Bold Moves Weekly 6/11-18: Puerto Rico Plays Hardball

To start, a brief apology. There was no BMW last week. We had technical difficulties and had to reformat the whole site. Some would say deleting the entire archived body of Bold Moves Weekly and other articles is in itself a bold move. To those people I say fuck you; it’s been stressful. Onward to this weeks Bold Move.
Welcome to Bold Moves Weekly, a segment where I go over what I view as the boldest move of the week. As always it’s important to note; these moves are bold as hell. They may not be good moves, they may not be intelligent, self-preservative moves, but they are certainly bold.


Since 1952 Puerto Rico has officially been an “Associated Free State”. This sort of friends with benefits type relationship Puerto Rico has with the U.S. is pretty unique and is only shared with Guam, The Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. It basically means we have moderate control over what goes on over there, but they have little input into what goes on over here. I like to think of that group as the sidekick territories that will one day save us all when horror befalls the mainland. Think “Sky High”.

SIDE NOTE: That trailer is really long, my God. It changes tone like six times. The ’00s were wild.

Anyways, as with many situations in which one party is more invested in the relationship than another, the people of Puerto Rico have recently had to think, really think, about what they want their relationship with the U.S. to be. That thinking came in the form of a statehood referendum, which is where things got bold.



The people of Puerto Rico were presented with a referendum on their territorial status. Basically, they were asked whether they wanted to be their own nation, become a U.S. state, or keep things as they are now, in imperialistic limbo. Assuming they voted yes, congress would then have to address the referendum and decide what to do next. Faced with this decision, the people of Puerto Rico voted and 97% of voters chose statehood. The problem is only 23% of the citizens of Puerto Rico actually voted .

That’s right, in what I would consider the Bold Move with the largest implications thus far, Puerto Rican opposition leaders encouraged a boycott of the vote for statehood. They claimed it was rigged and thus refused to vote.


Does this need explaining? Vote no, that’s why we have votes. It’s standard on BMW posts for me to not take sides, so I won’t say whether continued economic imperialism is better or worse than what we have now. I also won’t come out and say that making Puerto Rico a state despite 77% of the population not voting for it is actually just jumping to straight up colonialism. I’ll just discuss how goddamn bold it is to march on your capital instead of voting. That’s the Jill Stein of statehood referendum strats. As I said above, there’s no need to explain the boldness of this move, so we’ll just have to jump right into….



I have to applaud the Puerto Rican Independence Party here for what may be the boldest move of 2017. Sure, not voting pretty much ensures the opposite of what they want to happen, but they stuck to their guns. Making people think you’re crazy is an old school business tactic. I for one am shook, and don’t know what it is they’ll do next. They’ve shown willingness to act directly against their interest to seemingly no positive effect, just to prove a point. That’s bolder than most of us will ever be.

Their point? “Fuck you”

The best thing for them is that this is the kind of hard-nosed-might-be-complete-dementia-in-decision-form action that our new president is all over. They’ve just made a huge first impression on the new guy. I for one wouldn’t be surprised if Puerto Rico became a state, despite being over 70 billion dollars in debt, by the end of next year. After all, it is what they voted for.

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