Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Addresses Puerto Rican Independence on Instagram Live


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a strong command of social media. The 29-year-old Bronx-bred Boriqua turns to Instagram and Twitter to let her followers in on her political journey, as well as address pressing topics and answer policy questions. Her Instagram stories from her first week in Congress drew immense support and even criticism from critics who watch her every move.

While building her IKEA furniture and sipping wine, the Democratic congresswoman went on Instagram Live on Wednesday night, answering questions on the military draft, climate concerns and the state of Puerto Rico, among others. In her Instagram Q&A, Ocasio-Cortez delved into her position on Puerto Rico’s statehood vs. independence debate.

“Puerto Rican referendums have historically been non-binding. So Puerto Ricans have had plebiscites, they have voted, and in the past, many have voted for statehood. You vote for statehood. It’s still been non-binding…” said Ocasio-Cortez during the livestream, “It’s almost like a poll… and it gets sent to Congress and that’s where the question of Puerto Rican political status goes to die.”

The self-appointed democratic socialist also stated, as she’s done in the past, that Puerto Rico is a colony and referred to the United States as the colonizer, making the U.S. unqualified to make the decision.

The solution: Her proposed binding plebescite, which would allow residents on the island to vote.

“In my opinion, we should be approaching a process of binding self-determination where we honor and implement the result of a plebiscite no matter what they are, without pre-conditions, because that is how you wrap up this whole historical inequity in a just way,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez also noted that the public should demand self-determination for Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as other U.S. territories.

“Honor the ability for people to self-govern. It’s a principle of American democracy,” she shared.

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