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Puerto Rico Weighs U.S. Statehood As Economic Crisis Continues

On Sunday, Puerto Ricans will caster their votes on whether or not the struggling island should become the 51st US state.
 



The vote comes at a critical time for an island whose hazy political status has fueled an economic crisis that has pushed it into the biggest municipal bankruptcy in US history.



 The vote offers three options for the future of Puerto Rico, either to become a U.S. state; to remain a territory; or to become an independent nation. 


The country is currently facing a crippling $70 billion debt and a 45-percent poverty rate, as well as woefully underperforming schools, and near-insolvent pension and health systems. Currently, its 3.5 million American citizens do not pay federal taxes, vote for U.S. presidents or receive federal funding on programs like Medicaid.



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