Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis does not have a personal view or preference on whether Puerto Rico should remain a commonwealth, become a state or gain full independence. “I think it’s up to the people of Puerto Rico” was how Malliotakis concluded her brief response to my question today. Note, however, that Malliotakis spoke in terms of a choice between statehood and commonwealth, without mentioning independence.
Malliotakis held a press conference today condemning the National Puerto Rican Day Parade for honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera, a co-founder of the F.A.L.N., and Mayor de Blasio for his plans to march in the parade as Lopez Rivera is honored. Lopez Rivera’s group, the F.A.L.N. staged scores of violent attacks in pursuit of Puerto Rican independence including fatal bombings in New York City, and the issue continues to smolder as Puerto Rico is wracked by a deep financial crisis. Puerto Rico will hold a non-binding referendum on June 11th, with voters having the option of supporting statehood, independence or continuing the current commonwealth status.
Here’s how Malliotakis responded to my question: