but Puerto Rico is seen as a low priority in Washington.

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