UPDATED 4:09 PM PT – Saturday, January 2, 2021
Puerto Rico’s new Governor Pedro Pierluisi affirmed he will seek statehood for the U.S. territory as he is sworn-in as the island’s new leader.
“It is time to put aside the crisis and get on with the pending recovery projects, demand equal rights and fair treatment as American citizens,” Pierluisi stated.
Pierluisi took the oath of office in a ceremony on Saturday and said statehood is “just dignified and possible.” This came after voters approved the idea of Puerto Rico being admitted to the union in a non-binding referendum back in November
The new governor said he will work hard to look for what unites Puerto Ricans, rather than what divides them.
“I need everyone to battle our common enemies, the pandemic, poverty and crime, lack of access to good education and healthcare, economic stagnation, corruption and inequality,” Pierluisi said. “Those are the battles we need to fight together, those are the battles we must win to put Puerto Rico on a path of recovery and progress.”
Pierluisi also urged citizens to work together against the COVID-19 pandemic so they can ultimately resume their lives, work and education.