This is a unique blog post and I am still taking it in – Puerto Rico – that’s right – Puerto Rico, the US Commonwealth, subject to our laws but somewhat independent, won their first Olympic Gold Medal. Yes they have an independent Olympic Committee and here’s an interesting article on it. So, what is Sanders to do?
BTW, wanted to be in the Olympics? Do you have some Puerto Rican ancestry? Check out the criteria and if you meet it and are fairly good at a sport – maybe you could be in the next Olympics!
A person born outside Puerto Rico who has blood ties to the island no further than a grandparent or is married to a Puerto Rican while having resided in Puerto Rico for at least three years prior to competing is eligible to represent Puerto Rico in the Olympics.
It was, however, in the pro-athlete tainted sport of tennis. Monica Puig who competed under the Puerto Rico flag won gold in women’s tennis. So what is Sanders to do?
I have reviewed the SOP and pursuant to sections 4 and 5, this win is a first gold by an new nation and even in a pro sport, I am glad to write, Puig and her nation get, pursuant to the Sanders Olympic Policy, a tout, a victory lap with flag (will be best lap I do this Olympics!) and national anthem. (For the record, I do not have at home the Puerto Rico flag – I have the state flags including DC and PR, at work and I found a flag but it turned out to be Cuba! And I am already in trouble for the Vietnam victory lap as it is! So the official la victoria lap will wait until after work on Monday.
BTW, Puerto Rico’s basketball team actually defeated the so-called USA men’s team in 2004. I would have rooted for Puerto Rico in that game.
Which brings us to an interesting question: What song will play? The Star Spangled Banner? Or some other song? I would be sure it will NOT be our anthem. The leading choice is this song: La Borinquena. Here is one version and here is another.
Who is Monica Puig? This official Rio website has a nice story on her and I like her enthusiasm for athletics (yes she is a pro athlete but she has not won at Wimbledon, etc. This website from Women’s Tennis Association is also useful.)
A nice quote from the Rio site:
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about this moment and its finally here!! Making my olympic debut tomorrow at 11am!!! Lets make it happen! #EquipoPUR #JuegosOlimpicos" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />
She will be a national hero in Puerto Rico for sure. My congrats for gold to Monica Puig and the nation of Puerto Rico.
But I cannot leave this wonderous moment without a bit of commentary.
There is a burning issue: Should Puerto Rico be a US state? I wish to
state declare my position:
I would be delighted to see Puerto Rico become a state. But there must be conditions attached and the most important is: English is the only official language and all laws and court decisions must be printed in English only (That does not mean other groups or the new state government could not provide translations similar to the forms done by the governments now to help those who speak Espanol.) and there must be a immediate effort to ensure that all residents speak English. I also would be sure to remind the people: At this time, thanks to the Lincoln rule established in 1865, secession of states from the Union is not authorized by the Constitution or the laws of the land. No more Olympic committee, no more independence referenda etc. I also would make the referendum to be 66 2/3 % yes first.
I think the US pols who declare their support for statehood without insisting on these conditions are pandering to voters, either there or here. It is not viable.
I propose something that is more respectful to the Puerto Rican nation (I mean as in people group): Free Association – which is independence with a treaty that ensures defense and maybe foreign affairs to be governed by the US government. It could be done similar to what is the status now. Still free movement of peoples and easy access to US citizenship BUT Puerto Rico would be independent. Even a UN seat if they want it. The new Nation of Puerto Rico could hire out our diplomatic apparatus to represent its interests and to help its people abroad. Spanish could still be the language.
Puerto Rico is a nation. It ought to be respected as such. To be a state would renounce that status. Forever. Never again will the people of Puerto Rico see their athlete on the Olympic stage and hear their song playing for a gold medal.
But let’s end this on the positive note: I am thrilled to see Puerto Rico win its first GOLD medal and I am thrilled to see this young lady’s Olympic dream end with victory. La victoria y siempre la liberdad!
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders