Cheers on the island quickly turned to outrage, however, as Puerto Ricans began learning about the actual terms of their new status.
Taking its cue from Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, one term requires the island to declare English as its one and only official language. The section reads:
“In keeping with the founders’ intention to establish an English-speaking nation, all territories hereto granted statehood in the United States, whether previously incorporated or no, must declare English as its first and only official language.”
The other contentious requirement – much more derisive than the first – requires the island to adopt the traditional, Anglicized name “Porto Rico.” The bill cites the phonetic Anglicization of former Spanish territories-turned-states, such as Colorado, Montana, Florida and New Mexico. The passage reads:
“In considering that the indigenous appellation “Puerto Rico” may be too difficult for most English tongues, the aborigines living there must opt to change the name of the island to the territory’s original and more convenient American designation ‘Porto Rico.”
While estadistas (“Porto Ricans” favoring statehood) expressed dismay over the nature of the terms, many seemed generally satisfied with the conditions. “It’s a small price to pay for inclusion into the greatest nation in the world,” NPP Governor Luis Fortuño told reporters on the steps of the Capitol Building.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich immediately came out of in favor of the move, criticizing Porto Ricans for speaking a “language of the colony.”
There were some politicians who voiced opposition to the bill.
Luis Gutiérrez, known for his rousing speeches in defense of Saul Alinksy socialism and Porto Rican self-determination, seemed confused while delivering his address from the House floor, asking questions like “Where am I?” and “What century is this?”
Besides minimal opposition to the bill, studies indicate that America may need some time acquainting itself to its newest state.
A report published by the Mofongo Institute showed that when asked to find Porto Rico on the map, 8 out of 10 Americans pointed to either Africa or the Bronx.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck blamed the results on a recent scarcity of maps in the United States, saying that the results were “clear proof that Rand McNally is in cahoots with the liberal media.”
In a surprising move, the socialist island nation of Cuba – just 90 miles south of the Florida coast – has also petitioned the United States for probationary statehood. For months the Castro regime has been complaining that the iconic 1950s cars that clog the streets of Havana are really hurting Cuban wallets at the pump. But some Cuban affairs analysts see the gesture as an attempt by Cuban officials to get their hands on the Chevy Volt.
When asked whether he was willing to give up the dream of a socialist Cuba, Raul Castro responded, “What can I say? It looked good in theory.”