Can Florida an­nex is­lands?

Tampa Bay Times - - Opinion -

Through­out the years, thou­sands of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens liv­ing in Puerto Rico have been mov­ing to take up res­i­dence in the con­ti­nen­tal United States, mostly in the state of Florida. The loss of pop­u­la­tion is ag­gra­vat­ing the prob­lem of top-heavy, in­ef­fi­cient govern­ment at all lev­els in Puerto Rico, and the on­go­ing surge of peo­ple from the Caribbean in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Maria is caus­ing prob­lems here in Florida and giv­ing the United States a poor rep­u­ta­tion as a quasi-colo­nial power.

When con­sulted, the res­i­dents of Puerto Rico have al­ways pre­ferred the op­tion of be­com­ing a U.S. state, not a sep­a­rate in­de­pen­dent coun­try. But

Congress has never shown any in­cli­na­tion to­ward grant­ing state­hood. So why not offer the peo­ple of the U.S. Caribbean is­lands and the peo­ple of Florida the op­tion to an­nex said is­lands as in­te­gral parts of the state of Florida, to be known as the Caribbean Is­lands Re­gion of the State of Florida? Jose L. Cal­abria Sr., Land O’Lakes

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