As a born and raised Puerto Rican it is very weird for me to be able to openly speak of a topic which, back in the island, is the source of useless violence, and unnecessary dissension. This being said I, too, do not believe that Puerto Rico should become a state.
First, annexation is an ancient practice whereas independence is not. Most countries prefer to stand for themselves, celebrate their identity and work together to forge a strong economy, whether the attempt is successful or not. It worked great for the US, the best example of independence in the history of the world. Even the state of Texas comes up with the idea of separation every once in a while precisely because Texans believe that their identity, economy and ways of life render them able to be on their own. I know that it is presumptuous to compare my 100 x 35 island to the original 13 colonies, or to the state of Texas, but the idea is the same.
Second, I think it's about time PRcans stop dreaming on what is never going to happen. I honestly would prefer that the US retires the feeding tube from my island so that the people would wake up and recognize the myriad of ways that they can make themselves a worthy and useful race.
With all due respect to my people, I have to say that what I see every time I go to that violent, poor, and disorganized (and yet so beautiful) island is the equivalent of an overfed illegitimate child who depends entirely on the benefits of a colonial status. I think we can do much better than that, and I wait eagerly for the day in which OUR natural resources, OUR produce, and OUR economy are used intelligently for OUR own benefit.
Instead, we (well, they do over there, not me) waste too much time, money, and energy fighting each other over what they consider to be a "birth right", that is, to be the 51st state. I do understand their argument, don't get me wrong: yes we do serve in the US military, and still we cannot vote for the US President; yes, we do have to learn to speak English, and still we cannot have a vote in US Congress. I get all that, and I imagine that, to some, this is a point of argument. However, I digress.
My main argument is that you should be who you are and strive your best to be on your own. PR should work itself to a point of independence, and shine with its very own star. Plus, I like the USA the way that it is NOW, without PR as a state. That is precisely why I left the island and never plan to return: because I wanted to belong to a country that stands for itself and is not ashamed to be proud of itself. When PR becomes its own country, I will gladly go and help out make it as strong as it can be. At this point, however, who knows what will go on?
One thing: the US is already in debt as badly as ever and PR is in no shape to provide any benefit to the US; the place is rife with violence, broke, and the language barrier is shocking. I was lucky enough to go to a fully-immersed Catholic school for which my parents paid more in all the years I attended than what they paid for half of my college education. Hence, good English speaking is a RARE luxury that only a few of us were blessed enough to have.
Therefore, although I am a (very proud) Puerto Rican, one of those whose eyes well-up automatically every time I hear my anthem being played, I am also a realist. Unfortunately these are not times to be talking about investments and add-ons in the US. We need to fix the US economy first and then think about all the other "extras" that should not occupy first page news.