They voted for statehood last week. A decisive majority of the insignificant fraction who could be bothered to form an opinion and vote cast their ballots in favor of statehood. What does this mean?
Territories become state when the US Congress allows them to. Period. Bigger period. Their internal votes are entirely irrelevant. The decision to cut them loose and be independent is also not dependent on anything Puerto Rico wants. They are a territory because they aren’t considered “grown up” enough to govern themselves, either as a state, or as a nation. It is only reasonable that no one should listen to anything they have to say until they prove otherwise.
In fact, becoming an independent state, complete with it’s own government and the ability to pay it’s own bills would be a good prerequisite to joining all the rest of these states.
We certainly don’t need another welfare state. I admit this doesn’t matter much since PR is already pretty much a ward of the state for all the rest of us.
What it all comes down to is: If PR becomes a state, The Democratic party gets 2 permanent Democrat senators and 3-5 permanent democratic representatives added to the Congress. These will be seats that the Democrats get without even trying. They will be automatically granted to any Democrat who has a pulse and who the party bosses choose to throw in there. So, there is no reason why any Republican dominated government would ever vote to grant PR statehood. Similarly, if the Dems ever get back in control of the congress, there is no reason at all to keep them from doing this. See? It has nothing to do with what PR wants. It never did.