WNPR

Puerto Rico

Updated at 5:52 p.m.

Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly voted for U.S. statehood for their island in a nonbinding referendum on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports that only partial results are in but a low turnout and boycott by several opposition parties calls into question the validity of the non-binding vote.

Says the AP:

One of President Obama's last acts in office was to grant clemency to dozens of people, including Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera.

On Wednesday, López Rivera was released from house arrest in Puerto Rico. The 74-year-old had been in custody for seditious conspiracy since 1981.

The clemency decision was controversial. "To his supporters, he is a freedom fighter for the cause of Puerto Rican independence. To others, he's a terrorist," NPR's Kelly McEvers noted at the time.

Steven Laschever / Courtesy 32BJ

It's almost year since a financial oversight board was set up to resolve the debt crisis on the island of Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican government owes about $9 billion, and as the anniversary approaches, it looks likely that changes could be made to the way that debt is restructured. 

On Puerto Rico's southwestern corner, the sleepy seaside town of Guanica is where, nearly 120 years ago, the U.S. relationship with the island began during the Spanish-American War. The town's museum director, Francisco Rodriguez, takes visitors to the town's waterfront where the invasion began. In Spanish he says, "This is Guanica Bay, where the American troops commanded by General Nelson Miles landed on July 25, 1898." At the site, a stone marker engraved by the 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army commemorates the invasion.

Alex Barth / Creative Commons

Fifty-eight years; fifty states; one governor's commitment to change. This hour: statehood for Puerto Rico -- is it in the cards? We consider what lies ahead for the island under its new leader, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

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