Only residents of Puerto Rico were eligible to vote in the November 2012 referendum, but that doesn’t mean that Puerto Rico’s status is important just to people living in Puerto Rico.
Members of the U.S. government and other high profile Americans have recognized this:
[T]his is not primarily about Puerto Rico, but about the rest of us. What are our values? What is our culture? How can we make one America in a world and a nation ever more diverse?
President Bill Clinton, Democratic Governors Association Dinner, February 23, 1998
[T]his is a domestic obligation of ours. [Puerto Rico] is not another country.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations (video)
We cannot expect our foreign policies to be enjoying prestige around the world – attracting support instead of collapsing – when we are having serious problems with our closest neighbors.
Ronald Reagan, “Puerto Rico and Statehood,” Wall Street Journal, February 11, 1980.
Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of our country, and a finer world to live in.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Puerto Rico has been a possession of the United States since 1898, so its treatment is relevant to everyone in the United States.